The Queen of My Self

Recently 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.

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 My Self?

DH: For more than 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 Wednesday: Questions about Sovereignty

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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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