Her Crowning Glory

Urban shaman Donna Henes makes royal mischief

You do build a lot of childlike creative playfulness into your ceremonies. I have no patience for some of the earnest neo-pagan ritual I've seen. Just go to church if you want that! The Catholics do it so much better. The word silly—from the name of the moon goddess Selene—originally meant holy.

Do younger women attend? Young women always participate. They tell me afterward that they've gained confidence that their path will take them further into their own power. I say, If you relate to this concept, it's for you.

What about the woman who might be politically skeptical or uncomfortable about calling herself a queen? Someone may say, "I don't want to rule anyone," but that's a cop-out. A queen has response-ability—the ability to respond to her own needs and feelings. This is not about patriarchal "power over" but the power of the spirit within you and what you can engender in others. It's like electricity, volcanoes, tsunamis—huge, inherent, neutral power that you make either positive or negative by your intention.

Henes at home: Power shift at midlife
Henes at home: Power shift at midlife

The Queen, as you see her, contains another provocative power symbol—the Empress, who assumes responsibility for the condition of her community and world. Toward the end of your book, you identify several progressive majesties like Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who has criticized the Bush agenda, and former FBI whistle-blower Colleen Rowley—and you would surely now add Senator Barbara Boxer to your list. Clearly you're not asking women to merely decorate their navels and gaze at them. Oh, not at all. Everywhere I go there's a loudmouthed woman fighting in a very primal way for this earth. It makes me feel safer. There's no coincidence that, most often, these women are in their midlife years. Did you know that one-third of all women in the U.S. are over 50? The power is shifting!

The Queen of Myself: Stepping Into Sovereignty at Midlife
by Donna Henes, Monarch Press, 211 pp., $16.95.

Mama Donna's Tea Garden and Healing Haven
P.O. Box 380403, Brooklyn, NY 11238-0403,
718.857.1343, cityshaman@aol.com.

Panel and Book Signing
April 17 from 10 a.m. to noon
International Women's Writing Guild, Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, 212.737.7536, iwwg.com.

Workshops and Crowning Ceremonies

Queen of Myself Workshop
March 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Center for Holistic Health Care, 26 Narrows Rd S, SI, 718.857.1343, thehealinghaven@msn.com.

Akasha Conference
March 11 through 13
Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Poughkeepsie, NY, 845-473-2206, dreaminggoddess.com/events/akashacon.

June 9 through 12
Carbondale, Pennsylvania, womongathering.com.

Five-Day Royal Retreat August 14 through 19, Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY, 800.944.1001, eomega.org.

Visit donnahenes.net and thequeenofmyself.com.

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