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The Queen's Chronicles
November 2014
In This Issue
Hail Queens!
Lifetimes, Enwrapped In Infinity
On Being Prepared
The Queen's Court
Correspondence
Kudos
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MAMA DONNA

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Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since 1972. She has published four books 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.
 GOOD NEWS!

 

"The Queen of My Self is an entertaining and inspirational read, thanks to Henes' engaging voice and soft humor. And most women approaching their mid-life years should find themselves in its pages. You may already be implementing Henes' suggestions and ideas, without having a hook to hang them on. You may be unaware, locked into traditional archetypes and afraid of what you imagine your future will be. The Queen of My Self will touch you, either way."

- Michigan Women's Forum

 

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I just got your book today and have only read four or five pages but it is really good, and I'm totally glad that you have come up with this stage between Maiden and Crone. I see all these women Croning themselves and they are in their fifties and it just doesn't make sense to me except they want to award themselves some status that the culture is denying them.

- Layne, FL

 

 CALLING ALL QUEENS

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The transition from Maiden and Mother to Queen can be a difficult one, fraught with hard lessons and lots of loss. It takes great determination and courage to confront and embrace the changes brought about by the midlife passage.

 

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ALWAYS IN SEASON
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Always in Season 
Living in Sync with the Cycles

A Quarterly Journal by Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

1999 - 2006  

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NEAR YOU

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DECEMBER

 

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DECEMBER 1-31

 
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NEW YORK

 
DECEMBER 21
SUNDAY, 5:30 PM  

40th Annual WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION: KEEPING THE FIRES BURNING FOR PEACE
 

A Celestially Auspicious Occasion with Mama Donna & Friends

  

Celebrate the first moment of winter - it gets lighter from here on! Drum up the spirit. A family friendly event. Bring drums, percussion, children, and lots of positive energy.


 

Bailey Fountain

Grand Army Plaza  

Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn


Rain or shine!
Free

HAVE CROWN,
WILL TRAVEL!

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

 
Call her at 718-857-1343
or e-mail her.

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"Donna's events (and Donna herself) are/is true. She works with spirit, from her heart and with soul all the way. She is unpretentious, very knowledgeable, and involves a wide and varied collection of spiritual pathways creating an environment for celebration no matter what your belief system."

 

- Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dallas

 
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Read and listen to  
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of information
& inspiration.
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Regular Syndicated Columns:

Always in Season
Ask Your Mama

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


Recent Articles by QMD:

Recent Radio Interviews:

  

Awards:
The Queen of My Self
was named as a Best Ezine!

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

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

Rewards:
You!
 
 


It is my hope that as more and more women
rise to reign
in the fullest potential 
of our supremacy, we will harness our purpose,
passion, and power and direct it toward
creating a more balanced and peaceful world. 
This is the legacy of Her majesty.
- QMD 
Turn Your  
Midlife Crisis
into  
Your Crowning Achievement! 
 
Death Feeds Life Feeds Death
 

Crow Flag  
 
Hail Queens!

  

  

  

  

  

      

November begins with the Day of the Dead and ends with Thanksgiving. What a perfect pairing.

 

By the half-way point of fall we are surrounded by a ambient prescience of impending death. Death and decline. Death and disappearance. The sun seems to be dying as we approach the winter solstice six weeks away. Our world steeped in deep shadows, the light decreases daily, dimming toward the shortest, darkest day of the year. And the year, itself, is reaching the end; drawing to a close. Another cycle completing its course. The birds and animals have departed, gone south or underground for the duration. The trees, the vineyards and fields are stripped bare, exposed to the first frost. Their lost leaves create a compost cover like a cozy comforter for the land. Dead and decomposing, they feed and warm life contained inside the earth. Incubating.

 

And we, too. We pull ourselves close; cover up and snuggle down. We naturally spend more time inside now. And we tend to be more introspective. Come in upon ourselves. In the season full of shadows we are incline to explore the darkness inside of us. The shadows of our psyche. The shade of our fear. The specter of our soul. And what we discover there, if we are willing to recognize it, is the inevitability of our own demise. Everything does, after all, die, doesn't it?

 

Everything has a shadow. Night is the shadow of day. Winter is the shadow of summer, as clouds cast shadows from a sunny sky. Sickness is the shadow of health. Old age, the shadow of youth. And death is the shadow of life. The shadow is not the opposite of the light. A world without shadows would appear very flat and lifeless, indeed. It is because of the shadows that we can see the wholeness, the three-dimensionality, the intricate complexity of the world around us. If it were not for the shadows, we could not appreciate the light. It is the contrast, which illuminates.

 

How could we contemplate life without death? What could it ever mean? Death is a part of life. The life cycle includes death, as light includes the shadows, as the day includes the night. The shadow of death offers us the insight to comprehend the vast yet vulnerable continuum of life. Understanding this, we are able to begin to imagine our own place in the eternal procession of the ages. We are reminded of all those who have preceded us and all those who will follow. Successions of generations. Like the fruit of a tree, the generations bud, bloom, ripen, then fall, each in their own turn. And the death of each nurtures and informs the life of the next. Linking the living and dead together in one unbroken chain.

    

As our dear dead continue to inspire us, it is up to us to receive and welcome their influence. Death Feeds Life Feeds Death. By acknowledging those who walked before us, we can set our own life into context. The practice of paying homage to past generations - the veneration of the ancestors - keeps that connection intact through the ages. We put our own paths into perspective by recognizing the trailblazers who made it possible. We venerate those from whom we have inherited our world. Those to whom we owe our lives. Those whose blood and pain and guilt and triumph travels through our own brains, our veins. To those, who are our roots, we toast our thanks.

 

 With blessings of gratitude.

 

signature

 

 

There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct.  

There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night  

is dark. They light the way for humankind.  

 

- Hannah Senesh, poet, playwright, and paratrooper (1921- 1944)

Lifetimes, Enwrapped In Infinity  

How you consecrate your ancient others..."

Lifetimes like a necklace of waterbeads, enwrapped in Infinity...
sometimes tears... no life is free of pain...
How does one consecrate all the ancient others one has been
to You, Beloved? There is no changing the past...
all that has been... & yet it is alive only in our
awareness *now*... thus our memories *do* change it -
inasmuch as it exists in our knowing...

How many lifetimes have i known You...
how many lifetimes did i *not* know You? -
at least as i perceive You *now*...
Riding the crest of Now, all times
come alive in me & i consecrate my being
in this verymost *Eternal Now* to You
that This Love be every breath of my being
thruout all Time that Is.

When have i ever been apart from You, in reality?
It is not *possible*! You are the All That Is!
Only ego, in its illusions, feels apart -
that dream for the drama of time.
The sense of separation enables us
to feel supremely Important - even if
estranged & impotent, or deranged & manic.
 
But to *bring* You to heart, to mind, to focus,
again... You! as this point of shifting awareness
is to be transported into wonder, again...
every naked smitch of being - to wonder's eyes
is a passport into All that is Awesome.

The Immortal Knowing
is growing -- inside me -
inside the insidermost...
behind all veils of seeming,
behind the deepest dreaming...
Your Face... Your embrace...

Only those whose Life is the Sea
can know, deeply, Your Ocean of Eternity.

In You is our freedom to *be*...
to explore... to learn ever more...
freedom to think, freedom to create,
freedom to *love* - ever more extensively,
freedom to remember even that
which has passed unremembered for lifetimes...

Once upon a life -- was it only in a dream of time? -
one of a group in search of the phoenix.
Ancient in years, weary-eyed, yet seeking wonder, anew...
believing a single feather from the nest of the phoenix
would reveal the secret of immortality...
the fire within, rising as kundalini,
burning away the dross, young again, in purity
of vision, of hope, of heartbeat.



Beloved, You Phoenix forth as each of us,

breathing thru each body of flesh
in the long, slow ascendance,
every lifetime a note
in the Symphony Divine.

~wynn manners
On Being Prepared

 

This has been such a hard year, for so many, for so many reasons. It was truly "Annus Horribilis," to quote Queen Elizabeth. For me, it was all about the vulnerability of life and the inevitability of death.

 

I have had four surgeries this year. My sweetie had two. And my precious Poppy dog was attacked and severely mauled by a German Shepard. We are all perfectly fine now, but it was brought home in no uncertain terms that life can change in a second.

 

I lost my mentor, my angel father figure, my grad school professor who was the first to encourage me in my weird ways and to see me as being special. He gave me encouragement and approval. and we stayed close for all the 40 some years I knew him.     

   

This year marked the 20th anniversary of my mother's death and the 10 year anniversary of my son's passing. My long time friend and colleague Margo Adler died. She was three months younger than me. The wonderful thinker, Angeles Arrien died at 71. I used to think that was old.

 

My forty-year ago lover came suddenly back into my life with startling emails where he revealed a deeply felt regret and repentance for his past misbehavior, and then he up and died before we could arrange a face to face reunion.  

 

My BFF from junior high and high school also came to me after 50 years of separation. We instantly stepped right back into our sister-like intimacy as though we had never parted. We were elated that we had found each other, only to discover that she was diagnosed with cancer. Which I know she will beat, we will fight it together. But still what a blow. 

 

Life is not fair, goddam it. And it can be so scary. For all of us. 

The onslaught of terrible events in this century have shaken our na´ve American delusion of safety and exemption from many of the harsher realities of life. We have been forced to face the fact that nothing in the world is permanent. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is ever really completely safe. There is no such thing as security. Anything, anything at all, can happen at any moment. And in that moment, we are changed forever, as well.

 

How the hell can we cope with such uncertain times? (And all times are uncertain.) Life is a dangerous proposition all the way around. Nobody makes it out alive, after all. We never know, from day to day, from minute to minute, when a crisis will arrive unannounced on our doorstep. We never know when or how we will be called upon to rise to a critical, pivotal occasion. Yet we would like to think that we would be ready, willing and able to handle whatever may come our way. Like any good scout, we aim to be prepared.  

 

 

 But being prepared in the way of the Scouts can get you only so far. Sure, it is always a good idea to have a well-stocked pantry, tool box, and first aid kit just in case. It behooves one to be smart, to be alert, aware, vigilant, careful, and calm. But there is simply no way - given the infinite variety of diabolically creative forms that death and destruction can take - to be prepared for any conceivable contingency.

 

How can we predict and plan for every possible danger when we are confronted with scenarios that no sane person could ever invent? Who, save for Hollywood's most obscene creators, could possibly have conjured the unthinkable traumas that we have been exposed to - if not personally, vicariously, and certainly psychically? Let alone be prepared for them?

 

Two well-heeled, well-coiffed Japanese tourists in London were struck and killed by lightning striking literally out of the blue as they strolled through Hyde Park. The wire, it would seem, on their under-wire brassieres had attracted the deadly bolt. How could you ever anticipate anything so bizarre?

 

A while ago, a woman I once knew was walking with her husband and two adolescent sons along Boston harbor on a sunny Sunday afternoon. They were eating ice cream and looking at the ships when a freak wind came along and knocked one of the boys into the water, never to be seen again. Imagine. Life is so fragile that an errant wind could literally blow you away forever.

 

The only way that we can truly prepare ourselves for unanticipated emergencies is to center ourselves in the present moment. To pay attention. To really be here now. To be ever mindful. If we can focus on the immediate, rather than obsess over the past or try to anticipate the future, we will have the presence of mind to assess each situation as it arises. And we will be able to be flexible in our response to it.

 

I have a friend who tends toward panic. The woman craves security. Just watching the dizzy ups and downs of my ever-precarious economic circumstances over the years drives her to distraction. When the vagaries of my life make her especially nervous, she will demand, "What, exactly, are you going to do?"

 

Exactly? "Well, I will do such and such," I brazenly reply, not because I know that to be true, but because I feel compelled to come up with an answer to ease her concern and worry on my behalf. Of course, the correct and honest answer always has to be, "I don't know. It depends. I have to see. I have to think. I have to feel. I have to meditate. I have to consult the cards. I have to do what seems right at the moment." This is not being irresponsible. It is the ultimate response-ability.

 

Eventually, I came to understand that she was asking the wrong question in the first place. It is not so important to know what we will do in any given situation. The crucial thing is to know that we will be able to do something. To have confidence in our ability to think on our feet. To have faith in our own assessments, instincts, and intuition. To be able to figure it out as we go along. To believe in our good intentions and our courage to do whatever is called for.

 

I remember so vividly the last cogent conversation that I had with my dear friend Jimmy a few days before he died. I asked him what lessons he had learned having had to deal with a mortal disease for so many years. What did all that pain and suffering come to in a spiritual sense? He replied that he had learned that he had inside of himself the resources that he needed in order to do what he had to do. He had never known that before, he told me.

 

What a valuable lesson. It seems to me that the secret to successful preparation is mindful presence. To live the life that we have, while we can, as best as we can, and to appreciate every minute of it. L' chaim!, the Yiddish toast, "To life!" recognizes, embraces and salutes life in the full range of its fullness and complexity. It celebrates all of it - the good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent - for tomorrow we die.

 

 

The Queen's Court

your throne!  

The Queen's Court is a gathering of sovereign women of a certain age - our dear peers - who graciously offer information, guidance, inspiration and encourage- ment 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.  

  

 

 An excerpt from The Queen of My Self:

 

"The relentless bombardment of losses that batters us in every area of our lives in midlife effectively strips us of any unrealistic, immature confidence that we once might have had that we were safe in an unchanging and dependable world. Though we may have been shielded by our youthful sense of indestructibility as well as by our notoriously death-denying culture, we now understand, because we have experienced it, that nothing and no one stays the same forever, that all things must end sometime, that shit does, indeed, happen. We have seen what we have seen.

 

This rude lesson is brought home, more often than not, on the wings of death. When our parents sicken and die, they leave us standing alone and we cannot help but notice that we will be next to kick up our heels in the ancestral conga line. It is also common for us to start losing our husbands, friends, and contemporaries, which forces us with a mighty shove to confront our own fragile mortality. As even the relentlessly upbeat Doris Day noted, "The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you'll outgrow it."

 

Our watch sports a much larger face these days - not only because we have trouble seeing it, but because we are uncomfortably aware of time running out. In a flash, we realize that life has been moving along without us for quite some time now. We just weren't paying attention. We were busy, distracted by our responsibilities, lulled and dulled by our routines and addictions, deluded by denial. And, lo, before we realized what was happening, we had reached, no, probably bypassed, the halfway mark of our lives. From now on, we swear, we will make every precious second count."

           

The years seem to rush by now, and I think of death

as a fast approaching end of a journey  

- double and treble reason for loving  

as well as working while it is day.

 

-George Eliot

     

 

   

  PLEASE SHARE YOUR MORTAL THOUGHTS.

 

Send your ideas, your insights, your songs,  

your prayers, and your experiences  

dealing with death, real or imagined.

 

The Queen's Correspondence

correspondence


Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to
The Queen's Chronicles. It is a joy to connect with you and to share your comments with our sister Queens.




 

Letters in response to the OCTOBER 2014 Issue:

  

So rich and delicious, I cried reading the poem from Gaza. Thank you for being here!

- Cat, MN

 

Many thanks for feeding my soul. Your monthly newsletters are always amazing. The content and the illustrations both are super. You do a great service for us all. I hope you feel our appreciation.

- Cherie, ME

 

How powerful. My heart breaks when I read such tragic news and it swells when I read about such strong women. We Queens are, indeed, the hope of the future.

-Belle, OR

 

We live in scary times. Luckily there is a voice of compassion and reason that resonates with my own feelings. Reading this I feel connected to a world of possibility, hope, and love. This is so reassuring. Thank you.

- Claire, NY

 

Thank you for always being so inspirational and so dedicated to making this crazy mixed up world a better place to live. I just love your missives.

- Cheyl, AL

 

Wonderful response to a dire situation. Thanks

-Diane, Scotland

 

Yes, may there be peace, and let it begin with us!

- Brigitte, New Brunswick, Canada

 

Oh you sweetie! Thank you so very much.

- Susan, MA


Please keep your letters coming. And do feel free to make suggestions about content you would like to see. Or anything else, for that matter. 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Creativity often consists of merely turning up what is already there. Did you know that right and left shoes were thought up only a little more than a century ago?

- Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

 

 

Helene Aylon, NY; Allesandra Belloni, NJ; Disband (Ilona Granet, NY; Donna Henes, NY, Diane Torr, Scotland; Martha Wilson, NY); Elizabeth Kadetsky, NY; Annie Lanzillotto, NY: Miriam Linna, NY; Linda Montano, NY; and Alison Pou, NY; on their performances and/or performances of their work.

Nancy Azara, NY; Suzanne Benton, CT, Lauren Curtis, NJ; Susan Grable, NY; The Guerrilla Girls, NY; Suzanne Lacy, CA; Tiffany Ludwig, NJ; Renee Piechoki, PA; Robin Tewes, NY; Mierle Laderman Ukeles, NY and Linda Vallejo, CA; on the exhibitions of their artwork.   

Dr. Eve Agee, AR, The Uterine Health Companion: A Holistic Guide to Lifelong Wellness (Book); Glenys Livingston, Australia, Moon Diary 2015 (Book); Adele Ryan McDowell, CT, Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort (Book); and Lenny Schneir, FL, and Linda Walker, FL, Merlin Stone Remembered (Book) on their new publications.

 

* Rosa Frey and Peg Mangan, GA, on the first anniversary of their marriage from their friend Cheryl Skovaard, CO. 


* Nan Linke, TX, on her new office. 

 

* Sarah Jenkins, CT, on the successful event she produced for the Centennial of the Washington Garden Club.

 


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; Amy, NY; Babs, NY; Barbara, NJ; Bebee, DE; Berenice, NY; Bettye, NY; Betty, AL; Chrissie, NY; Christine, NY; Dana, CA;  Darla, NY; Diane, NY; Dolly, NY; Dominique, NM; Donna, NY; Gail, WA; Jo, AZ; Joan, ME; Joan, NY; Judi, FL; Judith, NY; Karen, NJ; Kathleen, PA; Kaylin, MD; Kazuko, NY; Kim, NY; Kimi, NJ; Laura, NY; Linda, FL; Linda, SC; Lisa, NJ; Lorie, KY; Lydia, CO; Lisa, PA; Lucia, TX; Mari, VA; Marna, NY; Mary, MD; Mary, NY; Mary, OH; Mary, CO; Nancy, NY; Naomi, DC; Nona, LA; Pat, MA; Patsy, NY; Paula, NY; Pearl, NY; Rebecca, NY; Reynolds, NY; Roberta, NY; Sandy, CA; Sharon, NY; Shelley, NY; Sheriden, MA; Shirley, IN; Sherli, CA; Sid, PA; Smriti, CA; Sue, CA; Susan, MA; Susan, NC; Terri, FL; Urvashi, NY; Vicki, MN; Weslea, ME; 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; Joanne, NY; Kimberly, NY; Kimi, NJ; Kyia, MN; 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; Barbara, CA; Chrys, NY; Deni, NY; Diane, NY; Erica, New Zealand; Erica, CT; Gaetana, NY; Gail, NY; Hemetra, PA; Janet, CT; Kat, NY; Kate, NY; Laurie, OH; Lois, NY; Marla, NY; Mary, CO; Marya, NY; Meryl, NY; Nancy, NC; and Roslyn, NJ; the caregivers who are in weary need of care themselves.

 

May Their Spirits Rest in Peace:

Sr. Marion Agnes, NY

 

Prayer requests:

I am preparing my self to have 2 biopsies. I have many people praying for me, and I have been doing well with my wild brain, well, pretty well, but I could always use prayers, so if you remember, please hold me in healing light while I go through this period of my life, with its challenges. Blessings to you all.

- De Luna, NH

 

Positive thoughts and prayers for my sister in law Blanca who is in hospital very ill. Thank you.

- Elayne, PA

                    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. 
   

Trying to suppress or eradicate symptoms on the physical level can be extremely important, but there's more to healing than that; dealing with psychological, emotional and spiritual issues involved in treating sickness is equally important. Healing yourself is connected with healing others.

-Yoko Ono

Where the Queens Are

 

crownglobewhite   

  

AUSTRIA  

   

The Queen will be appearing with   

DISBAND

her feminist performance group,    


November 29 at 1PM

  

Museum der Moderne in Salzburg 


M÷nchsberg 32

5020 Salzburg, Austria

T +43 662 842220-403

 

  

 

Come if you can!

 

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who, what, where, when, why?

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~ ROYAL RESOURCES FOR QUEENLY WOMEN ~


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