Gratitude across the sacred journey of your life

Maiden, Mother, Crone, and always, always, the Queen

This may be a bit of a stretch, but stretching is always good… let’s dive in

Maiden, Mother, Crone

I’ll get us started with these words from The art of blessing the day by Marge Piercy.

…the discipline of blessings is to taste each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet, and the salty….

Attention is love, what we must give children, mothers, fathers, pets, our friends, the news, the woes of others. What we want to change we curse and then pick up a tool.

The sacred journey of gratitude is powerful, and grows more powerful the more you live it, feel it, and express it

Let’s look at gratitude and how it may ripen as you ripen in your own life.

I know that I finally understood that there could be no conditions on gratitude when I was critically ill last summer, because every condition gets in the way of the big magic gratitude can bring to your life. Until my big hospital drama happened (ERs, ICUs, crash teams, the whole megillah), I didn’t realize that I had plenty of conditions on my gratitude. Yes, okay, I can be grateful for this, and this, and okay even this, but never that! I have finally learned that ever “never that” blocks me from being All In. And every block in the way of being All In keeps me stuck in a yucky victim space.

I don’t mean I’m a fully realized being; there may be more “never that!’s” to release in my life. (It’s a good bet that there may be more in store for me as I live, grow, and age.) But last year’s adventure left me with a big, fat, spiritual awakening to just what’s included in (as Piercy describes it) the bitter, the sour, the sweet, and the salty. I’ll add: And the life-threatening. And the embarrassing. And the difficult. And the “Are you kidding me? Seriously?”

The stages of a woman’s life — Maiden, Mother, Crone, and always, always the Queen

You don’t have to be young to be energized and free. You don’t have to have children at home to be nurturing. You don’t have to be old to know your sacred wisdom. You don’t have to have a (visible) crown to stand sovereign and regal in the space you create when you follow your heart and your dreams.

While the first three — Maiden, Mother, and Crone — may be traditionally seen as biological and age-related, I contend that the energy of the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone are always within, and can be accessed as needed throughout life. Tragically, our modern culture doesn’t know very well how to support and teach Maiden-Mother-Crone-Queen awareness any more, but luckily women can find each other (covens, support groups, business masterminds) for the necessary training and practice to develop and perfect this sacred access, knowledge, and understanding.

The Queen? Standing sovereign in your regality is the Divine Feminine energy made manifest. We are Queens from birth to death, just like we are Maidens, Mothers, and Crones. It just takes a combination of support from other women, life experience, and a dash of self-love to realize and take ownership of your regality.

The Maiden and her sacred journey of gratitude

The Maiden belongs to and answers to no one but herself. Her mission (and it’s so much fun!) is discovering her creative force, exploring pleasure, and learning how to take care of her self. She acts from desire, she follows her dreams, she has bold ideas, and she dances through life with abandonment.

How Maiden gratitude may be expressed:

  • I am grateful for the energy to explore the world, from inside myself to the farthest reaches of my interest and curiosity.
  • I am grateful that I am in charge of me.
  • I am grateful for the creative force that drives me to begin, and create, and begin again.

The Mother and her sacred journey of gratitude

The Mother accepts responsibility and puts her energy into her creative acts. She fiercely protects and nurtures whom and what she is driven to create by weaving together her ideas, dreams, and desires, then giving birth to something tangible. As she faces tests and challenges, she develops compassion, and learns how to surrender to the need for selflessness as a complement to the Maiden’s selfishness in order to give life to what she’s called to birth.

How Mother gratitude may be expressed:

  • I am grateful for this devotion that lets me birth and nurture my ideas, my projects, my causes.
  • I am grateful that I am able to feed and water and protect that which is mine to mother.
  • I am grateful to be in tune with the rhythm of creation, and to take my place in its dance.

The Crone and her sacred journey of gratitude

The Crone shares her wisdom. She has learned to keep her wisdom inside herself, and to make it available to others when she is moved to give of herself. Her creativity is about transformation — in herself, in her family, in her business, in her community, in the world. She both leads and offers comfort to those behind her on the path. She knows about endings, and how to release what no longer serves her or her work.

How Crone gratitude may be expressed:

  • I am grateful because I know how to cut the cord and move on.
  • I am grateful that I have learned to let people be who they are because they’re going to be anyway.
  • I am grateful for knowing that all the changes that come to my body, my relationships, my business, are just transitions and are part of the cosmic dance of creation, death and rebirth.

The Queen and her sacred journey of gratitude

While the Queen’s regal and sovereign stance and energy is available to you always, throughout life, it often isn’t until midlife that you may realize that you are missing something and then reach for the crown. Claiming this sovereignty, you can strategize what exactly needs to be done to clear the path for the next stage of your magnificent unfolding.

How Queen gratitude may be expressed:

  • I am grateful to be able to let go of expectations and old patterns so that I can reclaim my dreams, visions, and wishes.
  • I am grateful that if I may find myself going down a road that is not aligned with joy and inspiration — with my highest good — I can draw a new map!
  • I am grateful that I get to renounce disempowering beliefs and replace them with audacious, daring, adventurous, and juicy new thoughts any time and as often as I would like.

Do you find yourself being able to feel and express gratitude across all these energies in your life? Does one or more come more easily than others? What have you experienced that I totally left out? I’d love to know what you think; let’s talk in the comments.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Sue,

    these gratitude statements really popped out at me:

    I am grateful because I know how to cut the cord and move on.

    I am grateful that I have learned to let people be who they are because they’re going to be anyway.

    I am grateful for knowing that all the changes that come to my body, my relationships, my business, are just transitions and are part of the cosmic dance of creation, death and rebirth.


    Learning to cut the cord and move one is one of our greatest lessons…


    • Peggy, thank you. There’s a lot of love in your comment, love of yourself, appreciation for everything you’ve learned, and the love in our connection, for which I appreciate you!

      Blessed be,

  2. Sue, I especially like the language in the Crone’s sacred journey – “letting people be who they are, and knowing that… transitions are part of the cosmic dance” – how very beautifully written. I hope I have a little bit of all the journeys inside me. Thanks for a great post!

    • Deb, thanks! Of course you have all of these in you. And now that the seed is planted, I bet you start feeling all the luscious manifestations of Divine Feminine energy, and being grateful for them.


  3. Sue, I like the way you express a different flavour of gratitude for the different stages of a woman’s life. I think of Queen energy as more mature than the Maiden, however – more like princess or Queen in training perhaps for the Maiden. Nice post, I enjoyed it thanks.

    • Juliet, thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and welcome here.

      I agree with you; it’s a radical concept to see the Queen in even the youthful maiden, but I have a lot of very young priestesses in my life, and I see them rocking both energies. It’s a bit artificial to divide up these states as I did, but useful nonetheless. My intention is support everyone’s full expression of their awesomeness.

      How’d I do? 🙂


    • Suzie, thanks! Just big thanks.

      Gotta admit, I hang out in the Crone’s gratitudes the most these days. Nice to wrap myself in the Queen’s and the rest of them as well.

      Much love,

  4. Lovely gratitudes! Hm … I found myself struck by the first Crone gratitude. Do I know how to cut the cord and move on? And which (since my eye was drawn to that one) might I need to cut at this time?

    Feeling like I finally got a handle on the last gratitude of the Queen. No doubt I have more growing to do there (or rooting), but feel like I’m finally, finally able to access a certain space and spirit that allows for me to view those limiting and disempowering beliefs and turn them into butterflies :-).

    • Hi Jane, welcome.

      How beautifully you put it…. turning those limiting beliefs into butterflies. I love it!

      Blessings and love,

  5. I love how you reach for the “all in.” This, too is how I want to live life, “all in.” Today, especially I feel it as a friend who went for surgery last week did so knowing it was more likely she would die than live. There’s been no news since Friday. I’m remembering her words, her last Facebook post. She said, “Cherish life. Every moment, even the mundane, contains magic/spirit.” And that’s where gratitude brings me, into contact with that. All in.

  6. I am all four of these at once! How enlightening!
    Thank you! I had never heard these terms before,
    What complex and balanced creatures we are,
    Love Jessica

  7. The part of this post that struck me the most was your personal recognition of conditions… and how they can block the “all in.”

    I was told a long, long time ago that I wouldn’t be able to see (or have) any ‘more’ until I learned to get grateful for what I already had. There was a lot of heartache going on at the time…. so I am grateful for good teachers and the ability to learn to practice a new attitude. Thanks!

    • Andrea, thanks. The funny (or maybe not) thing is that life keeps delivering these kind of wakeup calls. And I am not fooling myself that my acceptance of conditions protects me from any more lessons. But I am convinced that the less I struggle, the better I am able to dance through whatever gets put on my plate.

      As they taught me in 12-step recovery: What I resist, persists.


  8. So eloquently written!So much resonates here. It would have been wonderful to have read and/or been taught these things earlier in life. But, I appreciate having this wisdom now. At any given moment, I can choose one thought over another. I am the captain of my ship. I give myself permission to release what no longer serves me. This feels amazing!

    • Tiffany, sometimes I feel I wish I had learned this stuff earlier too, but maybe life gives us plenty to learn from for a reason. Maybe the ability to choose positive over negative thinking works as well as it does because we have a storehouse of negative thinking to overcome!

      Yay for life’s journey.

      Thanks for your comment, and welcome here!


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