Women’s Fears of Aging with Donna Henes
Aging Gratefully
Dr. Peter Brill

Episode 8 - Women’s Fears of Aging with Donna Henes

What do you think are women's greatest fears about being middle aged? Why is the midlife transition so much more difficult for women than men? Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman,& 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. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, is the author of four& books, including the recently published "The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife.

Millions of women are now entering or in the midst of midlife. With unprecedented freedom, education, longevity, and wealth, they hold positions of unheard of responsibility and stature. No longer Maidens, nor Mothers, and not yet old Crones, the question arises: Where do these dynamic, accomplished middle-aged women fit into the traditional description of the three stages of womanhood?

In The Queen of My Self, Donna Henes proposes a completely original paradigm -- that of the midlife Queen, a woman in her prime who has achieved wisdom, mastery, and self-esteem -- that reflects more accurately the realities and needs of women today. Learn how to start a Sacred Circle where ancient rituals around the cycles of the seasons resonate with the seasons of your life. Henes draws on history, mythology, and literature, her own life experience, as well as stories from women in many different societies, situations and stations to provide upbeat, practical, and ceremonial inspiration for all women who want to enjoy the fruits of an influential, passionate, and powerful maturity.



David Debin: Hey, welcome to the Third Age with the doctor and the man from Hollywood. Don’t be afraid of your age the man is saying and that’s what we believe here on Third Age. I’m David Debin, the man from Hollywood. Thank you. Where was the applause though? And on this show… thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you very much. On this show we turn the myths of aging upside down. We sort out the scientific and the trendy, the medical, and the cultural and we tell you everything you need to know about living the third age with panache and a nice pinch of hutzpah which we all need. Remember, we guarantee if you listen to us you’ll never grow old. For your information the third age usually starts somewhere around age 45 or 50 at the time when you start to feel a strong desire for deeper meaning and fulfillment in your life. Your first age is childhood, your second age is building career and family, and the third age is a major change or transition to a whole new set of values, problems, opportunities and gratifications, so join us as fellow explorers in this journey to discover what brings passion, purpose and joy into this uncharted time of life. Unfortunately for us, all of us here in the studio and you out there in the audience, the doctor, Peter Brill, is on vacation. We’ll miss him, but we got a fun show for you today, so don’t go around. We have some, I think we really have a fun show, if what I see is what’s going to happen.

Unknown speaker: Seems very interesting.

David Debin: What do you think are women’s greatest fears about being middle aged? Oh no, I’m going to ask another question. Why is the midlife transition so much more difficult for women than men? Our guest today is an author, lecturer and she’s even been called, and I love this term, an urban Shaman. She’s Donna Henes and I think that’s how she pronounces her name but we’ll find out soon, and we’ll talk about her new book Queen of Myself. Her co-author, oh no, I was just going to make a joke but it’s not, I was just going to say her co-author was what’s his name, Michael…

Unknown Speaker: Moore?

David Debin: No. George Michael, Queen of Myself. If you’re a woman in the third age or just coming into it, you won’t want to miss the interview. I’d like to talk to you about Donna Henes who is an internationally renowned urban Shaman. She’s an award winning author. She’s a popular speaker and workshop leader and her joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than a hundred cities since 1972. She’s also known as Momma Donna, affectionately known I should say. She’s the author of four books including the recently published Queen of Myself, the subtitle of which is Stepping Into Sovereignty in Midlife. She’s been on the road since the book came out giving lectures in Queen workshops all over the country and abroad. And she’s received a tremendous response from women everywhere she goes and I’m sure she’s going to get a tremendous response here. Welcome to the show Donna.

Donna Henes: Thank you.

David Debin: Our first question is am I pronouncing your last name right?

Donna Henes: You are.

David Debin: Henes?

Donna Henes: Yeah.

David Debin: Well that’s an interesting name, I’ve never seen that before.

Donna Henes: Well I actually, I received that name in a divorce. It was pronounced differently but it was better than my maiden name, so…

David Debin: Okay.

Donna Henes: I kept it.

David Debin: When people ask you your name do you say Henes with to n’s, is that how you do it?

Donna Henes: No, it’s one n.

David Debin: I mean, oh you say Henes with one n. No, that wouldn’t work.

Donna Henes: No.

David Debin: You just have to spell it out.

Donna Henes: Yeah.

David Debin: So tell us, why did you write Queen of Myself?

Donna Henes: Well because I needed to read it. I was approaching my 50th birthday and, you know, I’ve been as you said an urban Shaman for thirty years and my, my whole work was based about finding, following and doing ritual around the seasons and the cycles of the universe; the cycles of the moon, the seasons of the seasons, and when it got to be this big transition for me all of a sudden I started getting interested in the seasons of life and my own in particular. And so, I don’t know, are you familiar with the tripe goddess concept?

David Debin: Well I’m familiar with some triple goddesses, but I don’t know if it’s the same one you’re speaking of.

Donna Henes: Well there are several triple goddesses in different cultures, and I’m very much a goddess oriented spiritual person.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: And there is a, kind of an archetype that divides the triple goddess into three faces, each one was supposed to be a descriptive one of the stages of women’s lives. The maiden is the young girl. The mother is the sexually mature reproductive woman. And then is the crone, the old wise woman. And so when…

David Debin: That’s me.

Donna Henes: That’s you. See it was you, but it wasn’t me, you know. You know, at 50 a lot of women are doing croning ceremonies and if they are identified with the idea of a feminine divine, you know, then they want to do something that honors their transition and I thought, you know what, I’m not a crone, I’m not a crone, I’m not an old woman. So there was no place in that triple, that triple archetype for me.

David Debin: Mm hmm, so…

Donna Henes: And you call it the third age, but you’re talking about the age that we are all in in our midlife, you’re not talking about old dottering people…

David Debin: No.

Donna Henes: You’re talking about vibrant, powerful, passionate, purposeful people.

David Debin: Mm hmm, exactly. People, people who want to be that way, but they aren’t.

Donna Henes: Exactly. Exactly, and this is the time to do it. But I found that there was no place for me in that, in that archetype at all, and when…

David Debin: In the crone archetype.

Donna Henes: Yeah…

David Debin: Yeah.

Donna Henes: in the whole triple goddess thing.

David Debin: Right, right.

Donna Henes: And then I realized, you know, that the baby boom generation, we are the single biggest population…

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: In all of western civilization.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: And I said this is my situation then that’s got to apply to every other woman out there. I have yet to meet a woman who when she thought about it thought of herself as an old woman at 50.

David Debin: Nope, that doesn’t happen anymore.

Donna Henes: No.

David Debin: It’s an old model of aging that has become obsolete, unfortunately a lot of people don’t know that.

Donna Henes: Exactly. Exactly. And so that’s what started me on this, and, you know, I did a lot of research and I, really what I did is reconstructed the triple goddess and made her a fourful goddess and made that third age the queen, because this is the age…

David Debin: Oh, okay.

Donna Henes: that we’re in charge. We, you know, we rule, we’re out there.

David Debin: Got it. You do, too.

Donna Henes: Yeah, we do, we are and I hope more and more or else we’re all in trouble.

David Debin. Yup. Listen, what, I had something I really wanted to ask you first, but what is an urban Shaman? I’ve never heard that term, I know what a Shaman is…

Donna Henes: Right.

David Debin: I know what urban is.

Donna Henes: Right, well…

David Debin: I guess an urban Shaman would be somebody in the inner city who turns flop houses into beautiful, you know, whole foods stores or something. Is that what you do?

Donna Henes: Not quite, not quite. Even though I did study, I did a lot of study with traditional native teachers, both in North America and Central America, I don’t do their work. I think it’s very ingenuous, you know, people go to a weekend workshop and then they hang up their Shaman sign on Monday morning. And, you know, I can’t even go there. But I did, I did my most serious study was with a Mozteck Shaman in the state of Wahaka in Mexico, and I don’t do her work. You know, she lived, first of all she was well over a hundred, she lived in a little mud and waddle house on top of a mountain, and it would just be absurd to say that I did her work, and she had her own lineage, she had daughters and nieces and granddaughters. But what she did was bless me to do my work.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: And since I am…

David Debin: How long were you with her?

Donna Henes: Well I was on and off with her for about 14 years, but that was…

David Debin: Well that should, that should get you a degree, 14 years.

Donna Henes: Yeah really. But that was just, that was a lot in the spirit realm if I can say that.

David Debin: Mm hmm, yes you can.

Donna Henes: But I was with her on her deathbed, and…

David Debin: Mm hmm. Well that’s a major.

Donna Henes: That was, yeah, that was something.

David Debin: That’s when the torch passes.

Donna Henes: And it really literally did, you know, she just embraced me and sent me on my way to do my work.

David Debin: Was she very old at the time?

Donna Henes: Oh she was, I think, the oldest person I’ve ever seen.

David Debin: Like a hundred and ten?

Donna Henes: She was well over a hundred.

David Debin: Wow!

Donna Henes: Yeah, and tiny, tiny, tiny little Indian woman. Now I didn’t even see her standing up.

David Debin: How long ago did she quit smoking before she died?

Donna Henes: She didn’t smoke, she did mushrooms.

David Debin: She did mushrooms. That’s what kept her alive, right.

Donna Henes: Really. But since I’m a modern contemporary urban person…

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: and New York City is my, you know, is my community…

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: the whole world is here. And so my specialty has become multicultural ritual ceremony and that’s why I call myself an urban Shaman. And…

David Debin: That’s fantastic.

Donna Henes: I’ve been Shaman in the streets for 30 years. My public altar for about 18 years was the plaza at the World Trade Center. So, you know, and actually I’m getting ready at the end of the month, I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.

David Debin: Of course, the famous Lou Reed song.

Donna Henes: Well this year I’m leading the whole parade with blessings.

David Debin: Did you ever hear that Lou Reed song, Halloween Parade?

Donna Henes: No.

David Debin: Oh, you got to hear it, it’s a fabulous, Halloween Parade.

Donna Henes: Yeah, I do. Oh cool.

David Debin: That’s coming up soon, huh?

Donna Henes: Yeah, well the 31st.

David Debin: Oh, it’s the most fun…

Donna Henes: It’s already October.

David Debin: And the Shamans are out on mask for Halloween.

Donna Henes: Right.

David Debin: Okay, we are going to be right back in a second, Donna. We’re going to do some commercials and then we’ll come right back and pick up where we left off, okay?

Donna Henes: Great.

David Debin: Okay.

David Debin: Welcome back to the Third Age. I’m David Debin here with Marisa Scobasi and Jaren Pilts. Dr. Peter Brill is somewhere in Turkey hobbling around on his recently replaced knee. I hope he’s having a good time and we’re…

Marisa Scobasi: There’s Turkey.

David Debin: There’s Turkey for you. We’re talking to the very fascinating Donna Henes whose book we’re, we want to tell you about which is called the Queen of Myself: Stepping Into Sovereignty in Midlife. Tell us a little bit about that book, where we can get it and what we should do about it Donna.

Donna Henes: Great. You can get it at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. You can get it at my website which is www.thequeenofmyself.com. You can get it at bookstores.

David Debin: And again it’s called The Queen of Myself. So The Queen of Myself, I think we began to talk that, what will people find? Will women find something to tell them the answers to one of the greatest fears women have about aging?

Donna Henes: Yes and no.

David Debin: Okay.

Donna Henes: There are really no answers in this book. You know, my publisher really wanted me to do one of those self help books that has numbers in the cover, you know, 10 Easy Steps to…

David Debin: Right.

Donna Henes: You know, 5 Surefire Ways to do whatever.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: But this is not a ‘how to’ so much as a ‘why not’ book. And ‘if not now, when’ book. So it’s hopefully inspiring. But I do find that when I do Queen workshops, women do, I mean that’s one of the things we do in the workshop is try to identify our fears so we can own them and then release them and not be dictated by them.

David Debin: What are some you encounter most often?

Donna Henes: Well one is I find that women are afraid of our own power, and that’s, I find that terrifically upsetting, and I’m working as hard as I can on that one. Women are afraid…

David Debin: Why is that?

Donna Henes: Well, I think…

David Debin: What does that mean?

Donna Henes: Well, I think that first of all we are all diluted in our culture as to what true power is. You know, we live in a culture that thinks that power is sort of bully power, that power is power over, power by domination, by fear, by manipulation, by coercion, so on…

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: And when I think of power, and I think you probably do to, you think of empowerment, the power that we have within us that we want to bring up and out into the world. So you can, you can step into your own power without stepping on somebody else’s head.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: You know, I like to say that there’s not just one thrown out there. There are 60 million throwns, which is how many women in midlife there are in the United States. One out of three women in the United States is over 50. I just find that amazing, and, you know, I teach at the Omega Institute a lot and…

David Debin: In, up in Reincook?

Donna Henes: In Reinbeck, yeah.

David Debin: Reinbeck, yeah, we were up there.

Donna Henes: Oh great, oh great.

David Debin: Stephan Rechstaphan.

Donna Henes: Yes, yes. And I was talking to some women about how many there are of us and how much power we have if we only realized it, and if only we used it. And then one woman raised her hand and said, “And if only we weren’t afraid of it”. And I realized she really touched on something that was not just her own personal thing. This was, is the widely suffered…

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: thing of women, and I think part of it is that we don’t want to be that kind of dictator kind of dominant person, and part…

David Debin: Well the culture, the culture disparages in women, the culture…

Donna Henes: That’s right.

David Debin: I mean, you know, I don’t want to say, make any blanket statements about all or every, but what we find is there are a lot of women coming into this third age have been brought up in the way that you have to, you should be pleasing people…

Donna Henes: Mm hmm.

David Debin: Please your family, please your parents, please your husband, please your children, and that’s the main commandment for women as they go through life…

Donna Henes: That’s right.

David Debin: Or that’s what it has been at any rate.

Donna Henes: That’s right, you’re absolutely right.

David Debin: And they get into that, and they get into that and they play that game because that’s the only game that they’re really, that’s the only game that’s, that they’re really aloud to play in most cases. But then they get to the point in their life where they reach this stage, this, where they see that somehow they know that there’s a thrown there, and they know that there’s more to life than pleasing other people, but they don’t exactly know who to get to that thrown and even if they did get in that thrown, would they be able to fully occupy that thrown or would they be too afraid to sit in that thrown, or is that the kind of thing that you talk about?

Donna Henes: Yes, or do they take it to the opposite extreme and imitate these terrible ways of being powerful.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: You know. We can all look around at certain politicians today and say that that’s what they’re doing. But there are other women in power who are doing it very differently, and I find that very exciting. But also besides the idea of being, having it be so important that we’re good girls, you know. I think what happens sometimes, you know, are our whole stereotype of the mother is the all loving, all giving, all nurturing. Well there’s a dark mother there too, and she’s the one who always puts herself last and pleases everybody else and, you know, and exempts herself from any kind of fulfillment, and you reach a point and you just blow…

David Debin: Uh huh.

Donna Henes: You really, then you become that martyr mother, that….

David Debin: Yeah.

Donna Henes: that everyone just loves so much, you know.

David Debin: Yeah.

Donna Henes: The mother that says, “I gave you the best years of my life and…”

David Debin: Right.

Donna Henes: But, you know, that kind of a mother.

David Debin: Now can you move on from there or is that really a trap?

Donna Henes: No, I think you can definitely move on from there by just realizing all you have to do to be powerful is be powerful. You know, I mean really bottom line. And I made it sound simple and of course it isn’t, but the concept is simple. And also I think that we’ve been raised to really be afraid that if we are powerful we are going to lose love.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: You know, I remember when I was a kid and I’d go out on a date and my mother would say, “Now remember, don’t be too smart.”

David Debin: That’s good.

Donna Henes: “Boys don’t like smart girls, you know.” But I’ve grown to believe that that’s not true at all. I mean, most, or at least most men that you want to be around, they don’t want a little pull toy that they’re pulling behind them. They want, they want an equal partner.

David Debin: And if that’s what they don’t want then you’re not going to be happy with them anyway.

Donna Henes: Exactly, exactly.

David Debin: You know, if there’s somebody that, you know, if your Prince Charming is somebody who is a narcissistic billionaire and you got a chance at them and he finally says, “Okay, lets go off together”, it, you know, you’re not going to have a good time. If you’re a smart girl, you know, you don’t, or a woman, you just, what are you going to get?

Marisa: Be stifled.

Donna Henes: Exactly, exactly, and so, so that’s like a false pretext, but that’s how we have been raised.

David Debin: That’s how we’ve been raised and that’s how it’s all portrayed and all the celebrity worship goes to that.

Donna Henes: Mm hmm, exactly, and the other thing that I discovered, sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt you…

David Debin: That’s alright.

Donna Henes: is that, you know, men are in our culture, well in most cultures actually, are afraid of failure because we judge men so harshly on their success, whether they’re the best hunter or the best warrior or the best stock broker or the best provider or the best runner or the best athlete, whatever, and men are afraid of failure because they’re afraid that they’re not going to be loved. And that’s biological, that goes all the way back to the cave…

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: ‘cause if you’re going to reproduce you want somebody with strong genes and strong sperm and you’ll have strong kids and they’ll be strong enough to protect you and, you know, your kids who are vulnerable.

David Debin: Great, that’s very true and we’re going to talk a little bit more about when we come back. Don’t go away. We’re with Donna Henes, the author of Queen of Myself: Stepping Into Soverignty in Midlife. It’s a great discussion. Donna stay with us please. We’ll be right back with the Third Age.

David Debin: We’re back with the Third Age. I’m David Debin. My partner Dr. Peter Brill is somewhere on the other side of the globe having a good time while I’m here all by myself. Not really; I’m with Marisa and Jaren, so that’s not by myself. Hey, for all you guys out there who love our little quiz where you can win a free book get ready because the first printout, you better get ready too Jaren ‘cause you’re going to have to… And you too Marisa, they’re competing with you too. If they call before you can answer and get the right answers then you know they win the book.

Jaren: I’m ready, Marisa are you ready?

Marisa: I’m ready.

David Debin: Okay, here’s question one; as a kid, now this is for third agers, but make believe you’re third age, as a kid what was considered the best way to reach a decision: a.) consider all the facts, b.) eeny, meeny, miny, moe, or c.) ask mom? First caller wins the free book or if, Marisa, what is it, do you know? You wouldn’t know, you’re not old enough.

Marisa: I know.

David Debin: Well, lets ask Jaren, he’s almost old enough. What do you think?

Jaren: I’m going to say eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

Marisa: That’s what I was going to say.

Jaren: You know, yeah.

David Debin: Eeny,  meeny, miny, moe is righ…

Jaren: Awesome.

David Debin: is correct.

Jaren: Woo hoo, I get a book.

David Debin: It’s the best way, the best way to reach a decision and as a matter of fact…

Jaren: It’s still the best way to reach a decision.

Marisa: I know, I still heard that.

Jaren: What’s changed?

David Debin: Okay, here we go again. Next question: what was the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex? A cold, VD, or cooties? Does anybody know?

Jaren: I’m going to let you take this one Marisa.

David Debin: Where are they out there?

Marisa: I would say…

David Debin: Anybody know? Marisa?

Marisa: Cooties.

David Debin: Cooties….

Marisa: Got to get the cootie shot.
David Debin: is absolutely right. Okay. Alright. This is our third question. This is the last one for the day, so if you need a free book and you know the answer…

Jare: nIt’s a really good book too.

Marisa: I know.

David Debin. Thank you. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy’s pet pony? Here’s a tough one. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy’s pet pony? Was it Paint, Macaroni, Old Blue? What was the name of Caroline Kennedy’s pet pony? Well I see nobody knows it so I’m going to have to turn it, oh wait, is  that something, no, I guess not.

Jaren: Yes…

David Debin: It is somebody….

Jaren: we have something ringing. Lets try, lets go for it.

David Debin: Let’s go for it. Hello.

Jaren: Welcome to the Third Age.

David Debin: Who do we have here?

Caller: Carlina.

David Debin: Carlina, do you actually know, because everybody looks like they have no idea what the answer to this on is?

Caller: Well I’m old enough to, but I’m going to guess at Macaroni.

David Debin: You are right Carlina. Very good. How did you know that?

Caller: I love the Kennedy’s.

David Debin: You love the Kennedy’s?

Caller: I heard someplace.

David Debin: Wow, that was a good one. We were all stumped on that one. So you win a free book which is called Finding Your J-Spot…

Caller: Right on.

David Debin: Seven Steps to Joy in Midlife by Dr. Brill and myself.

Caller: Great.

David Debin: We’ll get your name…

Jaren: Carlina, go ahead and stay on the line, I’ll get your information.

David Debin: Stay on the line, we’ll get your name, we’ll send you a book.
Thanks for calling in.

Caller: Thanks a lot.

David Debin: Okay.

Caller: Bye bye.

David Debin: That was our quiz. Is Donna on with us? There we are. Donna, hi.

Donna Henes: Hi.

David Debin: So, how bout that, we got a winner. It’s always nice to get a winner.

Donna Henes: Yeah.

Marisa: Yes it is.

David Debin: Marissa has a question for you Donna.

Donna Henes: Sure.

Marisa: All right.

David Debin: She’s only a second ager, but she can ask a question.

Marisa: I was looking on your website on donnahines dot, or donnahenes.net…

David Debin: Henes.

Donna Henes: Yeah.

Marisa: Henes, sorry about that, and I was wondering if you could tell us more about your Mamma Donna’s Tea Garden with the ceremonial center and ritual practice, I thought that was really interesting when you were talking about, or explaining about the drum circle and how maybe that helps the community or your….

Donna Henes: Great, yes, well I do, I have a ceremonial center called Mamma Donna’s Tea Garden and Healing Haven, and we have an ongoing schedule of drum circles for new and full moons, support groups, seminars and classes…

David Debin: Wow!

Donna Henes: I do tarot readings as well and work with people individually to create ritual order in their lives, and that can mean anything from helping somebody do, set up an altar or figure out what their own, you know, spiritual predilection might be, to actually designing and officiating at weddings and funerals and divorcings and…

David Debin: Wow!

Donna Henes: baby naming and house blessings and so on.

David Debin: Do you, can you do readings over the phone?

Donna Henes: Oh yeah, I do.

David Debin: You do?

Donna Henes: Mm hmm.

David Debin: So, if somebody, is there a number that you give out or is there a number that we need to, can we get a place for a number in case someone wants to call you for a reading?

Donna Henes: Sure, that’s fabulous.

David Debin: What would that be?

Donna Henes: It’s 718…

David Debin: Uh huh…

Donna Henes: 857…

David Debin: Uh huh…

Donna Henes: 1343.

David Debin: I have a really good friend who really needs to have a reading. Had a very strange day yesterday. He’s someone I know very well, very well and, as a matter of fact it’s me. Had one of the strangest days yesterday and I need to know what’s going on up there and why my sign is out of alignment right now.

Donna Henes: Uh huh.

David Debin: I, another one I really want to get to is this thing about celebration. You know, we’ve tried to figure out, Peter and myself in our foundation ‘cause we meet with groups too, we have discussions, support groups and, we’ve been trying to find out how we can design spiritual celebrations for the group and for the other people who are in our foundation, and it seems like it’s, it’s a puzzle to us. How, how do you, how do you design a celebration, spiritual celebration?

Donna Henes: Oh gosh, in a month or less? I Mean…

David Debin: Lets, well pick a specific, pick a specific reason and then how would you define it? In other words, lets say, I’ll give you one.

Donna Henes: Okay.

David Debin: The group gets together once every week and meets and talks about the problems and joys of being in the third age.

Donna Henes: Same group?

David Debin: Yeah, same group.

Donna Henes: Okay.

David Debin: Usually, and average age 60. What would, what would a good celebration be to start the process with?

Donna Henes: Well I think a good ritual to do, to start would be a ritual that would connect the group on a spiritual and subliminal level, not just sitting in the same room and in a circle or whatever.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: And that would promote trust and let people speak from their souls a little easier. But as the group went on there might be, there might be tools that would address particular problems and situations where sometimes in, just in the matter of a ritual, you could really, you could really go through something much quicker than you can in therapy or talking or whatever because it’s so, a ritual usually uses all of your senses.

David Debin: But what would that, for instance, what would a, specifically…

Donna Henes: How to connect?

David Debin: What would a specific ritual be in this situation?

Donna Henes: Well first of all I would in a group probably that was meeting for the first time, I would create in some way what I call a sacred circle. Now this can be any number of ways. A lot of times when I do a circle I will create, the reason you want a sacred circle is that everything that happens inside of that circle is sacred and safe.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: And that’s important. So you can do that with fragrance. Often times I do blessing, you know, and I have one person bless the person next to them and so and so around the circle…

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: and that involves both touch and smell. You can use, you can actually literally draw a chalk circle. You can do, start a circle by holding hands. You can start a circle by passing anything really from hand to hand. It can be a sound, a bill, a rattle, a, anything because what that announces is that each person in that circle, and of course you have to talk about that so they understand what it is….

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Donna Henes: But what that does is it sort of invites the commitment of each person to be part of this circle.

David Debin: Okay, that’s great. You know, I would like to talk to you for about an hour and a half straight but we only get a few minutes…

Donna Henes: Exactly.

David Debin: here on this show. So I want to thank you so much for being here with us, and we want everybody to go out there and get Queen of Myself by Donna Henes who is an urban Shaman. Thanks for being with us today Donna.

Donna Henes: Thanks for having me and thanks for the great work you’re doing. It’s really important.

David Debin: We think so too. Thanks a lot.

Donna Henes: Bye.

David Debin: We’re back with the Third Age. Boy that was an interesting interview, wasn’t it?

Marisa: She has so much to say, so much enlightenment.

David Debin: And she also is so, so concise and, you know, she knows exactly what she’s talking about, she’s very definite. You don’t have to pull any answers out of her. She’s just really great, wasn’t she?

Marisa: She was very great.

David Debin: An urban Shaman.

Marisa: I’d never heard of that before, but…

David Debin: No, but…

Marisa: She definitely fits the title.

David Debin: She does, she fits the title, and she put in, she paid her dues. She studied with that old woman, you know, on the mountaintop.

Marisa: She, that must have been a lot learning experience, not only….

David Debin: Oh, I can just imagine, you know, that’s the kind of thing I always wanted to do, but you know how we say that there’s something we want to do and then we just never get around to that thing?

Marisa: Yeah.

David Debin: I mean, I would even ask Jaren, but we have to get permission from the powers that be for him to ask. Jaren, can you answer that thing, that question? Have you ever had that thing that you keep saying “I’m going to do, I’m going to do that” and keep putting it off, putting it off?

Jaren: No, I can’t think of one specific thing. I think there’re always lots of things that I’ve said I’ve wanted to do, and you know, I’ve definitely accomplished some of them and some of them are still passions and desires, but that’s what’s exciting about being alive. You can still accomplish those even in the third age, David.

David Debin: Well…

Jaren: Even in the third age.

David Debin: You just got to, you just got to be a little bit more in a hurry in the third age. What about you Marisa?

Marisa: Yeah, there’s a lot of things that I haven’t yet done.

David Debin: What’s one thing that you want to do that you keep putting off?

Marisa: Well, when I get enough money, go to Europe.

David Debin: You want to go to Europe?

Marisa: Yeah. I think I probably need a job with some income….

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Marisa: or a good amount of income.

David Debin: You want to backpack it?

Marisa: That would be fun, that would be really actually interesting, especially Italy.

David Debin: Yeah, Italy, oh that’s right, you’re Italian.

Marisa: Yeah.

David Debin: Well you’re Italian and Greek, right?

Marisa: No, Italian, 75% Italian, the rest is like French, Spanish and English.

David Debin: Oh, French, Spanish, 75% Italian.

Marisa: Yes.

Jaren: Wow, she’s a European mutt.

Marisa: Oh yeah. So is everyone else in the world, no, I’m just kidding.

Jaren: It’s true, it’s true.

David Debin: So who’s Italian in your family?

Marisa: My dad’s full Italian…

David Debin: Uh huh…

Marisa: and my mom’s 75%.

David Debin: Is Italian spoken in your house ever?

Marisa: No.

David Debin: No?

Marisa: It was Americanized.

David Debin: Have you ever learned Italian? Do you know how, can you speak it?

Marisa: No, I can’t.

David Debin: Oh, it’s the most beautiful language that I’ve ever spoken.

Marisa: You can speak it?

David Debin: I can speak a little bit of it. I try not to do it too often because I don’t want to offend people who really do speak the language. But it is the most fun language that you can speak, I mean, you just watch them, you know…

Marisa: I know.

David Debin: with their hands and they’re, you know how emphatic it is and how passionate it is, you know.

Marisa: I guess that’d be one of my other goals, learn Italian.

David Debin: That might be a goal to do before you go there…

Marisa: Exactly.

David Debin: So then you’d be even more inspired to go.

Marisa: I know.

David Debin: Well I have things that I wanted to do. Like I always wanted to go up and study with that, with that woman, you know, the hundred and twenty year old woman on the top of the mountain and take the mushrooms and learn how to access my deepest spirituality and be able to share that with people. But I never got around to that, you know, and now I’m in the third age. Jaren tells me I have three more minutes, so with three minutes in the third age, can somebody tell me how to stop putting things off? Can somebody out there who really cares about Peter Brill and David Debin and the Third Age Foundation tell me what’s the key to doing what you need to do now and not putting it off? And if you can’t, that’s all right too, I can always look it up in my book. I think I wrote the answer in my book. Did you ever notice that you know the answers to things, but you just don’t want to remember them?

Jaren: That’s true. We’re not telling anybody anything they don’t know or already.

David Debin: Mm hmm.

Marisa: Exactly.

Jaren: We’re just helping them bring it out.

David Debin: So what are you going to do? What are you going to do about all this? Are you going to, you know, wrap it up? We’re almost done. This is the Third Age.