The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

The Queen Uses Trouble Well

posted by Donna Henes

Here are selected comments from a discussion on The Queen of My Self Facebook page.

Q: The Queen does not invite hard times and trouble, but She chooses to use them well. Suffering is the midwife of compassion.
- Queen Mama Donna

How has this been true for you?

A: Oh yes! This year, I celebrate 30 years of suffering and learning from my great teacher: severe scalp psoriasis. THANK YOU, Great Teacher, for all the lessons, the pain, the bliss, the wonder. I LOVE YOU!!
- Sheryll, CA

A: This hit home for me last year when my mother passed away from cancer. Although I have had many friends and their loved ones live and die from and through cancer, I couldn’t relate truly until I experienced it in my family. It impacted my compassion and empathy so much for those suffering not just from cancer but other illnesses as well.
- Jami, WA

A: Tough love at the moment. I’ve just returned from teaching in China. I may be a Queen but I’m living at home, on a couch, no job, no apt, no car and no interviews yet. Compassion? Trying to love myself through the changes. Good news is, everything changes — even the hard times.
- Jessica, RI

A: At the age of 49, I’ve finally learned to stay in conscious contact with Spirit when I am in a “good” space. Previously, I needed the suffering and hard times to consistently remind me to reconnect and to listen.
- Debra, NH

A: The hard times and the bad times and the losses have made me a stronger and therefore more compassionate person. I can’t say that I have overcome every bad thing that has happened to me, but the ones I have, have taught me just how much I can do, how strong I can become. Have faith in yourself, you are so much more that you think you are, especially you are so much more than you think you are when things get harsh. Arise , go forth and show ‘em some moxie.
- l.a., PA

A: We need to know that without the suffering we would never know joy! Be grateful for it all. Been where you are, Jessica, and it DOES get better!!! Prayers, love & light coming your way :)
- Lori, NY

A: Unfortunately it can seem to take FOREVER for the end of suffering and it can take forever for the “better” thing to come along. This is why patience and hope is important also!
- Karen, NV

A: What happens when suffering feels better/more real/like the only truth? have you ever found yourself making the choice to suffer something because it is a more extreme feeling? what happens when The Queen realizes she just might be inviting the hard times and trouble? (but balances the suffering with a very romanticized positivity, wine, and her fortress of sisters…)
- Katrina Dixon , NY

A: She is not inviting the trouble, but choosing to focus on the pain. Pain is familiar. Sometimes it is seemingly safer than an unknown, untested faith in possibility. So a shift in focus is what is needed. It is so important to dwell on what we want, rather than what we fear we won’t have, or might lose. And that does take an enormous discipline. Remember, energy goes where we send it. This thought changed my life. Perhaps you will find it helpful, too: “Worry is like praying for what we don’t want!”

A: Losing my mom to the effects of diabetes and my seventeen-year old niece to cancer taught me about strength, compassion, and living in the moment.
- NotMy RealName

A: Divorce and unemployment have helped me find my own inner happiness. Now I am going back to school for my MBA. Hardship has not held me back, but propelled me forward.
- Jennifer, CO

A: Choose gratitude, when there you have a center from which to send compassionate energy.
- Christina, NY

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

Harvesting Mother Earth’s Gifts of Life

posted by Donna Henes

Throughout world mythology, the goddess of the good ground, the grain, the autumn harvest, has been appropriately portrayed as a knowledgeable mature woman of the world, mistress of all earthly domains. A matriarch. A Queen. She is the Great Mother who sustains all Her species. She was known as Astarte, Ishtar by the ancient Semites, Semele by Phrygians, Isis in Egypt, Demeter in Greece, and Ceres in Rome.

She is Tari Pennu to the Bengalis, Old Woman Who Never Dies to the Mandan and Mother Quescapenek to the Salish. To the Aztec, She is Chicomecoatl, to the Quechua Indians in Bolivia, She is Pacha Mama and  the Huichol call Her Our Mother Dove Girl, Mother of Maize.

While the Earth, Herself, is seen as the fertile mother from whom all life has issued, Her aspect as the spirit of the grain is celebrated in many cultures as Mother Earth’s child. This young one represents next year’s crop curled like a fetus gestating within the seeds of this year’s harvest.

Typically, She is the daughter, the harvest maiden, the corn virgin, although in Aztec Mexico and Egypt, the grain spirit was Her son. To the Aztec She was Xilonen, Goddess of New Corn. The Cherokees call Her Green Corn Girl. To the Prussians, She was the Corn Baby, to the Malays, the Rice Baby. In parts of India, the harvest maiden is Guari and She is represented by both an unmarried girl and a bunch of balsam plants.

The archetypal grain mother/daughter pair is personified in Greek mythology as Demeter and Persephone, also known as Kore, the Virgin Goddess. They illustrate two aspects, the Mother and the Maiden, of the same divine fertile spirit. Demeter is this year’s ripe crop and Persephone, the seed-corn taken from the parent. Like the seed sown in autumn, She symbolically descends into the underworld, torn from the breast of Her mourning mother. And, again like the seed, She reappears, reborn, in the spring.

The harvest is experienced at once as a festival of life and a drama of death. In the fall, we commemorate the seasonal demise of the light as well as the plants, which provide us sustenance. Even as we glory in the great yield, the reward of our diligence, we mourn the death of the deity residing in the grain, killed by the cutting of the crops. At harvest, we honor She Who Died so that we might continue to live.

Despite the clear and rational necessity, there is considerable and understandable reluctance to scythe the last sheath of grain. For here lives the Great Grain Mother and Her child — She who has always fed us, to whom we owe our existence. Can we slash Her body with a sickle? Can we allow Her to be tread upon and trampled on the threshing floor? Can we cook and eat Her seed and feed Her broken corpse to the animals?

Would that we still revered the gifts of life and living bestowed upon us by our mutual Mother Earth.

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



What Do You Weep For?

posted by Donna Henes

Once again Sister Joan Chittister has found the perfect words to express  what I have been feeling.

What Do You Weep For?
by Joan Chittister

Evagrius of Ponticus, one of the early desert monastics, counseled young monastics: “First pray for the gift of tears, to soften by compunction the inherent hardness of your soul.”

And fifteen centuries later, George Eliot wrote, too, “The beginning of compunction is the beginning of new life.”

The point is clear: Weeping is a very life-giving thing. It wizens the soul of the individual and it sounds alarms in society.

If we do not weep on the personal level, we shall never understand other human beings.

If we do not weep on the public level at the inhuman conditions that trap those around us: for the part-time employed, for instance who have no cars to get them to the jobs they need; for the innocent in the Middle East who sit in bunkers and basements waiting for the next bombs to fall; for the women of the world who are trapped in unholy religious silence and told it’s God’s will for them. If we do not weep for these and those like them-if we remain dry-eyed and indifferent-we are less than human ourselves.

There are, in other words, some things that simply ought not to be endured.

We must always cope with evil, yes, but we must never, ever adjust to it, either ours or anyone else’s.

What we weep for, you see, measures what we are and determines what we do, as well.

Weeping signals that it is time to change things in life. John Tillotson wrote once: “Though all afflictions are evils in themselves, yet they are good for us, because they discover to us our disease and tend to our cure.”

Without our tears, we have no hope of healing because we do not begin to admit the anguish.

Indeed, ironically, of all the expressions of human emotion in the lexicon of life, weeping may be the most life-giving.

The point is that our tears expose us. They lay us bare both to others and to ourselves.

You see, what we cry about is what we care about.

We known ourselves to be made from this earth.
We know this earth is made from our bodies.
For we see ourselves.
And we are nature.
We are nature seeing nature.
We are nature with a concept of nature.
Nature weeping.
Nature speaking of nature to nature.

- Susan Griffin
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


Earth Speaks

posted by Donna Henes

Thank you Queen Elizabeth Hazel from Toledo, Ohio for sending this most beautiful poem.

Earth Speaks
By Elizabeth Hazel

Earth speaks to those who listen:
Maternal lectures in shades of green,
Sisterly riddles in coy lagoons and comic swamps,
And her epic daughters,
Mountain covens meet to ponder immortality.
She thinks in seasons and paints in time:
Impressionistic springs give way to pointilistic summers;
Drab and tattered autumns yield to ruthless winter whites
As frost giants gnash through horn-blasted blizzards.
Earth speaks to those who listen:
The North Star is poised upon the axis of her turnings,
And steers her through tides of space and time.
The pulse of her journey thrums through sand and soil,
And her blood churns through rivers and streams.
Her body communicates with force and subtlety,
And few can penetrate her family secrets.
Her moon conducts exchanges with neighborly planets
And imports overseas from remote suns.
Light year accounts in her cosmic ledger
Score tallies that beggar all reckoning.
Contrivances may take her measure
But know not her meaning
Or delight in her passions.
Earth speaks to those who listen
In the oldest language of all;
With the nouns of creation,
With verbs of being,
And adjectives of multiplicity.
Hers is the greatest song
The deeps call to the heights
In a symphonic canon of sea and land;
And all hearts resound to her sonorous chords.
Earth speaks to those who listen.
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


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