The Queen's Chronicles
Inspiration for an Influential, Passionate and Powerful Maturity
December 2010
In This Issue
The Queen of Elaine's, R.I.P.
Les Salonnières
Hostesses with the Mostest
The Pleasures of Life

Circle of One
By Deborah Roth

Circle of One Book Cover
Calling all overwhelmed, under-nurtured women! Are you ready to re-discover the divinely Feminine wisdom and power that resides within your being? With Deborah Roth's new e-book, you'll learn a new framework and language to embrace the cycles of your physical body, connect to the daily, monthly and seasonal rhythms of the earth, and to the cycles of your life. This gentle, user-friendly guide offers simple ceremonies to support you through life's big changes, as well as through the ups and downs of everyday living... click on the image or here to begin your journey back to your own Circle of One!
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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 currently writes for the Huffington Post, Beliefnet and UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum. She has created and officiated public ceremonies for two mayors and a governor and served as the ritual consultant on Hollywood films. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she offers intuitive tarot readings and spiritual counseling and works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.


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I just felt the need to send you a little note to thank you! 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! I look forward to celebrating this side of womanhood!!!
- Kelly, IN


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My dear sister Queens,

Writing The Queen's Chronicles is a joy and an honor - a labor of true love - but, the fact remains that it takes a great deal of time and effort and requires the services of a techno-cyber Queen to be able to offer it each month. Consequently, after two years of publishing, the royal coffers are sadly diminished and in desperate need of replenishing.
Your donations will allow me to continue to provide you with a monthly offering of information and inspiration for an influential, passionate and powerful maturity.
I thank you so much for your royal support. With your help, The Queen's Chronicles can maintain its mission to promote meaning, moxie, magic and majesty to women in midlife.
With regal blessings,
xxQueen Mama Donna



Thank you, Mama Donna, for helping me to get back on track. "I once was lost and now I am found!" Things are still difficult, but at least I have a vision and determination.
- Shirlee, KS

Are you looking for meaning, moxie, magic and majesty in midlife?
Consult the
Midlife Midwife™

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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

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
- Mary Engelbreit


Seva Retreat
Crowned Queens
Seva Retreat Center, Elkins Park, PA


1/3 off reading for January Birthdays.
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Saturday, 11:00 AM
A Spirit Support Skills Workshop
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
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Wednesday, 7:00 PM EST
Featuring Mama Donna

A Teleseminar Series of the best and brightest experts in menopause, middle-age and transitioning life in positive ways! Exciting speakers, teachers and mentors who will help you gain great insight, tips and guidance in making this the best time of your life!




1/3 off reading for February Birthdays. In person or by phone.
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Wednesday, 7:30 PM
One of the eight power days in the wheel of the year. A fire ceremony to bless the tiny spark of light in the dark, foretelling of spring. Please bring 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.
Buy Now

Saturday, 11:00 AM
A Spirit Support Skills Workshop
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
Buy Now

Friday, 7:00 - 10:00 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, 12:00 - 6:00 PM
Join Mama Donna for a cup of red tea and cookies in the lovely Healing Haven Garden. Avail yourself of the enticing specials on all love charms and amorous items.

Mama Donna's Tea
Garden & Healing Haven
Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY
Advance reservations required: 718-857-1343

Love specials also available online.

MARCH 1-31

1/3 off reading for March Birthdays.
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MARCH 10, 2010

Tuesday, 12:00 PM EST
Interview with Aricia E. LaFrance on WEUplift Radio


7:00 PM EDT Event starts

7:21 PM EDT Equinox moment



A family friendly event. Bring kids, drums, percussion instruments and plenty of spirit.

Call to volunteer.
Manhattan (Call for venue)



Bring the Queen to You!

Book Queen Mama Donna
for a reading, presentation, ritual, workshop or keynote address at your next meeting, conference or retreat.

Call her at 718-857-1343
or e-mail her at TheQueenOfMySelf@aol.com

Speaker Best

"Queen Mama Donna is an eloquent, riveting and knowledgeable speaker, who enthralled the women at her seminar hosted by the Health & Wellness Center at Doylestown Hospital. Her warmth, authenticity and generosity of spirit shines through and touches everyone in attendance. The evaluations were exceptional, with a near perfect score of 5.9 out of 6!! I highly recommend Queen Mama Donna as a speaker for your organization."

- Susan Duval, Producer
  Spirituality Channel
  Susan Duval Seminars
  Doylestown, PA


Anita Roddick


The newly renovated Queen's Emporium 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!

The Queen's Oil of Empowerment is a dandy little ritual. Every morning I bless my Self before going out into the world. It helps me stay in a place of personal sovereignty.
- Charlene, UT
My women's group starts every meeting by blessing each other with power.
- Faye, ME

A ritual in a bottle. Use this oil to bless your Self with the sovereignty that you seek. Made by Queen Mama Donna, herself.
2 oz. bottle in gauze bag
$35 (Includes shipping in the USA)



The Queen's Emporium


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

Regular Columns:

Always in Season
The Huffington Post

Ask Your Mama
Pagan Pages
The Oracle
Catalyst Magazine
New Age Journal
UPI Religion and Spirituality

The Queen of My Self:
Meaning, Moxie and Majesty
for Midlife Women


Recent Articles about QMD:

The Huffington Post
The Examiner - Part 2
The Examiner - Part 1

Recent Articles by QMD:
Spirit Now
Nurturing Family Relationships
InspireMeToday Inspirational Luminary

Recent Radio Interviews:
Feel Free in the O.C. Radio with Nancy Ferrari
3 Steps Forward Radio with Deidre Hughey 
Universal Hope Radio with Gail Bongalis

Amazon Author Page:

Mama Donna's YouTube Channel
*NEW - Mama Donna's Summer Soulstice Celebration
*NEW - Mama Donna Blesses the Hudson River Again
*NEW - Mama Donna's 35th Annual Spring Equinox Celebration

Wikipedia listings:
Donna Henes
The Queen of My Self

Social Networks:
Follow Queen Mama Donna on:
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The Queen of My Self was named as a Best Ezine!

Mama Donna's website www.DonnaHenes.net received a Best Spiritual Site Award!

Queen Mama Donna and The Queen's Chronicles were named Baby Boom Woman Blogger To Watch Out Forby Virtual Woman's Day!


Welcome back to our loyal advertisers. Thank you for your support and your desire to network with our fabulous royal readers around the globe.

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

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Sponsor Ads run for 1 month in The Queen's Chronicles, Special Messages from The Queen and are on permanent display on the sponsor page of The Queen of My Self website.

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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.

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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.

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Like everyone else I know, I have been so tired - so over worked, over stretched, over extended, over committed, overwhelmed - that my first thought about how to celebrate Thanksgiving this year was to have a circle dinner. That is, a meal consisting of round organic frozen turkey burgers and round organic frozen sweet potato pancakes and that awful canned cranberry sauce of my childhood cut into rounds. I thought I would be thankful for not having to cook.


I actually like to cook. And I especially like the ritual of cooking that particular meal. Thanksgiving is a primal time of cooking for days and for eating and overeating and eating leftovers for days. It is about bounty and abundance, appreciation and gratitude, connection and interdependence.

Dining with one's friends and beloved family is certainly one of life's primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul satisfying and eternal.
- Julia Childs

It really is a Circle Thanks Giving when we honor the circles of our near and dear, the cycles of the seasons, of the moon, of our lives. When we offer gratitude for the cosmic sphere that we live on, which supports and defines our living. And there is no better way to express that thankfulness than with some luv'n from the oven.

Food is the fuel of the energetic life force and, as such, it has always symbolized abundance, well-being and fertility. To eat is to ingest the divine essence of the universe itself. Food and drink taken together in community and in company with the deities becomes more than a meal. It becomes a benefit. A feast, a spiritual festival, a holy communion. A frank recognition and celebration of the flesh and the carnal pleasures of life. A time out of time to indulge the appetites with full understanding of the ephemeral transcendence of life. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die.

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.
- Erma Bombeck

When I was in my 20s and 30s, I knew many women who were housewives and/or working women who were frustrated artists. Me, I was a practicing professional artist who was a frustrated housewife! So I found myself creating art projects that were domestic in nature. One was a series of four Slice of Life Dinners that I hosted. These were elaborate affairs, complete with sets, audio-visual displays, costumed waiters and fabulous food, each recreating the atmosphere and cuisine of a place that I had recently visited on a tour of my work - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Mexico and New Orleans. These were all well attended and reviewed.

A few years later, I established the Spider Salon, a series of evenings for creative, accomplished, interesting women. These gatherings were marvelous, rich with conviviality and exchange. There was, of course, food and drink. I would spend days creating special canapés and exotic finger food. I would decorate my loft, wear some spectacular hostess gown and, in the best tradition of salon mistresses, greet, introduce and serve my guests.

The format was loose. Sometimes there was simple conversation and sometimes there were presentations of dance, theatrical performances or readings of poetry. One extraordinarily memorable highlight was on Santa Lucia Day, when an incredible opera singer descended the stairs from my bedroom wearing a white gown and a crown of lit candles singing the aria, Santa Lucia.

These salons continued for several years in the late 70s and early 80s, an exciting, heady time when women were pouring into the art world, the business world, the heretofore cultural and economic bastions of men. I still have a wonderful collection of business cards deposited by the guests.

            women talking

In the years since, I have co-hosted several other salon events for women, where a stunning array of artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, professionals and activists have intermingled and cross-pollinated, while enjoying each other's company. Now I find that the writing of this has not only made me feel nostalgic, but stimulated a desire to resume this satisfying practice.

Then, with good friends of such attributes and good food upon the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask, When shall we live if not now?
- M. F. K. Fisher

With blessings of good friends and fabulous food,


The Queen of Elaine's, R.I.P.

Elaine Kaufman
Elaine Kaufman, the salty, quirky, outspoken owner and host of Elaine's, a well-known restaurant and hangout for celebrities for almost half a century, died earlier this month.

Her passing is what started me to think about the art of hosting and the value of comfortable salons. The life affirming importance of hospitality and good conversation.

Elaine's was a scene, with a capital S, famous throughout the country as symbolic of the glittering sophistication of New York. It was actually really noisy with mediocre food and dismal décor. Elaine, herself, was the draw. She attracted a loyal clientele of the most talented folks and she came in almost every night to schmooze with them, moving from table to table.

Writers and artists were her original following, followed by theater, film and television personalities, eager to meet literati. This entertainment crowd added glamour and cachet to Elaine's, which attracted famous sports figures, politicians and gossip-column society, who all wanted to be part of the scene.

For 14 years, Elaine's was the site of the New York Oscar-night parties hosted by Entertainment Weekly. "I live a party life," Ms. Kaufman said in a 1983 New York Times interview. "Elsa Maxwell used to have to send out invitations. I just open the door."

Though patronage fell off in the late 1980s, it returned within several years, and Elaine's once again became a favorite of celebrities. The regulars treated it as their club, a never ending, never boring salon where they came to drink, eat and talk.

In 2003, Ms. Kaufman was named a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

"I've lived just about the most perfect life," Ms. Kaufman said in 1998. "I've had the best time. If I wanted to do something, I did it. Designers designed my clothes and did my apartment. I had house seats for the theater. I was invited to screenings and book parties. I've had fun. What else can you ask in life?"

Cheers, Queen Elaine. Here's to you.

Les Salonnières
A salon is a gathering of people at the home of an inspired and inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.

It is not what we learn in conversation that enriches us. It is the elation that comes of swift contact with tingling currents of thought.
- Agnes Repplier

As early as the 9th century, women's literature salons were commonplace in the Arab world. These salons sustained the greatest women poets of the time. They were the true centers of cultural enlightenment, nourishing educated women, who were well-known for their talents in calligraphy, poetry, music and songs.

         Arab Salon

Throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, there were many salons in Venice. These were hosted by courtesans who were beautiful, educated and often accomplished singers, poets and artists. The salon hostesses were honored and paid small fortunes for their companionship by politicians, poets, merchants and nobles. Veronica Franco, the most successful of these women hosted a salon for Europe's elite - artists, writers and the aristocracy in the 16th century.

As there were few public places to socialize outside the home, guests would gather in the courtesan's home to discuss literature, politics and the current events of the day. It was at these salons that many of Venice's most prominent courtesans earned their reputations for being remarkable conversationalists and educated, talented writers and scholars. Despite modern connotations, they were respected members of the court who did much to further the cause of women's liberation.
Veronica Franco
Veronica Franco

The abdicated Queen Christina of Sweden and the princess of Colonna, Marie Mancini, were rival salon hostesses in 17th century Rome.

In the first half of the 17th century, intellectual and literary circles form
ed around women in France, where the first renowned salon was hosted by Roman-born Catherine deVivonne, marquise de Rambouillet.

The salonnières were bright women who, regardless of their social class, were given the chance to step out of the shadows of their dull and limiting pre-determined place in society and enjoy much more independence than the majority of Parisian women.

Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.
- Mary Wollstonecraft

The salon evolved into a well-regulated practice that focused on and reflected enlightened public opinion by encouraging the exchange of news and ideas. By the mid 18th century the salon had become an institution in French society and functioned as a major channel of communication among intellectuals.

Women were the center of salon life. They selected their guests and decided about the subjects of their meetings - social, literary or political. They also established the rules of etiquette and directed the discussion. At a time when society was defined and ruled almost exclusively by men, the salon allowed women a powerful influence.

The salon served as an informal university for women, where they were able to exchange ideas, receive and give criticism, read their own works and hear the works and ideas of other intellectuals. Many ambitious women used the salon to pursue a form of higher education.

The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.
- Aung San Suu Kyi

In Paris, the salons were often frequented only by women, who were free to discuss politics, literature and sexuality without being overshadowed by men. Madeleine de Scudéry created her farmous salon in 1652. It was called "les bas-bleus," or "blue-stockings," which came to mean "intelligent women."

The salon tradition was carried to America where society hostesses still provide hospitable venues for stimulating conversations among the talented and influential movers and shakers of culture. Salons for the exchange of ideas and interests survive today in the more populist guise of women's circles, discussion groups and book clubs.

          Women discussing

One must talk. That's how it is. One must.
- Marguerite Duras

Hostesses with the Mostest

Elsa Maxwell and Perle Mesta were American society salonnières who continued the salon tradition in the 20th century. Elsa focused on gatherings for royalty and celebrities, while Perle's focus was on the elite of the political arena. They were each dubbed "hostess with the mostest" by the press.

Elsa Max
Elsa Maxwell (1883 - 1963) reigned as America's top party-giver in the mid 1900s, renowned for her gatherings for royalty and high society figures of her day. Her rise to command the ballrooms of New York, Vienna and London took her worlds away from her humble Iowa beginnings.

When she was 22, she left home and went on the road as an odd-jobs girl in a Shakespearean troupe, then moved on to the vaudeville stage, and eventually wound up working in South African music halls.

In her travels, Elsa met socially important people, and she began showing up at society soirées in both the United States and Europe. By the end of World War I, she was giving parties for royalty and high society throughout Europe.

Elsa Maxwell's parties were noted not only for her chic guests, but also for the games and other diversions she devised for their amusement. A party game she invented, "Scavenger Hunt," reached mass popularity in the 1930s. She was also fond of costume parties, especially those with a cross-dressing theme.

Elsa moved to Hollywood in 1938 where she pursued many creative projects and diversified her career. She wrote and appeared in several films, published four books, authored a syndicated column, hosted her own radio show, "Elsa Maxwell's Party Line," composed some 80 songs and lectured frequently.

Late in her life she appeared weekly on Jack Paar's "Tonight" show, offering tidbits of risqué gossip. And all the while she continued organizing parties for prominent social figures.

"Not bad, for a short, fat, homely piano player from Keokuk, Iowa, with no money or background, who decided to become a legend and did just that," she proudly proclaimed.

Perle Mesta
Perle Mesta (1889 - 1975) was the capital's premier party hostess, famous for her lavish parties featuring the brightest stars of Washington, DC society, including artists, entertainers and many top-level national political figures.

In 1916, she married steel manufacturer and engineer George Mesta. He died in 1925, leaving her as the only heir to his $78 million fortune. She became active in the National Woman's Party and was an early supporter of an Equal Rights Amendment. She switched to the Democratic Party in 1940 and was an early supporter of Harry S. Truman, who rewarded her with the ambassadorship to Luxembourg.

But Mesta is most noted for her parties, which brought together senators, congressmen, cabinet secretaries and other luminaries in bipartisan soirées of high-class glamour. An invitation to a Mesta party was a sure sign that one had reached the inner circle of Washington political society, yet her gatherings were not stuffy or snobbish. One guest said, "You go to a great many beautiful formal houses here where people barely speak above a whisper. You go to Perle's, and you know it's going to be fun."

According to Perle, "Any bitch with a million dollars and a nice dress can be a great hostess in Washington."

Her influence peaked during the Truman era, and being an old friend of the Eisenhowers, she maintained her social position throughout the 1950s despite her support of the Democratic Party. She entertained senators and congressmen of both parties, world leaders, Supreme Court justices, movie stars, foreign ambassadors, military leaders and White House personnel.

Her power waned significantly during the Kennedy era. Though Perle was a friend of Rose Kennedy, there was too wide a generation gap between her and Jackie forPerle Mesta Time her to stay relevant during the Kennedy era. Nevertheless, she remained an avid hostess until her later years.

She was the inspiration for Irving Berlin's musical "Call Me Madam," which starred Ethel Merman as the character based on Mesta in both the Broadway play and the movie.

Perle relished her position to the full. She did not have to call society editors to read them her guest list (they called her), but she was not above inquiring coyly after a dinner: "How many ambassadors did I have last night? Six or eight? I never can remember." She often summoned her guests from afar, and liked to remark casually: "So-and-so is flying in from San Francisco for my dinner tomorrow."

A Christian Scientist, Mesta didn't drink alcohol, but claimed her parties gave her the same elation liquor gave other people.   

The Pleasures of Life
I asked my old friend and colleague, Gloria Orenstein, 
Gloria Orensteinprofessor at UCLA, prolific writer and co-founder of the New York Woman's Salon, to write about her interest in and experience of women's salons in France.

In August 1977 I visited Paris to do research on salon history, and I embarked on a personal quest to revisit the homes of American salon women of note, Gertrude Stein and Natalie Clifford Barney.

I used to stroll by 20 Rue Jacob where Natalie Barney held her salon and one day I found myself looking at the list of occupants. Much to my surprise, I saw that Berthe Cleyrergue, the cuisiniere and salon helper of Natalie Barney beginning in 1927, still lived there. She invited me in, and we conversed about Natalie Barney and her salon.

          Natalie Barney

Berthe was a constant presence at Natalie's salons, and she knew all the gossip. She told me that Barney's salons often celebrated the launching of a book by one of her intimate friends, and that her salon created a welcoming energy of warmth and support for these new works of literature.

Barney's many activities, both literary and intellectual, included the Congress of Women for Peace that she hosted in 1917 at the Temple a L'Amitie, the Temple to
Friendship that she had erected in her garden. In the 1920s she established an Academie des Femmes to further the close communication between English and French speaking women writers in Paris. She also translated some passages of Gertrude Stein's writings for a reading at the Academie, introduced by Mina Loy. Berthe Cleyrergue said that Natalie told her, "Berthe, you must always say that my salon was international."

These details convinced me that my own co-creation of The Woman's Salon in New York in 1975 was very close in its spirit of friendship and support of women writers to the conviviality and intimate friendships that Natalie Barney fostered in her Temple de L'Amitie and her salon.

Several years after interviewing Berthe Cleyrergue, when I was directing the Rutgers University Junior Year in France (1978 - 79), I created a salon in Paris with a group of French literary women of my generation. I saw the salon as a venue for communication and networking.

One day I was invited to meet with a real 20th century salon hostess known as Mme. Tezenas. She had just given up her salons because she felt that the new gatherings at the Pompidou Center duplicated them. I asked her what the social goal of her salon was. I was certain she was going to tell me it was networking.

Not at all. She looked at me with total shock and incomprehension. I tried to explain how we loved to have women writers meet with journalists, literary critics, readers and publishers outside of all the confines of literary, social and academic establishments. "Just think of all the books that would find their way to publication through these encounters."

Horrified, she boomed, "My dear, I certainly hope that we never had any product created as a result of our salons! Would you like to know exactly why we had salons?" What she then said to me changed my life forever. "We had salons because we loved good literature, good conversation, good friendship, good wine, good food, good music. In sum, we had salons because we loved Les Agrements de la Vie (The Pleasures of Life)."

That amenity which the French have developed into a great art . . . conversation.
- Cornelia Otis Skinner

I realized that I had not created the salons for pleasure at all, but rather for a sort of hysteria over publishing and creating a feminist literary history and for the networking that would make all this possible. I had not thought about pleasure, not ever. In fact, I realized that in my entire professional life, pleasure had never come up as a goal to pursue in life. Never!

It was as if you had to make pleasurable things look as if they were part of your career path. In our salon we were always talking about the passion we had for creation in the arts. We were not pursuing these goals for pleasure, but for the sake of feminist history. But the French have always been pursuing pleasure.

Ever since I met Mme. Tezenas I have been dedicating myself to seeking Les Agrements de la Vie, and I hope that all future salon women will never forget about The Pleasures of Life, and will not let stodgy, careerist goals overtake the sheer pleasures of good friendship, good conversation, beautiful couture, and enjoyment of the arts while reveling in the playful energies of togetherness.
Natalie Barney in front of temple
Temple a L'Amitie
Let us take a lesson from Mme. Tezenas, and sip a glass of fine wine to the memory of our foremothers. Let us never forget the Temple of Friendship that stood in the garden of 20 Rue Jacob as a testament to the high esteem Natalie Barney accorded to both Pleasure and Friendship. As we celebrate the New Year 2011, let us also drink a toast to Friendship and the Agrements de la Vie.

- Gloria Orenstein, CA

The Queen's Correspondence

moon goddess
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 November 2010 Issue:

Very inspiring, your voting articles and pictures! Didn't know you did SNCC. You are too modest.
- Terese, NY

Wow! You were shot at? That is a frightening concept. I am so glad it appears to have made you a stronger person. I have a friend who read your book and loved it so she is going to buy it for her sisters and friends.
- Susan, CO

This is excellent, Donna! I had no idea you have suffered so much being an activist! What a legacy. But where are Greek women in this list of states and the women's vote! I know my mother was voting when I was little, and I am 70 years old!
- Charoula, OH

Look again! Greece is listed in 1932, when women received partial suffrage for local elections only. Complete suffrage was granted in 1952.

I never realized that the vote for women came with so much suffering. What amazing women who put their bodies on the line for US! Thanks for all the work you do to promote healing for the planet and justice for all people. The Queen's Chronicles makes me so proud of all the extraordinary and ordinary women who have paved the way.
- Leticia, RI

I loved the section "Where The Queens Are." Wonderful pictures of proud women everywhere voting. That was really wonderful.
- Johanna, Germany

Thank you for so graciously publishing my correction about the various Grandmothers in your latest newsletter. I always appreciate the record being straight, howsoever it happens. I loved your timetable of women's suffrage in the newsletter and found it quite eye-opening. Do you mind if I post it on my Facebook page - with full credit to you, of course? I bow to you,
- Princess Diana, NM

Post away! And thanks for the networking.

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

Kudos to the Queens!

clapping hands rotated

We extend hearty congratulations to our multi-talented circle of Sister Queens for their impressive accomplishments and successes.

You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare. - Georgia O'Keeffe

Stephanie Brody-Laderman, NY; Tiffany Ludwig, NJ; Suzanne Lacy, CA; Barbara Moore, NY; Shiloh Sophia McCloud, CA; Susan Mogul, CA; Linda Montano, NY; Pat Oleszko, NY; Renee Piechocki, PA; Karen Shaw, NY; Muriel Stockdale, NY; on the exhibitions of their work.

Barbara Aliprantis, NY; Nyota Nayo, NY; Reno, NY; Arianna Helima al Tiye, NY; Eleni Yalanis, NY;
on their performances and/or performances of their work.

Catherine Gildiner, Ontario, Canada and Carole Pope, NY, After the Falls: Coming of Age in the Sixties (Book); Corinne Hoppmann, IL, Awakened By Spirit: Inspiration for Loving Life (Book); on their new publications.

Eugenia Karahalias, NY; on her recent television appearance.

Kris Waldherr, NY,
on the launch of her new publishing company.

Spiral of the Goddess Temple of Ashland, OR, on their Grande Opening.

Susan Heaney, NY,
on her new home.

Jill Rapperport,
on her divorce.

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

Helping Hands Circle 

Please Offer Your Purest Thoughts, Your
Prayers, Your Great Good
Feelings, And Your Very Best Blessings For Healing and Peace of Mind To:

Alice, NY; Amy, NY; Ann, NY; Annie, MA; Betty, AL; Carol, NY; Carol, PA; Cat, NY; Chrissie, NY; Dana, CA; Dominique, NM; Edie, PA; Ellen, NY; Erica, England; Erica, NY; Gail, OH; Geraldine, ID; Glenys, Australia; Helena, NY; Jo, AZ; Kathy, RI; Kimberly, CA; Kimi, NJ; Laura, NY; Laurie, CA; Letitia, VA; Linda, NY; Lisa, PA; Lucia, TX; Matild Cathy, NY; Nancy, NY; Naomi, DC; Pearl, NY; Randy, MA; Sandy, CA; Sarah, CT, Sid, PA; Shirley, IN; Smriti, CA; Susan, MA, Tara, NY; Terry, CA
and Yvette, NY who are in the process of healing themselves from illness, accident, injury or surgery.

Erica, CT; Kimberly, NY; Kimi, NJ; Linda, NY; Linda, NY; Meryl, NY; Patricia, Australia
and Regi, CA who would benefit greatly from some spiritual support.

Amy, NY; Chrys, NY; Erica, England; Gail, NY; Kayla, NY; Lee, NJ; Lois, NY; Nancy, NC; Roslyn, NJ
and Sharon, FL, the caregivers who are in weary need of care themselves.

May Their Spirits Rest in Peace:
Candice Boyce, NY
Debra Campagna, CT
Tay Clare, OK
Frances Ann Day, CA
Elizabeth Edwards, NC
Judy Freespirit, CA
Brigid Herold, NY
Jill Johnston, CT
Elaine Kaufman, NY
Jan Kronholm, FL
River Susan Schmidt, CA
Jill McLean Taylor, MA

With Sincere Condolences:
Arianna Bara, SC
Roxnna Fiamma, CA
Annie Gottlieb, NC
Mary Jones, OK
Linda Rice, NY

Please pray for my husband's coworker's daughter Tia, an 8 year old who has been having convulsions and no one seems to be able to figure out why. Also, for the repose of the soul of Brigid Herold, my friend who was in Wyoming to take care of her father and apparently was not taking care of herself, as she thought she had a cold that wouldn't go away, and found herself unable to breathe, they called the ambulance, her heart stopped and she is gone. Her niece Rachael and all her family and friends mourn her, only 61. Thanks for always remembering everyone.
- Margi, NY

Cleaning for a Reason
If you know any woman currently undergoing chemotherapy, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning - once per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. It's our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along
- Rachel Ginther, NY and Chrys Countryman, NY
Kind words might be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
- Mother Teresa

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.

Where the Queens Are
                               moon goddess

                     NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY

My friend Beth and I had been planning a Queening event for her 50th birthday in September for months. It all came together. We used tons of tea light candles - one batch at my Guadalupe altar for remembering events in the past, the other batch at my every Goddess/God altar at the other end of my large living room, for now and to come. Beth had made herself a beautiful crown out of wire, jewels, crystals and Goddess knows what else. It now reposes on the top of a lamp in her apartment.

She has been sharing the experience with all of her other women friends, none of whom knew about Queening and other rituals affirming womankind. When she went home for a visit to Erie, PA one of the women she told burst into tears, as she imagined the possibility, and wished she had grown up with it. When she told one of her women friends in her acting/film-making class they were moved to start making a short film about the event, and Beth has started to write the film, with an energy for film-making she never knew she had in her! We are spreading the news far and wide! Your book has, yes, inseminated a growing circle of women, and some sympathetic men!

- Karen Ethelsdattir, NJ
Karen Ethelsdottar

Here is Beth's description of the ceremony:

The Coronation of Beth
September 18, 2010
On The Eve of Her Majesty's 50th Birthday
Chez Karen

We enter the sacred space by washing our own faces lightly with water from a bowl. Beth will light a stick of incense and then each will anoint the other's forehead with myrrh oil.

K: Earth and North are invoked and represented here by the Myrrh Oil and the Cave.

B: Air and East are invoked and represented here by the Incense and the Drumming Vibrations.

K: Fire and South are invoked and represented here by the Candles we will light.

B: Water and West are invoked and represented here by our cleansing water and by water we will drink.

We lie on floor or sit in chair and listen to recording of Goddess Invocation with eyes closed.

Two Altars and A Cave In Between

Altars are pre-set with candles, crown, and scepter.

There are glasses of water with lemon nearby.

Go to Past Altar. Silently light a candle for each negative thing that I am leaving behind. Then, light a candle for acknowledgments, reading aloud from paper. Then, extinguish each negative candle and read what each is from paper.

PAST ALTAR - What I'm leaving behind:
Hiding My Light Under A Bushel; Drinking and Doing Drugs; Fear and Mistrust in Relationships; Being a Victim and Longing To Be Rescued; Shame About My Body; Believing That I Am Unattractive; Deprivation and Lack of Money, Clothes and Fine Things; Desire to Control, Cling, Grip; Black and White Thinking; The Notion That I Can't Take Care of Myself; Fear of Success; Jumping for People; Habitual Rut Thinking; Birth Control and Fear of Becoming Pregnant; Jealousy and Comparing Myself to Others, Especially Other Women.

PAST ALTAR - Important People and Events:
My Education; Surviving My Family of Origin, disentangling and shedding the image of myself that I inherited; Brian; Karen; Max; Carol; Yogi Bhajan; Close Friends; Menstruating - Using Washable Pads and Being Close to My Monthly Blood; Kind Professionals Who Have Been There For Me: Doctors, Dentists, Therapists, Accountants, Lawyers; Recovery; My First Acting Class at HB Studio; Drawing and Painting; Keeping a Diary and Writing Morning Pages; My Yoga Teachers: Sat Jagat, Gurusurya, Guru Dev, Siri Sevak; Moving to New York City.

Cave Improv Begins:
Beth goes into cave and Karen draws her out with drumming and mirror, among other things.

B: I'm afraid
I can't
I'm afraid I can't
It's too late
I'm too old
It's no use
No one loves me
I don't know how
I'm not good enough
I should quit
I quit
I don't want to
I don't feel like it

I just want to sleep
There isn't enough money
It doesn't matter
I'm not pretty enough
I have a bad attitude

K: Come Out

Share Your Light with the World
There is no one like you
The world needs you
Come out and see how beautiful you are
Come out and see who loves you
Come out and become Queen
Your Power is a Gift from God
Your Talent is a Gift from God
You are an artist
Breathe, Believe, Receive
You are precious

Beth emerges from cave and moves to new altar. Beth and Karen light candles and acknowledge what Beth is moving towards. Read from paper.

NEW ALTAR - What I'm Moving Towards:
Increased Confidence; Increased Self Acceptance; Spiritual Growth; Interesting Lines On My Face; Slowing Down, Savoring More; Fulfillment in Acting; Financial Security, Abundance and Prosperity; My Own Home with a Garden; Close Friends; Sex; Love; Wisdom; Health and Vitality, A Slimmer Body and More Flexibility; Swimming; Kundalini Yoga; Pleasure and Leisure Time; Empowerment and the Courage to Move Forward; Unblocked Creativity and a Circle of Artist Friends; Knowledge That God Has Me, Works Through Me and Gives Me What I Need; Fulfillment of My Destiny.

We lie down or sit in chairs and rest. Take a long, silent meditation for 11 minutes. Awake to Gong.

Each woman shares whatever she wants to share and ends her share by saying: "The Queen Replaces Negative Illusions with Positive Truths." The other affirms by saying the same back to her.

Karen places Crown on Beth and hands her her Scepter.

"I, Beth, accept my Crown and Scepter and I become Queen of my Self. I take ownership of my life and I celebrate my life, my past 50 years and the 50 years still to come. I ask God for Protection, Care, and Guidance. God Bless Queen Beth."

Sing: "May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You, All Love Surround You, and the Pure Light Within You Guide Your Way On, Guide Your Way On, Guide Your Way On."

Hold Hands, Hum, and Hug and Say "The Circle is Open but Unbroken. Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet Again."

- Beth Dzuricky, NY

queening crown
Beth Dzuricky

Please Submit Your Royal Reports

Tell us about your Self and/or 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!