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The Queen's Chronicles
June 2013
In This Issue
Affirmative Aging
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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 and currently writes for the Huffington Post, Beliefnet and UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum, and serves as ritual consultant for television and 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.

"Donna Henes offers the "missing link" in the progression of women's lives. She introduces "The Queen of My Self" - an updated vision for the midlife woman - the sexy, vital, empowered, wise woman who no longer either looks or acts 'her age!' Fun, serious, perceptive and profound."

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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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Hold On To Your Crown 

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Hail Queens!




My maternal Grandmother died at 80. This was pretty old in her day. My mother died three months short of her 80th birthday, which pains me still. She was not old. She did not look or act old. But she felt old. She lost interest in what had always pleased and sustained her, and thought that she was too old to pursue other interests. Really, she just gave up. I shouldn't say, "just." She did have cancer. But she gave up caring.


The Great Depression had robbed her of the college education that she craved. Once she became a mother and then a divorced woman with two kids to raise and no child support, she was too busy to think about developing her own passions. And by the time my brother and I were off on our own, she had gotten out of the habit of aspiring to inner growth.


And that is how she died. She quit. She simply quit in her spirit. She was tired and she gave in. On her deathbed, she felt her regrets. How incredibly sad to hear a really smart, successful, independent, dynamic woman bemoan the fact that she had not done this, that or the other thing that she had wanted to do.  

 Ad Trugman

My mother was an amazing role model for me in a great many ways, both positive and negative. Her midlife reinvention for herself was stunning. I watched as she first floundered and then flourished as she became her own best fantasy, transforming from a frustrated house wife into a Joan Crawford corporate executive. And I celebrated with her as she lived her fought-for freedom and success to the fullest.

She was an extraordinary Queen in her middle age. Exemplary. But I think that she thought that she had to give up her crown in old age. She saw nothing appealing about being a Crone.  


She hated her aging body and considered it a traitor. She once mourned after glimpsing her nakedness in the mirror, "What happens to a body." It becomes ugly. It limits you. It betrays you. It let's you down.


She worried about being debilitated and dependent and nothing seemed to peak her enthusiasm. She did not seek, recognize or value the gifts, the huge benefits, of enhanced Self-awareness, Self-acceptance and affect presented to us during the aging process.


This is one debilitating attitude that I do not wish to emulate. My resistance to identifying myself as a Crone, while still in my middle years is not born of a fear of aging - especially considering the alternative. I am not afraid of aging. I am afraid of not aging! As Woody Allen put it, "I don't want to be immortal through my work. I want to be immortal through not dying."


I have absolutely every intention of being a very, very old woman, hopefully, the oldest woman who ever lived! My goal is to reach 100 years of wise age - with the caveat that I want to
know that I am 100! I absolutely want to be a Crone. Just not yet.


When I grow up to be a Crone, I want to be a Grandma Moses, a Louise Nevelson, a Georgia O'Keefe, a Martha Graham, a Mother Teresa, a Maria Sabina or a Delaney sister - a truly stellar elder whose visionary influence extends far into the future. A wise and wooly sage who is wholly engaged.


But for now and the foreseeable future, I glory in my Queendom. I do plan to move on someday, in a decade or so, to the august domain of the Empress Crone. And you better believe that I will be taking my crown with me.


In loving memory of Adelaide Trugman 9/19/14 - 6/26/94 


I have found it to be true that the older I've become 

the better my life has become.

-Doris Lessing

Best blessings to every wrinkle and grey hair,

Some Stellar Elders
Grandma Moses
Georgia O'Keefe

The Delaney Sisters  
Maria Sabina




With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit


You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes


But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.


But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.


- Jenny Joseph


when i am old

Affirmative Aging

As we age, we naturally change. Change, after all, is the essential stuff of life. If we embrace it with magnanimous grace and good humor, as part and parcel of the ongoing mythic adventure of our path, we stand to gain great satisfaction in the process. 


Recognizing and accepting the inevitability of aging does not mean giving up on any attempts at improving our outward appearance, physical health, mental outlook, emotional balance and general well-being. More than ever before, women of a certain age are taking better care of our Selves, conscious of a newly mature imperative to lovingly nurture and protect every aspect of our beings.


We accept the responsibility for our own sustenance and satisfaction: physically as well as mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My sister midlifers - many of us for the first time ever- are pursuing programs of nutrition and fitness. We are eating better, sleeping and exercising more, learning how to release our stress, pursuing spiritual connection and allowing ourselves to fully express our creative natures.


We are working hard to stay healthy and active, and are, at the same time, more realistic in our ideals, more accepting of our own perceived imperfections, and more forgiving of our weaknesses. While some of us do go to the starvation-botox-surgical-extremes of trying to stay forever young, in general, we follow fewer fad diets and adopt more sensible, sustainable and ultimately successful life-style changes.


We gradually heal ourselves of old destructive patterns, stinking thinking and nasty habits. And then, voila! The rewarding result of feeling well - inside and out - is looking well. We wise women of a certain age know that there is a difference between looking young and looking attractive - between, for that matter, looking attractive and being attractive.


It gets easier as you get older. You accept yourself

for who you are - your flaws and your attributes.

It's easier to live in your own skin.

- Barbra Streisand


women with crowns

More and more of us are refusing to condescend or conform to the adolescent and exploitative standard of beauty promulgated by popular culture. We do not compare ourselves with teenage models or emaciated-lifted-stitched-tucked-injected-Hollywood-uber-beauties. It is only a disaster to loose our girlish charms if we deem them to be the exclusive path to beauty, love and fulfillment.


Our allure and sex appeal change with time - increase, even - if we allow them to. A woman is never too old to look and feel beautiful. Each age, each stage of our lives, has its particular fabulous charm. As truly mature, secure women, we strive to accept the inevitable physical changes that come with the passing of time and incorporate them into the way we present ourselves to the world.


Self-aware, Self-assured, we are transforming ourselves as we go. We glow as we grow into our full potential, and become ever more becoming. Our reinvigorated attractiveness stems from self-knowledge and enfranchisement. Our magnetic sensuality is centered in the fulfillment and satisfaction of our Self-worth. We exude the intoxicating appeal of women who are, at heart, pleased with our Selves.


The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth. 

- Marya Mannes

The 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.


OK, Sisters. Spill it!  

What has aging been like for you?  

Please share your thoughts and feeling, as well as your physical experience and spiritual lessons.  

I (we all) really want to know.


Please send your responses to

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 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 2013 Issue  

Love, love, love this issue. So tired of the complacency!

- Karen, CA


Great writing - Speak Up!

- Sibyl, Mexico


I forwarded the last Chronicles to so many people. The message was powerful. We need that. Many thanks.

- Patsy, CO


Thanks Queen of Self. Me too, Queen of Self - sans king.

- Linda, NY


This was such an inspiring issue. The same day I read it I signed several online petitions and urged my friends to do the same. Thanks for goosing me to do what I know I should do.

- Carlene, SC


It is so hard watching the world fall apart live on television. The despair traps me and makes me feel like I have no control and no power to do anything significant. You reminded me that I do have the power to respond, at least. And that is very liberating. I appreciate your message. 

- Barbara, MN


I was an anti-war activist in the 60s. Now that I am 60, I feel myself needing to protest again. It is exciting to feel so all fired up  about big, important things again.

- Cheryl Ann, MI


Please send your responses to 
Your letters will be printed in the next Queen's Chronicles. 
Kudos to the Queens!

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





I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one's inner life. And that too is a deed.

- Etty Hillesum


Robin Bady, NY; Anne Bean, England; Disband, NY and Scotland; Alessandra Belloni, NJ; Marcie Gordon, NY; Leslie Labowitz, CA; Suzanne Lacy, CA; Annie Lanzillotto, NY; Ana Mendieta, (R.I.P.); Linda Montano, NY; Lorraine O'Grady, NY; Carolee Schneemann, NY; Miriam Sharon, Israel; Bonnie Ora Sherk, CA; Elaine Silver, FL; Barbara T. Smith, CA; Annie Sprinkle & Elizabeth M. Stevens, CA; Mierle Laderman Ukeles, NY and Cecilia Vicuņa, Chile; on their performances and/or performances of their work.


Margo Adler, NYHeretic's Heart (Ebook); Melissa Chaney, CO, Finding Personal Peace: Twenty-Eight Yoga Classes for a Balanced Life (Book); Linda Mary Montano, NY, You Too Are a Performance Artist (Book); on their new publications.


Lauren Curtis, NJ; J. Ruth Gendler, CA; Meryl Meisler, NY; Karen Shaw, NY; Robin Tewes, NY; and Sally West, NY; on the exhibitions of their artwork. 


Cheryl Lynne Bradley, Ontario, Canada, on the birth of her granddaughter.


Please 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; Bebee, DE; Berenice, NY; Bettye, NY Betty, AL; Chrissie, NY; Dana, CA; Dani, WI; Dolly, NY; Dominique, NM; Gail, WA; Glenys, Australia; Gloria, CA; Indiana, CA; Jacqueline, CA; Jo, AZ; Joan, ME; Joan, NY; Judith, NY; Karen, NJ; Kathleen, PA; Kay, NY; Kaylin, MD; Kazuko, NY; Kim, NY; Kimi, NJ; Laura, NY; Linda, SC; Lisa, NJ; Lorie, KY; Lydia, CO; Lisa, PA; Lucia, TX; Mari, VA; Marna, NY; Mary, MD; Mary, OH; Michelle, NY; Nancy, NY; Naomi, DC; Pat, MA; Patsy, NY; Paula, NT; Pearl, NY; Roberta, NY; Ruth, NY; Sandy, CA; Sharon, NY; Shelley, NY; Shirley, IN; Sherli, CA; Sid, PA; Smriti, CA; Susan, MA; Susan, NC; Terri, FL; Urvashi, NY; and Yvette, NY; who are in the process of healing themselves from illness, accident, injury, or surgery.


Amy, NY; D. Barbara, NY; Beverly, NY; Carol, NY; Diana, FL; Eleni, NY; Gaetana, 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; Susan, NY; and Svetlana, NY; who would benefit greatly from some spiritual support.


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


May Their Spirits Rest in Peace:

Caitlin Allen, ME

Susan Browne, NM

Sally Duplaix, MA

Jackie Gentry, DC

Ellen Pence, MN

Pamela Purdy, MA

Patricia Ann Rawls, PA

Emily Squires, NY


With Heartfelt Condolences:

Shelley Ackerman, NY

Gail Diamond, Israel

Sharon Hine, FL

Jen Gilmore, ME

Carolyn Kerr, PA

Kady Macchi, MA

Amanda McCormick, MN

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. 

Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either.

- Golda Meir

Where the Queens Are





"Want to look current, hip, with it ...YOUNG?" The question comes my way from magazines, websites and TV and maybe that's all I need to tell you. Of course I'm supposed to scream, "Yes!" Then read about how to do it. And buy stuff from the advertisers.


Aside from the risible dated language - what could sound older than saying "hip" or "with it?"-I dislike the question immensely. It's not a question; it's an accusation. Editors clearly think I'm not doing all I could do to pretend I'm something I'm not.


Dear Editor: I live in Greenwich Village and dress it. I wear black leggings, as I've done since I went to Sarah Lawrence, ever so long ago, which means that every seven years I'm embarrassingly modish and the rest of the time I'm quaint. 


not at your age  

I haven't owned a suit since 1964, when I had an actual job on a newspaper, unless you count the silly high-style thing in my closet: bright flowers in relief on a rich black background. I avoid clothes that look matronly to me, because matronly isn't my kind of old; but I also avoid duds that would make me look like someone trying to pass for young. I'm sister to the Victorian rebel protesting the bustle designed to hide the truth of her shape.


I'm not anti-artifice-I don't believe it's human nature to be natural. I indulge in Brazilian fruit blasts to add gloss and swing to my bob. But the point isn't to look younger than my 71. It's to look as wonderfully old as I can. Not old but wonderful; old and wonderful.


Old is a fact about me, along with woman, white, Jewish, agnostic, progressive, a mother, and other descriptors. It's mine to interpret and present as I wish. Increasingly we understand that identity marks may be blurry even in the lab-a neat example being the Australian person who was granted the right to be free of any gender label. It was a civil liberties triumph that old folks could take a cue from-alas, rescinded by the authorities when global excitement followed.


Is old age wasted on the old? Or is it just that there's a conspiracy afoot to make us oldies regard our very age as some horrible anomaly, off-center, deficient?


I keep coming back to gender and race. Time was when white male was the default norm in shockingly many aspects of life. I think of the magnificent pioneer in identity studies, Texas-born John Howard Griffin, who medicated himself to turn his skin dark, that he might experience the reality of being black in America in the late 50s. Oh, tragic experiment; the medicine eventually killed him. But his book Black Like Me, published in 1961, lives on, a consciousness-raiser in a class by itself.


I've written a lot about identity switches, and a group of wheelchair-dependent activists in Indianapolis once challenged me-a frisky 30-something-to experience daily life as they did. It took me only a few minutes in a chair to understand why they were making noise about the need for cutaways from sidewalk to street at every intersection. At the same time, I was cured of my dread of being chair-bound. If it happened, I would deal.


Advice to young people: shadow some favorite oldie for half a day. You'll see two things: it's hard and it's doable. And we oldies need to revisit our young selves-not just the parts that we miss but the tough stuff specific to our 20s, 30s, 40s. Goodbye to all that! 


I'm lucky. I'm alive (my mother was dead at 70) and the medical stuff is minor. I share my life with a kind, vital, very funny guy. Money issues are non-trivial, but I'm coming back as a writer, and I've reshaped my professional cooking life to reflect the realities of age. Can no longer do fourteen straight hours in the kitchen unless I take unwise amounts of Fiorinal and Adderall to counter the downward drag of arthritis. So no more catering.


A good reason to let the gray streak my hair is that I'm a wiser old if the mirror tells me the truth and others see it, too. I still leap to my feet on the bus if a pregnant woman or man with a cane needs my seat. But if some robust young un' has the manners to offer me a seat, I gratefully take it. Other riders should be grateful, too; my balance isn't what it was.


And then there's sex. In the back of my mind lurks an elderotica project, working title Silver Snatch: wrinkled skin on crumpled sheets. I want to celebrate old sex that doesn't pretend to be young sex. Tantric ceremonies involving Viagra and Astroglide. A long, slow arousal culminating in sugary heat even if the earth doesn't move off its axis. Age spots as targets for kisses.


stylish old lady   


Will anyone out there help me reclaim the word "old"? I want us to take ownership of it. We need our equivalent of the gay pride rainbow. Maybe a silver flag? We could call it Old Glory. Long may she wave.


- Nancy Weber, New York City, NY


This article originally appeared on  and is reprinted here with the authors permission.


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 regal moments.

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