by Grey Cat

Into  the  dark, the pale light of the waning moon  brings  forth
shapeless shadows; bushes, a wandering stone fieldwall,  nameless
areas  of blackness.  Some still, some moving; no night for  good
folk  to stray from cot or castle.  Black hares amove across  the
moors,  black cattle idly gossip together, one old woman  dressed
in black searches the grass for secret herbs.  And there  amongst
the standing stones, age heavy upon their backs, three hags  dare
all the mercy of God's Holy Mother Church to make the magic of an
older race.

``Call  old  Mother  Piggot,  she  knows  the  proper  words  for
warts.''...   ``Tis  Goody  Nurse you'll need if it's  a  son  ye
want.''...   ``Tis  naught but an Old Wives  Tale.''...   ``Don't
mind  Mother, she hasn't been herself since she went through  the
Change of Life.''

Looming high over the imagination of humankind, the shadow of the
Crone casts a miasma of fear and uselessness, power and casting--
out, across the myths of our race and society.

I  have  talked and talked to women who either  have  arrived  at
crone  time or who are preparing themselves for  this  transition
and  we  have found much to talk about.  And I think that  it  is
important  that  we  keep right on talking after  the  season  of
Gatherings  has  passed  for  the year.   I  have  absolutely  no
interest  in trying to start a newsletter for Crones, nor  really
of  founding  OWL (Old Woman's League), SOW  (Salty  Old  Women),
CRONE (Clearly Rational Older Natural Energy), nor HAG (Honorable
Aged Geniuses).

However, I, no more than many of you, want to have to wait  until
next  year  to  get a chance to  discuss  all  these  fascinating
topics.   So how about some suggestions, and perhaps some  offers
of  help.   Would  we  like to cooperate  in  an  APAZine*  which
dispenses  with an editing and layout burden, leaving some  low--
level  bookkeeping which I don't mind doing.  Does  someone  feel
like  working  on  a  Newsletter?  Do we want  to  form  a  loose
organization as part of or instead of the above?  Or are most  of
us too busy to do anything about this between gatherings?

I'll  be sending this letter to people I know personally  and  to
many  Pagan publications; you'll probably see it often enough  to
be  sick  of  the  whole idea.  But there  is  a  lot  of  magick
available  in  the  Time  of  the  Crone.   There  is  a  lot  of
sociological pressure to understand, combat or accept.  And there
is  a whole lot of our lives left for us to function  as  Crones.
If we don't figure out what it is and what to do with it,  nobody
else will.

So  write me at the address below (SASE appreciated) and  let  me
know  what  you  think about the whole idea, what  you  might  be
willing  to  do, what insights you may have about Crone  Time  --
let's figure out what has been left out of all the books.   We're
already ``Uppity Women'' and we've nothing to lose but a bad rap.
(Crones  are  assumed  to be women more or less  at  the  age  of
menopause or past it.  Baby Crones are any who realize that  this
time is not far away.)

Grey Cat
P.O. Box 181
Crossville, TN  38555

[  *  An APAzine is a form of newsletter or interchange  of  info
where  no editing,  retyping,  or alteration is made  to  letters
received  --  they  are  just printed or photocopied  exactly  as
received   by  the APAzine co--ordinator and  circulated  {  en--
masse}  with  any and  all responses sent to  the  co--ordinator,
and it all  starts over again.  A sort of postal bulletin--board.
  -  Reprinted from the Stardust Salamander, Samhain 1986.]