Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Gathering

I've been a bit remiss in my posting, for this I apologize.  Things are still busy around here this time of year.

The weather here has been no less than blissful for a long stretch now, it is not something most of us take for granted here.  Actually most every day I bump into someone who is overtaken with joy in their heart and must exclaim "can you believe how beautiful everything is today?"  That's my kind of small talk.

In between the busy chores, there have been some wonderful happenings.  One of the things I have done lately was attend my friend's croning ceremony.  I'd never been to a croning ceremony before and was not really sure what to expect.  Essentially, a croning ceremony celebrates a woman's age and wisdom; and also marks a transition into the third phase of a woman's life.  In preparation for the event, I dug out my reference books on crystals, and hit the internet. With my list in hand, I went to our local "rock shop" (really its called the Crystal Loft, a beautiful metaphysical store here on Big Pine Key) and set out to choose gems and crystals for my friends. With help from local shop owner M, I came out of the rock shop with all sorts of special crystals and objects.  Then, with great intention I crafted wands for my friends adorned with those crystals and gems. I baked cookies for the event (I made moon cookies!  vegan and organic, of course),  prepared my offerings for the crones, covered myself in fairy dust, and off I went to Key West for my first croning ceremony.

As our group hurried down the streets of Key West towards Nancy's Secret Garden, we got quite a few looks of "only in Key West."  Our beautiful group all dressed in flowing robes and dresses of many colors; carrying large baskets of flowers, greenery and food.  As we carried all that, we balanced drums, rain sticks and other rhythm instruments among our precious cargo.  It was a combination of a giggle-fest and female empowerment.

It is hard to believe, but this was my first time ever in Nancy's garden.  The moment I entered I knew I was in sacred space.

My friend K and I decorated our friend, B's, throne with the flowers and greens we had collected.  We placed our offerings to our crone friend, and the ceremony began.  As the sun faded, and darkness fell, the rituals continued through the evening.  Each crone spoke as she became crowned, the energy in the garden was very strong.  That croning ceremony was, very sadly, the last croning ceremony ever to be had in Nancy's garden (the garden has been sold, and I have been told will no longer be open to the public after the end of this month).

The crones were honored with drumming, dance, food, drink and more.  As I stood in the secret garden surrounded by towering trees, I anchored myself in the soft soil of our beautiful Earth. Surrounded by diversity, there was nothing but unity. I renewed my promise to Mother Earth to cherish and protect her as best as I am able, and do the same for all creatures who also call Earth home.

I am very proud of my beautiful crone friends. I hope that when my time arrives to be croned, that I am even half as wise as those we honored.

In retrospect, as I consider all the curious looks we received last night on the way to the garden, and on our way out, perhaps "they" were right after all... it truly was an "only in Key West" moment.

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