Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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How Were Those Eclipses for You?

So, how's the last month been? Was it intense? If not for you, then for acquaintances, social circle, family members?

Or maybe not. One thing I have learned as I have saged with age, is that the more you become conscious - mindful of all the various strands and strains, as well as the bigger issues - less dramatic happenings, well, happen to you personally. Some people need the neonlit drama to din in the meaning or life lesson that has been avoided.

Avoidance is, however, futile. Eclipses, with their shadow, take us deep. The earliest solar eclipse was in Cancer, with all the huge stuff to do with family, national identity, ancestral inheritance, patriarchy and Mothers.

The lunar eclipse and final solar eclipse in August were all about the polarity between Aquarius and Leo. Aquarius is the brotherhood and sisterhood of humans and all all beings. Especially those that are strange. It is the ideal of connection. It is neural networks. Leo is the power of creation, as well as play and flirtation and inner childlike experience. Leo is Me; Aquarius is Us. And sometimes Them, depending how plugged in to  humanhood you are at the moment. Aquarius can feel a bit 'othered,' which can erode a sense of self. Leo has sense of self in tonnage and it celebrates it.

There were other celestrial configurations that made this past month's eclipses all the more intense than usual. Plunged into personal and collective, as well as ancestral shadow work, this past month has been one of those massive growth opportunities that can make everyone inwardly groan. It's like the hardest pop quiz ever and you know you are completely unprepared ;flunking is going to screw your grade point average for college entrance.Your life, as you know it, is over.

Well, maybe yes and maybe no.

Now that I am old I can tell you that the only solution is to become as still as a solar eclipse itself. Mimic nature.

At the July solar eclipse I stayed up all night to go outside and experience it. It was before dawn here in Ireland. I live in a rural area with no street lighting.I felt held in an extremely liminal space.

From my journal:

It is 3:48 am and I am standing outside our front door. It is dark, but being three weeks beyond summer solstice it is not pitch dark. It is somewhere between twilight and a smudgy charcoal drawing, with the trees and hedges as silhouettes.


It is still too early for the birds to stir and begin to sing. Actually, nothing is stirring. There is no breeze ruffling the willow tree limbs. Everything is still, as if poised on an edge. And it is silent. So silent that when our little black cat slides from under the parked car and squeaks, I start a little. Then she pads on silent paws down the lane.


That momentary lapse and I listen hard as I scan all around me and up into the sky with no moon and now sign of dawn. It feels like this is the sound of liminality, of threshold space. Still. Nothing stirs. This is the unnatural quiet of nature during an eclipse, when the fox does not cry and the sheep do not baa, and cattle do not low. Everything feels as if it is on pause.


This is the moment before.  There is no possibility of an after that will arrive with the squeal of a creaky gate swinging open, with dawn lightening the sky, the day yawning over a blank page. That is afterwards. It has not yet arrived.


And even when the sludgy, overcast dawn turns up and birds are feeding they observe this hush before the after to still come.


When I go indoors I cannot sleep or dream, so I record this, the preamble.


A few days later we took a walk down Acres Lake. From the dark, peaty depths of this Leitrim lough bloomed lotuses. Beauty bloomed from the mud.

The stillness of the July solar eclipse was palpable. If we can become very still, perhaps al lotus-type beauty will be birthed.


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Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


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