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…

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Guest Blog ~ Author Shanna Hatfield

My series on creativity will continue next week, but today I'm pleased to host guest author Shanna Hatfield. She's got some fantastic books to share, along with a worthwhile charity. Please give her a warm welcome!


Welcome to the

Cowboys & Christmas

Blog Tour!

A kickoff of two new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield

and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

The Magic of Words

Eons ago just after dinosaurs disappeared, my fifth grade music teacher endeavored to hold a Disney-themed extravaganza for our spring performance. Recalling the fiasco, I don’t think we much resembled a talented troupe of performers, but we did all have a grand time singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” That one song opened up a world of strange, unique, and magnificent words that are incredibly satisfactory to say. As a writer, words comprise a huge part of my daily life. Some are plain and a little boring, although they are necessary to make sentences work and paragraphs flow. Other words express anger, joy, fear, love. There are also words that set a tone of excitement or adventure. In my soon-to-be-released sweet Christmas romance, The Christmas Calamity, readers will discover several words that are fun to say like “calamity,” “prestidigitation,” and “imbecile.” Alex's wagon The Victorian holiday tale is about a bank assistant who meets a magician when he comes upon her wagon broken down a few miles out of town. Arlan Guthry is somewhat serious and solemn, although he does have a lighter side he keeps well hidden. Alex Janowski is a gypsy-like traveling magician desperate to be on her way to California despite her immediate attraction to Arlan. Alex’s wagon boasts that she is a “Prestidigator” performing “Phantasmagorical Wonders.” One of the characters in the book, Luke Granger, enjoys saying the word “phantasmagorical” so much, the other characters start to make fun of him. Here are some words I find particularly fabulous:
  • Stupendous
  • Splendiferous
  • Brouhaha
  • Flibbertigibbet
  • Nincompoop
  • Skedaddle
  • Malodorous
  • Sticky-wicket
  • Discombobulate
  • Debauchery
  • Shenanigans
  • Tomfoolery
  • Bugaboo
  • Fusty
  • Befuddle
  • Flapdoodle
  What words roll off your tongue with a bit of fun and excitement?  

Where to Find The Books

Travel back to a different time with the historic Hardman Holiday Series,

christmas bargain coverbeginning with The Christmas Bargain

The Christmas Token Cover lrThe Christmas Token

The Christmas Calamity CoverThe Christmas Calamity


Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund®

Now through Dec. 24, I’ll donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all my book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. JCCF logoThe JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.  

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party: The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here: In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!

Prize Basket

Enter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America. Find Shanna’s books at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online: ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Creativity ~ Part V: Maiden/Mother/Crone

Creativity: An 8-Part Series

By Kristy McCaffrey

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

The Maiden-Mother-Crone cycle, while an obvious physical manifestation in a woman's lifetime, is also a recurring sequence within the psyche. If the maiden is innocence personified, then it is the good mothering aspect that forces her into the world and into the wild, to toughen and breed stamina. And it is the crone who not only imparts higher wisdom, showing a broader and more spiritual picture, but also a state that the psyche must reach for maturation.

Photo copyright 2014 Kristy McCaffrey
This cycle is reflected in creativity—the blossoming forth of fresh and untried ideas (maiden), the acquiring of discipline to bring forth the concept into the material plane (mother), and the wisdom to place the work in its proper context (crone).

Photo copyright 2014 Kristy McCaffrey
In the maiden state, women frequently make a most terrible bargain—we settle. We choose a path that promises riches and fulfillment, only to find that we sacrificed our deepest knowing in the process. We suppress our wilder selves to appease our parents, our teachers, our religion and society at large. We don't make the art that calls to us because it's too crazy, too edgy, too sexual, too anything that offends those that have also made the same bargain, and resent that you would dare step outside these boundaries. Art done in this way is flat, unshaped, and lacking in vitality and life.

Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light. ~ Author Madeleine L'Engle

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
To right this wrong, it is necessary to activate the mother. In its positive form, a mother is the protector of life. It becomes necessary for a woman to nurture her intuitive self, to listen to herself above all others, to love oneself when it's so much easier to condemn. For most women, their own physical mother fills this space within their psyche, and if the mother had a preponderance of positive attributes then this isn't as much a problem than if she displayed shadow aspects. If those are present—the devouring mother, who consumes her children psychologically and emotionally, or the abusive mother, who violates natural law by harming her offspring—then every effort must be made to excise this influence. A woman must learn to mother herself, and in so doing, excavate the terrain of the soul and bring forth the most pressing gifts and talents. Through this loving guidance can instincts and intuition be re-activated.

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
The crone is a symbol of endurance, of survivorship. To move through the other two stages is to have lost an innocence—more often than not, a painful initiation—but it's also a sign, at least in the inner life, that one never gave up. Amongst those also in the know, this is revered. At this point, the creative life is given the credit it deserves, as necessary to life as air and water. The crone doesn't squander her time, doesn't play in the shallow areas frequented by those who've given away their dreams. She creates, letting that which has always resided deep in her bones bubble up and out. And it screams of authenticity. It is art that pulsates with life, that triggers the same in others, that speaks directly to the heart and makes it sing.

Image copyright 2014 Kristy McCaffrey
Works Cited
Estés, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola. Women Who Run With The Wolves. Ballantine Books, 1992.

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

Photo copyright 2014 Kristy McCaffrey
Don’t miss Part VI in the Creativity series: The Virgin and the Sacred Prostitute

Until next time…