Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today my guest is Sera Beak, and this is part two of our conversation about her new book Red Hot and Holy. Sera Beak is a Harvard-trained scholar of comparative world religions who spent years traveling the world studying with Sufi dervishes, Tibetan monks, Croatian mystics, shamans, and more. She is the author of The Red Book and with Sounds True Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story, where she offers an intimate and provocative view of what it means to fall madly in love with the divine as a modern woman, inspiring readers to live their own spiritual love affair out loud and on purpose.

In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Sera and I spoke about sacred touch and shadow work. We also talked about what Sera calls “Cosmic Family Therapy”—resonances we might have with the trauma experienced by someone in a different lifetime and the type of healing that can result when we enter those types of traumas. We also talked about what it means to know deep in our being that we are beloved. Here’s part two of my red hot and holy conversation with Sera Beak.

In part one of our conversation Sera, we talked about red. Red the color; red, the essence of you. And we talked some—I think—about “holy.” What it means to be holy and devotion. But we didn’t really talked yet really about the “hot” part of Red Hot and Holy. And I think that’s where we need to go now. There’s a chapter in the book on your—we can say “experiments”—your journey into the world of sacred prostitution. And I’d love for you to share a little bit about that—what drew you to that and what happened?

Sera Beak: My soul drew me to that, so it wasn’t something I consciously sought or read about or wanted to go try. It happened really naturally. One night, with a creative partner, there was a shift in the room and in my body. It was a shift where I recognize that she—my lady, my soul, my bigger being—is just here more. And that led to me actually starting to touch my creative partner in very specific but natural ways. There was such an honest, heart-to-heart transmission of what many people might call Eros—more erotic energy. For me it was the first time that I ever felt that close to the divine. There was no doubt in my mind or in my body or in my heart—although it might look sexual or it might feel erotic—there is no doubt that this was divine.

It didn’t have any fluffy stuff around it. There was just a clear knowing and also this recognition of, “Oh, this is what we do when we connect with people and we have that soul-to-soul permission to actually touch one another in a particular way.” I don’t think it’s unique at all, but I was really stunned by just how profound it was for me and the person who was participating and experiencing it. And after it happened, I remember thinking like, “That was strange! That wasn’t my typical night working with my creative partner.” But I couldn’t deny the real—and this is a heavy word—but the real holy experience that was there.

So what started happening, was I’d be out at Whole Foods or I would be on Facebook, or I’d be at a spiritual retreat and I could just recognize that there was a man there that I was supposed to work with. And to me, it’s like Work with a capital “W.” Somehow we would end up connecting and if the energy was right, we would have these experiences together that involved touch. And I also think of this sort of Touch with a capital “T.” I also experienced it as a sort of feminine kind of gnosis, so you’re touching with this knowing as the body.

It is something that is something that has definitely not been understood. It’s been something we’ve abused. You know, we’ve used [it] for wrong reasons. It’s been manipulated. There’s been a lot of baggage around this type of work.

For me, it was very rarely, actually, sexual. It was mostly erotic and mostly just a way that I got to actually experience this real honest part of myself. I sometimes describe it [as] if you were one day handed a thing of paint and paintbrushes and a canvas and you just started just painting and you were like, “Oh my god! I like this; it feels good. I feel like me—like I’m getting to actually express this.” That’s similar to what this felt like.

The difference was that this is not really something you can put on your Facebook status. And this isn’t something that is really recognized. There’s a tremendous amount of fear, even in that phrase, “sacred prostitute,” understandably. It definitely—in a Jungian sense—is part of our psyche that we all have. It’s a part of us. It’s an archetype that we all are innately a part of that has definitely been shoved away. It’s been repressed and so it will come out in different ways.

The unhealthy ways it comes out—through porn addiction and shopping—like anything to sort of get that erotic high. Drugs, etc. This was a particular way that it showed up for me. And I do not feel at all that it’s a way that other people need to experience Eros. And you definitely don’t have to do what I did to embody that sacred prostitute archetype.

TS: Ok, so now I have all kinds of questions about this Sera.

SB: [Laughs.]

TS: So let’s start with: how is it that in these interactions, things stayed in the “erotic” dimension without moving into the sexual? I would imagine—I’m of course imagining all of kinds of things and who knows what I’m imagining if that what was really going on, but—

SB: [Laughs.]

TS: —but I would just imagine that people would be getting very turned on and basically fucking pretty soon in this process and being like a highly sexual encounter. So how did it not go there?

SB: That wasn’t the energy. It just didn’t. That’s not how it moved my body or the other person’s—and if it did, if it started to move them in a direction that did not feel congruent or in line with the energy, we would either stop or most often, I would comment on it. And so what would happen a lot is so many sexual programs and instincts and impulses come up—of course—immediately if someone I was working with because it’s like if there’s a woman straddling your lap, you’re thinking like, “Oh, this is what I normally do. I’ll grab her ass or I’ll go in for a kiss,” and that wasn’t allowed. If it wasn’t coming from that space within them, they were not allowed to touch me. And I actually very—

TS: So you did you explain these as the sort of the ground rules when you started your “Work?”

SB: Yes.

TS: I really, this is a new definition of work, if I’ve ever heard it! Why do you use that word?

SB: It’s with a capital “W,” but it had that flavor to it. It had the same flavor of somebody who’s a massage therapist or does acupuncture or any sort of healing modality. Like they would consider work—probably not work like going to a queue—but they consider what they’re doing a form of healing work.

This wasn’t like in my brain—like, “I’m doing healing work!” It wasn’t that but it had that same connotation that there was something actually happening here that was bigger than both of us, that included both of us and that was really aching to have happen. So, in order to stay in integrity with it is that that’s just what it felt like to call it.

TS: OK and that ground rules that you would lay out in the beginning?

SB: I would just be really clear that this wasn’t a date. This wasn’t that they were going to get laid. After our experience, I probably would never talk to them again or contact them again. I’d sort of lay out these things and then sort of say, “But if you want to possibly experience this, then we can go see what happens.” And most of the time they would want to see what would happen.

And that is where it would a teaching for both of us because I’m also really aware that in northern California that there are many people right now that are calling themselves sacred prostitutes. I think that’s fine and good and there’s definitely been a huge rise in the tantric community and tantricas and dakhinis and etc. That serves a purpose and that’s great.

It didn’t feel quite like that to me. I don’t know why it never resonated being in those particular groups or even using that title. It never really felt quite right. The other aspect of it that was really important for me to experience—and as a way my lady works with me—is I wasn’t supposed to go into this “trance-y” state or leave my body and have something else come though. She always wants me there with her. My human awkwardness, my doubts, my uncertainty had to be present just as much as my utter and total knowing of exactly how to touch this person that would bring them that much more into their own heart and into their own divinity and into their own remembrance of what the divine feminine is, both inside them and outside them, and how to touch that.

To me that Touch with a capital “T” extends far outside this little container that would end up happening. It was how to touch their words, if they’re working on writing. How to not even touch their lover, but to touch a dog, a tree, the steering wheel. It extended out to life. How do I touch life? So you would see how they touch life by how they would respond to me. More often than not, I learned just as much as I think they did. I had just as many so-called healings as I think they did. One of them just being able to do this work. It’s like being able to actually have that experience of myself was a gift. Because it’s not really allowed or taught in school or understood.

TS: No it’s not.

SB: No. And I understand why. I’m really clear [that] there’s so much shadow around this type of work—there is so much that can come up about why you’re doing it, if you’re trying to get something from someone; if they’re trying to get something from you; if you’re trying to be a hot sexy goddess.

You know there are all these things that arise and the pathologies that are there on a cultural level around this idea of a sacred prostitute are enormous—the projections onto it, and the real honest desire for this type of feminine touch is inside all of us. But it comes with a whole host of baggage. So you have to—[I had to] do this work and after the work—really face that baggage both within myself and outside.

That chapter was—besides the chapter on Sara—was the hardest chapter. I would get nauseous. Everything would come up—of not wanting to write it and really trying to do all these different things like trying to make it more spiritual, or make it more self-help-y, or shave off some of the erotic aspects of it. Or I would find that part of myself that wanted to make it soooooo mystical, sexual, powerful—like people would be in awe of it or something. [Laughs.]

So I had to watch all of that come up constantly and just try to be real about. I don’t think it’s unique. It was incredibly transformative for me. It’s not something I still do in that way. I don’t necessarily recommend that particular—

TS: So let’s talk a little bit about—how long was this period of your life that you were working in this way?

SB: I think about a year.

TS: And why did you stop?

SB: I met Marion and then everything stopped. The big pause button on my life happened. After Marion, so much of this soul work was also the shadow work and really having to look at some shadow pieces of mine that were present in those situations. Not necessarily in the actual things that happened but afterwards, stuff would creep up—

TS: Can you say more about that? How was your shadow part of this?

SB: Need to be desired; need to feel in control; need to feel like I’m special in some way because I can do this and I can turn on a man so much. So there was [Laughs]—and that all was like from high school to like a little kid to just not feeling loved or appreciated.

TS: So do you think it might have been possible or it might be possible for someone to do that type of sacred prostitute work and not have it be coming from those types of shadow distortions? Just a very pure healing, holy exploration?

SB: Yes. I would say for the most part the actual experience like—when I was with someone—it was the true definition of purity for me. And it was in those moments where there’s no way of separating the erotic from the divine—of separating even the sexual from the divine. There were so fused together. I keep saying this word, but it’s so honest—it’s just afterwards is when I would notice certain things creep up.

I was also very hard on myself afterwards. I was scared I would be hurting people. I was scared it would confuse—it did confuse some people—afterwards. There would these sorts of ramifications and there was this point that I got to after Marion [when] I recognized that not only did I need to get even clearer, but—this sounds sort of dramatic—but it also just honestly felt like this planet can’t handle this work right now. There’s not a safe space to do this in a real honest way. There’s a real grief around that and sadness around it. I think any of us who have experience moments like that—we just recognize the truth and we recognize it’s real, fundamental aspect of the divine that we are a part of that wants to express itself. Knowing that, it’s a little forbidden here or misunderstood. There’s a grief around it for me.

TS: Now you mentioned that there was one chapter in the book that was even harder to write than the chapter on sacred prostitution and that was the “Sara” chapter. So tell our listeners a little bit about that.

SB: Why it was so hard to write? [Laughs]

TS: And just what the content was.

SB: Yes—there were days where I’d be thinking [while I was] writing the book, “All right, this might push some buttons,” and then I would sort of get that there was more to share and I was like, “Really? Really. Like I’m not weird enough—like this book isn’t crossing enough lines!”

TS: Well, it is a heretic’s love story!

SB: And that’s why they kept pointing so! They were like—mmmfff. But this one for me was definitely a big, huge, huge trigger and it still is to some degree. I started having very strong synchronicities and what I call “divine winks” showing up that felt directly related to Red. The more they started showing up, they also started to seem directly related to a lineage in particular. And it was—or it is—this lineage that isn’t recognized as much (although popular culture has definitely gotten more juice from things like The Da Vinci Code).

So what I’m talking about here is the lineage that was carried through Magdalene and Jesus—and in particular, sort of the feminine side of that lineage. So, in the noose and—in the between—I started having very strong but organic—natural—not otherworldly—just very strong experiences and memories of not just this love between Jesus and Magdalene, but actually what that created. And that created—from my perspective—an actual human child: a daughter that is called Sara.

That—on one level—is ripe with all sorts of discomfort and for people and for myself. I recognize also because of The Da Vinci Code—that the really natural response—that there’s a piece missing! It’s Magdalene. And even the archetypal response of, “OK, we got the divine masculine, and now we have the divine feminine. They’re able to finally, really join hands in this potential love story that is being revealed at this time.”

So I know all that’s going and I know that projections onto it. I know the pop culture phenomenon. And I also am very familiar with the ways we can even get manipulated on the astral planes or the subtle realms into thinking certain things, or having certain experiences. So my experiences with Sara have been the most profound, life-changing, confusing, and heart-ripping experiences.

TS: Now is there scholarship that supports what you are saying or is this more—really—what you’ve discovered in between?

SB: Yes—no scholarship. There’s definitely people who have paid more attention to what we could call the oral traditions—especially in France and in some parts of Europe that speak very directly or indirectly—but they allude to a child that came from Jesus and Magdalene. Some people have related her to Sara La Kali, which is an icon kept in Maries-de-la-Mer in the south of France. That’s the point where Mary Magdalene and sort of a crew came after the persecution that was happening during the crucifixion. They landed on these shores.

So there’s many different legends about Sara La Kali—that she was a servant of Mary Magdalene, or she was a gypsy queen who was already there and welcomed the crew. She’s known as the queen of the outsiders to the gypsies in southern France. And her icon is kept in an underground, grotto or cave—while Magdalene and the other Mary’s are kept in a very light-filled church above because they are recognized by the church. So some legends have directly related those together as Sara as actually being the child.

TS: How do you know you yourself know when you’re having visions and receiving this information in the between that=—[as] you said—maybe it’s astral manipulation, or maybe it’s delusion? Maybe this is just you having a really fabulous, creative mind! Or who knows—you know 50 other things versus, “Oh, I’m actually tuning into something real here?” How do you find your own confidence?

SB: Where my confidence stops is actually when I’m not in the between and my ego starts coming in and starts being like, “You sound crazy! You sound delusional. You are taking an archetype too far. You are taking this too literally. You know all of that.” I know all of that stuff. I got it. I studied that stuff. I have it around me. It’s packed in tight.

When I’m in the between, the experience—as I’ve mentioned before about the between—is something that is so natural. It feels like I am just experiencing my own body. It feels like I know this. I know this story. I know her pain. And there’s severe trauma that Sara went through. I cannot get away from it. It’s anything that shows up in my life is just this sort of regular issue that I’m dealing with. Like, “I’m scared of this,” or, “This is—for some reason—I’m reading this and my body can’t stop shaking.” Nine times out of ten and I’ll check in the next day—and I call checking in as sort of how I enter the noose which is just sort of sitting and just being with myself. Nine times out of ten, my team, the lineage, or my lady will point me back to Sara’s life.

It’s aggravating, to be honest. It’s frustrating because I’m like, “Really? Do we have to look at this again? Do I have to see something that I don’t even understand?” And try to honestly—it feels like—try to heal this, this aspect, this trauma. It’s multilayered and there are honest-to-God soul retrievals [that] I have to do, where I have to try to locate part of Sara’s soul that fragmented because being here was so traumatic. Actually—for her—I speak about “her” in this way because this is how real she’s become to me. At the same time, I’m still fully holding all of that possibility of what she actually also is—the archetype and the healing stream and all of that. I hold that on the same table.

But what I’ve noticed is if I just go there to the smart, psychologically sound, [Laughs] spiritually correct way of dealing with her, things start to really not go well. It begins to feel like I am denying a huge part of my own being because I am so worried that I might be all of these other things: delusional; I’m misusing an archetype; blah, blah, blah, blah. And instead of just being like, “I’ve been doing soul retrievals on myself for years and this is the same thing but I’m doing it for Sara.”

TS: So tell me when you do a soul retrieval—and maybe you could give an example of doing a soul retrieval not for Sera Beak right here—but Sara of the Jesus and Mary Magdalene family—what that looks like. When you say soul retrieval. What are you doing?

SB: Well, I’ll usually really start to feel trauma in my body. It’s like PTSD. I’ll just sit down and I’ll check in and if there’s actually a piece, it will show in this sort of way in my inner vision. If there’s actually a piece of her stuck someplace.

So I go there. However you do energetically. It’s usually in a scene of some sort, but it’s almost like a self-created hell. I often think of that movie What Dreams May Come and there’s an ending scene where the woman’s in her own [hell]. That’s what it feels like with aspects of Sara’s soul that are locked in this trauma. They are frozen in this sort of energetic compartment. I have to go there—almost to befriend her—and bring in the lady [to] help remind her actually the truth of the situation.

To reconnect her with her soul helps her understand what’s [actually] going on and helps her get out. So it’s an interesting sort of soul retrieval because I’m dealing with a traumatized energetic aspect. I’m dealing with a traumatized soul fragment. So each time is a little bit like approaching a scared dog and telling this piece that there’s actually another reality out there. There’s another truth out there. And this is just sort of stuck. “I know you think that this is real but there’s actually something else going on here and we want you to come home.”

TS: Why do you think you have this relationship now in this lifetime with Sara from the Jesus/Mary Magdalene time?

SB: I picked the short end of the stick? Someone had to do it. No—I don’t think I’m the only one doing it. I think it’s actually coming through on a collective level in different ways. The intimacy I feel with Sara is very . . . I don’t know. I haven’t talked to a lot of people. I Googled around when it first started happening because I’m like, “What is this?” And there’s definitely other people having experiences and they are channeling Sara and think that they are the reincarnation of Sara. There’s different stuff going on.

The difference for me—and this again reminds me of the noose and it reminds me of the soul path and very much the way that red communicates—is that Sara is this freakin’ traumatized teenager and little girl. This is not like, “Jesus and Magdalene’s child!” Like holy things flying out of her armpits. This is a being that was present during an incredibly difficult time on this planet and that’s what I’m dealing with. I’m dealing with family dysfunction and the fact that she didn’t have a dad and the fact that her way of coming into this planet was actually being in the womb of Magdalene as Magdalene is witnessing her beloved being crucified.

So Marion Woodman talks a lot about the trauma we all get—or just information that we get —that happens when we are a fetus. That our consciousness is picking up things. So there’s this whole area of work that knows that and recognizes that and I feel that’s been a real essential piece for Sara. Her consciousness had to witness something and actually also feel it from the position of her mother’s body. It was intense as her first entranceway on earth. It was like, “This is how divine love incarnate is treated? I don’t think I want to be here.”

TS: I think what I’m trying to still trying to understand is what you feel is the cosmic meaning of your connection with this traumatized figure from the past? Why is this so important to you in your soul’s journey?

SB: Because Sara never got to give her gift. She never got to be herself. She was so scared and she made some really poor choices. She acted out. She rebelled.

TS: And this is all knowledge you from what you’ve seen in visionary space?

SB: I talk about her and when I talk about this—this is something that I’m very aware [that] this is my experience. I would never go out and say, “This happened!” This information and these experiences with her—as I said—they are as real to me now as my own life. I didn’t want that to happen. I wasn’t expecting it. I fought so much against it.

There’s a point where all of us who are critical thinkers want to be grounded and want to—you know—stay true. There’s a point sometimes where we can almost start abusing our soul in the process because the information we are seeing is so “out there” that we’re actually using our psychological soundness to hammer it away. And I was doing that thoroughly. I was really good at it. There gets to a point where it’s so real and the transitions—if I would work on something in her life—something changed in my life directly.

You can’t help but start to notice that. You’re like, “That’s happening!” I don’t really get it but our stories—although they are very different on a surface level—there’s a core level and I think that this just speaks to the core level of the feminine here—of being very confused and not having a voice. I mean Sara is completely unknown. She doesn’t exist according to academics and when I was studying at Harvard, this would be laughed out of the classroom.

And this being actually knows that. She knows that she doesn’t exist here for people. And yet, the way I know her, she was a flesh and blood human who actually has a lot to say and wasn’t given the chance and didn’t take the chance and felt a tremendous amount of guilt around it. You also don’t understand that there’s a lot of teenager parts of her so she takes on this guilt—like the church got to go out into the light and the feminine got squished underground and abandoned and buried in this whole feminine lineage because Magdalene had an entire posse.

It doesn’t make sense—and yet, the thing that is so odd about it is that when we start talking about it—because we haven’t heard of it, or we might think that’s a woo-woo or out there or a New Age-y thing or just a projection—and that’s so deeply sad to me that we don’t trust the fact that this actually might have happened. Why is that so crazy? You know? Why? That’s fascinating to me.

TS: So you were saying that the connection for you with your life is that you are going to bring your gifts forward and so that you’re sort of redeeming this unlived life and bringing that energy to its possible fruition and fullness?

SB: Yes. And think that’s what Sara is for all of us. It’s that part that’s been very fearful of speaking our truth and just being ourselves if our selves don’t fit or aren’t even recognized or acknowledged or squished down by the traditions and the society around us. That’s really what I see her as—that piece that’s actually in all of us that’s actually traumatized around that. And it actually is aching to really speak.

It doesn’t matter what tradition or non-tradition you’re a part of—that for me in particular, it’s definitely—you know I was born Catholic and I left the church and went on a large, large exploration and this actually has swung me back into recognizing that what I was being called to do as a child.

I wanted to be a priest more than anything. I knew it. I had what most Catholics refer to as “the call.” But because I had a vagina, I wasn’t allowed to be a priest. What started happening is that the calling hasn’t gone away but it’s sort of attached itself to me in these different ways where it will show up. And in just hilarious ways—you know, where a friend will be like, “I want you to officiate my wedding!” Which is something a priest would normally do in the Catholic tradition. And I’m like, “Okay!’ and they’re like, “We’re gonna get married on July 22nd,” and I’m like, “Huh, that’s Magdalene’s feast day.”

There will be countless, countless, countless—there have been countless coincidences that have not allowed me to dismiss the reality of this lineage and my honest relationship to this lineage for too long. I can do my little intellectual dance around it. I can broaden it out and make it really general. I can do all that. And I think that’s important to do, but I also just individually have finally actually found a home in a particular lineage. It just happens to be a lineage that isn’t really recognized so much on one level.

But I think—like most of us who do feel a strong resonance with this particular lineage that I’m talking about or expressing—it is in our veins. It is so clear as day. It’s like if I cut myself and poured it out, that’s where this is. It’s not something that I read about. It’s not even something that I wanted to know about. But it’s my truth. And it’s very trigger-y, because I have to come out into the world and talk about this and also really be OK with talking about the personal connection because it would have been easy.

I have chapters—I had versions where I was just talking about the archetype of Sara, and I can do that well. Sara would throw a fit. She would be like, “You are denying this intimate relationship that we have together that you might not fully understand, but just being open to start the conversation about in an intelligent and grounded and heartful way, is the important part—not what people believe or don’t believe but just to be willing to include the fact that this happens.”

I don’t think I’m the only one having these experiences with different figures from the past or beings that aren’t even present on this planet. But I’m really eager and excited to talk about it in ways that are like this—that are real and aren’t just woo-wooing it out or just dismissing it because it sounds foreign.

TS: I think people don’t really know what to make of the type of intimations or the type of visions or senses or dreams that they have in their own life. As you’re talking, I’m thinking of people who have shared things with me. They’re like, “I’m not quite sure what to make of this. Does this mean it’s a past life for me? Does it mean that we’re currently connected in parallel universes?” And they go through this whole thing. But what I hear you saying is that you want to stand in the fact that it’s really, really important and significant for you at a personal level and that you’re not going to dismiss that.

SB: Denying Sara is honestly like denying a part of my soul. And that’s the sort of tough cookie about it—in the embarrassing part and the troubling part.

TS: Now you talked about coincidences as divine winks and I’m curious—is it like a big quadruple wink that you have the same name?

SB: [Laughs.] Uh, yes. Basically how it’s been delivered—and this is how my team does it. I kind of asked for it when I was little. I was like, “I’m not the fastest kid in the group, so I need you all to really make things clear for me. Treat me like I’m in kindergarten to things that are really important for my soul. Make it really freakin’ clear.”

And with this lineage piece and soul piece, the stories and the things that I cannot escape are ridiculous. I’m like, “Really? OK! You keep driving it home that there’s this connection. So there’s these divine winks, yes, amped and humorous. I say this in the book, but they keep it real. You know? It’s real for me. Yes. I can’t escape it. I would like to.

TS: Yes. Now I noticed that during this part of the conversation, it’s probably the part where you’re been the most emotional as we’ve talked about Sara. And I’m curious to know a little bit about what is that emotion about for you?

SB: I don’t really have words around it, exactly. I do even know that even just like sitting here—talking to you about her in this way—is a big step for me. And I can feel its ripple back. [Voice quavering; tears.]

I can feel like this flesh-and-blood little girl and teenager and she died pretty young. I just feel that little break of relief that there’s something being expressed about her honestly, you know. I don’t have the answers but there’s an honesty in being willing to do that with her because she’s waited a very long time.

TS: Did you have any sense that there were other children from Jesus and Mary Magdalene?

SB: I don’t know, you know. I think because Sara—such a troubled one—that’s really been the focus. The focus has been honestly so much [on] healing. I call it “Cosmic Family Therapy.” It’s less about, “Here’s some big powerful, powerful, holy information,” or, “Here’s a way to forward the lineage on with teachings.” It’s not that. It’s just been so human. I think that’s that part that they talk about in mystical Christianity of anthropos—that idea of the full human and the full divine.

And I so get that with this lineage in a way that I’ve never gotten before because I experience their humanity. That’s what shows up first. And it is in the full willingness to really be here—to just—I don’t give a shit how powerful Jesus was or Magdalene was. They fully committed to being here. And it was messy and fucking rough and not pretty. And it was traumatic for the whole group.

So that humanity—that’s what moves me so much. That’s what makes it—I keep saying—so honest and real for me. So the work has mostly just been this healing work, constantly. This information just started happening—it will be three years in August and there’s not a week that goes by where I don’t have another layer to unpeel. There’s something else that they want me to see and acknowledge.

The part that’s so reciprocal and just really balancing with it is that it releases part of me. It’s not just about doing something for someone else or just doing something for a lineage. It’s this—and I think this is true for most of us—but by doing something that is so divinely organic and congruent, the truth of who I am just starts naturally emerging in that process. And that’s what my lineage wants.

I remember asking, when I first started having more of the memories—they were body memories. They were like big grand visions. At a certain point I got my fight on for sure. I was like “Holy shit! I cannot believe how much of this has been treated on this planet as untruth.” And I was like, “Should I storm the Vatican? Should I do this? Should I do that?” And they were just laughing. Living as proof is the best example. They don’t ask me to do anything for them, except to speak my truth. In doing that, it naturally heals the lineage. And that’s true for all of us.

That to me has also been the real difference between what I call—and this is sort of a Gnostic term—“the true light.” When I’m around true light beings, or true light information—that is so much of what it feels like. This commitment they actually have to my own self-awareness and empowerment and remembrance of who I am and the ability, then, to be of service that much more. It’s so clear. It’s not trying to wow me with big divine blessings or transmissions or give me some huge teachings or have me go out in the world and profess this big thing. Everything is so related to being myself.

TS: This phrase, “living as proof.” I really like that. That’s beautiful.

SB: Yes. That came from them.

TS: Now I want to clarify something because in the first part of our conversation, you talked about red and the red lady. And now you’re referring—I’m not going to talk to you like you’re in a mental institution or something, Sera, don’t worry! Now you’re referring to “the team.” And who’s the team?

SB: They’re the red team.

TS: I figured that they were wearing red!

SB: They’re the red team. Um. So I call them my homies, or my posse—or like my team—my peeps. But they [are definitely] from that lineage in particular. They feel broader than that, as well. They’ve showed up in funny ways. There’s a story in the book where I completely let go of red because I thought red was just something getting in my way. I thought I was being too attached to this color. I know in spirituality you’re not supposed to be attached to anything and so I did all of that and I got rid of red.

Six months later, I was with two girlfriends [walking through] a park in Seattle. One of them is very intuitive and she just asked, “How does red show up for you?” And right before I could tell her, “Oh no, no—I’m not doing the red thing anymore; I stopped that,” this high school girls’ track team was running past us and stopped immediately to our left and started jumping up and down and screaming at the top of their lungs: “Go team red, go team red!” And I remember my friends just turned to me and their jaws opened. And I’m like, “It happens all the time! I can’t escape it.”

But there was something in that moment for me of having thoroughly dismissed it on every level—like from physical concrete career levels because my whole career was based around red—to spiritual, energetic, all of that. Then, [in] actually having that experience there was something in me that was just like, “Maybe [it was] that whole idea of, ‘Let go of something and if it’s really yours it will come back to you.’ Then you understand that there’s something there for you and you’re not just clinging onto something like a security blanket.” And I really began to get that. And the delight of it—that’s just how they show up! They tickle and tease me and they’re hilarious and they’ll do things in this way.

TS: But when you say “they,” are they like different figures?

SB: What I call “the team”—they’re just sort of a group. They’re sort of like a facet of the group which feels more directly lineage-related. And so that will step forward when there’s a piece of me or a part of the information or just something that I’m sharing that feels very directly related to that lineage. But in general, they’re just sort of like a big mass.

TS: OK. So I just want to ask you one more question about Sara, which is: I’m curious, you said you wrote a version of the chapter once that was more about Sara’s role in a general, archetypal, cultural way. I’m wondering if you think there’s something happening right now in this period of time where many of us are working through persecution complexes of some kind or another and what your insight into that might be?

SB: Oh yes! I resonate with that a tremendous amount. I think that—or I know that—there is a way that every single one of us that got crucified—that’s been persecuted, that’s not just in a soul experience possibly from a past lifetime but in the collective field. There has been such a lack of permission to fully own our divinity and our humanity here at the same time. So when we start to actually bump up against that possibility, we’re going to hit all of those complexes and all of those . . . whatever we want to call them. Memories. They often feel like sort of tight bands. But the persecution one in particular is something that we all have. We’ve all experienced in some shape or form. So that lineage in particular is ripe with healing around that and understanding. You can just keep diving into the crucifixion and you come up with something completely new that is directly related to your own life.

And the piece of this that is important for me is that crucifixion is two parts—it’s Jesus on the cross and it’s Mary at the foot of the cross. They’re both equally important for me and they’re both making a very large cosmic statement. And the Magdalene piece we have recognized or acknowledged. That feminine who actually dared to stay here—who dared to stay alive and dared to hold the love that was created between them and her body and implant it into the ground during a time that was like, “There’s no way a woman could do that and survive or be treated well or recognized and she knew that very well. And she still did it.”

So that’s a huge heroine aspect to me and just an honest part. It’s the other half of the divine to me. It’s the part that we often dismiss or don’t see or don’t really look at. Magdalene—interestingly enough—is more often than not depicted in paintings in a red robe, or with red hair. She’s often depicted holding a red egg as a symbol of new life. The Greek Orthodox exchange red eggs on Easter. There’s a lot of red symbology around Magdalene.

But that piece—those pieces to me—they can’t not go together now. They’re so fundamental and in fact—for me—the full message of the crucifixion is both. We actually cannot receive the full transmission if we are not including her roll and her part in it—because it’s like not including a part of our own being and our own humanity.

So together, they are the anthropos. They both had to be it on their own, but together it’s like this big cosmic story of our own embodiment. They dared to incarnate and fully be here and so that’s the calling that I definitely hear from them the most. Be here. Be real. Be alive. And know you’re divine at the same time. And can you actually do that [at the same time]? Be divine and be human?

For me, I’m actually finally beginning—and I’m way at the beginning of it of understanding of what that actually entails and why that has not been allowed or permitted on this planet. You can be divine up to a certain point—you can be spiritual up to a certain point—but to actually own your own divine authority and sovereignty on this planet has just not been met with good things, normally. So each of us is going to hit some aspect of that if we’re taking any sort of step into our own divinity as a human.

TS: I want to ask you to indulge me here for a moment—which is I think this theme that we’ve been circling around in a lot of different ways of trusting ourselves and stepping out into our fullness. There’s a couple paragraphs in the book where I think you write about this quite beautiful, I mean many, many, many, many pages but I’m wondering if you’d read for our listeners this part of the book that I’ve highlighted towards the end.

SB: I hope this goes without saying—that you don’t need to have visions or cosmic experiences. You don’t have to pop past-life pimples, or go through a dark night of the soul in order to realize yourself. Your distinct divine self is dropping hints of itself all over your life. You just got to pay attention.

And in my opinion and experience, the healthiest way to engage your divine self is by creating a more conscious and intimate relationship with your soul. She is the part of your divine self who reincarnates. She is the bridge—the link to your everything. She knows you past, present, and future better than any book or teacher or psychic or spiritual tradition. She knows what you should read, who you should hang with, and where you should go now. In other words, she knows how and when your unique being unfolds organically. You don’t want to force this rose to bloom or follow someone else’s seven steps. If you relax—if you trust your soul—she will lead you to yourself. It will be a crazy journey—as unique as a snowflake; as transformative as a fire; as freaky as a fruitcake; as mysterious as the universe. So please become your favorite subject. Study yourself. Sit at the feet of the teacher inside you. Cop a feel of your divine body. Live your love story and share what you are learning with the rest of us.

TS: I just loved that section! Especially the “freaky as a fruitcake!”

SB: It is freaky as fruitcake! Yes; I just go with the freak! And you know, I think that’s part of it. If you’re willing to talk about the freaky, then other people are like, “I’ve got a whole closet of freaky, too.”

TS: [Laughs.]

SB: And then they bring it and we’re all like, “OK—there’s some freaky shit happening. How do we engage this?” You know? I do. I really hope—I hope that give permission for the freaky to be more accepted and just respected.

TS: Now the note that I’d like to end on is at the end of the book. You underscore this point—how when we know we are beloved. And it’s a beautiful word. when we know we are beloved—how that changes everything in our life. I wonder—just as ending comment—if you’d speak to that.

SB: There’s a big difference between believing we’re beloved or hoping we’re beloved and beginning to invite that experience of knowing we’re beloved. And when you start connecting in a way that’s appropriate for you to your soul, that starts to become a real natural experience because the soul’s love for itself—and for you—is beyond anything that we could conceive of. It’s beyond our own limitations of love. The amazing thing is that it keeps growing because it is a relationship that you are forming and it keeps expanding.

So you start to walk differently. You start to talk differently because there’s a part of your own being that is being filled by your own being. There’s a piece that we often reach out for—to be loved in all these different ways from the very obvious to the very subtle and not so obvious. And when that starts just naturally filling, we stop reaching out in those particular ways. We have come home to ourselves.

And it is an embrace. It’s this embrace that extends throughout the entire universe to hold us and there’s nothing else out there that can do it in that particular way. So it’s a natural piece of us that I feel we’re supposed to experience. I don’t feel like it’s some mystical grand thing. I think it’s as natural as just beginning to initiate this deeper relationship with our soul.

TS: I’ve been speaking with Sera Beak, who has written a new book, Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story—a book that is daring, and courageous, and really fun to read. Quite a romp! And a book that I think that is quite permission-giving to all of us to come forward and express what we know in our bones. So thank you Sera—thanks for being with us on Insights at the Edge.

SB: Thank you. It’s been such a joy and honor to be here.

TS: SoundsTrue.com. Many voice, one journey. Thanks for listening.