Desert Crones of Tucson
The intention of the Desert Crones of Tucson is to celebrate aging and develop strong positive attitudes in later life. The programs are educational and entertaining. This is a diversified group of elder women who honestly share their deepest concerns and greatest joys.
The organization was started by Ruth Gardner and Connie Spittler of Tucson in 1994. In 1999 Charlotte J. R. Wykoff organized another chapter in the midtown area which continues to thrive. Also, there are other Crone groups in Tucson.
"Crone" has been a controversial name but it hasn't always been derogatory. In pre-Christian times old women were leaders, artists, midwives, counselors, as well as mothers, grandmothers and matriarchs. They were seen as the fulfillment of female life experience and wisdom. They were respected and honored.
Those who choose the name "Crone" do so deliberately, with full awareness of its current negative connotations. It is chosen to confront the issues facing aging women and to raise important questions about attitudes and feelings toward those issues. The Crone woman is not afraid of becoming old and defies the stereotypes which American society has tried to put on them. The Crone woman is strong and knows that "old" is merely a statement of time, not decline.
After surviving maidenhood and motherhood it is certainly time to honor and respect old women who willingly share their wisdom and knowledge for the benefit of the community. The liberation and freedom of old age should be celebrated with drumming, dancing and singing. And it is, in Tucson.