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Ask Your Mama

by Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

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

*Ask Your Mama

The What, When, Where, Why, How, and Who of

Ceremony & Spirituality


©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

A Question of Being Ready

Dear Mama Donna,

Now this may get complicated! I have been wanting "a relationship" (no specific person in mind) for some time, and recently got to where (legally) it could happen — but now I'm terrified! Anytime someone (any male) starts to get even friendly I pull back. I get snappish and sarcastic. I RUN away (literally and figuratively and emotionally.) Can you tell whether it is that:

1) I'm scared and don't trust my judgment anymore?

2) I'm not supposed to be in a love situation just now, give it time?

3) I'm just one of the natural solos and should stop worrying about it?

4) Other?

What spell/ritual might I use to help me figure out what I need to do? Any help on this would be SO much appreciated. Thanks very much.

Scared of love, Long Island

Dear Scared,

It seems to me that although you think you want a relationship, you clearly are not ready to get too close to anyone just now. Perhaps you feel that you should want one, and so feel exasperated by your own visceral rejections of such a possibility.

All of the potential reasons that you listed seem to be true. And you know what? They are all valid and perfectly OK. I think that it is not a matter of trusting your judgment about another person, but rather trusting your own gut feelings and emotions. If you truly wanted to get close to someone, you would. And when you are ready, you surely will. And if you never want to, that is fine, too.

When you mention that you are legally able to have a relationship now, I am supposing that you mean that you have recently been divorced. That would explain your hesitation to get involved again. Often when we are in a marriage or partnership that is not a good and fulfilling one, we lose ourselves somewhere along the way. I sense that the relationship that you truly need to cultivate is a one-to-one love affair with yourself.

It has become somewhat clichéd to say that only when we love ourselves completely, are we able to love another. But, like most truisms, it is quite true. Why not take this time of being alone to get to know yourself again? To learn who you are — separate from anyone else. What are your own likes and dislikes? What are your dreams and desires? What pleases you?

It is crucial to learn how to be alone without being lonely. If you can entertain and please yourself, you will not have to depend on someone else to make you happy. Knowing that you don’t need someone else to fulfill you, relieves a great deal of pressure and allows you to enter a relationship on more equal footing, with fewer unrealistic expectations.

Spend some quality time at home — just you, yourself, and you. Turn off the computer and TV. Put on your favorite music, or simply savor the silence. Work at creating a warm, rich atmosphere for your own comfort and aesthetic enjoyment. Indulge in sensory delights. Light candles and incense. Take long, lovely baths. Cook beautifully prepared and presented meals just for you.

Court yourself. Get all dressed up purely for the fun of it. Take yourself on a dream date. Go somewhere you have been meaning to go. Do things that you love. Buy yourself flowers, perfume, and special treats. Pull down the shades, turn off the lights, and dance till you drop. Massage your body with sweet oils. Kiss yourself. Masturbate.

Engage in projects of self-discovery in order to reconnect with your higher nature and your inner best self. Do an exercise tape. Go for a run, walk, or bike ride. Read your Tarot cards. Consult the I Ching. Do yoga. Meditate, drum, chant. Write in your journal. Paint a picture or your walls. Sing silly songs. Have a good cry. Laugh out loud.

Once you have spent some goodly amount of time involved wholeheartedly in these lovely endeavors, you might consider planning a ritual such as the one that I have done many times with others in similar circumstances. I call it “A Woman Who Marries Herself.” It is wedding for one.

Some women do it alone, some in front of witnesses with or without someone to officiate. You can design it any way you like in order for it to be personally relevant. As in any ritual, you should choose a special time and place, meaningful symbols, resonant words to read to recite.

The idea is to commit yourself to yourself. To have and to hold, for better and for worse, till death do you part. A pledge to love and honor and cherish yourself always. To hold true to yourself — your wants, your needs, your ideals, your values. This ceremony seals your self-devotion, thus making you whole unto yourself. Like a Virgin.

This is not meant to seal yourself off from others or to replace any future relationships, but to make sure that you do not get involved for the wrong reasons — out of fear or desperation. You will emerge from these exercises with the secure knowledge that you are your own best lover. And when you are ready, you will be able to share that love with someone special who will appreciate and return it in kind.

With blessings that love, honor and cherish,

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, 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. 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 imaginable occasion. 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

Phone: 718/857-1343

Email: CityShaman@aol.com

For All Your Ritual Needs : MamaDonnasSpiritShop.com

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