The Queen of My Self

Last week I was the guest of Rosemary Lichtman and Phyllis Goldberg, authors of Courage and Lessons Learned: Reaching for Your Goals and partners in their practice, Nourishing Relationships for a virtual book tour on their blog, Nourishing Relationships.

The interview is pretty long, so I offer it to you in several parts:

Part I. The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife

Today we welcome Donna Henes to our blog so that we can chat about The Queen of My Self, a landmark book that celebrates a new mythic model for the middle years of a woman’s life – the Queen! A celebration of the midlife woman in her prime who has achieved wisdom, mastery, and self-esteem, it provides upbeat, practical, and ceremonial inspiration for all women who want to enjoy the fruits of an influential, passionate, and powerful maturity.

NR: Welcome to Nourishing Relationships, Donna. Can you tell our readers something about your professional background and why you wrote The Queen of Myself?

DH: For 35 years I have been an urban shaman, a ceremonialist, a spiritual teacher and counselor, as well as an author and columnist. When I was approaching my 50th birthday, I realized that I needed an archetype to relate to and use as a role model for affirmative aging that just wasn’t available anywhere. So I had to create one for myself and the other 60 million Baby Boom women entering their midlife.

NR: You talk about the midlife transition being very difficult for women. Why is this so?

DH: Midlife is all about loss: we lose our reproductive ability, our kids leave, our parents die, we reach our glass ceilings, our marriages founder.

NR: What do you think are women’s greatest fears about being middle aged?

DH: Being invisible is a very big one. Another is losing our sex appeal and youthful beauty. 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.

NR: The book mentions the Triple Goddess. What is this?

DH: The Triple Goddess is an (out dated) archetype for the three stages of a woman’s life: The Maiden, the young girl; The Mother, the fertile care giver; and The Crone, the old, wise one.

NR: You say that this archetype no longer serves women as role models for the life cycle. Why is this?

DH: It leaves out women in their middle years, who are long past maidenhood, ending their mothering years and not yet anywhere near being old. 1 out of 3 women in America is over 50 years old. Archetype means “universal.” The Triple Goddess cannot be universal if it ignores 1/3 of all women.

NR: So you think you have a better model? Can you describe this?

DH: I added another stage for us women of a certain age: The Queen, the woman who is in charge of her own life and destiny and is out in the world in her power. So then we have a Four-Fold Goddess: The Maiden, The Mother, The Queen, and The Crone.

Coming tomorrow: Questions about Sovereignty

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

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