Bewitching Words of Wisdom- The Sacred Prostitute

This is unabashedly my favorite book. I read it for the first time at 28 while trying to rediscover my own sexuality having recently become a new mother. I remember feeling not at all like myself and wondering if I would ever be able to reconcile the two parts of my psyche, that of being a lover to my husband yet a mother to my son.

 

 
 

From the Midwest Book Review comes this statement:

 

"When the Goddess of Love was still honored, the sacred prostitute was virgin in the original sense of the word (one-in-herself), a person of deep integrity whose welcome for the stranger was radiant, self-confident and sensuous. Her purpose was to bring the goddess' love into direct contact with mankind. In antiquity, human sexuality and the religious attitude were inseparable. The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect Of The Feminine is solidly based on Jungian psychological principles and powerfully illustrates how our vitality and capacity for joy depend on restoring the soul of the sacred prostitute to its rightful place in our conscious understanding. The Sacred Prostitute is engaging reading that provides a great deal of thoughtful observations on the nature of human sexuality and its relationship to the well-balanced personality and the health and stability of human society." -- Midwest Book Review

 

I couldn't agree more. In this current time and place where a women's motivations, thoughts and persona are suspect and consistently up against the scrutiny of a world gone puritanical through fear, we need the vision of the Sacred Prostitute , the human manifestation of the Goddess of love to keep our awareness of our sexual and sensual natures strong. We don't yet another book that teaches us how to have mind blowing sex, these thoroughly strange times call for a masterful understanding of ourselves as sensual beings knowing that we belong to no one but ourselves and that we can give ourselves to whomever we choose, whenever we choose without fear or recrimination. As my lovely gray haired gynecologist told me once, "Great sex has to do with that 6 inches between your ears!" I agree and once you've gathered the courage to look inside and find the Goddess who lives within you, sex truly becomes an adventure, a journey into the wilderness of passion instead of a "conjugal duty" . Imagine a world filled with women who were no longer afraid or ashamed of their bodies? What would this mean for the men in our lives? Our children? Our health? Our Politics? Our Planet?

 

An awakened woman (or man for that matter) is a powerfully frightening creature for any group that is hellbent on controlling the primitive forces of nature like sexuality and pregnancy. It's no surprise to me that the same group that is currently trying to take away my rights to exercise choice over my body are also trying to curtail religious freedoms and sexual rights for anyone who does not believe as they do. This is a religious war being foisted upon us once again, by extreme right wing zealots who care nothing for anyone else beliefs, only their own. It's the inquisition all over again. Read the legislation on the books right now just waiting to deny our rights to our bodies. When you consider that the newest battle cry of the Trump campaign is "Repeal the 19th" , you know just how powerful we have become that they would seek to destroy us. It is naive, immoral and very short sighted with the possibility of devastating consequences for us all if we do not begin to claim our power in this time and place. I encourage you to read this book. It will shatter your current awareness and open you up to all kinds of new possibilities for yourself and everyone you love.

Buy it here.  Before you can't anymore. 


Countdown to Halloween ~ Beignets and Broomsticks

Bayou collage

 It's Samhain. My favorite time of year when and if I had my way I would be in New Orleans completely naked , drinking chicory laced, milky Cafe au Lait out of a antique silver pot and eating beignets dressed with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar, having never moved even a toe from out of an enormous duvet covered bed. That bed would be canopied of course and the sheets would be silky Egyptian cotton and the duvet would be silky and as airy as marshmallows. The pillows would be embroidered and lavish and the curtains would be a deep bottle green velvet.  There would be pralines dripping with brown sugar and sass and there would be gardenias in bunches everywhere.  There would be a bewitchingly beautiful man with an equally devastating mask waiting for me to finish breakfast so that he could draw my bath, liberally laced with Frederic Malle's Carnal Flower.   I know that none of these thoughts will come as any sort of surprise to those who know me well, especially the lusty man that I was smart enough to marry. I cherish food, perfume, magic and passion equally with a fervor that some women reserve solely for diamonds, shoes and pearls.  Gift me with truffles, tarot or tuberose on any given day and I will be properly enslaved ! 

 The thing about New Orleans is that she's a completely sensual, captivatingly sexual creature who's literally dripping with the sweet fleshy smell of the morning after a marvelous night with the naughtiest man.  The carnal and sardonic vibe of the deep south spells trouble for me with a capital T, but you have to experience it for yourself. You'll never ignore her haunting sirens call although you might hate yourself in the morning for heeding them..remember that I said  "might". Those beignets and gardenias blended with a soupçon of bloodlust can produce some very powerful magic. New Orleans produced the incomparably beautiful and tortured Louis Ponte du Lac, Anne Rices first beloved vampire. New Orleans is also the home of some of the finest burlesque in the world. Where else can you take a walk late at night with a Sazerac  in your hands and discover  just as many beautiful antique stores , strip clubs and tarot readers open all on the same block?

Burlesque

 I can never forget the all of the flowers, jasmine vines and dripping wet gardenias in the courtyard outside of Brennans Restaurant, where their pungent aroma mixed with the chicory and cinnamon coffee was about as heady a scent as a woman like me could ever ask for. I still revel in the memory of a sweet and sticky Banana’s Foster dripping with hot caramel and the flowering Jasmine climbing the wrought iron fences. I remember the candlelight and the hauntingly flirtatious laughter from women heard but never seen. The sticky Tuberose that grew everywhere was as stunning as a full moon and as narcotic as an opium den. Then there were all of the women, gorgeous hot house flowers with slickly coral lips , caramel skin and curvaceous bodies that were a promise of something that took me years to understand.


Southern women just astonish me with their ability to entice and enchant. I’ve never met a man who didn’t just love them, even if they love them only in secret , but I’ve met lots of women who absolutely hated them although I’ve never understood why. Not me…..I’ve always wanted to be one of them because they literally smell of orange blossoms, sex and white chocolate. They're the ones who really know how to wear stockings, gloves and hats...and they know how to take them off just as well. Their powers of seduction are legendary and who wouldn’t want some of that? Their magic is alive all year round....They love to have a cup of afternoon tea and I've never met one who couldn't read the tea leaves.  But truly? I think that the magic lies in the Beignets and Cafe au Lait! 

 

 

 Here's the best Beignet recipe that I've found yet from none other than Emeril Lagasse!

Beignets and Cafe au Lait

Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups warm milk (110 degrees)
1 egg, beaten
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting
5 cups of Chicory Coffee, hot
5 cups whole milk, hot
Directions
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add the yeast, sugar, shortening, and milk, mix for 2 minutes. Add the egg. Mix well. Add 4 cups of the flour and salt. Beat at low speed until all of the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Then beat at medium speed until the mixture forms a ball, leaves the sides of the bowl, and climbs up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl. Using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Preheat the vegetable oil a deep fat fryer to 360 degrees F.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Lightly dust the surface of the dough. Roll out the rectangle to 12 1/2 inches long by 10 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into twenty 2 1/2-inch square beignets. Fry the beignets, a couple at a time until golden brown and crispy on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towels. Sprinkle the beignets with powdered sugar and serve. Fill each cup with 1/2 cup of coffee and 1/2 cup of the hot milk. Stir well.

Serve the coffee with the beignets.

In Bed. 


Bubbling in the Cauldron ~ Serving your Autumn Soups and Stews in Superbly Spooky Style plus my Favorite Pumpkin Soup Recipe!

 

 

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 Staub Cast Iron Pumpkin Cocotte, 3.5QT

 I cannot resist a soup tureen...ever. Call me old fashioned, but I just think that there's a romance about these things, a timelessness. Sitting down at a beautifully set table, with a tureen full of a steaming soup or chili just makes you take the time to  eat...and talk...and eat. Soup is the easiest thing in the world to learn to cook and if you're at a loss, ask me, I've got hundred of recipes. They all need to be served with just a loaf of fresh bread and butter, some beautifully ripened  cheese,  a simple tossed salad and a delicious glass of wine or a tankard of fresh cider. That's it and you've got a meal.   

 I'll leave you with my favorite recipe....

Every autumn, this is the soup that I make when I want to begin a meal with a rich harvest flavour. It can be served many different ways, but in my mind, it looks just wonderful in a Armetale or other pewter type bowl styles reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg! I've also served this many times in a large hollowed out pumpkin that has been gilded with edible silver or gold leaf. It's a very easy trick, and you can find the edible leaf along with the directions for it's application in a good craft store where they have a baking section.

 

This year, because I simply cannot resist it, this soup is going to be served in this tureen! First piece of email I received today from my beautiful daughter in law was the above Instagram link to this Staub tureen from Food52. It had one simple message. "You need this.". Does she know me or what? Click on that video....mind blowingly wonderful....Spoil yourself and buy one too!


Take a chunk of excellent butter and melt it in a soup pot. Add several chopped spanish onions and a shallot or two! Saute the onions until they are translucent and add 3 large cans of cooked pumpkin and several quarts of really good chicken stock. Bring the whole of it to a simmer and let the flavours brew! The magical ingredient here is chunky peanut butter!!!!!! I whisk in a cup of it or even more depending upon the taste. After it has simmered for about 20 minutes, stir in a quart of organic half and half. I always use organic milk or cream if possible because I've discovered that the texture is much finer and the taste is just that much better. 

Add salt and pepper to taste and about a tablespoon of good curry powder or pumpkin pie spice if you like it! You can also add a 1/4 of a cup of Calvado's (an apple brandy) if you'd like. I've also made this soup with butternut squash, halved and roasted with butter,olive oil,cinnamon and a bit of real maple syrup. I usually roast about 4 large acorn squash to get the amount of pulp that I need. The canned squash just doesn't seem to have the nutty flavour that the roasted does and the texture is exquisite. Making this will take some extra time, but I promise you that it's worth it. A lovely glass of wine and a bit of cheese while you're waiting should make the task really bearable, let alone the aroma of the roasting squash!


This soup will stand alone as a meal with a tossed salad with some ripe pear, pecans and warm camembert cheese  and I've also served it with grilled gruyere cheese and tart apple sandwiches.  A Black and Tan (that delectable combination of Guinness Stout and Bass Pale Ale) or some sparkling apple cider would be very satisfying as well!

 


It's beginning to smell an awful lot like Halloween! - Spicy Chili Caramel from Spoonable!

 

Goddess, I love caramel and this delectable caramel from Spoonable in Brooklyn is absolutely rich, creamy and delicious! Eat it simply by the spoonful or with sliced apples. Drizzle it over a just warm, out of the oven pear tart or whisk a spoonful or two into the pan juices from a pork roast to make the most incredible gravy you've ever tasted!  Serve it with your favorite hard Spanish cheeses or hard cheddar with a platter of figs and ripe mango!

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Spicy Chili Caramel (2-Pack)


Thinking about the future.....#ImWithHer

 

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Quick note: I usually don't use this blog as a political platform. Today is a different day. I'm heartbroken for my country. The Orlando shooting has made me tender and this Witch feels the need to speak out. Please forgive me in advance..and if you feel the same way, please let me know. 

 

 I'm pretty fired up and ready to hit the campaign trail for HRC . I am sorry if that makes some of you feel that I've let the "cause" down. I am , however following Bernie Sander's lead. He will come out with guns blazing against Donald Trump and campaigning for HRC as soon as this is wrapped up. He's pretty much said so.

We who love him but have switched candidates will continue to forward his policies. He doesn't want his legacy to be the one that let Trump win and destroy what's left of this country. He's fought hard for us. We shouldn't let him down. He is amazing. 

For those of you willing to bargain that 4 years of Trump won't make that much of a difference and somehow you'll be able to pick up the pieces? I leave you to those thoughts. You are entitled to them no matter how much you want to gamble with an entire countries wellbeing, not just your own. Remember... The only thing standing between Obamacare and no Obamacare is Barack Obama and the Supreme Court. Millions of people could lose health insurance... leaving them to the mercy of big pharma. Ouch. It's not perfect but for millions of Americans it's better than nothing.

I'm sick of the bullying phrase being used by the Sanders supporters that somehow, by pointing out that history could repeat itself and that a Trump Presidency could be terrifying and devastating to the very fabric of our country that those of us who have switched our allegiance are "trying to scare you , or using fear tactics". That's what you're doing...bullying those of us who have decided that we'd rather have a President who may not be perfect, but isn't a misogynistic, radicalized, racist liar who by the way, could decide to declare Martial Law at any time because these terrorists are becoming homegrown.

It might interest you to realize that the reason that the Senate and Congress have refused to authorize the AUMF against Isis, is because Republican leaders were terrified that somehow Barack Obama would declare Martial Law ( which he could do ) and declare a third term for himself. Do you think for one second that a GOP led Senate and Congress would hesitate to authorize that act with a Republican President? How about the possibility of three Supreme Court Justices that could be appointed? All of you who are so worried about Hillary being involved with big banking? Have you looked at the top 1% percent of this country? What makes you think that it won't get worse if you hand the Presidency to Trump by default?

Last point before I hit publish and lose at least 30 friends. ( I hope not but so be it ) if you decide that somehow a vote for Jill Stein or someone else instead of the Dem candidate is your last stand? Are you ready to accept what happens? What's your plan? Are you really happy to watch the EPA gutted, your Muslim and Mexican friends and neighbors deported?

BTW? Do you honestly think that peace activists and political activists won't be targeted and jailed? Do you think they won't have a great place to stick us, called for profit prisons? Because you will be targeted. It's already law, thank you Bush /Cheney. Watch the Patriot act be strengthened and abused. We are labeled as "Domestic Terrorists" They'll just enforce it now...much like Trump has decided to boot the Washington Post from his events. I'm wondering if those of you who are calling for the equivalent of anarchy will be up to the job once it occurs. Revolution is never pretty. We'd all better learn to shoot assault rifles.

That being said, wouldn't it be more prudent to stick around and work on the off year campaigns...just not the high profile ones? That's what the tea party did... And that how all of of us are responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. Make no mistake. If you're wondering why he's in power? It's because we let it happen...all of us.

So I guess I'm saying, be careful what you ask for... Use your vote wisely. If you're my friend and you decide to split? I love you anyhow.

Oh Goddess... Here we go....

 

Picture from CNN


Redecorating the Soul ~ Are you Ready to Fall Madly in Love with your Life?


11269490_10206427049372557_5643436669307990368_nRedecorating the Soul was born one day last year when my dear friend Jane came bouncing into the Western Reserve Herb Gardens where we both volunteer and said, “Beth…I’ve got to tell you about this amazing dream that I had last night!”
 
My friend Jane is an absolutely fascinating woman and when she speaks, I listen.   We sat down on the chiseled stone block that borders on the entrance to our part of the garden. She began to tell me about her dream; a splendid and dramatic experience in which she was visited by elves, fairies and dwarfs who were walking in and out of her heart, carrying chandeliers, paintings, mirrors, dishes, draperies and gorgeous silken rugs.

Ever curious, she asked them what they were doing. “Why we’re Redecorating your Soul”, the elves laughed!   “ Your inner décor has gotten a wee bit dated and you haven't washed your windows in centuries!"

As she told me the details, I began to notice that a change had really come upon her. She's always laughing and twinkly because she's quite Irish elf herself,  but on this day she was absolutely effervescent. The experience of having her soul completely redecorated from the inside out had totally reconnected her with her life's work and her passions!
 
 Needless to say, I was completely enchanted and intrigued! Then the light bulb went off!
 
 I asked her what she was doing with the idea. “Why nothing” she said. I came in to tell you because “YOU need to do something with it.”

735185_992422987497199_5196359956439727154_nSo I went home and told Jim about it and he loved the thought of it as much as I did. We began to talk about, dream about it and play with the concept. Redecorating from the inside out? Why not? How much fun would it be to structure a Life/Wellness Coaching conversation that is ontological in nature around the concepts of Creativity, Beauty, Spirit and Home.  Soon our new program Redecorating the Soul was ready to be born.  
 
So tell us. Are you ready to fall madly in love with your life…yourself and each other? Are you ready to recreate your life as the work of art that you've always wanted it to be?
 
It would be our great honor if you'd consider us as guides for your journey! 

Let's get started!


Stirring the Senses ~ Are you ready to fall madly in love with your life?

12308728_993969770666934_1250093835347661667_nDearest Beth,

I need to write this letter to tell you how much I appreciate your help this last 16 months. I was hell bent on gracefully navigating this transition from an abusive marriage I was afraid to leave to a joyful, calm and gracious single life. You taught—or reminded me how capable I am. Because of you and almost without too many melt downs I am in love (add the explicative of choice here) with my life.

I would highly recommend you to anyone who needs to be reminded how life can be if you remember, “Something inside me knows how to do this.”—Paul Williams. This has been my mantra since I heard him speak these words. You showed me that it is possible and probable to achieve.

You may share my words with anyone who needs your presence in their life. You are a gift.

Write on,

Maggy Brown, March 2016

 

 I love the portrait above of my client and dear friend Maggy. It represents to me a woman who has fallen back in love with her life so completely and joyously! I so appreciate her generosity in letting me share it and her wonderful thoughts about our work together with you. To me they represent what is completely possible when someone decides that their life is totally worth the soul work that it takes to begin transforming themselves into something entirely unrecognizable and amazing.

She completely embodies her awesome tagline: Writer, illustrator, blogger and accidental mentor.  Click on her portrait above to see what she's up to!

The seeds of this program, Stirring the Senses were planted when one day I woke up and looked in the mirror. I was no longer that 19, 20 or even 40 something. My clothes weren’t doing what I wanted them too and a full night’s sleep was scarcer than hen’s teeth. My sex drive (normally the one thing that I could depend upon!) simply disappeared. I was sprouting stray hairs and pimples. The weight around my middle simply would not budge. I didn’t care at all about how I looked, even putting on lipstick was too much work. I definitely looked frumpy, but more relevant to this conversation, I felt frumpy and I really didn’t want to. I was nasty all of the time and found myself apologizing daily before I'd get upset about something, simply so my husband knew that I knew how difficult I was becoming.  

 

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It wasn’t about Jim. I’m blessed to love a man who loves me exactly as I am. It was all about me and how I wanted to look, feel and who I wanted to be moving into the next part of my life. It was all about my fear and my inertia. It was all about dealing with the why's of choosing to stay with my head in the sand instead of learning to take the risk to become happy. 

It was a difficult period of time. I closed a family business that had been a lifelong dream of mine. Soon after that  I was faced with the death of both of my parents and helping my son grow up and successfully leave the nest. Those challenges left me exhausted, drained and confused about who I was.  I wasn't loving my life at all and I knew that something needed to change. Choosing happiness is harder work sometimes than it seems. Manifesting the best possible outcome for your life takes courage and I wasn't sure that I had anymore of it to spare.  

That was when I decided to become an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Certified Health Coach. I'd been a "sort of - kind of" LifeCoach for many years but it was time to take it up a notch. I think that tends to happen when you wake up and you find yourself over half a century old! I threw myself into the program with everything I had.  

Then the unthinkable happened......

Suddenly, Jim decided to become an IIN coach too. Oh boy. You can dance around bad habits like sugar, alcohol and fat as much as you want  until you've got the man you love suddenly occupying your kitchen and buying juicers and superfood powders. 

That was just the beginning.


Together we made the choice to turn men/andropause into one of the sexiest and most satisfying times of our lives and you can too! We look and feel better in our fifties than we ever did in our 20's! I'm not saying that it was always easy because it required some hard work and more than a little courage on our part, but it was worth it!

Just ask my husband who was really patient and loving through the whole process of my menopause - once he understood what was really going on with me! The best part? He's been right there the whole time, making us fresh fruit smoothies and vegetable juices. He was the one who was smart enough to figure out how we could become the snowbirds we are now, living all fall and winter long in sunny San Diego so that we didn't have to rely on medication for the seasonal affective disorder that just wreaked havoc on our hormones from Autumn until Spring. He pushed me to discover how I could create a career that I loved using all of the tools that I'd learned along the way.  


Another result of my personal journey on the hormonal roller coaster, was that I was led to Dr. Sara Gottfried's book "The Hormone Cure" After loving what I read and practicing her protocols on myself, I chose to become trained to coach her methodologies so that I could add these brilliant techniques to what I already knew about creating optimal hormone balance through primary food and wellness management. I opened up emotionally about what was happening to me and began to talk about what I really wanted out of my life. I began to examine everything and put it all on the table; even my marriage. I became absolutely determined to have the life that I’d always wanted, every delicious bit of it. I'd been blogging for years about all of the things that I loved, but it was time to get on the court and really play with them full out.

During that time I wrote my first book Stirring the Senses, which was a lifelong dream fulfilled. Even more thrilling was that I got to present it to the world on the Lincoln Center Stage in New York City at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Fall Conference in 2014. OMG! 

So, if you're looking to create a life for yourself that's bigger than you've ever known  and filled with the tools to unlock any dream that you've ever had,  Stirring the Senses is the tool that will inspire you to cultivate that state of mind! 



So tell me!

Are you Ready to fall Madly in Love with your life?

Love your body and feed and clothe it beautifully in just the manner YOU choose?

Enjoy a juicy, passionate and sensuously rich lifestyle that leaves you completely alive and ready for anything!

Provide sustenance for your body, nurturing for your soul and a wonderful connection with your family and friends!

Give yourself the blessing to taste, use, experience and enjoy whatever you'd like, indulge yourself and love the results while denying yourself nothing.  Stirring the Senses will give you access to the power of choice, and you'll finally get the results that you truly desire in the realm of passion, creativity, health, joy and beauty! 

As a result of doing this program you will:

  • Set and accomplish goals in a way that is empowering and exciting
  • Create a vision board for your life and health
  • Work to achieve and maintain your ideal weight if that is your desire
  • Understand and reduce your cravings
  • Increase your energy levels & feel great no matter your age
  • Feel Great Naked!
  • Learn about new foods and how you can easily incorporate them into your lifestyle
  • Learn to grow some of your own foods if you've got the desire to do so
  • Improve your personal and emotional relationship with food
  • Create an overall image for yourself and your home that you absolutely love through color, style, art, music, makeup, fragrance and fashion
  • Create work that you love
  • Discover the confidence to create the life that you truly want


For information about my full coaching program (3 to 6 months) or to schedule an introductory Gift Session,  please go to  Read More about Our Approach