Helen Grymaloski is an End of Life Doula and Artist in Vermilion Bay, Ontario. She used Be Ceremonial to create a Virtual Crone Ceremony to acknowledge the importance of a milestone birthday and to help initiate her into this next chapter of life with friends from afar.
I first heard about Be Ceremonial in the Death Doula Network International and was intrigued. I never really thought about the benefits of ritual before, and I realized it was a great resource both for my clients and for myself.
I was turning 60 and decided to create a virtual croning ceremony to bring together all the people I love who might not live close by, inviting them to help initiate me into this next chapter of my life. As part of the invitation, I explained to everyone what a ‘crone’ means to me and what to expect and bring for the virtual gathering.
The platform was so helpful in giving me the starting points, showing me how I could create my own unique and beautiful ceremony. I found the app’s structure useful by breaking the ceremony into sections and letting me choose what resonates with me. I loved that I could choose several rituals to open and close and not feel limited to having to pick just one.
On the day of the virtual ceremony, I set up an altar with candles, oracle cards, incense, and stones. Once everyone joined the gathering, I welcomed everyone by inviting us to take three breaths together. We then lit our candles in our personal space and I played a song called “There is no time” by Kellianna to open the ceremony.
I lit three symbolic white candles that represented the past maiden, the present mother, and the future crone.
I then asked if anyone would like to share something, including any wisdom I may have emparted over the years. Each person shared such beautiful memories and reminded me of things I have taught them or brought to their life. I was truly blown away with what was shared, and even shocked by how I had touched people in such significant ways. Each time someone shared a story, I picked out an Amethyst stone and held it while they shared, absorbing what was being said. I then placed the stones in a glass to save those memories.
I really did not expect such in-depth sharing so this portion was a little longer than I thought it would be, in a very pleasant way though. Once all the sharing was done, I thanked everyone.
As a closing, I shared another song by Kellianna called She is Crone. I had only recently been introduced to this song and every time I listen to it, I hear something new that resonates. There are lyrics about being a teacher, sharing wisdom, death and rebirth, and about finding your guide when you’re at a crossroads. My End of Life Doula work is called Blueberry Road, helping people choose the best road for them, so it felt very pertinent. I then invited everyone to blow out their candles as we said goodbye.
For me, hearing everyone share the wisdom they received from me was the most powerful part of the ceremony. It was such a validation of what I am called to do, even when I didn’t realize I was doing it. The ceremony brought me such joy and a feeling of being seen and supported.
This ceremony initiated me into my cronehood, and reminded me that I have a beautiful group of women in my circle. I loved that everyone was so willing to join and celebrate with me, and I am grateful for the experience. You can read more about my ceremony on my website too.
To create your own ceremony, download our App and start choosing the rituals that resonate most with you. You can also gift the ceremony to someone you know who might benefit from acknowledging this important rite of passage. You can read more Crone Ceremony stories on our blog too!