96. Launching “The Sex Goddess” – Part V

Rev. Steph

Launching “The Sex Goddess” was a lot of fun as the event went completely off-piste!

I had asked my MC, Bishop Jackson Khosa, to help me find the section in my book about how I lost my virginity.  He was a fabulous MC but in this task, he did not succeed.

Suddenly, Deborah du Plooy yelled out:

“But you should know the story, Steph.  You don’t have to read it. Just tell it!”

Wow!  What a concept!  She was right!  And she spoke for all the audience members there who were wondering why I was so fixated about reading the story from the book when I could just tell it from memory.

But before I could tell the story, I had to remove some clothing – as you do when you are launching a book called “The Sex Goddess”… !  Plus, I was feeling rather hot in my thick black robe.

So I began to slowly unzip my ministerial robe but could not finish the job because – oh no! – my zip got stuck! Not erotic.  In an awkward moment like that, what is a girl to do?  Well, I was inspired to ask for help from the Bishop.  He happily obliged and finished the job of undressing me. You can watch it here.

So, once relieved of my black ministerial robe and standing in front of my audience in a black lace see-through dress, I told the story of my first drunken sexual experience.

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You can listen to the story here:

Finally, we are reaching the climax of the event with the Forbidden Fruit. 🙂 Yes, the bit you have all been waiting for.

I am not so sure Eve tempted Adam with an apple…. Sinking one’s teeth into a firm apple and chomping on it is not that sexy.

The forbidden fruit might have been a pear?

Or a mango?

Or a banana?

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Rev. Steph wielding her banana while she tells a naughty joke

But would the Irreverent Reverend really suck on a banana in public?  Watch the video and find out!

 

Hope that was a satisfying read.:)

Enjoy some other photos from the launch.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

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No. 95. Launching “The Sex Goddess” – part IV

 

Rev. Steph

Continuing with the slow build up to the climax of my launch, I asked my audience if they wanted to hear the story of how I lost my virginity.  They were very keen. 🙂

I forgot to tell them that that section of the book is entitled: “All it takes to cure virginity is one small prick.” You can check it out for yourself on p23.

Since I was launching my book, I thought I should read aloud to my audience – y’know like a normal author at a normal launch.  But no such luck! I had to look long and hard for that section of the book and simply could not find it.

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Rev. Steph looked long and hard for the chapter on how she lost her virginity

Eventually, I surrendered and asked the Bishop to look for that section while I donned my witch’s hat and launched into a feminist herstory of witchcraft.  Some members of the audience who had been raised in a traditional Christian religion were very shocked and maybe a little scared, proving that we have been well trained to perceive witches as evil.  This was part of the patriarchal plot to vilify women.

When a single male god began to replace the Great Mother Goddess in the heavens and correspondingly, the male priests began to take over from the priestesses in the temple, the women were forbidden to carry out their rituals or prayers or healing work on the temple grounds.  If they had been caught, they would have been tortured or put to death.  So the priestesses simply went outside into the woods to gather herbs to make remedies and to do their praying, chanting and rituals.  And that is when the women became known as witches.  Nothing more. Nothing less.  Nothing to do with evil although I bet some of the priestesses were enraged at having their power usurped by the priests and may have, indeed, been tempted to curse the the imposters who even had the cheek to wear the priestesses’ ceremonial robes as a sign of divine authority!  This is why today we still see the Archbishop of Canterbury and other high-up religious dignitaries doing their Christian ceremonies in long gold brocade dresses…..

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More next week!

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

No. 94. Launching “The Sex Goddess” – Part III

Rev. Steph

In the last blog post, I told you about the beginning of the launch.  In this post, we might get to the meat in the middle….But we also might not. 🙂

The Bishop asked me about the cover of my book as it is very controversial but also very compelling – especially to potential male readers 🙂 .

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I wanted Adam and Eve on the cover but I wanted to present them in a very different light with Eve as a  semi-naked Sex Priestess and Adam as her chosen consort.  On my cover, Eve is holding a red apple in one hand and she has a snake coiled around her other arm.  Clearly she is in control of the snake and not the victim of its evil manipulations.

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The priestesses of old were familiar with snakes.  Snakes were seen as the repositories of wisdom and the symbols of eternal life in that they could shed their skin and not die.  Snakes impressed the priestesses with messages of healing and upliftment for the temple communities in which they were revered.  Eve and her relationship with the snake was twisted by the patriarchal myth makers in the Garden of Eden story, making the snake evil and woman evil too for listening to the snake and “tempting” Adam into “sin”.  I would call that Holy Hogwash!

Next the Bishop asked me about the message of my book.

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Well, the message is definitely FREEDOM from all the religious mythology we have been taught and believed to be true.  The book takes the covers off the lies we have been told about our sexuality and our bodies and sets us free to enjoy sex without a sense of sin or shame or guilt.  In the Goddess religions  pre-Judaism, pre-Christianity and pre-Islam, the ancient people celebrated sexuality and life.  The Christian interpretation of the Bible spurned sexuality and celebrated death and made up the notion that death is the punishment for the sin of sexuality.  Preposterous!  But if we hear something often enough, we tend to start believing it.

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In the following section of the programme, I shared with my audience that, as well as being a proponent of the Divine Feminine, my work as a spiritual teacher in the New Thought philosophy is about helping people change their beliefs in order to change their life experience.  I talked about affirmations as an anti-dote for the negative beliefs we have all been conditioned with.  Affirmations are statements of truth.   They should be repeated often to reprogramme the subconscious mind and change the dominant content of our consciousness.

There is a long list of affirmations in the back of my book and I selected a few at the launch. I then asked my audience to stand and repeat these affirmations after me.

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They did it willingly and happily and I am sure many of them were shaken up in the process.  Here they are.  Try them for yourself and see if they give you a thrill!

  1. I AM BORN OF DIVINE ENERGY!
  2. I AM BORN OF DIVINE SEXUAL ENERGY!
  3. I WAS BORN TO BE SEXUALLY ALIVE!
  4. ALL THE NON-CONSENSUAL SEX ACTS OF MY PAST ARE NOW FORGIVEN!
  5. ALL THE SEXUAL ACTS COMMITTED IN IGNORANCE TO ME OR BY ME ARE NOW FORGIVEN!
  6. I AM A PURE CONDUIT FOR CREATIVE SEXUAL ENERGY!
  7. I EXPRESS MY SEXUALITY JOYFULLY AND PLAYFULLY!
  8. IT IS NOW SAFE TO EXPLORE MY SEXUALITY!
  9. SELF-PLEASURING IS PLEASING TO GOD AS ME!
  10. MY SEXUALITY IS A BLESSING TO THE WORLD!

More about the launch next week.  The climax is coming very slowly…. 🙂

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

No. 93. Launching “The Sex Goddess” – Part II

Rev. Steph

In preparation for my book launch of “The Sex Goddess: Debunking the Mythology of God & Sex” at Skoobs, I had created an altar with candles, a rubber snake and some items of fruit which I kept hidden under a cloth napkin.  In order to surprise my audience, I had a red apple (like the one Eve, the Sex Priestess, is holding on the cover of my book), a juicy pear, a ripe mango and, of course, that wicked banana! 🙂

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As soon as my MC, Bishop Jackson, arrived, I dashed into the loos for some rapid transformation: I changed out of my goddess dress

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I had to buy a professional black robe for my ministerial graduation at Agape in Los Angeles in 1998 and I picked this particular robe especially for its erotic potential – it unzips completely from the V-neck in the front all the way to the hemline.  Finally, after 21 years of lying dormant,  the erotic nature of this robe would be realised on the night of my launch at Skoobs!

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Underneath my robe, unbeknownst to my audience, I was wearing a see-through dress of black lace with a black belly dancing belt tied around my hips. Luckily, the coins on my belt did not jangle as I walked.  No-one guessed.  Nor could they have guessed that I was only wearing my robe so that I could strip it off later in the programme… 🙂   I was certainly not wearing it so that I could come across as “holier than thou” or, in this case “holier than them”. ⛪

The Divine Deborah, the Events Manager at Skoobs, gave me a fiery passionate introduction and with that, the Bishop and I took our seats and began our conversation.

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Oh yes, I did do a prayer to set the tone for the event.  That was my most spiritually lofty and serious bit of the whole evening. It went deliciously downhill from there… 🙂

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The Bishop asked me why I wrote my book.  There were a number of reasons:

  1. It was a book whose time had come: it had to be written to mend the divide between Spirit and Flesh and expose the misogynistic mythology of scripture.
  2. When I got off the stage, after my debut talk on “God & Sex” at the “Birthing Our Divine Feminine” Conference in 2017, I heard that there was a rush to the book table to buy the book on “God and Sex.” Unfortunately, it had not been written at that time but the enthusiasm shown to me for my topic was my motive to get the book completed and published.
  3. In South Africa especially, we frequently hear media reports of women being raped and murdered.  I began to question why?  Why are women typically the victims of male aggression? And why are women still being treated as 2nd class citizens, even in the first world of the 21st century?  My questions and my research showed me that our Bible, the so-called Holy Word of God, is a major contributor to the unequal relationships between men and women, the concept of women as evil, the notion of the flesh as “unspiritual”, and therefore corrupt, and the perception of sex as something sinful that will take us straight to Hell!

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More to come in the next blog post.  We are building up slowly towards the climax of the launch. 🙂

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

No. 92. The Launch of “The Sex Goddess” Part I

Rev. Steph

My latest book, “The Sex Goddess: Debunking the Mythology of God & Sex” was first launched in June 2018 on my 60th birthday.  The following weekend, after a Soul Home Sacred Gathering, we were celebrating practitioner, Penelope Gottlieb’s, birthday and I met her friend, Anita.  Anita told me I should launch my book again at Skoobs bookstore in Montecasino.  If I were to do that, Anita told me she would be happy to attend the launch as she was on the Skoobs mailing list and would get the necessary info re date and time.

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I had never heard of Skoobs but I followed Anita’s suggestion and had the good fortune to meet Deborah du Plooy, the Event Manager at Skoobs.  Deborah loved my book – “You smashed it!” – were her words.  She applauds controversial authors and goes out of her way to support us to get our message out into the world.  She found my non-stick-up-my-butt-ministerial style refreshing and so we set the date for the launch of “The Sex Goddess” on 27 February, 2019, in the month of love.

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Deborah being her fabulous self

As soon as we planned the launch, I swiftly moved into denial about the event. When you write a book called “The Sex Goddess” and it is mostly autobiographical, the pressure is on, whether real or imagined, to present to the public as a sexy woman.  Would I be able to pull it off or would I be laughed off the stage as a pathetic ageing frump by my audience of two?

I know, I know, I should not listen to my mad head but I am human and I that festering bog of lies has often sucked me in.  Finally, on Monday, 3 days before the launch, I snapped into action and the creative juices began to flow:  I had the cheeky idea to do an erotic number with the forbidden fruit on my altar.  It was a great idea, but I was not sure I had the metaphorical balls.  I mean, who has ever witnessed a minister talking about sex and going down on a banana in public?!

My lovely colleague and friend, Bishop Jackson Khosa, offered to be my MC and he came over the night before to plan the launch with me.  I ran my idea by him.  He got excited and intuited that it would be tricky for the men in the audience to stand up after they had watched me perform that sacred act…. 🙂

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The day dawned and I was not nervous at all.  Very excited though.  I could feel I was in my flow and all would go well.  BUT I did not count on traffic being so heavy and only having a handful of guests there 5 minutes before we were due to start.

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Wonderful assistance on the registration table from Juan Odendal and Rev. Gerd Pontow

The atmosphere was very quiet and subdued plus the middle-eastern background music was so far in the background that it was almost inaudible because our speakers were not working.   Hmmm, not what I had imagined.

The Bishop had called me a couple of times from the road to give me updates: he was stuck in traffic and would definitely not make it in time to start by 7 pm.  He suggested that I get started on my own. Deborah told me it was OK to wait for the Bishop and start later but we still had to finish our programme by 8pm so that people could buy their books and get them signed before the shop closed at  9 pm.

I really did not want to start without the Bishop and started thinking of ways to shorten the programme. We served snacks, I began talking to the audience members I had not met before and suddenly I saw the Bishop arriving followed by more and more guests, many of whom he had personally invited and others who had been similarly stuck in traffic. By 7.30pm nearly every seat was filled.

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Interestingly, Anita was not there.  Clearly, she was simply a messenger of the Goddess to help me connect with Deborah du Plooy.

I will tell you more about the launch in the next blog.  This was just a little teaser. 🙂

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

91. A Survivor’s Miracle Story

 

For many years, I have had the intention to meet a Holocaust survivor in person and listen to their testimony.  Tonight I attended the monthly speaker event at my mum’s retirement village.  The speaker was a diminutive Jewish woman, in height only but certainly not in soul.  Her name is Irene Klass and she is a survivor of the Holocaust.

Irene graced us with the moving story of how she was a young girl of 8 living in Lodz, Poland, when World War II broke out.  At first, Jews were forced to wear white armbands showing a blue Star of David. Later that was changed to the more well-known yellow star.  Her father did not look Jewish and he spoke fluent German.  He made the hard decision to leave his wife and daughter and pose as a Polish citizen in the hope of being able to help them all to escape from the Nazis.

When a convoy of German trucks came through the ghetto area to round up the Jews and take them to the death camps, Irene’s father spoke to one of the German guards and asked if his wife and daughter could go on the last truck. It was understood that the Jews on the last truck would be able to escape.  The German guard agreed and turned a blind eye when Irene and her mother jumped down from the truck and hid.

Irene’s dad got false identity papers drawn up for his daughter.  He came to get her 2 years after he had left the family.  There was a building on the edge of the ghetto that had a door on the Jewish side and another door on the Polish side.  Irene’s dad had to bribe the German guards to let her pass through that building and meet him on the Polish side.  Irene had to say goodbye to her mother, not knowing when or if she would ever see her again.  Her mother looked too Jewish and Irene’s father had to make a different plan to help his wife escape and then keep her hidden.  Irene was so happy to see her father after 2 years’ absence and naturally wanted to hug and kiss him but he told her sternly not to show any affection otherwise they would arouse suspicion.  She had to call him “Uncle” not “Dad”.

Irene’s dad took his daughter to a French woman he knew who was willing to take care of the orphans of the war and offered to pay her for Irene’s keep.  Posing as Irene’s uncle, he told the woman that Irene had lost both her parents in the bombing.  If the woman had known Irene was a Jew, she would probably not have taken her in as the Nazis  shot anyone who was caught hiding Jews.

By this time Irene was 10.  Her new foster mother naturally took her to the Catholic church every week to pray.  Irene had never been inside a church before but she learned quickly how to behave at the Mass.  Her father would visit her once every 2 or 3 weeks.  And then his visits stopped.  To this day, Irene does not know where or how he died but she believes his circumcised penis was discovered during a random Nazi inspection of Jewish suspects.

Before he died, Irene’s dad was able to help his wife escape from the ghetto via the sewer.  The Germans knew about this escape route and were often waiting at the mouth of the sewer outside the ghetto to shoot Jews who tried to escape. Irene’s mum had to walk through the sewage up to her neck but her escape was successful and her husband took her to a hiding place in the attic of a house in Warsaw.  Just like Anne Frank in Amsterdam, she had to keep quiet all day and only move around or use the toilet after dark.

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Anne Frank – Photo is from the exhibition at the Holocaust Museum in Johannesburg

The Nazis did not only round up Jews; they also put the local Polish people in camps where they were set to work for the Germans.  Irene and her foster mother were taken to a camp. They had not been there long when Irene’s aunt suddenly appeared at the gates of the camp.  She also did not look Jewish and had been able to pass as a Pole.  On this particular day, she showed up in a nurse’s uniform. She was not a nurse. In fact, she knew nothing about nursing but she convinced the guards that she had been sent to the camp to find the children with typhus and remove them from the camp before they infected the others.   The Germans bought the story and let her in.  She immediately went to Irene, took her to one side and rubbed white flour on her face to make her look sickly.  She told Irene to pretend that she was really faint and could hardly walk and Irene let herself be dragged out of the camp by her aunt and taken to a safe hiding place – a farm outside the city where her mother was waiting for her.

By this time, the Russians had begun to liberate Poland, except that they were violent and had a reputation for raping the women whom they were supposed to be liberating.  The Jewish women were still not safe.  They continued to hide, this time from the Russians, not the Germans, and managed to survive until the end of the war was declared.

After the war, Irene went to England and then to South Africa where she settled got married and had a family.  At the age of 87, she still works tirelessly as a volunteer at the Holocaust Museum in Johannesburg and regularly gives talks to a variety of audiences, including many school children, warning them of the horrors of prejudice.

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Listening to Irene was a moving experience and it was inspiring to hear about all the miracles that happened in concert with her will to survive.  Her life is a tribute to the strength of the human spirit.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

90. The Valentine’s Story of Trev and Martine

Rev. Steph

Soon after I began working for English in Action in the Marketing Department in 2008, two new staff members joined the team and I was given the task of training one of them. His name was Trevor.

On our first training trip around Austria visiting schools, we discovered that we both came from Epsom in Surrey.  That was enough of a coincidence since we met in Canterbury  in Kent but there were more parallels…..

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Room with a view of Canterbury Cathedral

My mother had worked for a short time in the cinema in Ewell Court, a few miles from Epsom. When the cinema was demolished, a block of flats was built on that same piece of ground and Trevor’s dad bought one.  After Trev moved back to the UK, he would often go and visit his dad at weekends and he stayed in that same block of flats where the cinema had once been – at the end of the road where I grew up!

As a teenager, Trevor lived very close to the grammar school I attended in Epsom, Rosebery, and he dated a number of girls there. (Or so he said.)

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I did not know any of Trevor’s girlfriends because they were mostly 10 years younger than I.  One of them was called Martine and when Trevor left school and began a catering business, Martine helped him out at weekends.  They were 18 and shared a passion for food.

The relationship did not last.  Trevor went travelling.  Like me, he lived and worked in Amsterdam for a while – actually in a coffee shop close to the McDonalds restaurant where I worked.

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McDonalds on Rembrandtsplain, Amsterdam, where I started my illustrious career behind the tills at age 18.

(You can read more about my life in Amsterdam in my autobiography “The Miss-Adventures of an Irreverent Reverend” and in “The Sex Goddess” too.)

After that Trev got his qualification as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher, moved to Spain, bought a house in Asturias and settled down with no thoughts of returning to the UK and much less getting married.

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Trev’s house in Asturias, Spain

But, in 2008, Trev felt guided to move back to the UK permanently.  He got the marketing job with English in Action in early 2009 and moved to Canterbury.  Soon afterwards, thanks to Facebook, Trevor and Martine found each other and started communicating.  Love was rekindled.

In 2014, I was still working for English in Action but living in Vienna, Austria. I returned to England for the school holidays in July.  Trevor invited me to a barbeque at his house in Canterbury.   There I met Martine for the first time and we swapped notes about Rosebery. It turned out that we had had many of the same teachers – the hardcore ones who had never left.

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Before I left my full time position at English in Action in 2015, Trev shared with me that he was planning to marry Martine.  He wanted me to be at the wedding but we were not sure how to work that out logistically.  I was planning to move back to South Africa and did not think I would be able to afford to fly to the UK for a wedding, much as I wanted to be there.

Well, the Universe worked it out nicely….  English in Action asked me to come back to Europe in September 2018 for a one month marketing contract in Austria starting on 23 September.  Trev and Martine set their wedding date for 22 September and I was able to attend the wedding with my return flight from S. Africa paid for as part of my marketing contract.

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It was one of the happiest weddings I have ever attended.

Wishing you many more years of happiness, Trev and Martine.

And Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter