The Queen of My Self

From Rosemary Lichtman and
Phyllis Goldberg:


Please join us anytime on Wednesday, August 25, when Donna
Henes stops by our blog, Mama Donna,
as she is affectionately called, is an internationally acclaimed spiritual
teacher, popular speaker, and award-winning writer specializing in
multi-cultural ritual celebrations of the cycles of the seasons and the seasons
of our lives. She is the author of four books, most recently, The Queen of My
Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife.


Donna, who also publishes a monthly ezine, The Queen’s
Chronicles, will be answering questions about her book and her vision of
midlife women as Queens. Be sure to come by and pose your own questions and
comments for Donna
about recognizing the wisdom and power you have achieved – and the liberation
that comes with it in your prime.


The Purposeful Queen

What distinguishes Queens is that they act with purpose and tenacity to further their own needs and desires as well as those of the greater good. Their courage in trying circumstances does not mean that they are not afraid, but they do not let their fear stop them from doing what they feel must be done. “I’m not afraid of storms,” wrote Louisa May Alcott, “for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”

Instead of depending on someone or something else to take care of business — a knight in shining armor, a successful husband, a doting parent, the class system, law and order — they roll up their sleeves and do what they knew needs doing. They take up the sword, the pen, the struggle, the cause, the responsibility, themselves.

When, in the first century AD, the Romans invaded her tribal lands in old Britain, the Celtic Queen Boudicca organized a massive general uprising by tens of thousands of men and women from different tribes in a united rebellion against the heavy-handed occupying forces of the Roman Empire.

Boudicca’s armies succeeded in capturing and reclaiming London, Colchester and St. Albans, major cultural centers that had been Romanized. “It will not be the first time, Britons, that you have been victorious under the conduct of your queen, she proclaimed. “For my part, I come not here as one descended from royal blood, not to fight for empire or riches, but as one of the common people, to avenge the loss of their liberty, the wrongs of myself and my children.”

Though the peasant insurrection was ultimately lost and the rebel troops were slaughtered, Queen Boudicca escaped with her daughters. In the end, they poisoned themselves rather than allow themselves to be captured, but the result of her campaign was, while not freedom, a more lenient Roman regime.

Some Queens are political warriors, other take up battle in the spiritual and cultural realms. In twelfth century Germany, at a time when women’s roles were heavily circumscribed, the Abbess Hildegard of Bingen found extraordinary ways to express her talents and exercise her power.

Born of nobility, Hildegard was raised and educated from the age of seven by the Benedictine nuns. At the age of forty-three, she became abbess of her community. In addition to her extensive administrative and spiritual responsibilities, she managed to pursue and excel at a mind-boggling array of disciplines.

She was a visionary, theologian, prophet, exorcist, healer, natural historian, hagiographer, founder of two monasteries, correspondent, confident, political advisor to kings and popes, poet, performer, author of the world’s first morality play, creator of a new language and alphabet and composer of chants rich in mystical imagery and florid musicality that are popular even today.

A devotee of the feminine divine, she once received a vision that counseled her, “Therefore pour out a fountain of abundance, over-flow with mysterious learning, so that those who want you to be despicable on account of Eve’s transgression may be overwhelmed by the flood of your profusion.”

Never apologize, never retreat, never explain. Get the thing done and let them howl.
-Nellie McClung, Canadian suffragist


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