Transcript: Episode 4

This tran­script has been edit­ed for clar­i­ty. There may be dif­fer­ences between the audio and this tran­script.

John Moir: 0:02
Wel­come to anoth­er episode of the Urban Grief Show­man’s pod­cast. I’m your host, John Moir, and today I am joined by the extra­or­di­nary Mora File, a bea­con in the world of shaman­ic teach­ing and heal­ing. In today’s episode, we’re div­ing into a top­ic that’s as ancient as it is fas­ci­nat­ing: the pow­er­ful role of the crone. Mora will share insights into the crone’s jour­ney from nur­tur­ing wis­dom to embrac­ing life cycles. Marais has a 30-year his­to­ry of hold­ing sacred wom­en’s cir­cles, so let’s join her. So here we are, and I’m with a good friend, dra­mat­ic teacher and heal­er, Mora File. And I have to con­fess, Mora, that oth­er than I think crone is of an inter­est­ing name, I don’t know much about the whole arche­type.

Mora File: 2:29
The con­cept of crone has jour­neyed around the wheel and reached the place where it would come to a time of wis­dom, right where we’ve had the expe­ri­ence of being a young child, being a young maid­en, being a moth­er, and now, through the wis­dom of hav­ing raised chil­dren, not hav­ing par­tic­i­pat­ed with grand­chil­dren, hav­ing man­aged grief, loss, all these kinds of expe­ri­ences that bring the wis­dom to what is our cron­hood, and so there is an under­stand­ing of a deep­er pow­er and con­nec­tion to the cre­ation ener­gy. So to be a crone is one who under­stands the cre­ation ener­gy and the process of the cycles of life and death, and so we’re com­ing into that age of rev­er­ence, that age of thought­ful­ness, con­sid­er­a­tion. Every­thing is done from a place of expe­ri­ence and many expe­ri­ences in life, so you have an innate under­stand­ing of the world around you and your place with­in it. And, yeah, we would reflect on it as the wis­dom years com­ing to that time of just under­stand­ing, share wis­dom.

John Moir: 3:58
I think I under­stand that in pre­vi­ous times there were dif­fer­ent ini­ti­a­tions that women heal­ers, shamans, would go through on their way to becom­ing a crone in the old mean­ing. Does any of that take place nowa­days?

Mora File: 4:12
There cer­tain­ly are cer­e­monies that can wel­come those who are com­ing of age. Some­times that’s 50, some­times that’s 55, some­times that’s 60. 65 and we just did a lit­tle crone cer­e­mo­ny actu­al­ly back in Octo­ber, with two women from our cir­cle who have come into that turn­ing of the wheel, com­ing to that age of wis­dom. And yeah, these cer­e­monies def­i­nite­ly hap­pen and I think in our cul­ture we have lost a lot of those cer­e­monies of the com­ing of age, whether it’s mov­ing from being a 12-year-old to a 14-year-old and sud­den­ly being a tween, but as a young woman com­ing into her menses, as opposed to an old­er woman who is com­plet­ing that cycle. And so, what are we birthing as we enter our cron­hood? And so what we are birthing is a deep­er con­nec­tion to the world around us and a respon­si­bil­i­ty to be a wis­dom keep­er, whether you are female or male, as we come into these years and in the wheel as we are as women, cron­hood is a very revered place to sit on the wheel so that oth­ers can come and ask ques­tions and have knowl­edge and wis­dom shared in a man­ner. That is the heart, and there’s that I just had an expe­ri­ence of yes­ter­day with a niece who has just gone through a fair­ly sig­nif­i­cant bone can­cer surgery, and it’s been very hard for her. And so I gave her some div­ina­tion cards, and I gave her some stones. I gave her some tech­niques of breath­ing, com­ing into the cen­ter, ask­ing a ques­tion, pulling a div­ina­tion card, and hav­ing set up a sacred altar with a can­dle and some smudge and, as a 22-year-old, if I’m not teach­ing her that, how is she learn­ing it? Where is she find­ing that? And she sent me a pic­ture of this beau­ti­ful altar that she cre­at­ed and how much bet­ter she felt about her­self and her con­nec­tion to her soul, right to her spir­i­tu­al jour­ney through why me? Why did this hap­pen to me? And that’s a beau­ti­ful exam­ple of what we can do as Crones, who have had our own expe­ri­ences of trau­ma and chal­lenge. You know, life is full of dis­ap­point­ments and chal­lenges, and how do we get through them? And so, as shamans, we can jour­ney to our help­ing spir­its and we can ask these ques­tions and we can have var­i­ous dif­fer­ent kinds of infor­ma­tion come back to us or heal­ings come back to us, and this is all very help­ful. And so how can we teach this to younger and younger gen­er­a­tions to begin to nav­i­gate through all of the chal­lenges that they are fac­ing and the fears that they have around cli­mate change and what’s going to hap­pen on the plan­et if we don’t do some­thing? And so there’s lots of youth who are very stressed, lots of old­er peo­ple who are also very stressed. And so the gift of work­ing with the spir­it realms in what­ev­er way you work with the spir­it realms, those of us who have stud­ied shaman­ism have some very pow­er­ful tools that we can work with. And so how do we share those tools, as well as men and women, with those search­ing and want­i­ng to find some­thing to cre­ate mean­ing in their lives?

John Moir: 8:03
So is there a dif­fer­ence between what you know? When I hear the word an elder, I think of some­body wise, male or female. Is it a term used inter­change­ably, an elder mean­ing either sex, where its crown is con­sid­ered a wise woman, but an elder too? Is it Def­i­nite­ly? Yes, def­i­nite­ly, in your?

Mora File: 8:28
expe­ri­ence yeah, word elder, it’s very nature is one who has, like I say, gone around the wheel many times and gained wis­dom in the process. And per­haps the word crown would also indi­cate one who has been work­ing with that spir­i­tu­al realm very con­scious­ly for many years and so has has gone through all of the, all of the stages, from a place of deep prac­tice and under­stand­ing that the role that they have tak­en on comes to a place of crown­hood. Elder­hood is elder­hood. The elders of com­mu­ni­ties would have a cer­tain rev­er­ence placed upon them because of the wis­dom that they are bring­ing to the com­mu­ni­ty and the sta­bil­i­ty or the under­stand­ing of what is need­ed and they can bring it to the com­mu­ni­ty and are that peo­ple respect and have rev­er­ence for and will sit and lis­ten to an elder in the same way that one would sit and lis­ten to the crown.

John Moir: 9:38
Yeah, the, when I do heal­ing ses­sions, I love work­ing with my ances­tors that I’ll bring in to aid me, but I also ask the client to call in their ances­tors even if they’re not aware of who they are. But it’s the work­ing with grand­moth­er ener­gy is, for me, it’s just an incred­i­ble expe­ri­ence, and when I first start­ed, I did­n’t think that there would be much of a dif­fer­ence between the ances­tral grand­moth­ers or the ances­tral fathers, and but there is some­thing about it and I found it to be slight­ly very wise, as they both, but there’s some­thing soft and nur­tur­ing and I just thought, man, that what we need more of in this world right now is more grand­moth­er ener­gy, and so I guess that would be reflect­ing on we need more crones.

Mora File: 10:32
Def­i­nite­ly, If we’re going to move out of the patri­ar­chal grip, which is a skill and mas­cu­line ener­gy by its nature, it feels like it has to be the con­queror, where­as the matri­arch or the crown or the wise woman or the elder is very much more recep­tive. So they they have a dif­fer­ent kind of a nur­tur­ing ener­gy. One of my longest, deep­est con­nec­tions is with an ancient grand­moth­er, a help­ing spir­it whom I go to all the time and meet at the sacred fire. she is just very wise and some­times very qui­et and says noth­ing, but what she does around the fire is the teach­ing right. And so there are many ways we can learn to under­stand and lis­ten and watch and observe and feel that, as you say, this grand­moth­er­ly ener­gy is very com­fort­ing, sooth­ing, and calm­ing. There’s a lot of com­fort that comes from one who will embrace you and accept you for who you are and where you are on the path, and so, that’s a love­ly, that’s a love­ly com­pas­sion­ate place to be, def­i­nite­ly.

John Moir: 11:56
If a woman can­not have chil­dren, but as she grows old­er, that does­n’t exclude her from being a crown, does it?

Mora File: 12:06
Not at all. Not at all. I have many friends who do not have that expe­ri­ence. Yeah, but they become the nur­tur­ers of their com­mu­ni­ty. They have lots of friends who are heal­ers or ther­a­pists on many dif­fer­ent lev­els, who have been unable to have chil­dren or have cho­sen not to have chil­dren or cir­cum­stances did not allow for that to occur, and they still become the wise women of the com­mu­ni­ty, and they hold all of the chil­dren of the com­mu­ni­ty in their hearts. And, yeah, I would say yes, any­one who is an elder.

John Moir: 12:46
I was think­ing of the women who are moth­ers because they have adopt­ed chil­dren and grown old from that expe­ri­ence, and in many ways, they have a whole body of knowl­edge that women who can have their own chil­dren in their younger years would­n’t have because they’re not going through that expe­ri­ence tak­ing on chil­dren or infants, I should say, or young chil­dren as their own, and there’s great wis­dom in that it’s held by these women that do hold to the care of oth­er chil­dren. Any thoughts?

Mora File: 13:23
Yes, absolute­ly no. I know women who have fos­tered chil­dren, who have adopt­ed even some of the chil­dren that they have fos­tered, but that, see­ing the need that is out there for that nur­tur­ing, that nur­tur­ing kind­ness and car­ing nature, that is that fem­i­nine ener­gy of which we all have a mas­cu­line and fem­i­nine side. So even there are lots of nur­tur­ing male ener­gy males out there who have that deep com­pas­sion­ate side of want­i­ng to take care of and assist in heal­ing and help­ing oth­ers right. Whether they’re young chil­dren or old­er chil­dren, even as we age, there is still that inner child that needs to be held, that needs to be tak­en care of, that needs to be com­fort­ed it and made to feel safe and secure, and we all have that poten­tial to pro­vide and offer that to each oth­er, to our world.

John Moir: 14:30
So, yeah, what’s your thoughts on? Is there a place for two-spir­it­ed peo­ple?

Mora File: 14:37
For two-spir­it­ed peo­ple, it would be the same lev­el of com­pas­sion. There’s still kind­ness; there’s still love; there’s still nur­tur­ing and con­sid­er­a­tion and the under­stand­ing around who we are as a heart-cen­tred being, whether we are male, female, two-spir­it­ed, or iden­ti­fy as her, him, or they. There are many ways that we can iden­ti­fy with who we feel we are, and the most impor­tant part of our iden­ti­ty is that part of our soul that is here to assist and bring some­thing bet­ter into our world. We all have that poten­tial. We all have the poten­tial to be that, and I would­n’t sep­a­rate any­one from hav­ing that capac­i­ty with­in their heart cen­tred to do that.

John Moir: 15:34
Can you speak to the rit­u­als for crone cer­e­monies? Is there any­thing spe­cif­ic that peo­ple prac­tice? How does the com­mu­ni­ty come togeth­er for a cel­e­bra­tion of recog­ni­tion?

Mora File: 15:45
To wel­come a woman into cron­hood is to receive and hon­our her pres­ence and to cel­e­brate her unique expe­ri­ences and the gifts that she brings to the cir­cle brings to the com­mu­ni­ty. And each one of us has had our dif­fer­ent chal­lenges, and so it’s through those dif­fer­ent chal­lenges that our unique light shines. And so when you’re wel­com­ing some­one into that cron­hood and real­ly cel­e­brat­ing their jour­ney, cel­e­brat­ing who they are and the expe­ri­ences that they have gone through, that it brought them to this time of under­stand­ing more of who they are and accept­ing more of who they are and not being in judg­ment, lots of peo­ple have a lot of self-judg­ment. By the time you come to a place where you can hon­our a sis­ter hon­our, a woman hon­our, a crone, feel the wis­dom com­ing from and through them that they have expe­ri­enced it because of their age, that you can’t be a crone at 25 because you just haven’t expe­ri­enced enough of what life’s chal­lenges have been. And so, even though you could be an old soul at 25, you still need to nav­i­gate around the wheel for anoth­er 25 years to real­ly have an under­stand­ing of who you are and what it means that you are here to bring into the world with your unique gifts and our cel­e­bra­tions and rit­u­als would be to Dorn one with a poten­tial­ly a beau­ti­ful prayer shawl right. And so when you see some of these elders or your groans, they will be adorned with cer­tain kinds of pow­er neck­laces or Pow­er shawls. Maybe they maybe they have hair adorn­ments that that are Rep­re­sent­ing the gray hairs that that have come through their time of jour­ney­ing around the wheel. You know, there’s often an hon­our­ing with All of the ele­ments, the ele­ments of fire. So, through smudg­ing air, through singing, through the use of feath­ers, the use of sacred water that’s been blessed in sacred herbs or essences, and this aspect of the earth walk, that we are all here doing this earth time and that it is as a result of the dance that we’ve been doing for how­ev­er many years We’ve been doing it. To come into this time of cron­hood is to real­ly under­stand your con­nec­tion To the world around you, the peo­ple around you, and your own self. There’s just a deep­er under­stand­ing of the one­ness You’re not sep­a­rate from and you. You don’t have to, and you don’t have to prove your­self any­more; there is just an accep­tance that comes, and so the hon­or­ing of all of these aspects of who you are as one who looks at the ele­men­tal forces that are out there and Is one of those, and so when you, when you think about the pow­er of our help­ing spir­its and who comes to us as we work with these ancient ener­gies, these ancient beings, these pow­er­ful ele­men­tals, there are all kinds of Teach­ers out there, and so the more we have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to jour­ney to these great teach­ers, the more we have a deep­er under­stand­ing of what’s pos­si­ble that we can bring to our world, and so we like to hon­our what each one of us has brought To this cir­cle around the fire. So it’s gonna be unique to each.

John Moir: 19:55
How would a fam­i­ly want to cel­e­brate these old­er women who per­haps don’t see them­selves as a crone, as a wise per­son, but by virtue of their love and the wis­dom that they car­ry, that they may not be spo­ken about, much is their way of For a fam­i­ly to hon­our the elder­ly, the elder women who’s not rec­og­nized for­mal­ly as a crone cer­tain cul­tures will, will have a great rev­er­ence when my moth­er was before she passed away.

Mora File: 20:29
There are things that I think you have to do. Each fam­i­ly will have to come to their own under­stand­ing of what the grand­moth­er’s or the moth­er’s gift has brought to the lin­eage. What’s the lin­eage? So yes­ter­day, we cel­e­brat­ed my mom, what would have been my mom’s 89th birth­day, and so my daugh­ter made a spe­cial meal that was a favourite of my mom’s, and we sat around the table, and we just talked about what we remem­bered, about how she had touched us and how, how she had brought joy to our lives, and so, even for those who have gone, we need to con­tin­ue to remem­ber and cel­e­brate them, and so, for the liv­ing, it’s real­ly about Tak­ing the time, espe­cial­ly at their birth­day, right, because they’ve had anoth­er year around the wheel, and would it not be a beau­ti­ful thing to hold a moment of rev­er­ence and say Thank you for hav­ing brought me this under­stand­ing, or thank you for hav­ing shared this wis­dom, or Thank you for hav­ing been a light dur­ing my time of dark­ness, or right to have a moment of grat­i­tude and Reflec­tion on how peo­ple touch our lives, and so we try and make this hap­pen with­in our fam­i­ly. Well, you, grate­ful for this per­son, taught you how. How can you hold that rev­er­ence? And it’s a beau­ti­ful thing if you can have it. My grand­chil­dren have great-grand­par­ents still, but we try and do things that are spe­cial, that make them feel that they’re not for­got­ten, right, and so Some­times it’s a lot for my dad to be around his great-grand­chil­dren because they are busy and loud. But this idea of cre­at­ing a time of rev­er­ence, I think these are tra­di­tions that we’ve lost that need to be Cre­at­ed, and cer­e­monies and rit­u­als that can be done To hon­our the gifts of the elders that they bring to our world, even if it’s a small com­mu­ni­ty or small. There are great teach­ings that can come through all of that.

John Moir: 22:47
Yeah, my moth­er passed these to be like 10 years now. Did­n’t seem like it’s been that long. But her great­est wis­dom to me came after her death. Was a cou­ple of years after she passed, and I was try­ing to con­tact her in the oth­er world through jour­ney-work It took me two years, and we final­ly con­nect­ed, and it was a mid­dle-world jour­ney, and she basi­cal­ly just came walk­ing into a House, her house, and she looked pret­ty much the same, a lit­tle bit younger, I’d say, than when she passed. But dur­ing our con­ver­sa­tion, I had asked her if she was proud of me, and she just looked at me and said achieve­ments don’t mean much on this side; that summed up our con­ver­sa­tion more or less, and it was after that that I thought about that of achieve­ments have no, no mer­it on that side, then our fail­ures have no mer­it, all the things that we vix over, and that part of it she left that. I’m sure she left that part for me to pon­der and come up with that piece of knowl­edge, or that wis­dom that, no mat­ter how much that we think that we get, that big­ger house, the big­ger car Make, a zil­lion dol­lars Does­n’t mat­ter, just as if we nev­er amount too much. We can’t hold down a job or we’ve been blessed with pro­longed suf­fer­ing, our fail­ures don’t have. It does­n’t mat­ter. At the end of the day, we’re all sacred hearts.

Mora File: 24:25
Yes, it comes down to you, your heart. It comes back to how much kind­ness you can do for oth­ers. If I bring any Wis­dom into my grand­chil­dren’s dai­ly focus, it’s kind­ness. Can we do some­thing? or say some­thing that would reflect kind­ness. Did you do a kind­ness at school today? Have you done a kind­ness for your moth­er today? Or for me today? What would be a kind­ness that you could do? Maybe that’s just a hug. Maybe that’s just a hug. Maybe for them, that’s just to come and hug you, and that’s kind­ness. And so. Oh, if, as a crone, I could teach chil­dren to be kind to each oth­er in the world, we would start regen­er­at­ing that ener­gy of kind­ness. And that it’s not about your achieve­ments, it’s about even our edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem being so geared to us being suc­cess­ful. So the grad­ing you have is an A, b or a C. Some­how, that will deter­mine how you inter­pret and feel about your­self. Based on what some­body else has inter­pret­ed. You’d be, and so if you could have a place of accep­tance that, as you say, I’m here, I’m learn­ing, I have my suc­cess­es, I have my fail­ures, and in the process, I am grow­ing. And if I can con­tin­ue to grow and hold space of, does a tree ever say to itself am I pro­vid­ing enough shel­ter? Do I have enough branch­es to sup­port enough mess? Are my roots grow­ing deep enough and link­ing with these root­ed sys­tems? No, a tree is just being, is just being in that place of unfold­ing, and maybe that’s some­thing that, as a crone, you have now learned that all of the achieve­ments that you have made, or all of the acco­lades that you have expe­ri­enced, or all of the awards that you might have won, in the end, it’s just hard­ware right that sits on a shelf. And can you be hap­py with your­self and with your place in the world as one who can be kind to anoth­er, and that kind­ness can as smile as you want, amas­try, and bold, adorft or anoth­er old­er per­son, or just give a hand because it’s a kind thing to do so do you think what it comes to grief and griev­ing?

John Moir: 27:16
are the crones bet­ter pre­pared for that time in their lives than those who are younger and have not yet come into a cron­ship?

Mora File: 27:28
I would speak from my own cen­ter, maybe. But I have no fear of death. If I lived to be 90, I would become an old­er crone. But if I look at my niece, who is 22, who has a great fear of dying, and is this can­cer going to come back and take me down? I’ve watched it take oth­er peo­ple down, and it might take me down, and if you can help peo­ple under­stand that the gifts they bring to this world are not, per­haps, based on the num­ber of years that you have lived in this life­time. But, what is the load that you have brought in the time that you have been here? And so, yeah, it’s an inter­est­ing ques­tion to think about. I know lots of elder­ly peo­ple who are very fear­ful of death. They’re not ready for it, they’re not embrac­ing it, they’re try­ing to squeeze every­thing that they can out of what’s left of their life. And I don’t feel like I need to do that, maybe because I have my shaman­ic under­stand­ing of what it is to be a soul that con­tin­ues on the jour­ney Right. And so we are here in this life­time hold­ing a phys­i­cal body that if we can have kind­ness and rev­er­ence for, then that can rip­ple out and be kind­ness and rev­er­ence for oth­ers as well, and so to be a light that shines as an exam­ple of what’s pos­si­ble. When you talk to some cen­turi­ans and you say, oh, what’s the key to your age and longevi­ty? And they will, every sin­gle one will say hap­pi­ness, joy. Just don’t let life stress you out, like, why are you get­ting stressed out about things that you can’t change? We must learn to accept and grow and come from that place of joy. If you can come from that place of joy and have an open heart, and even though a cen­tu­ri­on has lost their part­ners, they’ve prob­a­bly lost their friends, they’ve prob­a­bly lost some of their chil­dren, and still, they find joy. And it’s curi­ous. It’s curi­ous, right? So what is it that they’re? Are they hang­ing on to some­thing and not want­i­ng to leave, or are they still in a place of joy? It’s not time to go yet. So I’ve met some of those kinds of peo­ple, and that’s won­der­ful. It’s won­der­ful that they can hold that ener­gy of joy. So dri­ve for that. Dri­ve for that.

John Moir: 30:22
Well, that would be a good place to say thank you. Thank you for your wis­dom tonight. I’m sure your words will be quite impres­sive to those who lis­ten to this par­tic­u­lar episode, so thank you for tak­ing the time to be on this show.

Mora File: 30:38
Thank you for mak­ing these pod­casts open. So bless­ings to you and all you’re doing too. Love and grat­i­tude. Love and grat­i­tude to you, my broth­er.

John Moir: 30:51
Grief is a heavy bur­den to bear and can often feel iso­lat­ing and over­whelm­ing. That’s where grief cir­cles come in, offer­ing a sup­port­ive and under­stand­ing com­mu­ni­ty to those who are griev­ing. You can’t be both the griev­er and the con­tain­er of your grief. The pur­pose of grief cir­cles is to be the hold­er and wit­ness to your pain. Your soul wants you to speak of your grief, to express your pain and your loss, and to share your his­to­ry and sto­ries of that which has been tak­en. The Urban Grief Shaman’s pod­cast is an off­shoot of Soul­ful Sor­rows, a grief-tend­ing web­site. Here, under the ser­vice menu, you will find our month­ly cir­cles. Please take the time to look and book into one or more of these month­ly cir­cles.

John Moir: 31:39
Shaman­ism and its con­nec­tion to grief heal­ing and spir­i­tu­al growth. If you enjoyed this con­ver­sa­tion, be sure to sub­scribe to the Urban Grief Shamans so you nev­er miss an episode. If you have any ques­tions or would like to explore this top­ic fur­ther, please con­tact us through com­ments. Until next time, may you find grace and insight into your own spir­i­tu­al jour­ney.