A Welsh goddess of beauty and betrayal, created by two magicians for the purpose of fulfilling a curse laid on the son of a goddess determined to maintain control. She was created of nine types of blossom-oak. Often referred to as flower face. However, she proved to be bad news for Lleu Llaw Gyffes, her husband. But what a looker she was....and she represents temporary beauty and bright blooming that must come full circle through death. Her husband, by means of his mother, was declared untouchable but for a special set of circumstances before he could be killed by mere mortals. A riddle that went something like 'not in a house, not outside a house, not on horseback and not of foot...'. So I'm guessing by the time he fell head over heels for Blodeuwedd he was already pretty full of himself.
So, moving on with the legend, Lleu decides to get some man time in with his magician buddies. I'm guessing this was the equivalent of the man-cave time to get away from women for a bit. In his absence a hunter by the name of Gronw Prebyr stumbles across the path of Blodeuwedd and, you guessed it, falls head over heels in love with her. The difference this time was she felt the exact same way. Gronw and Blodeuwedd fall hard for each other and she decides she really can't live without him and fully resents the fact she was created for the sole purpose of being someone's property. Here is where the goddess in her rises to her full potential. She tricks Lleu into showing her how he must be posed in order to be killed and that done, she sets him up and Gronw wounds him with a spear. Lleu is nursed back to health and then the lovers are captured and punished. Gronw is killed but Blodeuwedd is turned into an owl, a night predator. In an instant she is turned into the polar opposite of what she was created. From a beautiful, meek, submissive creation to a solitary, magnificent night hunter that is the owl. She had gone full circle in the blink of an eye; from innocent maiden to wise crone.
Such are the lessons of the goddess. Blodeuwedd was created to be submissive and without her own voice. She took back that power and entered into a scheme that would clearly be of her own choosing. In being turned into an owl she maintained her own voice as a singular threat to the night.
As women we cycle not only monthly but also in stages from maiden to mother to crone. The idea of being a crone is dreaded by maidens and mothers but fully embraced by the time that cycle arrives.
Maidens are naive, and for the most part, simply obedient to someone. It might be a parent or it might be a lover. But the maiden is without credible voice. I know they talk a lot and make a lot of noise but they know they aren't taken as seriously as they would like. But they have youth on their side so they are granted more than a fair share of passes for their impulsive and inexperienced observations. You see this today in college women who are determined to be passionate about one cause or another that they usually support only to gain credibility. They have no life experience to back up what they demand or stand for so they make up for it by yelling insults or declaring the object of their scorn worthless until they submit to the demands of her cause. Youth. If they maintain the passion they have for these causes they usually either evolve into a different way of looking at the issue or mature to a position of credibility through personal experience.
Mothers, on the other hand, are not to be mistreated. They have a reason to go unhinged into anyone so arrogant as to forget she is not unhinged for HER benefit but for her offspring. A woman protecting a child will never be held accountable for what she does to anyone who threatens her nest. She has gained credibility through her child and the more children the more credible she becomes. But she will tell you herself, it has nothing to do with wisdom. She is making up the play book as she goes along. And by surrounding herself with other mothers, she is a voice to be reckoned with, but it's still based on self sacrifice. Mothers surprise themselves with how loud and persistent they can be when it comes to their children. Mild mannered maidens only a scant few years earlier but now prepared to take on any one who comes between her and her family. Mothers don't care how they appear when defending a child. They are unrepentant and without shame. But they still lack the wisdom that comes from being a Crone.
The Crone is the full fledged woman to fear, to respect, to envy. She walks in courage. She is confident. She is able to look back and accept how foolish she was as both maiden and mother. She is compassionate and while comfortable pointing out the follies of the younger women around her, she is empathetic to their journeys. She sees herself in every woman. Now if only the maiden and mother could see the wisdom she carries and beseech her to share. There was a time not so long ago that the Crone was honored and included in all social rituals and community events. She was the one they invited into the nursery to bestow the white light of protection on the sleeping babes. She was the one introduced to the 'intendeds' who sought blessings of marriage to young maidens. She was the one mentoring the soon to be mothers in learning to walk confidently into motherhood and guiding her into the understanding that no one gets through motherhood without making mistakes that will haunt them into old age. The Crone was an invited guest, not a dreaded intrusion.
Going full circle means taking the journey from naivety to wisdom through personal experience. The Crone is the one who keeps the maiden from losing hope, and the mother from losing faith. The Crone bears hard won bragging rights paid for by bought lessons, or lessons learned the hard way. Some cultures still put a heavy emphasis on honoring the aged. But more and more the tendency is to put the aged in the corner or in their place where they can't interfere. All that experience sitting off in a corner loving unconditionally every maiden and mother going through a struggle they remember oh too well. And all it would take is just an invitation to be included in those heart to heart talks or those humorous, and often lusty stories set in 'olden times'. It's a gift you give to yourself. Allow yourself to be swept away in lessons that don't sound preachy but somehow end up being exactly what you needed to know.
The Crone knows things.