The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

On Finding Myself Middle Aged With No Role Model I Could Relate To Because I Am Not a Crone

posted by Donna Henes

Although I have been passionately devoted to the Many Splendored Goddess in Her complex multiplicity for more than thirty years now, I am not a believer in the Triple Goddess paradigm. It has never resonated with me because it belies what I believe to be the true nature of nature. The Triple Goddess in Her tripartite phases is widely understood to represent the complete cyclical wholeness of life. She Who is Three is likened to the moon, the tides, and the seasons, whose mutability She mirrors. And therein, lies the rub.
I am sorry, but thirty-five years of researching, teaching, and writing about Celestially Auspicious Occasions — the cycles of the cosmos and the Earthly seasons, and the multi-cultural ritual expressions that they inspire — I can state unequivocally that the moon has four quarters, not three, and that there are, as well, four seasons in the year.
For millennia, the three faces of the Triple Goddess have, in fact, accurately reflected the stages of women’s lives — the developing youth, the nurturing mother and the wise old woman. She still corresponds with the real life expectancy and experience of most women in the world even today who live pretty much as they always have. The reality of their existence dictates that they grow quickly through girlhood into early and prolonged maternity, then if they are lucky enough to survive multiple childbirths and general poverty, they pass through menopause directly into old age.
While certainly there is still much to learn from these models, the old triple-header construct is no longer all-inclusive. It doesn’t include a description of my life or the lives of other contemporary women in their middle years living in modern developed countries. It does not address our issues and needs, nor does it embrace our unique and unprecedented position in society. It does not even recognize our existence. The old stereotypes simply do not apply to us.
We have outgrown our tenure as Maidens and as Mothers, yet old age no longer follows immediately after menopause, which is why so many midlife women don’t see ourselves (yet) as Crones. Where is the authentic archetype for us? There are now, for the first time in herstory and history combined, entire multi-national generations of women for whom the Triple Goddess paradigm no longer resonates. For us — nearly 60 million climacteric women in the United States alone — the tri-level ideal is flawed.
We occupy a truly unique position, poised on the brink of uncharted waters. This extended and vigorous midlife period which we are now beginning to experience is largely unaccounted for in myth and archetype for the simple reason that such longevity has never before occurred for the great masses of women as a whole. We desperately need a new body of role models, examples, and teachers to encourage us as we explore the unfamiliar terrain of our changing lives and create new and joyful ways of being in charge of our own destiny.
Clearly it is time for a change of paradigm. Which is as it should be. Life is about nothing if not change, which is, after all, the greatest teaching of the cyclical Goddess. Her power and inspiration lies in Her infinite flexibility, Her adept adaptability, Her unbounded ability to always, always, always change. The Great Goddess, supreme mistress of the art of transformation will surely respond to the changes in our lives and times by enlarging the vision of Her Self to include Her fourth dimension — and ours — in Her archetypal embrace.
In the absence of a traditional mythic example to spur me on and sustain me through my midlife changes, I perceived the need to invent one. So I formulated a fourth stage of development that would place me after the Mother and before the Crone in a newly defined continuum of Womanhood, thus providing me and other women of my generation with a recognizable role model for our middle years: The Four Fold Goddess: The Maiden, The Mother, The Queen and The Crone.
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

Calling All Queens

posted by Donna Henes

Are you in your middle years or about to enter them? Are you living your true potential and following your fondest dreams? If not, why not? And if not now, when?
Now is the time to leave behind old patterns that no longer serve you and to make way for the Queen — that wonderful midlife stage of meaning, moxie, and majesty that is rightfully yours to enjoy.
I hereby cordially invite you to join me on a daily blog adventure, a royal expedition, a noble quest to access the fullness of our mature presence, purpose and passion in midlife and beyond.
I offer my services as the been-there-done-that advance scout, sharing my own experience in affirmative aging in the hopes that it will be inspiring and useful as we chart our course toward personal sovereignty. The Queen, supreme archetypal paradigm of mature female potency, will be our esteemed role model, mentor and guide.
The Queen teaches by example and also by metaphor. On this blog you will find the stories of women, mine included, throughout time and from many different societies, situations and stations who have successfully crossed the hard divide and created daring and dynamic lives for themselves.
These compelling her-stories will be interwoven with folklore, poetry, myth, practical suggestions, exercises, affirmations, celebrations, rituals and invocations. And most importantly, interaction. Comments, ideas, suggestions, discussions are all encouraged.
Ultimately, I envision this blog to be a virtual Queen’s Court, populated by active, engaged, excited, experienced, empowered and extraordinarily excellent mature women. The more Queenly I become, the more I desire to be in the company of other Queens. Please join me.
Blessings for the Queen of your Self,
xxQueen Mama Donna
The Queen of My Self: Meaning, Moxie and Majesty for Women in Midlife
Launches on May 17

Say Yes

posted by Donna Henes

Say Yes
By Andrea Gibson

when two violins are placed in a room
if a chord on one violin is struck  
the other violin will sound the note  
if this is your definition of hope
this is for you  
the ones who know how powerful we are  
who know we can sound the music in the people around us  
simply by playing our own strings  
for the ones who sing life into broken wings
open their chests and offer their breath  
as wind on a still day when nothing seems to be moving  
spare those intent on proving god is dead  
for you when your fingers are red
from clutching your heart  
so it will beat faster  
for the time you mastered the art of giving yourself for the sake of someone else  
for the ones who have felt what it is to crush the lies  
and lift truth so high the steeples bow to the sky  
this is for you  
this is also for the people who wake early to watch flowers bloom  
who notice the moon at noon on a day when the world  
has slapped them in the face with its lack of light  
for the mothers who feed their children first  
and thirst for nothing when they’re full

this is for women  
and for the men who taught me only women bleed with the moon  
but there are men who cry when women bleed
men who bleed from women’s wounds  
and this is for that moon  
on the nights she seems hung by a noose  
for the people who cut her loose  (
and for the people still waiting for the rope to burn
about to learn they have scissors in their hands

this is for the man who showed me  
the hardest thing about having nothing  
is having nothing to give  
who said the only reason to live is to give ourselves away  
so this is for the day we’ll quit our jobs and work for something real  
we’ll feel for sunshine in the shadows
look for sunrays in the shade  
this is for the people who rattle the cage that slave wage built  
and for the ones who didn’t know the filth until tonight  
but right now are beginning songs that sound something like
people turning their porch lights on and calling the homeless back home

this is for all the shit we own  
and for the day we’ll learn how much we have  
when we learn to give that shit away  
this is for doubt becoming faith  
for falling from grace and climbing back up  
for trading our silver platters for something that matters
like the gold that shines from our hands when we hold each other

this is for the grandmother who walked a thousand miles on broken glass
to find that single patch of grass to plant a family tree  
where the fruit would grow to laugh  
for the ones who know the math of war  
has always been subtraction  
so they live like an action of addition  
for you when you give like every star is wishing on you  
and for the people still wishing on stars  
this is for you too

this is for the times you went through hell so someone else wouldn’t have to  
for the time you taught a 14 year old girl she was powerful  
this is for the time you taught a 14 year old boy he was beautiful  
for the radical anarchist asking a republican to dance  
cause what’s the chance of everyone moving from right to left  
if the only moves they see are NBC and CBS
this is for the no becoming yes  
for scars becoming breath
for saying i love you to people who will never say it to us  
for scraping away the rust and remembering how to shine  
for the dime you gave away when you didn’t have a penny  
for the many beautiful things we do  
for every song we’ve ever sung  
for refusing to believe in miracles  
because miracles are the impossible coming true
and everything is possible

this is for the possibility that guides us  
and for the possibilities still waiting to sing  
and spread their wings inside us  
cause tonight saturn is on his knees  
proposing with all of his ten thousand rings  
that whatever song we’ve been singing we sing even more
the world needs us right now more than it ever has before  
pull all your strings  
play every chord  
if you’re writing letters to the prisoners
start tearing down the bars  
if you’re handing out flashlights in the dark  
start handing out stars  
never go a second hushing the percussion of your heart  
play loud  
play like you know the clouds have left too many people cold and broken  
and you’re their last chance for sun  
play like there’s no time for hoping brighter days will come  
play like the apocalypse is only 4…3…2  
but you have a drum in your chest that could save us  
you have a song like a breath that could raise us
like the sunrise into a dark sky that cries to be blue
play like you know we won’t survive if you don’t
but we will if you do
play like saturn is on his knees
proposing with all of his ten thousand rings
that we give every single breath
this is for saying-yes

this is for saying-yes

Blessings for the Decade of Being All That We Can Be!

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

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.

What Is Right With You ????

posted by Donna Henes

What Is Right With You ????
By Kim Mailhot, NH
Queen of Arts

So my amazing friend, Paula, from Little Scraps of Magic, is participating in the Reverb10 writing prompt challenge to examine your 2010 and to set intentions and focus for the New 2011 year to come.

Paula’s response was: “What Are 11 Things Your life Doesn’t Need In 2011?”

She listed 11 dreaded things that she wanted to be rid of in 2011. You know, all those things that we criticize ourselves about, that make us feel not good enough or like we are “imperfect” human beings that need to be fixed in order to be good, worthy, perfect ?

As I read Paula’s list, I saw many of the same or similar things that I wanted to be rid of in my own life. By the end of the list, like Paula, I was feeling the need to sigh deeply and heavily about all those things that are “wrong” with me and that I better hurry up at “fix” before it’s too late!

Then this other voice within me, the Voice of all Things Right With Me, cried out:

“Screw this list! You have spent enough of your 45 years focused on what is wrong with you! Has that “fixed” it all for you? How about focusing on what is Right with you instead? I promise, that is the key to feeling better about your life, Beautiful One! That is the key to Loving all that is You!”

I grabbed hold of what that sweet voice said and I wrote this response to Paula…

and to my Self…

and maybe to you…

“You are not really far behind. You are exactly where you are meant to be.

Eleven things your life doesn’t need? All of us can think of 11 or a few dozen things that we can do better at or want to rid ourselves of! Wanting to improve and be a better person is a natural part of living here on this chaotic planet. And yes, facing some of those boogiemen is a good thing too.

But I also see how doing this list brought you into deep, deep sighs…

How about deciding that the number 1 thing that you can be without in 2011 is focusing on what is wrong with you instead of what is right? I am truly, truly coming to believe that focusing on what is right with us, what brings joy and mindful living to us is the key to solving even those dreaded “wrong” things!

And guess what, My Lovely, Inspiring, Creative Friend? On the last day of your life, there will still be some of those 11 icky things on the list of what is wrong. Does that mean you will not have lead a beautiful, rich, deeply loving life? I think not!

This was a lot of deep thinking so early on a Tuesday morning for me. But very, very welcome. Every word I wrote here could be a letter to myself too, Miss Paula (Insert your name here).

So here is Kim’s Prompt for the day, for you and for me:
What is right with you? Discuss, explore and celebrate!  

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

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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