Red Hot & Holy – a review and my thoughts

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that Sera Beak’s The Red Book was one of the most influential books in developing my spirituality. Recently, I picked up her second book, Red Hot & Holy: A Heretics Love Story, and put it on the top of my TBR list. Here are some of my thoughts on it.

Bookcover from Amazon


First, thoughts when comparing two different works by the same author. If I had to choose, The Red Book has my vote, but I actually don’t think that comparisons are possible here. The first was written as more of a how-to and the second is a spiritual memoir, for one. Apples to oranges.

The story itself was riveting. Whenever I had to put the book down, I couldn’t wait to come back to it. A spiritual biography is one, big UPG (unverifiable spiritual gnosis), and Sera delivers hers with wit and humor, with energy flowing off the page as she puts her heart into Red-stained words. She punctuates the narrative with quotes from mystical poets and writers throughout the ages while drawing from other spiritual or psychology writers to support her writing – her academia background shining through.

My most favorite and least favorite aspect was probably what made this memoir so unique. Anytime the Goddess/the Red Lady/Sera was speaking to her/to the reader/to the world the text changed font type, face, and color (red, in case you were wondering 😉 ). It drew me in, these tidbits of Wisdom, pearls of Power, and nuggets of the Word with a capital W. And yet, it drove me away from the book a little bit. How could she possibly remember these experiences word for word? Is she just making it up? My gut feeling is that there is too much Truth contained within to be false words, so perhaps Sera is just a damn-fine journal keeper?

The writing style verges on stream of consciousness sometimes, which can be hard to read. Lists don’t stop at 3 or 4 items but can go on for an entire paragraph. It felt a little bit like getting hit over the head with the concept, but was saved from being tiresome by Sera’s unique perspective on life and her hilarious description of ordinary concepts.

The entire memoir is a vulnerable accounting of Sera’s journey to find her Soul and connect deeper into her Soul’s purpose. The end gets pretty “woo-woo” but I think it is important for the reader to experience, at least in small part, what Sera had to go through to come out the other side. Life isn’t always logical! I’m not sure if I would recommend it to others, though, mostly because I wouldn’t want to be mistaken in my assessment of them in suggesting they read it. Sera hinted at this in her book, and I think I agree, this one is going to have to be something you find and pick-up organically.

About the Author

Grace is an avid reader, geek, and gamer living with anxiety and fighting against depression. She volunteers when she can, in as many avenues as possible. Grace loves attending cons and festivals, but also values her time at home with fur-babies and her books. An eclectic pagan since childhood, Grace has studied as a Chakradance facilitator, level 2 Usui Reiki healer, and has been a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon since 2012. She credits Phyllis Curott and Edain McCoy with her introduction to Wicca, and The Chalice & The Blade by Riane Eisler as her introduction to historical concepts of paganism. Other inspirations include The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Red Book by Sera Beak, and Avalon Within by Jhenah Telyndru. Her (current) greatest shero and ladycrush is Michelle Obama <3. Facing hard topics dead on is Grace's signature, asking the questions no one wants to hear, and rustling the jimmies to get Change made. It has often said that you never have to wonder what Grace is thinking! She is currently fleshing out several writing projects, and hopes to pitch those soon.

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