Maiden-Mother-Crone; the Challenges of Transition

Updated on January 10, 2020

As I move into the phase of the Crone...

I am 49 and will be 50 shortly. I can't tell you how agonizing that is for me. Why? Well, I believe that I miss the Maiden. When I was a young Mother, I carried many of my Maiden attributes well into my 30's. Beauty mattered. Weight mattered. I always looked for ways to improve my looks and if I was a bit over the weight I desired, I would go on a diet and lose it. It was really simple for me. I know I was lucky but at the time I didn't think of it that way. I wanted the attention of men and that was what gave me value in my world at that time.

When I turned 38, I began to gain weight and I found it more and more difficult to lose. In fact, I didn't understand why I was gaining it in the first place. I can't say I eat little or nothing and I was still putting on weight but I surpassed my largest weight and I began to feel less valued. My husband and I began to have problems in our marriage partly due to my insecurity and partly due to his feeling that I should be thinner. I tried every diet imaginable, Jenny Craig®, HCG, and a few others. They seemed to work...briefly. I became so frustrated and my self esteem plummeted.

I wasn't and am not obese but I am not the young filly I once was and I have to be honest...I am having a hard time of it. I am separated from my husband currently and I find myself thinking somewhat like a single woman. The difference is...there aren't as many men interested as there were in the past and I am older than most of the men I come in contact with.

In my work with various women, I have found one recurring issue...we have difficulty transitioning into different phases of our lives. This is mostly due to our sense of value in who we are and how we are valued by others. There are times when my age brings me to tears. I look in the mirror every day and I don't see nearly as many wrinkles in my skin as I do in photographs. I used to love having my picture taken, now I can't stand to see them. Its true and I know I am not alone.

I know I have options with plastic surgery but that in and of itself violates my moral code. I don't believe that liposuction or botox® are safe and I, like many women my age, cannot afford a face lift. And really, it isn't about looks anyway. The most beautiful women in the world are not beautiful by society's standards. Their beauty comes from a deep inner knowing and acceptance of themselves. I am in awe of them and I aspire to be one of them...



Our ancestors used single words to label the stages of a woman’s life. It wasn’t young, middle aged, and elderly as is our terms for the stages today. Our ancestors honored the stages of life as a magical part of living. They did not see these phases from a primarily medical or age-related standpoint and they honored a woman as she moved from one stage to another. When a young girl started her menstruation, there was a celebration to honor the beginning of a new phase of her life. They celebrated the marriage and pregnancy of women which we still do today in the form of bridal and baby showers. A celebration referred to as a ‘Croning’ was performed when a woman ceased having a monthly menstruation and entered into the final and most honored time of her life.

These celebrations were not just an act to observe ‘time’ in a woman’s life but also to bless her new mindset and allow her to feel comfortable in these changes. These were not just ‘medical’ or ‘age related’ changes to them but true moments of evolution that awed them. Ancient people saw a woman as the representative of the Goddess and by celebrating a new phase of a woman’s life they were honoring the phases of the Goddess as well.

The Maiden represents the time before we are mothers, when our bodies are young and strong exuding sexual vitality. It is the springtime of a woman’s life, a time to explore the adventures of womanhood and the art of mating. The Maiden phase in the life of a woman usually begins at the time of menstruation and the woman can feel the hormonal changes in her body as she moves to being more interested in boys than in toys. She begins to be more aware of her appearance and its importance to her.

A Maiden's sexuality is much sought after as it is like the budding of a new flower, it's color is vibrant and the scent is intoxicating. This is most likely why society places so much emphasis on this stage of woman's life through advertising, movies and modeling. We are attracted to this vibrance in youth. It may also explain why women are so driven to hold on to this phase in their life. Plastic surgery is evidence that women begin to feel less valued as they move into the Mother phase in their life and for some the importance of staying in this phase becomes an obsession. We have not been encouraged to find a Mother sexy and desirable.



The phase of the Mother is about nurturing, caring and responsibility. As a woman moves into this phase of her life not only does she begin to experience changes physiologically but psychologically as well. What was important to her as a Maiden may not be as important as it was as now she has more awareness of the world around her in relation to her offspring. Values become centered around the quality of life for her children and society as a whole.

A Mother also becomes concerned with fulfilling the happiness of her mate. This is a normal, natural instinct in a woman and unfortunately she isn't empowered to understand this. The feeling that if her mate is not satisfied with her can bring her to a state of despondency. It is difficult for a woman in the Mother phase of her life to separate how she values herself in comparison to how her mate values her. It is a deep-seated need for a woman to feel valued when she is fulfilling her role as a Mother in all aspects of her life. Women often fight this part of their selves because again, Society has convinced her that she has given away her power in order to be a good mother and wife or partner. But what is her power? Being a Mother is her power, a Mother has the power to move mountains for her family, to inspire change in her community for the greater good. It is indeed unfortunate that when her mate no longer finds her sexy or desirable, it can send her the message that she has failed. The Mother phase can be the most powerful time in a woman's life and if we celebrate this, women can be free to be the Mothers they truly are rather than having them chase after the Maiden aspect of themselves in order to be valued.

Women who choose not to have children or cannot carry a pregnancy are no less a Mother in the aspect of what a mother is. Some of the most powerful women have been in the Mother phase of their lives when they achieve their successes. Amelia Earhart was in the Mother phase of her life when she disappeared during a flight around the world. Dian Fossey was a woman who was a Mother to the Apes in Africa and her Mother attributes brought more awareness to the plight of the Apes. Both of these women were powerful Mothers who were childless.


When menstruation stops, the Mother has grown beyond the ability to conceive and give birth. Most of the time, her children have moved out on their own and the Crone is free to create a life of beauty and become more interested in the mysteries of life. She has lived a full life, honored her responsibilities and now it is her time. Her community is a place of belonging and she is willing to be a valuable tool for assistance but no longer feels the need to build. The Crone begins to examine her spirituality, engaging in groups that have similar interests as her own. Perhaps she will create a business that requires little of her energy, write a book or become a writer of essays as a means to express her creativity.

As grandmothers, the Crone loves and nurtures the Mother and the Maiden through thick and thin. Grandmothers, if active in a child's life, are an invaluable source of calm energy and teaching. Time spent with Grandma is a fond memory for many and something a Mother can aspire to.

This is perhaps the most powerful time in a woman's life. She is filled with life experience that has taught her what true power is and where it lies. When a woman embraces this time, she can affect change in her world like no other. Her power lies in her ability to accept that life can be filled with pain and knows that with this pain comes growth. When a woman accepts this phase of her life she can age gracefully and her quiet strength can trump the Maiden's beauty and the Mother's passion. Indira Gandhi and Mother Teresa are two women who knew where their power lay and they used it to move nations.

What phase are you in and why do you believe that to be so?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      5 years ago from New Jersey

      I was on hormone therapy, and went off of it, so began my "Crone" period at about 40, if you go by the menstrual cycle. But I had a husband who always made me feel cherished, no matter what my weight was, and I always had health issues. I never felt old, and on my 50th birthday I was in Jamaica, having the time of my life. In fact, most of my 50's were like that.

      Then suddenly last January, my husband died at 58, we were the same age. Since we will never have a retirement together, I guess that's why we went on all those good vacations, because our intuition tells us and so does our higher self. Now I have to see who I am as not half of a couple. I find most couples have ignored me, and I had to seek out new people and things to do. Our society doesn't like "extra" women hanging around their men, and I don't feel I look my age.

      It is a powerful time though, and although I still grieve, I am finding out a lot about myself and who I am now.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I'm post menopausal also and I agree that it is a powerful time of life. I wrote a funny poem about all the indignities of aging but concluded it with some upbeat stanza's about attaining wisdom. I see that many people do poem hubs, so maybe I'll do mine as a hub. you've inspired me.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      You have described the Three Phases so beautifully! I do hope you'll eventually come to love and embrace your present state. I have absolutely no patience with men who can't appreciate that women can be as desirable (or even more so) after 40 as they were at 20, and go looking for a younger model. I have even less patience for women like Joan Rivers who refuse to accept that they aren't 40 (or even 50) anymore. Very sad.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)