The Queen of My Self

Earth and woman share a correspondence of function, a facility for creativity and abundance, a worldly wisdom. Each is primary and potent. Even in appearance, are they the same. Just as the roundness of the earth and Her cyclical seasons resonate in every woman, the surface shapes and internal configurations of the earth are defined by the physical attributes of the female physique.

The soil, smoothly moist and rich, arid, cracked and parched, is Her skin; and the lush foliage, the fuzzy moss, the spindled grasses, are Her many splendid tresses. The trees are arms, legs, limbs, which reach out and dance in all directions. The roots, feet firm on the ground. Gems and crystalline minerals make Her strong skeletal system; and the rivers, creeks and streams are the blood that flows through Her veins.

The air is Her hot breath, Her holy exhalation. The seeds of plants are Her sacred monthly flow. Her pregnant belly is indicated in the rounded hills and Her mountainous breasts swell all the way to the sky. The valleys reflect the soft shapes of Her cradling elbows and comforting lap. The ocean is Her womb, the saline-rich source of all life. Rock clefts like labia, and vulvic caves are passageways into Her cavernous interior; the power of Her hallowed deep places, palpable.

Mother Earth, Mother Nature, has Her moods as well as any woman might. Her emotions, like the weather, are mutable and span the full spectrum. She rainbow-glows, radiant in health and beauty. She twinkles like the stars; sparkles with good humor. She grows overcast, gets dark, oblique, breezy and cool. She weeps with dew. She simmers and hisses on slow burn. She vents her steam. She quakes in anger. She rumbles and grumbles and tears the house down. She sparks, bursts, erupts, explodes, implodes in passion. She can be gentle, generous, humorous, dependable, destructive and very, very scary. Hell, indeed, hath no fury like an earthy woman scorned.

Mother Earth, universally worshipped as the fertile, female provider, protector and parent, was always treated with great dignity and care. Cultivated fields were left to rest one year in seven lest they become worn out with the never ending work of producing food, and wars were routinely put on hold during the planting season. Woman was cherished as the incarnate daughter of the Great Cosmic Queen, because she embodied the same supreme capability of life. Her natural understanding was held in esteem, and her body, its terrestrial contours reminiscent of those of Mother Earth, was respected. Once upon a time, that is.

A rather bizarre form of pornography, known as pornotopia, was produced during the Victorian period in England. Mother Earth was personified as a voluptuous female landscape laid bare to the voyeuristic viewing pleasure of man who surveys the scene before him from the perspective of a fly promenading upon Her full-figured splendor. Her hills and caves, rises and recesses, were described in somewhat smarmy terms which were meant to elicit the fascinating, fearsome, forbidden Oedipal fantasy of a man mounting his own mother in lust. Where in the past, the Earth had once been revered, She was here reviled, defiled, desecrated. Stripped bare of Her powers, She was reduced to a passive sexual object, sacked and soiled.

Today the body of the Earth, our first mother, is routinely bruised and abused. Raped and burned; dug and dammed; dynamited and nuked. As many as one hundred distinct species of plants and animals are disappearing from existence each day, directly or indirectly due to human domination. And the bodies of women everywhere fare no better.

How in the world did The Good Earth — the very material (from the Latin, mater, meaning, “mother”) of life itself — get to be a dirty word? Or “Mutha,” for that matter? According to the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary, dirt means, “grime,” “stain,” “smut.” Dirty is “lewd,” “defiled,” “contaminated,” “dingy,” “unsanitary,” “filthy,” “polluted,” “foul.” Not one mention of dirt as the flesh of the Goddess, as the source of the nutrients that nourish us, as the bosom of the Mother that will cradle us when we die. How did it come to pass that the Earth Mother whose grace we depend upon for absolutely everything has become so thoroughly sullied? And more important, how can we repair the damage?

We can begin by commemorating Earth Day in Her honor. Since 1971, Earth Day has been celebrated to remind the people of the world of the need for continuing care which is vital to Earth’s safety and our own. The vernal equinox was originally chosen as the official date to honor Earth for its symbolism — equilibrium and balance — in order to encourage and inspire a universal sense of interdependence, cooperation, and unity. Now we celebrate it on April 22, which has, heretofore, been Arbor Day. 

The vernal equinox calls on all mankind to recognize and respect Earth’s beautiful systems of balance, between the presence of animals on land, the fish in the sea, birds in the air, mankind, water, air, and land. Most importantly there must always be awareness of the actions by people that can disturb this precious balance.

– Margaret Mead

On Earth Day the United Nations Peace Bell is rung to initiate a moment of global equipoise when people worldwide can join in a renewed heartfelt commitment to the protection and care of our planet. The United Nations Earth Day event is the centerpiece of an annual global holiday that strives to awaken a common objective of local and global harmony with nature and neighbors.

The original Earth Day proclamation states, “All individuals and institutions have a mutual responsibility to act as Trustees of Earth, seeking the choices in ecology, economics, and ethics that will eliminate pollution, poverty, and violence; foster peaceful progress; awaken the wonder of life; and realize the best potential for the future of the human adventure.”

Last month, two billion people worldwide participated in Earth Hour by turning off their lights as a visual demonstration of the dramatic difference made possible by each individual coupled with the efforts of others. But one hour, one day is barely a beginning. Let one hour, one day inspire two, twenty, two hundred. Let every day be Earth Day.

With every blessing from Mother Earth and every blessing for Her,


There is no social-change fairy. There is only change made by the hands of individuals.
–Winona LaDuke


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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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