Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power” as Want to Read:
The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  186 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A probing account of the honored place of older women in ancient matriarchal societies restores to contemporary women an energizing symbol of self-value, power, and respect.
Paperback, 191 pages
Published February 24th 1988 by HarperOne (first published 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Crone, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Crone

The Associate by John GrishamFoucault's Pendulum by Umberto EcoMeridian by Alice WalkerParadise by Toni MorrisonThe Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
Owned Books
31st out of 45 books — 4 voters
Titan by John VarleyWizard by John VarleyDemon by John VarleyEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardEarthly Powers by David       Anderson
Cherished Books
14th out of 22 books — 4 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 04, 2014 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had some good points to make, but the pervasive "males are the enemy" attitude was off- putting. Also some of the scholarship was outdated, like the nine million Burning Times figure. However, the psychology of the fear of death and the ways people have evolved to address it was fascinating. I'm glad I read it, but I probably won't read it again.
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Rating: 3.5

This book was really interesting. It expresses and supports the view of graceful and natural aging in women.
Sep 07, 2014 K. rated it liked it
I applaud Walker for the extensive reading she's done in anthropology, archetype psychology and history, but I find her arguments too extreme. Even the most basic reciting of facts are put into a narrative that is extremely negative towards all men through all history. While I do agree that societies benefit when the power of women is acknowledged and celebrated, I don't want an inversion of the hierarchy.

Take for example the following paragraph that lists strengths mature women possess but onl
Aug 13, 2013 Rusty rated it liked it
Walker does a most creditable job of covering woman's role throughout history. First and foremost this is feminist literature. Remembering the author's viewpoint, it is a fascinating depiction of women's place in society. From pagan priestesses to today's independent competitive worker, the reader finds much to support her own beliefs. She emphasizes, too, the different natures of females and males. Many men, may find the book troubling but it behooves us to read writing that supports admiration ...more
John Rea-Hedrick
Aug 10, 2016 John Rea-Hedrick rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I picked up this book hoping to read some inspiring observations concerning the forgotten and overlooked power of older women on society.

I was sorely disappointed.

Despite the description, "A probing account of the honored place of older women in ancient matriarchal societies restores to contemporary women an energizing symbol of self-value, power, and respect.", the first two chapters of the book spend more time ax-grinding against the church specifically and against men in general then it does
Aug 23, 2009 Alison rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT BOOK. A must read for anyone interested in pre-Christian religions, the transition from a matriarchal to a patriarchal cosmogenic worldview, the persecution of half the human race (the "fairer" sex), and the reclamation of the value of woman beyond her "sexual and maternal functions". Walker is a true scholar and feminist. My mind was dazzled by her brilliance like diamonds; at once hard enough to cut the glass ceiling while infinitely illuminating. Dig in and discover a world that ...more
Mar 28, 2009 Elizabeth marked it as to-read

from Wikipedia:
Barbara G. Walker (born July 2, 1930, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a U.S. author and feminist. She writes about religion, cultural anthropology, spirituality, and mythology from the viewpoint of Pre-Indo-European neolithic matriarchies. She often uses the imagery of the Mother Goddess to discuss these Neolithic Matriarchies. Her most important book is The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (1983).
Mar 27, 2015 Jennie rated it liked it
I stumbled across this at a used book store and picked it up. It was a very interesting discussion of the history, psychology and sociology of older women in Western culture. There were times when I felt a little squicky about Walker's very broad generalizations that gave this book a very "us" against "them" tone. It was, however, published 30 years ago- so I might not be reading it in the right context.
C.J. Prince
Jan 31, 2009 C.J. Prince rated it it was amazing
This is simply a must read for women growing into wisdom. Highly researched and full of opportunities for contemplation.
Feb 16, 2014 etherealfire rated it it was amazing
An eye-opener with some uncomfortable unavoidable truths about western religions, patriarchy and imbalance.
Kim Adamache
Apr 22, 2013 Kim Adamache rated it it was amazing
Great read that will shatter what you know about religious beliefs. Many clues to the feminist movement that erupted in the 1970's and a reminder of the significance of a woman's "mature" years.
Jan 08, 2010 Susan marked it as to-read
I read this book when it was about 30 years old and loved it. I'm re-reading it to see if it stood the test of time. Will elaborate when I'm finished.
Nov 14, 2013 Paula rated it liked it
Shelves: psych, women, history, religion
Now more of interest for its relevance to recent history than ancient history, this book is a classic, examining female archetypes with a keen and bitter wit.
Kelsea Dawn Hume
Sep 15, 2014 Kelsea Dawn Hume rated it really liked it
This was enjoyable and informative, though sometimes fell into a kind of gender essentialism which was more damaging than empowering. But, hey, it was written in the 80's?
Tavi rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2009
Toni rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2009
Mary Pat
Mary Pat rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2015
Else rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2010
Cynthia rated it liked it
Jun 27, 2009
Jan 19, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, ebook
Love books that examine myth and the human experience.
Shirlea rated it it was amazing
Jul 09, 2013
Stephy rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2010
Gail rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2008
Kate rated it liked it
Nov 06, 2015
Renan rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2016
Diane rated it it was amazing
Jul 02, 2016
Ursula VonGlahn
Ursula VonGlahn rated it it was amazing
Mar 05, 2016
Suna rated it really liked it
Sep 12, 2009
Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2009
Brklynlockhart rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2009
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Crossing to Avalon: A Woman's Midlife Quest for the Sacred Feminine
  • The Feminine Face of God: The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women
  • The Pagan Mysteries of Halloween: Celebrating the Dark Half of the Year
  • A Woman's Journey to God
  • Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics
  • The Isles of the Many Gods: An A-Z of the Pagan Gods & Goddesses Worshipped in Ancient Britain During the First Millenium Ce Through to the Middle
  • Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood: A Treasury of Goddess and Heroine Lore from Around the World
  • The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific
  • Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor
  • The Celtic Book of Living and Dying: The Illustrated Guide to Celtic Wisdom
  • Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery
  • A Druid's Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine
  • Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality
  • The Book of Druidry
  • The Strange Laws of Old England
  • Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism
  • Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance
  • Living with Honour: A Pagan Ethics
Barbara Walker studied journalism at the University of Pennsylvania and then took a reporting job at the Washington Star in DC. During her work as a reporter, she became increasingly interested in feminism and women's issues.

Her writing career has been split between knitting instruction books, produced in the late 1960s through the mid-80s; and women's studies and mythology books, produced from t
More about Barbara G. Walker...

Share This Book