Saturn, Act III ~ Crone Days

Fonda ~ not your average crone ~ from Wikipedia

This is Part 3 of a series focusing on our Saturn cycles as three different Acts in our life. The series is inspired by an interview of Jane Fonda by Oprah, where Fonda said that she is in Act III of her life. For women, we’ll be looking at these Acts as our Maiden, Mother, or Crone Days.

Saturn naturally plays a pivotal role throughout our life and ushers in a new phase of life when it returns to its original spot in our natal chart. Each of Saturn’s whirls through the entire zodiac takes about 29½ years ~ plenty of time to begin, fully experience, and release a major phase of our life.

Saturn, Act III

During our first 30 years, we’re figuring out who we are and what we want from life. At the point of our first Saturn return, we are building. We’re laying plans for a life worth living, one that both satisfies and rewards. We are at an age when this is a requirement, whether self-required or by society at large. We have to grow up, be an adult, build a life and make it successful.

Just like in a play, the first act sets the scene and introduces us to the characters. Usually, at the end of Act I, we are sent off to intermission with the question, “What’s going to happen?” Act II unfolds the mystery. Obstacles to realization are introduced. Heroes and villains are well-defined and a few surprises pop up. At the second intermission we are left wondering, “Now what happens? How will it end?!” The curtain rises on Act III and soon, all will be revealed.

As we approach our second Saturn return, we’ve just about seen it all.

We’ve been confused by Mercury’s words and sorted it out. We’ve fallen for plenty of Venus’ temptations and held on to the best of them. Mars pushed us into doing things we thought we weren’t capable of accomplishing, but did. Jupiter showed us that the horizon stretches further than we could have ever imagined, sometimes bringing us a little luck along the way. Uranus shocked us and we survived, gaining wisdom and moxie through upheaval. Neptune duped us on more than one occasion bringing compassion to naiveté, and Pluto showed us a way out of the dark corners that held us captive. Chiron comforted us with balm for our birth wound.

And Saturn?

Saturn was always there ~ always the teacher, always the coach. The people and things that surround us at our second Saturn return are our rewards for our good work, for fighting the good fight.

At the onset of our second Saturn return, we are sustaining. The foundation was laid long ago, the walls stand steady and squared, the roof is solid around this life that has, indeed, been worth living.

We start asking ourselves that crucial third act question ~ how will it end?

If you are dissatisfied with some aspect of your life, your second Saturn return offers you the opportunity to give it another go. The Teacher is with you, if you’re up for the task. It’s a second chance to make it right. Through careful chart analysis or in the hands of a seasoned astrologer, you can find the guidance needed to move you in the right direction.

Our Crone Years

Before delving into our Crone Years, it’s probably best to get rid of some preconceived notions about what a Crone actually is.

What a Crone is Not

Merriam-Webster defines crone as “a withered old woman” or “a cruel or ugly old woman.” The Free Online Dictionary defines crone as “a witchlike old woman” and “an ugly evil-looking old woman” or a hag. Crone is derived from a french word meaning carrion…dead flesh. Come. ON!

When doing a search in the reverse dictionary for “withered, ugly old man,” guess what the results were? Hag and crone. What’s up with that?! Do withered, ugly old men turn into women at some point?

Seems it’s time to update the dictionaries.

What a Modern Crone Is

What defines a modern-day crone? Vibrancy. Spirit. Confidence. Enthusiasm. Wisdom. Trust. Thank goodness a corrected vocabulary is once again entering the mainstream.

As part of the Triple Goddess symbolism, today’s Crone is a wise woman, a female sage, a knowing elder in tune with the cycles of life. Bayla Bowers, author and columnist for Crone magazine refers to the crone as “empowered, wise, self-defined” in an article of the same name.

Ms. Bowers introduced me to the word “forecrones.” Don’t you love it? It is from our forecrones that we receive some of our most heart-felt and enduring life lessons. Even in small ways, they influence our lives:

A Crone is a Woman (yes, I know I wrote woman with a capital W) of a certain age who has come to a point in her life where she has skills she can teach to the younger generation and wisdom to pass on. I realized I was nearing the age of a Crone when my daughter began asking me for my recipes for certain things I cooked and I had no recipe to give her because I had been making it for so long I just did it by habit.  I had become my Grandmothers. ~ Bairbre Sine, from her blog, The Crone’s Daily Groan

That seems almost too simple, doesn’t it? The passing on of a recipe from memory. But it’s more than a recipe, it’s a way of life and that’s the wisdom of the Crone.

I had become my Grandmothers. I am Mother before Mother, and Mother before her. We are all her ~ the one who holds the secret of our true bloodline, the path back to Eve ~ first Crone, deliverer of knowledge. Descended from a long line of Wise Women, we all have access to this vast lineage of wisdom. It’s our ancestral right, our destiny. Bairbre Sine’s recipe will live on. So will yours ~ no matter what you’ve cooked up ~ because, simply by living your life, you have passed on something to the ones who follow behind you.

Having just opened the door on my own second Saturn return, I have not yet become comfortable with my Crone Days. They are new. I am just a child in this realm, still learning, far from qualified to lay out an outline of how to go about it. I can dream about the recipe I would like to leave behind, work to perfect it, and hope that there’s a bit of wisdom in my special brew.

Perhaps you’re like me and have yet to feel that first Crone moment. Perhaps you’re more like Bairbre and recognized a moment when your knowing was needed and you delivered your wise counsel confidently.

Do you recall a moment?

If you could pass on anything ~ any gift at all ~ to the ones who come after, what would it be?

If you are approaching or in your second Saturn return, what do you see in your chart ~ your cauldron ~ that comforts or worries you?

Related Posts:

Articles of Interest:

Your Second Saturn Return by Victoria Bazeley, part of the 2010 Blogathon.

The Goddess–IV, The Crone by Alan G. Hefner, an online encyclopedia.

17 thoughts on “Saturn, Act III ~ Crone Days

  1. I am a year into this Act III..thank you Saturn for returning to Libra to teach me about relating to others..but mostly myself! It’s been hard to realise that although all my life has been about how to please others..actually what I desire (and I mean DESIRE) is to please ME..wonderful that I have reached that point in a very colourful life I can do just that and no-one feels the need to make me feel guilty..”at your are entitled to..” has been a common I shall continue to wolf whistle at nice young men..oops!

    1. What a lovely tribute to Saturn in Libra, Penny. It was Saturn’s trek through the 7th, Libra’s home, that taught me so much about relating to others, too. And, you’re right, learning how to please ourselves is part of the task. Now, he’s moving through my 8th, but still in Libra so the lessons continue. And…”at my age”…two rounds Libra-based lessons are okay. And keep whistling! 😉

  2. CJ, this is a beautifully written summary of the Saturn cycle and I especially love the second Saturn return and beyond, about which there is so little written. You’re sane, grounded and comforting as always, but you’ve really outdone yourself with this topic! Donna Cunningham

    1. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate your kind words, Donna. Thank you.

  3. I agree with Donna: This is one of the most beautiful blogs I have ever read. You have extraordinary writing ability. I am having my second Saturn return in a couple years, and will keep your ideas in mind.

    1. I do hope that, when those two years have passed for you, Patricia, I’ll have found some really good things to share. Thank you so much for your amazing compliment.

  4. This is a very good topic. In the past 2 years, my professional mentors and other teachers are either passing on or retiring. Now, I’m noticing it in my family. I’m at the time where I’m watching those who raised me reach their crone times. At a recent family visit, I noticed how my caregivers were aging. My grandmother is 78; her spirit is still robust but her body isn’t quite keeping up. For the first time I thought of her as a little old lady! My mother has more gray, and her muscular frame is getting bony. Her brothers who watched me are grandparents! This has brought a jolting awareness of the passing of time to me!

    1. It’s wonderful that your grandmother still has a robust spirit, Kristy. The body will fail all of us. It fails some of us at a young age through illness or accident, but it is the spirit that drives recovery and that’s what makes for an inspirational life. One of my favorite crones bought herself a convertible at the age of 82. I’m sure her family sees her failing, but I met her late in life. I never saw other than an absolutely remarkable, vibrant woman. She’s amazing ~ very wise ~ and with more vivacity that many of my peers ~ myself included. I adore her.

      I remember visiting home after a year and noticing the difference in my parents’ appearance. My mom lived to 93 and seemed always younger than her years (a Capricorn, btw). If it hadn’t been for her Parkinsons disease, she would have still had a job. But the body failed.

      Those little old ladies can fool us.

  5. Yep, I’m a crone too. I let my hair grow out grey, I wear comfortable clothing, and I just signed up for “Adult Beginning Ballet” class to celebrate my Saturn return. I like it when people ask me for advice and I can give them good solid advice!
    What i see in my chart that is promising is a Jupiter return too 🙂

    1. We’re experiencing the same thing, Mimi ~ Saturn and Jupiter Returns. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Jup brings lots of joy (and plenty of laughs) to the “new” me ~ Crone Lady. 🙂

  6. What a wonderful gift these articles, CJ. I am a crone living with Saturn sitting mid-house my 9th. Your screen play is such marvelously clear direction for the long view of becoming. It gives me comfort to see life at this stage and with Saturn’s long stay in the 9th house I think this reminder (thank you Elizabeth Rose Campbell, author of Intuitive Astrology for this insite from the other side) … of Capricorn and Saturn’s gifts is one thing I would pass along to those who might be needing something for the journey:

    Delight in a life-time of learning; try and fail, and try again a hundred and one times. My life has and continues to be a life of tries and trials. So many places and people to meet and along the way I bump into my self and continue to be surprised.

    The Crone and Makua o’o

    1. Mokihana, it’s so good to see you here. I know finding time at the library is difficult for you. It’s nice to see that you also appreciate Campbell’s Intuitive Astrology. You’re so right about bumping into ourselves along the way. Those are good days, huh? My best to you and Pete for the coming year.

    1. That’s wonderful news about the move! Congratulations. And thanks for the link, Mokihana. I appreciate it.

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