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Focus
by Ann Kreilkamp, Editor

Crone: Women Coming of Age began with a phone call in April 2006. Mouna Wilson of Ashland, Oregon said she wanted to bring back Crone Chronicles: A Journal of Conscious Aging. I almost groaned. How many such phone calls had I received over the years?

Crone Chronicles originated in 1989 as a newsletter, “Calling All Crones,” and grew into a national niche publication which, despite its small circulation, was featured on “Good Morning

America” and twice nominated by Utne Reader for its annual small press awards. The magazine also spawned Crones Counsel, a yearly gathering of elderwomen that continues to this day.

Crone Chronicles had ended publication in 2001 due to personal burnout. So when Mouna called, I told her that she was welcome to start it up again, but to count me out.

The very next day after Mouna’s call, Anne Newkirk Niven of SageWoman magazine called as well: she and her readers were growing older and needed Crone Chronicles; would I work with her to start it up again? Though I initially told her “no,” the synchronicity got my attention, and I finally agreed, with the caveat that we view the new incarnation as a successor magazine to Crone Chronicles, rather than its continuation.

Whereas Crone Chronicles invited women to activate the archetypal Crone within, Crone: Women Coming of Age calls upon the core cadre of self-identified crone women to address a larger audience, including the Baby Boomer bulge now passing through the gate of sixty. We aim to model, express, and manifest values that have been distilled from long experience. These values include wisdom, compassion, autonomy, community, mentorship of younger generations, and service to the whole.

I trace my 2001 burnout to the fact that I ran the magazine mostly by myself (with behind-the-scenes support from my husband, the late Jeffrey Joel). As the eldest of eight children, I didn’t know how to share power and responsibility; nor did I recognize that, after a number of years, my personality had begun to cramp the expression of the archetype and limit the magazine’s reach. Thus the new and more spacious framework for Crone: an editorial circle largely drawn from the crone culture that has been incubating at Crones Counsels since 1993.

Looking back on the intensely collaborative process that launched this premier issue, I can say that, after sixty-five years, I have finally begun to surrender to the rich stew of our common, human interdependency. A big thank-you to all the crones who gently and persistently guided me to what I needed to know. The extraordinary fullness of our collective energy feels like a miracle.