The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Hot & Horny – PART 2

posted by Donna Henes

For the members of the Voodoo cults of New Orleans, St. John’s Day, June 24, was the most important holiday of the year. The main ceremony was a ritual dance called the Calinda, performed by the Voodoo Queen, Mam’zelle Marie La Veau around a fire to the frenzied beat of Congo drums and gourds. The dancers would twist and turn, gyrate and shake. Twirl and swirl in sinuous, tantalizing imitation of the Sacred African Serpent. Crowds of whites and Creoles would gather around the sizzling plaza, Congo Square, to fuel the heat of their own horny loins.

Over the ages, customs and myths have arisen to encourage  — to ritualize — a summer mating season in order to ensure a successful procreation. Pro‑life means more than just having children. It means having a way of keeping them alive. If people coupled in the spring when they first start feeling the fever, the baby would be born at the beginning of winter — just in time for the start of the long months of cold and hunger. It would be like shooting craps with the infant mortality rate. Better by far to be born in spring when the odds of survival are so much more favorable.

Ovid relates an oracle, which he received from the Priestess of Jupiter pertaining to the impending marriage of his daughter. She counseled him to have her wait “until the Ides of June.” “There is no luck for brides and their husbands until the sweepings from the Temple of Vesta have been carried down to the sea by the yellow Tiber.” June 15th was Vestalia, the Roman Festival of New Fire celebration when the altars to Vesta were renewed.

The month of June was named for the Roman Goddess Juno, the patroness of marriage and it has long been the time dedicated to lovers. Aroused young girls in many places around the world practiced divination in June to determine the identity of their own true mate. They made love charms and placed them in the fire, over the heart and under the pillow to entice the partner of their dreams.

Shakespeare’s ode to the Summer Solstice, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a sweet one of rightfully requited love. A tour de forest in which the convoluted courtships of two pairs of lovers come to a happily-ever-after ending.

In the Greek countryside, one can still see St. John’s wedding processions made up of masquerading children. The miniature bride and groom, properly veiled and suited, are preceded by a young boy baring a rod and followed by a bevy of tiny, twittering ladies-in-waiting.

And June weddings, last I heard, are still very much in style.

I have a proposal to make. And I’m down on one knee to do it. This summer shall we engage in holy wedlock with the world? Shall we pledge our troth to the earth, to the sun, to all of nature, and each other? Shall we promise to have and to hold? To love and to honor? To respect and protect our most beauteous and beloved planet? Shall we take Her as our cherished bride and stride off into a secure future of fond and careful husbandry?

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Hot & Horny – PART 1

posted by Donna Henes

It is summer, hot and horny. We are surrounded, immersed, inundated by brilliantly bright light, pervasively palpable heat; pure and potent solar intensity — the very nerve and verve of life itself. We bask and steep in the positive, primal power of the sun, as well as our own. The passionate strength of the life force surges in our cells, flooding all of our senses with waves of lascivious longing and naked desire. We open ourselves to the experience, the energy, the ecstasy.

The steady heat of Summer helps to relax our muscles, making our bodies more fluid and flexible. Our overactive brains and busy minds, too, give way to the seductive power of the season of the sun. The constant stress of our hectic lives boils away and our worries and tightly held tensions completely dissolve, evaporate in the relentless fire of the cosmic cooker. We are limp and loose as spaghetti. All we want to do is lay about, revel and laze in the warm embrace of long, slow days and balmy nights.

Our inhibitions melt, leaving us steaming with all manner of desire. We are overcome with the pure, unadulterated pleasure and appreciation of our own enhanced sensuality. We feel as hot as the sun, salty as the sea, sticky sweet as nectar on an inviting flower. We are as fluttery as bees, pulsating, vibrating with an intensely felt urge to merge, an unapologetic sexual verve. Our passion becomes our purpose. The heat fuels our lust and creates in us a fervor for life and living. We are at one with the world. And all is well.

If the seasons of the year were a plant, the summer would be the flowers — lovely, lush and vaguely lewd. Fully realized blossoms — blatant and blowzy, lavishly colored and shamelessly, intoxicatingly scented like the blooming sexual organs that they are.

Like the sun and the sap, the libido also rises in summer. Out of its basket it surges, the charmed and sinuous serpentine call of the wild. No sissy spring fever, this. But full‑fledged, full‑bodied, full-of-pluck, magenta plush lust. Robust and randy. Raring, willing and completely able. The season pounding in our pulse, people, like flowers, are now quite perfectly primed. Vigorous, vital, and vivacious, we are fragrant and perfect and ready to pick.

If the sun is at its zenith in the sky, so, too, is nature here on Earth at the summit of its sumptuousness, the height of fertile power of the sun and the fecundity of the plants and animals that feed us. “As above, so below,” so the Talmud tells us. The sap has risen. The plants are in their prime. First fruits and flowers, grasses and game offer themselves for the taking. Trees are resplendent in their rich garments of verdure. The landscape is lush with life.

Next week PART 2…

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Blessed Bees

posted by Donna Henes

For years, there has been a certain auspicious day every spring when a bumblebee would fly onto my terrace garden where it would hover contentedly everyday, all day long, throughout the entire summer, until a certain day in autumn when it would fly away.

This ritual visitation took place without fail for more than 15 years until a few years ago when my bee stopped showing up. I say “my bee.” But was it? Could it possibly have been the same bee for a decade and a half? How long to do bees live?

Or did my fuzzy fat friend select a successor who also passed the mantle when her vacation time was up? But whether or not it was the same bee, it was definitely my bee. My buddy. My constant summer companion. My nectar-gathering compatriot.

In Hellenistic Greece, bees were understood to be related to and a manifestation of the muse. My bee was an certainly inspiration to me, as well, and I missed her visits dearly. And so did my flowers.

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.”

-Emily Dickinson

My bee isn’t the only one who stopped showing up. Millions upon millions of bees all over the world have been abandoning their hives and simply disappearing. Scientists named this mysterious phenomena colony collapse disorder.

If they are dying, they have chosen to do it in private, because large numbers of their corpses have not been found. Last year I found three dead bee bodies on the sidewalk just outside of my building. I saved their remains and added them to my growing collection of dead bumblebees. I keep my beautiful box filled with dead bees on my healing altar, where I pray for their wellbeing.

In some areas over sixty percent of the American honeybee population has died or disappeared during the past ten years, and this trend is continuing around the world. The potential results of this trend are terrifying. After all, one in three bites of all that we consume has been pollinated by bees.

In 1923 Rudolf Steiner predicted the dire state of the honeybee today. He said that within fifty to eighty years, we would see the consequences of mechanizing the forces that had previously operated organically in the beehive — including breeding queen bees artificially.

Well, I could have told them that The Queens don’t take interference kindly. And now they are having their royal revenge — a terrible, drastic, exacting retribution, which maybe, just maybe, might force us to rethink our precarious relationship with Mother Nature.

“We’re all busy little bees, full of stings, making honey day and night, aren’t we honey?”
-Bette Davis

Last week, my bee came back. I was completely delighted, overtaken by the depth and passion of my joy at our reunion. She hovered in front of my face for a moment then landed on my leg. And stayed there for a really long time, our bodies buzzing in unison.

Soon I noticed that she was uncharacteristically lethargic. Oh, no! Did she come back to die on me? I began to stroke her back ever so softly. I whispered prayers and gave her reiki. Then, because I had to leave, I placed her on the dirt of one of my flowering plants. If she was going to die, I wanted it to be in nature.

When I returned home a few hours later, the first thing I did was rush out to check on the bee, half expecting to see her lying on her back with her legs sticking up in the air.

But she was gone. Just gone.

“Like the bees from which this exhibition has drawn its name, we are individuals, yet we are, most surely, like the bees, a group, and as a group we have, over the millennia, built ourselves a hive, our home. We would be foolish, to say the least, to turn our backs on this carefully and beautifully constructed home especially now, in these uncertain and unsettling times.”

-The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Venice , CA

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

The Meaning of Our Memories

posted by Donna Henes

by Sister Joan Chittister

Memory is one of the most powerful functions of the human mind. It is also one of life’s most determining ones. What goes on in memory has a great deal to do with what goes on in us all our lives. Memory is a wild horse, unbridled, riderless, maverick. It takes us often where we would not go, or takes us back over and over again to where we cannot stay, however much we wish we could. So, it leaves us always in one state or the other, one place or the other, leaves us either pining or confused, leaves us in either case in a world unfinished in us.

It is the unfinishedness that is the price we pay for growing always older.

The young hear memory in the voice of their elders and, delighted by these voices from the past or bored by them, too often miss the content behind the content. Memory is not about what went on in the past. It is about what is going on inside of us right this moment. It is never idle. It never lets us alone. It is made up of the stuff of life in the process of becoming the grist of the soul.

There is an energy in memory that is deceiving. The assumption is that since a thing is past, it has no present meaning for us. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Whatever is still in memory is exactly what has most meaning for us. It is the indicator of the unfinished in life. It gives sure sign of what still has emotional significance for us. It refuses to allow us to overlook what must yet be acknowledged if we are ever to be fully honest with ourselves. Most of all, memory and the way we deal with it is the only thing we have that makes us authentic teachers of the young. It tells us what we did that now we miss doing, and it reminds us of what we didn’t do that now we wish we had. And such things live in memory forever.

But memory is not meant to cement us in times past. It is meant to enable us to do better now that which we did not do as well before. It is the greatest teacher of them all. The task is to come to the point where we can trust our memories to guide us out of the past into a better future.

There is nothing in conscious memory that is unimportant. To sit and listen to a person wander through the storied fragments of their lives is to come to know what worries them, what delights them, what love did to them, what rejection dampened in them, and what is left to deal with now if  the press of past failures, the loss of past loves are ever to be stitched into a healthy whole in the here and now.

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Previous Posts

Hot & Horny – PART 2
For the members of the Voodoo cults of New Orleans, St. John’s Day, June 24, was the most important holiday of the year. The main ceremony was a ritual dance called the Calinda, performed by the Voodoo Queen, Mam’zelle Marie La Veau around a fire to the frenzied beat of Congo drums and gourds.

posted 6:00:40am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Hot & Horny – PART 1
It is summer, hot and horny. We are surrounded, immersed, inundated by brilliantly bright light, pervasively palpable heat; pure and potent solar intensity — the very nerve and verve of life itself. We bask and steep in the positive, primal power of the sun, as well as our own. The passionate stre

posted 6:00:47am Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Blessed Bees
For years, there has been a certain auspicious day every spring when a bumblebee would fly onto my terrace garden where it would hover contentedly everyday, all day long, throughout the entire summer, until a certain day in autumn when it would fly away. This ritual visitation took place without

posted 6:00:16am Jul. 23, 2014 | read full post »

The Meaning of Our Memories
by Sister Joan Chittister Memory is one of the most powerful functions of the human mind. It is also one of life’s most determining ones. What goes on in memory has a great deal to do with what goes on in us all our lives. Memory is a wild horse, unbridled, riderless, maverick. It takes us ofte

posted 6:00:55am Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

How to Survive a Midlife Crisis
by Carol Howard Merritt I was in the midst of that crisis of middle life. The one that made my eyes roll when I read of white women who felt they had no meaning. It always sounded like they inhabited a fog of luxury-malaise. They had to create drama because they didn’t have enough challenge in

posted 6:00:20am Jul. 18, 2014 | read full post »


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