The Queen is a mature woman who has conquered the challenges in Her life and claimed Her own royal power. She cuts through fear and ambivalence, takes charge, and establishes Herself as the sole ruler of Her Self. She has struggled for Her transformation and has achieved it. Her proud potency is palpable, Her authenticity uncontested. Her life now takes on a new ease, a grace, a certain lightness of being born of Her Self-knowing, Self-respecting, Self-directing, Self-projecting passion and purpose. She sails ahead on Her own steam, cutting efficiently through seas that are sometimes smooth as glass, sometimes choppy and fraught with danger. Her age and vast experience is Her ballast. She keeps Her center, come what may.
But something else remarkable takes places once the Queen has stepped into Her sovereignty. Now that Her situations and systems are established, Her life in working order and running more smoothly, the Queen can afford to enlarge the territory and expand the horizons of Her Interests and influence and extend the parameters of Her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual domain. Now that She is firmly rooted in Her best Self and acting for Her own benefit, She is free to reach out in ever increasing concentric circles and offer Her compassion, expertise, time, and money to people and causes that call to Her sense of response-ability.
Maturity brings with it the understanding that everything is not about us, that the world does not revolve around our personal story, that we do not exist in a vacuum, and that all those other people out there actually have lives of their own and are not simply extras in our movie. Life and living have shown the Queen the value of community, cooperation, concern, care, and communion. “Life is the only real counselor,” Edith Wharton suggested, “wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue.” Knowing Herself to be an inextricable, integral part of a greater whole, Her ministrations multiply to include the welfare of the entire world around her.
When the Queen assumes Her authority in the ever-greater realms of responsibility and takes it upon Herself to right the wrongs of the world, She ascends to a higher plateau of power. The Empress is the Queen writ large, the level of intensity of Her royal engagement exponentially expanded. Model monarch that She is, the Queen-become-Empress, operates from the deep and mighty reserves of Her own personal power and wisdom, wrought through Her dedicated willingness and ability to change, to always, always, change. She is committed to exploring, confronting, and enriching the undeveloped and underutilized parts of her body, mind, heart, and soul. By working to connect all of the constituent dots of Her many parts, the Queen is constantly becoming ever more of Whom She truly is — Her Highest Self, Her Extreme Royal Highness, the Empress.
Today, just as the cumulative damage to our Earth is reaching a perilous point of no return and our entire natural and cultural environment is in the throes of dangerous disconnection and dis-ease, we wise, mature, accomplished women are called upon to step up to the challenge and ascend the throne of conscious, conscientious leadership. It is incumbent upon us to use our considerable Queenly power, in whatever way seems appropriate to our individual skills and involvements, to stem the tide of unthinking aggression that can drown us all. In the same way that it was up to us, and only us, to redeem and transform our own lives, our own Selves, we need to grab the reigns and redirect and correct the negative and harmful conditions that exist in our community, our society, and our planet.
Rachel Carson, an Empress of the highest order, warned us, “We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one ‘less traveled by’ — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”
In the same way we Queen Empresses strive to create change for our selves, we can work to effect positive, sane, humane, and sustainable change for the greater good of all. The future we envision starts now, today. And the buck stops here, too, with each of us. To paraphrase Gandhi, we must be the future we wish to see. What we seed is what we get. Positive change need not be earth shaking or dramatic. It can be quite personal, subtle, and quiet, yet it does need to be rooted in positive intention and grown organically with great care and attention to the purity of the process. The ends do not — cannot — justify the means, because the means have a nasty way of becoming the end in the end. All we mortals ever have, from moment to moment is the means. It is our ways and means of thinking and acting that justify our lives.
The chief dispenser of order, measure, justice, and right relationship in all realms, the Queen’s rule is informed by Her keen holistic perspective, as well as the promptings of Her own intuitions. She holds the vision of a world community that is more inclusive, creative, joyful, respectful, and reverential. As She seeks to use the full force of Her personal power as an agent for positive change, the Empress does not turn away from imperfection, nor avert Her gaze from the gruesome details of life. She opens her eyes— as well as Her ears — even wider in order to witness, to learn, to help, and to heal. Her heart, too, is now open, secure in the knowledge that She can rely safely upon Her instincts and abilities. Her past losses and pain have taught the Empress Queen to recognize the signs of pain and loss in others — a language She speaks thoroughly. Comprehending their need, She reaches out to them in sympathy, empathy, advocacy, succor, and support. Nor does She shrink from Her responsibilities to protect and preserve the very forces of life. The Empress opens Her mouth, as well, and speaks boldly Her truth with conviction and compassion that commands respect and response.
It is a big world out there and the plights and problems of humankind can seem insurmountable, impossible to change, but the Empress Queen knows all about change. Has She not been through the rapids of menopause, The Change, and come out the other side, altered forever, stronger and smarter by far? A Queen of Her own making, She has certainly changed and is still changing, is committed to continually change, and therefore, She knows that through effort, patience, and persistence, things can and do improve, that all things are possible. She is the living proof. The Empress does not bite Her tongue nor does She withhold Her views. She makes Her beliefs perfectly clear, assumes full response-ability for them, and then takes action to effect change for the betterment of all.
Personally, I do not think that it is a coincidence that just as the earth teeters on the very brink of destruction, there comes along a generation of fiery, accomplished, clever, ambitious women at the height of our supremacy to whip it back into shape. And the sheer enormity of our numbers means that we can actually be the critical mass necessary to make a real and lasting difference. Let us harness our impressive Empress Energy: our purity of purpose, our passion, our heartfelt compassion, and our enormous power, and let us direct it toward creating a safe, sublime, and peaceful world for us all. The future is in our very capable hands.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough
to turn the world upside down, all alone together
women ought to be able to turn it rightside up again.
-Sojourner Truth, American abolitionist and U.S. General
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 email@example.com.