by (c) Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman
Ever since the cycles first began to be cited, since
the very earliest reckoning of time, people have
recognized an ever-recurring revolutionary cosmic
order. A constantly changing circular universe
wherein the skies and its inhabitants: the sun, the
moon, the stars and the constellations, the seasons
and the weather; the rivers, lakes, oceans and seas;
and the myriad species of the earth: the minerals,
plants and animals all perpetually regenerate themselves.
Where creation, itself, in a never-ending circuit of eternal
return, begins over and over. And everything old is new again.
A year is like a life cycle.
It starts, it ends, then you teach your
son how to ride a bicycle
But before it’s over, you want to have something done.
But, if you don’t do something, the earth
will still revolve around the sun.
-Peter Vozzo Grade 5, NYC
Whether natural or human-contrived, any interval of rotating
time is appropriate as an annual indicator. Each places us in
contact and in context with the cyclical continuity of time.
Each solstice and each equinox, each cross-quarter day, and
each full and new moon marks the ending and the beginning
of a new cycle. Each night and each day, each hour and each
minute. Each rotation and revolution. Each ovulation and
bleeding. Each dream cycle and each and every biorhythm.
Each heartbeat, each breath we take, is a new beginning.
A fresh start. Another chance. A new hope. A New Year.
The time of the Great Turning is critical, for it creates the
ambient atmosphere and attitude for the entire year to
come. The period preceding the actual new year is typically
devoted to reflection, repentance, restitution, resolution
and focus on rebirth. Once a year, on New Year, or on our
birthday, we take the time, make the commitment, to
confront our true selves. To think about the intention and
direction of our lives. To evaluate our progress. To assess
our sins and redress the wrongs of our own doing. To
promote positive personal change. To cultivate compassionate
forgiveness, understanding and acceptance of ourselves and
empathy for others so that we might truly begin anew. A
new year with a clean slate.
With fervent blessings of peace, both personal and planetary,
Unofficial Commissioner of Public Spirit of NYC. The New Yorker
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,
eco-ceremonialist, award-winning author, syndicated columnist,
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. In addition to her popular public rituals for
equinoxes and solstices, she is the official Grand Spirit Marshall
of the world famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade and the
Mistress of Blessing Ceremonies for NYC Earth Day Festivities.
She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed quarterly
journal and writes a column for UPI (United Press International)
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
For information about upcoming events and services contact:
Mama Donna’s Tea Garden & Healing Haven
PO Box 380403
Exotic Brooklyn, New York, NY 11238-0403