The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Say Something!

posted by Donna Henes

It is so damn easy to feel depressed, frustrated and disillusioned right now. In light of the widespread oppression, manipulation, intimidation that surrounds us today, we most certainly need to say something. There are signs everywhere in the subways of New York City that say, “If you see something, say something.”

We Queens see quite clearly the ills of the world — the degradation of our environment, the subjugation and brutalization of women, the starvation of children, the abuses perpetrated by corporate thieves and political bullies. We see it all. And we are called upon to respond. We need to say something. And say it clearly, loudly and with the full weight of our moral authority.

What we all have to do from now on is to stay alert, stay centered, keep connected and most important of all, keep talking. Talking, writing, protesting keeps the light of truth and tolerance shining upon the hidden agendas of governments, industries, institutions and individuals. Silence, like the dark of night, shelters nefarious deeds. Silence forgives violence.

I have been haunted recently by the words written by a Protestant minister after the downfall of the Nazi regime. “First they came for the gays. I am not gay, so I didn’t say anything. Then they came for the Gypsies. I am not a Gypsy, so I didn’t say anything. Then they came for the Jews. I am not a Jew, so I didn’t say anything. Then they came for the Catholics. I am not a Catholic, so I didn’t say anything. When they finally came for me, there was no one left to say anything.”

Be bold.

Make a statement.

Make a stand.

Make a difference.

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The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

The Mighty Queen

posted by Donna Henes

The mighty Queen, the great and wise, brave and compassionate woman ruler, the reigning commander of Her domain, is an expansive, expressive, accessible, energetic archetype who represents a mature female power, authority, responsibility and influence worthy of our emulation.

There have always been exceptional Queens, royal and otherwise — inspiring and motivating examples of midlife monarchs, matriarchs, amazons, fabulous furies, sheroes and prominent leaders from all cultures and walks of life — to serve as role models for us who are striving to mold ourselves in Her image of sovereignty and strength.

Among the Hopi people, women are not considered to be completely grown up adults until they have reached their mid-fifties at least. Women who are not yet fifty are not considered mature enough to participate in the weightier matters of ceremony. Despite how accomplished they might be, how responsible, how many children they do or don’t have, their wisdom is not yet thought to be completely developed. They are considered to be still too involved in the practical matters of life and living, too distracted and preoccupied to be in attunement with Spirit — and thus their power.

The indigenous peoples of Mexico believed that a woman “did not have a face” until she became an elder. It was only through accumulated years of living and the experience that age offers, as well as her willingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of her community that she could gain face.

Many cultures believe that a menopausal woman retains inside her body the blood that she used to shed each month. This blood that she preserves for herself is the fire-red source of her potency. The French have a fabulous saying that “When women lose their blood, they gain their voice.” Of course some of us have always been big mouths!
 
The Matriarch Queen is not afraid to speak Her truth. She has kept Her power a hidden secret, held fast just below the surface, the lid screwed on tight to prevent an accidental boil-over. Now, She burns with the passion and the power of a dormant volcano finally let loose of the intolerable internal pressure borne for so long. The fires of Her impatience have burned away all the underbrush and now She can see the forest for the trees.

Knowing through Her personal experience what is true and valuable, and having learned, usually the hard way, to be proactive, She pledges Her royal Self to defend and promote all that is precious. Fired by righteous indignation at the wrongs of the world, the Amazon Queen takes on the responsibility of Her authority with fervor and command.

We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat.
- Victoria, English Queen, 1819-1901

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The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

On Being Prepared

posted by Donna Henes

There is nothing like aging to drive home the fact that nothing in the world is permanent. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is ever really completely safe. There is no such thing as security. Anything, anything at all, can happen at any moment. And in that moment, we are changed forever, as well.

How the hell can we cope with such uncertain times? (And all times are uncertain.) Life is a dangerous proposition all the way around. Nobody makes it out alive, after all. We never know, from day to day, from minute to minute, when a crisis will arrive unannounced on our doorstep. We never know when or how we will be called upon to rise to a critical, pivotal occasion. Yet we would like to think that we would be ready, willing and able to handle whatever may come our way. Like any good scout, we aim to be prepared.

But being prepared in the way of the Scouts can get you only so far. Sure, it is always a good idea to have a well-stocked pantry, tool box and first aid kit, just in case. It behooves one to be smart, to be alert, aware, vigilant, careful and calm. But there is simply no way — given the infinite variety of diabolically creative forms that death and destruction can take — to be prepared for any conceivable contingency.

For instance, the case of the two well-heeled, well-coiffed Japanese tourists in London who were struck and killed by lightning striking literally out of the blue as they strolled through Hyde Park. The wire, it would seem, on their under-wire brassieres had attracted the deadly bolt. How could we ever anticipate anything so bizarre?

A woman I once knew was walking with her husband and two adolescent sons along Boston harbor one sunny Sunday afternoon. They were eating ice cream and looking at the ships when a freak wind came along and knocked one of the boys into the water, never to be seen again. Imagine. Life is so fragile that an errant wind could literally blow you away forever.

The only way that we can truly prepare ourselves for unanticipated emergencies is to center ourselves in the present moment. To pay attention. To really be here now. To be ever mindful. If we can focus on the immediate, rather than obsess over the past or try to anticipate the future, we will have the presence of mind to assess each situation as it arises. And we will be able to be flexible in our response to it.

It is not so important to know what we will do in any given situation. The crucial thing is to know that we will be able to do something. To have confidence in our ability to think on our feet. To have faith in our own assessments, instincts and intuition. To be able to figure it out as we go along. To believe in our good intentions and our courage to do whatever is called for.

It seems to me that the secret to successful preparation is mindful presence. To live the life that we have, while we can, as best as we can, and to appreciate every single minute of it. L’chaim!, the Yiddish toast, “To life!” recognizes, embraces and salutes life in the full range of its scope and complexity. It celebrates all of it — the good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent — for tomorrow we die.

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The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Belonging to Your Self

posted by Donna Henes

If you have not already gobbled up the books in The Maeve Chronicles by Elizabeth Cunningham, I urge you to do so instantly.

The trilogy begins with The Passion of Mary Magdalene, which is a wonderful re-envisioning of Mary Magdalene as a Celtic Queen raised by the nine Warrior Queens of Tir na mBan, the Land of Women. There she was trained in the fighting, healing and the ritual arts.

She lands in Rome as a captured slave, becomes a priestess of Isis and is ultimately reunited with Jesus, her fated soul mate. Even in captivity Maeve never loses her center or her sense of her Self. She is a red haired red hot dynamo. A no-nonsense, straight shooting pistol. A fiery Queen of Her Self.

I am now engrossed in the prequel, Magdalene Rising: The Beginning. Here is the story of how Maeve developed her surety and Self-sovereignty as a maiden raised with no knowledge of or influence by the patriarchy.

The books are written in the first person in the raucous, irreverent voice of Maeve, herself. I don’t want to ruin the story for you, but I do want to share this excerpt. Here are her mothers talking to Maeve about the importance of being true to herself and honoring her own power:

“When women don’t have their sovereignty, it can be very messy indeed. Now we are queens and witches from our own sovereign isle.”

“Sovereignty, Maeve. Belonging to yourself. Your own terms,” Boann got in as much drill as she could.
    
“Tir na mBan stands for the sovereignty of women,” continued Fand. “If it exists nowhere else in the world, it exists there. Remember that, Maeve. Sovereignty is your birthright and your inheritance. Next to sovereignty, gold torques and brooches are mere trinkets. Never surrender your sovereignty, Maeve. Carry it with you wherever you go.”

Their words were stirring but abstract. Then an image rose in my mind of myself as a sort of floating island, shining, a sovereign vessel on a vast and dangerous sea.

-Excerpt from Magdalen Rising by Elizabeth Cunningham

May we all remember at all times just how strong and brave and true we are. How we have learned to stand in our center and defend our boundaries. How we are beholden only to our own authentic paths. How we rule our own lives with compassion and care. How we have fought for and won our sovereignty. How our reign is benevolent and empowering to all in our realm.

Hail to the sovereign Queens!

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

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