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Donna Henes
Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, ritual expert, award-winning author, popular wedding officiant, 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 a column for The Huffington Post, UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum. A noted ritual expert, she serves as a ritual consultant for motion pictures.

Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy where she works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.

Email her at

Entries by Donna Henes

Mirror, Mirror

(18) Comments | Posted June 3, 2016 | 11:09 PM

Like most women, I can't help but notice the parts of myself that have slumped and sagged as I've aged. The bags under my eyes now have over-night valises of their own. The veins in my legs and on the backs of my hands are starting to show through in...

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Owning Our Power and Using It

(3) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 4:19 PM

Decades ago, I was invited to perform a Winter Solstice Ceremony on Baker's Beach in San Francisco. I was a visitor in town on my own without my usual network of celebrants. So, in preparation for this event I held a meeting at the women's bookstore to stimulate interest and...

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What Is Time and How Do We Count It?

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2016 | 12:39 PM

The year 2008 is a leap year. The year in four during which there is an extra day. An extra day! What an odd concept. How in the world could there be an extra day? Extra comes from the Latin for "outside of;" "beyond." According to Webster, it means "additional...

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Practice Peace

(4) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 10:09 AM

In these deciding times, it is imperative for us to decide, to commit, to make a concerted effort to reach out in ever-expanding circles of affinity and embrace. Now is the time to create healthy, functioning networks in recognition and in honor of our mutual state of being and our...

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Day of the Dead

(8) Comments | Posted October 31, 2015 | 11:23 AM

November 2 is the halfway point of autumn, also called the cross-quarter day.

By the half-way point of fall we are surrounded by a ambient prescience of impending death. Death and decline. Death and disappearance. The sun seems to be dying as we approach the winter solstice six weeks away....

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Steam Bath Summer

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 5:50 PM

Originally published on The Huffington Post in 2010.

While I was baking in the 110-degree heat in the Arizona desert, I didn't believe that I could ever feel any hotter than I did then. I literally could not walk one block in the afternoon sun without feeling...

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I Am Mad

(7) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 2:18 PM

I am mad. So very mad. No, that doesn't begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed. I am outraged. I am enraged. I am livid. I am GODDESS DAMN FURIOUS.

"All men are created equal," states the Declaration of Independence. From...

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Showered with Stars

(5) Comments | Posted August 8, 2015 | 5:49 PM

On the nights of August 11 and 12 weather permitting, we will be able to see the Perseid meteor showers -- the year's best with up to 60 meteors per hour at their peak. The moon will be nearly dark, so it won't obscure the spectacular show. For best viewing,...

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A Once in a Blue Moon Blue Moon Blue Moon!

(10) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 10:23 PM

Friday, July 31 is a full moon, the second one this month.

When a month is graced with two full moons, the second one is called a blue moon. You know, the once in a blue moon blue moon. The blue moon cycle is 2.72 years,...

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United We Stand. Happy Interdependence Day!

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 4:42 PM

Recently I was asked to speak about the shamanic point of view of team building with an emphasis on creating alliances and community. But from a shamanic point of view it is redundant to think of reaching out to build teams, alliances and communities, as we are already all connected....

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Dear Mother Earth, I Owe You Big Time

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 7:12 PM

I've seen several outrageous television commercials recently that blithely extol the benefits of throwaway dust rags and floor mops and disposable baby bibs, of all things. Apparently the landfills are not yet filled to over-flowing capacity with Pampers as I had assumed.

Knowing myself to be a concerned citizen...

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April Showers

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 6:23 PM

Earth is the only planet known to have water. It is, in fact, covered with water over 70 percent of its surface. Oceans, rivers, ponds, streams, lakes, falls, glaciers and seas run like veins through a living body, carrying refreshment and nutrients to all its parts. And we, children of...

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Saving Daylight

(3) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 12:10 PM

Light equals life. It is precious, and we are loath to lose it. Not that the dark does not bring its own healing, life-enhancing atmosphere, but after the long pitch of winter -- especially this last one -- we are eager, anxious, impatient for more light. Nature knows that and...

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The Ancient Religion of Valentines and Vulvas

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 2:20 PM

From the beginning, women were exalted as the image, the echo, the counterpart companion of the Goddess. Their access to ecstasy, imbued with spiritual significance. As priestesses, they tended the fires and fanned the generative flames from Her sex, the seat of Her power.

Paleolithic carved figures refer to woman...

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L'Chaim! In Celebration of Life

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 8:45 PM

The disastrous conditions and frightening events that surround us today are overwhelming to say the least. War, famine, pestilence, terrorism, poisoned environment. Economic, political and ecological nightmares, all. Plagues of biblical proportions. Oh, woe. Oy, vey. Who feels like celebrating?

Yet, here we are -- in possession of the great...

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How To Survive Mercury in Retrograde

(2) Comments | Posted October 4, 2014 | 6:03 PM

Mercury, the planet of communication enters its thrice a year retrograde stage on October 4 and will remain in a backward momentum, as it were, until October 26.

Most of us dread Mercury in retrograde. We think of it as an extremely negative period, a frustrating time filled with irritating...

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Celebrating New Year in the Fall

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 5:44 PM

Since the world and all of its constituent parts is always turning, there are many possible ways to calculate when a year is new. And, consequently, there is great diversity among peoples as to the determination of the actual New Year.

The Slavs and Norse reckoned years from one...

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Back On Track After the Summer

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 4:28 PM

September always feels like New Year to me. It carries so much more significance than does January 1. The first crisp hint of a chill in the air always shakes me out of my summer lethargy, wakes me, makes me more alert. It focuses and concentrates my attention. I can...

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Tend and Befriend

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 4:16 PM

"Men walk, women talk." The veracity of this the popular saying was proven in a landmark study conducted by two women scientists at UCLA.

The long-held idea that the familiar "fight or flight" mechanism was the universal human response to stress (based of studies that were conducted...

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A Greenhouse Gas Fast for Lent and Passover

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 11:20 AM

By the time of the first thaw in spring, when hunter and hunted alike emerge from their dens, holes, nests, boroughs, caves, huts, tents, tipis and yurts, a huge and hollow hunger hangs heavily upon the earth. Awakened from their long winter's stupor by the warmth and light of the...

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