To Mom on Mother's Day:
Be a Juicy Crone!

Will you be sending your Mom one of those cards with a saccharinely sweet message, or an insultingly humorous one, or a cute card from your inner child? A blank card with your own message, perhaps? Or the emotionally neutral card that just says, "Happy Mother's Day?" Not until there is a shift in consciousness, will you find one that says: "Be a Juicy Crone!" or realize yourself that there is a remarkable phase to look forward to after the active years of motherhood, when a woman is post-menopausal and can become more authentically herself than ever.

A juicy crone has a life that is soul-satisfying. It has to do with knowing who she is inside and believing that what she is doing is a true reflection or expression of her genuine self. It is having what Margaret Mead called "P.M.Z." or post-menopausal zest for the life she has.

Whether it is a crescent sliver or gloriously full, we know we are only observing a facet of the same spherical moon. In the same way, ancient people saw the goddess as one, yet triple in her three phases of maiden-mother-crone.. Cycles were observed in the moon, in the seasons and fertility of the earth, and in women's bodies which shared qualities with both.

In ancient times and in indigenous traditions, when a girl began to bleed, she became a woman in the maiden phase of her life, the metaphoric equivalent of the waxing moon. A ritual marked her new status. After the onset of menstruation, her menstrual periods would come into synchrony with other menstruating women (as happens with women who live together in dormitories or sororities) and with the moon. Then, once a month, she would bleed during her menses, or "moon time"until she became pregnant. Her first pregnancy was an initiation into the second phase of her life, corresponding to the full moon and the second phase of the triple goddess. When she became pregnant, it was said that she retained the blood in her body to make a baby. Only after she gave birth and stopped lactating would she begin her monthly bleeding again. She would then continue to do so until she became pregnant once more, or until she entered menopause. The cessation of menstruation now marked another awesome change. Once again, it was said that a woman retained blood in her body; only this time, it was not to make a baby, but to make wisdom. Menopause marked the transition into the third phase of a woman's life, corresponded to the waning moon, and was the initiation into the wisewoman or elder phase of a woman's life.

This third trimester of life can be a time of personal wholeness and integration; in the active years after fifty, your mother may become more visible in the world than ever before, or she may develop her inner life and pursue creative interests, or she may be the centering influence in a family constellation, or she may make major changes that disturbs the old status quo.

This Mother's Day, might you send her the unconventional wish that she be free to be herself? Might you even risk saying, "Be a Juicy Crone?"

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