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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Soulstice Goddess

posted by Donna Henes

This week’s theme is the Winter Solstice and all the multicultural goddesses and festivals associated with the return of the light.

Among the most archaic images of the sun is the brilliant radiance that clothes the Great Goddess. The great Mother of the pre-Islamic peoples of Southern Arabia was the sun, Atthar, or Al-Ilat (later 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 known among the societies of Siberia and North America.
        
Shamelessly
orange like a
parrot’s beak,
arousing with a lover’s
touch the clustered
lotus buds,
I praise this
great wheel the sun –
rising it is an
earring for
the Lady of the East           
- Vidya Kara
11th Century Sanscrit

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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.

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.

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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 regain 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, Leta gave birth to the bright, shining Apollo and Demeter, and 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 evil.

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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, it 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 birth of the sun to Him who was called “the sun of righteousness.”

The return of the retreating sun, which retrieves us from the dark of night, the pitch of winter, is a microcosmic recreation of the origination of the universe, the first birth of the sun. The Winter Solstice is an anniversary celebration of creation. Since the earliest of human times, it has been both natural and necessary for folks to join together in the warmth and glow of community in order to welcome the return of light to a world that is surrounded by dark. And through the imitative gesture of lighting fires, like so many solar birthday candles, we do our annual part to rekindle the spirit of hope in our hearts.

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Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.
- Anne Lamott

I send Regal Blessings to all Queens for an enlightened solstice season.

xxQueen Mama Donna

 ***
If you are in the New York City area, please join me to welcome back the sun today.

DECEMBER 21
Tuesday, 6:00 PM

35th ANNIVERSARY WINTER SOULSTICE CELEBRATION
With MAMA DONNA HENES AND FRIENDS

REVERENCE TO HER: KEEPING THE SPIRIT FIRES BURNING
This solstice is an especially Celestially Auspicious Occasion,
as it is also the New Cold Moon and a total Lunar Eclipse!
A family friendly event — kids welcome.
Please bring candles in glass holders,
drums/percussion instruments.
 
Rain or Shine!
Grand Army Plaza, Park Slope
Exotic Brooklyn, NY
718-857-1343
Free

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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.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers 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.

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It’s Damn Dark Out There

posted by Donna Henes

Congratulations to the winners of The Queen of My Self T-shirts:
Lorna Lee, MI
Shari Glantz, OR
Michelle Spitzer-Boyd, MA
Jeannette Prior, UT
Phyllis Gabriel, CT

Wear them in pride!

This week’s theme is the Winter Solstice and all the multicultural goddesses and festivals associated with the return of the light.

 
The week leading up to the Winter Solstice is the darkest of the year. True, the week following the solstice is just as dark, but the energy is different. After the solstice, the dark gets a tiny bit lighter each day as the world as we know it on the Northern Hemisphere turns toward spring. But now, pre-solstice, we are spinning further and further into the dark.

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

The Winter Solstice is as dark as it gets. The sun is 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. The length of the daylight hours remains the same. The sun is standing absolutely still. It has stopped retreating, and yet hasn’t begun to come back. Solstice in Latin, means just that — the sun stands still. For three days it remains motionless, riveted. 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.

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But in the meantime it’s damn dark out there. Dim and drab.The days have shriveled to a skeleton flicker of light. The frozen nights are endless. These are dim, drab times. No flowers, no foliage. No insects, few birds. No animals out and about. The Earth Herself is congealed with cold. Dark death and Arctic gloom surrounds us. How do we know that the sun, too, won’t die, its flame of life extinguished forever? How do we know that it won’t just go off and leave us, abandon us to the long frigid night?

Wrapped in the dark womb of the weather, it is not difficult to imagine the terrifying prospect of the permanent demise of the sun and the consequent loss of light, the loss of heat. The loss of life. Without the comfort of the familiar cyclical pattern, the approach of each winter with its attendant chiaroscuro would be agonizing. The tension intensified by the chill.

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With the death of the sun, the world would be cast back to the state that it occupied before creation, the classical concept of chaos. The black void. The Great Uterine Darkness. It is from this elemental ether that the old creatrix goddesses are said to have brought forth all that is. This sacred spark of creative potential that is contained within the primordial womb is one of humanity’s oldest concepts — the solar son reborn each year from the Great Mother.
 
Though my soul may set in darkness,
It will rise in perfect light,
I have loved the stars too fondly
To be fearful of the night.
- Sarah Williams

***
If you are in the New York City area, please join me to welcome back the sun tomorrow.

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DECEMBER 21
Tuesday, 6:00 PM

35th ANNIVERSARY WINTER SOULSTICE CELEBRATION
With MAMA DONNA HENES AND FRIENDS

REVERENCE TO HER: KEEPING THE SPIRIT FIRES BURNING
This solstice is an especially Celestially Auspicious Occasion,
as it is also the New Cold Moon and a total Lunar Eclipse!
A family friendly event — kids welcome.
Please bring candles in glass holders,
drums/percussion instruments.
 
Rain or Shine!
Grand Army Plaza, Park Slope
Exotic Brooklyn, NY
718-857-1343
Free

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

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers 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.

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I Like Myself!

posted by Donna Henes

Dear Queens,

Congratulations on another milestone! Today is the 150th post of this column. Can that really be? Time sure does fly when you are having fun. And I, for one, have been having a great deal of fun researching and writing what I hope are inspiring, empowering messages for a purposeful and passionate maturity.

Thanks so much for your continued support and feedback. I am proud to be part of our growing community of extraordinary Queens. To celebrate, I am offering a Queen of My Self T-shirt/nightshirt to the first five women who request them. Details below**

You know what?
                I like myself.
                I trust myself.
                I know myself.
                I know what I want.
                I know what I need.
                I know what I have.
                I know what I know.
                I mean well.
                I try hard.
                I do good.
                I help.
                I heal.
                I hear.
                I love.
                I feel.
                I fall down.
                I stand up.
                I strive.
                I survive.
                I flourish.
                I thrive.

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- Donna Henes

** To receive your gift T-shirt, just send me an email with your mailing address and your preferred size (XL – 4X). The largest sizes are great to sleep in — perchance to dream of sovereignty!

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

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers 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.

 

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The Queen You Are

posted by Donna Henes

Yesterday I posted the glorious “A Creed For Free Women” by Elsa Gidlow. The subtitle is “(and such men as feel happy with it.)” As it happens, many men feel happy with it. Real men, that is. Men who are comfortable in their own skins and who don’t need to denigrate women in order to inflate their self-image, are happy to see women as confident, capable Queens.

Below is a poem by one such man.

“This is more than a poem about my friend Kristin, it is also a way for a man to honor a woman. It is a way for me to work through centuries of men’s oppression of women, and my own in past lives, and to revalue what has been hurt between us… This needs to be done with truth and honesty and with heart one woman at a time.”

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The Queen You Are
By Luc Watelet

When you play
with your craft
– graphic designs
photos
designing your webpage
your business card –
When you write stories
When you buy new clothes
When you give to your children
your being does not know fear
You are the Queen of your realm

Who then challenges your dreams?
What threatens to take your dreams away?

When I am in your presence
I see the queen
I trust the queen knows what’s best for herself
I do not see fear

No

When I am in your presence
I see the queen
and she is
majestic
beautiful
graceful
royal
and strong
and it touches my heart
because
what I see is contagious
What I see in you
will touch people
and women
in ways that are unforeseen
and magical

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… and all that
thanks to
the Queen you are

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

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers 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.

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