Queen Mama Donna
Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, award-winning author, popular speaker, and workshop leader
whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to
millions of people in more than 100 cities since 1972. She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed quarterly journal
and writes a column for UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.
CALLING ALL QUEENS!
I would appreciate it if you would please forward The Queen's Chronicles to people who might value it.
The transition from Maiden and Mother to Queen can be a difficult one, fraught with hard lessons and lots of loss. It takes great determination and courage to confront and embrace the changes brought about by the midlife passage.
It can be really helpful during this confusing time to have the inspiration, advice and encouragement of a counselor, coach, or mentor - someone who has been there and done that and is ready to help you do the same.
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.
TURN YOUR MIDLIFE CRISIS INTO YOUR CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT!
Further information: www.thequeenofmyself.com
Click on Individual Consultations.
To make an appointment, call 718-857-1343 or email the Queen at TheQueenOfMySelf@aol.com
The Queen bursts forth from adversity and previous constraints, actual or imagined, to become a proficient player in the game plan of her choice.
The Queen of My Self is now in its second printing.
Since its publication it has been consistently in the top 100 Religion/New Age/Goddess
Books category on www.amazon.com
To celebrate these milestones and as a measure of my appreciation, I am offering a complimentary Great Women Rulers of the World ruler for every book ordered through the website www.the queenofmyself.com.
ORDER YOUR AUTOGRAPHED COPY NOW
(Enter the code QC on the paypal form to get your complimentary ruler.)
A Queen Event
Wednesday 5:35PM EDT,
Soul Connections Radio
Thursday 2:00PM EDT, 11:00AM PDT
Heal Yourself Talk Radio
Saturday 8:30PM EDT, 5:30PM PDT
Mother's Day two-hour special radio show
6:40PM EDT, Donna Henes and Charlene Proctor discuss empowering women today-where we're going, women supporting women
Wednesday 6-7PM EDT, 3-4PM PDT
WomanTalk Live Radio www.WomanTalkLive.com
WVIE 1370 AM Baltimore
The show can also be heard live on webcast at www.v1370.com
(hit Listen Now)
Within one week of the show, the podcast will be up at www.WomanTalkLive.com
Tuesday 11AM EDT, 2PM PDT
Third Age Radio: Aging Gratefully Show
CELESTIALLY AUSPICIOUS OCCASIONS:
SEASON, CYCLES & CELEBRATIONS
NYC City Goddesses at
East West Bookstore Cafe
78 Fifth Ave at 14th Street
$13. (includes $5. minimum café purchase)
HIGH TEA WITH THE QUEEN
The Dreaming Goddess
9 Collegeview Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO POWER
CLAIM IT! EMBRACE IT! USE IT!
The Sleeping Goddess
9 Collegeview Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
$30. includes amulet bag
OPENING BLESSING BY MAMA DONNA
NY EARTH DAY FESTIVAL
Grand Central Station
42nd Street & Lexington Avenue
THE QUEEN OF MY SELF WORKSHOP
At the home of Queen Matilde Cathy Agar
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547
For information and reservations: 914-526-2740
A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO POWER: CLAIM IT! EMBRACE IT! USE IT!
A Ritual Workshop With Mama Donna Henes
East West Books
78 Fifth Ave at 14th Street
$40. (includes power amulet bag)
May 31-June 1
Saturday 10AM-9PM & Sunday 10AM-3PM
WISE WOMAN'S GUIDE TO POWER WEEKEND RETREAT
272 Roast Meat Hill Road
Killingworth, CT 06419
Information and registration:
$275. if paid by May 10, 2008
Includes workshop tuition, four meals, one night's lodging,
labyrinth walk, fire ceremony, and amulet bag.
Mama Donna will be giving several workshops at this annual
Information and registration:
Have Crown, Will Travel!To discuss booking Queen Mama Donna for a reading, presentation, workshop, or a keynote address in your area, call her at 718-857-1343 or e-mail her at TheQueenOfMySelf@aol.com
Kudos to the Queens!
Jerri Allyn, CA; Cristina Biaggi, NY; Cheri Gaulke, CA; Patricia Smith, NY; Linda Vallejo, CA; and Martha Wilson, NY;on the exhibitions of their artwork.
Max Dashu, CA,Women's Power DVD; Mary Beth Edelson, NY, The Art of Mary Beth Edelson; China Galland, CA,Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves; Linda Humes, NY, On the Shoulders of our Ancestors CD; Lynette Landing, PA, Swap the BS That's Blocking Your Confidence! Behavioral Card Deck; and Smoky Trudeau, IL,Redeeming Grace, on their new publications.
Elfie Knecht and Marya Leonard, NY, on their wedding; Jenny Yates and Marie Vivas, Breman, Germany, on their lebenspartnerschaft (life-partnership).
Rev. Adrianne Cumberbatch, NY, on her appointment as chaplain at the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility.
Circle of Concern
Please Offer Your Purest Thoughts, Your Heart-Felt Prayers, Your Great Good Feelings, And Your Very Best Blessings For Healing and Peace of Mind to:
Amy, TX; Daile, NY; Deni, NY; Dominique, NM; Donna, NY; Gail, OH; Geraldine, CA; Irma, FL; Jo, AZ; Kimi, NJ; Letitia, VA; Linda, NJ; and Naomi, NY.
Rest in Peace
Please send your requests for physical and spiritual healing and positive energy so that the powerful women of The Queen's Court might send their prayers and blessings to you in your time of need.
What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?
The Queen's Emporium
Make sure to visit The Queen's Emporium, which specializes in all manner of elegant, practical, and frivolous goods to fulfill all the royal needs and fantasies of The Queen of Your Self. Therein you will find a choice collection of goods to augment and accessorize your royal prerogative.
Anoint, Adorn, Enjoy!
Past issues of The Queen's Chronicles are now archived at www.thequeenofmyself.com
Where the Queens Are
We are everywhere! The Queen of My Self community is growing across the globe. One way for us to feel connected to each other, and hence, our own royal power, is to share the stories of our Queenly experiences and activities.
I have a dear friend, Lyn who had an operation, which unexpectedly killed her ovaries. She was deeply shocked at her sudden infertility and during one of our conversations, asked me if I would Crone her into her new life. I said I would not, as I was not a crone and neither was she. But I would certainly be willing to crown her into her own sovreignty and that is what we did.
At the ancient oak trees, Gog and Magog, Lyn's power place in the sacred land of Glastonbury, she crossed the Bridge over the Blood River and I welcomed her, with much ceremony and not a little magic into the world of the Queens.
She really loved the ceremony. She feels powerful and independent. And also very grateful.
-Jennifer, London, England
We have started a Queen's Circle, here in Carmarthen, Wales and we are going to explore and develop our Queen Selves through ritual, debate, laughter, magick, visualizations, craftwork, music, dance, etc. We meet on the Waning Moon and will be working as much as possible on the landscape (as the weather allows). We will be having our Coronation at Autumn Equinox. It's so exciting!!
You have been a wonderful inspiration for us. Thank you,
Diolch yn Fawr Iawn
Brenhines Morgan, Carmarthen, Wales
Please send your Queenly news!
Queens in Glastonbury, England
THE MORE QUEENLY I BECOME, THE MORE I DESIRE TO BE IN THE COMPANY OF OTHER QUEENS.
Turn Your Midlife Crisis
Lately I've seen several outrageous television commercials that blithely extol the benefits of throwaway dust rags and floor mops and disposable baby bibs, of all things. Apparently the landfills are not yet filled to over-flowing capacity with Pampers as I had assumed. As it is, every American uses an average of 4-6 trees a year on paper goods, wood products, and newsprint.
Knowing myself to be a concerned citizen and certified Queen of Reducing, Re-using and Recycling, I feel morally indignant in the face of such crass waste. The mere sight of The New York Sunday Times stacked in high piles at the newsstand fills me with queasy guilt. Heaven forbid I should buy one. I take my own bags to the grocery. I use cloth napkins and hankies and refuse to use paper towels. I'm the one who used the same paper bag for 65 days worth of coffees-to-go.
All well and good, but what have I done lately? What did I do today? This is an important distinction: what did I do versus what did I not do. The issue is not how many trees did I save, but how many trees did I plant? I am 62 years old. That means that I should have planted 250-350 trees by now to replace those that I have used. While I have conducted quite a few tree-planting ceremonies over the years, I still owe the earth a new orchard.
Maybe it is self-defeating to think that we should be giving up comforts and luxuries in order to be more environmentally correct and connected. Such negative terminology doesn't make acting conscientiously seem like a very attractive prospect, but rather like some sort of deprivation that would appeal only to martyrs. That's just bad psychology. Unproductive. The medicine does not have to taste bad in order to work well.
Perhaps it is more fruitful to think not of giving something up, but of giving something back. It is the most elemental and universal rule of etiquette that if you take something, you put it back; if you use something, you replace it - plus some. While saving and conserving are admirable virtues to be commended and encouraged, being generous and proactively responsive is equally crucial to our survival, body and soul. Take less. Give more.
It is pay back time. So I pledge to plant trees this Spring. As many as I can. Won't you join me?
Let's plant trees everywhere. In our gardens, inside our houses, throughout our parks and school-yards. Even those of us who live in the most crowded cement cities can join a community garden or participate in a park clean-up and planting day.
We can "buy" acres of rainforest to give as gifts or have trees planted in honor of all the special occasions celebrated by friends and family. We could adopt a neighborhood or a stretch of highway and help take care of it. Like a brigade of green guerilla Queens, we could spread out and scatter wildflower seeds in every vacant lot, strip, mall and avenue median. Just like Queen Lady Bird did.
With best vernal blessings,
Knowing through Her personal experience what is true and valuable, and
having learned, usually the hard way, to be proactive, the Queen
pledges Her royal Self to defend and promote all that is precious. -QMD
African Queen of Trees
Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai has long been my ideal Queen. She is engaged, passionate, powerful, determined, brave, wise, caring, and extraordinarily influential and effective. She has managed to create and implement national-becoming-global grass roots movement, which has made momentous improvements to the natural environment as well as the lives of women and children. Despite all opposition, hardship, and danger, she has remained unbowed, which happens to be the name of her autobiography.
Born in 1940 in the Nyeri District, Wangari was able to pursue higher education, a rarity for girls in rural areas of Kenya. She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Mount St. Scholastica College in Kansas and her master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh. On her return to Kenya, Wangari worked in veterinary medicine research at the University of Nairobi, and triumphing over the skeptical opposition of the faculty, she was the first Eastern African woman to earn a Ph.D. there. She became professor of veterinary anatomy at the University of Nairobi, and then later, dean of her faculty. Another first for a Kenyan woman.
Her public life began in the 1970s when her husband ran for parliament and she became involved in organizing work for poor people, especially women. It was through this work that she realized that "You must not deal only with the symptoms. You have to get to the root causes by promoting environmental rehabilitation and empowering people to do things for themselves. What is done for the people without involving them cannot be sustained."
From this holistic understanding she founded the Green Belt movement in Kenya In 1977, in response to the serious problems caused by deforestation: soil runoff, water pollution, difficulty finding firewood, lack of animal nutrition, etc. The Green Belt program has been carried out ever since primarily by women in the villages of Kenya, who have planted more than 30 million trees to prevent soil erosion and to provide firewood for cooking fires. Not only were the forests planted, but also a much more rooted life for these women. The program paid them for their time and effort, which meant that they were better able to provide for their children.
"Well, I don't only think that the biosphere is in trouble, I know it is. I just have to look around in the environment in which I live. In my own part of the part of the world, I keep telling people, let us not cut trees irresponsibly. Let us not destroy especially the forested mountains. Because if you destroy the forests on these mountains, the rivers will stop flowing and the rains will become irregular and the crops will fail and you will die of hunger and starvation. Now the problem is, people don't make those linkages." Thus spoke the environmental Queen.
In the 1980s her husband, Mwangi Mathai, the politician whom she had married in 1969, divorced her, saying she was too strong-minded for a woman and that he was unable to control her. The judge in the divorce case agreed with the husband, and Wangari was put in jail for speaking out against the judge, who then decreed that she must drop her husband's surname. In defiance, Wangari chose to add an extra "a" instead.
African women in general need to know that it's OK for them to be the way they are - to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.
The Tree Mother of Africa, as she became affectionately known, was arrested in 1991and imprisoned until an Amnesty International letter-writing campaign helped free her. In 1999 she suffered head injuries when attacked while planting trees in the Karura Public Forest in Nairobi, part of a protest against continuing deforestation. She was arrested numerous times by the government of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi. In 1997, she ran for the country's presidency but her party withdrew her candidacy without her knowledge.
Queen Wangari Maathai gained worldwide attention in 1998 when she vigorously opposed the Kenyan President-backed development of a luxury housing project, which would mean the clearing of hundreds of acres of Kenyan forest. "We are very fond of blaming the poor for destroying the environment. But often it is the powerful, including governments, who are responsible." she said. And continued, "There's a general culture in this country to cut all the trees. It makes me so angry because everyone is cutting and no one is planting. It's a matter of life and death for this country. The Kenyan forests are facing extinction and it is a man-made problem."
In December, 2002, Wangari Maathai was elected to Parliament, as Maathai's long-time political nemesis, Daniel arap Moi, for 24 years the President of Kenya, was upset. "I am working to make sure we don't only protect the environment, we also improve governance," she said. The new president Kibabi named Maathai as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife in January, 2003. She founded the Mazingira Green Party of Kenya tha same year and in January, 2002, Queen Wangari accepted a position as Visiting Fellow at Yale University's Global Institute for Sustainable Forestry. In 2008, she will co-host the Global Greens Nairobi conference, which is expected to draw over 1,000 Greens from dozens of Green Parties around the planet.
The people are learning that you cannot leave decisions only to leaders. Local groups have to create the political will for change, rather than waiting for others to do things for them. That is where positive, and sustainable, change begins.
In 2004 our Eco Shero was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The statement announcing her award declared, "Maathai stood up courageously against the former oppressive regime in Kenya. Her unique forms of action have contributed to drawing attention to political oppression - nationally and internationally. She has served as inspiration for many in the fight for democratic rights and has especially encouraged women to better their situation."
Ever moving forward in her defense of Mother Earth, in November 2006, she spearheaded the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.
It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
Two Glad Faces
I meet a cab driver in December 2004.
Hearing his accent, I inquire, as I often do,
where he is from originally.
He says, proudly, Africa.
I ask if he has heard that an African woman,
Wangari Muta Maathai,
was just awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
He had not heard.
He is glad.
I tell him everything I know.
She is the first environmentalist,
& the first African woman, a Kenyan,
to win this prize.
She holds a doctorate in biology.
She started out planting just one tree
in her own yard.
She had asked herself, "What do we need?"
The answer came to her:
We need clean drinking water.
We need firewood.
We need nutritious food.
We need wood to build shelter.
Wars start over resources.
We should think not postwar, but prewar.
& she began.
Maathai mourned the loss of forests,
the depleted topsoil
& the fertilizer-contaminated rivers.
So she began Kenya's Greenbelt Movement.
She began tree nurseries.
She joined with the National Council of Women of Kenya,
& gave encouragement & resources to women
all over East Africa.
She was persecuted by the corrupt government
of former President Daniel arap Moi.
She was attacked & imprisoned.
Defiantly, she signed the police report
in the red of her own blood.
By now Wangari Maathai is responsible
for planting 30 million trees.
On hearing she won the Peace Prize she walked outside,
& in her home town of Nyeri,
in the shadow of Mount Kenya,
she planted an indigenous tree,
a Nandi flame tree, which,
when it flowers with red blossoms,
resembles a flame.
Some people were reluctant to have the Peace Prize given
to an environmentalist,
but as long ago as 1971,
Peace Prize Winner Willy Brandt had declared:
"As long as hunger exists, peace cannot prevail."
Back in the New York City cab,
when I said goodbye to the driver,
there were two glad faces
turned toward the new year.
-Queen Karen Ethelsdattar (Karen Lind)
Safe in the Embrace of the Indian Queens
The Chipko Movement in India is another widespread and extremely effective grass roots movement of women peasants who act to prevent the felling of trees and to reclaim their traditional forest rights that have been and are still being threatened by the contractor system of the state Forest Department.
The forests of India - especially the mountain forests - have always provided food, fuel and fodder in addition to stabilizing the soil and water resources. As such, their preservation is critical for the subsistence of rural peoples throughout the country. As their precious forests have been decimated increasingly to feed the needs of commerce and industry, Indian villagers have long struggled to protect their livelihoods by using the Gandhian method of satyagraha. or non-violent resistance.
What do the forests bear? Soil, water and pure air.
The very first Chipko action actually predated Gandhi when, in the early part of the 18th century, a woman named Amrita Devi organized a large group of peasants from 84 villages in Rajasthan in an effort to protect the forests from being felled on the orders of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Their dedication to protecting the environment cost them their lives. Following their sacrifice, the maharaja issued a royal decree preventing the cutting of trees in all Bishnoi villages.
In the 1970s and 1980s this opposition to the destruction of forests was resurrected spread throughout India and became known as the Chipko Movement. The first modern Chipko action against deforestation took place spontaneously in April 1973 in Chamoli district and by the end of the decade involvement in this popular environmental effort spread to many districts of the Uttarakhand Himalayas. The name of the movement comes from a word meaning "embrace." The villagers hug the trees, saving them from being cut down by putting their bodies between them and the contractors' axes.
Embrace the trees and Save them from being felled. The property of our hills, Save them from being looted.
Again the populist resistance movement was lead by women.
As the mainstay of Uttarakhand's agrarian economy and those most directly affected by the surrounding environment, women were eager to help reverse the suicidal trend ecological degradation and deforestation. Many brave women played pivotal roles in the Chipko movement including Gaura Devi, Sudesha Devi, Bachni Devi, Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Sunderlal Bahuguna, Govind Singh Rawat, Dhoom Singh Negi, and Shamsher Singh Bisht, Brilliant Eco Sheroes, all.
The courage and vigilance of Uttarakhandi women saved many forests. In 1974, Gaura Devi, an illiterate, spirited fifty-year old Queen, organized the women and children in her district to embrace the trees of Reni forest just as the cutters approached axes drawn, and they warded off the hatchets with their own bodies. The four-day non-violent standoff led by Gaura Devi eventually ended in victory, halting the unbridled exploitation of Uttarakhand's natural resources.
Ecology is permanent economy.
The loss of the forests in the hills rendered the already difficult lives of Uttarakhandi women much worse. The hardship endured by these village women galvanized Bachni Devi to organize and fight the system that was ravaging their land and their families. Bachni, ironically the wife of a contractor, led village women to save Adwani forest in 1977. By directly disobeying her husband's wishes in such a publicly humiliating way, Bachni Devi struck a blow for the liberation of hill women and inspired them to take an active role in matters that so affected their own lives. Like many determined Queens, Bachni paid a heavy price for her sovereignty: "My husband was a forest contractor. He cut a huge amount of timber - forest after forest. He was the major contractor and I was his enemy in this struggle. The whole village backed me. He never said anything to the [other] agitators. But he was very angry with me. We even stopped speaking to each other. It was a matter of sadness."
The Chipko protests in Uttar Pradesh achieved a major victory in 1980 when they won a 15-year ban on clear cutting in the Himalayan forests of that state by order of India's then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. In addition, the movement has stopped forest clearing in the Western Ghats and the Vindhyas and generated pressure for a natural resource policy which is more sensitive to people's needs and ecological requirements.
The Chipko Movement is the result of hundreds of decentralized and locally autonomous initiatives. Its leaders and activists are primarily village women, acting to save their means of survival, their families, and their communities. The movement has now spread throughout India and has had far reaching impact on the global green movement. Unlike Western environmentalists, Chipko has embodied an environmentalism of the poor and represents the growing reach of environmental concerns. The inspired and inspiring tactic of tree hugging, long an epithet for environmental activists in general, has stirred the imagination of activists around the world who continue to defend our Mother Earth through creative actions and interventions.
Arbol de la esperanzamantante firme.Tree of hopekeep firm.
The Queen's Court
The Queen's Court is a gathering of sovereign women of a certain age - our dear peers - who graciously offer guidance, inspiration and encouragement to each other.
We Queens know what we know. And we know a great deal. Our experience has made us wise. So, feel free to consult with our cyber counsel when you are need of sage advice or wish to explore a particular topic of interest.
Who knows what can come out of these sister alliances we are building? -QMD
In the January 2008 issue Queen Morgan from Ohio wrote for help with dealing with her self-destructive daughter. I printed several responses in the last issue. Here is one more.
Re: Self Destructive Daughters
Dear Donna Queen of Queens,
I was both entertained and deeply touched by your wonderful newsletter. I was saddened in particular by the Self Destructive Daughter piece. Having two children myself, my heart goes out to this lady and the pain she must be feeling in her heart. It may well be as simple as her daughter is suffering from an over acidic system, which to be honest - after breathing and our heart beating - is the most important function that keeps our health in check. Add to that a parasite infestation, Candida and a poor diet, which all go hand in hand, and you have the symptoms that this girl is suffering from. I would really like to share with you a possible way out of this depressed state.
We at Puriti Programs for Life work in Phuket Thailand with people purifying their systems of toxins using Thai herbs, minerals, coconut oil, and water. The depressed state that this beautiful young girl is going through can easily be put down to the toxics and unbalanced pH levels in her body.
We offer an email helpline to people who wish to learn more about purification and the effects of toxins on our system please pass our info on if you feel we can help in anyway. www.coconutresearchcenter.org or www.puriti.orgIf
If you recall, in the last issue of the QC, Queen Smoky in Illinois asked for advice concerning her reaction to having an empty nest. Here is the wisdom so generously offered in response by several members of The Queen's Court:
Re: Empty Nest
Empty nest is wonderful. When my son (who was revolting in every sense of the word at the time) moved out, I gave him money. It took days to clean his room, days just to get down to the carpet.
Be glad your daughter is outward bound. Has she traveled before? I'm sure every place in the world is different from the plains of central Illinois! She'll have splendid adventures. Hopefully, she'll also keep in touch with you.
When we live alone, or with our furry friends, we get to know ourselves better. When we live alone, we can eat when and what we want to eat, watch what we want to on TV or not watch TV at all, dress any way we want to, and live on any schedule we want to adopt. What's not to like about this kind of life??
Your nest isn't empty. It's filled with memories and plans, thoughts and ideas and energies. It's beautiful and warm and inviting, already cuddling up to you. It's restful and invigorating and nourishing; it's a stew pot sitting on the back burner waiting for the ladle.
That said, be reminded that fledglings return to nest after they fly; then fly again, then return, then fly again...
There is a word sweeter than mother, home or heaven - that word is liberty.
Freed from the responsibility of children - no matter their age - a woman can finally hear herSelf think. With this, we can do so much - even write in peace. If honest, once able to live their life, many women are deeply relieved.
-As U.S. suffragette, Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826-1898) said, wrote, and has on her tombstone (in Fayetteville, New York)
Please send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles.