Hairdresser Goddess Guru Kindred Spirit Soul Sister

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She’s about six feet tall with the face of a goddess, yet nothing about her intimidates. Radiating warmth, Molly (not her real name) is a woman in touch with herself as much as with others.

My relationship with Molly started the usual way, through the recommendation of a friend. Despairing, I had all but given up on my once lush, silky hair that had turned into sparse straw on my head. My fall from “great hair” status had taken its toll on me, I’ll be honest. I was struggling, as I passed deeper into middle age, to come to grips with lots of stuff, but when my hair betrayed me it was almost too much.

At first my interactions with Molly were entirely professional. She exuded confidence and set about fixing me, hair-wise. And she did. Not all at once (after all it had taken years for life and me to destroy my hair). But within a year, I was a new woman. And my hair looked better and better. It was obvious that this woman is very very good at what she does. As well as very good at… being a person.

Molly trusts and honors her own instincts, always. She dresses the way she wants too. Confident style. When I first knew Molly, her hair was shortish, and sometimes white blond and sometimes shimmery brunette. Eventually, her hair grew long and she used it as an art medium when she took it to full, glorious dreadlocks. That transition made me fangirl even more, if that’s possible. But her beauty, tawny youth, and loving smile are nothing compared to… what shall I call it? Okay, her soul.

She is an incredible single mom. She is a seeker. She is an artist and she loves life and her own journey with powerful feeling. She has deep wisdom that has been forged, at least partly, in the cauldron of busy past life cycles.

The more we talked, the more we realized how profoundly we understood one another on many levels. I have opened up to her about things I have not told anyone else. And it’s not just that she’s safe, because she doesn’t know the people I know, blah blah blah. You know, the dynamic you get when people open their guts to the bartender, realtor, or, okay, well… hairdresser. It’s not like that. Once a month I show up in her chair and we pick up wherever we left off. We both share from somewhere deep inside. We both listen. We are interested. I want to know about her process, her journey, her exciting view of the world from where she is.

We support one another with clips of wisdom, fit into the time slot allowed—between the color and the wash, the snipping and the blowdrying. She has texted me once or twice, at crucial moments, when she knows I’m about to face something particularly difficult. She has seen me at my very worst. She’s seen me high on life. She’s seen me cry. Hard. She gives hugs, and accepts them too.

She got a call from me one afternoon as I sat by the side of a road in Texas deeply afraid I’d never be able to drive again, so shattered did I feel in that moment. Yes, I called Molly. Somehow, she was tuned into a particular part of my inner journey in a way no one else was, or could be. She talked to me for an hour, probably. Got me back on the road. And then we did not see one another till I was back in New York and had my next appointment. Another effortless chapter in our serialized relationship.

Molly is young enough to be my daughter, but mine is not a motherish feeling, and hers is not a daughterly vibe. Sisters find each other in the most unlikely places, at the most serendipitous of moments. She is a healer, a visionary, a friend. Molly’s gifts come in all colors and work in all seasons. She has a lust for life and she is simply determined to make the best of the one given to her. She is a competent, independent woman with strong ideas, a superb mind, and a huge heart. I am her biggest fan. Not only does Molly have a vocation, she has a big round universe full of everything else—all the things you might not realize when you see her standing behind the chair, scissors in hand. Unless you are really looking.

In Honor of the Crone

Have you read about the grandmothers in India? The ones who were taught to build, install and repair solar lighting systems, and put together solar lanterns, water heaters and cookers? When a college got the idea to teach undergrads how to do the work in order to bring light to villages in India, the youngsters (men) absconded to the big cities to make money. So someone brilliant had the idea to empower elder women from local communities, knowing they would do the right thing. And they have. So far they have brought light to almost 10,000 households in India. Subsequently, the Indian grandmothers taught elder women from other countries. These solar engineers—elder women all—have brought solar power to 45,000 households in 64 developing countries. If you want to read more about it, check out Tara Sophia Mohr’s blog Link to Mohr’s blog. It was Tara who inspired me to follow this thread today.

Women in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s are in a powerful stage of life. In ancient traditions, goddess centered or otherwise non-Christian, this elder woman was called the crone, and was deeply revered as the holder of truth, wisdom and love. Linked to the new moon, the dark phase, she holds secret knowledge and can teach the spiritual mysteries.

If you think about your favorite elder woman, grandmother or not—wise and loving, with the endless patience to share with you all she has to teach—that is the crone. The word has been co-opted by a western, patriarchal mythology that turned the crone into a feared destroyer. Picture Hansel and Gretel’s witch. She epitomizes what is actually a quite modern view of the “terrible crone.” In fact, the crone has lived a life full of loving, birthing, tending, creating, giving, thinking, solving, planning, worshiping, guiding, and supporting. As the people of India realize—she is a resource to be tapped, not a feared monster nor a disposable commodity to be tossed away.

The women I know are reclaiming the word, honoring their passage from mother to crone with ceremony, reverence, appreciation and awe. And we are talking about some very sexy, savvy crones. The dark moon goddess is still sexual, seductive, enticing in her wisdom and authority. What has she to fear? She understands the world better than she ever has. She understands herself and is stepping into her power.

The sexy white-haired man—CEO, senator, diplomat, author. You know him, right? Well, his counterpart is not a little old lady sitting in a rocking chair or pulling cookies out of the oven. No. His equal, his match is the sexy crone—CEO, senator, diplomat, author. Artist, dancer, healer, teacher. Whatever she is, she is the holder of the moon energy, the silver light that flows into us all.

So here’s to our crones. Think of that woman—the one you will never forget. The one whose presence can inspire, calm, empower, teach and move you. If you are lucky enough to have a powerful crone in your life, sit at her feet every chance you get. Dance with her, drum with her, drink with her, pray with her, listen to her, touch her. And if she is not with you any more, she is probably somewhere nearby, guiding you in one way or another. Perhaps simply through the inspiration she provides by having lived. Or maybe there is more to it than that. Only you can know.

Jane Fonda is 75

Jane Fonda is 75

Betty White is 91

Betty White is 91

Hillary Clinton is 65

Hillary Clinton is 65

Ruth Bador Ginsberg is 80

Ruth Bador Ginsberg is 80

Maya Angelou is 85

Maya Angelou is 85