Sovereignty Ain’t Easy
from The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in
By Donna Henes
Coming from the tough love school of spiritual counseling
as I do, I feel that it is only fair to warn you, there
are no 10 easy steps to sovereignty.
roads leading to Queendom are diverse and many. The way to
Self-esteem can be complicated and long. Each woman must take
her own path, make her own trail, clear a passage for herself
through the thick brambles that reach up to trip her. What
roads do exist are unmapped, bumpy, and full of potholes,
tumbleweed, and road-kill. There are no shortcuts along the
Queen’s Highway, no services, no shoulders, no signage,
but many detours and cul-du-sacs. And the fare can be exorbitant.
As Dear Abby, Abigail Van Buren, once noted, “If we
could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we'd be
millionaires." Like any grand journey, the trip toward
self-dominion requires stamina, determination, and the passionate
desire to travel. But if we pack properly, check our tires
frequently, and take time for picnics, the adventure is incomparable.
And the destination of Self-empowerment is majestic.
The Queen chooses to engage Her Self despite difficulties.
Our Queenly assignment, should we choose to accept it, is
to identify, understand, and connect all the component parts
of ourselves, to attempt to develop and balance them equally,
and to maintain them all in good working order. The Self is
like a jigsaw puzzle or a quilt that promises to become a
beautiful whole if we spend the necessary time and concentration
to assemble it. It is at once the puzzle, the parts of the
puzzle, and also, most importantly, the process of piecing
them together. The ideal of the Queen inspires us to design
the artful patchwork of our own lives designed from the wild
and wonderful patterns of our own personality and experiences,
and crafted from our individual inner authority. Once we do,
we are able to shift into a new stage of life, a new state
of being, a renaissance rebirth, ready to rule.
The Self is the seat of sovereignty of the Queen. It is Her
throne and Her domain, at once Her base of power and Her field
of operation. Stepping into our sovereignty involves an almost
alchemical process of adding, extracting, refining, combining,
and recombining the myriad elements that make up our four
parts in the constantly evolving effort of perfecting the
power of our best Selves. The holy elixir that we seek is
the transformation of the painful, rejected, neglected, wounded,
unsatisfied, unsatisfactory parts of the Self, into the unified,
organized, energized, golden glory and grace of the fulfilled
Queen. It is through our sincere and complete participation
in this process that we learn how to recognize, claim, and
proclaim our own true power. The power of the fully engaged
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.
Clearly, the purity of our Intention and Attention assures
that there can be no cheating or cutting of corners in our
search for inner wisdom and power. What would be the point?
We would only be short-changing ourselves. When we commit
to engaging in the process of our own transformation, the
search for our inner wisdom, the development of our self-esteem,
the elevation of our status and standing, we are consciously
choosing to accept total cause and effect accountability for
our own lives and living. And since the decision to pursue
our personal sovereignty is ours and ours alone, made with
clear Intention and without outside direction or duress, we
must own our process. Our Attention, our outlook, our approach,
and our procedure must be unimpeachable, our attitude positively
"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest
aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see
their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they
-Louisa May Alcott, American writer
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 —
perhaps too safe, hidden secretly away in the corners of dark
caves, far away from our own prying eyes.
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. 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, American writer and poet
Henes, Urban Shaman, is a contemporary
ceremonialist specializing in multi-cultural ritual celebration
of the cycles of the seasons and the seasons of our lives.
She is the author of The Queen of My Self, The
Moon Watcher's Companion, Celestially Auspicious
Occasions, and Dressing Our Wounds In Warm Clothes,
as well as the CD, Reverence To Her: Mythology, The Matriarchy
& Me. She is also the editor and publisher of the
highly acclaimed quarterly journal, Always In Season:
Living In Sync with the Cycles, In 1982, she composed
the first (and to this date, the only) satellite peace message
in space: "chants for peace * chance for peace."
Mama Donna, as she is affectionately known, has offered lectures,
workshops, circles, and celebrations worldwide for 30 years.
She is the director of Mama Donna’s Tea Garden &
Healing Haven, a ceremonial center, ritual consultancy and
spirit shop in Exotic Brooklyn, New York.
For further information about Mama Donna, a
list of services and publications, a calendar of upcoming
events and a complimentary issue of Always in Season:
Living in Sync with the Cycles contact: MAMA
DONNA'S TEA GARDEN AND HEALING HAVEN
PO Box 380403
Exotic Brooklyn, NY 11238-0403
for Herbal Bookworms
by Nancy Delliber
Working in a small public library for many years has given
me access to a great variety of books which perhaps I never
would have come across. I decided to put together a list of
a few of my favorites, fiction and non-fiction, some are new
and some very old. I recommend all of these highly and hope
you enjoy a few of them.
Amy Tan and Margaret Atwood are both fine writers of fiction.
Amy Tan writes novels based on her Chinese ancestors, and
Margaret Atwood is a novelist in Canada who writes novels
based on the problems of women , and also Science fiction.
Doris Lessing who wrote The Sweetest Dream is British
but lived for many years in Africa. The Sweetest Dream
deals with the plight of women in Africa who are the poorest
and most abused women on this planet. It is perhaps the most
revealing book I have read and gave me room for deep thought.
Sometimes I can read a novel put it down and forget it in
a few weeks, but there are a few special ones that stay with
Iris is a biography of Iris Murdoch written by her
husband and later made into a movie. I have read many books
by Iris, and indeed yes, she must have been also a witch.
Most of her books touch on the metaphysical theme in the novels.
Sadly her career came to an end as she developed alzheimers
and was under the care of her husband for several years as
the disease progressed. Contrary to what one think this book
was filled with love and humor and not in the least depressing,
although it gave me great insight into the course of this
dreadful disease which robs great minds of their ability to
think. I have only touched on a few books briefly, however
if there is interest, I will do more lists for future issues
of Susun Weed's Herbal Ezine...
Digital Witch Booklist of Fiction and Non-fiction I have read
The Bonesetters Daughter by Amy Tan
Cats Eye by Margaret Atwood
The Red Tent by Anita Daimont
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch
The Sweetest Dream by Doris Lessing
Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler
Iris by John Bayley
Life Magic by Susan Bowes
Practical Candle Rites by Ray Buckland
I Send a Voice by Evelyn Eaton
The Ssecret Life of Plants by Tompkins
A Witches Brew by Adelma Simons
Fairies by Janet Bard
The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices by Sarah Garland
Notions and Potions by Susan Bowes
Spirit of the Witch by Raven Grimassi
The Complete Guide to Runes by Nigel Pennick
The Cult of the Virgin Mary by Carroll
In Search of Stones by M. Scott Peck M.D.
The Circle is Sacred: A Medicine Book for Women by
Scout Cloud Lee
I can recommend all of these books as being useful towards
learning the craft.
Delliber is a correspondence course student with Susun Weed.
in taking a Correspondence
Course with Susun Weed?
Susun Weed offers three courses: Green Witch, Green Allies,
and Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition. All
are multi-cultural and are suitable for beginning, intermediate,
or advanced students. Most of her students take 13-15 months
to complete one course, but there is no time limit.
Green Witch focuses on personal and
spiritual development. You'll create rituals, prepare
an herbal first-aid kit, encounter your Goddess archetype,
discover the magic of your menstrual/menopausal changes,
and develop wise woman ways of living and healing.
Green Allies explores herbal medicine
through direct experiences with plants, plant spirits
(fairies, devas), and plant medicines. For those who want
to deepen, rather than broaden, their knowledge of plants:
a year's worth of investigation and experimentation with
one plant ally.
Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition
focuses on understanding, internalizing, and using the
Three Traditions of Healing (Wise Woman, Heroic, and Scientific)
and the Six Steps of Healing. Health-care practitioners
find this course exceptionally helpful, but anyone who
cares for the health of others (even family members) will
here for more details.