An Antic Cronish Goddess
by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.
If you’re going to have a middle-age crisis, why
not have fun with it? If you’re going to get older,
why not enjoy it? Wiccans and others who worship the
Goddess, see the three stages in a woman’s life:
Maiden—the young girl before her first bleeding—Mother,
and Crone—the older woman past menopause and her
second Saturn return. The ancient Greeks also said that
every spring, the older goddesses was bathed in the
sacred spring of life and emerged as a Maiden, which
shows us how the seasons of the year continually cycle
from springtime (the Maiden) through summer (the Mother,
who bears fruit—her children or her creative projects
or her professional work), through fall and winter (the
Crone), and back to springtime.
Modern Wiccans and other pagans also
agree that it’s good to bring playfulness to our
spirituality. It’s good to laugh as we worship and
celebrate our gods and goddesses. Found Goddesses are
made-up goddesses. The classical gods and goddesses like
Athena and Aphrodite can help us with old issues like
getting along in the business world or falling in love.
But who do you invoke at a potluck? Who can help you
find a parking place or navigate the Internet? This is
where we need the new goddesses, the Found Goddesses who
deal with our modern problems and issues.
Here is a goddess for mid-life.
Sisters, do certain parts of your anatomy, that used
to stand right up and salute, now ignore the flag no
matter now vigorously it’s waving? Is
"perky" a word whose meaning passed you by a
decade ago? From behind, do you look like you’re
sitting down even when you’re standing up? Does it
require a crane and two body-builders to lift you out of
a deep knee bend?
If you answered "yes" to these questions,
relax—you’ve been visited by our beloved Auntie
Gravity, a cronish goddess Who pulls our bodies ever
closer to our Mother Earth even as She lifts our
spirits. Like some kind of cosmic elevator operator,
Auntie Gravity dares to speak out loud the proper
locations of ladies lingerie, housewares, better
dresses, and the tea room. Auntie Gravity wears good
cotton underwear, cooks as seldom as possible, dresses
in purple (and then some), and eats and drinks what she
wants to eat and drink. She lives in the present moment
and tells it like it really is.
"Gal," She says, giving you Her famous
Look, "where you livin’ at? The past is dead and
gone. Sure, you’ve lived through quite a lot. But how
good was the good ol’ days, really? How good was it,
back then? Gal, you livin’ today. You deserve some
respect for your long life. You got survivalocity,
big-time. Don’t you forget that. An’ don’t you let
no one else forget it, either.
"Your face look like a road map?" Auntie
Gravity says. "Well, jus’ you remember—all them
lines come from some place significant. You been places
and you done stuff—you wanna trade places with some
skinny, smooth-faced child who don’t know nothin’?
Each one a them lines is a line in the poem of your
life, and maybe yours is an epic poem. Ever thought
about that? Hmmm? Not all epics gotta be about men wavin’
phallic symbols an’ conquerin’ folks. Hmmm?
"What you done in your long life?" She
asks, and She pokes Her pointy finger at your heart,
"what you proud of? What you ashamed of? What you
learned? What you got to tell the young ‘uns? Gal, you
got wisdom you don’t even remember you got. What you
gotta do is, you gotta pass it around. You hear Me? Pass
it around, what you know, what you’ve learned. Help
bring up some little sisters in the proper fashion.
"An’ you jus’ start thinkin’ of them
lines," She says, "as your Auntie Gravity’s
rainbows, an’ remember all the colors of what you done
in your life. An’ where’s that ol’ somewhere over
the rainbow? In a land full of midgets, that’s where,
mental midgets that don’t know what you know. Buncha
mental midgets don’t know who you are. Believe you Me,
you don’t even wanna go there.
"An’ don’t you dare say hot flashes,
either," Auntie Gravity says. "Those’r power
surges! As the cat told the cockroach, toujours gai,
toujours gai, there’s a dance in the old dame yet. Don’t
you forget that. So maybe you don’t dance so fast
anymore. So what? Now your dance got the power. Maybe
your monthly blood’s done dried up, but, Gal, you
still got the juice. Got it mor’n ever before, got it
straighter, got it deeper, got it stronger, got it
"Hey, Gal," She says, "you hungry?
None a them diets for me! Ol’ gals need their
nourishment, preferably chocolate nourishment. You know
there’s more of gravy than the grave about Me, don’t
you? So let’s just stir the pot an’ see what we stir
up in the world. Double bubbles, maybe, an’ toil an’
trouble an’ mischief an’ reality. Seriosity an’
humorocity—heck, let’s have four, five, or a dozen
humors. So what’s cookin’, hmmm? Here, have a bite
while we’re waitin’ to see what’s got stirred up
"Gal," She says after awhile, "This
here visit’s ‘bout over now. I got things to do an’
places to go yet. So lemme tell you one last thing:
gravity’s the universal force that pulls everyone
together. Remember that. An’ you take good care of
yourself, you hear?"
And She is gone.
But She’ll be back.
(From Finding New
Goddesses: Reclaiming Playfulness in Our Spiritual Lives
(ECW Press, 2003), copyright Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.
All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.)
Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D., (www.barbaraardinger.com),
is the author of Goddess Meditations and Practicing
the Presence of the Goddess. She has two books
scheduled for publication in 2003. Finding New
Goddesses is a book of parody, puns, and humor. Quicksilver
Moon is a novel about a vampire, a coven of witches,
and a far-right fundamentalist preacher. She has
recently finished another novel about a group of crones
and is also working on a book called Let There Be
Beauty. She lives in Long Beach, California, with
her cats, Schroedinger and Heisenberg, plus her
collections of witches, goddesses, and books.
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