SPREAD ‘EM: SEX TAROT 101

Looking to add some spice to your divination practice? Alessandra Calderin gives us a crash course in Sex Tarot 101, and uncovers how you can start casting cards between the sheets …

Art: Serpentfire Tarot

The Tarot is a mirror and a tool that reflects archetypal imagery that spans the spirals of the human experience. It allows us to connect to ourselves (and our Selves) because we intuitively understand these images. Sexuality is as primal and instinctual in us as the need to eat, sleep and breathe, and so the cards can reflect the ways in which our power, intuition, and connection manifest through our sexuality.

So WTF is a “sex tarot” reading?? There are so many ways to draw cards and create spreads to explore sex and desire! Here are 4 ways to get started …

Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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1// Pull a “desire” spread. Pull cards asking what your subconscious desires are, what might be blocking them, and how to work through that block. The possibilities are endless!

Start with a simple 6 card spread:

Card 1: What is my heart’s desire?
Card 2: What is blocking me from fulfilling it?
Card 3: What is my deeper unconscious desire?
Card 4: What is preventing me from seeing this?
Card 5: How can I balance and integrate these desires?
Card 6: What can I shed to make space for their fulfillment?

Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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2// Do a sacral chakra reading. Explore the seat of your sexuality by diving into the 4 “sides” of this chakra. The more you look at the pelvis and your desire as linked to your creativity, the more you start feeling how they ebb and flow together, and the more tools you have to work through both.

Card 1: Front of the sacral chakra. How does your sexuality appear to others? What is your exhibition style?
Card 2: Right side. How do you manifest sexuality and creativity in the world?
Card 3: Back. What experience of your sexuality do you hold onto?
Card 4: Left side. How do you receive creative inspiration, the desire of others, and pleasure?

Art: Serpentfire Tarot

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3// Masturbate with the Majors. You can also use Tarot for masturbation and sex magic practices by meditating on the archetypes of the Major Arcana or court cards.

Choose whatever cards are ruled by planets or signs that show up strongly in your birth chart, where the Moon is hanging out, what astro season we’re in, or just pull a Major and start working with it at random. You might even choose one you have trouble with (like when I pulled Justice- I was bummed by how unsexy that card might be on the surface, but there was powerful medicine in that feeling and the resulting meditation!)

Most recently, for the Super Blue Blood Moon in Leo on 1/31 during Aquarius season, I meditated on Strength (because Leo rules it) and The Star (because Aquarius rules). I let those two figures guide me as I touched, explored, played with my hands and my favorite toy (Njoy Pure Wand). As I was getting ready to orgasm, these two images reassured me that my sexuality and desire were a gift, and sacred sources of feminine power.

Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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4// And channel the deck’s sexiest cards to unlock pure magic! I could probably make an argument for the sexual energy of every card, but this is a good place to start. Explore how you feel about these cards and the kind of pleasure they channel, or isolate the pack and draw one as your teacher of the moment.

*She/He pronouns refer to the archetypal genders of masculine and feminine energy. These figures are figuratively gendered, but anatomically genderless.

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:: Strength :: In the Thoth, Strength is actually called Lust. Some interpretations say it’s the taming of desire, but I would say it’s more like mastery over desire. Taming connotes that there is too much desire and you need to control it. In this context, I see her as the master of her desire in a world that denies her that power. Your desire becomes sacred fuel the moment you master it.

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:: The Empress :: The Empress is receptive. She is how I learned to receive pleasure without having to think about reciprocating in that moment. She allows herself to be fully nourished, filled to the brim with love, pleasure, and affection, but she also rides and caresses like a goddess. She bestows the gift of her mouth upon you and it’s like drinking an unearthly elixir with her kisses and nibbles and expertly executed oral.

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:: The Emperor :: The Emperor might be a surprise for this, but as the Empress’s counterpart, he allows her to unleash. He’s like a very good Dom, providing the container for every expression of kink you might wish to explore safely. You want to be tied up, spanked, penetrated in out of the ordinary ways? He reads your body language, pushes the edges, and knows your limits before you even need to utter a safe word. The master of boundaries, he’s here to teach you how to consent so enthusiastically you forget what ambiguity feels like.

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:: The Moon :: The Moon represents the wild woman running naked in the woods and howling at the Moon- the deep waters of sexuality and mystery. She is a shapeshifter. A wolf. A mountain lion. She visits you in the dead of night and brings your to orgasm in the dream realm, and when you wake up the memory is hazy but you know something powerful has been touched inside you. She breathes underwater and is as mysterious as the bottom of the sea. You know her without words.

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:: The Devil :: The Devil can sometimes deal with a repression of desire, and to me has always had a BDSM vibe to it. I think this one depends on your relationship to that kind of imagery and sexual practice, but as a Capricorn (The Devil is ruled by Capricorn), and a big fan of power play, The Devil can sometimes be a freeing card. Reclaiming the divinity and balance of the shadow, of words like slut, whore, bitch, freak, breaks the chains that bind us to our own fear and repression. It’s a balancing act. The Devil reminds us that there are more layers and sides to it.

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:: The Lovers :: The Lovers feels like an obvious one because you have to love all the sides of yourself like a lover before you can love anyone else. Getting there is anything but obvious or easy, though. Use a mirror. Look at yourself. This is the real shit. The deep work. It takes a lot of unraveling and excavation to be able to love your body and yourself just as you are. Your best Lover will look back at you eventually.

Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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:: Queen of Pentacles :: Queen of Pentacles is the master of the home and body. An independent woman, she knows what she likes and moves through the material world with the grace of an angelic ballerina. Queen of Wands is known to be the most sexual queen in the deck, but Queen of Pentacles knows pleasure like no one else. Part earth angel, part water nymph, she creates the primordial mud that those Dead Sea masks get their magic from.

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:: Knight of Cups :: Knight of Cups will go down on you first without being asked. Inviting this kind of energy into your bedroom, the person who will massage and caress you slowly, who dreams of drinking you like you’re water in the desert, is clutch in truly sinking into pleasure. Find you a man (or woman or non-binary) who can give it to you good.

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:: Page of Wands :: Page of Wands is bursting with potential energy, often creative and sexual. She’s ready and willing to try new toys and discover what she likes. She’s the teen who just discovered her clitoris and hasn’t been told there is something wrong with the amazing feeling that swims through her body when she touches it. She just got her period and is ready to finger paint with her blood. She will make out behind the bleachers and let herself love completely. She writes love songs and sings them without the slightest bit of embarrassment.

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:: Ace of Cups :: Ace of Cups is a pure gift of water, love, communication, and intuition. I often see it as an invitation to masturbate with more loving intention. To swim in your waters and to practice accepting the water gifts from elsewhere.

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:: 10 of Cups :: 10 of Cups is a literal orgasm. It could be something that feels as good as an orgasm, a self pleasure practice that’s out of this world, or a partner that takes you to the places of rainforest waterfalls and fireworks.

Alessandra is an intuitive healing facilitator, tarot practitioner, yoga teacher, writer, poet, comedienne and performer based in New York. She will be teaching her Tarot Immersive later this month and currently teaches yoga at Three Jewels, focusing her attention on energetic sensitivity and the pelvic floor. Explore her offerings at Boneseed, and follow her on Instagram.

WHAT CAN GODDESS APHRODITE TEACH YOU ABOUT LOVE?

As Pisces season brings on the deep emo vibes, George Lizos tells us how the Goddess Aphrodite can help us start calling in the flavor of love we need right now …

Photo: Joanna Nix

Meeting Aphrodite … 
Growing up in Cyprus, the island where Aphrodite was reputedly born, my childhood was saturated with the art, stories, and myths surrounding the Goddess of Love. Everywhere you looked she was there, posing in her seductive nakedness in statues and paintings.

As an adult, dissatisfied with my love life and drained of feminine energy, I travelled back to my homeland with a single desire in mind: I wanted to know love more deeply, more fully. 

I drove to Aphrodite’s Rock, the beach where, according to Hesiod’s myth, the Goddess was born of the sea foam and washed upon the shore. And as I walked into the calm, cool water of the Mediterranean Sea, I felt layers upon layers of sexual shame, limiting beliefs around love, past hurts and resentments, all washing off of my body.

Right then and there, I met Aphrodite. And love finally made sense, for the first time.

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What can the Goddess Aphrodite teach you right now? 
Embodying Aphrodite invites us to accept and honor romantic love in all its meanings and layers. The four ancient epithets she’s been given mix the sea (sensual love), land (erotic love), and sky (spiritual love) energies. Read on to discover which of the four qualities of Goddess Aphrodite is currently missing from your life … 

Photo: Zara Walker

1// Ourania (Sky element; Spiritual love): This is the spiritual, romantic essence of love, that’s best experienced when a couple is “in love” with each other. The experience of falling in love transcends the ego’s perception of love, helping us realize that in spiritual truth, that all is love. Call upon Ourania Aphrodite if you’re having trouble committing to, or falling in love with, a partner.

*How to Call Her In: Mentally place a pink rose within your heart. Visualize the rose blooming slowly and radiating pink light, allowing the energy of Ourania Aphrodite to replace any blocks you have around being vulnerable and opening your heart.

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2// Chrusee (Sea element; Sensual love): This is the love towards oneself that’s fundamental for healthy romantic relationships. It also includes the act of adorning your body with beautiful clothes, jewelry, oils, and perfume. Call upon Chrusee Aphrodite if you’re struggling with low self-esteem, lack of self-love, and body confidence.

*How to Call Her In: An unorthodox yet powerful way to embody Chrusee Aphrodite is by taking away all external body adornment props (i.e. jewelry, clothes, perfume), and facing yourself naked in the mirror. Closing your eyes, visualize your body emanating a bright golden light that reflects its inner, perfect beauty. Open your eyes and accept this new perspective as your truth.

Photo: Hal Gatewood

3// Peitho (Land element; Persuasive Love): Playfulness, flirting, teasing, and being able to seduce a partner into meaningful romantic and sexual experiences. Call upon Peitho Aphrodite to attract vitality if your love life is feeling dull and stagnant.

*How to Call Her In: Buy or create a blend of rose, frankincense and myrrh essential oils. Add three drops in your palms, rub them together, and then use your hands to clear and energize your aura. These three oils were traditionally used for seduction by Aphrodite’s priestesses; instilling your aura with them will give you the inspiration you need to spice up your love life.

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4// Philommeides (Land element; Erotic love): The love of bodily pleasures and intimate sexual connection between lovers. Call upon Philommeides Aphrodite if you have a low sexual drive, have trouble enjoying sex, or lack sexual chemistry with your partner/s.

*How to Call Her In: Just as the name suggests, to embody Philommeides Aphrodite you need to learn to love and accept your genitalia. Spend time observing, exploring, and pleasuring yourself. Educate yourself in your own sexual rhythms, needs, and desires. Make peace with them, accept them without judgment, and let them guide the way in your sexual encounters.

Photo: Michael Paz

Once you’ve channeled your personal Aphrodite, amp up the vibes with a beach ritual to honor romantic love in all its expressions. **And you can download the Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite HERE to infuse your ritual with even more magic!

-Sit or stand on the shoreline, at the point where the waves crash on the sand, and close your eyes. If you don’t have access to the sea, just visualize yourself there and you’ll still benefit from the meditation.

-Breathing in and out, ground yourself and allow your body to adjust to the fluid energy of this in-between place. Reflect on what it means to be at the meeting point of sea, land, and sky, which captures Aphrodite’s multi-layered essence.

-Either mentally or verbally say, “I am Aphrodite,” over and over again. The ‘I am’ statement invites the essence of Aphrodite into your present moment.

-When you establish a connection with the goddess, spend some time reflecting on your willingness to honor both earthly and heavenly love. Do you reject one or the other? Do you feel guilty about either? Are you willing to accept both in your life?

-With eyes closed, open your arms wide and receive the Aphrodite qualities you need in your life right now. As the hymn ends, hug the energy into your heart by gradually bringing your arms and hands to your chest.

-End the meditation by thanking Aphrodite for her continued presence in your life, and ask her to keep guiding you in embodying romantic love to its fullness.

George Lizos is a spiritual teacher, author of Be The Guru, and the creator of the Mermaid Bootcamp. He works with the angelic and elemental realms helping lightworkers find, follow, and fulfill their life purpose. To learn more about George visit georgelizos.com, and follow him on Instagram.

7 THINGS I LEARNED STARTING A CRYSTAL SEX TOY COMPANY

Vanessa Cuccia is the Founder of Chakrubs, The Original Crystal Sex Toy Company. Here she shares 7 deep spiritual lessons of her entrepreneurial path …

I was in my early twenties when I realized that no one was going to hand me the life I wanted. I also began to realize how complacent I had been, especially when it came to my sex life, relationship, and career. I knew I had to make a drastic change.

I began by breaking up with my boyfriend, who had been sexually and emotionally abusing me for six years. I felt I had finally taken responsibility for myself, and it was up to me to BECOME stronger, more connected to my body, and TO acknowledge my power. I wanted to be around people who could educate me on sexuality, so I took a job at a sex toy shop and invited a spiritual teacher to come live with me. During this time, I deepened my relationship to crystals and understanding of the body’s energy system, while opening up to my own sexual identity.

One night I was visiting the home of a woman with a large crystal collection when I saw a crystal wand. I realized that with a few adjustments it could be made into a tool for pleasure. Almost instantaneously I thought of the the name “Chakrubs™” and began receiving messages guiding me to create The Original Crystal Sex Toy Company®.

I’ve grown a great deal personally, spiritually, and professionally since beginning this journey almost seven years ago. Here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way …

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1. When you’re rooted in your pleasure, no one can harm you.

At the very beginning of Chakrubs I began my own sexual healing journey with the Black Obsidian Chakrub. I started with this one because it is known to assist in releasing emotional implants that no longer serve us. After spending six years with someone who treated my body like a sex toy, I knew I had a lot of stored negativity. The Black Obsidian helped me release a lot of shame and guilt I had been holding onto.

This, combined with placing a strong focus on pleasure while starting my business, caused me to realize how much these negative emotions were draining me and how empowered I felt when I was rooted in pleasure. Being rooted in pleasure means being sensitive to what makes you feel good and having the confidence to pursue those desires. When you connect with what brings you pleasure, it will protect you from outside judgements or criticism.

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2. “When you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

This quote from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist has been proven to me time and time again. When I decided to create Chakrubs, I gave myself permission to begin saying, “I started a brand called Chakrubs” to my friends, family, and people I’d meet. Even though most of the work I’d been doing was limited to meditation, brainstorming, and research at that point, I knew that those were all valuable steps in the process. I had decided in my heart that I was going to take on this role of bringing crystal sex toys to the mainstream to open people up to crystal and sexual healing.

I won’t say that it was easy starting this business, but at every point along the way I felt assisted by a power greater than myself. Everyone I spoke to had some key to help me unlock what was being created. It was as though my steps were being illuminated and I was just following the path laid out for me. I think once we proclaim that we want something and begin to work towards it, the universe will help us obtain it. We just have to be open to receiving and working within “the language of the universe.”

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3. I’m a fucking Goddess (and so are you).

Living in the redwood forests in Santa Cruz in 2011, I lived with women who would become the first focus group of Chakrubs. We would sing songs in our house and call each other goddesses.

I feel like what prevents us from being in touch with our own divinity is this idea that seeing yourself that way makes you conceited or narcissistic. In reality, recognizing your connection to all that not only enables you to understand the power you hold but also the power of the people around you.

Living with these women who were so different from me helped me understand that through our love, recognition and appreciation of one another we could be mirrors that would reflect each other’s potential. I’ve learned that it’s more fun and useful to honor people’s sacredness and shine light on what we love about them rather than focusing on their shortcomings.

When concepting Chakrubs, we sat in circles, in teepees, out on the picnic table, dreaming of which crystals would help others, what shapes would bring the most pleasure, and what energy could be infused into the crystals to make them even more special. Chakrubs took years and so much of my own self-healing to be able to bring it to you. The history of manifesting this creation is filled with depth and many stories that I am grateful to share.

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Over the weekend I celebrated my birthday (on Earthday) with friends, family and the community that I feel is within this world of Chakrub social media. I feel eternally grateful and deeply moved by the love I felt, and I want so intensely for this love to be shared by all. Though I am older I feel like a child as I am painfully, humbly, and honored to be aware of the lessons I still have to learn on my spiritual path. I say with no hesitation that you are each great teachers to me and I am learning from you every day. I want to continue to serve you the best and most authentic way that I can. Thank you for being open to opening. Thank you for loving to love. Thank you for being connected as we all are to one another and to yourself. ✨🌏💓🙏🏼Forever yours, Vanessa Cuccia Xx photo by @aliciarabbitheart

A post shared by Chakrubs™ (@chakrubs) on

4. The more heart you put into something, the better response you’ll receive.

Whenever I find myself feeling stuck or like things aren’t flowing with my business, I remember to show more of my heart. I reach deep into the “why” of what I’ve created, tell stories to my social media followers about how this all came about, reveal what I’m growing to understand, and I give gratitude.

Conventional businesses may not want to show the vulnerability of their CEO’s, but the mission of Chakrubs is to create connection to others through connection with the self. When I express myself I am not only strengthening my own understanding of why I started this company, but helping others understand that this is isn’t just a trend—it’s a lifestyle and philosophy meant to empower us.

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5. We don’t need anything outside of ourselves to heal, but we can use tools to facilitate that healing.

I’m a firm believer that we don’t need anything outside of ourselves to heal our emotional wounds. Crystals facilitate our natural ability to heal ourselves with their perfect molecular structures, but we already have crystals within us. There are crystals in our bones called apatite(1) and we can activate them through our intentions.

I like to be able to hold a tool, a tool that will help me to tune into myself and the sexual energy of the earth. So find a tool that works for you, but don’t rely on it entirely. Know that all of the wisdom you seek is within you, just waiting to be discovered.

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6. Arousal can reacquaint you with your spiritual beliefs.

In launching Chakrubs, I created a new way for us to use crystals to benefit our spiritual growth. When we work with crystals they become imbued with our intentions and Chakrubs are no different. As you become aroused and begin your Chakrub practice, your ritual becomes a reminder of your intentions and strengthens your focus. As someone who is not necessarily religious, I value practicing your values religiously. I may not remember to meditate daily, but every time I reach for my Chakrub, I am reminded how it is benefiting me on more levels than one.

When your art inspires other art. 🙏🏼✨ by @giulianaelina

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7. It’s difficult to receive love when you don’t know who you are.

Creating my brand ethos, I had to ask myself, why is self-discovery and awareness important? Who cares if I know who I am or not? My answer is this: knowing ourselves is the only way we will be able to accept the love we are given.

We won’t be able to receive love from our partners or the world if we are stuck in our egos or trying to deny aspects of who we are. Honesty is the only way to feel worthy of love, and self-awareness is the only way to be honest. If we take time for introspection and healing, we’ll be able to unveil who we are at our core. Once we really get to know ourselves it creates more compassion and empathy for others. Which is why I believe this to be true; heal yourself and you heal the world.

Learn more about Chakrubs and get rooted in a life of pleasure and creativity at Chakrubs.com

A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF LEO SEASON

Leo season is an invitation to shimmy onto the dancefloor and unleash your realness, say Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Kali Uchis

Leo season grabs us by both hands and pulls us onto the dance floor to shake and shimmy with the sweet sensation that all we have to do is become more of what we already are. Yet the fluorescent feline’s secret jewel box lies buried within the deliciously difficult feeling that when we show up as ourselves, absolutely and completely, sometimes we dance alone, lit only by the fire of our realest, most generously unapologetic essence.

We’re not for everyone—but we cannot be for anyone if we’re not for ourselves. So turn it on, turn it up, and shine your light as you step into the strobe-lit center of your own incandescent value, powered by the sheer deliciousness of being. The message, glamourama glitter kittens, is that it’s alright to trust this life, even when it leaves us to bask alone in our own glow. Because we’ve got to let it show and it’s time for the world to know.

The keyword: Realness

The song lyrics: “What you find/What you feel/What you know now/To be real”—Cheryl Lynn, To Be Real. And check out our Leo season playlist, complete with bubblegum pop, heart-on-sleeve anthems, and glittering grooves.

Leo lady Cara Delevigne

The color palette: Fully saturated jewel tones and glowy, sun-kissed shades—think gold lamé, mouthwatering magentas, and torrid corals.

The style: Lisa Frank and a Vegas showgirl vacation in the tropics—think over-the-top sparkles, shine, fluff, bronzer, silliness, sex and, of course, rainbow leopard print.

The scents and flavors: Sunbaked and succulent—think juicy tomatoes, citrus collisions, tropical infusions, and ice cream dreams. Think coconut La Croix, gourmand scents, Caprese salad, and creamsicles.

The healing: It’s glamorously direct and deliciously simple—go for rollerskating, drugstore makeovers, beachfront carnivals, shared popsicles, or anything that offers full, earnest immersion in the precious present.

SENSUOUS INVITATION OF THE MONTH :: UN-GUILTY PLEASURES (by sign, below)

With this month’s pack of Leo planets beckoning us to become more completely ourselves than ever before, and Mars finally out of retrograde and moving from Scorpio into Sagittarius, we’re being asked to recommit to what turns us on and lights us up, even when our pleasures might be perceived as “uncool.”

This month, we invite you to abandon “good” taste and strip the supposedly guilty of its guilt as you dive heart first into the gaudy, tacky, sentimental, and over-the-top. Start with the suggestions below and then let your imagination run absolutely wild into pure, guileless pleasure, no matter its reputation.

Nicki Minaj

::  ARIES ::
Leo season invites you to infuse your stripped down, embattled spirit with some larger-than-life glamorama and tenderized sweetness. Un-guilty Pleasure: Talk about love and feel it all with Celine Dion’s heart-wrenching, vocal acrobatics.

:: TAURUS ::
Leo season invites you to savor ephemeral pleasures that can’t be tied down or objectified, and to trust so deeply into your worth that you have nothing to lose. Un-guilty Pleasure: Divine the cosmic messages in lottery tickets, happy meal prizes, and boardwalk palm readers just like you would a serious tarot session with a seasoned professional.

:: GEMINI ::
Leo season invites you to utilize your endless penchant for information gathering to playfully and emotionally relate to others’ stories. Un-guilty Pleasure: Old-school slumber parties complete with Cosmo quizzes and rounds of “Never Have I Ever.”

:: CANCER ::
Leo season invites you to own your need for retreat and not wait for permission to feed the secret parts of your soul. Un-guilty Pleasure: Slip away and tuck yourself in with a solo Snuggie and Yankee candle.

:: LEO ::
Leo season invites you to glow, glam, and shine without worrying about who’s watching. Un-guilty Pleasure: Break out the bedazzler and blue eyeshadow and take yourself out for a romantic Olive Garden pasta dinner for one.

:: VIRGO ::
Leo season invites you to step into the scorching-hot spotlight as you rightfully claim full credit for your behind-the-scenes labors. Un-guilty Pleasure: Karaoke lounge night without opting for the private room; think ABBA, Barry Manilow, and beyond.  

:: LIBRA ::
Leo season invites you to trade the shoulds for the wants as you release into multiple versions of the ideal. Un-guilty Pleasure: Challenge your sense of acceptable aesthetics as you celebrate inspirational kitten and sunset photos, colored bras under white shirts, or even toe rings.

:: SCORPIO ::
Leo season invites you to find the juicy humor in your emotional intensity without having to scale it back one single bit. Un-guilty Pleasure: Binge on soap operas and reality shows where the drama runs high; think Melrose, The O.C., and The Real Housewives.

:: SAGITTARIUS ::
Leo season invites you to relax fully in the present moment of courageous creation without having to imbue it with philosophical meaning or needing to sniff out what may be next in line. Un-guilty Pleasure: Get wild and weird with jazzercise, prancercise, square dancing, or line dancing.

:: CAPRICORN ::
Leo season invites you to suspend some of your hard-earned perspective for the deliciously innocent belief that you’re worthy of being adored without having to exercise any effort. Un-guilty Pleasure: Adorn your living space with some Liberace-style “palatial kitsch”: gold- plated picture frames, red velvet lamps, and pink cherubic statues.

:: AQUARIUS ::
Leo season invites you to feel fully into the arduous heat of passionate attachments and let them burn and burn. Un-guilty Pleasure: Start a Nicholas Sparks’ book club and cry your damn eyes out with the ephemeral human beauty of it all.

:: PISCES ::
Leo season invites you to assert yourself completely without needing to ask permission. Un-guilty Pleasure: Clear the dance floor with a show-stopping boogie down to the smooth, mellow sounds of Michael McDonald’s yacht rock.

EARTHLY DELIGHTS: NO MORE GUILTY PLEASURES

Be kind to yourself and indulge says Kate Horodyski, as questions why they must always be guilty pleasures… Artwork: Marcus Allen

A few years ago, I was flipping through a celebrity magazine, and on one of the pages, they’d asked different celebs what their guilty pleasures were. Most gave the typical answers like wine, chocolate, or online shopping, but one person, I wish I remembered who, wrote: “I don’t have any because I never feel guilty about my pleasures.

The perfection of this caught me off guard, and it had such an impact on me.  I’ve actually seen it quoted by a few different people since then, but the origin isn’t important. What’s important is how profound and amazing a concept this is.

Living things are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Obviously, right? It’s a survival mechanism, but also, what would be the point of living if it weren’t for pleasure? Somewhere along the way (many would blame organized religion, but that’s a whole other topic), the idea arose that pleasure was to be avoided and that to “indulge” in pleasure must require a healthy dose of guilt.

The message this sends is that we can’t be trusted around pleasure as if it will derail us, or something.  In this scenario, guilt acts to protect us from ourselves and keep us “safe and in line.”

I’d like to propose though, that instead of only occasionally indulging in pleasure, while also feeling guilty about it, we just fully own it and make our lives as full of pleasure as possible. I think if we made pleasure (which translates to happiness) a priority, the world would be a much better place.

Because we’re so stingy with it, we’ve come to associate pleasure with selfishness or greed. But if we were more open with it, we’d see that it’s the exact opposite! Pleasure is like rocket fuel for our lives and the more we embrace pleasure, the happier and more loving and generous we can be.

How do you feel after a day of hard work, having also denied yourself delicious food, rest, or play?  Are you full of energy and ready to help others? Or do you want to simultaneously cry, sleep, and eat a tub of ice cream? Now compare that to how you feel after a day of chatting with friends, eating delicious food, being outside, and having some great sex (or whatever it is that you find pleasurable). You probably feel happy, at peace, and more open to helping others.

Pleasure doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy process (i.e. it doesn’t need to involve a trip to the spa or a five-star resort). It can truly be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, making yourself some tea, or hugging someone you love. The beauty of pleasure is its simplicity. Pleasure means caring about yourself and offering yourself the love that you deserve.

While I write this, I keep pausing to check in on my breath and any tension in my body.  The more I breathe and relax, the more pleasurable anything and everything feels. Practicing presence is practicing pleasure.

I also believe that we should be able to eat chocolate, drink champagne, take mid-day naps in the sun, go for 2-hour massage appointments, and buy ourselves beautiful things. We are spiritual beings living in a physical world, and the best way to celebrate this is by diving head first into the pleasures that this physical world can offer. We are here to have fun!

Most importantly, I think it’s important that we don’t see these as guilty pleasures that we only earn by putting in a hard day’s work. I want us to see pleasure as our prerogative, our birthright, and a celebration of what it means to be alive. I want us to know that pleasure doesn’t have to be earned.

I used to take life so seriously and having fun just didn’t seem overly important. But life changed for me, not all at once, but gradually, when I changed my perspective on pleasure. It got a whole lot more fun and a whole lot more amazing. I’ve made fun and pleasure my spiritual practice, and I am never looking back.

HEART’S DESIRE: A NEW MOON SEX MAGIC RITUAL

Time for a really radical approach to self-love…The anonymous writer behind sex positive site Girly Juice shares her recipe for a New Moon sex magic ritual

Image: Conrad C. Jones

Sex energy is powerful magic. It’s pure joy and ecstasy, particularly at the moment of orgasm. It taps you into your Source so easily, quickly, wholly, and pleasurably, it can make your head spin. Sex educator Annie Sprinkle calls this “medibation”: a synthesis between masturbation and meditation. Two of my favorite things!

Lately I’ve been doing masturbation-magic rituals in the hopes of manifesting my dream sexual relationship, so I focus on the wonderful feelings and visualize someone else being there with me – working, as always, to feel the feelings I want to feel with them in the now. But you can do this kind of ritual in the service of any desire, so long as you can stay focused on it and use it to get into the feelings associated with it.

Preparation
I like to set the scene by lighting a scented candle, putting on some music that reflects the mood I’m trying to get into (for me, R&B slow-jam playlists on Spotify are a godsend), and cleaning up the space in which I’m going to get busy. If your intention is to meet a new partner, tidying up your bedroom and bed is a way of symbolically and literally making space for that person to enter your reality.

Wear whatever clothing makes you feel gorgeous and in tune with your desired feeling(s). That may be nothing at all, or a silky vintage slip and high heels, or a pair of leather handcuffs and a rose quartz pendulum necklace, or even a boss-lady pantsuit…So long as you feel fantastic in it (and can comfortably masturbate in it!), it’s fair game.

The Orgasmic Pentagram by Sergio Saucedo via Behance.net

Crystals
I was fascinated when I heard several months ago about rose quartz dildos, a brief trend in the world of sex toys. Rose quartz is, after all, the crystal of love (including self-love), so it makes perfect sense to use it in this sort of ritual!

You can find rose quartz in various different shapes and sizes, including dildo-esque massage wands, but I have a heart-shaped piece so that’s what I use. The smoothness of a tumbled stone makes it ideal for sliding over your lips, nipples, labia, anywhere that’s craving attention. Visualize the stone spreading love energy to every area it touches.

If you’re comfortable inserting the crystal vaginally and keeping it there for the duration of the ritual, you can do that too. It’s powerful to feel love energy radiating out from literally inside you. But be careful: while it can’t get “lost” inside your vagina, you might have trouble removing the crystal later if you insert it too deeply. (And please, never put a crystal in your butt!)

Other crystals can also work beautifully. Red ones, like garnet and ruby, may increase the flow of sexual energy and pleasure in and around your root chakra. Just make sure to research any crystal before inserting it into your body – some crystals dissolve in moisture. If you’re not sure, put a condom on it. And, obviously, avoid putting anything rough or sharp in a sensitive area. Smooth stones only!

Other tools and toys
In addition to any crystals you have on hand, you should use any tools or toys you normally like to use. Keeping it simple, with just your hands, may feel the most organic and connective, but there’s nothing wrong with using vibrators or other toys to help the process along – we live in the modern age, after all, and we should take advantage of that fact! I’d recommend avoiding any really loud vibrators, though, because the noise can be distracting when you’re trying to focus on a feeling or an image.

Image: Steven Ratcliffe via Behance.net

Visualization
While you pleasure yourself, visualize what you’re trying to manifest. Give yourself over to that visualization fully, so that the feelings of it wash over you. It can be helpful to say affirmations out loud, stated as if you had already achieved what you’re trying to manifest. For example, in my rituals for manifesting my ideal sexual partner, I might say things like; “This is the best sex I’ve ever had!” or “You’re very good at that!” It can feel a little silly, but any self-consciousness usually melts away once I fully surrender to the fantasy and the pleasure.

Timing
Take your time; don’t rush. “Edging” (repeatedly approaching orgasm but then backing off before the actual climax) can help build arousal levels and sexual energy so that the peak will be a bigger explosion. At the eventual moment of orgasm, whenever it finally happens, hold the desired image in your mind and maybe speak a word or phrase that encapsulates what you want – if you’re coherent enough to manage it!

When you’re done, take a few minutes to catch your breath and bask in the feeling you’ve created for yourself. This is also a lovely time for deep, meditative breathing, because all the delicious neurotransmitters traveling around your body will be making you feel extra calm.

Do you ever use your orgasms as a tool for magic-making and manifesting? I want to hear all about it!

Read more like this at Girlyjuice.net

YOGI VEGAN LEZ: ZEN AND THE ART OF CELIBATE DATING

When Alexandra Roxo signed up for a peyote medicine ceremony, she forgot to tell her girlfriend this would mean a week of celibate dating. Uh-oh…Homepage image: Fab Ciracolo 

Stuck between a rock and…a psychedelic cactus?

The night before my last peyote medicine ceremony, I was almost asleep when my girlfriend climbed on top of me and started a slow dry hump. I was jarred awake, shocked, and didn’t know what to do. No, not because she’s hideous or I’m no longer attracted to her or dry humping is gross. Not any of those reasons. But because I wasn’t supposed to be sexual / have sex for three days before my medicine ceremony! This essentially meant a week of celibate dating.

So I was faced with a dilemma. A) We’d been having a rough time and hadn’t had sex all week. B) I didn’t tell her I was supposed to be celibate for three days prior to taking the peyote and three days after. Woops. And C) Well shit, C is that I love her and she’s hot.

I found myself between a rock (or rather, a cactus) and a hard place. Also between 300-thread count cotton sheets and a hot bod. So I somehow justified that I’d let her masturbate on me or with me and it wouldn’t count. Not exactly rational but it was the best I could come up with. She finished quickly, I didn’t let her touch me, and somehow I felt no guilt about it all. Until. The next night.

I’d had two peyote ceremonies with the same medicine man before, which were both “deer ceremonies” in the Apache tradition, one in a teepee upstate and one in Mexico. Both times it was incredibly enlightening. I’d worked through deep parental issues that were a part of my Saturn return, and sung in the dark wearing a white muumuu as I released the pain of my youth.

Alexandra and her soul sister Natalia Leite at her first deer medicine ceremony

But this ceremony was different, in that I got a real ass kicking. I felt like I was gonna puke but couldn’t. I felt like I was having the worst period cramps in my life. I couldn’t lay down. And I kept seeing dark visions. Had my soul become a dark vault in the last few months? OR WAS IT THE SEX? (I mean, half sex really, but…)

Worse, after the ceremony the ass kicking continued for a full week. My GF and I’s relationship was pulled apart and rebuilt, like three times. Meaning I was crying in public again. At one point Orian and I were sitting on a bench in the park and I was crying and she put her hands over her head and commented that her shadow looked like a deer.

At that moment I got it. Everything came together. She was in on this ass kicking from the Universe too! She didn’t even know I had done the deer medicine but the plant had obviously used her lovely spirit and they’d been in cahoots all week to school and teach me.

This interconnectedness of my lessons has revealed itself again and again over the years, sometimes in a calm and magical/twinkly way, and other times in a more grotesque and “punch in the face” way. It still amazes me. This time, I’ve come to realize that managing sexual energy in times of spiritual growth can be very, very challenging.

Essentially, when I’m deep in some growth and lessons, the LAST thing on the planet I want is to open my physical body to some “poking.” To put it crudely. ‘Cause when I’m not in the sex zone, that’s kind of what it feels like. Like an intrusive visitor showing up at the very wrong time.

When I want to hold my energy close and exist in my higher chakras, I’m thinking about my angelic spirit guides and the work I’m doing here. And sex? Well, sex feels incredibly mundane. But how is this fair to your partner? And how do we navigate these moments as a couple?

I’ve also started meditating every night before bed recently. You know, releasing my day by doing visualizations and setting my dream time intentions. And lemme tell you…this can be a major buzzkill in the bedroom. The other night my girlfriend and I were kissing on the couch and when we moved into the bedroom I stopped the fun and was like: “Wait, just let me meditate real quick!” When I opened my eyes 15-20 minutes later and looked over, she was passed out and snoring with her mouth open. Dammit.

On the other hand, I find myself trying to turn the work I’m doing into “our” work. The other night, instead of meditating, I asked her participate with me as we shouted what we are grateful for. “Thank you Universe for coffee! Sunshine! An HBO Go password from a friend!” And then I guided us through some vibrational chanting.

I know this is sounding like a Christian teen sleepover or a day at a Waldorf school, but it was great. But we don’t live alone, so there’s that. Instead of that awkward moment in the kitchen, “Shit, did our roommate hear me cumming?” it’s “Did he hear us… doing vibrational chanting work and daily gratitudes??”

“Did our room mate hear us chanting before bed?”

Thankfully, taking the leap into the land of heart-warming cheesiness can be just as bonding as sex. Sometimes we tackle the bigger questions in relationships like cheating, differences in values, or whether or not we want kids.

But the small ones can be the scariest to tackle. Like telling your partner you aren’t really feeling sexual, and them being able to respect that space and not feel threatened/slighted/or like you think they’re ugly now. Being able to say; “Hi. I’m wanting to not have sex for a bit ’cause I’m tryna connect with my guides and my third eye this week.” Or “Hey I can’t have sex cause I’m cleansing/grounding my energy before a ceremony.”

And them being able to accept where you’re at, and not go parading around in Agent Provocateur panties or send you nude selfies of them masturbating or watch porn beside you at high volumes while you’re trying to meditate.

If your partner is down to respect and accept where you’re at, then maybe during this time they can do something useful with their energy too, like work on their kickboxing moves or reorganize the fridge. And then when you’ve ridden out that wave and got what you need, you can come back together roaring and ready to meld energies, have sex all night and transcend together with some candles, wine and Kenny G.

@yoga_vegan_lez