The Queen of My Self

By Mari Selby

As 21st century women we will continue to be easily seduced, and then just as easily dismayed, by the media’s “perfect woman” as long as we buy into the outdated feminine ideal of motherly nurturance and essential passivity. And even if we don’t buy into this limited ideal, our search for a “media correct” woman often leaves us dissatisfied with our army of personal trainers, therapists, and beauty consultants. What’s missing? Perhaps a more evolved and holistic view of the feminine includes a wrathful aspect to our nature. Anger (or rage) is not wrath; wrath is focused, compassionate, creative and intelligent anger. Perhaps the next step in a personal and global evolution will guide women to become more primordial, wrathful and unreasonable, yet still compassionate?

What might wrathful creativity produce? Recently a friend sent me an image of a group of unreasonable women from Pt. Reyes, California. They were protesting US aggression in the Middle East by forming the word PEACE with their naked bodies. The “spirit” in the display was powerful and definitely sent a message. Their intention was to “shame” the government into rational thinking about the Middle East crisis.

Where do we source this wisdom of compassionate wrath? Today more and more women are turning to other world religions besides Christianity in their search for a deeper, more primordial and wrathful connection to feminine spirit. There has been a recent upsurge in the popularity of Kali, the Hindu goddess whose compassionate nature is both destructive and creative. In the Southwest women are drawn to the Hopi and Navajo Kachinas as a way of embracing another version of themselves. The arrival of Tantric Buddhism in the West has introduced us to the (secret and formerly hidden) ancient female deities called Dakinis. The burgeoning popularity of Dakinis is rooted in their compassionate and wrathful nature. The unique compassion of the Dakinis is their focus on the embodiment of sanity through the integration of all emotions, not just peaceful or looking-good emotions.

So, still, what are we hungry for? Are we searching for outlets for our rage? Has our rage become so strong that we can ignore it no longer? As women we’ve learned that the personal is political. How can we not be more angry than ever? We still see women being beaten and raped by their husbands, still assaulted and threatened by religionists, and still not being paid enough to feed their children.

We have also learned that we cannot be just angry, and then expect to be truly productive. As well, anger may not necessarily be the spiritual image we choose to mirror. How do we reconcile our rage with our desire to be spiritual? Many religions tell us to swallow our anger, or rise above it, or pray harder, or devote ourselves more intensely to our children, husbands etc. These practices do not change anything deep within ourselves.

Can we transform this anger into creative energy? One of the best films to deal with the transformation of anger into wrath is “Erin Brokavich”. Erin’s bitter frustration with her own single motherhood merged with deeply felt compassion to create wrathful action. Through witnessing acute humane suffering caused by corporate polluters, Erin transformed her anger into actions that profoundly benefited her community. Erin was unreasonable throughout her entire process.

We can all create wrathful change. We can transform our lives. Where do we find the wisdom to know how to do this? Wrathful women are a force of nature, to be respected and venerated. Who were our personal models who embodied a wrathful spirit? Did our mothers stand up for us? Was there a neighbor who fostered our courage and talents? Which teacher allowed us to question authority? Each one of these people mirrored the Dakini inside us. To embrace our unreasonable and compassionate selves is to recognize ourselves as Dakinis.

…to be continued…read Part 2 on Monday, June 8th

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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


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