Now Available

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Release Day ~ COWBOY KISSES ~ Old West Romance Anthology

I'm pleased to share a new anthology just in time for Valentine's Day. COWBOY KISSES is a collection of eight Old West romances, including my short story A Westward Adventure.

Aspiring novelist Amelia Mercer travels from New York City to Colorado to aid an injured aunt. When the stage is robbed and her luggage stolen, bounty hunter Ned Waymire comes to her aid, acquainted with the harmless culprit and wanting to spare the boy. But Ned also seeks to impress the independent young woman. Amelia's wish to never marry, however, clashes with Ned's desire to keep her reputation intact. When a final bounty from Ned's past threatens their future, she knows that A Westward Adventure isn’t just the title of her novel but the new course of her life.

Available in Digital and Print




What could be better on a cold Valentine’s Day than to sit down with a book chock full of stories about special cowboys and their ladies? COWBOY KISSES has just what you’re looking for! Eight stories by some fabulous authors who share with you their love stories of the old west!

In Lorrie Farrelly’s tale of love and fate, a tattered old diary sends a young woman into the arms of a long-ago Texas Ranger for A Kiss in Time.

Linda Carroll-Bradd’s When My Heart Knew is the story of young Maisie Treadwell, who has never been in love before, and handsome Dylan MacInnes, who might or might not be the one.

A Westward Adventure by Kristy McCaffrey is a story of aspiring novelist Amelia Mercer, who travels to Colorado, determined to find her own adventure to write about. When bounty hunter Ned Waymire comes to her aid, the true adventure begins!

Valentine Angel by Gail L. Jenner is a poignant story of a determined young woman who rescues a wounded lawman and then must help him fight off his nemesis.

In Gil McDonald’s story, Hearts and Red Ribbons, a feisty young woman who dresses in men’s clothes and a drifter looking for—something—are thrown together by Fate on a wet February day.

Hunter’s Gamble, by C. Marie Bowen, is a gripping tale of lost love and determination. Life is a gamble, and Hunter knows he can’t always win. With true love in the mix, the odds are stacked in Hunter’s favor!

Her Thief of Hearts by Tanya Hanson is the tale of an outlaw, an orphan, and a socialite—is this a recipe for disaster or true love?

Beverly Wells will steal your heart in her story, Hopes and Dreams. A woman on the run, a sheriff sworn to uphold the law, and one little girl’s pleas to Mr. Cupid for a new daddy!


Settle in for some mighty fine Valentine’s Day reading from your favorite western romance authors!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Excerpt from A Westward Adventure

The front door opened and shut, and in the next instant Ned Waymire filled the parlor entryway. As soon as Amelia locked eyes with him, he froze.

“Ned, I’d like you to meet my niece, Amelia Mercer.” Teddy waved him into the room. “Amelia, this is Ned Waymire. He boards here. There’s also another gentleman, but he’s been away recently.”

Mister Waymire removed his hat, revealing dark hair, and cleared his throat. “Pleased to make your acquaintance, miss.” He stepped forward to take her hand.

The touch was warm and his sun-darkened fingers overwhelmed her pale ones. As she smiled and nodded, she tried to ignore the tingling sensation that crept up her arm. Up close, he exuded even more strength than was apparent in the marshal’s office.

A man who spent his days outdoors.

A man who called the earth his home.

Vivid blue eyes stood out on a sun- and whisker-darkened face.

He was the perfect western hero.

“I just saw you,” she said, glad her voice sounded calm considering how her insides quivered.

“That’s right.”

He stepped back from her.

“You’re not married, are you, Amelia?” Teddy asked.

“No, ma’am.”

“Why, neither is Ned.”

Heat suffused Amelia’s cheeks. “I don’t believe in marriage, much like you Aunt Teddy.” The words rushed out of Amelia. “Women don’t need men to make their way in the world. Why, look at you? You’ve done quite well on your own.”

“I’ve never been placed on a pillar,” Teddy said. “What do you think of that, Ned? I’m a woman of example.”

“I won’t argue with that,” Ned replied.

“Did you get Billings?” Teddy asked.

“Yep. You were right. He was in Old Man Hill’s abandoned mine.”

“I knew it.” Teddy chuckled under her breath.

“Are you a bounty hunter, too?” Amelia asked.

Teddy cackled. “No, but I could be. Don’t you think, Ned?”

“You’d outgun us all, Teddy.”

Amelia sensed an affection between the two, and it warmed her heart, although this entire reunion with her aunt was far different than anything she imagined. She knew she had the first chapter of her new novel.

“I’ll just be turning in now, ladies,” Ned said.

Amelia, her cheeks still warm from being in the same room with him, met his eyes briefly then looked away in embarrassment.

What if he thinks I like him?

She imagined the type of woman he fancied was far from the likes of her. Why, he probably thought her a silly city girl. And he’d be right. But her mama had long taught her to be an independent thinker, to believe that a woman’s mind was equal to a man’s. Most of Amelia’s writings had been social commentaries, addressing important issues such as the educational welfare of children, the plight of the homeless and less fortunate, and the lack of voice the average woman had within marriage. But in her heart, she longed to pen an adventurous tale of a woman who not only sees the world, but tames a man in the process, who finds love with an equal, inciting passion in her partner.

She hadn’t told her mother she planned to write such a novel—she’d likely think it beneath Amelia—but her heart burned with the desire to share the story singing in her heart. Coming to visit Aunt Theodora had offered the perfect blend of adventure and inspiration.

Ned Waymire departed the room and his footsteps could be heard climbing the staircase.

That man was the epitome of adventure and inspiration.

Copyright © 2015 K. McCaffrey LLC

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Leaving The Trail: Hiking With My 14-Year-Old Daughter

By Kristy McCaffrey

[Author’s Note: This essay originally appeared on the Women’s Adventure magazine website last year. I thought I’d share it here as we kick off a new year. While the well-trodden path can be considered a starting point, we should all have the courage of a teenager to forge our own journey.]

On a Sunday morning I invite my youngest child, Hannah, on a hike. The McDowell Mountain Preserve, near our house, has many trails to meander on, but a favorite of many is a giant granite monolith called Tom’s Thumb. It can be accessed from two different sides, but the fastest, albeit more strenuous route, is a two-mile uphill switchback. This will be our outing for the day. I anticipate fresh air, great weather (it’s January in the Phoenix area and in the high 70’s), and a nice workout, all while hanging out with my daughter. She’s never been to Tom Thumb’s, and is eager to see what others have said about it. I’ve done this trek twice before. The second time, with my husband and good friend Lisa, we all decided to take a bypass path, one that cuts directly down the hillside to a boulder-filled valley, then up the opposite slope. The trail was sparse and easily lost, we became hopelessly confused as to the best way, and ended up clambering up and down ten-foot-high rocks with no special gear. We desperately scrambled out of the valley in the wrong direction in an effort to reconnect with the main trail.

I make the mistake of sharing this story with my daughter.

After an uneventful, but very pleasant, hike up, followed by a quiet lunch with views of the Valley of the Sun to the south, and Scottsdale and Rio Verde to the north, Hannah announces that she’s bored. She wants to take the side trail I’d spoken of, and takes off on what looks like a pathway, down a steep incline and in the wrong direction. Hannah is athletic, curious, and daring—traits I admire. Of all my four children, she’s the one most tied to the land and sky, to the pull of nature. It tugs at her very soul. But at times, it blinds her to her own good judgment.

As her mother, it’s my job to keep her safe. I tell her no, that we’ll take the main path back. She stands her ground, and in true teenager form, immediately hits below the belt.

“You claim to be so adventurous, but you’re not. You’re just afraid.”

Hannah and I have one of those mother-daughter tight-lipped control fights at the base of Tom’s Thumb. Having endured her three older siblings, I’m hardly shocked by the swift turn of events—adolescents thrive on sudden mood swings and aimless discord with their parents—but I’m annoyed that she’s ruining a perfectly nice day for me.

Hannah sulks as I strive to find the well-trodden path back. I sense that this is a teaching moment, and if I can keep my own frustration in check I might be able to instill something lasting into her mind. Because I feel, deep in my bones, that she will embark on many more intrepid pursuits in her future, bolder than the one at hand.

“Adventure should be pursued with a clear mind,” I say, “not recklessness. That endangers not only yourself, but those with you. Be smarter than that.”

The lesson isn’t taking hold. She is still brooding. So I acquiesce, and tell her we can take the shortcut if we can find a clear starting point. Off we go.

For a while, all is good. There is a trail, of sorts. Then it’s gone, and we’re halfway down the hillside, too far to return to our starting point. I already know how this will go, having done it previously with my husband and Lisa. But then something happens that I don’t expect. Hannah takes charge, path-finding most of the way, scrambling over boulders, not complaining over the endless scrapes and scratches from the thorny bushes. She’s only wearing running shorts and a t-shirt. I have long pants and a fleece pullover. I cease worrying about her as I must concentrate fully on getting myself out of this predicament. We hit numerous dead-ends—slabs too steep and chasms too wide. To cross requires jumping, and I cannot jump. I’m too afraid. My daughter had been right about that.


Hannah finally realizes, as we’re sliding off a steep, gravelly slope, grabbing at sharp branches and trying to avoid prickly pear and barrel cactus, that this route was a bad idea.

At last, the lesson takes hold. But we’re still in trouble, still searching for the path, still spending too much time in the wrong direction and then having to backtrack. It’s late afternoon. I know we won’t perish, but should one of us get hurt—a twisted ankle, or worse, a broken appendage—it would be difficult to rescue us. There are many people on the main trail, but it’s several hundred feet above us. No one would ever hear us yelling for help. Our cell phones work and have signals, but it would likely be well into the night before someone could reach us. So, our goal is to keep moving horizontal to the slope, scooting on our butt if need be, but to keep progressing toward the main trail and the parking lot.

The dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship changes. Hannah and I lean on each other equally. Sometimes she leads, other times I do, the boundary of adult and child becoming blurred. I need her as much as she needs me.


Finally, we find the ridiculous, hardly-there path known as the shortcut and make it back to the car. Surprisingly, our mishap has only taken us an hour past our end time. Both Hannah and I shake our heads. It felt like five hours, trapped in the ravine, fighting the desert with nothing but our hands, feet, and mounting distress.

Hannah admits she was wrong. We never should have ventured from the main path. She takes my hand and says she’s sorry.


But my desire to impart the lesson fades as I realize a deeper truth. There is the main path, and then there is your path. My daughter, with her budding independence, instinctively knows this—to seek out her path, not the one we’re all told to take, not the one I told her to take. Our side-trek imparted wisdom—resilience, problem-solving, focus in the face of anxiety—not found on the main path.


So, in the end, Hannah and I teach each other. When leaving the trail, make good choices. But, by all means, don’t fear leaving the trail.



Friday, December 19, 2014

A Brand New Christmas Scene ~ THE WREN

This never-before published Christmas scene features Matt and Molly from my historical western romance THE WREN. Blurb ~ Captured by Comanche as a child, Molly Hart was assumed dead. Ten years later, Texas Ranger Matt Ryan finds a woman with the same blue eyes.

The idea for this came about in a Facebook group - Pioneer Hearts - a collection of readers and writers of old west romances. (If interested, join here.) For the holidays, authors were challenged to write a brand new scene featuring characters from one of our books. We also shared a recipe, which follows the scene.



North Texas
December 24th, 1877

Matt shifted the two gifts to one hand as he opened the door to the bedroom he shared with his wife. Molly sat on the bed, her back against a pile of pillows. Balancing a plate atop her growing belly, she spooned a large bite into her mouth.

"Is that Rosita's caramel cake?" he asked. "I thought it was all gone." Rosita, his folks' cook at the SR Ranch, had baked her delicious concoction for the large family gathering this evening. It was based on a recipe his ma had long used, however Matt was certain the elderly Mexican cook added a few peppers to spice it up.

Molly nodded, unable to speak around the sweet dessert. Her auburn hair, having finally grown longer, tumbled out of the bun from earlier, and she still wore the deep green gown his ma had given her as a gift earlier in the week.

He approached the bed, sat beside her, and reached for a morsel of cake. Molly shifted the plate away from him. He laughed. "I can't have any?"

"It's the last piece." She glared at him. "And I'm eating for two."

Matt knew not to come between his wife and food. Having recently recovered her appetite after a long bout of morning woes, he was glad she could keep something down at long last. And now that her hunger had returned, it was like the force of a bull.

"I wanted to give you these tonight," he said and placed the boxes beside her.

She smiled, quickly consumed the remainder of the cake and set the dish aside. She opened the first gift, and went still.

"Where did you get this?" she whispered.

"My ma had it. After your folks were killed, and your sisters sent away, she went through the Hart homestead and collected whatever mementos she found. I had a new frame sent from Dallas. I thought you might like to have it."

Molly began to cry. Matt reached out to snag a crumb from her cheek. She kissed him, tasting of Rosita's cake, both sweet and spicy.

"We can put it on the mantle of the Rocking Wren when the house is complete," she said against his lips, referring to the ranch he was building just for her. She resumed staring at her gift. "This photo must've been taken before we left Virginia for Texas. I was probably only eight years old."

The portrait featured Molly with her mama and papa, and her sisters, Mary and Emma. Although she'd recently learned that Robert Hart wasn't her real father, he nonetheless remained close in her heart. Matt knew she would cherish a family keepsake such as this.

"I can't wait to show Mary and Emma tomorrow," she said.

Matt knew this was a special Christmas for Molly. After having lived with the Comanche for years, she'd hadn't celebrated the holiday since she was a little girl. And now, both of her sisters were with her—Emma had arrived weeks ago and promptly married his friend, Nathan Blackmore, and Mary, the oldest, had arrived just days ago with her husband and three children. They'd traveled from the Arizona Territory with Cale Walker—Molly's new-found half-brother—and his wife, Tess. Matt's folks had a full house at the moment, including his brother Logan, his wife Claire and her younger brother Jimmy.

He handed Molly the second gift. She swiftly discarded the paper and retrieved the item inside the box. Once again, she froze. Then, she beamed. Holding up the smooth and brand new slingshot, she raised an eyebrow and asked, "Am I allowed to use it in the house?"

"No."

She pulled on the rubber sling. "I'll call it 'Wren the Second'."

As a child, Molly had a knack for getting into trouble with a slingshot she'd labeled 'The Wren', since she imagined the rocks she used in it came from the wrens who laid a pebble-strewn path as a guide to their nests.

"These are very thoughtful gifts, Matt." Molly took his hand and brought it to her belly. He felt the babe move, and he marveled at the good fortune in his life since encountering, many months ago, a woman thought long dead.

"I have a gift for you," she added. "And I know what you're thinking, but that will come later, once the cake settles." She smiled, a bit bashful, and he grinned.

"For now, I have something else to give you." She covered his hand with both of her own. "Emma told me that we're to have a son."

Molly's younger sister had a knack for the 'knowing' of things. Matt never put much stock in such nonsense, but when Nathan—a former Texas Ranger alongside Matt—told him the wild tale of Nathan's adventure with Emma in the Grand Canyon, Matt found it difficult to discount Emma's abilities.

A son.

He leaned his head down and gently kissed the boy through the fabric of Molly's gown.

Matt had everything he wanted.

"If Rosita makes more cake tomorrow," he murmured, "I'll swipe it just for you."

"Promise?"

He sat up and gathered her into his arms. "I promise."


Copyright © 2014 K. McCaffrey LLC



Here's my modern take on Rosita's cake, although there's no caramel or peppers in mine. My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me many years ago, before my first child was born, and I've made it every holiday since. My son, the eldest, can eat an entire cake by himself, so I make this many times during the Christmas season. It's very easy and is a great housewarming gift or quick dessert for those last minute dinners.

REALLY RICH CAKE

1 18-1/2 oz. package yellow cake mix
1 3 oz package instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup oil (I replace half of this with applesauce for a lower fat version)
1/2 cup water
1 6 oz. package chocolate chips
1 6 oz. choc. candy bar broken into pieces
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan and bake at 350deg for 50 minutes. Cool and serve.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Creativity ~ Part VIII: Magic

Creativity: An 8-Part Series

By Kristy McCaffrey

Don't miss:
Part I ~ Imagination
Part III ~ Shape-Shifting
Part IV ~ Forbearance
Part VII ~ Synchronicity



Magic is the art of reaching into a deeper reality and bringing gifts from it into the ordinary realm.

We have the power to remake our world—not just in a small and intimate sense, but the world-at-large as well. But it's up to us to take our passion and direct it into creative projects. When writing a story and becoming completely immersed in the project, the very laws of time and space are changed. That is the power of creation, the power of each human being to hone something from nothing. It's magic.

What's your calling? Whatever it is, everything that isn't a part of it must fall away. To fulfill one's life work, there must be focus and follow-through in creating an environment for it to thrive. Everything must be aligned around this foundation—100% devotion is required; half measures won't work. As the inner life becomes more complex, the outer life becomes simpler.

"...our job is to make choices that create the right conditions for [our calling] to flourish. The Gift is indestructible. It is a seed. We are not required to be God. We are not required to create the seed. Only to plant it wisely and well." ~ Stephen Cope


Magic is any mysterious power that produces extraordinary results. Each one of us possesses that power. How will you add magic to the world?

"...we each...have feminine spiritual superpowers, such as touching, knowing, feeling, relating, expressing our true voice(s), visioning, healing..." ~ Sera Beak


Works Cited
Beak, Sera. Red Hot & Holy: A Heretic's Love Story. Sounds True, Inc., 2013.

Beck, Martha. Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life you Want. Free Press, 2012.

Cope, Stephen. The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling. Bantam Books, 2012.

Moss, Robert. The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence & Imagination. New World Library, 2007.



Wrap Up
Thank you for traversing the wilds of creativity with me these past four months. I hope something here ignited a spark for youof knowing, of inspiration, of simply having a way to express a longing that won't let you go.



Now, go forth and perform your work. The world needs it, and only you can do it.





Thursday, December 4, 2014

Creativity ~ Part VII: Synchronicity

Creativity: An 8-Part Series

By Kristy McCaffrey

Don't miss:
Part I ~ Imagination
Part III ~ Shape-Shifting
Part IV ~ Forbearance

Image copyright 2014 Kristy McCaffrey
Synchronicity is a meaningful convergence of inner and outer experiences. Carl Jung coined the word synchronicity to describe the profound significance of coincidence in our lives. Author Sera Beak describes them as 'Divine winks'. Poets and mystics speak of it when they say, "As above, so below." The world is a playground in which to bring forth ideas from the other, known by many names—heaven, inspiration, God, inner self. Creative flow is unlocked when we navigate the world via coincidence.
 
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
The world is alive around you, responding to your thoughts and intentions, with none other than synchronicity. In creative endeavors, this can lead to the right path if you can trust in the process. I've experienced this in my fiction writing. The sooner I can focus my story, the better, because then pertinent information seems to flow toward me from all directions. The key, of course, is to be open to the method. Sometimes, the material isn't what I thought it should be. In resisting, I often come up frustrated and empty-handed.
 
Photo copyright 2014 Hannah McCaffrey
I encountered synchronicity while writing this series on creativity. (Along with a fair number of bird feathers appearing at every turn, a sign I took to mean I was on the right path and the muses were happy with me.) At first, I had an ambitious idea to write about the creative process. I had no idea where to start. I've read so many wonderful books relating to this, but how was I going to compress this into something usable and short? The first step was to take a leap of faith.

Photo copyright 2014 Kristy McCaffrey
And to practice that faith again, and again, and again. I didn't know all the answers, but as I moved forward with intention, the material came to me, either sprouting directly into my mind (the whispers of angels, as some would say) or through a book I came across, or a conversation with someone, or a link I found on social media. The key is to begin moving. Remaining still slows the process. The avenues for synchronicity are endless. And to those who say they don't happen to them—you're simply not paying attention. They happen everywhere, and everywhen.

Be open. Compartmentalizing life can cut the flow of symbolic relations from finding you. Learning can happen at any time, not when you deem it time.



Works Cited
Beak, Sera. Red Hot & Holy: A Heretic's Love Story. Sounds True, Inc., 2013.

Moss, Robert. The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence & Imagination. New World Library, 2007.


Don’t miss Part VIII in the Creativity series: Magic


Until next time…

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ten Historical Western Novels In Boxed Sets For Only 99cents

By Kristy McCaffrey

I wanted to share a wonderful deal that my publisher has going ~ 2 boxed sets of 5 full-length novels for only 99 cents each. These are available for a limited time for the Kindle, so grab a set today. Or, consider giving as a gift.



A Cowboy's Brand: 5 Western Romance Novels

A COWBOY'S BRAND is a sensational boxed set from Prairie Rose Publications! This collection includes five full-length novels from some of the best western romance writers in today's field, including Livia J. Washburn, Meg Mims, Gail L. Jenner, Kristy McCaffrey and Sarah J. McNeal. This set makes a wonderful gift for someone else, or for yourself, and at only .99 you can't go wrong! Grab A COWBOY'S BRAND and its companion set, A COWBOY'S HEART, and enjoy some fantastic old west tales of romance guaranteed to make you smile!

MENDING FENCES by Livia J. Washburn is a riveting story of the Texas frontier as well as a touching romance between a heroine trying to find her place in the world and a hero whose past may destroy them both.

Meg Mim's Spur Award-winning novel DOUBLE CROSSING is the story of mystery and intrigue as Lily Granville heads west, determined to track down her father's killer. But who can she trust? Will Lily survive the journey and unexpected betrayal?

HARMONICA JOE'S RELUCTANT BRIDE by Sarah J. McNeal is a wonderful time travel story of unexpected love. When Lola Barton inherits a rundown plantation, she believes her life has finally taken a positive turn. But, when she finds a mysterious trunk in the attic, it takes her into the past and to a man with dark secrets--and she's married to him.

In Kristy McCaffrey's story, Kate Kinsella has no choice but to go after Charley Barstow and talk some sense into him. Ethan Barstow is hot on his younger brother's trail, too. All hell breaks loose when they discover Charley--not wishing to be found by anyone! Can Ethan and Kate find their own love and happiness with one another through the deception and hurt? Or will they both return INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS...

This 2002 WILLA AWARD WINNER by Gail L. Jenner is the story of Liza Ralston, a young woman who leaves her settled existence to travel to Montana with her father--a decision she regrets. With her father severely wounded, the Pikuni tribe takes them in. But Liza wants nothing more than to return to St. Louis, despite her growing attraction for Red Eagle, a handsome young Indian warrior. Will Red Eagle and Liza find the love they've been waiting for? Beauty, treachery and danger lie ACROSS THE SWEET GRASS HILLS.



A Cowboy's Heart: 5 Western Romance Novels

Hold on to your Stetson and get ready for some darn fine reading for a price you won't believe! This Prairie Rose Publications boxed set includes five western romance novels with something for everyone. For only .99, hours of reading pleasure can be yours--and this makes a wonderful gift, too. So come on, see what lies within A COWBOY'S HEART!

In Cheryl Pierson's time travel story, TIME PLAINS DRIFTER, Romantic Times reviewer Donna M. Brown says, "4.5 stars...Cheryl Pierson's fresh, well-crafted novel pits some unlikely heroes against evil incarnate. The characters are vibrant and tell a story of courage in difficult circumstances."

THE CALLING is an inspirational tale by Sara Barnard about a young man who turns away from God and the woman he loves to follow the outlaw trail. But love holds true and Esau can't forget the past as God pushes him to face his sins and make things right again in a most unusual way!

In CLAIMING HIS HEART by Tanya Hanson, a handsome stranger who arrives in a peaceful California valley bearing a mysterious letter leaves Charmlee no choice but marriage to him. But Charmlee and Tulsa each have plans of their own. Is there a bigger dream for the future ahead that they can't see?

ALL FOR LOVE by Beverly Wells tells a gut-wrenching tale of social injustice in Wyoming of the 1880's. Lorelei Webster, schoolmarm, tries to right the wrongs of the small town she's a part of, and hopes for the help of the town doctor, Seth Taylor. Will her determination spark more than friendship between them as they work together?

Is Leroy Vance a SAINT OR SINNER? Gil McDonald pens a riveting tale of a hard hearted bounty hunter, hot on the heels of a gang of outlaws. Injured and on foot, Vance faces almost certain death. But when he realizes that there is a young woman and her brother who desperately need his help, he risks everything for them. Will this bounty hunter and sinner finally find true love with the wife of another man? Or will any of them get out alive?


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Creativity ~ Part VI: The Virgin and the Sacred Prostitute

Creativity: An 8-Part Series

By Kristy McCaffrey

Don't miss:
Part I ~ Imagination
Part III ~ Shape-Shifting

Both of these archetypes create strong images and strong aversions. We all like the virgin, despite the implication of her naïveté. The prostitute? That couldn't possibly apply to us, right? And why include sacred before it? Isn't that a huge misappropriation of the underlying meaning of the word?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The virgin is best described as pregnant with possibilities. This is a self-contained energy, harboring all that's needed for creation to bloom forth. Virginity was revered because the energies of the body, the mind, and the spirit remain clean, untouched. Within this state, ideas can be nurtured without taint and corruption, much like a virgin forest contains all it requires to sustain itself. The dark side is the condemnation of the sensual side of life via a prudish disgust. To repress this energy is to stop the flow of creativity altogether. Celibate monks and nuns learn to channel their sexual energy rather than repress it.

Photo copyright 2014 Kristy McCaffrey

The sacred prostitute is a form of psychic energy, related to eros. It's an avenue of generating strong passion, which certainly applies to a sexual nature, but encompasses a broader context, a passion for creative endeavors. This archetype is related to ancient love goddesses such as Aphrodite, Isis, and Ishtar. This is not to be confused with the darker aspects of prostitution—sexual abuse, sexual addictions, rape, or any type of manipulation using sexual energy. The practice of sacred prostitution—the sharing of erotic energy to heal on physical, mental, and spiritual realms—brings transcendence. Many art-forms attempt to achieve this state.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Every woman has an aspect of the sacred prostitute within. For the artist, when truly embodying her work, allows herself to be a conduit from the world of matter to the world of spirit, sharing herself with one and all. Her work lights the way for others.

According to Carolyn Myss, the prostitute archetype "engages lessons in integrity and the sale or negotiation of one's integrity or spirit due to fears of physical and financial survival or for financial gain." This universal archetype is related to selling one's talents and ideas, and in selling-out can trigger a downward spiral of self-esteem and self-respect. Anytime you consider shifting your faith from the Divine in the world to a physical satisfaction, the prostitute can be your greatest ally, keeping you on the path of highest enlightenment.
 
Photo copyright 2014 Kristy McCaffrey

Works Cited
Beak, Sera. Red Hot & Holy: A Heretic's Love Story. Sounds True, Inc., 2013.

Myss, Carolyn. Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. Harmony Books, 2001.



Don’t miss Part VII in the Creativity series: Synchronicity

Until next time…