The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Earth Speaks to Those Who Listen

posted by Donna Henes

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


Earth Speaks
By Elizabeth Hazel
www.kozmic-kitchen.com

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.
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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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

Blood for Bread

posted by Donna Henes

At the harvest, one can easily imagine that the Earth Goddess has offered up Her life in the form of the fruits of the land, and that in doing so, She commits the supreme sacrifice. She expends all of Her generative energy. It is as if Mother Nature in autumn is in the midst of Her menopause, Her sacred seed spent. In grateful response, people fed Her fresh blood to replenish Her powers of procreation.

India has long practiced sacrificial obeisance to Mother Earth. As late as the nineteenth century, the Kandhs of Bengal sacrificed a person for the Earth Goddess, Tari Pennu, in order to ensure healthy crops and immunity from disease. Blood was especially important in the cultivation of turmeric, which needed it to develop its rich, red color.

Aztec hymns tell us that Tonacacihuatl, Our Lady of Substance, was once the Goddess of the Hunt, Blood and Night, but as the people grew to depend more on agriculture, She evolved into the Earth Goddess. The son of Her fertility was the corn, which was depicted as being identical with the obsidian knife which was Her symbol.

Here, too, fertility, death and sacrifice are connected. The husking of the corn is perceived as the same act as the tearing out of a sacrificial victim’s heart, both accomplished with the obsidian blade. At the celebration of the broom harvest of the Earth Mother, first an older woman, and then a young girl were beheaded and their blood spread on fruit, seeds and grain to guarantee abundance.

At the Autumn Equinox purification feast of the ancient Incas of Peru, families first bathed and then anointed their bodies with a substance called zancus, which was made from grain mixed with human blood. It was also applied to the thresholds of their homes as a protective charm. The Indians of Guayaquil, Ecuador, used to sow their fields with blood and human hearts to assure the harvest.

The sacrificial victim was meant to be an embodiment of the grain, and was chosen because of some obvious resemblance to it. For example, the Aztecs would kill young victims to represent young corn and mature ones to stand for the ripe. The Marimos of South Africa would choose a short, fat man, round as a seed. The Skidi Pawnees of North America would fatten their female victim before the kill to assure an abundant crop of plump corn.

The identification of the victim with the grain is also evident in the means of execution. A West African queen used to have a man and a woman killed with the implements of cultivation, hoes and spades, and then buried with the seed in the soil. One of the sacrificial practices of the Aztecs was to kill the victim by grinding her or him, like the maize, between two millstones.

With the martyred death of the sacrificial victim, the fertile blood seed, like the grain, brings life anew to the world. And, thus, the circle is complete. The death of the old grain, the old sun, the old season, feeds the continuing life of the people. The death of a representative person is then offered in obeisance as repayment of the ultimate debt of life. Death feeds life feeds death, the enduring saga of the eternal cycle of survival.

And, because the struggle is so strong, so long, those who thrive, like the grain, to the ripe age of maturity, rate our utmost admiration. The autumn ones. The old ones. The ancestors. The Queens. The crones. The matriarchs. The ones who remember. The ones who know. The ones who show and tell, the ones who teach. The ones who pass the past and fuel the future. The ones who have gone to seed.

What a glorious deed, indeed! To bring forth from one’s Self the fertile possibility of continuity! To imbed the stuff of one’s Self in the soil and grow there! Only a culture, such as ours, critically out-of-touch and at emotional odds, divorced and dangerously disassociated from the divine life and death cycle of reality, could possibly consider “going to seed” a derogatory description of aging.

 

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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

Resounding Miracle

posted by Donna Henes

This day, like every day,
we wake – we wake!

We are the alive ones, the ones here, now,
in this world, in this life,
in love and able for gratitude. 

Sun pouring in on a honey of a morning,
scent of autumn in chamisa and aster,
drench of ponderosa and nuthatch chirrup. 

Peace in the early rooms of our heart, this earth house,
hearth of the body’s holy spin.

Crazy & elegant; fresh, sacred and wholly blessed!

I am here with you, as you with me,
and we are home, opening the door,
lucky us!

to the Beloved.

Judyth Hill
www.rockmirth.com

 

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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

The Queen of Thanksgiving

posted by Donna Henes

In addition to all her other contributions to society, Sarah Hale was responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday, an effort that she began in 1827.

We have too few holidays. Thanksgiving like the Fourth of July should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people. There is a deep moral influence in these periodical seasons of rejoicing, in which whole communities participate. They bring out . . . the best sympathies in our natures.

Hale felt that the spiritual dimension of Thanksgiving could help to prevent the insanity of civil war in America. As the hostilities heated up between North and South and the prospect of war became more immediate she bombarded both national and state officials with requests for the national holiday.

Sarah Hale doggedly wrote thousands of these letters in her own hand over a period of 36 years to five presidents: Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln. “If every state would join in Union Thanksgiving on the 24th of this month, would it not be a renewed pledge of love and loyalty to the Constitution of the United States?” Hale wrote in an 1859 editorial.

She finally found a sympathetic ear in Lincoln. In 1863 as the Civil War ravished the land President Lincoln issued his now famous Thanksgiving Proclamation in which he honored America’s blessings, even in its darkest hour.

And so it came to pass that Americans celebrate Thanksgiving together on the fourth Thursday of November each year, thanks to Queen Sarah Josepha Hale.

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.
–Jackie Windspear



* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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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