Advice

Ask Your Mama

April, 2014

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

 

             _    *Ask Your Mama               

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

 

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

A Question of Baby Steps to the Goddess

 

Dear Mama Donna

 

I am not a follower of the goddess, but I was walking around downtown Brooklyn with my six-year-old daughter Beatrice when she said to me, “Mommy, I don’t believe in God. I believe in Mother Nature and the faeries in the woods. That’s why I make the circles with the rocks.” Clearly she is on a spiritual path and I would like to support her but I really don’t have the background to show a 6-year-old the path to the Goddess.

 

I have seen some of your literature about spirituality and ceremony and thought that you might  give me some ideas as to how to help her find her way to the Goddess.

 

Thanks,

 

Mom On a Mission in Brooklyn

Dear Mom,

 

Ah, to have had a mom like you when I was six and building shrines! I am so impressed with your desire to help your daughter pursue her own personal spiritual path. Brava!

 

I established several rituals with my little granddaughter who spent every summer with me until she became a teen. At bed time, after we read stories or talked, we would “Do Om.” I would sit on her bed facing her. We held each other’s hands to create a complete circle, and then we chanted together, Ooooommmmm. Every night was different, sometimes longer, sometimes softer. Occasionally it got all  silly and giggly, but more often, we chanted until we felt peaceful. Shaleike would drift off to sleep and I would be reenergized for my night’s chores. This was sacred to us. Sometimes she would ask, “Can we do om for a really long time tonight?”

 

You might say some version of grace at meals, acknowledging the bountiful Mother Earth Goddess for all the fruits of her belly. Since she already seems to be drawn to creating altars and shrines, you can encourage her to make a special one for her room and “make offerings” there. I’ll bet she has her own version of what that might mean.

 

The moon is a great way to link to the Goddess. In most cultures, She is the Lady in the Moon. I never could understand how anyone could look at that lovely, smiling, serene lunar face and refer to it as The Man in the Moon. Watch the lunar cycles and do something special on the full and new moons.

 

The New Moon is the perfect time to start something. Begin a project, Make a plan, Set a goal or an intention. Make a wish. As the moon grows to fullness, so will your ideas. This is a great opportunity for Beatrice to understand that her ideas are powerful and that she can strive to manifest them. She can make offerings to the growing moon to send energy to whatever she is focused on.

 

On Full Moons we often got dressed up as for a party and drove out to the beach on Stateb Island and danced in the moon light. With sncks, of course1

The first thing Shameike asks when I pick her up in the summer, is “when is the full moon.” When she was little, she called it the “whole moon.”

 

Take your cues from her. She still remembers.

 

With blessings on your grand adventure,

 

xxMama Donna

Dear Mama Donna,

 

Can we do a fire circle? A water circle?  An air circle? And an earth circle together?

 

Love,

 

Beatrice

 

Dear Beatrice,

 

Yes. We can do a circle together. I would love that.

 

And you can also do a circle whenever you want to all by yourself – or you can invite your mom or a friend if you want. You can sit down with a bowl of water and a bowl of earth and some incense to make fire and smoky air. You can talk to the Goddess whenever you want to. You can ask Her for help, or you can just tell Her how great you think She is. You can also tell her how great you think you are! She will be proud.

 

Keep on making your stone circles. People all over the world make circles of stone to use alike a temple for the ceremonies to the Goddess. When the weather is warmer, you could have a ceremony circle outside. What fun!!!

 

Whenever you have a question, please write to me and I will answer you.

 

I can’t wait to meet you. You are a real soul sister!

 

Lots of blessings of light and love to you,

 

xxMama Donna

 

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com

Ask Your Mama

February, 2014

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

 

                                *Ask Your Mama                         

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

 

 

A Question of a New Year Clean Sweep

 

 

Dear Mama Donna,

 

This has been the year from hell. I feel used, abused, and grimy. My entire life has gotten out of control. In my depression I have even let my normally orderly house go. My family is disgusted. What symbolic act can I do at New Year that would help to make me feel like I can make a clean start?

—A Mess in Michigan

 

Dear Ms. Mess,

As we near the New Year, our thoughts turn to new beginnings, new possibilities, new hope. This fragile interval which separates one year from the next is pregnant with potential. We find ourselves taking time out of time to evaluate our past experiences and actions and to prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually for our future. Our reflections and resolutions at this transition period of the great turning of the annual wheel are critical, for they create the ambient atmosphere and attitude for the entire year to come.

 

A new year represents another chance, a fresh start, a clean slate, and so we embark upon the shift as on a dangerous journey, freshly bathed and outfitted, full of purpose, fingers crossed in blessing. People enjoy elaborate toilettes; bodies washed, dressed, groomed, combed until they are thoroughly cleansed — often internally as well through fasting. On New Year in Bengal, pilgrims bathe in the River Ganges. The Cherokee spend the eve of the New Year in vigil on the banks of a river. At dawn they immerse themselves seven times, emerging purified and new like the year.

 

In addition to purifying our person, special care has always been taken to clean and maintain the temples, churches, synagogues, cemeteries, groves, and shrines, in which prayers for the propitious New Year are made. In Myanmar, the former Burma, the New Year festival of Thingyan drenches the entire country, every building and dwelling, and all of its inhabitants in cleansing water. All images of the Buddha, indoors and out, are scrubbed clean as a crucial display of blessing.

 

By obvious extension, this New Year’s urge to purge includes our home environments, where the most intimate and ordinary prayers of daily life are uttered. If a man’s home is his castle, surely it is a woman’s shrine. Cleaning house to make ready for a new year is a universal task, symbolic and reverant as it is practical. Out with the old and in with the new! Death to dirt! Removing the dust and detritus accumulated during the previous year ensures the ridding of a dwelling and its occupants of the shortcomings and disappointments delivered during that time as well. Domestic renovation signifies spiritual and social renewal.

 

All over the world, houses are scrubbed spic and span from top to bottom and yards and walkways are swept spotlessly clean. In old England, New Year’s Day was the annual sweeping of all chimneys. The expression “to make a clean sweep” comes from this New Year’s custom. In Hong Kong, ten days before the New Year, women observe a Day for Sweeping Floors. At this time, an intensive house cleaning is begun in readiness for the New Year. Nothing, no corner, is left untouched. On New Year’s Day Moroccans pour water over themselves, their animals, the floors and walls of their homes. In Wales, children go door to door to beg water from their neighbors which they then scatter all over the houses of their community in order to bless them.

 

In many Native American cultures, in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, hearth fires are extinguished annually and ritually rekindled in a New Year ritual of new fire. In this way, sins and devils are purged in purification ceremonies symbolizing spiritual renewal. Zuni women throw out their live embers, then sprinkle their entire homes with corn meal in a rite called House Cleansing in order to ensure good fortune in child birth in the coming year. During the Iranian New Year celebration of Narooz, wild rue is burned in households because it is believed to drive away all evil and usher in a happy and propitious new year.

 

Santería, which combines elements of the West African Yoruban religion with those of the Catholic Church and the traditions of the indigenous tribes of the Caribbean, has many methods of spiritual house cleaning. Ordinarily one cleans one’s own home, altar, and aura with a wide variety of special washes, herbs, and candles. But in serious cases of impurity, a padrina/padrino will make a house call to perform a special purification ceremony. S/he most often will spit rum in a fine spray around the room, or roll a burning coconut along the floor while praying, to rid the place of bad energy.

 

So, darling, get out the brooms and the buckets, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Scrub the grime out of your environment and your mentality. The act of cleaning will help you to feel like you are back in control of your life, and an orderly, cheerful house will definitely improve your mood. Light some incense and some candles and invite in some fresh, new energy.

 

Happy New Year to you.

 

xxMama Donna

           

 

                        “If the doors of perception were cleansed

               everything would appear as it is, infinite.”

– William Blake

                                                 

 

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. Send your questions about seasons, cycles, and celebrations to Mama Donna at [email protected],com.

Ask Your Mama

January, 2014

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

 

                                *Ask Your Mama                         

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

 

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

 

 

A Question of Sun Goddesses

 

 

Dear Mama Donna,

 

I have always heard that the sun is associated with the male and the moon with the female. Are there any sun goddesses? Who? Where?

 

Sun lover, in Arizona

 

Dear Sunny,

 

In archaic times, people perceived the sun, in its shining prime and glory, the giver of heat and light and life, to be the effulgent force of the female. A passionate aspect of the Great Mother, the versatile Jill-of-All-Trades who issues forth and supports whole life. She is the Heaven Illuminating Goddess, Amaterasu Omikame, in Japan, and the Queen of Heaven and Earth, Arinna, in Mesopotamia. She was Yhi, Sun Woman, to the Arunta of Australia. Sun Sister was known in Anatolia, Siberia and Native America.

 

Tribal North Europe knew Her, too. The Germans called Her Sunna, as did the Norwegians. In Scandinavia, She was Glory-of-Elves or Sol. The Eddas say that on Doomsday, She will bear a daughter who will be the new sun, the next creation. The luminous world to come. She was Sol, as well, to the Celts who also called her Sul or Sulis. Her celebrations took place on open plains, on hilltops, overlooking springs. A major ceremonial site was Silbury Hill (Sulisbury Hill) and the springs at Bath, once called Aquae Sulis, were the site of Roman altars sacred to Sul Minerva.

 

The Great Mother in ancient India was Aditi, the mother of the twelve spirits of the zodiac, the Adityas who would “reveal their light at Doomsday.” The Mahanirvanatantra describes the sun as a golden garment of light that graces the Great Goddess. “The sun, the most glorious symbol in the physical world, is the vesture of Her who is ‘clothed with the sun.’”

 

       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, Eleventh Century Sanskrit

 

Tantric Buddhist monks greeted the Sun Goddess, Marici, at dawn, chanting to Her,  “the glorious one, the sun of happiness. . . I salute you O Goddess Marici!  Bless me and fulfill my desires. Protect me, O Goddess, from all the eight fears.” Marici, or Mari, was a precursor of the Christian Mary. The New Testament Book of Revelation refers to Her as a “woman clothed in the sun.”

 

With the advent of the patriarchy, the sun underwent a sex change. Profound, this gender shift was a portrayal of the left brain revolution, the ascendance of ration over passion. Female divinity was overthrown, overthrone, overgrown. Her domain plundered, Her authority usurped, Her worship polluted. The sun, with the strength of it’s brilliance, it’s sheer presence and potency, came to stand for the masculine principle, the power of rational thinking. The moon, reflective, more subtle and seemingly erratic, came to be associated with the feminine in most cultures. Although the traits of the sun are thought to be male, it retains its female designation in the languages of Northern Europe, Arabia and Japan.

Many solar blessings of the Goddess,                                                                

 

xxMama Donna

 

 

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com

 

 

**************************************************************

Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, ritual expert, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since 1972. She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed Ezine and writes for The Huffington Post and UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she where she where she offers intuitive tarot readings and spiritual counseling and works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.

www.DonnaHenes.net

www.TheQueenOfMySelf.com

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Henes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Queen_of_My_Self

 

Watch her videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/MamaDonnaHenes

 

Follow her on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/queenmamadonna

 

Connect with her on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/MamaDonnaHenes

 

Read her on the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-henes/

 

Read her on Beliefnet:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/thequeenofmyself/

Ask Your Mama

August, 2013

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

                 *Ask Your Mama™               

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

 

A Question of Self Nurturing

 

Dear Mama Donna,

I have been caring for other people for so long that I don’t think I know how to take care of myself. Whenever I think of some self-care rituals, I fly off to some nebulous airy mental space and lose my resolve. I need to be able to root myself in the physical plane and know that I can keep my feet on the ground. This seems to be really scary for me. How can I learn to nurture me in a real way that is healing?

 

In need of mothering in San Diego

Dear Mom,

 

The physical plane connects us with the here and now — it is the world as we perceive it through our five senses, the life that we embody. Real Life. The most effective way to nurture ourselves, body and soul, is to treat the minutiae of our dailiness, the mundane and the profane parts of our life, in a consciously celebratory manner. When we practice the art of approaching all facets of life with the same dedicated devotion that one would apply to an important ritual occasion, and the craft of making every detail matter and every minute really count, we are validating our own worth and importance. It is this constant presence in the present that ultimately nourishes, energizes, and heals us.

 

            I have a simple philosophy.

            Fill what’s empty. Empty

    what’s full. And scratch

    where it itches.

    -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    1884-1980

 

Time spent in the bath, with a good book, exercising, and even doing domestic routines, can feel like holy rites of devotion if we perform them with the focused intention of Self-care and concern. Our concentration = consecration. Meals, for instance can certainly be more than the mere rushed intake of calories, nutrients, television news, and bickering. A normal supper can be one of life’s most agreeable ceremonies if we establish a comfortable, leisurely, aesthetic, emotionally safe environment in which to enjoy food and convivial company even — especially — if it is “only” that of our own.

 

I suggest that you concentrate on feeding yourself as the first step in your efforts to mother yourself in concrete ways. Nothing is so real as food. It represents love at its most primal, basic level.

 

When is the last time someone cooked a special meal for you? More to the point, when is the last time you cooked a special meal especially for you?

What are you waiting for?

 

If you are never alone at dinnertime, do lunch. Or brunch, or breakfast, or high tea, or midnight snack.

 

Create an out-of-the-ordinary menu that might include your favorite culinary treats, or foods that you have always wanted to/meant to try. Or you may want to create a fantasy feast or recreate a memorable meal from your childhood or travels or reading.

 

Cook with the intention to nourish and please yourself, purposefully infusing the food with love, just as you would in anticipation of any honored guest.

 

Set your table with all of the special things that you love, but never use. Use your grandmother’s plate or vase, cloth napkins, and your good stemware.

 

Create a centerpiece that honors and celebrates you. Place fresh flowers or foliage or your favorite houseplant in the center of the table. Set out some of your amulets or holy items that represent your intention to treat your Self well. Light candles to ignite your intention.

 

Pour a libation of wine or ice tea and offer a toast to you — your health, your happiness, your life.

 

Serve your Self!

 

To your health,

 

xxMama Donna

 

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com

The Neon Pagan

July, 2013

Ahhhhh. Summertime. Time to make those vacation travel plans!
Well, ideally, yes. In reality, I haven’t got a brass farthing for travel. I’m a public school teacher with a daughter in college. Looks like my vacation will consist of sitting in the back yard, observing closely as the little yellow flowers on my tomato plants wither and turn into shiny green bumps. Maybe I’ll make a game of it. Assign each budding tomato a name and a personality. Oh, but then they’ll be hard to eat! Who says staycations are easy?
If I had some computer savvy and some clout in the Pagan community, it wouldn’t have to be this way. Let me explain.
The Mennonite community is fairly close-knit and, like Pagans, doesn’t go out of the way to solicit new members. These people offer each other some support systems that are pretty amazing. One of them has to do with vacations.
Mennonites have a thing called “Mennonite Your Way.” It’s not exactly a secret, but it’s not publicized widely either. For a small membership fee, and an even smaller boarding fee, Mennonites can travel wherever there are other Mennonites and stay with them overnight.
A Mennonite friend of mine charges ten dollars for her spare room and averages two or three visits a month. She lives in North Philadelphia, which is of course convenient to Philly and to New York City. (The Big Apple also has “Mennonite Your Way.”) If she has to pick up her guest at the airport, she charges for gas.
You know the rest. When my friend travels, she gets to stay with other Mennonite families for the same affordable fee. While there aren’t Mennonites everywhere, they are surprisingly widespread. Not all of them came to America, so if you want to go to Germany on a dime, and you’re a Mennonite, you basically have air fare and a train ticket.
Wouldn’t it be swell to have “Pagan Your Way?” Same method, same guiding principle. Voila! Affordable travel!
There are many Pagan paths, not all of them compatible. But you would be surprised how many sects of Mennonites there are, and how badly some of them quarrel. It’s just human nature. By and large, though, most Mennonites get along. Most Pagans do too.
“Mennonite Your Way” is mostly done on the Internet now. A web master coordinates the membership, for which he or she collects the annual membership fee. It’s then up to the members themselves to research the site and find boarding situations that suit their itineraries.
If I knew the first thing about web sites, I’d jump on this. If you are reading this column and you do know a thing or two, here’s an opportunity you may want to pursue.
It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? You want to go somewhere, you don’t have much dough, but you can stay with a fellow Pagan – probably have a nice chat, make a friend maybe – and then open your own chateau to other traveling Pagans. You can always say no if it’s inconvenient, but hey. We’re a small, interesting community. We could do this. Sure, there’s a certain amount of trust involved. But once again, we are somewhat like Mennonites in our relative insularity and our methods of communication.
I can’t coordinate this, but I sure would buy in if someone else did. And who knows? With a new teacher evaluation system in place for next year, I could need a job. “Pagan Your Way?” I would love it.

Ask Your Mama

June, 2013

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

                 *Ask Your Mama™               

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

A Question of Connection

 

Dear Mama Donna,

 

It’s so important that we all work together in cooperation.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that we’re all connected.

They live their lives thinking they’re completely separate. So how do we get everyone to realize that we are a whole?

 

Looking for Unity in Ashville

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

      -Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Dear Looking,

Well, that IS the question. Basically, we keep talking. To everyone we know and everyone we encounter in the normal course of our lives. We take every opportunity to keep pointing out our connections and our mutual interdependence.

 

Just by virtue of your having written this letter, you have touched who knows how many people. Granted, most people who will be reading this already understand the complex web of life and relationship. However, we all need reminding from time to time. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

 

Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads…our actions run as causes and return

to us as results.

—Herman Melville

 

We also need to make it our business to point out the frightening ramifications of breaking the bonds that bind us, and to suggest positive alternatives to destructive or divisive behavior. It is especially important to talk with people who you think might relate to these ideas. You never know.

 

When I was in Florida recently, I asked a retired gentleman, a refugee from the north, just why there were no solar panels anywhere with all the new development going on. And you know what? He agreed with me. While this is something that he never noticed or thought about before, it immediately struck him as true and important. And then he, too, wanted to know why not. Hey, maybe he’ll write a letter to the editor.

 

Lately, when I buy stamps at the post office, I refuse the flag ones that they are always trying to palm off on me instead of the pretty flowers and such. Each time, I announce in a loud voice, “No thank you. I refuse to fly the flag until this war is over.” And it never fails to elicit a chorus of “Uh huhs” from the folks on line and an “I hear you, sister” from the clerk.

 

These are very small gestures. Tiny. Miniscule. But they serve as cause for thought and invitations for interaction. Each one, one more strand woven into the web that reaches around the world and connects us all at our cosmic center.

Keep looking. Unity is already here, everywhere, all the time. And unity creates more unity. Let us celebrate it every chance we get.

 

xxMama Donna

 

No one can deny that a network (a world network)

of economic and psychic affiliations is being woven

at ever increasing speed which envelops and constantly penetrates more deeply within each of us. With every day that passes it becomes a little more impossible for us to act or think otherwise than collectively.”

 

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)

            From The Formation of the Noosphere, 1947

Dear Mama Donna,

 

I applaud your call to others to make connections and make friends. There are so many of us wanting the same things and it’s a matter of simply being aware of each other’s presence. We need to introduce ourselves and share where we come from. May I recommend a website to visit? www.vov.com. If that’s not correct, please look up Victory Over Violence on the internet. This program renews the practice of peace in everyday situations. It is non-sectarian but based in Buddhist principles. We need this interfaith-interaction now more than ever.

For Peace, Rhode Island

 

Dear Peace,

 

You are right. We do need programs of all descriptions that facilitate cooperation, understanding, compassion, and community. Thanks for sharing this information.

 

Also, for peace,

 

xxMama Donna

A person who believes…that there is a whole of which one is part, and that in being a part, one is whole: such a person has no desire whatever, at any time, to play God.  Only those who have denied their being yearn to play at it.

-Ursula K.  LeGuin

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com

Ask Your Mama

May, 2013

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

                         *Ask Your Mama                       

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman 

A Question of Blue Balls

Dear Mama Donna,

I purchased some small bright blue chalky balls from your online Spirit Shop. I am fascinated by them and find them to be beautiful. Could you tell me what they are? And what they are for? Thanks.

– Loving the blue balls in Brooklyn,

Dear Blue,

The blue balls are simply bluing. Bluing is a purifying agent. It’s what our mothers and grandmothers bought in bottles or little wrapped cubes, to add to their wash. It makes the whites white and the brights bright. The same as those little blue flecks in modern powdered laundry detergents.

These nickel and dime size blue balls are used widely in the Caribbean and Latin America. Puerto Rican women put these blue balls into bowls of water, which they place under the heads of their beds to promote clear dreams and visions.

Whereas Native American dream catchers are hung above the bed to filter out negativity from the dreams, the bluing under the bed act as a preventative against having bad dreams and nightmares in the first place. The antiseptic quality of the bluing cleans one’s subconscious thought patterns.

Bluing is used in protection rituals in many areas of the world. There is a very fine line between purification and protection, after all. If the atmosphere and energy is clean, there there is be no place for negative spirit to hide.

There is a town in the Rif mountains of northern Morocco where the doorways and windows, every opening and passage of every single building are outlined with thick borders painted with this same blue mineral as a spell against evil spirits entering through any aperture.

It’s like saying, “This is my house. Negative energy is not welcome here.” The famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo painted her entire house, which she named, Casa Azul (Blue House) with the same bluing agent to ward off harm.

I have painted the threshold of my door with a paint created from watered down blue balls. I drew the line, as it were, creating a boundary past, which unwanted energy cannot pass. It serves as an unwelcome mat!

So put your blue balls to work for you. Place them in a bowl of water an put it by a window. Or dip them in water and draw magical signs with them. Take a spiritual cleansing bath with them. Or, if you have grey hair, use them as a rinse. They will absorb and lighten any negativity in the atmosphere of your environment and your self, as well.

With blessings of blue protection,

xxMama Donna

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com

 

Ask Your Mama

November, 2012

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

 

                                *Ask Your Mama                         

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

 

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

 

 

A Question of Occupation

 

Dear Mama Donna,

 

I can’t turn on the TV anymore, because I get so upset listening to the news and the manipulative commercials. Is the world going to explode or implode or just shrivel up and die? It is so depressing out there. What can I do to feel better?

 

So Upset in Chicago

 

Dear One,

 

You are not alone. We are all upset. But for once, the News has some good news! I am referring, of course to the Occupy Movement that has swept the nation, articulating the cares and concerns of us all. These populist movements here, in Europe, in Canada, started with the Arab Spring, which excited people everywhere about the real possibility of being able to truly make change in the world. Egypt, especially, inspired a global response to the peaceful occupation of Tahrir Square by huge, diverse crowds.

 

Wherever we live, we all know how it feels to be exploited, manipulated, and robbed blind by the devious and greedy powers that be. And people everywhere have had just about enough, thank you very much.

 

Even though many of us might feel “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore,” the tenor of this movement is not angry or violent. Occupy Wall Street is not a rally, not a temporary gathering, but a town hall, public forum, a community meeting place where the previously silent

voices can at last be heard.

 

Sp pitch a tent and occupy your own center, your own deepest, most authentic, most ethical, most articulate self, and speak your truth out loud and often. There are signs in the NYC subway that exhort us , “If you see something, say something.” Well, we have seen what we have seen, and now it is time to say something about it.

 

I guarantee you this will make you feel much better. And you will be encouraging others to speak up, as well. Through your good example.

 

With blessings of peace and abundance for all,

 

xxMama Donna

 

*********************************************

 

* Unofficial Commissioner of Public Spirit of NYC. – The New Yorker

* For 35 years Ms. Henes has been putting city folk in touch with

Mother Earth. – New York Times

* Part performance artist, part witch, part social director for planet earth. 

    – The Village Voice

* Globally significant theater-in-the-round. – Brooklyn Bridge Magazine

* The woman is balanced. – Paper Magazine

* Solstice Sister. – TimeOut New York

* The Original crystal-packing mama. – NY Press

 

Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman,

ritual expert, award-winning author, popular speaker and

workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events

have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary

ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since

1972. She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed Ezine

and writes for The Huffington Post, Beliefnet and UPI Religion and

Spirituality Forum. She has created and officiated public ceremonies

for two mayors and a governor and serves as the ritual consultant

on Hollywood films. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called,

maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and

consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with

individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations

to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.

 

www.DonnaHenes.net

Ask Your Mama

September, 2012

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

 

                                *Ask Your Mama                         

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

 

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

 

A Question of Queendom

 

Dear Mama Donna,

 

In several articles I have read, you talk about becoming a ruling Queen in our midlife. This sounds good to me! How can I become a Queen?

 

Looking for power in Pensacola,

 

Dear Powerful One,

 

The idea that we might be Queens is intoxicating. Ever since I first started introducing The Queen as a helpful archetype for midlife women in my workshops and articles some eight years ago, I have received thousands of requests for detailed instructions on how to become a Queen. “Dear Mama Donna,” women would write, “I want to be a Queen, too. How do I access my power? How can I feel good about myself? How do I change my life? How do I find magic and spiritual wisdom? How do I know what to do? How do I learn how to rule?”

 

Indeed. How are women supposed to know how to own our own sovereignty? We certainly haven’t been taught. World mythology abounds with inspiring examples of beautiful and adventurous Maidens, compassionate and nurturing Mothers (as well as some devouring ones) and wise and wily Crones. But shining examples of powerful midlife Queens are in short supply.

 

There are no rules, no recipes, no prescriptions, no instruction manuals, no precise formulas to follow when it comes to pursuing the daunting process of Stepping into Sovereignty. This does not, however, mean that anything goes. Just as in life itself, everything counts. Every single solitary thing that we do or don’t do, think or don’t think, matters. This is the bottom line of our responsibility — to ourselves and to others.

 

Our intentions have to be perfectly pure and our attention to the details of our process has to be focused and disciplined, and in exact alignment with our intentions. The quality of our engagement needs to be really right, not according to the standards of anyone else, but only according to our own inner truth.

 

Although the Queen is an excellent role model and source of inspiration, we don’t need a teacher or a guru to tell us what we should do for our Self-development, or how we need to change and grow. Each of us knows perfectly well what is right for us. Informed by the four parts of our being — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual — we know in our heart, our mind, our gut, and our soul when something is right, because it feels right. And when something feels wrong, we certainly know that, too. The answers to our confusion and questions, our yearnings and longings, are right here inside of us where we keep them safe and warm.

 

Our lessons, and our understanding of them, are often not immediately available or obvious to us. They often come encoded in signs and symbols that seem like a foreign language. But, no matter how difficult, it is up to us to access them, if we dare. If we care to earn our sovereignty, we must excavate the buried treasure of our own value and infinite worth. Our coming into power depends upon it.

 

The caveat is that this thrilling post-menopausal period of vitality, renewed energy, enhanced self-esteem, optimism and enthusiasm only comes to us in direct proportion to the intensity of our own conscious and conscientious engagement in the process and consequences of our transformation.

 

If we do take up the challenge to explore and mine the depths of our Selves, we will discover the unexpected caverns of courage, phosphorescent pools of passion and glittering, crystal-rich veins of gem-like wisdom running through their passages and crevices. All we need are the right tools to get at them, extract them, and polish them. And I don’t know about you, but nobody ever told me that it was going to be easy.

 

It always comes down to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.

– May Sarton

 

I send you blessings of empowerment,

 

xxMama Donna

 

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com

 

*************************************************************

Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, ritual expert, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since 1972. She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed Ezine and writes for The Huffington Post, Beliefnet and UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.

www.DonnaHenes.net

www.TheQueenOfMySelf.com

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Henes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Queen_of_My_Self

 

Watch her videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/MamaDonnaHenes

 

Follow her on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/queenmamadonna

 

Connect with her on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/MamaDonnaHenes

 

Read her on the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-henes/

 

Read her on Beliefnet:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/thequeenofmyself/

 

 

Ask Your Mama

August, 2012

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

 

                                *Ask Your Mama                         

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

 

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

 

 

A Question of Mothering

 

Dear Mama Donna,

 

I’m enjoying reading your book, The Queen of My Self. I have a question, though.  My own mother and both of my grandmothers were never the nurturing type of women. In truth, they weren’t the kind of people I’d care to be around if I wasn’t related to them. Both grandmothers have passed, and I try to have very little contact with my mother, as she is a negative and disruptive influence. I made a conscious decision to not have children of my own.

 

How do I find the “mother” in me and celebrate the part of me that I never developed in myself, and that wasn’t encouraged by the elder women in my life? I hope that doesn’t sound like a silly question, but I believe I won’t find my full power and purpose without this reconciliation with myself.

 

Thank you so much for your work!

– Julie, CA

 

Dear Queen Julie,

 

Of course you question isn’t silly. It is a most common one, and I thank you for sending it. I know that it will resonate with many of our sister Queens, and hopefully some of them will share their own insights and experiences with you.

 

The best way to find your mothering Self is to become your own mother! Now in your middle years, it is time to turn your attention to your own needs and desires. It is crucial that you nurture your body, as well as your most precious dreams, and lavish upon your Self an endless flow of emotional and spiritual sustenance and physical care.

 

How do you do that, you ask, without a role model? Make it up! Be your own role model! If you did not have a loving, giving, nurturing maternal influence, you now have the chance to change that karma and learn how to be your own caring mother.

 

And the exciting thing is that you can be the sort of parent that you always wished for — for me it was the cheerful, optimistic, fun-loving Mary Poppins that my little girl-Self needed so badly, rather than the negative, critical, demeaning mom that I had.

 

Whatever your childhood was like, that was then and this is now. Now, you can give your Self the unconditional love and support that you did not have as you were growing up. You can and must assume the responsibility to feed, nourish, encourage, and comfort your Self, pamper and challenge your Self, and whisper into your own ear each night as you slip off to sleep, “Good night, honey. I love you.”

 

Think about caring for your Self as an act of love, rather than a duty. Attitude is all. Your Self-care is, after all, strictly a gift you are giving to yourself. And you deserve it!

 

With blessings of mother love,

 

xxQMD

 

 

 

* Unofficial Commissioner of Public Spirit of NYC. – The New Yorker

* For 35 years Ms. Henes has been putting city folk in touch with

Mother Earth. – New York Times

* Part performance artist, part witch, part social director for planet earth. 

    – The Village Voice

* Globally significant theater-in-the-round. – Brooklyn Bridge Magazine

* The woman is balanced. – Paper Magazine

* Solstice Sister. – TimeOut New York

* The Original crystal-packing mama. – NY Press

 

Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman,

ritual expert, award-winning author, popular speaker and

workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events

have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary

ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since

1972. She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed Ezine

and writes for The Huffington Post, Beliefnet and UPI Religion and

Spirituality Forum. She has created and officiated public ceremonies

for two mayors and a governor and serves as the ritual consultant

on Hollywood films. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called,

maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and

consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with

individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations

to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.

 

www.DonnaHenes.net

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