“It is our aim to offer information, ideas, and inspiration from cultures around the planet and over time which can stimulate, nourish, strengthen and support the personal and communal practice of seasonal ceremony and celebration.”
~ from “Always in Season – Living in Sync with the Cycles”.
Donna Henes, author, columnist and urban shaman, publishes a quarterly newsletter “Always in Season – Living in Sync with the Cycles”. Aptly named, this newsletter inspires readers to celebrate each season’s gifts with joy. Each quarterly issue is devoted to the season it covers, and offers recipes, poetry and rituals in addition to regular columns that cover related seasonal topics. Regular columns include:
- Web Around the World - letters from readers
- Ritual Ragout – Donna’s commentary/column
- Ask your Mama - questions to Mama Donna
- Circle of Concern - requests for healing
- Essence of the Season – Gives an overview of the season’s feelings and how that can be reflected in our lives
- What’s up - In the Skies - a planetary guide for the season including moon phases, and meteor activity, Mercury in Retrograde, eclipses, and equinoxes
What’s most noticeable about this newsletter is that you feel Donna’s compassion and wisdom flowing from the pages. I was first puzzled by the term Urban Shaman, but it’s very appropriate for a woman who has made a lifetime study of the spiritual, and taken it to the next step of providing healing and spiritual outlets for people who live in urban communities.
Of course you don’t have to live in “exotic Brooklyn” to feel that urban life has crowded you into a corner and sucked the life out of your soul. You can live anywhere and feel that sense of disconnect. Donna, through her writing and workshops, helps you reconnect with spirit, goddess, and nature by bridging the distance between modern life’s relentless scheduling, and that “place within” where there’s peace and joy. Donna’s columns range from the personal to the global. When she fell before a solistice ritual, she reflected on the need for taking time to heal ourselves and the many ways we can – but often do not – ask for help in our lives. When 9/11 occurred practically in her backyard, she wrote about peace and healing and appreciation, and bringing that quality into every action. Her writing is very intimate – like talking with a dear friend over tea – you come away from it feeling better, more grounded and inspired.
Overall, this newsletter is a very handy tool to remind you that the seasons are also a healing and connecting force we can all take advantage of. If you have problems “staying in the now”, taking the time to read about the current season will help you focus on the present opportunities for connecting with nature. Using the recipes and rituals will also help focus your attention, at least temporarily, on the glorious world we live in.
~review by Karen Phillippi
Always in Season: Living in Sync with the Cycles
Published quarterly by Mama Donna’s Tea Garden and Healing Haven Mama Donna’s Tea Garden & Healing Haven, PO Box 380403, Brooklyn, NY 11238-0403
One year of four issues - $28
Tea Garden Membership (includes subscription to “Always in Season” plus free admission to two circles, a $78 value)