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Every cell in our beautiful and amazing bodies contains the whirling wisdom of the universe. This is the journey of one witch remembering that, and celebrating the sacred and divine in beings of all genders and manifestations.

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Crone Hands

They are my Grandmother’s hands, these hands I now see when I look at my own.  Her hands, those hands, lovely Crone hands, the hands my child eyes delighted to watch dancing through the air with a paint brush tipped with cobalt blue.  The hands my child self loved to feel dividing my long wild hair into six parts, three on each side, as she braided the strands into practical pigtails.  Her hands were rarely at rest, except when she sat with a cigarette in them (which yes, did finally kill her at 99).  I remember watching those hands catching and cleaning fish, making oatmeal for breakfast, chicken fried steak for dinner, dishing out vanilla ice cream and squeezing chocolate syrup on top for desert (those hands deftly fed her sweet tooth).


She was fifty when I was born and so now that I am fifty-five, when I look at my hands, it is as if those hands, her lovely Crone hands, are still swirling through the air when I dance, still dishing out desert (for my own sweet tooth), still working the tangles from my hair (still long and wild). 


Last weekend I was in a Rites of Passage class with some of my Reclaiming Witch community.  The first night, after we had cast our Circle and called the Elements, we went out under the almost full Moon and I held those hands, my Grandmother’s hands that are now my hands, up to the Moon.  The moonlight illuminated the tips of my fingernails, creating perfect crone crescent moons glowing at the end of every finger.  Perfect crone crescent moons emanating from those hands, those lovely hands that are now my perfect Crone hands.  At the sight of those glowing crone crescents my delight rose up from the roots of my bare feet standing in the leaves, rose up through my legs (also like my Grandmother’s beautiful Betty Grable legs), up through my belly and breasts (more like my Mother’s than my Grandmother’s), up through my heart which contains us all, and out my mouth as a howling cackle of ecstatic Crone joy!


As a Crone, my Grandmother became a painter and took up leather work (her art adorns my walls).  As a Crone she dabbled in poetry and travelled.  As a Crone she endured heartbreak and loss, and found new passion and love.  I have, tied up in a bundle in my treasure box, all the Crone letters she wrote to me about her Crone life.


Now it is my turn to be fully Crone.  It is my turn to make my Crone art, write my Crone words, sing my Crone songs.  It is my turn to dabble and travel.  It is my turn to endure heartbreak and find new lovers and passions as Crone.  These are now my Crone hands illuminated at the tips with Crone Crescent Moonlight.


How about you?  Do you have Crone hands in your life?  Regardless of gender or generation, is there a crescent of Crone cackling through your delighted body?  Blessings on crones and Crone, blessings on the Crone in each of us, blessings on all the Crone hands dancing through the world.



You can read more about Lizann’s Grandmother and Mother in the current issue of Crone magazine (issue #7 “Mothers and Daughters” in an article titled “Born and Reborn” ).  Crone magazine is available for single issue purchase at many independent and women’s bookstores  or subscription or single issue purchase at


You can read more of Lizann’s Crone words in her SageWoman magazine column “CroneSongs: Waltzing With the Waning Moon.”  For magazine info go to

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Lizann Bassham was both an active Reclaiming Witch and an Ordained Christian Minister in the United Church of Christ. She served as Campus Pastor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley working with a multi-faith student community. She was a columnist for SageWoman magazine, a novelist, playwright, and musician. Once, quite by accident, she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A. Lizann died on May 27, 2018.


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