The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Bless Your Self

posted by Donna Henes

For some fifteen years now, the practice of Self Blessing has been the centerpiece of my personal spiritual practice as well as the many ceremonies and celebrations that I facilitate for others. When people are first introduced to the concept, they are often taken aback and suddenly shy. “Bless myself? Am I qualified? Isn’t that blasphemy?”

Surely we are each the most appropriate dispenser of our own blessings. Who but we ourselves really understand what we have been through, what we have gained and won, what we still need and desire, what we honor and aspire to? And who but we is dedicated to actualizing our own dreams? Learning how to bless our Selves, and doing so often and without embarrassment, is truly our crowning achievement.

Bless your Self every day in order to focus, facilitate, and enhance that mighty, internal energy-for-change which is your own best Self. The gift of Self Blessing is one that keeps on giving. The more you bless yourself, the more you will bless your Self. The more you value and validate your Self, the more compassionate toward your Self you will become.

The more worthy you feel, the more you trust your Self, listen to your Self, and discipline your Self. The more you bless your Self, the more you will count your blessings, and the more blessed you, yourself, become. Where blessing is concerned, more is definitely more.

There are two kinds of blessings: those that acknowledge and celebrate your growth and accomplishments, and those that proffer offerings of encouragement for that which you still hope to do.

Bless your Self as worthy. Congratulate your Self. Hug your Self close. Pat your Self on the back with pride. Pinch your own cheek with delight. Bow down and kiss your feet!

Bless your Self with words. It is important to articulate your blessing. Try verbalizing your thoughts out loud. Don’t worry about what to say or how to say it. Speak to your deepest Self spontaneously, from your heart. There can be no such thing as a bad blessing. It is a contradiction in terms. If your intention is positive, so will be your blessing.

The range of possibilities of ways to bless your Self is as boundless as your imagination. Be specific, creative and outrageous.

You can bless your Self with special oil. Anoint the crown of your head with the intention to concentrate on your intention.

You can bless your Self every time you apply your lipstick. “I bless my Self. I bless what I put into my mouth and I bless what comes out of my mouth.”

You can bless your Self with a scarf or a muffler. “I bless my Self. I wrap my Self with protection and surround my Self with love.”

You can bless your Self with a sheet or blanket when you get into bed each night. “I bless my Self. I cover my Self with confidence, with affection, with appreciation, with support.”

You can bless your Self with soap in the shower every morning. “I bless my Self. I cleanse my Self of impurities, insecurities and all negative thinking.”

You can bless your Self with unguents and lotions, applying them with loving affection. I bless my Self. I soothe and caress and embrace my Self and ease away all my troubles.”

You can bless your Self each time you sneeze. “I bless my Self. Goddess bless me!”

The more you bless your Self, the more you believe it.

The more you believe it, the more you project it.

The more you project it, the more you attract it.

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

 

 

Coming Home to the Self

posted by Donna Henes

Speaking of the Self, here is a piece by Sister Joan Chittister, the popular Catholic spiritual writer. It landed propitiously in my mailbox whilst I was in the midst of working on these recent posts on the Self. Good timing, Sister Queen!

Coming Home to the Self

We are a culture of misfits — not because there is anything wrong with us as a people but because we are accustomed to becoming things we aren’t. So we don’t fit into our own souls. Our schools put out students to fit the economy, for instance, rather than the heart. Good thinkers go into accounting rather than philosophy because accounting pays more. Fine writers go into law because law is more prestigious. Young people with artistic talent go into computer science because computer programming or hotel management or engineering are full of “opportunities” — read “money” — that a water-colorist lacks.

The problem is that when we do not do what we are clearly made to do we are doomed. We spend the rest of our lives looking for the missing piece of ourselves that we lost before we knew we had it.

Then we wonder why the work we do bores us, no matter how many cars we have, no matter how beautiful the vacation house may be. We can’t figure out why we still feel restless about life. We wonder what it is that isn’t right: the schedule, the children, the marriage, the place.

We lose a taste for life.

Then, it is time go give ourselves the space and means to become again. We need to rearrange the furniture of life to make way for the essence of life: We need to set up an easel and paint. We need to start the woodworking we always wanted to do. We need to take the courses we always wish we had. We need to join the book clubs that talk about the things we are interested in discussing. We need to begin to knit and cook and write and garden. We need to do those unfinished, unstarted, undeveloped things in us that ring the bell of bliss and authenticity. Then life will become life again and all the rust of it will wear away. When we become what we know ourselves to be, we will come home to ourselves.

The rabbis put it this way: “Rabbi,” the disciple asked, “what shall I do to be saved?” And the Rabbi said, “How should I know? Abraham practiced hospitality and was saved. Elias loved to pray and was saved. David ruled a kingdom and God was with him. Follow the deepest inclination of your heart and you, too, will be saved.”

When we live from the inside out rather than from the outside in, everything in life begins to fit.

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

Global Sisterhood of Solar Queens

posted by Donna Henes

On this, the first full day of the summer season of the sun, I want to share with you a list of Sun Goddesses from Around the Globe:

Aditi - Hindu goddess from India, keeper of the light that illuminates all life and ensures consciousness. She gave birth to the universe and the heavenly bodies.

Aine – Irish goddess who represents the spark of life. Her festival was celebrated on Midsummer’s Eve, the Summer Solstice. Later She was remembered in Christian times as the Fairy Queen.

Akycha -Native Alaskan solar goddess who once lived on Earth as a beautiful woman. She fled into the sky after Her brother raped Her.

Amaterasu – Japanese Shinto goddess. Her name means “Great Shinning Heaven.” She is the head of the Japanese pantheon and Her emblem, the rising sun, appears on the Japanese flag.

Bast – Egyptian lion goddess of sunset. Among Her many roles She symbolizes the fertilizing rays of the sun.

Beiwe – Sami goddess of Lapland who is celebrated at the Summer Solstice for providing the light the plants needed to grow. These in turn fed the reindeer that are vital source of food, clothing and tools for the people.

Bila – Aboriginal cannibal goddess who provided light for the world by cooking Her victims over a giant flame. She was chased away, but the world was then plunged into darkness. So Bila was captured and tethered to the earth.

Brigid – Celtic fire goddess. As a solar deity Her attributes are light, inspiration and all skills associated with fire.

Chup – Kamui – Modest Japanese moon goddess. She traded places with the sun god, as She was so embarrassed by the adulterous and lecherous behavior that was occurring in the dark of night.

Djanggawul Sisters – Aboriginal goddesses from Arhemland. These daughters of the sun gave birth to all the plants and animals. Their magical power objects were stolen from them by their brothers.

Hathor – Egyptian goddess of the sky. Hathor is depicted with the solar disk. indicating that this is one of Her many areas of influence.

Hekoolas – Native American sun goddess of the Miwok people. The trickster Coyote, convinced Her to light up this world.

Medusa – Greek goddess who is said to derive from an earlier Anatolian deity. This theory is supported by images of Her with a lion that symbolized the power of the sun.

Pattini – Sri Lankan solar deity who represents the heat of the sun’s rays.

Olwen – Welsh sun goddess whose name means “Golden Wheel.”

Saule – Lithuanian golden haired sun goddess. She rides across the sky in a chariot pulled by two white horses with golden manes, battling with the powers of darkness.

Sekhmet – Lion-headed goddess of Egypt. She represents the destructive qualities of the sun’s rays, which cause drought and famine.

Shapash – Phoenician Goddess whose name means “Torch or Light of the Gods”. In addition to being a Solar Goddess, She is also able to travel through the realms of the dead.

Solntse – Slavic Sun Goddess.

Sunna – Nordic Goddess of the Sun, also known as Sol. Her chariot is pulled across the sky by two horses.

Uelanuhi – Cherokee Goddess of the Sun, Her name means “Apportioner,” as She was responsible for dividing time into units. Her warmth was captured for people by Grandmother Spiderwoman’s web.

Walo – Aboriginal Goddess who traveled across the sky with Her daughter, Bar. One day Walo realized that the reason the earth was parched was due to their combined heat, so She sent Her daughter back to the east, thus allowing the earth to become fertile and bloom.

Wuriupranili – Aboriginal sun deity who lights a bark torch and carries the flame through the sky from east to west. At the western sea, She dips it in the water, then uses the embers to guide Her under the earth to reach Her starting point again.

Wurusemu – Ancient Hittite Sun Goddess. She is also known as Arinna.

Xatel-Ekwa – Hungarian Goddess. Like many other ancient European Solar Goddesses, She is linked with horses as She rides through the air on Her three steeds.

Let us all be Solar Queens, carrying light, heat and life giving energy into the world.

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

Queen of the Summer Solstice

posted by Donna Henes

Among the most archaic images of the sun is as the brilliant radiance, which clothes the Great Goddess. The great Mother of the pre-Islamic peoples of Southern Arabia was the sun, Atthar, or Al-Ilat. 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. 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, Queen of the Heavens.

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 Her on Her rightful celestial throne.

In ancient Egypt, the Summer Solstice was celebrated by the Burning of the Lamps at Sais in honor of Isis, Queen of Heaven. In Rome, the day was dedicated to Vesta, also known as Hestia in Greece. The Vestal Virgins, Her oracular priestesses, were the guardians of the public hearth and altar. On this day the perpetual fire representing the mystical heart of the empire, was extinguished, re-kindled and blessed.

On the Summer Solstice Beiwe, the Sami Sun Goddess of Lapland is celebrated for providing the light that the plants need to grow. This is crucial, for the plants feed the reindeer, the vital source of food, clothing and tools for the people.

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.”

The sun goddesses represent the generative power and nutritive light of the sun. However, today most cultures associate the Goddess with the energy and phases of the moon, which reflects the light of the male sun. This change is a result of the shift in power brought about and enforced by the patriarchal revolution.  

The usurpation of the power of the feminine divine can be seen the myths of several solar Queens such as the Alaskan Akycha who retreated to the sky after She was raped by Her own brother and the aboriginal Djanggawul Sisters whose power objects were stolen from them by their brothers.

The age-old worship of the Solar Goddesses was a reflection of the awe that people felt for the power and life giving energy of the sun — and of all nature. That respect and reverence, has all but disappeared in contemporary western society.

We have tampered with the perfectly functioning divine order of Nature, trying to fix what wasn’t broken. The universal scenario has shifted, and the world will never be the same. We have turned the heat up too high and the fires burn out of control. The deserts are spreading. The icebergs are melting. The oceans are sullied. The atmosphere is shrinking. The crops are scorched and fertile soil is washed away. The hot air dries out the foliage and sears our lungs. The whole world is suffering from testosterone poisoning.

Mother Sun is no longer honored, Mother Earth is on a slow burn, and Mother Nature’s patience is totally fried. The sun — the bringer of light and life, the center of our once-adoring orbit — has now become something to stay out of.

This Summer Solstice let us honor our debt to the Solar Queen  by making friends with Her once again. We can show our respect for the gift of Her power by putting it to good use. We can collect Her cosmic resource and utilize it as fuel to power our lives. We can plant arbors for shade and trees to prevent erosion. We can conserve, reuse and recycle. And most important of all, we can be the emissaries of the majestic sun by emulating Her and spreading warmth and light and energy wherever we go, whatever we do.

Happy Solstice!

***
Here are two chances to mark the Summer Solstice this year. What better way to celebrate the longest day of the year than to drum the sun up in the morning and then back down again again at night?

Please join me — in person or in spirit — for my 35th Annual (two part) Soulstice Ceremony.

Please wear red, yellow, gold, sunny summer colors and bring kids, dogs, drums and lots and lots of spirit.

The events will be held on both sides of the East River in New York City, which we will surround with loving prayers and blessings. The river will carry our best intentions for healing the waters of the Gulf out into the ocean where there is great need for our loving concern and care.

Both events are family friendly and free. And, as always, they are rain or shine.

MONDAY, JUNE 21 7:00 AM
SUNRISE SOULSTICE  CEREMONY with Mama Donna Henes & Friends

Drum up the sun as it rises over the river.

Pier 16 South Street Seaport
Manhattan
For info: 718-857-1343
cityshaman@aol.com
FREE

***

MONDAY, JUNE 21 8:00 PM
SUNSET SOULSTICE CEREMONY with Mama Donna Henes & Friends
Drum the sun down as it sets on the river.

Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, Queens
For info: 718-956-1819
>www.socratessculpturepark.org
FREE

 

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