Taking a Pause for Menopause-by Tressa Krenzer

Menopause! There I said it. For some reason it scares the dickens out of many people, or the subject leads a person into a tirade of complaints about their symptoms. It is almost an expectation or a badge of honor that as a woman you hate all aspects of change in your body. Well, I can say that I have learned a lot from own involvement with menopause, and I am proud that I will receive my crone’s crown very soon! So, what is the definition of a crone? Well if you look in Merriam Webster and other traditional dictionaries the definition is quite ugly and even sinister. These definitions originated from a time when women were being accused and executed for being witches. Personally, I prefer this description I found in the Goddess Guide: “In her positive aspect she is often depicted as a Grandmother, a wise woman, or a midwife. The word Crone is derived from the old word for crown, suggesting the wisdom that emanates from the head like a halo. Her own childbearing days are past; she is the wisdom keeper, seer and healer and midwife, whose knowledge is sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions.” To be honest, the last few years have tested me a great deal and I have had several scary health situations due to perimenopause. Fortunately, there are great teachers out there like Susun Weed and Dr. Christine Northrup that helped put my mind at ease when everything was going to hell in a handbasket.  Susun Weed is the prominent voice for the Wise Woman tradition, which I have followed for many years. In this tradition the feminine divine is greatly honored, and each stage of her life is to be cherished and celebrated. Now that certainly wasn’t the case when I went through my first transition back in the 5th grade. In those days there was a lot of shame and mystery around having your period. There, I said that too! I remember being terrified to buy feminine hygiene products at the store and horrors if the cashier was a man. Even now people shy away from talking about anything that relates to the female reproductive area of the body, which makes me wonder if we have evolved much at all. So back to my revelation I had the other day. I realized that I am exactly where I need to be on my path. In the Wise Woman Tradition and in many indigenous cultures when a woman is preparing to shift into a crone there is a period of retreat or rest that she must engage in. That is when the light bulb went off for me. I feel truly blessed that I could take a moment to retreat and rest during this quarantine time we are in. I know that I wouldn’t have had time to do this if life was going on as is. I have been able to give myself space to reflect on the wisdom that I have gained in my life to this point.  Plus, I rest when I need to, and I have spent time feeding my mind with new information and ideas. This time is priceless to me. I am even planning a crone’s crowning at the end of the year that I will share with my friends and community. I think that every woman should have the opportunity to celebrate these important points in their life and think that the more we rebel against them the harder they will be for us. I love my soft aging body and my salt and pepper hair. I want to represent aging as something beautiful instead of an inevitable disaster that we must endure. When I gaze upon my reflection in a mirror, I see a person that has weathered so many storms and a ton of change. It is my mission to provide a space that women can gather to share their experiences with each other. I think this would help our sisters realize that they are not alone with what they are feeling both on a physical and emotional level.

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