From "Crones Don't Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Juicy Women" by Jean Shinoda Bolen:
I am proposing that it is time to reclaim and redefine 'crone' from the word pile of disparaging names to call older women, and to make becoming a 'crone' a crowning inner achievement of the third phase of life.
To be a crone is about inner development, not outer appearance. A crone is a woman who has wisdom, compassion, humor, courage, and vitality. She has a sense of truly being herself, can express what she knows and feels, and take action when need be. She does not avert her eyes or numb her mind from reality. She can see the flaws and imperfections in herself and others, but the light in which she sees is not harsh and judgmental. She has learned to trust herself to know what she knows.
Those crone qualities are not acquired overnight. One does not become a full-fledged crone automatically following menopause, any more than growing older and wiser go hand in hand. These are decades that follow menopause in which to grow psychologically and spiritually.