Dr. Susan Corso is the Spiritual Alignment expert at Visions HealthCare in Wellesley, MA. A born intuitive, she has had a spiritual counseling practice for 29 years. Aligning Spirit, Soul and Body makes for a deeper, more fulfilling life. Says Susan, "Seeking includes finding in my reality. I walk parallel with you on your path to the fulfillment of your best dreams." If you resonate to this, I'll be delighted to serve you.
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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.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE QUEEN!
BOOK GIVE AWAY!
The Queen of My Self is now six years old and still appears in the list of top 100 Goddess Spirituality books on Amazon.com. That is quite a shelf life, especially these days when most books live and die in six months. This is entirely due to you! - your purchases and your recommendations. I am so incredibly grateful for your support.
As a gesture of my appreciation, I will send a complimentary signed book to the first six women who request one. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for your copy.
The Queen of My Self is now available in all E-formats: Kindle, Nook Book, Apple and PDF from Art & Words Editions.
"In The Queen of My Self, Donna Henes reclaims the ancient wisdom of all earth cultures: that older women are strong, wise, and free. For decades, Donna has guided us through the seasons of our lives. Now she gives us the divine paradox: that it is only by treasuring and knowing ourselves can we best serve our precious planet. This is an essential treasure for all midlife women - and those who love them."
- Hallie Austen Iglehart, author of Womanspirit and The Heart of the Goddess
I read your book on a plane ride home from saying goodbye to my childhood friend dying of lung cancer. The full moon shone outside and your words brought me comfort and a space of recognition. Thus began my journey into Queenhood. Your book meant so much. Thank you!
- Rose, NY
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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
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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?
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
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THE QUEEN'S COUNSEL
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.
It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes.
- Sally Field
Seva Retreat Center, Elkins Park, PA
MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY
1/3 off reading for February Birthdays. In person or by phone.
For info: 718-857-1343
Friday, 9:00 PM EST
Interview with Carol Marleigh Kline on Streetwise Spirituality Radio.
FEBRUARY 19, 26
MARCH 5, 12, 19, 26
APRIL 2, 9
Saturdays at 11:00 AM
IT'S IN THE CARDS!
LEVEL 1 CLASSES
A Spirit Support Skills Workshop Series
Mama Donna's Tea Garden & Healing Haven
Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY
Advance reservations required: 718-857-1343
$50. If prepaid
$60. At the door
$350 if the entire series is prepaid
MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAROT CLUB
1/3 off reading for March Birthdays.
In person or by phone.
For info: 718-857-1343
Saturday, 7:00 PM EST
Interview with Linda Strasburg on Lights On Radio.
Tuesday, 12:00 PM EST
Interview with Aricia E. LaFrance on WEUplift Radio
Sunday 7:00 PM EDT Event starts
7:21 PM EDT Equinox moment
EGGS ON END:
STANDING ON CEREMONY
VERNAL EQUINOX CELEBRATION
A family friendly event. Bring kids, drums, percussion instruments and plenty of spirit.
Call to volunteer.
Manhattan (Call for venue)
MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAROT CLUB
1/3 off reading for April Birthdays. In person or by phone.
For info: 718-857-1343
A WALK ABOUT WATER
Mama Donna will Bless the waters and the walkers in a send off ceremony for a 90 mile pilgrimage through the Delaware River Valley (from the Neversink Reservoir in NY to Salt Springs State Park, PA) to carry clean water to the waters polluted by natural gas fracking in Pennsylvania.
The Neversink Reservoir
For info about the joining the blessing ceremony and/or the Walk contact: Chrys Countryman: email@example.com
MAMA DONNA'S HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAROT CLUB
1/3 off reading for May Birthdays. In person or by phone.
For info: 718-857-1343
Saturday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
THE QUEEN OF MY SELF WORKSHOP & ROYAL CROWNING CEREMONY
3200 West Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13219
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
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A weekend with Donna Henes opens the door to the magic of sisterhood and fills the room with inspiration, laughter, hugs, and tears. The power and wonder of womanhood prevails as everyone tells their stories and shares their dreams. The space becomes safe enough to express the deepest fears and most tragic experiences and we all realize that none of us live ordinary lives. Donna offers the participants the tools to hold their lives together, and celebrate the years they have lived and those to come. Each woman left as the Queen she was destined to be.
- Pat Worth, Director
Someday Farm Spiritual Center
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.
The Queen's Emporium
- 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)
ORDER YOURS TODAY!
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According to the
Cosmology of Reya
Reya Mellicker, DC
Art and Words
Kris Waldherr, NY
Be in Love Again
Judith Geiger, NY
Not Your Mama's Menopause
Goddess in a Tea Pot
Carolyn Boyd, MA
Here and Now
Stephanie Blackwood, NY
Memory & Movement
Wickham Boyle, NY
Midlife Monkey Girls
Midlife Road Trip
Sher Bailey & Rick Griffin, USA
Mary Saracino, CO
Ruin and Beauty
Deena Metzger, CA
Seeds for Sanctuary
Dr. Susan Corso, MA
Spreading the Gaia Word
Phoenix Wolf-Ray, BC, Canada
Starhawk's Personal Blog
Tales From the Velvet Chamber
Lillian Slugocki, NY
The Sustainable Soul:
Rebecca Hecking, PA
Dani Sutliff, WI
Writing for Life
Sandra Lee Schubert, NY
The brain, the mind, is said to be our most sensitive sexual organ and I have come to absolutely believe it. Time after time again in my life, it has been proven to me that being in possession of a lively, energized spirit is much more erotic than having an outwardly pretty face or perfectly honed physique. It seems to me that the popular misperception that midlife marks the end of a woman's sexuality and appeal has less to do with her losing her looks than her losing her spirit. Allure is visceral and begins inside.
When I went to Paris in my fifties, it seemed like every man between the onset of puberty and the edge of the grave seemed to be coming on to me. "But this is Paris," I would remind myself, "not real life." I had always heard that in Europe mature women were appreciated. And indeed, women there do seem to age particularly well. They have an incredible talent for remaining luscious and alluring well past their mere middle years and into their seventies, eighties and beyond. Think of Jeanne Moreau, Simone Signoret, Sophia Loren, Liv Ullman, Celia Cruz.
In Europe you can be Sophia, you can be these older women who are considered very sexy.
- Sally Kirkland
The mother of a good friend was born in Germany 98 years ago. Her face is as deeply grooved as Lillian Hellman's. She smokes like a chimney. She has a younger lover, but does not live with him. She looks, sounds and acts like an age-progressed Marlene Dietrich. She is one hot great-grandma.
I once saw Alberta Hunter belt out the blues when she was in her eighties and she was by far the sexiest woman in that room. Lena Horne once boasted, "It's ill becoming for an old broad to sing about how bad she wants it. But occasionally we do." What fabulous role models.
The emotional maturity and depth of character of women of a certain age, is extraordinarily and vitally attractive. We are substantial and robust, heady with the flavor of all that we have seen and done so far. Pungent with profound experience, with pain and loss. Lessons learned from lives lived intensely are reflected in our palate - sophisticated, subtle, firm and complex. Like fine wine and good cheese, women ripen and improve with age. Our essence becomes stronger, more challenging and infinitely more rewarding.
I keep thinking about Ruth Gordon in "Harold and Maude," a woman on the cusp of her 80th birthday. Not only was she eccentric and electric, charming and disarming, she was shamelessly flirtatious and downright sexy.
Let us savor our sexual pleasures now and forever more.
With blessings of passion,
From the beginning, women were exalted as the image, the echo, the counterpart companion of the Goddess. Their access to ecstasy, imbued with spiritual significance. As priestesses, they tended the fires and fanned the generative flames from Her sex, the seat of Her power.
Paleolithic carved figures refer to woman as matrix, as creatrix, to moon cycles and menstrual magic, and resonate profound reverence in their rendering. Grandly voluptuous female forms, their sturdy stature commanding confidence and authority.
The Venuses of Willendorf, of Meton, of Lespugue, with their big breasts and belly, huge hips and ass, stand frank and fecund, formidable and efficacious. Faceless, their limbs are abbreviated. Their focus is centered on their own nubile torso, which tapers to a point. The tip of the vortex of their sex.
These ancient images sanctify female sexuality as religious expression. The carnal knowledge of universal power links sex and prayer etymologically. Venerate and venereal both stem from the Latin name of the licentious Goddess of Love, Venus. Lust in the old Germanic language meant "religious joy."
The same spark, which ignites to conceive children, also kindles culture. It is the mother of invention. Around 9000 years ago, Mediterranean cultures venerated a supreme goddess of seduction and fruition. The intensity of Her desire, potent enough to produce generations, agriculture, poetry. She guided all growth, and especially loved lovers and art. Beauty and Heart. Ishtar, Isis, Cybele, Inanna, Aphrodite. She was not shy.
My vulva, the horn.
The Boat of Heaven
Is full of eagerness like the moon
My untilled land lies fallow
As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?
As for me, the young woman,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will station the ox there?
Who will plow my vulva?
- Text on Sumerian tablet, 2000 BC
Sex invoked in myth and ritual is symbolic of the primary life force. Sex as energy. Sex as creation. Sex as abundance. Sex as unification. Sex as divine spirit. Sex as celebration. Sex as sympathetic magic.
During the Iroquois Naked Dance, a woman and a man coupled in the fields to fertilize the crops. Until the end of the last century, European peasants did the same. The Christians called the fertility song-prayers of pagan Norsemen, "female gyrations." Sexual licentiousness was central in the harvest celebrations of the African Bantu and Badago.
Hunters also had intercourse with nature. The married women of the Cheyenne and Mandan of the Great Plains performed a rite called "Intercourse with the Buffalo." They shared sexual relations with the elder men of the tribe who impersonated the bison, thereby channeling the Great Spirit. Celtic kings would copulate with a mare, which was then killed, butchered and cooked in a soup. This, the king consumed in order to partake of the power of Epona, the Equine Goddess.
Hindus maintain that sex with any woman is the same as sex with the Goddess Shakti, Herself, whose vibratory energy charges all life. In Tantra, as well as Taoism, the male taps into the infinite energy of the female - fuses with her like a space capsule refueling in orbit. He then recycles, as it were, his sperm, directing its flow to the top of his head to elevate his spirit.
Sufis and other Middle Eastern mystics consort with a fravashi, a mystical lady-love to reach enlightenment. Tantric-like techniques were taught in Greek temples of Venus by Her harlot-priestesses, the venerii. Ovid, an initiate, wanted to die while making love. "Let me go in the act of coming to Venus, in more senses than one let my last dying be done."
The Romans celebrated the sacred febris or sexual frenzy of the Goddess Juno in mid February, the time when the birds in Italy mate. On Lupercalia men and women drew love lots to determine their partner for this festival of erotic games. This is how Sulpicia, a Roman poet in the first century, BC described her experience of febris:
At last love has come. I would be more ashamed
to hide it in cloth than leave it naked.
I prayed to the Muse and won. Venus dropped him
in my arms, doing for me what she
had promised. Let my joy be told, let those
who have none tell it in a story.
Personally, I would never send off words
in sealed tablets for none to read.
I delight in sinning and hate to compose a mask
for gossip. We met. We are both worthy.
Lupercalia was the original Valentine's Day. Unable to stop this popular orgiastic festival, early church fathers created a sainted martyr, a patron of lovers whose feast day would be February 14th, thus, sanctioning a celebration they could not suppress.
All the symbols of Lupercalia are still intact, if sanitized and insipid. Cupid, child of Aphrodite and Hermes was an Herm-Aphrodite, the embodiment of sexual union. S/he is now depicted as a cutsie chubby angel baby with a bow and arrow. Cupid's arrows are symbolic of phallic projectiles of passion, penetrating a red heart. And the heart, which has no resemblance to an anatomical heart, is a simplistic illustration of an aroused and engorged vulva, a holy yoni.
Mae West, actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol supreme was born Mary Jane West in Brooklyn, New York in 1893. Her father was a prizefighter known as "Battlin' Jack West" and her mother was a former corset and fashion model.
She made her debut as a performer at the age of five at a church social. By seven, she was appearing regularly in amateur shows around the city. When she reached fourteen in 1907, she began her professional stage career in vaudeville. Her first appearance in a legitimate Broadway show was in 1911. After performing in several high-profile revues, West finally got her break in the in the 1918 Shubert Brothers revue Sometime, opposite Ed Wynn. Her character Mayme danced a very provocative shimmy.
West was encouraged unconditionally by her mother, who always thought that whatever her daughter did was fantastic. Other family members, however, were less than supportive and actively disapproved of her career choices.
Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.
Eventually, she began writing her own risqué plays using the pen name Jane Mast. Her play, Sex, which she also produced and directed, was her first starring role on Broadway. The critics hated the show, but the audiences loved it and ticket sales were great. Outraged, city officials raided the notorious production and West along with the rest of the cast was arrested.
Unrepentant, West continued to challenge the moral codes, and on April 19, 1927, she was prosecuted and sentenced to ten days for "corrupting the morals of youth." While incarcerated, she was the dinner guest of the warden and his wife and told reporters that she wore her silk underpants while serving time. She served eight days with two days off for good behavior and the media attention about the case greatly enhanced her career.
Her next play, The Drag, dealt with homosexuality and was what West called one of her "comedy-dramas of life." After runs in Connecticut and New Jersey, West, an avid supporter of gay rights, planned to bring the production to New York. However, The Society for the Prevention of Vice prevented her from doing so.
Undeterred, she continued to write plays, including The Wicked Age, Pleasure Man and The Constant Sinner. These productions were plagued by controversy, but the bruhaha ensured that that she stayed in the news, which resulted in packed performances. Her 1928 play, Diamond Lil, about a racy, easygoing lady of the 1890s, became a Broadway hit, which enjoyed an enduring popularity and West successfully revived it many times throughout the course of her career.
When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.
In 1932, Paramount Pictures offered West a motion picture contract even though at 38 she was considered too old to be just starting out in the movies, especially as a sex symbol. West made her film debut in Night After Night starring George Raft. At first, she was disappointed to have a small role, so she lobbied to rewrite her scenes. In her first scene, a hatcheck girl exclaims, "Goodness, what beautiful diamonds." West replies, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie." Reflecting on the success of her rewritten scenes, Raft commented, "She stole everything but the cameras."
The following year she brought her Diamond Lil character, now renamed Lady Lou, to the screen in She Done Him Wrong. She insisted on co-starring with Cary Grant, which was another career boost. The film was a box office hit and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Her next release, I'm No Angel, in which she was also paired with Grant, was a financial success as well. By 1935 she was the second highest paid person in the United States, after William Randolph Hearst.
In 1934 the censorship of the Production Code began to be seriously and meticulously enforced, and her screenplays were heavily edited. Her film, Klondike Annie dealt with religion and hypocrisy and was very controversial. Today it is considered to be her screen masterpiece.
I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.
Queen West continued to make mostly successful films until 1940 when she turned her creative attention to other projects. She would not return to films until 1970. She appeared several times on ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's radio show, appearing as herself. She flirted with Charlie McCarthy, Bergen's dummy, using her usual brand of wit and risqué sexual references. West referred to Charlie as "all wood and a yard long" and remarked that his kisses gave her splinters.
Even more outrageous was a sketch she did with Don Ameche as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. She told Ameche in the show to "get me a big one... I feel like doin' a big apple!" NBC was bombarded with letters calling the show "immoral" and "obscene." Women's clubs and Catholic groups admonished the show's sponsor, Chase & Sanborn Coffee Company, for "prostituting" their services for allowing "impurity [to] invade the air." The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) later deemed the broadcast "vulgar and indecent" and "far below even the minimum standard which should control in the selection and production of broadcast programs." NBC personally blamed West for the incident and banned her (and the mention of her name) from their stations. West would not perform in radio for another twelve years until 1950, on a program hosted by Perry Como.
Among her stage performances was the title role in Catherine Was Great on Broadway, in which she spoofed the story of Catherine the Great of Russia, surrounding herself with an "imperial guard" of tall, muscular young actors. In the 1950s, she also starred in her own Las Vegas stage show, singing while surrounded by bodybuilders, one of whom was a former Mr. Universe, Mickey Hargitay who later married Jayne Mansfield.
In 1958, West appeared at the Academy Awards and performed the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Rock Hudson. In 1959, she released her autobiography Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It, which went on to become a best seller. She also appearanced on television, including The Red Skelton Show in 1960 and a guest role on the sitcom Mister Ed. In the late 1960s she recorded two rock and roll albums, Way Out West and Wild Christmas in order to appeal to younger generations. She also recorded a number of parody songs including "Santa, Come Up to See Me" on the album Wild Christmas.
In 1970, after a 26-year absence from motion pictures, West appeared in Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge with Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Farrah Fawcett, and Tom Selleck. The movie was a deliberately campy sex change comedy that was both a box office and critical flop, but it did make her a favorite on the cult film circuit where she was dubbed "the queen of camp." For her contribution to the film industry, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
West had many boyfriends throughout her life. One was boxing champion William Jones, nicknamed Gorilla Jones. When the management at her apartment building discriminated against the African-American boxer and barred his entry, West solved the problem by buying the building.
In 1955 when she was 61, Mae West became romantically involved with one of the musclemen in her Las Vegas stage show, a wrestler, former Mr. California and former merchant marine Chester Rybonski, who was thirty years her junior. He moved in with her and their romance continued until West died at the age of 87. He once commented, "I believe I was put on this Earth to take care of Mae West."
Queen Mae died at home in Hollywood on November 22, 1980.
Ever true to herself, she never stopped creating and never stopped creating controversy by her outrageously bold sexual double entendres and innuendos. And most importantly, she never stopped creating her own persona. Unfortunately, in our youth-obsessed culture, the specter of an overtly flirtatious and vibrant older woman is treated as a joke. Mae West, femme fatale forever, was presented in the media as a complete laughing stock. It is always said that as she aged she became a parody of herself. But she was her Self - and more and always more so, right to the end. Authentic and self-invented, she lived and loved totally on her own terms, a role model we sexy Queens can be proud of.
I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
Since antiquity, medical writings have recognized a woman's complaint characterized by nervousness, fluid retention, insomnia and lack of appetite. A female display of distress and unmanageable emotional excess was behavior considered to be a disease in need of treatment. Hippocrates dubbed this condition "hysteria" or "womb furie."
Galen, a Greek physician, claimed it was caused by the womb's revolt against sexual deprivation, particularly in passionate women, and was noted in nuns, virgins, widows and occasionally in married women whose husbands were not up to the job.
From the beginning, physicians treated hysteria with genital massage in order to induce "hysterical paroxysm" (better known as orgasm) in the patient.
"Arising from the touch of the genital organs required by the treatment, there follows twitchings accompanied at the same time by pain and pleasure...from that time she is free of all the evil she felt," proclaimed Galen.
An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away.
- Mae West
Such treatment demanded both manual dexterity and a fair amount of time, And, significantly, because it took so long, it wasn't lucrative enough for doctors who needed to see many patients to achieve a reasonable income. However, the simple solution of masturbation was regarded as wrong. It was not only a moral affront, but something that was thought of as constitutionally dangerous, enfeebling mind and body. "Women [with hysteria] should not resort to rubbing," said Avicenna, the Muslim scholar and founder of early modern medicine. It was, he advised, "a man's job, suitable only for husbands and doctors."
Given that many in the medical profession thought that as many as 75% of the female population were "hysterical" and that it was a chronic disease which could be relieved but not cured, there was a pressing need for cheaper, less cumbersome means of treatment. And here we have the birth of the vibrator.
In the early 1860s a scary French pelvic douche was invented to do the trick. It involved what looks like a high-pressure fire hose, trained on the clitoris and claimed to induce paroxysm in less than four minutes.
By the mid-1870s, steam power had been explored. "The Manipulator" was a table with a cutout area for the woman's pelvis. A vibrating sphere driven by a steam engine then did the business. But like the hydrotherapies, it was not suitable for the doctor's treatment room.
If you use the electric vibrator near water, you will come and go at the same time.
- Louise Sammons
These early vibrators looked like excruciating medieval torture devices or something more suitable for use on the kitchen counter or in an automotive garage.
The electric vibrator had its inception in 1869 with the invention of a steam-powered massager, patented by an American doctor. This device was designed as a medical tool for treating "female disorders." Within 20 years a British doctor followed up with a more portable battery-operated model and by 1900, dozens of styles of electric vibrators were available to the discriminating medical professional.
In 1899, the vibrator was introduced as a home medical appliance. They were electrified ten years before either the washing machine or the vacuum cleaner. They appeared in magazine advertisements by 1904. Good Housekeeping ran a "tried and tested" on vibrators in 1909, claiming they brought a glow to the face. An ad in a 1918 Sears Roebuck catalog of "aids that every woman appreciates" described a $5.95 portable model as "very useful and satisfactory for home service."
By the 1920s, doctors had abandoned hands-on physical treatments for hysteria in favor of psychotherapeutic techniques. But vibrators continued to have an active commercial life in which they were marketed as cure-alls for ills ranging from headaches and asthma to "fading beauty" and even tuberculosis!
The best sex I have ever had was with my vibrator.
- Eva Longoria
The ad copy for these vibrators was coy and ambiguous. "Be a glow getter," one package insert suggests. And who wouldn't be tempted to experience "that delicious, thrilling health-restoring sensation called vibration," when assured that "it makes you fairly tingle with the joy of living"? The vibrator's usefulness for masturbation was never acknowledged; however, as vibrators began appearing in erotic stag films of the 1920s, it became difficult to ignore their sexual function. Probably as a result, advertisements for vibrators gradually disappeared from respectable publications.
To this day, electric vibrators are marketed solely as massagers and manufacturers steadfastly ignore their sexual benefits. Vibrators are now a big business; they are sold through drug stores, department stores and even the Sears catalog. They are also sold at sex shops where they are proudly promoted as the superior sex toys they are.
Betty Dodson, who is known as the "godmother of the masturbation movement," recalls how a male lover suggested that they experiment with a barber's scalp massager. It produced spectacular orgasms that led to a crusade on her part to show women how to use vibrators. Her message was consistent: "Independent orgasm, I guarantee, will lead to independent thoughts."
A woman with a well-stocked toy drawer isn't dependent on anyone and is unlikely to hurl herself at a lowlife just for nooky.
- Arianne Coheb
Anoint Your Self for Pleasure
For some women, the noticeable reduction in vaginal fluid during menopause is a sexual deterrent as it may take longer to become aroused and penetration may become irritating. But a little dryness down there doesn't stop the lusty Queen. That's why the Goddess invented cocoa butter.
Unguent and lotions and moisturizing potions are really quite sexy. Experiment with commercial lubricants or try rubbing yourself with some honey, fragrant coconut cream, almond, walnut, avocado, or olive oil, sweet Danish butter, molasses, chocolate syrup, or whatever tickles your fancy. Think of it as a way of blessing yourself with the power of your own pleasure.
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.
I posed this question to our cyber Queens' Court - The Queen of My Self Fan Page on Facebook:
Q. SEXY QUEENS: I am wondering: What is your sex life about as a Queen? How has your attitude about and/or your practice of sexuality changed with age? Are you less interested? More interested? More or less satisfied? Freer? More or less adventurous? These are pertinent questions for our Queen's Court. Please reply here or, if you choose, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A. Since learning that sex and love were not the same things, that didn't take long, my attitude toward sex has changed very little. I have always enjoyed sex, and as I age I find out that it really does get better with age, something that I would have never believed at 30. Intercourse, meaning communication and also meaning coitus, is so appropriate I think because it is communication, and bonding. At least for me, age has not dulled my interest, and that age has made me freer and more appreciative and understanding of the powerful place sexual intercourse holds in our lives. Not to mention the rewards and delights. Sex is not just for the young. Afterglow is good.
- LoisAnn, PA
A. As a Queen, I am definitely less interested in sex as just something to do or feel. It seems that my body is becoming more sexy in its sexual energy rather than in my physical being. For example, I can have an orgasm energetically if I open my womb space energy and allow Shakti Energy to flow through me. LOVE IT! WOWEE!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Sheryll, CA
A. I have found that initially I was much more free... relaxed. After a few years of this stage, I began to place my energies elsewhere. In many ways this was enlightening as I had no idea how much focus I had given sex and its pursuit. But I do miss it...even though married.
- Michele, IL
A. Much less interested. I am too busy discovering parts of me that I didn't know I had.
- Susan, NY
A. I find, as I grow deeper into my Queen self, that I am much more sexual and confident about my sexual desires. When I was younger and even into my mother years, my sexual self was focused more on what he (my husband) wanted or needed. At this stage of my life, I am much more interested in what I want and need as it pertains to sex. Experimentation, whether as a couple or alone (yes, the untalked about "M" word) is much more free and exciting for me. I've noticed as well, that since my hysterectomy in 2009, I am much more frisky and flirtatious and able to climax quite easily. I love being a Queen and seasoned woman :o)
- Kimi, NJ
A. This Queen is reveling in her sacred sexuality. The ecstatic pleasure I am able to experience is a gift as I see it. I do wonder at times what could possibly happen if I was able to channel some of that energy elsewhere. I love what Kimi said, I too, shall consider myself a seasoned woman!
- Alys, CO
A. During my menopausal years (50-53) my sexuality increased wonderfully! Orgasms were longer and much more frequent. I ended my relationship and within a few years, my sexuality decreased. When I started dating again, I experienced pain upon penetration. My doctor told me my vagina was atrophying. That relationship ended shortly after that diagnosis and I've been single since then (five years). I've not missed it, actually. I've not missed having a man around either. LOL. I've realized that there is SO much more to life and that my earlier years were so focused on sex that I missed many wonders of our beautiful world. I am free and glad of it.
- Susan, NY
A. For me, part of feeling sexy is owning my power as a woman - the seat of that power being that which makes me a woman - my womb, my vagina. Being aware of the power that resides there.
- Lisa, VA
And what about you, my dear sister Queens? What part does sex play in your lives now? How do you feel about it? I would love to further this discussion. Do send in your experiences, thoughts and ideas.
Please send your responses or questions to: email@example.com
Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles.
The Queen's Correspondence
Thanks so much for taking
the time to respond to
The Queen's Chronicles.
Please keep your
comments coming. And
do feel free to make
content you would like to
see. Or anything else, for that matter. It is a joy to connect with you.
I could really relate to your article about spring cleaning and new beginnings! I really feel that we have crossed some kind of threshold and we need to sweep out the old to welcome in the new! 2011 feels like a whole new start... We'll see what it brings! I really enjoy The Queen's Chronicles and your Huffington Post articles! You do a great job! All best wishes,
Letters In Response To The January 2011 Issue:
- Margaret, UK
My grandmother used to say, "A new broom sweeps clean." I feel that we need to use a lot of "new brooms" to clean and start anew!
- Cynthia, HI
Another great issue and loved the info on the brooms. Sure wish I still had a group of friends that got together once a year like Carol Murray and her crew.
- Deni, NY
This was so interesting. I can always count on The Chronicles to give me something new to think about, to enjoy and to inspire me. Thank you so much for expanding my views.
- Suzanna, AK
I remember my grandmother telling me that all she had to clean with was a rag and a broom. That has always appealed to me instead of all the appliances and so-called conveniences that clutter my closets now. Those wise women really were!
- Sally Jane, AL
This is wonderful, Donna. As usual, I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED your newsletter! I will pass it on. Love,
- Cristina, NY
Sweep away all that does not serve! Thanks for the great reminder.
- Kathleen, IL
- Danielle, France
I wanted you to know that I always forward The Queen's Chronicles to my girlfriends. You have lots of Queen fans out here. Keep it up!
- Georgia, KS
Here is another broom picture for your archive.
- Sandi, NY
Please send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles.
We extend hearty congratulations to our multi-talented circle of Sister Queens for their impressive accomplishments and successes.
The world will not fall apart if we step into our grace and express our vastness. It is more likely the world will stop falling apart when we do.
- Geneen Roth
Robin Bady and Deni Bonet, NY; Marcy Gordon, NY; Karen Jones Meadows, NY; Reno, NY; Theodora Skipitares, NY; Carmela Tal Baron, NY; on their performances and/or performances of their work.
Stephanie Coontz, WA; A Strange Stirring, The Feminine Mystique And American Women At The Dawn Of The 1960s, (Book); Judith Orloff, CA; Emotional Freedom and Positive Energy (Book) on their new publications.
Joyce Cutler-Shaw, CA; Elizabeth Farrell, NY; Kathleen Laziza, NY; Kathleen Ruel, NY; Carolee Schneemann, NY; Linda Stein, NY; on the exhibitions of their artwork.
Frances Dunston, NY, on the birth of her first grandchild.
Jude Pierce, NY; 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
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, New Zealand; Erica, NY; Gail, OH; Geraldine, ID; Glenys, Australia; Helena, NY; Jo, AZ; Judith, NY; 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; Sandy, CA; Sarah, CT; Sid, PA; Shirley, IN; Sid, PA; 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:
Jane Gurko, CA
Laura Hershey, CO
Kathrn Avis Kay, OH
Sally Lynn Smith, OR
With Sincere Condolences:
Sally Gearhart, CA
Monique Lang, NY
Robin Stevens, CO
I am well, but my country is not. A beautiful inspiring revolution is taking place in Egypt. Egyptians are drunk with our power to decide. It is amazing. A real revolution of LIGHT. I pray that the change will continue to be peaceful. Pray for the New Egypt. Speak up for Peace.
- Dalia, Egypt
So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind,
Is all this sad world needs.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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.
There's a ceremony in Tantra that involves naming your genitalia. Some western traditions of sacred sexuality contain information about reconnecting to your genital sense of Self. I was intrigued with all this when I first began my studies of various traditions of sacred sex. There are so many layers of shame and confusion that prevent us from having a relationship with our precious most private parts, and I thought the naming ceremony was a brilliant way to reconnect...a baptism, of sorts. My lover of that time was such a lucky man, as I was trying out the things I was learning with him. The summer of 2000 was one of the best in my memory. We were playfully, innocently loving each other and enjoying the lightness of our loveship - no expectations, no plans, no demands - that was our motto.
One brilliant, crisp July morning we headed for a stream in South Boulder that we'd visited earlier in the year, when there was still ice along the edges. We'd spotted a boulder in the middle that looked smooth and even, the perfect place for a picnic. Removing our shoes, we waded into the icy cold water, carrying our essentials. We had the makings of mimosas - champagne and orange juice, a comfy blanket and some pillows, some fruit, a little primo chocolate, and a copy of Jitterbug Perfume
, by Tom Robbins.
The rock was the perfect spot for some kissing, some reading and some culinary indulgence. We'd picked up some of the biggest, most luscious looking peaches I'd ever seen at the farmer's market on our way out. We dropped them into the stream for chilling as we read a bit and enjoyed the sun and the sounds of the rushing water. After a while, we pulled the peaches up beside us. I suggested we both take a bite out of one at the same time, as we gazed into each other's eyes.
We'd been talking about the naming of my yoni for a while. Nothing we'd come up with so far had seemed just right. As our eyes met with that peach between our lips, taking an intoxicating, juicy bite, we both said, through the mouthfuls, juice dribbling off our chins, "Her name is Peaches!" Gasping, gulping, giggling, I rolled off the rock and into the icy cold stream and we baptized her right there. And Peaches is her name.
Fast forward to the grim, gray, bone-chilling coldness of a central Texas January, 2004. Since leaving my home in Boulder, I'd been through a weird kind of chaotic instability, floating without a home, traveling in my new old truck, and suffering through a living situation that had ended with a long-term friendship blowing up, causing me to find myself homeless again at the end of the year. On top of this, I was in the last throes of menopausal hell. No health care, no money to get herbal help, feeling fortunate to have food stamps. I'm of the opinion that menopausal women should be carried around on satin pillows, with a hot young stud working the fan. This is not what I was getting. But I did get a temporary place to live in a little bungalow cabin in the woods. In front of this cabin was an ancient looking tree that I suspected was dead. It was squatty and broken and was probably a fruit tree of some sort, I thought. It held a certain kind of comfort for me somehow, and I'd stumble out to it and lay in its low branches, breathing deeply and asking for help. I needed to feel like I had something still to offer. I needed to know that my heart could still love after being so broken, so many times, by so many tragedies. I needed hope, and it seemed there was none.
As the weeks wore on, I visited this tree almost daily, telling it my troubles. In early March there were buds on it. By mid-March it was obvious that this was, in fact, a fruit tree and I delighted in bringing armfuls of the blossoms into town and distributing them to everyone I saw. I knew that if the fruit were as plentiful as the blossoms, it would break the tree apart. And that's just what happened. The tree filled with hundreds, thousands of tiny peaches, and I watched them grow into the juiciest, prettiest little things you've ever seen. Tasty, too. That tree broke completely apart, in spite of my call to friends to bring buckets and harvest all they could. And I did gain hope. If that tree could bloom it's little old heart out like that, in its last season, surely my life could blossom
- Jade Beatty
First published in "The Blissful Times,"© Jade Beatty December 2004
Please Submit Your Royal Reports
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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.|
into Your Crowning Achievement!