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The Queen's Chronicles
June 2012
In This Issue
Women's Power
The Red Dakini
The Legacy of the Amazons
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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 and currently writes for the Huffington Post, Beliefnet and UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum, and serves as ritual consultant to the television and motion picture industry. 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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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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Women and girls are the poorest, most discriminated-against group in the world. Consider the following:

 

* Of the 1.3 billion people living in absolute poverty around the globe, 70 percent are women and girls.


* Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, yet earn only 10 percent of the income.


* Women produce half the world's food, yet own only 1 percent of its land.


* Women make up two-thirds of the estimated 876 million adults worldwide who cannot read or write; and girls make up two-thirds of 77 million children not attending school.

 

 

In this repressive global climate, this horrifying multinational war on women, it is tempting to think of women as victims. It is the synical, expedient tactic of misogynistic regimes for us to accept that epithet. Victims aren't threatening, after all.

 

 

 

But herstory, ancient and contemporary, is filled with amazing, inspiring tales of women throughout the ages and around the world who have risen up against oppression, tyranny, and terror. Multicultural mythology, too, recounts the exploits of extraordinary Amazon sheroes,

 

These women refused to be victims and took control of their own fate, come what may. Now is a good time to recall the feats of these brave Queens and to call upon their legacies as role models for us here and now.

 

We each, in our diverse ways, have the response-ability to contribute our ingenuity and skills toward the empowerment of ourselves and each other. We are not victims.

 

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

-Alice Walker

 

Let us take the reins into our own hands and reign like the mighty Queens we are. Let us create the world that we want to live in. A world where the wisdom of women is revered and the rights and needs of all people, all creatures, and the planet Herself are protected and nurtured.

 

Let us be victorious!

 

With blessings of the courage of our convictions,

 

signature

  

 

We are amazed, not by our own strength, but by that ability to slog through the storm that looks like strength from the outside and just feels like every day when it is happening to you.

 

- Anna Quindlen

Women's Power

 

What does Woman Power mean? Women who openly display their power, knowledge, and skill, receiving public recognition and honor. But also females who manage to wield power in societies that try to limit it or decree female submission; where their leadership is stigmatized and their creativity disdained. And women who resist and overthrow oppressive traditions and regimes. Who break The Rules in defiance of unjust legal and religious "authorities." Who pursue their vision in spite of the personal cost.
- Max Dashu

    

The Red Dakini

 

Thanks to Vicki Noble, CA, for sending this wonderful image and explanation:

 

The red Dakini Vajrayogini is understood to represent the pure spontaneous awareness-the state of being absolutely AWAKE. Perhaps we can make her our focus of visualization and hopes for something better than the usual fight with a partner or some childish temper tantrum we will later regret.

 

Here is a picture of Vajrayogini, which I took in 2007 on a trip to Nepal and Tibet. Fiercely, she holds up a skull cup filled with menstrual blood (the fundamental material of life, the matrilineage) and a crescent knife for cutting through illusion and fear. She stands always ready to help - to liberate beings who are suffering and struggling in daily life.

 

The Legacy of the Amazons


 

The onslaught of the patriarchy sometime around 5000 years ago, must have caught the feminine-guided centers of civilization pretty much unaware and totally unprepared. Who among these peaceful, progressive, weaponless peoples could have imagined the swashbucklers from hell, slashing their blades, flashing their gods forcefully in all directions, like cutting winds, frigid enough to freeze the soul?

 

When the cultures clashed, the Goddess did not just roll over and die. She put up a damn good fight. She sized up the situation and proclaimed, like Dolores Ibarruri, "La Pasionara," the anti-Franco folk heroine of the Spanish Civil War (the Pilar character in For Whom the Bell Tolls), "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!"

 

She took a deep breath of air, of water, of fire, of earth, and pronounced, like any native North American brave on the way to battle, "Today is a good day to die." She rolled up her sleeves, tied back Her hair, stuck out Her tits and proposed, "Make my day!"

 

 

She learned to ride horseback and to brandish an axe. She armed her priestesses and defended Herself as best She could. But when the bloody battle was done, She was deposed, denied, denounced, and deflowered. Desecrated, decimated, defamed, and defeated. She was not, however, definitively conquered. She gathered her strengths, Her endurance, Her resourcefulness and resolve, and She joined the underground where She became a guerilla soldier.

 

My life is in flames.

He made me walk through the brambles

on the mountain.

He stripped me of the crown correct

for a high priestess.

He gave me a dagger and a sword, and said:

'Turn them against your own body.

They are made for you.'

 

- From "Inanna and the Arunna" a poem by Enheduanna, Sumerian woman poet ca. 2300 BC

 

The prehistoric battle between the matrilineal and patrilineal perspectives has been mythologically preserved in the widespread legends of the Amazons, a presumably fictitious matriarchal race of women warriors devoted to the Mediterranean Great Mother Goddess known variously as Artemis, Gaea, Thea, Hera, Demeter, Diana.

 

The Amazons seem to have occupied a time and place just at the cusp of the widespread changeover from a Goddess-centered, Earth-oriented, circular spirituality to the male-dominated worship of a hierarchical and abstract father sky god.

 

These warrior women exhibited characteristics of both traditions and were an interesting amalgam of the old and new world orders. They were led by queens, prayed to a divine mother and worshipped the female principle. They tilled fields, hunted, and befriended animals. They were cultured and practiced the graceful arts. They also knew and used arms, did battle, and sought vengeance.

 

 

 

The Amazons were said to have ruled large areas of North Africa, Anatolia and Asia Minor. They founded such great centers of civilization of the ancient world as Ephesus, Smyrna, Cymes, Samothrace, Myrine, Paphos, Lesbos, and Cyrene. Libya, that is, the entire ancient North African region save for Egypt, was also Amazon territory according to Herodotus.

 

Revealing their fear and hatred, the Greeks describe the Amazons as women-only societies of barbaric and blood-thirsty Goddess-worshipping hunters in their mythology. They were said to kill and offer as a sacrifice any man who wandered uninvited into their community. They did, though, voluntarily consort with men from neighboring tribes once a year when they hosted their annual mass impregnation party.

 

The Amazons were the priestess/guardians of the Moon Goddess, lunar handmaidens accompanying Her on Her monthly circle promenade round the sky. They built a shrine at Ephesus devoted to the many-breasted Artemis, friend of the wild animals, the huntress who ventures forth in the moonlight to combat evil. This Amazon sanctuary was destroyed by barbarians in the 7th century BC.   

 

Northern Europe also had Amazon-like female Viking warriors and leaders. The  German city of Ulm, named for the grove of sacred elms, ulmae, the preferred sanctuary of the Goddess Artemis/Diana, was ruled by Amazons until the age of Alexander the Great.  

 

warrior queen  

 

In another tale, a woman, known only as the Red Maiden, commanded a fleet of Norwegian sailing vessels that invaded Ireland and destroyed most of Ulster in the 10th century AD. Olga, another warrior queen and the first Russian Orthodox saint, was an early ruler of Kiev.

 

Women fought in Ireland's army until the church disallowed it in the 7th century. But it wasn't until the 17th century that Irish brides, the daughters of daughters of these early female vets, discontinued the fashion of including a knife in the waistband of their wedding costumes.

 

Tacitus relates that when, in the year 61 AD, the Romans invaded the Druid island of Mona, meaning "Moon," they were expelled by an army that included "women dressed in black, slashing swords and screeching like Furies."

 

At the same time, the ancient Celtic Queen Boudicca organized a general uprising by tens of thousands of men and women from several different early British tribes in a rebellion against the heavy-handed occupation forces of the Roman Empire. Boudicca's armies succeeded in capturing London, Colchester and St. Albans before the peasant insurrection was lost. The result of her efforts and subsequent death was, while not freedom, a more lenient Roman regime.   

 

  

 

The Chinese tell of a "Women's Kingdom," with a lavish and unapproachable capital that is located by a distant sea. As Ch'iu Chin, a Chinese poet from the 19th century puts it:

 

How many beautiful women have been heroines?

There were the noble and famous women generals

Ch'in Liang-yŁ and Shen YŁn-yin.

Though tears stained their dresses

Their hearts were full of blood.

The wild strokes of their swords

Whistled like dragons and sobbed with pain.   

 

Sir Walter Raleigh, described the culture and customs of a group of alleged Amazons discovered in 16th century Guyana. These female fighters purportedly spent, just as their mythical foremothers had, a moon-long period every year in festivals of wine-soaked revelry and ribaldry, mating with the chosen few men allowed entrance to their compound.  

 

Africa has quite an Amazon tradition. In the 8th century AD, Arab explorers came upon the great and sophisticated civilization of ancient Ghana flourishing south of the Sahara. This huge area of west and central Africa was ruled by a dynasty of queens until the middle of the 11th century when Islam was introduced to the seven allied Hausa states,

 

Some 700 years later, another queen, Amina of Hausaland, emerged as the greatest ruler ever. During her 37-year rule from 1536 to 1573, she created an extensive empire, founded cities and led fierce armies of 20,000 horse soldiers into battle. Her exploits are still celebrated in popular song.

 

In 1900, the 50 year-old Queen Nana (Queen Mother) Yaa Asantewaa of the Ashanti Empire (now part of Ghana), led an army of women and men against the British in a last ditch attempt to rout them from their lands. She raised her troops by exhorting, "... Is it true that the bravery of the Asante is no more? I cannot believe it... if you the men of Asante will not go forward, then we will. We the women will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight till the last of us falls in the battlefields."

 

Probably the most famous woman in African history is Queen Nzinga Mbande who ruled Angola for 30-some years in the mid 1600s. In 1621, she negotiated with the Portuguese for the preservation of Angolan independence while seated on the back of a kneeling servant, as the colonialists had not provided a chair for her.

 

Years later, Nzinga refused to return runaway slaves to the Portuguese, thus bringing down their colonial wrath. Nzinga, with her females officers, negotiated tribal alliances and formed a vast army which, in true guerrilla fashion, harassed the Portuguese to exhaustion from all sides while avoiding direct confrontation.

 

I am Queen Nzinga.

I am Queen Amina.

I am Harriet Tubman.

I am Mbuya Nehanda.

And Behold! I've been pushed!

Down! To the ground!

With only my bare hands

To use as a cup.

But I have fought many wars,

Plus untold battles,

AND I ALWAYS PULL MYSELF BACK UP."

 

- Nilene O,A. Foxworth, 20th century American poet

 

It is time to take on the warrior woman persona. Time to become sturdy and centered, peaceful, resourceful rainbow warriors who can and will face a challenge and attend to what needs to be done. Time to strengthen and train our bodies, our minds, and our spirits.  

 

 

 

May we steel ourselves to our task. Set our sights straight. Take aim. Take loving action. Turn ourselves into true Amazons - the faithfully devoted and fiercely protective adoring daughters of Mother Earth, Mama Moon.

 

If the first woman God ever made

was strong enough to turn the world

upside down, all alone

these together ought to be able to turn it

rightside up again.   

 

- Harriet Tubman

The Queen's Court

Queen's Court

  

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. 

 

Here, following the last issue on Mothering, is a question from a sister Queen:

 

I'm enjoying reading your book, The Queen of My Self. I have a question, though. My own mother and both of my grandmothers were never the nurturing type of women. In truth, they weren't the kind of people I'd care to be around if I wasn't related to them. Both grandmothers have passed, and I try to have very little contact with my mother, as she is a negative and disruptive influence. I made a conscious decision to not have children of my own.

 

How do I find the "mother" in me and celebrate the part of me that I never developed in myself, and that wasn't encouraged by the elder women in my life? I hope that doesn't sound like a silly question, but I believe I won't find my full power and purpose without this reconciliation with myself.

 

Thank you so much for your work!

- Julie, CA

 

Dear Queen Julie,

 

Of course your question isn't silly. It is a most common one, and I thank you for sending it. I know that it will resonate with many of our sister Queens, and hopefully some of them will share their own insights and experiences with you.

 

The best way to find your mothering Self is to become your own mother! Now in your middle years, it is time to turn your attention to your own needs and desires. It is crucial that you nurture your body, as well as your most precious dreams, and lavish upon your Self an endless flow of emotional and spiritual sustenance and physical care.   

 

How do you do that, you ask, without a role model? Make it up! Be your own role model! If you did not have a loving, giving, nurturing maternal influence, you now have the chance to change that karma and learn how to be your own caring mother.

 

And the exciting thing is that you can be the sort of parent that you always wished for - for me it is the cheerful, optimistic, encouraging, fun-loving Mary Poppins that my little girl-Self needed so badly, rather than my negative, hypercritical mom.

 

Whatever your childhood was like, that was then and this is now. Now, you can give your Self the unconditional love and support that you did not have as you were growing up. You can and must assume the responsibility to feed, nourish, encourage, and comfort your Self, pamper and challenge your Self, and whisper into your own ear each night as you slip off to sleep, "Good night, honey. I love you."

 

Think about caring for your Self as an act of love, rather than a duty. Attitude is all. Your Self-care is, after all, strictly a gift you are giving to yourself. And you deserve it!

 

With blessings of motherly love,

 

signature 

 

As you begin to understand the immense power and love you hold inside, you will find an unending surge of joy, light, and love that will nourish and support you all the days of your life.

- Susan Jeffers

 

I would love to continue this thread of discussion. Please send your ideas, opinions, and personal experiences in response to Queen Julie's query.

 

Please send your questions or responses to mailto: thequeenofmyself@aol.com

Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles.

 
The Queen's Correspondence

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Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to The Queen's Chronicles


Please keep your comments coming. And do feel free to make suggestions about content you would like to see. Or anything else, for that matter. It is a joy to connect with you.


 
Letters In Response to the May 2012 Issue:

 

I always admire the beautiful and rich language of your bulletins, and the detective work you must have done, as they are full of knowledge, and have gorgeous illustrations. Apropos of illustrations: the last subject was Motherhood. And isn't it interesting? Some years ago, I made two collages on this subject. Here is one of them. 

- Ariel, NY

 

 

I wanted to tell you that I loved your piece on mothering - especially the part about Mother Tongues. Very insightful and interesting - also beautifully written.

- Teri, ON, Canada

 

I am not a mother, so all this hoopla about Mother's Day, really irritates me. Until I read your Chronicles and realized that I was a mother, after all. A Mother of Invention! I created a business that I have run successfully for two decades. This is my creation and my child. I gave birth to it and supported it. You made me understand that. Thanks so much. Happy Mother's Day to me!

- Sarah Jane, WA

 

We are all mothers of someone or something. That is a great concept. Thanks!

- Darlene, ND

 

Thanks for all you share and give!

- Nancy, NC

 

Hello from Nova Scotia! I love The Queen's Chronicles and share it around amongst my women friends and the response is always so great. I thought you would want to know that you have a fan club in Canada.

- Cheryl, NS, Canada   

 

 I am touched by your Chronicles. So nitty-gritty, right-on, practical, truthful, and right to the point. Your insights confirm my journey and feed my sense of substance, though I feel fragile as I come back together again in my midlife. Because my journey has always been inner and deep, I find mirrors, only occasionally that reveal the truth of my experience. The Queen of My Self and The Queen's Chronicles are a very valuable mirror, indeed. Thank you. Thank you again."

- NancyAnn, AZ 

 

Letters In Response to the April 2012 Issue

 

It's a scary thing that we are regressing so much here in the US. Girls, we need to pull back out of this War on Women.

- Hope, NV

 

Ummm...I've supported my family on my own (with occasional help from mom and dad) for over 10 years. The kids' father was sporadic in his help and can't manage to hold a job for more than a year. Back support? $10,000+ sheesh....

- Sharon, MA

 

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 were once wild here. Don't let them tame you.

- Isadora Duncan

 

Alessandra Belloni, NJ; Simone Forti, CA; Daniela Gioseffi, NY; Amanda Gordon, NY; Marcy Gordo, NY; Barbara Hammer, NY; Annie Lanzillotto, NY; Linda Montano, NY; Pauline Oliveros, NY; Reno, NY; Elaine Silver, FL; Annie Sprinkle, CA; Elizabeth Stephens, CA; Carmela Tal Baron, NY; on their performances and/or performances of their work.

 

C. Carr, NY, Fire In the Belly: The Life and Times Of David Wojnarowicz (Book) on her new publication.

 

Cristina Biaggi, NY; Stephanie Brody-Lederman, NY; Lauren Curtis. NJ; Melissa Harris, NY; Joyce Kozloff, NY; Meryl Meisler, NY; Yoko Ono, NY; Linda Stein, NY; Martha Wilson, NY, on the exhibitions of their artwork. 

 

Elizabeth Cunningham, NY; for winning Sarasvati Award for Fiction from The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology for her novel, Red-Robed Priestess.

 

Pamela Morgan, NY, on her marriage.

 

Terry Gopadze, CA, editor of The Spirit of a Woman (Anthology) and all the contributing writers (including Queen Mama Donna) on winning three prestigious awards: The Eric Hoffer Award, The Nautilus Award, and The National Indie Excellence Award.

 

Su Friedrich, NY, on receiving the Brooklyn Film Festival Audience Award. 

 

Sarah Reynolds, NY, on producing the first Lunch Beat event in NYC.

 

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! 
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:

 

 

 

 

Adrianne, NY; Alison, TN; Amora, FL; Amy, NY; Bebee, DE; Berenice, NY; Betty, AL; Chrissie, NY; Dana, CA; Dani, WI; Dee, NY; Deni, NY; Dominique, NM; Ellen, NY; Glenys, Australia; Gloria, CA; Jo, AZ; Judith, NY; Karen, NJ; Kathleen, PA; Kay, NY; Kazuko, NY; Kim, NY; Kimi, NJ; Lorie, KY; Lydia, CO; Lisa, PA; Lucia, TX; Mari, VA; Marna, NY; Mary, MD; Nancy, NY; Naomi, DC; Pat, MA; Patsy, NY; Pearl, NY; Roberta, NY; Ruth, NY; Sandi, NY; Sandy, CA; Sharon, NY; Shelley, NY; Shirley, IN; Sherli, CA; Sid, PA; Smriti, CA; Susan, MA; Susan, NC; Terri, FL; Wicki, NY; and Yvette, NY; who are in the process of healing themselves from illness, accident, injury, or surgery.

 

Amy, NY; D. Barbara, NY; Xarol, NY; Glenys, Australia; Joanne, NY; Kimberly, NY; Kimi, NJ; Linda, NY; Linda, NY; Maureen, NY; Meryl, NY; Dee, NY; Patricia, Australia; Regi, CA; Sheryll, CA; and Svetlana, NY; 
who would benefit greatly from some spiritual support.  

Ali, VT; Annie, NY; Chrys, NY; Deni, NY; Erica, New Zealand; Gaetana, NY; Gail, NY; Hemetra, PA; Kat, NY; Kathrine, Denmark; Lois, NY; Marla, NY; Nancy, NC; Roslyn, NJ; and Sharon, FL; the caregivers who are in weary need of care themselves.

 

May Their Spirits Rest in Peace:

  

Arlene Bjork, MN

Sarah Dreher, MA

Donna Fountain, NY

Suzanne Judith, CA

Ginger Lee, CA

Bettie Naylor, TX

Adrienne Rich, CA

Carol Sciacca, NJ

 

With Heartfelt Condolences:

  

Darla Bjork, NY

Michelle Cliff, CA

Deni Deyonker, NY

Hara Klein, MA

Vicki Klein, NY

Sharleen Leahy, NJ

Libby Sykora, TX

  

 Helping Hands

 

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. 
 

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

- Maya Angelou

Where the Queens Are



EVERYWHERE!

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