We are known by many names, of both positive and negative connotation: dakini, qadishtu, tantrika, harlot, temptress, sacred wife, temple whore. I’ve found myself using the term Pleasure Priestess as of late, to describe the spiritual woman who is dedicated not only to honoring the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine, but to living a life based on the joys that sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy can provide.
The journey begins, I believe, with the realization of how many of our hobbies, activities, and interactions are sensual, pleasure-filled experiences. We learn to view emotional and physical pain from a different perspective, so that instead of overwhelming, those sensations provide wisdom and gratitude. The voyage is enhanced by connecting with the Divine Feminine, externally and internally; we can study the stories and lessons of sensual Goddesses, as well as the human women who lived from their wild spirits. We can use these figures as examples, as inspiration to discover and live our highest personal truth.
There are many informational sources and guides to aid the Pleasure Priestess on her journey. Here’s a list of my favorite books that provide spiritual, poetic, and sensual knowledge for those of us who enjoy a passion-filled existence.
Advanced Spiritual Intimacy: The Yoga of Deep Tantric Sensuality by Stuart Sovatsky Ph.D. – Nice practices and ideas around sexuality and spirituality.
Awakening Osiris by Normandi Ellis – A gorgeous translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Poetic, romantic, and affirming of one soul’s power.
Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women by Sylvia Brinton Perera – An initiation into the feminine mysteries and the inner self through the study of Mesopotamian Goddesses Inanna and Ershkigal. A powerful tool on your journey of healing role-determined behavior and the negative influence of society.
Embracing the Beloved: Relationship as a Path of Awakening by Stephen and Ondrea Levine – How to use the ins and outs of a romantic relationship as a means for inner growth, healing, and spiritual awakening.
Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan – A must for any Goddess practitioner. A fabulous and informative reference tool, which gives you just enough information to tempt you into studying further.
The Goddess Guide by Priestess Brandi Auset – Shameless self promotion! This quick reference is a must for those looking to gather simple info on a particular Goddess in order to start their studies. And the correspondence guides of attributes, color, and regions makes a handy decoder ring for those times when you have pieces of a Goddess, but can’t quite catch Her name.
The Goddess Scrolls: Sacred Erotic Tales by Reverend Goddess Charmaine – “This book of channeled erotic transmissions is written in the same style as it was received from Source, in erotic bursts, in panting self-pleasuring visions, in seeds and sutras created in Tantric pujas with consorts and kindred souls.”
The Healing Power of the Sacred Woman: Health, Creativity, and Fertility for the Soul by Christine R. Page M.D. – “Through a fascinating journey into the body, Dr. Page shows the importance of self-love and self-respect and explains how sex is a natural process of unification where women take the lead, similar to the ancient sacred priestesses.”
The Nag Hammadi Scriptures – A complete, up-to-date, one-volume, English-language edition of the renowned library of Gnostic manuscripts discovered in Egypt in 1945. It includes the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, and the recently discovered Gospel of Judas, as well as other Gnostic gospels and sacred texts – including references and prose on sacred sexual practices.
The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche – A #swoon worthy translation of the ancient text known as the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. Presented as a poetic exchange between the god Shiva and his consort Devi, the book offers new commentaries on each of 112 Sanskrit teachings, as well as guidance on embodiment, meditation, and personal spiritual practice.
Sacred Sexuality by Michael Mirdad – A how-to manual, full of easy to read information on sacred sexuality for individuals, couples, and groups. Wonderful as it focuses on the intimacy and Divine connection of sexuality.
Sacred Sexual Union: The Alchemy of Love, Power, and Wisdom by Anaiya Sophia – Some wonderful info on sacred sexuality, emotional intimacy, and soul awakening within yourself, with others, and with the Divine.
Sexual Secrets: Twentieth Anniversary Edition: The Alchemy of Ecstasy by Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger – A guide to sex and mysticism, revealing the wisdom of the sages of India, Nepal, Tibet, China, and Japan whose teachings on sexuality unveil how physical love can be the pathway to spiritual liberation.
The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationships by Sobonfu Some – Using insights and wisdom from West Africa, the author discusses the role of Spirit in every marriage, friendship, relationship, and community, including ancient ways to make our intimate lives more fulfilling and secure.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – A beautiful, timeless story about getting to the heart of your desires, and how the universe shows up to support you. Full of quoteable prose and a quick, easy read.
Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho – A powerful, liberating, awakening, informative read for sacred whores and the ones who love them.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel – A romantic and emotional tale that’s not only heart-wrenching but includes luscious recipes. Family and romantic drama.
The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – Love this book. A Priestess in San Francisco, with spices whispering in her ears. A beautiful blend of the modern and ancient worlds.
Now is the Time to Open Your Heart by Alice Walker – This is one of the books I reread every year. These words positively changed how I view aging, relationships, love, the world as a whole, and my place in it. Highly recommended.
I feel like describing poetry robs you of the experience of discovering the words and the meaning for yourself. So, here’s a list of my favorites. Read them to understand why.
My Wicked Wicked Ways: Poems by Sandra Cisneros
Teaching My Mother to Give Birth: Poems by Warsan Shire
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman – It’s a classic, even with the overabundance of Christian language. Once I understood how I express and accept love, it took the pressure off my relationships and my partners. Life changing read.
Aphrodite by Isabel Allende – Discovering the sensuality of food. Full of gorgeous aphrodisiac recipes and passionate, inspiring stories.
The Diary of Frida Kahlo by Carlos Fuetes – Pure inspiration. It’s Frida. You’ll find art in all its forms in these pages, plus love and heartache and pain and joy and poetry.
Fruitflesh by Gayle Brandeis – “A sumptuous, sensuous writing guide.” A glorious working book that connects your imagination and the juiciness of words.
The Perfumed Garden by Sheik Nafzawi – an 16th century manual on sex, love, and sensuality. Curious read.
The Sacred Prostitute by Nancy Qualls-Corbett – A wonderful combination of history and musings on ancient priestess and the sacred act of pleasure giving.
The Sensuous Mystic: Uniting Sex and Spirit by Reverend Goddess Charmaine – “Reverend Goddess Charmaine will take you on a journey through some of the most beautiful as well as the most shameful sexual feelings and addictions. This book includes individual and group case stories as well as exercises. It is written in a format similar to erotic short stories, with explicit sexual inter-union.”
Tantric Quest by Daniel Odier – “The author reveals his passionate experiences with a female Tantric master who taught him the suppressed practices of her ancient order.”
You Look Like Something Blooming by India Ame’ye – Any words I could use to describe this luscious jewel of a book would fall short. Just trust that India Ame’ye is everything authentic, sensual, and inspiring, so you should get yourself a copy.
The Sensuous Mystic – Join Reverend Goddess Charmaine in uniting sex and spirit with rituals, meditation, and sexual openness to expand and ritualize your life.
Grail Productions – Michael Mirdad is is a world-renowned spiritual teacher, healer and author. His website is full of informative articles on healing, spiritual connection, self-love, and sexual consciousness.
And also, don’t forget to check out my 6-month online course, The Wild and Sensual Woman.
**This is an update from the previous post: 13 Books for the Pleasure Priestess