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How Passion and Sexiness Spice Up Spirituality

How Passion and Sexiness Spice Up Spirituality

As I wrote about here, I’ve always found myself with at least some resistance to spirituality, even though I’m simultaneously drawn to all things spiritual. I feel better after I meditate, but getting me to sit down crossed-legged in front of my altar is like pulling wisdom teeth. I love going to dharma talks at Green Gulch Zen Center, but as much as I resonate with the Buddhists, they just feel so… zen. I find myself wanting to wear a red dress and burst into song in the middle of a group meditation. As much as Jesus is my favorite, I find myself strangely drawn to Hindu goddesses like Kali.

It’s been this awkward push-pull for much of my adult life.

But I finally found a spiritual teacher who helped me understand my mixed feelings about spirituality – and the great news is that she has a new book out!


If you don’t know Sera, she’s a Harvard religion scholar who is fascinated by the Divine Feminine, and in case that sounds too dry, she’s also a sacred prostitute (you’ll have to read the book to understand what I’m talking about!) Sera is committed not just to the high-and-mighty masculine realms of conventional spiritual practices, but to the dark-and-dirty, red wine stained, blood RED realms of deep, rich, earthy feminine soul work. In other words, Sera is all about helping people reach the Divine via the wisdom, intuition, bad-ass truth and the sexy sauciness of the feminine that exists within us all, regardless of gender.

I absolutely adore this book. I mean I gobbled it up in 2 days during a hectic week when I really didn’t have time to find my feminine soul. It was that good.

I won’t spoil any of the juicy parts (and oh boy, this memoir of Sera’s love story with all things Divine is HOT HOT HOT), but let me share with you one of my favorite parts.

Spirit Vs. Soul

Sera makes a clear distinction between spiritual practices that nourish “spirit” versus spiritual practices that nourish “soul.”

Spirit = Divine Masculine

Soul = Divine Feminine

Here’s the difference:


“Oneness, nonattachment, neutrality, emptiness, perfection, peace, equanimity, clean, constant, calm… zzz… whoops, I dozed off there for a minute, undifferentiated illumination, God realization, enlightenment.”


“Ecstatic, dynamic, evolutionary, full, sensual, erotic, passionate, messy, explosive, energetic, emotional, imperfect, fiery, enlivenment.”

Still don’t get it? Sera goes on…

Divine Masculine Vs. Divine Feminine

“For me, the Divine Masculine feels still; the Divine Feminine feels like movement. The Divine Masculine feels like no thing; the Divine Feminine feels like every thing. The Divine Masculine feels impersonal; the Divine Feminine feels personally invested. The Divine Masculine feels cool and collected and even a bit chaste; the Divine Feminine feels hot and bothered and more than a bit salacious. In my inner wisdom, the Divine Masculine looks clear, and the Divine Feminine shimmers like a rainbow. The Divine Masculine works it out on a yoga mat; the Divine Feminine prefers a claw-foot bathtub. The Divine Masculine drives a Prius; the Divine Feminine speeds in a convertible Caddy. The Divine Masculine fasts. The Divine Feminine feasts. The Divine Masculine sits cross-legged under a tree all day; the Divine Feminine dances around a fire all night. The Divine Masculine sounds like OMMMMMM; the Divine Feminine sounds like AHHHHH or WOOO HOOOOOO!!!! Or a guttural scream. Or a sob. Or a belly laugh.

While both aspects of the Divine feel familiar and necessary, for me, the Divine Masculine appears more spiritual, even though the Divine Feminine feels more natural… Masculine does not equate to male, nor does feminine equate with female. Some of the most divinely feminine humans I know are men, and some of the most divinely masculine humans I know are women… However, what’s crucial to notice is that most of us have forfeited our divine femininity in order to fit into a masculine spiritual “norm.”


I don’t know about you but reading this book ignited something in me that left me yodeling a “Holy Hallelujah!”

It’s like one big giant permission slip to be all of my gritty, raw, real, messy, expansive, shadowy, wise, intuitive, disciplined, naughty, sexy, rebellious, pious, spiritual, soulful, Divine, light beam self all in one package of a body that has been irreverently but reverently captured in boudoir photos.

What Does Being “Spiritual” Mean To You?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
6:13PM PDT on Aug 14, 2015

I love the divine feminine

8:31PM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

EVERYTHING is spiritual because that's where it starts, in the unseen relms. Physical is just particalized vibration that can be seen.Masculine and feminine are words to discribe the concepts of active and passive.Minds need to assign meaning to things. Those who judge the meanings others embrace sound about as shallow as a card board cut out.

7:05PM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

Thank you.

2:11AM PDT on Jul 15, 2013


4:52AM PDT on Jul 14, 2013


9:19PM PDT on Jul 13, 2013

Good questions, Mitchell D! Is this an ad for the book?

11:07AM PDT on Jul 13, 2013


7:51AM PDT on Jul 13, 2013

You bet, Heather, sounds like more blather. Sounds like attributing wonderful sensuality to a Divine process,"sexual soul" horsepoo.
Why can't people just celebrate the marvelous aspects of being this human animal/mammal, without looking for some dreamy, otherworldly "reason" for it?

11:13PM PDT on Jul 12, 2013

I was attracted by the heading of this article.

After reading the first paragraph, I stopped because I found it too superficial.

3:12PM PDT on Jul 12, 2013


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