Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


Youth, Maiden, Mother, Crone

I don’t remember when I first heard the word “crone” in reference to older women. I do remember, however, thinking it was a horrible word. Just what an older woman wants to be called-a “crone.” Seemed to rank right up there with the words “spinster,” “hag,” and “old lady.”

Ironically, I find myself now facing that “crone” phase of life. It is a time of life that I am doing my best to embrace.

So where do the names come from? They seem to originate from Pagan or Wicca traditions. The Maiden is the young girl or woman who is full of enthusiasm, youthful ideas, and new beginnings. The Mother represents fertility, abundance, and growth. Finally, there is The Crone, the wise woman. Each phase represents a specific period in a woman’s life.

Prior to starting Flora Bowley’s Bloom True online class, I started painting on an 8″x11″ canvas. After I applied the initial layers of paint, my inner voice said to me “Crone. The name of this piece is Crone.”

Um, okay. I was simply calling it “Three Yellow Orbs.”

“And add a circle of cream colored paint right there” my inner voice said as I looked at the wet canvas.

Here is the canvas with the initial layers (when this conversation happened.) Do you see what my inner voice was telling me?


I’ve learned over time that listening to my inner voice, my intuition, is usually a good thing. The trick is not to react emotionally to that voice. I try my best to say “okay” or “hmm” first; to at least acknowledge it.

The next day I came back to the canvas and went to work. I let my intuition guide the process-choosing colors, writing words, adding paint and removing paint. The word “crone” stayed fixed in my mind, as did the words “youth,” “maiden,” and “mother.”

Finally, the painting was finished. I didn’t want to add any more lines or words or images. Here is what was appeared on the canvas.

Youth, Maiden, Mother, Crone (top third of painting)

Youth, Maiden, Mother, Crone (top third of painting)

Middle third of painting

Middle third of painting

Bottom third of painting

Bottom third of painting

Youth Maiden Mother Crone (Amy A. Crawley, 2014)

Youth Maiden Mother Crone
(Amy A. Crawley, 2014)

I really have no idea what some of the various marking and shapes mean. I’m not sure if it has to mean anything. It simply is.

If you’d like to read more about these phases of a woman’s life, check out The Three Stages of a Woman’s Life by Linda E. Savage.


I’m now into the second week of Flora’s online class. I’m learning a lot and having several a-ha moments. I’ll share my progress in my next blog post.


Who Does She Think She Is?

Quick, name five female artists.

How did you do? Who did you name? Were you able to name five?


or maybe only three?

This question is posed to several people during the movie “Who Does She Think She Is?”

Most people can’t name a single female artist.

A group of us, all women and all artists, attended a special viewing of “Who Does She Think She Is?” as part of a fund raising effort for the Maynard Cultural Council.

I think I counted 2 men in the entire audience. Maybe 3.

That is a curious observation.

Yes, “Who Does She Think She Is?” is a movie about five female artists. But it is also a movie that talks about society’s perception of women artists and the challenges women face when we wish, no, when we MUST embrace our creative, artistic calling.  All five women in the movie are married and have children. All five women struggle with their roles as artists, wives, and mothers. And not all of their situations have a happy ending.

This is not Hollywood.

The movie reminds us of the role that women used to have in society, before we became a patriarchal, westernized society. Women were leaders and goddesses and powerful. Women presided over tribal events. Women were the glue that kept society together. Women were “cultural muses.”

And somewhere along the way, our role was diminished.

Thanks guys!

(Okay, I know that isn’t true in all modern day situations. I know men who are very supportive of the women in their lives.)

The reality is, however, that in many cases, artists (male or female) are not considered part of the fabric of society. Remember just earlier this year some members of Congress refused to endorse stimulus funds for art groups and organizations because that “doesn’t help create jobs.” We just paint, draw, sculpt; you know, play around but don’t do anything “serious.” And for women this is often even worse.

Statistics presented in the movie reveal that while women often are in the majority in art classes, it is men who make a name for themselves in the field. When it comes to exhibitions at major museums, the majority of exhibits feature art work by men. Is this because the subject matter may be “too feminine?” Is this because those who make the decision on who exhibits are predominantly men? Do women simply give up?

On the home front, it isn’t always better. We see relationships develop and fall apart. We see women striving for independence and the role support, communication, and economics all play in this scenario. I was struck by one artist’s comment that she works and creates in isolation, that no one in her church or at the schools her children attended knew she was an artist. (Of course this film probably changed that!) Another artist compared her situation to being in the woods, alone, and the wolves were circling. Support and networking is another theme that is present in the movie.

“Who Does She Think She Is?” provides insight into the lives of five female artists as they pursue their artistic goals, the roads they’ve traveled, the heartache they’ve endured, and the successes they’ve achieved. Interspersed is commentary by Dr. Maura Reilly, Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art (Brooklyn Museum), Doctor and author Leonard Shlain, attorney and social scientist Raine Eisler, among others.

I left the movie feeling inspired, empowered, and a little depressed. I found myself shaking my head in agreement to statements made in the film, my eyes welling with tears as I felt the pain and sorrow several of the women expressed, and I wanted to cheer as they achieved some level of success and stood fast to their goals, hopes, and dreams.

Regarding the lack of men in the audience; Like I said, the title of the movie implies that this is a “chick flick” and on some level it is. But this is also a movie that should be seen by men (partners, husbands) and women (artist or not), parents, and sons and daughters. It is a learning tool on the lives of modern day artists. It is a learning tool on following your dream and embracing your creativity.

So I ask you Who Do You Think You Are?

To read more about Who Does She Think She Is? and for information on upcoming screenings, click here.

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Daily Tarot: The Empress


Today’s Tarot card, The Empress, represents growth, prosperity, and fertility, and brings situations to fruition.  The Empress is represents of the female archetype in Tarot; the desirable female form but also loving, nurturing and mothering.

The archetype of this card is abundance, fertility, creativity, concern for nature, the arts, grace, beauty, and, at its worst, greed, possessiveness, and overindulgence.

The Empress manifests life throught the birthing process.  The earthly and heavenly symbols represent the integration of spiritual and earthly matters, realizing the full potential of the two, therefore creating the third energy.

The Empress is a card of nurturing in all its forms: creativity, work, children, and family.  She represents pregnancy, birth, motherhood, solid and happy relationships, and marriage.  This is a truly positive card.

Zodiac affinity: Venus

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Kuan Yin

kuanyinpicture.jpgToday is the birthday of Kuan Yin (also spelled Quan Yin, Quan Shi Yin, or Kuanyin.)  In sanskrit, her name is Padma-pani which means “Born of the Lotus.”

Kuan Yin is regarded by the Chinese as the Goddess of Mercy.  Kuan Yin was originally male until the early part of the 12th century.(Avalokitesvara, in sanskirt, her male form, was the Bodhivista of Compassion of Indian Buddhism which was introduced to China in the third century.) 

Several stories exist about Kuan Yin.  She was a Buddhist who, through great love and suffering during life, earned the right to enter Nirvana after death.  While standing before the gates of Paradise, she heard a cry of anguish from the earth below.  Turning back to earth, Kuan Yin renounced her reward of bliss eternal and in its place found immortality in the hearts of the suffering.

Quan  means to inquire or look deeply into. Shi means the world of people or generations.  Yin means cries.  Therefore the Bodhivista of Compassion responds to the suffering cries that come down the generations.

Kuan Yin is portrayed in many forms, each revealing an aspect of her merciful presence.  She is frequently portrayed as a slender female in flowing white robes and carrying in her left hand a white lotus, a symbol of purity.  Her beauty, grace, and compassion have come to represent the ideal of womanhood in the East.

Kuan Yin is also known as the “bestower of children” where she may be portrayed as sitting on a lotus with a child at her feet, on her lap, or in her arms.  Kuan Yin may also be depicted with a thousand arms, and a number of eyes, heads, and hands (sometimes with an eye in the palm of the hand.)  In this depiction she is considered the omnipresent mother, looking in all directions, sensing the affliction of humanity, and extending her arms to alleviate them.

Symbols associated with Kuan Yin include a willow branch which she sprinkles with the divine nectar of life, a precious vase symbolizing the nectar of compassion and wisdom, a dove, a book or scroll of prayers, and a rosary adorning her neck.