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The Queen's Chronicles

Inspiration for an Influential, Passionate and Powerful Maturity 

January 2011
In This Issue
Clean Sweeping Goddesses
The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande
Broom Lore
Broom Drills
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ABOUT QUEEN
MAMA DONNA


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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 serves 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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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.
   
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Thank you for being such a warm, loving guide. You created a space that was safe, sacred and supportive. You helped me to find a sense of well-being, joy and pride. My gratitude always,
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Are you looking for meaning, moxie, magic and majesty in midlife? 
 
Consult the
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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.
 
TURN YOUR MIDLIFE CRISIS INTO YOUR CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT!

Further information: www.thequeenofmyself.com
Click on Individual Consultations.

Sessions are available in person and by phone. To make an appointment, call 718-857-1343 or email the Queen at TheQueenOfMySelf@aol.com

 


Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
- M. Kathleen Casey

 
A QUEEN EVENT
NEAR YOU


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

JANUARY

 
GLOBAL
 
JANUARY 1-31
MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY
TAROT CLUB

1/3 off reading for January Birthdays.
In person or by phone.
 
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FEBRUARY

 
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FEBRUARY 1-28
 

MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY
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NEW YORK

FEBRUARY 2
Wednesday, 7:30 PM
A CANDLEMAS CEREMONY TO CENTER US AT THE HALFWAY POINT OF WINTER
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
cityshaman@aol.com
Advance reservation required.
$25.
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FEBRUARY 5
Saturday, 11:00 AM
TAROT 101
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
cityshaman@aol.com
$40. If prepaid
$50. At the door
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FEBRUARY 11
Friday, 7:00 - 10:00 PM
TAROT SALON
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.

FEBRUARY 12
Saturday, 12:00 - 6:00 PM
LOVE SPELLS FOR
VALENTINE'S DAY
AT MAMA DONNA'S SPIRIT SHOP
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
cityshaman@aol.com

Love specials also available online.
www.mamadonnasspiritshop.com

GLOBAL

FEBRUARY 18
Friday, 9:00 PM EST
Interview with Carol Marleigh Kline on Streetwise Spirituality Radio.
 

MARCH


GLOBAL
 

MARCH 1-31
MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAROT CLUB

1/3 off reading for March Birthdays. 

In person or by phone.
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cityshaman@aol.com


MARCH 5
Saturday, 7:00 PM EST

Interview with Linda Strasburg on Lights On Radio.

MARCH 10

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

NEW YORK

MARCH 20
Sunday 7:00 PM EDT Event starts
7:21 PM EDT Equinox moment

EGGS ON END:
STANDING ON CEREMONY

35th ANNIVERSARY
WORLD FAMOUS
VERNAL EQUINOX CELEBRATION


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

Call to volunteer.
Manhattan (Call for venue)
FREE

APRIL

 

GLOBAL

 

APRIL 1-30

MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAROT CLUB

1/3 off reading for April Birthdays. In person or by phone.

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cityshaman@aol.com

 

MAY

 

GLOBAL

 

MAY 1-31

MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAROT CLUB 

1/3 off reading for May Birthdays. In person or by phone.

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cityshaman@aol.com

 

NEW YORK

 

MAY 14

Saturday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

THE QUEEN OF MY SELF WORKSHOP & ROYAL CROWNING CEREMONY

 

Sanctuary Spa

3200 West Genesee Street

Syracuse, NY 13219

 

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Traceybaumwicks@verizon.net

315-488-1588


HAVE CROWN,
WILL TRAVEL!


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Bring the Queen to You!

 
Book Queen Mama Donna
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Call her at 718-857-1343
or e-mail her at TheQueenOfMySelf@aol.com


 
Speaker Best

 

"Mama Donna Henes is the embodiment of earth mother and brings comfort to people from all different walks of life. She has been a speaker at the NYC Chapter of the Women's Wellness Society on two occasions and we've enjoyed some of our best attendance for the events she's headlined. Her practical, grounded approach to spiritual issues makes them accessible to all types of people, whether they have been exposed to her brand of work or not. For example, there is one woman from a professional medical practice who asks eagerly each month whether Mama Donna will be speaking. Mama Donna has a wise, dry wit, an insouciant twinkle in her eye and an easy way with her audience that they resonate with and enjoy. I will continue to invite her to events and recommend her with the highest regard."

- Jennifer Jackson, President
  Women's Wellness Society
  New York Chapter


 

THE QUEEN'S EMPORIUM

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 really works! Just applying it reminds me of my power and keeps that feeling alive all day. Thanks for that.
- Denise, NJ

I offered the Queen's Oil last night to the participants in a moon ceremony. Everyone loved it. Now I will buy a bottle for future women's gatherings and keep this one just for me!
- Sharon, MI
 
 
THE QUEEN'S OIL OF EMPOWERMENT
 

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)


 
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THE QUEEN
ON THE RECORD

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

*Red indicates the most recent additions.


Regular Columns:

Always in Season

The Huffington Post


Ask Your Mama

Pagan Pages

The Oracle

Catalyst Magazine
New Age Journal
SoulfulLiving
UPI Religion and Spirituality
 

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

Beliefnet


Recent Articles about QMD:

*The New York Times

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:

*Menopause Summit

*World Wide Wiccan Radio with Renata Roberts

Wake up Call Radio with Melody Brooke
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:
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YouTube:
Mama Donna's YouTube Channel

*Mama Donna's Summer Soulstice Celebration

*Mama Donna Blesses the Hudson River Again

*Mama Donna's 35th Annual Spring Equinox Celebration


Wikipedia listings:
Donna Henes
The Queen of My Self

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Awards:

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 For by Virtual Woman's Day!

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As we enter the New Year, our thoughts turn to new beginnings, new possibilities, new hope. This fragile interval which separates one year from the next is pregnant with potential. We find ourselves taking time out of time to evaluate our past experiences and actions and to prepare ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually for our future. Our reflections and resolutions at this transition period of the great turning of the annual wheel are critical, for they create the ambient atmosphere and attitude for the entire year to come.

A new year represents another chance, a fresh start, a clean slate, and so we embark upon the shift as on a dangerous journey, freshly bathed and outfitted, full of purpose, fingers crossed in blessing. People enjoy elaborate toilettes; bodies washed, dressed, groomed, combed until they are thoroughly cleansed - often internally as well through fasting. In India it is traditional to bathe in the Ganges to purify one's self for the New Year. The Cherokee immerse themselves seven times in a river at dawn on New Year's Day.

       woman sweeping

In addition to purifying our person, special care has always been taken to clean and maintain the temples, churches, synagogues, cemeteries, groves and shrines, in which prayers for the propitious New Year are made. In Myanmar, the former Burma, the New Year festival of Thingyan is celebrated by drenching the entire country, every building and dwelling, and all of its inhabitants in cleansing water. All images of the Buddha, indoors and out, are scrubbed clean as a crucial display of blessing.

By obvious extension, this New Year's urge to purge includes our home environments, where the most intimate and ordinary prayers of daily life are uttered. If a man's home is his castle, surely it is a woman's shrine. Cleaning house to make ready for a new year is a universal task, as symbolic and reverent as it is practical. Out with the old and in with the new! Death to dirt! Removing the dust and detritus accumulated during the previous year ensures the ridding of a dwelling and its occupants of the shortcomings and disappointments delivered during that time as well. Domestic renovation signifies spiritual and social renewal.

All over the world, houses are scrubbed spic and span from top to bottom and yards and walkways are swept spotlessly clean. In old England, New Year's Day was the annual sweeping of all chimneys. The expression "to make a clean sweep" comes from this New Year's custom. In Hong Kong, ten days before the New Year, women observe a Day for Sweeping Floors.

At this time, an intensive house cleaning is begun in readiness for the New Year. Nothing - no corner - is left untouched. In Siberia, the Nganasan people celebrate the Clean Tent Ceremony, the premiere rite of their ritual calendar. On New Year's Day Moroccans pour water over themselves, their animals and the floors and walls of their homes. In Wales, children go door to door to beg water from their neighbors which they then scatter all over the houses of their community in order to bless them.

      women sweeping

Midwinter is when the sun first reappears in Siberia finally after the months-long polar winter. At this most eagerly awaited, wondrous time, the Nganasan people celebrate the Clean Tent Ceremony, the premiere rite of their ritual calendar. A special "clean tent" is erected in the village and here the shaman sits for three to nine days while the children dance and play outside the tent. Encased in dark isolation, surrounded by the insular sound of her beating heart pulsing in prayer, s/he seeks the guiding light of the spirit and invokes the protection of the god/desses for all the people and the whole of nature for the year to come.

Some peoples, like the Incas, like the Creeks, discarded everything, EVERYTHING, used in the past year. In a more tame tradition, symbolic of the same spirit, the Mayans replace all of their domestic articles of everyday use.

In many Native American cultures, in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, hearth fires are extinguished annually and ritually rekindled in a New Year ritual of new fire. In this way, sins and devils are purged in purification ceremonies symbolizing spiritual renewal. Zuni women throw out their live embers, then sprinkle their entire homes with corn meal in a rite called House Cleansing in order to ensure good fortune in child birth in the coming year. During the Iranian New Year celebration of Narooz, wild rue is burned in households because it is believed to drive away all evil and usher in a happy and propitious new year.

Santería, which combines elements of the West African Yoruban religion with those of the Catholic Church and the traditions of the indigenous tribes of the Caribbean, has many methods of spiritual house cleaning. Ordinarily one cleans one's own home, altar, and aura with a wide variety of special washes, herbs, and candles. But in serious cases of impurity, a padrina/padrino will make a house call to perform a special purification ceremony. S/he most often will spit rum in a fine spray around the room, or roll a burning coconut along the floor while praying, to rid the place of bad energy.

So, let's get out the brooms and the buckets, roll up our woman sweepingsleeves and get to work. Scrub the grime out of our environment and our mentality. Let us start this new year. This decade, with a clean sweep. With a clean slate. With a clear conscience. Let us cleanse and purify our houses, inside and out. Purge our negative energy. Polish our intentions. And make our world shine.

With blessings of a clean sweep,

 
signature

Clean Sweeping Goddesses

Years ago a client, Rose, told me about the death of her grandmother and the fighting that ensued in her family when the time came to divvy up her possessions. This sister wanted the jewelry, that one the china, another one demanded her silver. The only thing that Rose wanted was her grandma's broom and she didn't know why she was so drawn to it.
     broom
"All I know is that Grandma cherished that broom. She had inherited it from her grandmother who was a slave," she told me. Aha! That broom was the spirit tool of that woman line. It was power that was passed down from one generation to the next. That broom belonged to La Madama.

La Madama is an orisha-like spirit who originated in the Yoruba culture of West Africa and was carried to the New World on the slave ships. She is one of many archetypal spirits within the pantheon of Caribbean/Latin American Spiritual traditions and is a common figure in the pagan influenced religions of the African Diaspora such as Voudon in Haiti, Candomble in Brazil, Santeria in the Caribbean, as well as the slave folk traditions of the American South.

She represents the female force within the family unit and is also known as "La Negra" or "La Conga," Historically Her representation is derived from that of the "house slave," that is, the slave responsible for the caring and well-being of master's family. With Her big hips and tits, Her hair tied in a scarf, and an apron around Her ample middle, She is the spitting image of the stereotypical Mammy figure.

La MadamaLa Madama manifests as a strong female spirit who fiercely protects Her children. She is a no-nonsense, tough love spirit who doesn't put up with stupidity or insolence. She is often depicted with Her hands on Her hips in a "Make my day" attitude or holding Her trusty broom, Her spirit tool, which She uses to sweep away problems and troublesome people.

Her power is so strong that she has remained unchanged, a visible and recognizable image in popular culture. She is Aunt Jemima. Or, I should say, Aunt Jemima is La Madama, still nurturing, still strong, still Mama Africa. Aunt Jemima is anything but a racist symbol.

Sweeping is a widely used metaphor in Goddess mythology. Many cultures gave their goddesses brooms to use as spiritual tools to cleanse the world by sweeping away evil, illness and all that would stand in the way of peace and order.

In ancient Rome, the Goddess Devera was the patroness of the brooms used to purify temples in preparation for various worship services, sacrifices, and celebrations.

In pre-Columbian Mexico, the Aztecs worshipped the witch-goddess Tlazolteotl, who was depicted carrying or riding a broom. She was invoked to sweep away the worshippers' transgressions.

Cihuacoatl, the Aztec Snake Woman, who wields a broom, was honored by the daily sweeping of the household shrine. This sacred ritual commemorated the time that She saved civilization by donning the robes of a warrior and defeating the dark forces of chaos that befell the culture.

Some theories suggest this near-catastrophe may have been an explosion of a star such as the one that created the so-called "Witch's Broom Nebula." In many cultures, a broom, whether it is made from straw or feathers, is a symbol of a comet.

In Chinese mythology comets were recognized as "brooms" that swept away one kingdom and introduced a new world order - the same function of the broom in the Mesoamerican rituals.
broom nebula
Witch's Broom Nebula
In China, the broom goddess is Sao Ch'ing Niang Niang. Known as the Lady with the Broom, She lives on the broom star, Sao Chou, and presides over good weather. When rain continues too long, threatening crops, farmers cut out paper images of brooms and paste them on their doors or fences to bring clear weather and sunshine. These images invoke the Lady with the Broom to sweep away the foul weather.

Shitala Mata, the Bengali Goddess of Disease, sweeps away ailments with her broom. She is revered as the Dispeller of Suffering, Her benevolence is sought by countless devotees who seek the purity she provides.

There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough.

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande River


Dominique M
In 1987, my dear friend and colleague, Dominique Mazeaud, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, initiated an extraordinary environmental art project that she called "The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande River."


Once a month for seven years, Dominique spent an entire day walking along the banks and in the nearly dry riverbed picking up the garbage that had accumulated there. She started this project alone as a meditative ritual of purification

Picking up a candm at river

From the river

And then another

on and on

It's like a devotee

Doing countless rosaries.


Her humble dedication soon attracted supporters who would come to join her in her self-assigned endless, thankless task. And the city of Santa Fe chipped in by donating garbage bags to the cause.

A crucial element of her work involved keeping a diary, entitled Riveries, in which she writes about her experiences. Here are some excerpts:

***
My friend Margret drops me off at Delgado promptly at 9:00 AM. Because of the snow I was not
 sure of the dm at riverconditions I would find, but did not doubt a second that I would put in my day. I find a stone warmed by the morning sun, which makes a perfect site for my beginning prayer. Yes, I see what I am doing as a way of praying.

***

I can't get away from you river

In the middle of the night

I feel you on my back

In my throat, in my heart.


***
Why in all religions is water such a sacred symbol? How much longer is it going to take us to see the trouble of our waters? How many more dead fish floating on the Rhine River? How many kinds of toxic waste dumpings?
dm at riverWhen are we going to turn our malady of separateness around?

***
Two more huge bags I could hardly carry to the cans. I don't count any more. I don't announce my "art for the earth" in the papers either. All alone in the river, I pray and pick up, pick up and pray. Who can I really talk to about what I see?... I have also noticed that I stopped collecting the so-called treasures of the river. It was OK at the beginning, but today I feel it was buying into the present system of art that's so much object-oriented. Is it because I am saying that what I am doing is art that I need to produce something?

***
For the first time last month, my meditation directed me to go and be with the river and not do anything. The instructions were clear: "Don't even take one garbage
bag." I have landed in a new landscapdm at rivere where I discover the river is as true an artist as I am.

***

In "The River's Call," I tried to capture the emotions the river awakened in me. Doing the piece every month for seven years, they were many. Was it a new kind of feeling? Rivers were not totally new to me, but how to describe the mysterious something stirring my soul so deeply and kindling the passion that kept me in the river all these years?

***
Yes, there was suffering and darkness, but there was also undeniable beauty. For a river that had no water to speak of running through it (the Santa Fe River was named the most endangered river in America in 2006 by the American Rivers Associations), there were all kinds of little miracles for eyes to see. The green shoots that
dm at riversprout under the rotting newspaper readying for their journey upward. The newborn snake nestled in the hollow of a dead tree.

The miracles were sometimes mysteries of a synchronous nature like finding a copy of the book of Black Elk Speaks when a class from the Indian American Institute of Art led by their art teacher Shelley Horton-Trippe came to see and experience my performance.

There were numerous encounters that provoked serious meditations, like a statue of Jesus lying in the grass of the bare river or the plastic bags filled with sand looking like glistening body parts, equally eerie and intriguing. What I discovered about my river journey was that both darkness and beauty (in all their shades)
dm at riverwere always present.

***
Remembering the pain of the Earth had prompted me to be an artist and knowing that pain and grief had been the hallmarks of my life, this was a major realization that, in the long run, brought me much healing.

Surely, simply removing garbage from a polluted site is admirable, but Queen Dominique's cleansing went far beyond a physical, politically correct action. What started as art became a spiritual ritual of purification - a mythic, sacramental expression of piety. As she cleaned the river she cleansed her deepest self of the delusion of being separate from Mother Earth.

May we take up her broom and join in the enormous job of tidying the planet.
 
Broom Lore


The broom is a major symbol in folklore. There are lots of Old Wives' sayings about brooms bringing good luck and also bad. Many of these pearls of folk wisdom are contradictory. The broom is also widely connected to ideas about marriage.

Prohibitive Warnings About Brooms:
 

*Never sweep after sunset old woman sweepingsince so doing will chase away happiness or hurt a wandering soul.

*In Africa, should a man be struck by a broom, he will grab hold of it and hit the broomstick seven times, or he will become impotent.

*An old English Rhyme: "Buy a broom in May, and you will sweep your friends away." Another version: "Brooms bought in May, sweep the family away.

*American country folk say no good can come of carrying a broom across water, leaning a broom against the bed, or burning one.

*Never use a broom when there is a dead person in the house.

*Never use a broom to sweep outside the house, unless the inside of the house has been cleaned first.

*Never walk on a broom.

*Never sweep upstairs rooms in the afternoon.

*Never sweep the room of a departing guest until he has been gone for some time, or else your sweeping will bring him back.

*Never bring old brooms into new houses. A broom becomes attached to houses, so always leave the old one behind. Or, alternately: If a family changes residences, do not leave the broom behind, not even if it is old.

*It is bad luck to loan your broom to anyone, even a friend.

Broom Sanctions For Good Luck:

woman sweeping*Among the Dyak people of Indonesia brooms made out of the leaves of a plant are sprinkled with rice water and blood. These are used to sweep one's house, and the sweepings are placed into a toy house made of bamboo. The toy house is then set adrift on a river. It is believed that bad luck will be carried out to sea with it.

*In Wales people say, a broom laid in a doorway would detain a witch from entering a cottage. For a witch would not cross over objects without first numbering the parts, and counting all the fibers of a broom would slow her progress.

*Brooms laid across the doorways are believed to keep out bad luck. A broom laid across your threshold on New Year's Day will keep evil spirits away for the rest of the year.

*Good luck can be had by sending a new broom and a loaf of bread into a new home before entering it.

*It is said that a new broom should sweep dirt out of a house only after it has swept something in.

*In Sicily on Midsummer's Eve, people often put a broom outside their homes to ward off any wickedness that might come knocking.

*Always sweep dust balls into the middle of a room. They will protect against bad luck.

*One old wart cure consists of measuring a wart crosswise with a broom straw, then burying the straw The straw, so intimately connected with the wart, will decay, and so too should the blemish.

*Placing a broom across any doorway allows your departed friends and family to speak to you if they so choose. As long as the broom remains in place, they can communicate freely.

*If you place a broom on the floor, it will indicate to your guests that they have stayed long enough.

*If you feel as though you are being followed and haunted by unfriendly ghosts, stepping over a broomstick will prevent them from disturbing you.

Broom Associations With Marriage:
 

*An old Gypsy wedding broom jumpcustom has the couple solemnize their rites before witnesses by leaping over a broom placed in a doorway, without dislodging the broom. Should they wish to dissolve the marriage, they simply had to reverse the process, jumping backwards out of the house, over the broom, before the same witnesses.

*Similarly, in an old Welsh wedding tradition a broom is placed aslant in the doorway of the cottage. It is used as a holy symbol of matrimony. The Bridegroom jumped over the broom into the house, followed by the bride. If either of them touched the broom, the doorpost or moved the broom, the marriage was void. The object of the Broom-jumping ceremony was for the purpose of child bearing and was interpreted as a partnership. To get a divorce, the couple just jumps back over the broom handle, only this time they jump backwards.

*In Ghana, brooms were waved above the heads of newlyweds and their parents.
 

*Jumping the broom is a custom relating to slave wedding ceremonies in America. In some African-American communities today, marrying couples will end their ceremony by jumping over a broomstick, either together or separately.

*Modern Pagans and Wiccans have a "Besom (Broom) Wedding" ceremony, which is derived from the old Celtic tradition of jumping the broom.

*In Italy it is said that when a broom falls, someone will marry.

*The Irish say "Stand a broom upside down - Marry soon."

*German belief holds that if you drop a broom, you will get married the same day next year.

*In Lithuania, if you step over a broom handle there will be no proposal this year.

*A North American folk belief suggests that if a wife sweeps a circle around her husband, it will keep him eternally true to her.

*But in other place, they say that if a single people wish to marry, they should never let anyone sweep a circle around them.


 
*According to Yorkshire belief, should a young girl inadvertently step over a broom handle she will become a mother before a wife. This belief is also prevalent in Appalachia.
 
Broom Drills

  
In the late 19th century, society women performed "Broom Drills" as fund-raising events for the less fortunate. Men bought admission tickets to watch as a drill company made up of eight, sixteen or thirty-two young women performed. Each woman carried a broom on her shoulder and performed precise steps of a drill taught to them by a soldier. Some tied a wide ribbon on the handle. Often at the end of the drill, the young ladies sold their brooms to the bachelors in the audience for a high price for charity.
    broom drill

The following article was published in The New York
broom drill drawingTimes on February 19, 1881.

A Broom Drill by Lowell Girls

 

The attractive programme presented by the ladies of the First Universalist Church last evening drew together a large audience. Tea was served from 6 to 8, after which an hour was spent in sociability. The first number on the programme was a piano solo by Miss Annie Richardson, then followed a song by Mrs. Edith Robinson; two songs by Etta Hirshfield, after which came the attraction of the evening, "the boom drill," The squad consisted of 12 young ladies armed with brooms and uniformed appropriately, red, white, and blue alternating in the ranks, under the command of Capt. Cora V. Barnard, with Miss May Dunlap as drummer. The brooms were all decorated with red, white, and blue ribbons and as the ladies marched with gay colors flying, keeping perfect time with the tap of the drum, they presented quite a warlike appearance and fairly took the house by storm. After the usual military tactics by the word of command, an exhibition of the silent drill showed a proficiency which was truly surprising. At the close of the drill the brooms were sold by auction, bringing from 50 cents to $1.50.


 
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 December 2010 Issue:

CORRECTION: Gloria Orenstein, who wrote the wonderful article "The Pleasures of Life," is Professor of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California and not at UCLA. Sorry, Gloria.
- QMD

The salon issue was delightful. Cheers to you, Queen Donna.
- Shirley, NE

Oh my. What a wonderful issue. It felt like a Christmas present. When are you starting up the Spider Salons again? I'll have to take the bus down.
- Susan, MA

Thanks for another great issue. I always learn something new - now I know where the little bookstore "Blue Stockings" got its name.
- Deni, NY

I really enjoyed this issue about friendship and culture and cheer. Thanks for reminding us to enjoy the pleasures of life.
- Sheyla, NM

Salons are such great vehicles for women to share their interests and their creative, intellectual work. Maybe this issue will inspire the creation of some new salons.
- Beverly, WA

The Queen's Chronicles looks good as usual. They are such a good read.
- Ilona, NY

Thanks for this. It was so much fun reading about these lively women's gatherings. Makes me want to start my own. Maybe I will do just that!
- Jennifer, WI

I used to be in the best book club, which was very much like a monthly salon gathering. Actually, we read The Queen of My Self and discussed it! I have moved and not yet found a good replacement. Reading this made me so nostalgic (in a good way).
- Sharene, AL

These Chronicles are so great. Every month is chock full of interesting information and inspiration. I always wonder what topic you will come up with next. You never seem to run out of good ideas!
- Annabelle, TX

 
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.
 



Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.
- Bernadette Devlin
 


MilDred Gerestant, TX; Suzanne Lacy, CA; Linda Montano, NY; Toshi Reagan, NY;
and Rachel Rosenthal, CA; on their performances and/or performances of their work.

Audrye Arbe, FL,
The Mother's Manual, A Spiritual and Practical Guide to Child Rearing and Motherhood (Book); Janet Brennan, NY, Secret Guide to Relationships You Want (Book); Susan Corso, MA, Seeds Volume I-X (e-Book); Aviva Gold, CA, Source Art In The World: How your Authentic Creativity Heals the Planet (e-Book); Karma Kitaj, MA, Women Who Could...and Did: Lives of 26 Exemplary Artists and Scientists (Book); Suzanne Lacy, CA, Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974-2007 (Book); and Mandy Ziegler, CO, When Your Spirit Calls: In Search of Your Spiritual Voice (Book); on their new publications.

Nancy Azara, Judith Bernstein, NY; Darla Bjork, NY, Sheila Pepe, NY; Carolee Schneeman, NY; Karen Shaw, NY; Muriel Stockdale, NY; Robin Tewes, NY;
and Linda Vallejo, NY; on the exhibitions of their artwork.

Dixie Sheridan, NY, on the acquisition of her archive of theatre photographs by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, at Lincoln Center.

Vijali Hamilton, UT;
and Dominique Mazeaud, NM; recipients of the Art and Healing Network Award.

Shelley Ackerman, NY,
on her recent television appearances.

Laurie Sue Brockway, NY;
and Shirley Franck, IN; on their new jobs.

Shirley Franck
and Liz Lawson, IN, on their new home.

Erica Ryland, CT,
on her retirement.


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
Heart-Felt
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; Bebee, DE; Betty, AL; Beverly, NY; 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; Judith, NY; Kathy, RI; Kimberly, CA; Kimi, NJ; Laura, NY; Laurie, CA; Letitia, VA; Linda, NY; Lisa, PA; Lucia, TX; Matild Cathy, NY; Maxine, 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.

Deirdre, NY; 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, New Zealand; 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:
Trudy Hill-Miller, TN
Judy O'Neil, NY
Kappie Spenser, FL
Ellen Stewart, NY

 
With Sincere Condolences:
Zsuzsanna Budapest, CA
Carol Dunn, NY
Geri Flynn, NY

This request is for my sister, Maxine, here in Elmira. She broke her back in the fall, and has been walking around in severe pain since then, undiagnosed, without insurance. She's been waiting until Jan. 1, when she could sign up for insurance, before seeking help - otherwise it would be a pre-existing condition, and wouldn't be covered. She hadn't realized it was broken, thought it was just a very bad back. Had her appointment yesterday, and x-rays came back today, she's fractured Lumbar 3. Goes in for a bone scan next, to discover the next steps. Meanwhile, if she's off work too long she'll lose the job and insurance, won't be able to afford COBRA and really be s.o.l. (shit out of luck). She's been working since then, desk job, albeit in severe pain. But I don't think doc will let her go back to work now. Thank you so much for any prayers, Reiki, healing energies you can send! Namasté,
- Phyllis, NY

Asking for those who love the energy of the sun to hold dear in your hearts our brothers and sisters working in solar energy. The industry is having major breakdowns all over due to finance issues. Imagine the banks and gas lobbies getting out of the way. Bring on the sun!
- Chrys, NY

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.
- Pearl S. Buck

 
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


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MASSACHUSETTS,
NEW YORK AND OHIO



MY MONARCHY


In 1967, although I couldn't know it at the time, I began to meet the five woman who would become my lifetime friends. We were students at the University of Dayton, Ohio at a very exciting juncture in history and we just seemed to click.

 

After graduation we had our first reunion in my Manhattan apartment in 1972 on Memorial Day weekend. It became a tradition. Our rule for success was a simple one: No Husbands, No Kids. It worked.

 

We met in New York City for many years before we decided to diversify. Each year someone selected a place to meet. We met in New Jersey, Cincinnati, West Virginia and Cape Cod. Our visits grew more precious to us as the years passed and we experienced birth and death, career highs and lows.

 

Professionally we are diverse. We have a family therapist, a media specialist, a business consultant, a senior scientist for the EPA, an acupuncturist, and I am an astrologer and Tarot reader, better known as an Intuitive Counselor. But what unites us is an unbeatable desire to have fun. Years ago we named ourselves the GirlGang. It fits.

 

Twelve years ago we decided to upgrade ourselves from a three-day weekend to a whole week, since a week was time enough to go somewhere exciting and do more fun things.

 

We have met in the most wonderful places - from Santa Fe to Puerto Vallarta. This year we have rented a palazzo in Venice where we have shared important past lives together. Although each of us has been to Venice, we have never traveled as a pack, and I am very excited to see what past life memories surface.

 

I thought we should choose a Queen each year, working chronologically through our birth order. The Queen for the year makes all the executive decisions for the year. In debates, she settles things. It is a position of responsibility and one of great joy. The Queen is pampered for the entire year.

 

Every year we have had a coronation with pomp and ceremony. They were usually themed. A Key West coronation was called Island Girl. One of my coronations was in Martha's Vineyard and it was dedicated to Corn Woman. Another crowning was dubbed A Night in Venice. I had a silver crown given to me as a gift and over the past 12 years it got decorated with seashells and fake jewels and gems.

 

The first thing we do when we arrive at a destination is to create an altar. That altar grows and grows throughout the week with Buddhas and Ganeshes and Our Lady of Guadalupe and saints and icons from all over the globe. It becomes the focal point of our Spirit Work.

 

I thank Goddess every day for the incredible gift of my GirlGang. They mean the world to me and as Emily Dickinson said, "My friends are my estate."

 

Carole Murray, NY

GirlGang 

 

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!

 



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.
- QMD


Turn Your
Midlife Crisis
into Your Crowning Achievement!
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