The Two of Cups wants us to make magic with the ones who set our hearts on fire, says Melinda Lee Holm …
Think love should be like a screening of “The Notebook”? The truth about soulmates is dutch ovens, stretch marks, and past life pacts, says comedian and energy healer Jessica Brodkin. Main Image: Mariano Peccinetti.
Want to learn the truth about soulmates? Then listen to a psychic healer who’s had two divorces and a broken engagement. Trust me—I’ve met a lot of soulmates. But after massive heartbreak, and seeing my own clients through theirs, the same patterns and solutions have begun to emerge.
And I’ve discovered that real soulmates aren’t like the people you see in The Notebook. They’re more like my Mom and Dad, who believe they are soulmates…and who make fun of each other. “I must have been a real jerk to your father in a past life to have to put up with him now,” my Mom frequently quips.
With Venus retrograde until April 15th, we have an opportunity to re-examine our relationship with love, and to determine what is and isn’t working for us. Here are the five things I wish I’d known about soulmates ten years ago…
1. Your Soulmates are Not Just Your Lovers
I think of incarnating (being born into your current life and body) as traveling with a plane full of your friends to Cancun, with only a few vague plans. “Marissa—see you on Tuesday in Tulum. Mark—save the last night for me, we’re going dancing and I wanna make out in the sand. ”
As someone who has always believed in past lives, I was one of those creepy kids who remembered how I died. I have a strong conviction that we travel throughout our lives with some of the same people in order for our souls to grow. Your mother, your siblings, your nephews, your boss, and even your roommate can all potentially be your soulmates.
2. The Person You Think is Your Soulmate is Probably Healing Your Parental Issues
If you feel that your partner is tormenting you, he or she is probably helping to heal your parental issues. According to a lot of psychological theories, we choose partners based on the hurts we either experienced or witnessed as children.
In the summer of 2015, my then husband and I were planning on having a child. Two healers had something to say about this—the first that things weren’t going to work out as planned, but I wasn’t ready to hear that my marriage was going to end soon. However, the second healer convinced me to do a detox in order to have a healthy baby and halfway through, I realized I could not have a baby with this man. His issues, and our issues, were unresolved stuff from my childhood. He was definitely one of my soulmates, if not necessarily “the one”…
Reading List: Harville Hendrix’s Getting the Love You Want.
3. Love the One You’re With
We all like to think we’re royalty, but we’re more like Princess Fiona—expecting some charming prince or princess, but falling in love with Shrek instead. While Fiona became a green ogre in order to love him, when I got married and ruined my credit rating. Which is to say, your soulmate may not come in the package you expect, and he or she may be more into dutch ovens than you’d like.
What if the imperfect partner you have right now is your soulmate, and what if soulmates didn’t have to be forever? All of our partners are teachers—and some are here to show us our shadow side. If we abandon our current partner without doing the inner work they ask, we’ll find ourselves repeating our relationship patterns over and over again.
Reading List: Deepak Chopra’s A Path to Love.
4. Love Yourself, Too
There’s nothing more important than loving yourself. Trust me—I’m trying to get a crystal sex toy company to sponsor my radio show. This isn’t about arrogance, or attention-seeking behavior. It’s about accepting yourself where you are, and seeing the perfection in your imperfection. So love yourself so a partner can meet you where you are in life—the partner in your life is always a vibrational match for how you feel about yourself right now.
Write a gratitude list of all the awesome things about you. Talk to your stretch marks and scars, and tell them that you love them. Think of all the fun you had creating them! Practice self care. What makes you feel like a queen? What brings you bliss? Follow that joy.
5. And Finally … Trust Your Intuition
I once went to a psychic who told me I had a ghost baby living inside of me…and that I needed to pay her $700 to have a ghost abortion. I told her that for $700, I was going to keep the ghost baby. When I was in the middle of my divorce, another psychic told me that a new suitor was my twin flame (a.k.a. super soulmate). After being stood up multiple times, I started to think differently.
If I could give only one message to people who feel any sort of fear or insecurity about their love lives, I would say “Don’t go to psychics!” Even though I’m also a psychic and medium, I work primarily as a healer because I want my clients to develop their own intuition instead of relying on something outside of themselves.
People usually go to psychics to calm their fears. But one of the most difficult (and beautiful) parts of being human is to embrace your life despite those fears. To live your life, and love with reckless abandon. If your heart gets broken you will survive, eventually heal, and then learn to love again!
Jessica Brodkin is a Reiki energy healer and stand up comedian based in New York City. She is an MIT and Johns Hopkins graduate who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 11 years, and has been featured on the cover of the New York Post, and on TruTV, AMC, and SiriusXM radio. She also has a weekly radio show on Journey Into the Light. Follow her on Instagram and discover more about her energy healing here.
Valentine’s Day … Whether you’re single or in a partnership, this commercial “holiday” can bring on a wave of negative feelings. Some of us become plagued with thoughts of loneliness, heartache, and even begin to question our self-worth. But there is hope for turning this day (and everyday) into a positive, love-filled experience. And you don’t have to search any further than yourself.
Loving yourself is the most vital action you can take towards your overall well-being and vitality in this life. Not only will you come to the realization that you are a divine being, but you’ll begin to draw others into your life who are also aligned with nourishing their souls and evolving into the best version of themselves. A beautiful ripple effect of LOVE.
Like any new skill, self-love takes practice, determination, flexibility, and patience. It’s a practice we have to cultivate. This V Day is the perfect time to renew (or begin) your own self-love affair and I’ve concocted a self-love prescription to get you started. Here’s to falling in love with YOU!
1. Morning Gratitude + Affirmation Ritual: Our mornings can make or break the rest of our day, so upon waking, take a moment to acknowledge 10 things that you are grateful for. This could mean being thankful for your soft pillow that you lay your head upon, or your two healthy feet that work tirelessly to get you around all day long! This is the first step to simply becoming grateful for who you are.
*Pro Tip: I love to cleanse my space before beginning my morning ritual. My favorite way of doing this is to light Palo Santo—the aroma is sweet and soothing, and it opens my space for newness.
2. Solo Date: When we’re feeling lonely, the first thing we tend to do is run away from the loneliness and fill the void with social engagements. Friends are definitely a major component to our happiness, but if we can’t be happy solo then our social circles become a mere distraction from ourselves. Try turning inwards. You may actually love what you find!
*Pro Tip: A solo date could just mean reading an empowering book, like Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ classic Women Who Run With The Wolves.
3. Write Yourself a Love Letter: Letter writing is becoming a lost art, but that doesn’t mean romance is dead. Write yourself a love letter that you can open up any day you need it. The letter can include recognizing your greatest strengths, honoring what you believe makes you unique, and forgiveness for any negative feelings about yourself.
*Pro Tip: Create a romantic letter writing experience by lighting candles, burning incense, and using beautiful stationery. To get your creative juices flowing, check out this beautiful poem by the Romantic poet, William Wordsworth. Wordsworth describes his beloved as “a creature not too bright or good.” Who’s perfect anyway?
4. Meditate: Our minds are constantly buzzing, and meditation is an invaluable and truly intimate practice that brings us closer to ourselves, our intuition, our truth, and what really matters in life (to us). Even if it’s 10 minutes per day, give this peaceful, quiet gift to yourself.
*Pro Tip: If you’re new to meditation, there are some awesome apps that will help guide you!
5. Practice Forgiveness: It’s all too easy to get caught up in the mistakes we’ve made, things we wish were different, our so-called imperfections, and other stories that we’ve created and hold against ourselves. But if it weren’t for our mishaps and wrong-turns, we would never evolve. Be tender and forgive yourself for anything that you’re holding onto that doesn’t serve your happiness.
*Pro Tip: The raspberry rose colored Rhodochrosite crystal (above) is known to activate the heart chakra, and promote self-worth and forgiveness.
6. Dance: Want a ticket to instant joy? Dancing is a way to connect to our essential life force. Don’t worry about what you look like—just let loose and feel the music. Whether you’re dancing with friends, or using your hairbrush as a microphone in your bedroom, never stop dancing!
7. Take a Sexy Selfie: And see yourself through the eyes of lust. Sexy selfies don’t need to be sent to a lover, they can also be sent to your friends! A girlfriend of mine recently started a thread with her friends’ sexiest selfie submissions—it’s been such a beautiful, safe, body-positive experience.
*Pro Tip: The piece of lingerie I’m loving most at the moment is this black bodysuit by True&Co.
8. Self-Care Spa: Taking the time to pamper your skin, hair, and nails is a rejuvenating self-care ritual that’ll give you that little extra pep in your step.
*Pro Tip: In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s an easy recipe for a truly decadent body scrub: In a mason jar mix 1 cup coffee grounds (just scoop ‘em off the bottom of your french press—no waste, yay!) with ½ cup coconut oil and ¼ cup raw cane sugar. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and you’re good to scrub! I find that vanilla and/or essential rose oil are great accompaniments to the awakening coffee aroma. Keep your scrub in the refrigerator when you aren’t using it. Enjoy, beauty!
9. Rest Sweetly: Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. When we skimp on sleep, it directly affects our mental well-being. We wake up feeling groggy, our digestive and immune systems are thrown off, and we’re easily spun into negative thinking. Create a peaceful sleeping experience for yourself with kind bedding, a dark room, and a no-electronics policy.
*Pro Tip: Whenever I have trouble falling asleep, I add some lavender infused essential oil to my third eye and lower palms. I cup my palms over my face and breathe in slowly. When you focus on your breath and begin to slow your breathing, you’ll simultaneously slow your heart rate and bring yourself to a restful place.
Alicia Henry is an Herbal Alchemist and Founder of Naked Sage Tea, an organic tea company based in Venice, CA. A serial optimist, she is aptly part of the team that achieved The International Day of Happiness, which became a resolution of the United Nations. Follow Alicia and Naked Sage Tea on Instagram for more romance, adventure, and sweet self-love.
Elyssa Jakim sits down with her hero, the Goddess Venus, for some lessons in love, sex, and relationships for 2017…
In the spring of 2012, I took a fated voyage to Italy. I toured Rome, Florence, and Venice for two weeks by myself without knowing any Italian except different variations of ciao and grazie. I had experiences that ranged in tint from enchanting to bizarre to intense to delicious to profound.
Of course, I visited the Uffizi Gallery in Florence: the must-see museum city’s must-see museum. After rounding a nondescript corner of this monolith, I found myself face-to-face with Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. The sight was astonishing. Instantly, tears sprang to my eyes at the golden masterwork. I knew Venus. I looked like her. I was her.
Chills ran through my body. Identifying with Venus bundled me in a new layer of self-acceptance, like a warm cloak. The sight of that painting changed something in me.
This all happened before I had discovered that I was a latent medium. But, looking back on my emotional response, I believe this meeting with Venus sealed my future work with her—and my eventual ability to hear her. Since that trip, Venus (and that image of her) has entered my life in countless ways—not least with my Temple Of Venus column for The Numinous, in which I have discussed many ways to work with the energy of the Goddess Venus.
As this column prepares to transition in the New Year (stay tuned for its next incarnation), I decided that a perfect way to pay homage to our Venus would be to let her speak.
So as we close out 2016, I sat down with the Goddess Venus to get her tips on love and romance for the year ahead. And yes, by sitting down with the Goddess, I mean I went into deep meditation and had a conversation with my hero Venus!
VENUS GREETS US!
“Hello Universe! It is a pleasure to be heard by you. Numinous readers have deep sensitivity. I hope they can feel my vibration through these words.”
ELYSSA JAKIM: What can you tell us about relationships in the current climate, Venus?
GODDESS VENUS: Recently, I have found I want more from my lovers and my standards are elevated, which means you mortals too have been more demanding in your relationships. It’s good to have high standards. But like anything, these high expectations must be balanced. So here is my tip for relationships in 2017: look at your closest relationships, especially with those family members who you perhaps spent more time with during the holidays.
Ask yourself: are my standards fair? Am I being too hard on the people around me? How can I receive the love that they are trying to give, even if they lack the right words? How can I appreciate the effort my loved ones make, even when it doesn’t land quite right? This will free you up into compassion.
EJ: Are the high standards also helpful?
GV: Yes! The shift into higher standards is very important for those wishing to break their relationship patterns and attract a new kind of love in the new year. If you know you are ready to change how you date and whom you date, start setting your new patterns without delay. Walk your talk. When the same type of person you always date with no positive results asks you out, decline. Cut a date short if you don’t feel honored. It is time to spend time with people who lift you up, enlighten you, who make you laugh, and who make you feel healthy. Be aware of the company you keep.
EJ: What’s your message to the world right now?
GV: Stay close to your heart. It’s easy to look outside of yourself to find the answers, and it is easy to look outside of yourself for despair too. But the thing that is truly sustaining is the energy of your own knowing. People know what is right for them so much more than they think. I see so many of you asking for advice when you don’t really need it.
Is it advice or is it permission you’re seeking? I give you permission right now to make your own decisions. Trust that you have all of the answers inside of you. Especially in this Internet age where there are so many answers. Before googling all the symptoms (physical and metaphysical) simply ask your self what you need.
EJ: What are your tips for sensuality in 2017?
GV: Get into your body, and get truly sensual! Challenge your lingerie choices. If you always wear a bra, forget it for a day. If you’re always flying free, try something structured and see how it makes you feel. Notice your body’s sensory reaction to clothes. What makes your genitals a little excited when you think about wearing it? What are your sensual fabrics? Read a book of erotica or a book about tantra and practice by yourself. Get intimate and cozy and hot inside to offset the frost. Winter’s dark mysteries can be pretty sexy.
EJ: Is January really a good time for a detox?
GV: We often indulge during the holidays, since emotions are running high, and being surrounded by family members can trigger this. A way to temper this is to make sure your self-care practices are also on high alert. In January, drink SOOOOO much water. Put crystals in the water to make it more fun! If you have a sweet tooth, perhaps try a spoonful of honey. It may be cold out, but fresh air will help you to re-group and re-ground.
This is not a time of denial. If you’re choosing to eat healthier in January, feel excited by this act of nourishment. Receive the sweetness you maybe crave from other things. From a warm hug. From a great wintery walk. From candles. From kisses in the snow. From romance.
EJ: You are the Goddess of romance, Venus. What does that word mean to you?
GV: It means saying your true feelings out loud. Whether this is a crush or a long-term lover, to me being bold can be really sexy. Remember when you wrote letters to people as a teen, Elyssa? I loved that! You might have been embarrassed, but I found it beautiful! Most importantly, be romantic for yourself. Light candles in your space and play music that feels sexy or heartwarming to you. Sit by the fire, take hot showers, seek heat and warmth. Put red roses or petals in your space. Write yourself a love letter. Cook yourself a nice meal. Take yourself out on your own perfect date. The ways to be romantic are limitless, it’s just important to remember to do it.
EJ: How can Numinous readers connect with you in 2017?
GV: My energy is awakening more and more on the planet right now and I invite any one reading this to spend time in meditation with me. And remember, I exist in many forms. I exist as honeybees. I am a planet, obviously. I am white buffalo calf woman. I am the earth. I am sensuality. I am the womb. I am your deep femininity. Please spend some time with me. Please put a red rose in your hair, light a white candle, wear something gold, anoint your body with oil, listen to music, sway, and think of me. I love you so much. Have fun and you will prosper!
Elyssa Jakim is available for intuitive readings that channel goddesses, guides, angels, ancestors as well as astral travel sessions, distance reiki, and more! Check out for details on how to work with her. And discover her on Instagram @temple_of_venus.
2016 has been a wild year for the planet and for America. For me it’s been a year of change and growth and reshuffling and purging and mourning and planting seeds and learning. I also hadn’t been single in 10 years, and have spent this one being VERY single. I’ve used this time to have a giant rethink of ALL my ideas, values, and beliefs about love and sex.
I’ve done some dating, sure, but I put the brakes on things in the name of some deep diving and learning and observing of myself and my clients, which is hard for a Piscean princess who loves to dive into romance. My birthday is just days from Anais Nin (if that means anything to you you’re prob my tribe!).
Last week, in search of my culminating thoughts about love and sex and spirit for the end of this year, I called my friend Gala Darling, whose latest love story is one of my faves! After a divorce, Gala met her adorable boyfriend online a little over a year ago and I’d been swooning over them via Insta for a while. I wanted to hear the dirt…Did she believe in soul mates? Manifesting the man of your dreams with spells and rituals? Making a list of important things in love and meditating on them? I had a lot of questions for her.
Gala said many things but what stuck out the most was: “Relationships are not meant to be easy. Marriage is not easy. They are not meant to be comfortable. They are meant to push you to see things about yourself that are not actualized. Having a soul mate is not a party!” This sentiment is way too overlooked in the twin flame/soul mate discourse. Where’s the footer that says “Hey BTW this shit hurts”?
She also reminded me that there is no certainty. Like ever. In marriage. In relationships. In any of it. People who are single think “Oh when will I meet that special someone?” And then people who are in partnership may be asking “Is this right? Is it supposed to hurt this much? Be this hard? Do I still love them?” There is no certainty but our devotion to ourselves, and our practice of keeping aligned with our heart’s needs.
So in order to do just that I’ve prepared some writing exercises for this column, to help you too rethink/ rewrite / jumpstart your love and sex life in 2017…
So get out your journal. Put on a kimono. Or silk PJ’s. Select some quiet tunes. Burn some incense. Make yourself a cozy nest. I rec bed surrounded by blankets and pillows and some rose tea and a few candles.
- RETHINK YOUR “LIST”
We all make these grand lists of what we want in a partnership and we often forget that the human we imagine coming into our life will also be flawed. Just like us! Do you have some list you’ve been working on for years? Fantasies in your mind about how your partner should or shouldn’t be? This can change as you grow so def revisit every six months. So use this time to make a list of HARD YES’s and HARD NO’s, and to really meditate on them.
Ask yourself big questions like: “Could you be with someone who doesn’t believe in God? Or do you absolutely need to be with someone who wants kids?”
- BROADEN YOUR IDEA OF A SOUL MATE
Do you have people in your life you have let see the whole spectrum of your madness and beauty? Your most ugly side and your most beautiful? I believe all the people who can hold all of us and push us to our edges are our soul mates. If you’ve never let your darkness come out with anyone I say deepen a friendship with someone who you can do that with. Not in an abusive way, but in a way where the connection can go deep under the surface. That will get you ready for partnership, and if you’re partnered it will keep you deep diving into yourself.
My friend Rebecca and I really did NOT like each other when we met. I thought she was a dirty hippie and she thought I was a stuck up goodie two shoes. 15 years later we are best friends. During that time we’ve hated each other. Not spoken for a year. Had the most heinous of fights. But had the most enlightening and fun and hilarious moments together too. She knows me in a way no one else can. Our love is as deep as the ocean.
Ask yourself: “Who are my soul mates now? Who has pushed me to the edges and helped me grow? What can I learn from these relationships about myself?”
- COMMIT TO A PRACTICE AND STICK WITH IT
If you haven’t dated in a while, will you commit to a dating practice? Perhaps you and a friend can buddy up, open an online account, make a ritual of creating your profile (which Gala says is “like casting a spell!”) Practice connecting with strangers in a non-attached way. Go on coffee dates with no agenda except chatting with a stranger. Maybe 1 out of 10 will be someone you’re actually attracted to, so keep it chill. No expectations. Treat it like a morning yoga practice!
If you’re in a relationship commit to a growth practice. Is it seeing a relationship coach once a month to make sure you are growing? Does your sex life need a reboot? Can you commit to an afternoon every other week of sexual exploration time to keep expanding there? If your relationship has become too dependent can you commit to developing and nurturing solo space?
Decide what practice you want to commit to in 2017 and break it down over the months and weeks.
- GET TO KNOW YOUR LOVE STYLES
How do you like to be loved? (If you need some inspo you can do the 5 Languages of Love quiz.) I know I mostly need to be loved with touch and kind words, and if I feel I can communicate that to my next partner they don’t waste their time buying me gifts or giving me rides or cooking for me. I told Loulou (one of my besties) about this, and now we know that we both highly value a solid compliment we pay each other loving compliments regularly! It just takes knowing and asking.
Make a list of ways you like to be loved, either within a partnership or solo. Do you need more touch? Schedule a weekly massage or trade with a friend.
- LOOK IN THE MIRROR
Don’t make me quote Michael but um…he had a point! If you were a potential partner meeting yourself for the first time what would you think? What would you want more of? Less of? This is good to look at whether you’re single or attached. Would you prefer someone who is more available? Someone who is more financially stable? Someone in better shape? Someone who meditates daily? Well, this is a great way to see where you need to make changes on yourself.
For example, I was thinking I would just love a partner who can chop wood—so fuck it, I guess I’ll learn to chop wood in 2017 too! You can also be the partner you want to your friends. I mean, don’t make out with them passionately or anything (unless that’s how you roll!) but love your friends like you wanna be loved. Cook for them. Write cute notes. Romance your friends and yourself!
Set some goals for how you can become the best partner and self and friend.
If you want to go deeper with this work sign up for my Holy F*ck course where we will be using creative writing and storytelling to dive deep into our habits, tendencies, hopes and dreams in love and sex in a conscious way. I also see clients one on one for six month periods of mentorship and on off coaching sessions. More info here.
Alexandra Roxo is a critically acclaimed filmmaker, writer, entrepreneur and mentor currently residing in LA. She recently co-founded Moon Club with Ruby Warrington (founder of the Numinous) and has been featured in Well + Good, Nylon, Out Magazine and more.
In a world of hookup culture, where’s the soul connection? Gabriela Herstik lays down her high-vibe dating deal-breakers…
Material girl, mystical world. It ain’t always easy. Take dating, where finding a partner you click with, who also shares the same values as you, can be a minefield. In a world of hookup culture, where’s the soul-connection? And you shouldn’t have to explain what the position of the moon has to do with your pressing and urgent need to sage wash your iPhone. Right?
And then there’s food. Apparently November is World Vegan Month (we were clueless too), which led some company to publish research showing 1 in 3 would NOT date a vegan. Like, even if he happened to be Liam Hemsworth! It goes without saying that having BBQ for every meal is a swipe-out in our Numiverse. Here are 5 more high-vibe dating deal-breakers…
1. Not being a feminist
Honestly ya’ll, it’s 2016. How is it that Hillary Clinton was up for president against someone with literally zero experience in any sort of government, and who is openly a racist bigot, and yet a vote for her still wasn’t a no-brainer. Intersectional feminism is vital for deconstructing patriarchal structures that affect women all over the world—from the wage gap, to war-mongers who use crimes against women as ammo, to the violence experienced by queer and trans women in the United States. So if you’re not down for feminism, I’m not down for you. Awaken or leave me be.
2. Not respecting my spiritual beliefs
You don’t have to understand why I do what I do. You don’t have to read the tarot, come to yoga or even have to believe in a higher power. But you know what you DO have to do? RESPECT MY BELIEFS. Because there’s nothing more low-vibe than judging someone for what they believe. And obviously this goes both ways, and can be an amazing way to grow together! Amelia Quint of The Midheaven sums up her high-vibe relationship perfectly: “When Zach and I met, I still kept some Christian philosophies and he was atheist. Now we’re both cosmic space children. Don’t write someone off because of their beliefs. Follow your heart and soul.” AMEN SISTER.
3. Being closed-minded
I know that the occult is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. I feel the same way about sports. But the sexiest thing you can wear is an open mind! This goes for any sort of relationship: them not being willing to learn or listen is a major red flag. A conscious relationship means being open to the full experience each other brings, after all. You have to be willing to taste some of the salty and sour to truly enjoy the sweet, and being open to all experiences makes life way more delicious.
As someone who has been gaslighted and manipulated by past partners for sharing my feelings and emotions, I am NOT down with non-communication. If I can try and communicate with my higher power, you can try and communicate with me! When you’re in a space of deep self-exploration, being able to talk to your partner about what you’re learning, how you’re changing, and what’s no longer working is vital. We are all mirrors for one another, after all, and as you deal with your own shit you’ll more than likely see it reflected in your partner as well. If you can’t talk to them about it—even fight about it—then the relationship has nowhere to expand.
5. Disrespecting Mother Earth
As we witness the water bearers and Native people of Standing Rock struggle against the government for basic human rights, we’re reminded of ALL our responsibilities to Gaia—our Earth. Which makes being disrespectful of our planet—whether it’s littering or having zero regard for your carbon footprint—is a total deal-breaker. Like, IF YOU CAN’T RESPECT YOUR MOTHER HOW CAN YOU RESPECT ME?? We all walk this Earth together, and it’s on us to protect her for the sake of generations to come. You don’t have to be a total hippie to get this, but if you’re not FOR the Earth, you’re against her—and that’s just not okay.
The sexual dysfunction on our planet is DEEP, says Alexandra Roxo—time to address our collective second chakra problems. PLUS six ways to begin your own sexual healing journey…Additional images: Instagram.com/look_at_this_pussy
The last month has been a head-slam-against-the-wall of a reminder of our modern world’s second chakra problems—the shooting in Orlando, the Stanford rape cases…WTF. I’ve felt the weight of our planet’s dysfunctional relationship to sex and sexuality more than ever before. I’ve also heard people from around the world pour out their stories online during this time and come together in solidarity and sharing. This has been incredibly moving for me. So many people I know have been assaulted, abused, or experienced attempted assault or rape because of their sexuality, or simply because they are a woman.
Our planet’s sexual dysfunction is DEEP. It’s passed down from generation to generation, and we are all living with it in our DNA and in our bodies. This may manifest as strange and irregular menstrual cycles. Louise Hay says many STI’s are shame-related. So many women have trouble orgasming. You can’t post an image of a woman’s nipple on Instagram. All proof that sexual shame and general fucked-up-ness is still rampant.
And then there’s men’s sexual trauma. Most cis gendered men born in the US are mutilated the first day they’re alive on this planet! My friend Daniel Moglen has been doing workshops with the ManKind project in order to heal himself and his relationship to his own masculinity: “What pains and angers me about my circumcision is the fact that the opportunity to experience deeper sexual pleasure was taken from me (violently!) without my consent within the first few days of entering this world. And that this is such a normalized process in our culture,” he says.
Male genital mutilation is archaic. Its barbarian. And it’s accepted. As well as the supressed anger many men have about this, in a recent podcast sexpert Jaiya discusses how it could even be a reason many men have no rhythm: their hip energy froze out of trauma. WHOA. As a feminist who can be quick to blame things on the patriarchy, lately I’ve been accepting that this early sexual assault on many cismen could be behind a lot of sexual aggression.
And we haven’t even BEGUN to discuss global sex trafficking, female genital mutilation, systemic rape. The list goes on. So are we just…fucked?
Well, it’s my personal belief that one of the answers to healing this insane deadening of the Earth’s sacral chakra is indeed that: Fucking. And cuming. As much as possible. In the most sacred of ways. I mean, John and Yoko knew what the fuck they were talking about!
As a queer woman who has been through my own second chakra traumas, I feel like I am doubly called to this mission: CUE MARVIN GAYE’s Sexual Healing. (Also this video.)
My friend Daniella Rabbani and I have even been working on a new project called “The Cuming and the Curious” which chronicles a West Village/Hamptons Jewish living married gal (Daniella) and a queer free spirit single gal (me) in search of better sex. And in this search we have discovered MANY sexual healing crusaders of note!
Our fave sexpert is Kim Anami. Please watch this video. She believes that women all over the world are under-fucked—claiming that a stronger vagina and more orgasms keeps your body in better shape than 1000 pilates classes a week. She claims your depression will lift. Your ass will lift. You will radiate wellbeing. And she makes it a point to add: “This does not come from junk food sex. Only gourmet sex.” We are talking about a deeper sex. An orgasm that strikes you to the core. UM YES PLEASE.
Sexual energy has the power to heal you. Also to heal your lover. And the Earth. And yet avoiding or bottling up sexual energy is another form of dysfunction for 99% of people, and therefore society. See many Catholic priests, and how their vows of celibacy lead to sexual perversion.
On a physical level avoiding sex can also mean trouble. Depression. Weight gain. Endless snacking. When you have sex you wash cortisol out of your body, preventing belly fat. Your breasts also swell up to 25%. We are animals, people! And our bodies were made to be animalistic!
But what if you aren’t feeling like sex, or even masturbation, at all? Well, sorry to break it to ya but this means the energy simply isn’t flowing down there. It’s happened to me before and it sucks. Kim Anami says, if you aren’t getting wet for someone (including yourself!) then there is a dysfunction. She is anti-lube for that reason!
So how do we find sexual healing in this fucked up world, with it’s second chakra pain? We start with ourselves. Like Gandhi said. Like Rumi said. Like basically everyone said. So here goes…
:: How To Begin Your Sexual Healing Journey ::
- Volunteer. I’ve been doing this since I was a pre-teen and it’s one of the most rewarding things on the planet. Find an LGBT youth center. A women’s shelter. A sex trafficking organization. Whatever touches you, give your time. It will heal you and also others in turn. Once a month or once a week just start doing it.
- Start a jade egg practice. I started using a jade egg when I saw Aislinn from Moon Root Yoni Eggs post about them on Insta, and immediately began feeling the power in my puss. You can get all sorts of stones for different kinds of healing—I got a red agate to bring the heat and I really feel it. Kim Anami is also pro-jade egg. She even adds a weight!
- Conscious touch and relating. If you’re in a relationship and haven’t been feeling sexy lately start slow, with some massage and conscious touching. And if you’re single, consider ways you can be touched that don’t involved you getting wasted and ending up in a stranger’s bed. Maybe it’s contact improv. Or trading massages with a hot guy. Or finding a tantric sexual practice. Or exploring touch with a friend (with some clear boundaries in place). Once you release social conditioning about touching and being touched the possibilities are endless.
- Movement. I am SO pro-movement. Daniella swears by Gyrotonic. I love 5Rhythms, dancehall, and hip hop. Move those hips.
- Sharing. Find a women’s circle where you can talk about your orgasms or lack thereof. Your sexual traumas. You desires. Or create one! THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Carrying shame and guilt and secrets around sex can be really harmful to yourself, so find a way to let it all out in a safe space.
- Do your research. Read books. Watch videos. Learn about your body. Did you know that there are reflexology points in your pussy? That the cervix is connected to your heart, which is what makes orgasms from that space so opening? That tiny points on your clit are connected to your whole body? When you start to get to know it you’ll be like “Dang the left tip of my clit connects to my deep belly! WEIRD!” Educate yo’self!
Finally, I am guiding a weekly Virtual Women’s Circle to facilitate conversations about conscious sexual practice and healing. One hour a week on the phone, it’s totally anonymous (you can use a sexy pseudonym!) and anyone can dial in to ask questions and chat about sex and spirituality. Email me here to sign up.
Alexandra Roxo is an LA based filmmaker who also does one-on-one intuitive counsel, energy work sessions, and mentorship. Red more and contact her on alexandraroxo.com. Follow her on Insta here and read her past Numinous articles on Now Age love and sex here.
Turn your attention towards your relationships and utilize the numerology of 6/6, says Felicia Bender…
The numerology of 6/6 offers a dynamic gateway of energy centered on love and relationships.
In Numerology, the number 6 is the nurturer. Its energy is all about unconditional love, service, responsibility, justice, the home, and beauty.
On the flipside, the challenges this vibe brings can be unhealthy perfectionism, self-righteousness, and unyielding control.
So how do we maximize this portal of dynamic energy at our fingertips on 6/6?
It’s a day to consider our point of view about love. Does our version of love feel like Vance Joy’s in This Mess Is Mine—“When you think of love do you think of pain?” Or are you coming from a more of an “all you need is love” perspective?
This is to say: How does love show up for you, and how do you show up for love?
Through the numerology of 6/6 we can see ourselves more clearly in terms of what our responsibility is—and has been—in our relationships. It’s a moment where we can choose to relinquish all the “shoulds” that swim around in our heads: “I should be married by now,” or “He shouldn’t do it that way,” or “I should have known better.”
Any should that comes up in relation to love—it’s a day to rethink it. To reimagine it. And to change it, recalibrate it, and revise it. Also, to take off any distorting “rose colored” glasses and give ourselves—and others—a break.
All the number 6 wants is to love and be loved in return. Yet what stands in the way of this simple yet driving need? Unyielding judgment stands in the way. Unrealistic idealism stands in the way. The inability to forgive stands in the way.
The numerology of 6/6 brings a great day to energetically and actively intend to worry a bit less. Its energy bolsters your efforts to “let go and let love” in the truest, most unconditional sense. We might be moved to actively write a note of forgiveness to our ex (and to ourselves in the process), burn it, and let it go.
Or w might decide that we will never again bring up that time that s/he did that horrendous, unforgiveable thing to our intimate partner whenever we get into a fight. We may decide to make a pact to tend to ourselves as diligently as we attend to others.
The numerology of 6/6 can act like a platform for self-realization when we allow ourselves to open the heart and witness our hurts spill out onto the floor—almost like the materials you might use to create a beautiful, textured, and colorful collage. Allow the energy of the day to support you in taking responsibility for yourself, your actions, and your responses within all relationships.
Why men find it hard to feel is a case of nature and nurture. But when the new empowered masculine is invited to express himself, relationships become a catalyst for healing, says Darren Austin Hall. Images: HANs via Behance.net
“The rule of patriarchy demands that men armor themselves, not only to impose force upon the world, but to resist the Feminine externally, and deny or conceal its presence internally, in themselves. On the path of the hero…the genuine hero is a man who develops his power against patriarchy, rather than in support of it. He overcomes armor in the cause of amore.” – John Lamb Lash
I once had an insightful conversation with a female friend about her romantic struggles with men who perpetually shut down emotionally, a common dynamic in many relationships. I’ve also seen this complaint broached in neo-feminist articles online, often reading something along the lines of: “If you haven’t got your emotional shit together you don’t deserve me,” OR “I’m a queen and if you can’t handle intense communication then hit the road.”
Firstly, I want to affirm that the kind of Kali fury women feel when their male intimate won’t communicate with them and/or shirks emotional connection altogether is totally valid – and can, when appropriately utilized, actually compel a lazy King out of his benumbed emotional doldrums into attractive action.
But what many women don’t understand is WHY men shut down, and how they can support us with compassion when we do.
I’ve been interested in developing the “healthy masculine” ever since a life-changing trip to India, where I met a beautiful soul brother who introduced me to several inspiring texts on the subject. The insights of the King, Warrior, Magician, Lover series by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, and the raw, brutal truths of Iron John: A Book About Men by Robert Bly, shone a light on the struggles facing men in the modern world. Things I had always vaguely felt, but never knew how to express – due in part to my own emotional dullness.
And as I delved into these studies deeper, I began to feel a tremendous sense of compassion for my brothers and myself.
Foremost, men are conditioned to shut down emotionally by society itself. Men are taught that to express emotions is “unsafe,” because it makes our masculinity appear weak and soft. For so long, we’ve been taught that to be masculine is to be “hard.” And if you’ve ever given a modern man a massage, you’ll know this hardness is tangible, our emotional armoring manifesting as layers upon layers of muscular tension.
Here’s a massive truth that I want us all to pause for a moment and reflect upon: that hardness in the body is actually layers of ice-cold frozen tears.
My own inner-work has been about reimagining my masculinity in a patriarchal world which conditions an immature and dysfunctional masculine identity that doesn’t know how to feel. Along the way, I have been shocked at how reading about the pain of male warriors going to war for corrupt political aims provokes massive grief in me.
And also how reflecting on this subject awoke the realization in me that every time I got my heart broken, I did my best to bury the wounds so deep that only through psychic scuba-diving in my meditation practice years later would I be able to excavate and process them.
It soon became clear that I’d been carrying around a hospice of old wounds, waiting to be healed and transmuted into wisdom – since every feeling I liberated held its own insights and revelations. One reason I’ve come to believe women, as I’ll explain, often seem wiser than men.
Women are at advantage in the emotions department for a couple of reasons. One, women are encouraged to be emotional. As a result, while many women still struggle with how to process emotions skilfully and use them as tools for alchemical transformation, they are usually more comfortable than men in this realm.
Secondly, diverse ancient traditions purport that women are at an advantage to men spiritually. I didn’t really understand the rationale behind this until I studied Chinese Medicine, and realized some important facts about our physical differences.
In Chinese Medicine, a person’s shen, or spirit, expresses itself as our sense of conscious awareness. It is said that this spiritual force is housed in the Heart and travels in the blood. And when women have their menstrual cycle and bleed they are actually cleansing this shen; their spirit!
Furthermore, I was taught by Native American elders that the sweat lodge was actually created to help men cleanse in a similar way, to help them keep spiritual pace with women! Totally mind-blowing.
Could this be why men are more vulnerable to being murky of spirit and emotional awareness than women? If women’s blood, or spirit, runs more clear, it comes as no surprise to me that women are able to feel more clearly and thus exhibit more emotional wisdom than men – for as I’ve learned, feelings are the catalyst for spiritual revelation.
Moreover, menstrual cycles mean women are energetically connected to cycles of the Moon, which in turn is energetically linked to our unconscious. This is why the cycles of the moon can inspire utter wildness of feeling in women! The moon is literally prodding their unconscious to come to the surface to be integrated into the light of consciousness.
A final stunning detail on this note: I was told by another wise teacher that women traditionally would intention their menses to cleanse not only themselves but the spiritual nature of the world at large, using their moontime to help bring the unconscious of the collective into the light of consciousness to be integrated. It’s no wonder women can feel so heavily burdened during their moontimes: they are cleansing so much more than themselves!
In saying all this, I’m not trying to excuse men who refuse or don’t know how to acknowledge their emotions. I know first hand from my own relationships how difficult for women this can be. My intention is simply to create a space for compassionate understanding of our differences, helping us pave the way for better relations in the future.
Ultimately, when it’s understood that women are by nature (and nurture) better feelers than men, this can be integrated into not only romantic but all relations between men and women, as well as utilized as a dynamic tool for healing.
In the past, I used to fear the way women seemed to know my pain even if I didn’t express it. Now I understand that female intuition is a great power that needs to be honored – but that we also need to honor how scary it can be for a man that she can usually tell when something is up no matter how hard he tries to hide it, for fear of appearing weak.
In the ancient romantic culture of the Troubadours, there’s an old adage: amore over armor. Men are constantly armoring themselves to fit an outmoded idea of masculinity, and while some protection is useful to buffer us against the trials of the world, most men are carrying way too much (which actually goes for women too, as we’ve all been conditioned by the patriarchy).
So the next time a man, either your partner or a friend, exhibits this kind of emotional armoring, instead of falling into frustration and even anger, choose compassion. Allow space. Ask tender, loving questions. Use touch and the beautiful arts of seductive love to tease out the truths from his tense body in a safe space that welcomes vulnerability.
Women’s gifts of sensuality and feminine beauty can entice the masculine to drop its defenses and open its overly guarded heart. In the ancient romantic traditions, this was seen as one of the great powers of women: to disarm men and invite their innermost essence to be expressed. Imagine if the women of the world used this power against all the war-mongering tyrants, to draw out the wounds that are at the root of so much violence!
When a man starts to feel openly, sharing his tender truths with women, then intimacy can blossom exponentially. Women will see, perhaps for the first time, the beautiful innocence that men hide in our hearts, and have been too afraid to show to a world they felt would demean them for it.
Further, perhaps we’ll realize that there’s a profound context in all romantic relationships for cultivating the balance between the masculine and feminine; for these two cosmic polarities to dance finally and ultimately in unison, fusing in the beauty of the divine.
Darren Austin Hall is a sacred musician, sound healer and spiritual teacher. His empowering music entails diverse, salving instrumentation, across crystal singing bowls, Indian tanpura, mystical guitar and shamanic singing. His new album, The Tantra of Truth, is a collection of ecstatic songs inspiring the evolution of consciousness and deep transformation, and he is one of the headlining musicians for The Yoga Conference in Toronto. He is also trained in Chinese Medicine and shamanic healing and is a gifted teacher and facilitator of a wide array of workshops on new paradigms of spirituality and healing. His writing appears on the blog The Druid, and is published online on sites such as Elephant Journal. Darren also co-facilitates a men’s group in Toronto devoted to raising the consciousness of the masculine and is a devotee of the wisdom of nature. Darrenaustinhall.com
The planet of love, money and luxury goes retro this week. Star Sign Style’s Kimberly Peta Dewhirst has 10 ways to make this Venus retrograde work for you…Images: The Bedroom by Tasmin Jade Donaldson via Behance.net
Romance, fashion, friendship, affection, intimacy, sweet moments and all the girlie things (think: sugar, spice, all things nice), are ruled by the goddess / planet Venus. The same goes for money and your bank balance, and all things sensual (beautiful scents, pleasing art scenes and landscapes, valuables, material wealth, riches etc.)
And she’s all set to do an about turn – a.k.a. begin a retrograde cycle – from July 25 – September 6.
Before you freak out at the sight of the “R” word (man has Mercury retrograde got some explaining to do), Venus retrograde could actually be a good thing for your relationships, your indulgences and your bank balance.
While Mercury rules all things communication related (technology, social media, commerce), it makes sense that the confusion that accompanies this planet’s retrograde phase can throw us some seriously frustrating curveballs.
But with Venus retrograde, we can expect our sensual nature to be activated and investigated, as we are asked to contemplate, reflect on and review what and who we love, how we show affection, flirt and attract a mate. Also, our relationship to money, our sense of self-worth, and attitudes to abundance.
One word of warning, however. If you hear people complaining during a Mercury retrograde phase that they messaged the wrong person and lost their mobile phone, during Venus retro listen out for and beware making outlandish declarations of love, and avoid extravagant purchases made on a whim.
Here are ten ways to make this Venus retrograde phase work in your favor…
1. Reassess What Beauty Means To You
Venus rules how we dress up and beautify ourselves and our surroundings – in fact, you can look to your Venus sign for clues on your personal style. When Venus retrogrades you can remodel your choices, and this is a great time to create a mood or inspiration board to redefine your personal tastes.
Do NOT however book in for a drastic haircut or get the decorators in just yet – this is the contemplation stage. Wait till Venus goes direct to make any major changes (dates below).
2. Review Your Finances
As Venus rules over money, the retrograde period is prime time for rebalancing your books. But hold off implementing any financial overhauls – this period is for reevaluating your commitments, tying up loose ends, and revisiting old debts. It could be a great time to go and get a refund and have people pay up, or likewise to reimburse or repay any debts that have been hanging over you.
3. Resist The Lure Of Luxe
Just as buying electronic equipment isn’t advisable during Mercury retrograde, you’re better off waiting to buy any luxury goods and beauty related purchases now. Avoid large expenditures where fashion and frivolities are concerned – this is not the time to pull together a capsule wardrobe of ‘investment’ pieces, and definitely not on credit. Your instincts about what’s worth the splurge could be off during this period, so stick to window-shopping.
It could however be a great time to manifest and attract some beautiful vintage or second-hand pieces into your life – think flea markets, and antique fairs. One mans trash is another’s treasure, as the saying goes, and people could be reviewing their valuables during this time.
4. Research Your Purchases
One way to use the Venus retrograde to you advantage when it comes to shopping, is to know the true value of what you’re buying and make an informed choice. It can be a great time to barter and bargain, as long as you’re the one in the drivers seat (and you’ve researched the returns policy).
5. Retreat From The Dating Scene
Projects, relationships, people and businesses all carry an astrological imprint, and a relationship commenced during Venus retrograde could get off to a repetitive or exasperating start. At best you could have a long, drawn out honeymoon period, while a suitor could seem far more magnificent, charming and fabulous than they really are. Then, when Venus resumes normal function the rose tinted glasses come off.
If you do meet somebody, don’t trust the heat of the moment during the Venus retrograde. Instead, enjoy the flirtation stage and plan to commit when the planet goes direct.
6. Re-evaluate your relationships
If you’re in a relationship however, Venus retrograde offers you an opportunity to resolve any issues with your partner and recommit – if you’re wed you may even decide to renew tour vows!.Reaffirm your love, rekindle and reignite the romance, rejoice…and reproduce! Now is the time to reassemble the jigsaw of your relationship to create a more beautiful picture.
7. Remember The Good Times
Venus retrograde speaks of past relationships coming out of the woodwork (that goes for both romances and friendships), and reminiscing together actually be therapeutic, especially if you’re ready to go back and dig up treasures from the past. Ensure a reexamination is positive by appreciating the good times, even if you acknowledge that you aren’t right for each other now. Seek gratitude for the happiness you experienced in that moment. But if you DO decide an old flame could be reignited, the Universe could well support you now.
8. Revisit Your Passions
Venus favors feminine hobbies, and you may rediscover a love of jewellery making, beauty and fashion, make-up and hair, baking, flower arranging and interior decoration now.
With Venus retrograde in the creative sign of Leo (the majority of the time) the energies throughout the retrograde period are particularly supportive for recreation and play. The Numinous Temple of Venus is a perfect place to explore this energy, and you can check out all the upcoming events and workshops here.
9. Rethink The Sweet Stuff
Sounds silly but if you suffer from sugar cravings, Venus retrograde could be just the time to tackle your habit! Venus rules over cakes, biscuits, sweets (candy) and chocolate. There are so many documentaries on the hazards of this highly addictive substance (I’m talking about the refined white stuff – not sugars found in fruit), and once you research and reeducate yourself on this subject, this could be a supportive phase to regain control over a sweet tooth.
10. Reinstate Femininity
Invite the divine feminine into your world and cement its presence with this Venus retrograde. Dedicated some quality time to friendships with the women you love, taking time to really appreciate their soft yet strong attributes – embrace womanhood and what it means to be an empowered female today. Regroup or plan a reunion with your girls, recollect and celebrate them and why you value their friendship. Repair and patch up relationships that are lacking.
Your star dates as follows…
• Venus enters the shadow period Sunday 21st June
• Venus goes retrograde – Saturday 25th July
• Venus goes direct Sunday 6th September
• Venus is out of the ‘retrograde zone’ by 9th October 2015 – phew!
Author Kimberly Peta Dewhirst would love to hear your stories to support her growing understanding of the Venus retrograde period. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your birth data (time, date and place of birth) and details of your Venus retrograde experiences. (All information will be kept confidential)
Numinous community art project and interactive altar The Temple of Venus is a space dedicated to celebrating and healing anything that falls under the remit of the Goddess planet, and is open until August 19.