This book was an unusual read for me, focusing on the divine feminine. I struggle with this aspect of myself, as a vocal part of my head tells me that it is the masculine energy (think traditional job) that pays the rent, gets “ahead” in the world, and feels pretty comfortable. I have a nurturing side, but it is not what I would call very feminine. Why be feminine, when I associate that with being saccharine sweet and everyone’s doormat? I know that the divine feminine is not that, really, it is much more. I thought I had come to terms with all that, and so I normally avoid all such literature. Red Hot & Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story by Sera Beak was different. It was not the sort of spiritual memoir you would expect from someone with a master’s degree from Harvard in comparative religion; it was juicy from the word go. It also dug deep into what the divine feminine really is, and it is nothing like the street version of femininity. (I am not compensated in any way for this unbiased review.)
Sera has been called her entire life to spirituality, and she took some unusual detours along the way. She is passionate in every sense of the word and found spirituality and the divine feminine in everything that she did. She hasn’t been content with studying life, she has worked to live her beliefs, just as soon as she knew what they were. Now, we’re not talking about a make-everyone-happy-cookie-baker, hippie-sprout-farmer-type, or even an om-princess-type of woman. We are discussing an intelligent, articulate, successful person with a lot of woo-woo experiences that could raise a few eyebrows. I don’t want to denigrate any of her experiences or give it all away, so I’ll just say that her life has been unusual way. I was absolutely fascinated with her chapter on sacred touching and its role in her world. Touch can be so intimate – it tells so much to the giver and the recipient, that I often avoid touching strangers. So when she spoke of its sacred properties, my ears perked up and I started getting on board. When she addressed that still, small voice in our consciousness that has such great ideas (feminine) and the rational voice (masculine) that tells us we can’t do it because it isn’t practical, realistic, or feasible for us, I began to see my thoughts in a different context. Even more important, I realized how I had discounted the divine feminine more often than I thought, and that my strength lay in listening and acting on that voice. I could clearly see my internal power plays and self-sabotage–my internal imbalance.
Having been through countless consciousness-raising classes, books, and practices, I related to much of Sera’s experience. Many of these approaches deal with losing what we don’t need and bringing in what we do need. In the end, Sera tells us that this isn’t what worked for her. She sums it up this way, “The Ultimate ride for me isn’t about losing any part of my Self; rather, it’s about coming into conscious alignment with every part of my Self.” She doesn’t reject the wine-swilling, sailor-talking parts of herself. She accepted them as part of her essence and who she is. Much of her journey has been to accept all these aspects of herself and places these pieces in a larger context.
She states, “…our Essence comes from outside this Universe. We are eternal, infinite. We have always existed. In fact, we are each our own evolving Universe, just like this one. …We’re not just different expressions of the same Being, we are also different Beings currently expressing through the same Universal Medium. We are united, yet distinct. Interdependent, yet independent. Different , but equal. One, but many.”
I have to say, this was one of the most interesting and inspiring books that I’ve read in a long time. It was also a wonderful opportunity to examine my own beliefs and activities in a way that I hadn’t been able to before. If this spirituality from a female perspective interests you — and you are ready to hear an a point of view you likely won’t get in any church – then I recommend this book. Well done, Sera.