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!
The Queen's Chronicles
Offers upbeat, practical, and ceremonial inspiration for all women who want to enjoy the fruits of an influential, passionate, and powerful maturity.Each issue of The Queen's Chronicles features:
HAIL QUEENS!Musings and commentary by Queen Mama Donna Henes on all aspects of sovereignty and empowerment.QUEENS AND SHEROESStories about exemplary role models of extraordinary valor and moral authority. ARTICLES OF SPECIAL INTERESTTo Self-identified, Self-expressed, accomplished women of a certain age.THE QUEEN'S COURT A virtual gathering of sovereign women - our dear peers - who graciously offer guidance, encouragement, and support to each other.THE QUEEN'S CORRESPONDENCELetters from Queens in response to content in The Queen's Chronicles.WHERE THE QUEENS ARELetters, stories, and photos from Sister Queens worldwide sharing news of their regal Queen Circles, projects, and gatherings. KUDOS TO THE QUEENSCongratulations to Queens in our ever-expanding circles for their sweet successes and accomplishments.CIRCLE OF CONCERNListing Queens who have requested positive energy and spiritual support in aid of their healing.And So Much More! ARCHIVED ISSUES
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The Queen's Chronicles
The Queen, ever true to the process and power of exploration and discovery, declines to preach "How To." Rather, She impels, implores, "Why Not?" And "If not now, honey, when?" -QMD
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.
Sessions are available in person and by phone. To make an appointment, call 718-857-1343 or email the Queen at TheQueenOfMySelf@aol.com
Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.
-Mary Kay Ash
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.thequeenofmyself.com
ORDER YOUR AUTOGRAPHED COPY NOW
(Enter the code QC on the paypal form to get your complimentary ruler.)
A Queen Event
1:00 PM EDT
Journey to Self
11:30 AM EDT
Chat With Women
Listen Live: http://www.chatwithwomen.com
Wednesday 1-2PM EDT, 4-5PM PDT
Shape Shifting with Lisa Bonnice
12 PM EDT
Full Power Living with Ilene Dillon
For info: http://emotionalpro.com
Listen Live: www.modavox.com
Mama Donna and her Blessing Band
Official leaders of the World Famous
Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.
Rehearsals: Saturdays, Oct. 18 & 25.
To join the Blessing Band, contact Mama Donna at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Tana Kellner, NY; Joyce Cutler Shaw, CA on the exhibitions of their artwork.
Amy "Moonlady" Martin, TX, Spirit Herbs: Simple Recipes For Hibachi Herbal Magic And Sacred Space; Anique Radiant Heart, Australia, Living the Goddess CD; Nicki Scully, OR, Linda Star Wolf, NC, and Kris Waldherr, NY, The Anubus Oracle: A Journery into the Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt; Patricia Snodgrass, TX, Mercer's Bayou; Karen Tate, CA, Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess On Planet Earth on their new publications.
Send your good news, achievements, accomplishments, successes and celebrations so that our international circle of sovereign sisters can send you blessings and accolades.
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, NY; Amy, TX; Barbara, CA, Carol. NY, Daile, NY; Deni, NY; Dominique, NM; Donna, NY; Gail, OH; Geraldine, CA; Ilene, NY; Irma, FL; Jo, AZ; Kimi, NJ; Letitia, VA; Linda, NJ; Lynne. NY; Maude, NY; Naomi, NY; Sherli, NY; Susan, MA; and Vila, PA.
May Their Spirits Rest in Peace:
Najma Ghouse, TX
Lucille Bourbeau, NY
Paula Gunn Allen, CA
Louise De Salvor-Masi, NJ
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!
Where the Queens Are
USA NORTH CAROLINA
Ever since the wonderful Queen of My Self Workshop that you facilitated here in New Bern last autumn, our Queens group still gets together once a month for lunch.
One of the things we have found very useful is the talking scepter. We've created a scepter utilizing a bejeweled cedar branch. Whoever's turn it is to host the next luncheon takes the scepter home and gauds it up a bit more.
At lunch, the Queen who holds the scepter, holds court. Depending on where we are, the table can be long and narrow making it easy to break off and talk in small groups. This is OK some of the time, however, it's nice to hear something from everyone, with our full attention on them.
We are beginning to ask theme questions now, like "What do you want to accomplish that you haven't yet?" We've had a few moments of doubt and a lot of laughs, great food and strength in unity. We wish we could share it with you, too!
Thanks for getting us started on this wonderful adventure toward sovereignty.
-Nancy Pocklington, New Bern, NC
New Bern Queens
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For years, there has been a certain auspicious day every spring when a bumblebee would fly onto my terrace garden where it would hover contentedly every day, all day long, throughout the entire summer, until a certain day in autumn when it would fly away.
This ritual visitation took place without fail for more than 15 years until a few years ago when my bee stopped showing up. I say "my bee." But was it? Could it possibly have been the same bee for a decade and a half? How long to do bees live?
Or did my fuzzy fat friend select a successor who also passed the mantle when her vacation time was up? But whether or not it was the same bee, it was definitely my bee. My buddy. My constant summer companion. My nectar-gathering compatriot.
In Hellenistic Greece, bees were understood to be related to and a manifestation of the muse. My bee was an inspiration to me, as well, and I missed her visits dearly. And so did my flowers.
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.
My bee isn't the only one who stopped showing up. Millions upon millions of bees all over the world have been abandoning their hives and simply disappearing. Scientists named this mysterious phenomena colony collapse disorder.
If they are dying, they have chosen to do it in private, because large numbers of their corpses have not been found. Last year I found three dead bee bodies on the sidewalk just outside of my building. I saved their remains and added them to my growing collection of dead bumblebees. I keep a beautiful box filled with dead bees on my healing altar, where I pray for their wellbeing.
In some areas more than sixty percent of the American honeybee population has died or disappeared during the past ten years, and this trend is continuing around the world. The potential results of this trend are terrifying. After all, one in three bites of all that we consume has been pollinated by bees.
In 1923 Rudolf Steiner predicted the dire state of the honeybee today. He said that within fifty to eighty years, we would see the consequences of mechanizing the forces that had previously operated organically in the beehive - including breeding queen bees artificially.
Well, I could have told them that the Queens don't take interference kindly. And now they are having their royal revenge - a terrible, drastic, exacting retribution, which maybe, just maybe, might force us to rethink our precarious relationship with Mother Nature.
We're all busy little bees, full of stings, making honey day and night, aren't we honey?
Last week, my bee came back. I was completely delighted, overtaken by the depth and passion of my joy at our reunion. She hovered in front of my face for a moment then landed on my leg. And stayed there for a really long time, our bodies buzzing in unison.
Soon I noticed that she was uncharacteristically lethargic. Oh, no! Did she come back to die on me? I began to stroke her back ever so softly. I whispered prayers and gave her reiki. Then, because I had to leave, I placed her on the dirt of one of my flowering plants. If she was going to die, I wanted it to be in nature.
When I returned home a few hours later, the first thing I did was rush out to check on the bee, half expecting to see her lying on her back with her legs sticking up in the air.
But she was gone. Just gone.
With blessings of nectar and honey,
Like the bees from which this exhibition has drawn its name, we are individuals, yet we are, most surely, like the bees, a group, and as a group we have, over the millennia, built ourselves a hive, our home. We would be foolish, to say the least, to turn our backs on this carefully and beautifully constructed home especially now, in these uncertain and unsettling times.
-The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Venice , CA
Queen Bees of Bhopal
The beehive is a complex system wherein bees perform many different tasks in order to keep the hive as a whole functioning properly. Since bees work together for the benefit of the entire society, they are one of the most universal symbols of a well working community. From ancient times, they have represented industry, order, organization, cooperation, and effective communality.
The ironically named Rashida Bee, 52, and Champa Devi Shukla, 56, are exemplary bees, who work together to protect the safety of their hive and defend the health and wellbeing of all the members of their community, Bhopal, India.
Bee and Shukla first met in 1986, when they were both employed by the same stationery factory. During their tenure there, they organized an independent women's union to fight for better labor conditions and wages, since the traditionally male-dominated unions would not accept them.
Their labor battle culminated In 1989 when they led a 469-mile march to New Delhi, joined by 100 women, many of whom had sold their jewelry and other valuables to be part of the march. The women presented a petition with their demands to the Prime Minister, which resulted in their winning a wage raise and other important concessions.
Invigorated by their organizing victory, Queen Bee and Queen Shukla leveraged their union's new-founded political power to seek justice from the chemical company giants responsible for the horrendous gas leak disaster just five years before.
As you probably recall, in 1984, more than 27 tons of poisonous gases leaked from a storage tank at a Union Carbide pesticide factory into the heart of Bhopal city, killing 8,000 people instantly. More than 20,000 deaths in the years since have been attributed to the disaster.
Survivors and their children continue to suffer long-term health effects ranging from cancer and tuberculosis to birth defects and chronic fevers. Multiple studies have found mercury, nickel and other toxins in the local groundwater and dangerous levels of toxins including lead in the breast milk of women who live near the factory zone.
We are still finding children being born without lips, noses or ears. Sometimes complete hands are missing, and women have severe reproductive problems.
Since the leak in 1984 Bee has lost six family members to cancer, and she, herself, suffers from respiratory and vision problems from gas exposure. Shukla lost her husband and her health, and has one grandchild born with congenital deformities.
By 1994, ten years after the incident, most survivors had received less than $500 of Union Carbide's $470 million compensation payout, which has been mired in Indian bureaucracy and other delays. Dow Chemical, which merged with Union Carbide in 2001, maintains to this day that it has no liability in the industrial disaster.
Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla are strong women on a mission seek to justice for survivors of the Union Carbide disaster. The nonstop tenacious efforts instigated by these two Bhopal activists have ignited an international campaign in support of Bhopal's poison victims. Thousands of people joined protests in the United Kingdom, China, Spain, Thailand and Canada.
Among many other actions over the years, the two organized a 19-day hunger strike in New Delhi to call attention to their demands, which include a criminal trial for union Carbide officers, long term health monitoring, the cleanup of the site and surrounding areas which are still contaminated two decades later, and economic relief for those survivors who are too debilitated to work.
This protest was planned to coincide with a month-long "relay" hunger strike in front of the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. More than 1,500 people from 10 countries took part in what would become the first global hunger strike in solidarity with Bhopal survivors.
In 2003 Bee and Shukla confronted Dow officials at their offices in Mumbai and the Netherlands with hand-delivered samples of toxic waste. A tour of more than 10 cities across the U.S. led to a passionate protest at Dow's shareholder meeting in Michigan and a 12-day hunger strike and rally on New York's Wall Street.
The women call their campaign for an environmental and ethical clean up, Jhadoo Maaro Dow Ko "Beat Dow With a Broomstick." In a particularly saavy and symbolic action, they presented brooms to Dow Chemical Company officers.
In 2004, twenty years after the disaster, they were awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, the eco-Nobel prize. The $100,000 prize allows individuals to continue winning environmental victories against the odds and inspire ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the world.
Bee and Shukla's courage and tenacity have galvanized the grassroots in their own country and abroad. In the process, they've drawn low-income, illiterate women like themselves from the margins of society to the centre of a closely watched showdown whose endgame is to hold chemical companies accountable for the gas leak and its deadly legacy.
-The Goldman Environmental Foundation
Mesolithic rock painting at Ganeshghati,
near Bhopal, India, showing bee nests in a tree.
In their journey from disaster victims to grassroots activists, Queen Rashida Bee and Queen Champa Devi Shukla have had to overcome the enormous stigma of their poverty, their status as women in a male-dominated society, and, in Bee's case, illiteracy. Bee was seven years old when she went into purdah and had never even imagined that she could dare to step out of her home, let alone travel overseas to battle a big chemical company.
"A woman's life involves discarding relationships that she has known from infancy and adopting strangers as her own," according to Bee, referring to the cultural tradition of brides leaving their families to marry into those of their husbands. "If she can face the world outside at such a fundamental level, then why should any other struggle for empowerment scare her?"
The two women have been steadfast in supporting each other. They draw strength from each other's opposite and complimentary skills and talents. Bee is a visionary who sees the big picture and her oratory passion makes her the natural front woman. Shukla is quieter and steadfastly diligent, which makes her a formidable organizing powerhouse.
The women's partnership is all the more remarkable because Shukla is Hindu and Bee is Muslim, religious factions with a long history of conflict in India. Together, they have made the struggle for justice for survivors of Bhopal a powerful validation of women's role on the frontline of India's civil society.
Let us be inspired by these venerable Eco-Sheroes to speak our truth, to walk our talk, and to put our money where our mouth is.
The Queen does not invite hard times and trouble, but She chooses to use them well.
A Woman of Strength
A strong woman works out everyday to keep her body in shape...
But a woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.
A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...
But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear.
A strong woman won't let anyone get the better of her...
But a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.
A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
A woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be unexpected blessings, and capitalizes on them.
A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face...
But a woman of strength wears grace.
A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...
But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.
-Dee Cheeks © 2005
BHRAMARI DEVI ~ Goddess of the Black Bees
The Queen's Correspondence
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to The Queen's Chronicles. Please keep your comments coming. And do feel free to make suggestions about content you would like to see. Or anything else, for that matter. It is a joy to connect with you.
Letters In Response To The May 2008 Issue
Thank you for your insight into the FOUR seasons of a woman's life. Until I started reading your emails and website, I have had a hard time seeing myself in the Mother's season. At 30 and happily married, I have not felt the call of the Maiden for many years. I have never, however, wanted children, and thus have never been comfortable under the Mother Archetype. In your newsletter, you describe the Mother as one who nurtures not only children, but her home, her job, her career, her friends and other family, and a light went off in my head! Hey! That DOES sound like where I am now! I am finally content knowing I can be child-free AND still feel comfortable nurturing the lives around me! And when I get there, I'll be ready for my crown, too! Thank you so much again for all you do!
Mama Shana, LA
I just felt the need to send you a little note to thank you! Yesterday I read something you wrote about the fourth aspect of the Mother. I am 41 years old, my children are all out of the house, and I feel like I am starting a new life! I start a new job next week, I am on a path of self discovery, and I just feel like the world is a brand new place for me. Thank you for being right where I needed to find you yesterday! I look forward to celebrating this side of womanhood!!! Blessed be!
Thank you so much for sharing the quote that birthed Mother's Day. I never heard it before. It is such a powerful thing to remember in these times when the carnage continues. It reinforces another quote I have been carrying in my heart for several years:
If ever the world sees a time when women come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a power such as the world has never known.
-Matthew Arnold, 19th century British poet
I have never felt inspired to really celebrate Mother's Day. Not being a Mother and not inspired by the commercialism I had no cause to. I even forgot to call my Mother this year(she's 84). Now I do, thanks so much for bringing this statement "out of the closet." Blessings,
The last issue was very interesting, great words and meaning. However, I thought Mother's Day was started by a woman who was so sad at losing her mother, and gave out cards on the anniversary of that day. In England, it is within the Church of England calendar, i.e. the Sunday before Palm Sunday, where we would always get a small posey of flowers to take home after Sunday school. Now with Hallmark, this has changed. It would be interesting to know how it really did start, not to deny celebrating mothers at all times. Every day!! And one must ponder that here we are in the 21st century, and yet, a woman is still not earning the same dollar amount as her male co-worker!
Thank you so much for including us in your newsletter! Really like what you did and we appreciate your support. The world needs your wisdom. Thank you for all you do. Best,
Eileen Tanne, CEO
The Women's Education Group, LLC
Please send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles.
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?
Dear Queen Mama Donna,
I have been post-menopausal as of March 23, 2008. I am experiencing anxiety and depression. I am being prescribed Xanax and 2 anti-depressants. Are there any herbs that can help me? I use red clover tea, nettles, hops. Can you offer me any help? Thank you,
These herbs are said to be helpful in dealing with menopausal depression:
-Chaste tree: this herb helps to balance hormones, and can help ward off depression
-Dong quai: its purported healing properties include reducing estrogen deficiency
-Gingko biloba: decreases fatigue and depression and improves memory
However, I would like to suggest that your anxiety and depression are emotional in nature. Menopause signals a difficult midlife transition that is largely marked by loss. This can be a very scary, sad, and anxious time for women.
I would urge you to read my book, The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife, and visit the website www.thequeenofmyself.com for emotional and spiritual explanations of this big change of life, and to find lots of suggestions for how to deal with the midlife transition in a way that is healthy and honors your entire being.
Midlife can be a glorious adventure of designing and manifesting the life that we wish to lead and need not be depressing.
I am subscribing you to The Queen's Chronicles, my e-zine that is full of encouragement and inspiration for living a life of renewed purpose, passion and power. I will submit your question to our Queen's Court so that other women might provide you with some answers and ideas. With blessings for a majestic midlife,
xxQueen Mama Donna
Please send your responses to: email@example.com
Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles.
Turn Your Midlife Crisisinto Your Crowning Achievement!