Added: Yalitza Macpherson - Date: 16.02.2022 05:41 - Views: 44253 - Clicks: 5733
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. In this qualitative study I explore how Pagan women conceptualize aging, more specifically social aging, through the ritual process of being a Pagan and becoming a Crone. The central question of this research revolves around how older women who identify as Pagan experience, understand, and conceptualize their social aging and their role as aging women in American society. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data and explore the meaning of aging for women identifying as Pagan.
Major emergent themes within the Pagan woman seeking her man demonstrate that the croning ritual, a central aspect of Paganism, affirms these women in their process of aging. These women, through the ritual of croning, are able to understand their aging as celebration, maintain a positive sense of self while aging, and reclaim visibility as aging women. These women were able to embed their experiences of aging within a unique and specific cultural framework, a spiritual and foundational framework cultivating a spiritual connection with nature.
Growing older as a woman in American society increases the likelihood of living within the confines of a dominant patriarchical culture. Few aspects of the predominate culture are targeted on older women in a manner that celebrates their aging. This reality suggests that our society is constructed based on an ethic of youth worship and assumes there is little place for aging women within society. It is important to recognize the specific sub-cultures where this dominant view if aging is not held in high regard; an example of this type of subculture can be found within the Contemporary Pagan spiritual framework.
Paganism is often referred to as Contemporary or Neo-Paganism to emphasize the connections to and differences between pre-Christian religions and the myriad of spiritual practices within the larger context of Paganism. Paganism is gaining popularity throughout the U. Individuals are attracted to the principles of freethinking, lack of dogma, and rejection of proselytizing. Essentially, Paganism is Nature-venerating, polytheistic, and recognizant of the Goddess Harvey and Hardman, Inherent in Paganism is the conceptualization of a maiden, mother and crone trilogy.
This qualitative study explores the experiences of aging Pagan women with regard to growing older in a way that promotes visibility, acceptance and celebration of aging, and challenges social expectations for an aging woman as absent from the predominate culture. Data included in-depth interviews with 10 women ranging in age from 48 to An inductive approach to data analysis was used. Contemporary Paganism is gaining popularity throughout the U. Contemporary Paganism has it roots in the past. Contemporary Paganism or Paganism is experimental and improvisational, i.
For some, but not all practicing Pagans, a monotheistic approach to the Divine is taken; this is true for the women researched here. It Pagan woman seeking her man polytheistic, recognizing a plurality of divine beings, which may or may not be One, Two, or Three, etc. It sees the material world and its laws as a theophany, a manifestation of divinity.
Adler further explains that Pagans rely on principles of polytheism, animism and pantheism and with spiritual leanings representative of aliveness and presence in nature. Harvey and Hardman outline the three basic principles of Paganism: 1. Paganism is an eclectic and expansive spiritual practice accompanying many forms of ritual practices shamanism, polytheism, and magical religions. Paganism is characterized by a focus on nature-venerating spirituality; the honoring of pre-Christian deities; dynamic individual belief system; lack of institutionalization; concentration on the development and transformation of self; and acceptance or encouragement of diversity and equality Pagan Education Network, — The majorities of those who practice Paganism are white, middle class, but also include many individuals comprising other racial, gender, and social economic status groups.
Paganism is complex and there lacks a single definition to describe this spiritual orientation. While Paganism is complex and has different meanings and practices for those identifying as Pagan, it is useful to think of Pagans as having a love and respect for Nature and having a moral code of goodness. In addition, some Pagans recognize one or more deities in Goddess form — this is true for the women in this study. In this study, I explore Paganism, specifically the Croning ritual, with American women identifying as Contemporary Pagans who recognize a monotheistic expression of the Goddess.
These participants liken their sense of self to the representation of the Goddess. In other words their sense of self is rooted in their spiritual identity — being Pagan and being or becoming a Crone. These ongoing experiences are witnessed by the spiritual self and are important to consider when investigating the spiritual lives of individuals as they age. Sinnottpg. This research explores the way in which these women make sense of their aging and personhood.
Their experiences add the understanding of social and psychological aging outside the confines of mainstream aging and spirituality. Negative Pagan woman seeking her man of older women in mainstream American culture are pervasive Cruikshank, ; Radina, et al. Ageism prevails Western society and its negative consequences impact older adults, particularly women, in the form of internalized ageism, being pushed to the margins of society, and becoming the targets of discriminatory practices.
Aging women are without models of positive aging and positive images of older women in the media are scant. The messaging is clear — the last thing you should strive to be in an old women in American society. Aging encompasses change, for example bodily change. Our youth-worshipping culture creates a place of contempt for the aging woman. These cultural attitudes and ideologies require aging women Pagan woman seeking her man find courage and strength to deal not only with certain challenges associated with aging, but also to embrace for an aging experience in a larger societal context in which they are devalued.
The participants in this research are women; they provide insight into new and interesting ways to conceive their social, and in addition physical aging. The findings of this research underscore the importance of exploring older women as subjects using the critical lens of gerontology; the findings also illustrate the importance of female connectivity and visibility. The women are able to embed their experiences of aging within a specific spiritual and social framework.
This identity and spiritual practice enables them to accept their aging selves, combat ageism, and reclaim their strength and visibility as aging women. For the purpose of this study, I concentrate on the croning ritual of aging Pagan women and seek to examine the impact this ritual has on the women in this study, paying particular attention to the notions of the celebrated and visible older woman.
I explore how a specific spiritual orientation of the women in this study shapes the meaning and process of their aging. My central question in this research is how aging women, ranging from 43 to 68 years of age, who identify as Pagan, conceptualize their aging in relation to their spiritual identity and practice, specifically regarding the ritual of croning. Guided by the tenets of grounded theory and the feminist perspective, I explore in this study a specific spiritual orientation and the implications it has for these women who identify as Pagans. I employed a grounded theory approach, a type of qualitative methodology in which theory is generated from the data, because older women who identify as Pagan is considered an exploratory concept, particularly in the field of gerontology.
A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the narrative data from the interviews because of the exploratory nature of the project. The primary objective of my research was to expand upon what is known regarding the ritual of Croning. I did this by identifying key elements of this phenomenon, and then categorizing the relationships of those elements to the social context out of which they are derived, using the systematic process of constructivism accordingly LaRossa, My intentions were to explore the experiences of women at various stages in their spiritual journeys and at various degrees of commitment to Paganism.
This interest emerges from personal experiences with older Pagan women while living in Vermont. I do not identify as Pagan, but am interested in the ways Crones defy certain stereotypes associated with mainstream aging. I selected eight participants for this exploratory study, ranging in age from 43 to 68 years of age. The women were recruited using flyers placed in bookstores and coffee shops in three small Midwestern towns.
All eight women identify as Pagan, that is, they hold to a belief system characterized by their focus on nature-centered spirituality, most honoring the pre-Christian deities, dynamic personal belief system, lack of institutionalization, a quest to develop the self, and acceptance or encouragement of diversity Pagan Education Network, — All eight participants are white, middle-class women, reflecting the fact the majority of the ten thousand Pagans in the United States are white, middle-class, women Pagan Education Network, — One is an ordained Wiccan Minister, and two are self-appointed high priestesses.
Five of the women have been practicing Paganism for over twenty-years, two have been practicing over ten years, and one has recently begun her spiritual journey into the world of Paganism. Five women are comfortable revealing their spiritual identity to their family; three fear lack of acceptance and familial tensions and Pagan woman seeking her man have not revealed their identity as Pagans.
Seven women are or have been married at one time, one has never married; of these, five remain married to their initial spouses. Seven women are mothers and wives, and three still have children living at home. All of the participants have at one time been part of the labor force; one is currently unemployed, one is retired, and the other five are still working.
All of the participants have taken part in a croning ritual, either for themselves or others. Five have had an actual croning ritual to mark their passage into wise-woman elderhood. All eight incorporate the Goddess the Divine Feminine into some aspect of their belief system. It is important to note that the women in this study have specific cohort distinctions that set them apart from other older women. After the participants identified themselves to me and agreed to participate in the study, I contacted each woman by phone and asked her to briefly describe to me her spiritual orientation to ensure the she was indeed a suitable participant.
I interviewed seven participants in their homes and one in the back room of an alternative resource center for women. The interviews lasted from forty-five minutes to two and half hours, depending on the woman, her experience, and the amount of information she was willing to disclose. All women were comfortable with being Pagan and were quite comfortable discussing their spiritual identity with me. The grand tour question and over-arching intent of the study was to explore how the experience of growing older for women is shaped by Paganism.
How has being Pagan affected your growing older? Is there a relation between being Pagan and how you deal with growing older? From these questions I was able to collect profoundly rich, complex and detailed narratives from the participants, describing their spiritual orientations, experiences as Pagan women, and the impact these have had not only on their being older women, but also being women able to celebrate the Divine within and their identity as Crone.
I asked the women to describe for me what they were taught growing up, how this differed from their current belief system. I asked them about their experiences as older women in a culture characterized by overarching themes of ageism and sexism, how being Pagan arose from or affected that. I enquired about their rituals, specifically croning rituals, and what someone must know when thinking about older Pagan women.
The responses to the interviews provided insights to spiritual realities and experiences of the women. Their responses were surprising in their richness, diversity, and intricacy in regard to the intention and initial plan for this study.
What was initially a project deed to explore the spiritual lives of elder women identifying as Pagan evolved into s of enlightenment concerning empowerment and raising of the feminine consciousness. After I collected the data on audio-tape, I transcribed each interview so as to capture the words of the participants verbatim. After performing an initial, manual open-code on the interviews, I identified salient themes, created codes that would allow me to move from the general to the particular, encouraging a deeper reflection and more engaged analysis of the text McCracken, I then coded the interviews again to identify sub-codes and continued to explore and discover by nature of emergent theory the meaning and interrelatedness of the collective experiences of the women.
The use of this computer program enabled me to manage data, and extract words and word clusters that pertain to specific codes McCracken, Grounded theory or emergent de is an essential part of qualitative research; the intent is, through inductive reasoning, to build a theory that is grounded in the observations Schutt, Two main themes emerging from the data are presented here: 1. The croning ritual is a ritual maker for celebration and entryway into elderwise womanhood and 2.
The croning ritual serves as a way for women to gain visibility and validation as aging women in American society.
These themes ran throughout each narrative. For the women in this study the croning ritual is paramount, a centralizing and defining identity. The women are reacting to their aging in relationship to this crone archetype; they are a crone or striving to become one. Rituals are comprised of fixed patterns of acts, ordered and sequential activities that involve a symbolic object, image, act or word Bewley, ; Gomberg, Rituals are intended for demarcation and to assist people in the effort to undergo behavioral transformation Gomberg, For these women this means having moved into a place post menarche of divine old age and wisdom, where the women embrace their aging selves, in addition to their aging bodies.
Furthermore, these women, through the ritual of croning, are able to understand their aging as celebration, maintain a positive sense of aging, and reclaim visibility as aging women.Pagan woman seeking her man
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Finding a Godly Mate (Genesis 24)