The Queen's Chronicles
Inspiration for an Influential, Passionate and Powerful Maturity
September 2009
In This Issue
Superior Queen
Teacher of Courage

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.

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Some time ago I was asking myself what I can do in order to nourish and feed me in this difficult situation. One action was to order your book. Now it has arrived and I can't stop reading. It helps me a lot to understand what I am going through, how I can deal with it and what the outcome will be. You are a wonderful person and do a great work!
- Moira Schmidt, Germany

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I want to thank you for our Queen counseling session together. It was so incredibly supportive and enormously healing. It served as a strengthening and as a turning point for my relationship to my relationships.
- Lorraine, NY

Consult the
Midlife Midwife

bio portrait

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/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.

Ever since I first introduced The Queen as a helpful archetype for midlife women, I have received hundreds of requests for detailed instructions on how to become a Queen.
"Dear Mama Donna," women would write, "I want to be a Queen, too. How do I access my power? How can I feel good about myself? How do I change my life? How do I find magic and spiritual wisdom? How do I know what to do? How do I learn how to rule?"
The reality is that I cannot possibly know how anyone else will attain her Queendom, I only know how I came into mine, and that is largely through hindsight. The truth, my truth, at least, is that there is no one true truth. We must each find our own way in this world.
As a shaman, I teach through example, but not through dictum. I can and do offer information, exposure, personal experience, encouragement, inspiration, suggestions and support to my constituents, but I cannot - dare not - pass judgment or establish rules and laws. It is simply not for me to say.
When you come to me for help and spiritual guidance, I listen to your concerns and embrace your needs. I pat you on the back, give you a good, swift kick in the butt, or let you cry on my shoulder, as needed. I can tell you what I did in such and such situation, how I did it, what I learned from this or that lesson, but I cannot tell you what you should do. How do I know what your soul needs?
Only you know what you know. I can, of course, aid you in reaching into the well of your own deepest wisdom, and help you to hear the messages from your best inner Selves. And I can offer tools and practices to help you develop the confidence to follow your own purpose, path, passion and power.
A woman who I have been working with recently told me that I had changed her life. "Well, no, of course, I didn't, honey," I assured her. "You changed your own life." The fact of the matter remains that I could not give her what was not already hers.


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

Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it?
-Caroline Myss

A Queen Event
Near You

WoomanGathering, Queens
PA, June 2009




1/3 off reading for September Birthdays. In person or by phone.
For info: 718-857-1343

SEPTEMBER 18, 2009
Now is the time to weave our gathering baskets.
In order that we might collect and preserve our harvest, we need a container in which to collect it. What is the harvest that you are seeking? How will you keep it safe? Join us as we drum up our intentions.
Mama Donna's Tea Garden & Healing Haven
Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY
For info: 718-857-1343
Advance reservation required.
6 Mondays, 7PM
New group forming. Join in an empowering experience with a small group of other spiritual women who are also trying to keep their spiritual center in their daily lives. These evenings will keep you centered as you pursue your path.
Mama Donna's Tea Garden & Healing Haven
Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY
Advance reservations required: 718-857-1343
Join Mama Donna and friends for a ritual to reestablish our precarious balance and align it with the universe.
Pier 16 South Street Seaport.
Fulton Street at the river.
For info: 718-857-1343
The ceremony to welcome in Autumn will continue aboard ship as we sail into the sunset of the dark half of the year, for a sunset equinox cruise aboard the Pioneer.
Sailing from Pier 16 South Street Seaport.
Fulton Street at the river.
For info: 212-748-8786
Advance reservation required.
$50/members, $60/non members (includes ceremony, wine, refreshments and favors)
Join Mama Donna for a sunset celebration of the first day of Fall. This is a family friendly event. Bring kids, dogs, drums, percussions and plenty of spirit.
Grand Army Plaza, Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn.
Meet at the Fountain. 2/3 train to Grand Army Plaza
For info: 718-857-1343
FRIDAY, 7:00 - 9:30 PM
Mama Donna offers 15-minute readings for only $25!
Kris Waldherr Art and Words
1501 Newkirk Avenue
(entrance on Marlborough Road, around the corner)
Brooklyn, NY 11226
For info: 347-406-5811
Free wine and refreshments.
SATURDAY, 11:00AM - 5:00PM
Mama Donna will conduct a memorial service for Marion Weinstein, beloved spiritual teacher. Please come and pay your respects.
Mama Donna's Spirit Shop will be at the park all day with special ceremonial supplies from around the world for all your ritual needs. Stop by and say hello!
Battery Park, Manhattan.
1, 5, W trains
For info: 718-857-2343
Free with a can or box of food for the hungry
1/3 off reading for October Birthdays. In person or by phone.
For info: 718-857-1343
OCTOBER 16, 2009
Interview with Sue Oliver on Passions and Possibilities Radio
OCTOBER 22, 2009
Interview with Laurie Huston on Intuitive Soul Radio
SATURDAY, 3:00 - 6:00 PM
A Spirit Support Skills Workshop
with Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman. Learn the basics about the tarot. This beginners workshop will be required for future tarot classes.
Mama Donna's Tea Garden & Healing Haven
Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY
For info: 718-857-1343
$40. If prepaid
$50. At the door
SATURDAY, 11:00AM - 2:00 PM
A Spirit Support Skills Workshop
with Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman. Learn the basics about the tarot. This beginners workshop will be required for future tarot classes.
Mama Donna's Tea Garden & Healing Haven
Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY
For info: 718-857-1343
$40. If prepaid
$50. At the door
Mama Donna's Blessing Band orientation meeting and
rehearsal for the world famous parade.
Contact Mama Donna to join the Blessing Band.
For info: 718-857-1343
$25 to cover costuming and supplies
Rehearsal and costume/prop prepration.
Contact Mama Donna to join the Blessing Band.
For info: 718-857-1343
Mama Donna and her glorious Blessing Band lead the world famous parade with blessings.
Contact Mama Donna to join the Blessing Band.
For info: 718-857-1343
Interview with Aricia La France on Intuitive Soul Radio 
1/3 off reading for November Birthdays. In person or by phone.
For info: 718-857-1343
Monday, 7:30PM
Celebrate the Latin American Day of the Dead on one of the eight power days in the wheel of the year. Please bring death related objects for the altar (which you will take home with you.) and a candle in a holder.
Mama Donna's Tea Garden & Healing Haven
Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY
For info: 718-857-1343
Advance reservation required.
1/3 off reading for December Birthdays. In person or by phone.
For info: 718-857-1343
DECEMBER 13, 2009
10:00 AM
Mama Donna is the guest speaker. She will offer a special solstice season ritual. All are welcome.
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Poconos

940A Ann Street
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
For info: www.uupoconos.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
donna speaking

Mama Donna shared her exciting vision through presentations and workshops, which were interesting, entertaining and empowering. She provided a new perspective on what it means to be a menopausal or postmenopausal woman, actually a woman in the prime of her life, with skills, energy and vision. Queen Mama Donna perfectly embodies such skill, energy and vision.
- Kathy Jones, Director
International Goddess Conference
Glastonbury, England.

The Queen's Emporium

Anita Roddick

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!

Back to school special!
Buy a Queen T-Shirt and receive a Queen Ruler for free.
There is no shipping cost in the USA.
Wear Your Sovereignty
A T-shirt fit for a jogging, gardening or yoga Queen.
100% cotton.


A Measure of Power
A wooden ruler inscribed with an impressive list of great women monarchs and heads of state from around the world.


The Queen's Emporium

The Queen
on the Record

Read and listen to Queen Mama Donna's words of information and inspiration.

Recent Articles about QMD:
NY Arts Examiner
New York Times
Irregular Times: New Unfit to Print
Village Voice
Whole Life Times
Common Ground
Chicago Tribune
Houston Chronicle
The Columbia State
Bloomington Pantagraph
Lexington Herald-Leader
The Fort Meyers News-Press
The New York Observer
Boston Patriot Ledger
Minneapolis Star Tribune
ODE Magazine
Gaia Community
Arizona Daily Star
Variety Magazine column Stylephile feature
Martha Stewart online
CA Psychics Newsletter

Recent Articles by QMD:
*Soulful Living
Women's Wellness Magazine
Global Grind
SIBYL Magazine
In LA Magazine

Regular Columns:

Always in Season
Spirit Living
Creative Essence Magazine

Ask Your Mama
The Oracle
New Age Journal
UPI Religion and Spirituality
Wisdom Magazine

Wisdom of the Queen
Aspire Magazine

*Mama Donna Blesses the Fleet
Blessing of the Hudson River
Eggs on End spring Equinox Ceremony with Mama Donna
Mama Donna Blesses the Halloween Parade
Inauguration Purification Ritual. Part 1
Inauguration Purification Ritual. Part 2
Stock Exchange Blessing with Mama Donna
Mama Donna House Blessing
Mama Donna Blesses Wall Street
Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman
Vernal Equinox with Mama Donna
Interview with Marion Weinstein

Recent Radio Interviews:
*Charmed Life Radio with Victoria Moran
Nurturing the Nurturers with
It's All About Romance with Al 
Cole. Part II
Dr. Teena Cahill
Authors Read
Mama Donna's New Year Radio Special
Mama Donna's Christmas Radio Special
Living Juicy Radio
Positive Living Radio
Romance Radio
Journey to Self #2
Full Power Living
Journey to Self #1
Women's Radio
Mother's Day Special
Soul Connections
Karen Tate Radio Show
Studio1 Thinktank
Blogtalk Radio
KZYX Radio

Women Talk Live Radio
Heal Yourself Talk Radio with Rebecca White
Personal Life Media
Podcast Directory

Daily OM

Wikipedia listing:
Donna Henes

Social Networks:
Follow Queen Mama Donna on

Queen Mama Donna was named Baby Boom Woman Blogger to watch out for in 2008 for The Queen's Chronicles by Virtual Woman's Day!

* indicates newest entries

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May you be successful in your endeavors and blessed with spiritual and material abundance.

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Advertising listings in the Queen's Chronicles are available for $50/per issue with significant discounts for ongoing listings.

For more information and to place your order contact: thequeenofmyself@aol.com or call 718-857-1343.

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Our extended circle of Queens includes some mightily talented women. Please support them by availing yourself of their superior services and by buying their excellent products.

Specializing in Soulful Web Site Design and Creative Marketing Solutions for Soulful Businesses & Professionals

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Transcription of Teleseminars, Podcasts, and More. "I hear you!"

Dr. Susan Corso
Omnifaith spiritual insights for
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It is my hope that as more and more women rise to reign in the fullest potential of our supremacy, we will harness our purpose, passion, and power and direct it toward creating a more balanced and peaceful world. This is the legacy of Her majesty.

Lucretia's Crown

Turn Your
Midlife Crisis
into Your Crowning Achievement!

Hail Queens!
Fall always feels like New Year to me. It carries so much more significance than does January 1. The first crisp hint of a chill in September always shakes me out of my summer lethargy, wakes me, makes me more alert. It focuses and concentrates my attention. I can smell the possibilities of a fresh start in the air. 
Reinvigorated by the sunny days and laze of summer, life now begins again in earnest in schools, government agencies, cultural institutions and businesses across the country. There is an unmistakable aura of enthusiasm and energy in the air, a palpable sense of intensified determination. This annually renewed resolve seems so much more natural than the resolutions we make at the turn of the calendar year.
Fall jump starts everything, including itself. Labor Day has become the popular indicator of autumn, rather than the equinox, which occurs three weeks later. In the same way, Memorial Day, which predates the solstice by three weeks ushers in the civic summer season. By this reckoning, school starts in the fall.
Most of us have been indelibly imprinted with the excitement and optimism of the first day of school. There is nothing quite so inspiring as buying blank notebooks, pencils you have to sharpen yourself and some brand new white blouses. So clean, so fresh, so hopeful.
The Jewish New Year falls in the fall. My memories of the High Holy Days that I celebrated as a child with my family have little to do with organized religion. Rather, I remember a domestic sense of auspicious new beginnings: major house cleaning, usually a new outfit to wear to temple and best of all, we ate off of the good china with the real silverware.
I think of my birthday as being in the fall, but it is actually three or four days before the equinox. Our birthday is our own personal New Year. It is an annual reunion that we have with ourselves, and attendance is required. Our birthday is our periodic opportunity to take serious personal stock. "How am I doing?" as old Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, would always ask. Like any new beginning, our birthday is an ideal time to sharpen our priorities, realign our perspective and rededicate ourselves to living the very best life that we can. 
How old! and yet how far I am from being what  I should be... I shall from this day take the firm resolution to study... to keep my attention always well fixed on whatever I am about, and strive everyday to become less trifling and more fit for what, if Heaven wils (sic) it, I'm someday to become!
- Princess ( Queen-to-be) Victoria of Great Britain
  In her diary on her 18th birthday
Every autumn I take time out of time to evaluate my past experiences and actions and to prepare myself mentally, physically and spiritually for the coming year. I usually retreat to some extent and fast to some degree during the two-week period surrounding my birthday. The new and full Harvest Moon, and the equinox usually coincide.
This experience is intended to center me and slow me down. It is my birthday gift to myself. During my fast/retreat I devote myself completely to cleansing and centering myself: body, mind and spirit in readiness for the future. I rinse my system with fresh water and teas, I clean my house and altars and I use yoga, meditation and t'ai chi to flush my mind clear of the mental detritus that I have accumulated.
Since the early 1980's, I have kept a birthday book. Therein, I ritually record an accounting of the past year. I process my impressions and my life lessons. How have I grown? What have I learned? And what is it that I just can't seem to get through my thick skull? I plot my progress. I ponder my possibilities. I pour over my problems. I plan my goals.
This civic fall also marks the eight-year anniversary of September 11. Let us mark this propitious time by reflecting honestly upon our vulnerability in today's terrifying political/economic climate, our culpability in the deadly repercussions that arise from our own chauvinistic attitudes and deeds, as well as our impressive individual and communal capacity for extraordinary acts of courage and devotion.
May this new season signal the beginning of a new era of planetary peace and plenty.
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
- Edith Lovejoy Pierce
With best blessings for a new beginning,

montessori  Dr. Maria Montessori was born in the
  provincial town of Ancona, Italy in
  1870, the same year that it became a
  unified, free nation. The energy of that
  confluence permeated her personality,
  resulting in a free and unified person
  who defied the traditionally dictated
  roles and relationships between male
  and female, teacher and student. From a very early age she operated her life as though she could and would effect it
The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth. From this almost mystic affirmation there comes what may seem a strange conclusion: that education must start from birth.
When she was five, Maria's family moved to the more cosmopolitan and sophisticated Rome so that she could be exposed to culture and enjoy a better education. At 13 she entered a technical school to study engineering, only to discover that she did not wish to continue on this path. Her family was relieved that she rejected such a masculine study.
Instead, she pursued the study of medicine and became the first woman doctor in Italy. She graduated in 1896 with a score of 100 out of a possible 105. Her diploma had to be altered to note her gender.
Immediately after her graduation, her life took off like a meteor. She was immediately chosen to represent Italy in a Women's international Congress in Berlin. Upon her return she was appointed to be the surgical assistant at Santo Spirito. She was also working at the Children's hospital and had a private practice.

In 1897 Montessori had a revelation. "I felt that mental deficiency presented chiefly a pedagogical, rather than mainly a medical, problem." The children she was working with could not be treated in the hospitals. They needed to be trained in schools. Given her new insight she began to transfer her time towards perfecting education in order to meet the real needs of children.

She developed an educational theory, which combined ideas from medicine, education and anthropology. In 1900 she began to direct a small school in Rome for 'challenged' youth. There she employed methods that were both experimental and miraculous. "We should really find the way to teach the child now, before making him (sic) execute a task." 

By 1907 Montessori began to assert the theories and methods of pedagogy that she had been developing. She began by directing a system of daycare centers for working class children in one of Rome's worst neighborhoods.
The children entered her program as "wild and unruly." Much to her surprise they began to respond to her teaching methods. She always held them in the highest regard and taught her teachers to do likewise. From the beginning, amazing things happened. Children younger than three and four years old began to read, write and initiate self-respect.

The Montessori method encouraged what Maria saw as the children's innate ability to "absorb" culture. In her book, The Absorbent Mind. she wrote, "And then we saw them 'absorb' far more than reading and writhing...it was botany, zoology, mathematics, geography, and all with the same ease, spontaneously, and with out getting tired." 

Although her methods were criticized for being too detached, rigorous, and even harsh for children, they did seem to facilitate a more genuine, natural experience. She was often heard saying, "I studied my children, and they taught me how to teach them." This may seem common for us to do today, but Montessori was the first to view education in this manner.

Montessori pioneered other modern educational practices including a system of math learning materials for very young children that allowed four and five year-olds to explore their interests where heretofore they had been considered to be too young. "To deny them (the children) the right to learn because we, as adults think that they shouldn't is illogical and typical of the way schools have been run," she said at the time.
montessori & kids

She was also the first in education to have child-sized tables and chairs made for the students. And she created the Game of Silence, somewhat like meditation, where each child was able to start the day with a sense of peace and focus. She believed that the learning environment was just as important as the learning itself.

Her methods completely contradicted the educational theories and practice popular during her day, when it was not common to treat children with such a high level of respect. Back then, society felt that children should be seen and not heard. But she saw her children as they really were and heard their cries for true education. One day one of her teachers was late and the students actually crawled through the window and got right to work. According to her, "The greatest sign of success for a teacher. is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist."

Word of the success of her methods spread and won her international recognition as an educational reformer, Dr. Montessori devoted all of her time and energy for the next 40 years to traveling all over the world, lecturing, writing and establishing training programs. She developed schools throughout Europe and North America and then spent nearly two decades living in India and Sri Lanka where she trained thousands of teachers in the Montessori curriculum and methodology. In her later years, Educate for Peace became a guiding principle, which underpinned her work.

Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.
Queen Maria Montessori died in the Netherlands in 1952, after a lifetime devoted to the study of child development. Her early work centered on women's rights and social reform and evolved to encompass a totally innovative approach to education. Hers was a vision, proven in practice, where truly no child was left behind.

If an educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only that one which tends to help toward the complete unfolding of life. To be thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks.

Superior Queen

bayes  I went to Superior Elementary School in
  East Cleveland, Ohio. Named ostensibly
  after Superior Road, the street where it
  was located at the foot of Superior Hill,
  Superior School was, indeed, a superior
  This was due entirely to the singular
  visionary efforts of the extraordinary
  principal, Wilma Bayes, my childhood

  The top picture at the left is not Wilma
  Bayes. She was not famous enough to
  warrent a Google image. But it is a
  reasonable likeness stylistically - another
  school principal who has the same general
  look, but a much more severe visage than did Miss Bayes. The bottom picture, another school principal, captures her gaze and warm, strong demeanor, at least in my affectionate memory of her.
She was the last of her breed of dedicated spinster schoolteachers. When she started her career in the early years of the 20th century, it was illegal for teachers to marry. So she chose to devote her life to educating and expanding the horizons of the students she loved. Wilma Bayes had been principal of Superior School for probably 40 years by the time I knew her. She was principal there when my mother was in the same elementary school in the late 1920s.
Miss Bayes was a spinster, all right. She spun devotion, passion and compassion; knowledge, understanding and practice; creative individuality and community spirit; art and science, and most seminal for me - ritual. (By the way, seminal does not refer to semen, but to Semele, an ancient Moon Goddess. But I digress.)
It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought - that is to be educated.
- Edith Hamilton, Anthropologist
I have a Master's degree in education and have read my share of educational theories, philosophies and programs. I have been in and out of many hundreds of public, private, parochial and charter schools as a teacher, teacher trainer and special guest presenter, and I have never seen one anywhere that was nearly as innovative as the one I attended 50-some years ago.
Though I do not know for sure whether she was influenced by John Dewey or Maria Montessori, Miss Bayes was, like them, an innovative proponent and practitioner of hands-on learning or experiential education. We did, indeed, learn by doing and creative thinking was encouraged. No, demanded. I never took a multiple choice or true/false test until junior high school and did very poorly on standardized tests when I first was exposed to them. All of our testing was though essay writing. The one thing I learned for sure in Superior School was non-standardized thinking.
Our curriculum and class schedule was also revolutionary. We only had regular classroom studies on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday was devoted to community and citizenship. In the morning there would be an educational assembly where we would watch nature films, hear special lectures, listen to stories of the old world from foreign born parents, and frequently see slide shows of Miss Bayes's exotic travels.
The afternoon was devoted to community service. All of the students in the school were assigned to special clubs, each of which was conducted by one of the teachers, not necessarily our own. Each club performed a duty for the school or for the general community or taught a useful practical skill. As I recall, the choices included crossing guards, tutoring of deaf students, gardening, touch up painting, Red Cross first aid, lip reading and sign language interpretation, and old age home visitations.
Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.
- Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and Director,
Children's Defense Fund (see May 2008 issue of The Queen's Chronicles)
Every class in the school had a year-long service project to benefit the school. One year my class got to repaint the gigantic world globe, 12 feet in diameter, that took up an entire alcove in the second floor hallway. It actually took us the entire year complete the detailed painting and stenciling, but you can bet my grasp of geography is very good!
Fridays were given over completely to the arts. Every Friday morning featured an assembly of music, drama, or dancing presented by a different class each week. These were fairly elaborate productions, and since there were only two classes in each grade K-6, every class had to put together about three programs a year.
In the afternoon we divided into clubs again, this time to pursue our chosen art, craft or musical instrument. Over the years I learned to draw; paint; weave baskets; make, glaze and fire pottery; knit; quilt; cook; play the flutophone and the autoharp; and folk dance.

The sciences received equal emphasis. Every spring, the 5th and 6th grade students were sent to a week-long science camp.Our studies were intensive and all inclusive. We learned how to make strict hospital corners on our cots, studied flora and fauna, learned to use microscopes, collected and prepared wild food and used telescopes at night to learn to identify the constellations and the myths about them.
Superior School was in a very diverse working class area with a large immigrant community, some of whom like the Cubans and Hungarians, were war refugees. Miss Bayes was my first tour guide into the delicious realm of multiculturalism. She was a fantastic community builder and produced wonderful family programs. The PTA sponsored frequent community potluck suppers where the entire student body along with their families would come together to eat dinner and chat. I have very fond memories of Mrs. Papadopoulos' moussaka, Mrs. Russo's pasta with red sauce, and my mom's mandelbroit.
You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.
- Ethel Barrymore, Actor
Around Halloween the entire school worked to produce a fair in the cafeteria. Classes were put to work making signs, constructing game booths, decorating, making programs, signs and tickets. Everyone came to the Halloween fair in costume and spent the night playing games and eating sweet treats from around the world. In the springtime there was an evening Cake Walk with the cakes donated by all the mothers and many of the teachers.
There were several other all-school social events, my favorite of which were the sing-a-longs. We would gather on a crisp autumn evening, a school night no less, children, parents, siblings and teachers and their families, around a huge bonfire in the park across the street. Miss Bayes herself handed out song sheets and we would all sing American folk songs and spirituals and roast s'mores under the stars. How fabulous was that?
Every winter the two 6th grade classes painted the huge two-story-high windows in the stairwells, one with scenes and symbols of Christmas and the other with Chanukah themes. This was really special since the only two Jewish children in the school were my brother and me. This was before the 1960s creation of Kwanzaa, but trust me, had there been more windows there would have been a Kwanzaa mural for it, and for Divali and Soyal, as well.
Miss Bayes was a Queen Mistress of Ceremony. The ritual she designed for 6th grade graduation was called "Clappingdiploma Out." All of the students in the school lined up along the walls on either side of the long central corridor on the main floor. The graduating students walked the length of the hallway in a stately single file. As they passed, the entire school applauded, and kept applauding as one by one they walked right out of the front door, leaving the school behind. It was so simple. So moving. So perfectly transformational. I can still feel the thrill of my own Clapping Out. How sweet it was to pass my brother's second grade class and see him grinning toothlessly and waving at me, proud of his big sister. How can I ever describe the profound sense of change when I walked out of my beloved school and into my terrible teens.
Of all my fabulous memories of Queen Wilma, the best was when she defended me to my own mother. When I was in the third or fourth grade, my mom dragged me into Miss Bayes' office to bemoan my terrible handwriting and to complain that I was not being taught Gregg penmanship properly. Miss Bayes' turned to her former student and replied mildly, "So, she will type." Oh, ecstasy!
Beatrix Potter said, "Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality." And I say, "Thank Goddess I went to school. It steeped me in originality." I am ever indebted to Miss Bayes.

Teacher of Courage

Benazir Hotaki  Benazir Hotaki's life-long work began
  when she was appointed as a teacher at
  the Malalai School in Afghanistan. She
  later served as the headmistress and
  principle of several schools in Kabul.
  During her career as an educator, she
  was awarded numerous medals of
  honor, certificates and commendations.
  She was named Teacher of the Year four times and once Mother of the Year. She has frequently represented Afghanistan as a cultural and political emissary.

She was a pioneer of the Afghani women's movement and has published extensively in defense of girl's education in innumerable academic journals. She struggled to advocate for peace and reconciliation between warring factions during the brutal Taliban regime. But when women were banned from education and employment, Hotaki was forced to seek refuge in Pakistan, where she continued her activities in exile.

Today Queen Hotaki serves as a head of the Council of Media at the Ministry of Information and Culture in Afghanistan, while at the same time railing against the systematic abuse of women and girls.

We're caged. All doors are closed to us. All we can do is cook. We're not human beings any longer. We only eat, drink, and sleep, like animals.

islam bookA very vocal proponent of equal rights for women in both social and political spheres, her main aim is to encourage women to take part in the peace efforts and reconstruction process in Afghanistan.

Our feisty Queen has a powerful ally in German Chancellor Angela Merke who has directed the German Army in Afghanistan that their main priority is to build and protect schools for girls. Queen Benazir needs all the help she can get, as the prognosis for the education for girls has been grim as of late.

Resuming the schooling of Afghanistan's girls became a much-celebrated post-Taliban achievement for the international community, but that success is now at risk. Six schools in the northern region of Kunduz have closed following Taliban threats in recent months. It has gotten so dangerous that the German army says it can't protect them any longer.

Afghan girls were forbidden to attend school under the girl with acid faceTaliban's rule and many conservative extremist groups continue to oppose the idea. Militants in southern Afghanistan assaulted schoolgirls this past fall - driving up on motorcycles yelling obscenities and spraying acid in their faces. Several schools have been burnt down to the ground.

In May a girls' school in northeastern Afghanistan was hit with an apparent poison gas attack, requiring the hospitalization of 84 students and 11 teachers who collapsed with headaches and nausea. The case marked the region's third alleged poisoning at a girls' school within roughly two weeks.

Benazir Hotaki & kids

Benazir Hotaki's biggest supporters are the schoolgirls, themselves, who keep coming back to school. Threats, beatings, burnings, acid, nothing stops them from their dogged pursuit of education. Nothing! These are the future Queens of their country. You know they are going to change things!

The Queen's Correspondence

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 Summer 2009 Issue:

You sure have a way of honoring our sister Queens that makes us all feel our royalty. Thank you for that. I commend you on your work, good and true. Hopefully it will continue out in ripples that touch many more women everywhere.
- Sarah, FL
How inspiring. I live in a city and don't have a garden, but this issue made me more appreciative of our farmer's market. And like all of the issues of The Queen's Chronicles, it made me so proud to be a woman in my prime.
- Beth, IL
Thank you for this beautiful reminder of some of the wonders of summer and our awesome MOTHER!!!  Just lovely! Blessings,
- Cat, NY
Thank you for The Queen's Chronicles. They are inspiring!
- Catherine, NJ
As women we plant the seeds of the future. Babies, careers, books, art, food. We have roots in our foremothers and we continue to blossom and fill the world with our glory. As you always say, "Hail Queens!"
- Sharlene, AZ
I so love your newsletter. I just want you to know how much it means to me to read your words of comfort and wisdom.
- Leslie, MA
The garden issue was wonderful. It made me think about where my food comes from and what it takes to get it on the table. In the busyness of life, I take so much for granted. I do not have the space for a garden, but I will be more conscious of supporting my local farmer's market. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of clean, fresh food.
- Suzanne, MI
Thank you for continuing to send out such wonderful information. I always learn something from The Chronicles and I always feel so enriched and inspired.
- Margo, NH
These gardens are awesome. In beauty always,
- Monique, NY
I am going to buy a tomato plant and name it Queenie!
- Darlene, ME
Letters in Response to
Queen Mama Donna's Writings Elsewhere:

In Remembrance of 9/11
Wow, what a gorgeous poignant picture you paint with your words.
- Jeanmarie, Canada
I write with tears streaming and gratitude that you shared this story. Many blessings,
- Rose, NY
Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful piece of Peace work. Such a good reminder of how to empower ourselves even at the darkest of times when we seem the most helpless. These times  often serve me extremely well to remember my magic. Sometimes as the days move along rather gently, the need is less, and we can forget. Reminds me I had best go out and get to work in my Sanctuary.
- Flash, FL
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing this heart piece with me. You are always loved and appreciated.
- Nancy, NC
Thank you so much for this, it's just beautiful. I happened to look up at the clock at about 9:15 this morning and then paused: to take stock, say a prayer for the living and the dead; and to realize how much my life has changed in the past eight years, all for the better. I hope this is true for you, too.
- Cat, NY
Thanks for this lovely remembrance, Donna, and thanks for sharing what you did right at the time. I am glad that at least you were remembering and chanting in a lovely environment. Walk in beauty on your path.
- Beverly, NY
Your piece about 911 is moving beyond words. My heart ached for you to learn about the attacks so far from your hometown and so unable to return. The panic, fear and grief surely was overwhelming. Your response to that situation was profoundly moving and healing...and so in keeping with your deep reverence for the Divine Mystery.  Thank you for sending it along. I have shared it with others who I know will be equally moved. Blessings and Peace to you on this day of remembrance. Love,
- Queen Mary Immaculate, CO
Thank you for this. It is helping me to unlock my feelings that I must hide away in order to manage my days. I am grateful for this peek in, and for the helpful tools to deal. Thank you for sharing from your heart. In light, much love,
- Alicia, NY
Thank you so very much for this beautiful sharing. I lit candles and sang for everyone touched by 9/11. I work with amazing Oshun as well, so I really connected to your experience. Interesting how you were protected from being in the physical energy of it but holding space for your beloved home and altar from a very sacred place! Thanks for your generosity. Blessings,
- Gail, CT
Your story is touching - thanks for writing and sharing who you are in the world. Love,
- Jacqueline, CA

Please send your responses to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.
Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles.

The Queen's Court

Lucretia's Crown  The Queen's Court is a gathering of
sovereign women of a certain age - 
  our dear peers - who graciously offer
  information, 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 council/ 
  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?  

Fall is certainly the time when we are gearing up for a busy new season full of work and responsibility. But it is also crucial for us to take seriously our responsibility for our own care and well-being. For most of us who are over-committed, over-worked and over-extended, this means being especially mindful of our need for rest and relaxation, and dare I say, fun! (Do you hear me, Queen Mama Donna? I am speaking to you!)
I just received these two letters from sister Queens telling me how they take space for themselves for centering and pleasure. The timing was perfect, since I have been trying desperately to carve out a much needed retreat for myself this fall. Now, after having read these, I am more motivated than ever. Thank you Jenny and Rebecca.
So what do you do? To soothe, to pamper, to nurture, to center, to calm, to heal, to inspire, to excite your Self? How do you do it? When do you do it? And most importantly, do you do it?!

Do all older ladies dance? I feel kind of silly at times, but I've added dancing to my morning yoga/stretching because it's great for balance. It does a really good job of working out my back, and it's also fun. I refer to it as "aerobics." I'm wondering if lots of middle-aged woman out there do it and don't tell anybody. Do you dance by yourself? Do you do it every morning when you step out of the shower?  Do your teenage children look at you askance?  Or is it something you reserve for magical spaces?  I'd love to know. Every year I get older, I want to reclaim more of what feels good. I feel like the aging of women is uncharted territory. Almost everything we've learned about it is wrong. How do we replace that with an accurate picture of who we are and who we are becoming?
- Jenny, Germany

Old Lady Dance

I read your article "Wisdom of the Queen" in Aspire Magazine and thought this is so true how we never give time to ourselves cause we think we are not worth it! Well, I was tired of putting myself last. I started lashing out at my kids in frustration. I thought "I need to do something!" So I decided to spend some time with myself and go to the beach at night, which is right up the street, and just sit and listen to the waves and meditate or read a good book! I have to say that I have a little more patience now!
- Rebecca, MA

Please send your questions or responses to thequeenofmyself@aol.com. Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles.

Kudos to the Queens!

clapping hands rotated  We deceive ourselves when we fancy
  that only weakness needs support.
  Strength needs it far more."

  - Anne Sophie Swetchine

  Lynn Book, NC; Janet Goldner, NY;
  Ilona Granet, NY; Donna Henes, NY;
  Christine de Lignieres, NY; Linda Montano, NY; Beverly Naidus, WA; Reynolds, NY; Miriam Sharon, Israel;
Annie Sprinkle, CA; Linda Stein, NY; Robin Tewes, NY; Diane Torr, Scotland; Regina Vater, TX; Martha Wilson, NY on the exhibitions of their artwork.
Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens, CA, on their
Eco-Sexual Blue Wedding To The Sea, their 7th wedding ceremony/performance extravaganza.
Marie Friend, OR, Star; Deena Metzger, CA, Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems; Weslea Sidon, et al, ME, Still on the Island: A Collection of Poems inspired by Mount Desert Island; Patricia Sheehy, CT, Dancing Under the Full Moon: 101 Ways to Attracting Money into Your Life; Laura Stamps, SC, Call of the Witches: Book Three of the Witchery Series; Terese Svoboda, NY, Weapon Grade; Terry Wolverton, CA,Labrys Reunion; on their new books.   
Smoky Trudeau, CA on her marriage to Scott Zeidel.
Marcy Gordon, NY on her new home; and Sherli Evans, CA, on her cross country move.

Send your good news, achievements, accomplishments, successes and  celebrations so that our international circle of sovereign sisters can send you blessings and accolades.
And we are glad to so. It is a joy and a privilege to share in the fortune of another woman. I recently heard Oprah say the saddest thing ever - "The hardest thing about being successful is having someone to be glad for you."

It takes a centered and confident Queen to break that pattern. There are 60 million thrones out there. One for each of us. There is plenty of purpose, passion and power for us all. May we use it well!

It is important that you recognize your progress and take pride in your accomplishments. Share your achievements with others. Brag a little. The recognition and support of those around you is nurturing.
- Rosemarie Rossetti

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:

  Art: Garden Lady

Amalya, CA; Arianna, NY; Carol, NY; Chrissie, NY; Devidam NY; Edie, PA; Ellen, NY; Gail, OH; Geraldine, ID; Glenys, Australia; Jill, PA; Jo, AZ; Kimi, NJ; Letitia, VA; Lucia, TX; Lynne, NY; Reid, DE; Shirley, IN; Susan, NY; Terry, NY; and Yvette, NY.

May Their Spirits Rest in Peace:

Shelley Lynn Aboud, HI
Mary "Mandy"Doolittle, DC
Audrey Flynn, FL
Martha Lindsey, AK
Carrie Robertson, MI
Ana Sisnet, TX
Mary Travers, CT
Marion Weinstein, NY
Mary Wilbon, 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.

It is not good for all our wishes to be filled; through sickness we recognize the value of health; through evil, the value of good; through hunger, the value of food; through exertion, the value of rest.
- Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Where the Queens Are

Lucretia's Crown

I read your book - every insightful page - and my vision was deepened forever through your words. I'm not going to bore you with the details - and there are many details - but let us just say that where I was weak I am now strong and where I was blind I can now see. It even affected my paintings. I made a painting of a Kurdish Gypsy Queen, Rosmari Kalderas who lives in Sweden.
I'm one of those people who walks around amazed - so amazed I can barely speak - or I'm unamazed, feeling like a dusty suburb of foreclosed homes. So, when I came across photos of Rosmari squeezing her friend's boobs (gypsy women tweak the tits of their friends as a gesture of affection) and twirling her skirt - this real Gypsy woman momma grandmother who calls herself Granny Rose - I flipped. I fell in love with her energy.
I wanted more from the painting - but I am still learning how to paint, so nothing is ever turning out how I wish it would - how I feel it in my mind. That said, I just love Queen Rosmari. And I love you and your book.
- Alison Mackie, MI

gypsy queen
Please Submit Your Royal Reports

Tell us about your Queen Group: who, what, where, 
   when, why?
What Queenly topics do you explore?
What projects do you engage in?
Describe some golden moments.
Send pictures!