Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

Today is the Winter Solstice, the first day of winter. The beginning point of the return of the light.

I send blessings of illumination to all Queens everywhere.

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

Winter Solstice Prayer

by Mary Saracino, CO  www.marysaracino.com/

Deep night, Dark night

Night of the longest sigh

Soulful night, Sacred night

Night of the longest dreams

Cold night, Holy night

Night of unfurling desires

Womb of the world, Birther of hope

Bringer of peace and good will

Pray, pray for all good things

That suffering for all will end

That life will thrive and generosity reign

In the hearts of all humankind

That joy will rise and children will fly

On wings of prosperity

Oh hear our plea, this silent night

When the moon is round in the sky

When hopes are high and eyes are wide

with delight and audacity

May Love prevail tonight, and always

Leading us back to our Source

May we dance with the dark, without hesitation or fear

And savor her promise of plenty

Deep night

Dark night

Night of the longest sigh

May our weary hearts stay vigilant and receptive

To all that is loving and dear

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

It is from the state of original chaos, the elemental ether, the black void — The Great Uterine Darkness — that the old creatrix goddesses are said to have brought forth all that is. That the world started with the sacred spark of creative potential contained within the primordial womb, is one of humanity’s oldest concepts. The visual symbol that represents the solar spark that makes all life possible, a dot enclosed within a circle, is also extremely ancient. Still in common use today, it is the astronomical notation for the sun.

Among the most archaic images of the sun is the brilliant radiance, the flaming aura that clothes the Great Goddess. The great Mother of the pre-Islamic peoples of Southern Arabia was the sun, Atthar, or Al-Ilat (later masculinized to become Allah). In Mesopotamia, She was called Arinna, Queen of Heaven. The Vikings named Her Sol, the old Germanic tribes, Sunna, the Celts, Sul or Sulis. The Goddess Sun was also known among the societies of Siberia, North America and Australia.

She is Sun Sister to the Inuit, Sun Woman to the Australian Arunta, Akewa to the Toba of Argentina. The sun has retained its archaic feminine gender in Northern Europe and Arab nations as well as in Japan. To this day, members of the Japanese royal family trace their shining descent to Amaterasu Omikami, the Heaven Illuminating Goddess, and display Her glowing image on their national flag.

According to legend, Amaterasu withdrew into a cave to hide from the irritating antics of Her bothersome brother, Susu-wo-no, the Storm God. Her action plunged the world into darkness and the people panicked. They begged, beseeched, implored the Sun Goddess to come back, but to no avail. At last, on the Winter Solstice, Alarming Woman, a sacred clown, succeeded in charming, teasing and finally yanking Her out, as if from an earthy birth canal, and reinstating on Her rightful celestial throne.

Other cultures see the Goddess not as the sun Herself, but as the mother of the sun. The bringer forth, the protector and controller, the guiding light of the sun and its cycles. According to Maori myth, the sun dies each night and returns to the cave/womb of the deep to bathe in the maternal uterine waters of life from which he is re-born each morning. The Hindu Fire God, Agni, is described as “He who swells in the mother.”

It is on the Winter Solstice, the day when the light begins to lengthen and re-gain power that the archetypal Great Mother gave birth to the sun who is Her son. The great Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis, gave birth to Her son Horus, the Sun God, on the Winter Solstice. On the same day of the year, the Greek goddess Leta gave birth to the bright, shining Apollo; and Demeter, the Great Mother Earth Goddess, bore Dionysus. The shortest day was also the birthday of the Invincible Sun in Rome, Dies Natalis Invictis Solis, as well as that of Mithra, the Persian god of light and guardian against dark evil.

Christ, too, is a luminous son, the latest descendant of the ancient matriarchal mystery of the nativity of the sun/son. Since the gospel does not mention the exact date of His birth, the anniversary of His nativity was not celebrated by the early church. It seems clear that when the church, in the fourth century AD, adopted December 25 as His birthday, it was in order to transfer the heathen devotions honoring the blessed birth of the sun to Him who was called “the sun of righteousness.”

The birth of the archetypal sun, the shining son of The Great Mother on the Winter Solstice brings forth the luminescence from Her dark womb and offers it as a gift of life to the world. This light that retrieves us from the dark of night, the pitch of winter, is a microcosmic recreation of the origination of the universe. The Winter Solstice, then, is an anniversary celebration of creation.

***

If you are in the NYC area, please join me to celebrate the Winter Solstice TONIGHT!

And do send us energy from wherever you are!

 

DECEMBER 21

Wednesday 11:45 PM

37th ANNUAL WINTER SOULSTICE CELEBRATION

KEEPING THE SPIRIT FIRES BURNING

With Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman & Friends

The Winter Solstice is as dark as it gets! The light will now begin its slow return to the Northern hemisphere. Let us drum back the sun and reignite the light in our hearts. Let us shine our spirit on the whole world!

This is a family friendly event. Kids and dogs are welcome. Please bring a candle in a glass container, drums, percussions and lots and lots of spirit.

RAIN OR SHINE!

Mama Donna Plaza (AKA Grand Army Plaza) at the Fountain

Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY

2/3 subway to Grand Army Plaza

For info: 718-857-1343

http://donnahenes.net/pages/feature.shtml

Free

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The light has been steadily retreating each day since the summer solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year. Tip toeing slowly, silently away. The decrease has been so gradual that we barely noticed the almost imperceptible shift, the subtle loss, until the autumn equinox when the light of the day and the dark of the night were of the same duration. Equinox in Latin means “equal night.”

Come the fall, there is no denying the apparent disappearance of the sun. It certainly has been getting darker and darker. The ever more indirect rays of light skim by overhead at an almost horizontal angle, their energy and warmth barely reaching us below. Their glow goes weak and wan, a diluted wash. Insipid. Depressing. All season long, the sun has continued on its wayward course, receding ever further south. Further and further away from us. And now here we are standing in the dark.

The Winter Solstice, the shortest day, the longest night of the year, is as dark as it gets. The sun is then at its nadir, the furthest southern limit of its range, its terminus. And there it seems to want to stay for a while. At the solstice, the sun rises and sets at the identical time day after day and the length of the daylight hours remains the same. The sun stands absolutely still, motionless, riveted. It has stopped retreating, and yet hasn’t begun to come back. Solstice in Latin means just that — “the sun stands still.” Pausing, it hovers in pregnant hesitation before it gets back on track again, resting before it begins its annual return trip across the equator into the Northern Hemisphere for its homecoming. Back to us waiting here, hoping, longing, craving.

Tromso, Norway, population 40,000, situated on the Arctic coast just two hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle, is the furthest north settlement of any size in the world. The winter sun sets there in November and doesn’t rise again until late January. This sunless period is called by the citizens, Mórketiden, the murky time, and is marked by dramatic increases of mental instability, physical illness, domestic violence, suicides, arrests, alcoholism, drug abuse and poor school performance. One resident explained, “Morketiden brings out the worst qualities in people: envy, jealousy, suspicion. People get tense, restless and fearful. They become preoccupied with thoughts of death and suicide. They lose the ability to concentrate and work slows down. People talk about the light constantly and long for the sun to come back.”

We, too. We miss the sun, and winter is only just about to begin. It will be long months before we can expect to smell the advance of spring in the air again. But the consolation is that even though the cold season is just starting, the sun will soon turn its face toward us and begin its return approach. The light will return in its wake, increasing constantly so that by the vernal equinox the light of day will once again be equal to the dark of night. And it will keep increasing until the summer solstice when the sun will again stand still — this time for three days at the northern pinnacle of its path.

But in the meantime it’s damn dark out there. The days have shriveled to a skeleton slice of light. The frozen nights are endless. The mornings are pitch black. These are dim, drab, dismal times. The Earth Herself is congealed with cold. Dark death and Arctic gloom surrounds us. And there is nothing too much we can do about it.

Best, then, during these dark times, to go inside and seek the vivifying energy within our own deepest selves. Let us each be a sun, casting light and radiating warmth wherever we go. Soon enough the days will be brighter.

******

If you are in the NYC area, please join me to celebrate the Winter Solstice. And please send your spirit from everywhere else.

DECEMBER 21

Wednesday 11:45 PM

37th ANNUAL WINTER SOULSTICE CELEBRATION

KEEPING THE SPIRIT FIRES BURNING

With Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman & Friends

The Winter Solstice is as dark as it gets! The light will now begin its slow return to the Northern hemisphere. Let us drum back the sun and reignite the light in our hearts. Let us shine our spirit on the whole world!

This is a family friendly event. Kids and dogs are welcome. Please bring a candle in a glass container, drums, percussions and lots and lots of spirit.

RAIN OR SHINE!

Mama Donna Plaza (AKA Grand Army Plaza) at the Fountain

Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY

2/3 subway to Grand Army Plaza

For info: 718-857-1343

http://donnahenes.net/pages/feature.shtml

Free!

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surely the essential quality of winter is its absence of light. And that, so much more than the attendant cold weather, is what so many people dread about it. The long, dark, isolating chill of winter understandably renders many of us susceptible to sadness. Seasonal Affective Disorder is considered to be an affliction, which is treated with intense doses of light.

Despite this solstice time being marked by many festivals and displays of light, the winter holidays are dark times for many folks. The commercial pressures of the holidaze are depressing in the best of times, and now it is exacerbated by the dire economic situations that so many of us are dealing with.

The seasonal dark only intensifies the dark feelings engendered by the state of the world these days. The planet and 99% of Her species are just holding on by a thread under constant bombardment by war, violent weather, pollution, bigotry, hunger, disease, and short-sighted, greedy, cynical development and resource exploitation.

On top of that, many of us are suffering from a midlife crisis, a dark night of the soul as we adjust — mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually — to the huge changes in our life and circumstances, dealing as are with empty nests, divorce, death of loved ones, ageist glass ceilings and the rude truth of our own mortality.

Dark. Dark. Dark. Black. Deep. Depressing.

Our culture just doesn’t do dark. The problem with that is if we only embrace the light, we will miss experiencing half of each day; half of each year; half of our range of emotions; half of our lives. And, my sisters, there are just some things that you can only learn in the dark.

There is something very bittersweet about sadness. It can be soothing and comforting, offering safety in a consuming cocoon of sorrow. I always say that pain is the midwife of compassion. Sadness, depression, grief, regret, guilt, have a language all their own. And if you have not experienced these emotions, you do not have the vocabulary to recognize the feelings in others, and to offer the succor born of having been there and done that.

Winter is an excellent time to think of the dark as a place of quiet and repose, where we can experience our frightening and unhappy feelings. Really feel them. Embrace them. Own them. And once we do, we can begin to loosen their paralyzing grip on us. We can’t release something if it is not ours.

The best way to release dark feelings is to express them honestly, unabashedly, and with deep feeling. Let us write, paint, dance, sing, moan, wail, lament, shout, belt out our damn moody blues!

*****

If you are in the NYC area, please join me to celebrate the Winter Solstice:

DECEMBER 21

Wednesday 11:45 PM

37th ANNUAL WINTER SOULSTICE CELEBRATION

KEEPING THE SPIRIT FIRES BURNING

With Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman & Friends

The Winter Solstice is as dark as it gets! The light will now begin its slow return to the Northern hemisphere. Let us drum back the sun and reignite the light in our hearts. Let us shine our spirit on the whole world!

This is a family friendly event. Kids and dogs are welcome. Please bring a candle in a glass container, drums, percussions and lots and lots of spirit.

RAIN OR SHINE!

Mama Donna Plaza (AKA Grand Army Plaza) at the Fountain

Park Slope, Exotic Brooklyn, NY

2/3 subway to Grand Army Plaza

For info: 718-857-1343

http://donnahenes.net/pages/feature.shtml

Free!

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.