HOLY F*CK: VALENTINE’S DAY EDITION

In a special Valentine’s Day Edition of her monthly column, Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo tells us how reclaiming your “single” status can lead to the greatest love of all.

Portrait by Caitlin Mitchell Studio

From “intimacy grad school to solo initiation 
From age 21 to 32, I was in “Intimacy Grad School,” aka back-to-back relationships without breaks. Yet there were certain parts of myself I was not integrating. I always had trouble staying dedicated to my spiritual practice with someone traipsing around the bedroom while I was mid-meditation. I also hid some of my weirdness and wildness in certain moments. But more than anything, I hid my mystical.

But for the past two and a half years, I have been single and working on myself deeply, alone. I needed to be by myself to REALLY vow that I would never abandon my practice for anyone, ever again. And I also know that the subsequent career growth, shamanic initiation, and unfolding of myself, had to happen solo so I could define myself as ME and not as WE.

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What are you really in love with?  
In these years, I have gone deep into both the pains and joys of being “single.” And part of this process has been about realizing that the word “single” is problematic to begin with. The word implies a LACK of something. And it implies that if you aren’t in a partnership, you aren’t whole in some way. Cause let’s face it- knowing if someone is “single” or not ties into old school traditional ways of viewing relationships and love and sex.

What if instead of saying “I’m single,” we said “I’m currently in love with my book writing!” Or “I’m loving my besties so hard right now!” Or “I’m doing some major healing work.” Because chances are you are deeply loving and in partnership with MANY things in your life, with or without a romantic love.

When we define ourselves based on LACK we set ourselves up for suffering, pain, anxiety, depression. When we define ourselves based on what excites us, makes us feel alive, connected, sexy and real—then we reprogram ourselves for success!

Now, that doesnt mean it’s not okay to want Love, or partnership, or a family. Allow that yearning. Always! But there is a difference between wanting something from a strong grounded place versus wanting something from a desparate clingy place outside of ourselves. One feels REALLY good to claim. The other feels like anxiety in the body.

Read on for 5 ways to swap your “single” status for “in love with so many other things” … 

Portrait by Caitlin Mitchell Studio

1// Stay connected to your heart. There is no better time to get to know the deepest of your Heart’s desires than when you have time and space. Get to know your blocks. Your barriers to Love. Your yearning. Your longing. How can you ask another to enter your Heart if you don’t know your own Heart? DO your work. Now is the time

*Easy ways to begin: Journal and/or meditate daily. Make a Pinterest boards of “What Makes you feel Alive” or “What Turns you On” and most of all BREATHE. Learn to let your belly hang loose and let breath travel through your body for a hugely more connected experience of living.

2// Change your words, change your realityChange your WHOLE vocab around dating, sex and love. No more “Honestly there are just no good men in X (swap X for your city).” Or, “Gosh dating in LA is so hard!” New Yorkers say the same. Small towners say the same. Your language CREATES your reality.

*Easy ways to begin: Try focusing on the good stuff—”Wow! I met two amazing, conscious men last week.” Sounds cheesy but it will reframe your experience! When someone does something kind for you, like opens a door or offers to help you at the store, take notice. And say it aloud: “Wow so sweet this guy carried my groceries!” It’s a SIMPLE practice but it can move mountains.

3// Reclaim your solo sex practice. This one can get super hard. But if you’re walking around horny all the time and unfulfilled, you will be like a starving animal on the prowl.

Take back your sexual power instead of waiting for someone to enter your life and get you off. Yes, it’s not the same. But you are going to feel so yummy and juicy if you start this process. Folks are gonna tooooootally look at you differently in Whole Foods. Trust me.

*Easy ways to begin: Take your masturbation practice up a notch. No more lazy vibrator in sweats to an old porn nights. Put on lingerie. Burn a candle. Buy some new toys. Explore something new on your own. Buy some erotica to read in the tub. Go to a ropes class.

4// Get clear about your REAL values. Many times we “think” we know and then someone comes and we’re all googoo gaga for them and wake up 6 months later like “whoops, our values are not aligned” because we didn’t define and clarify what we wanted. So take this time to dial in your business and get clear on your desires.

*Easy ways to begin: Get to know yourself—not the you from last year. What are you into right now, what do you want more of in your life, what are your hard Yeses and hard Nos in love and sex and relating?

5// See the whole world as your soul mate.  This is *advanced* spiritual practice my Loves!  But you can let love flow through you ALL the time. In every old man’s smile. Each caress of wind on your cheek. You see, there is no separation between the Beloved and You and your Whole Life. This is the shit the mystics talk about. Rumi. Hafiz. This is real deal work, and focusing on this will let your Heart be met ALL THE TIME.

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Alexandra Roxo works with clients one-on-one, both in person and online, and focuses on sexual healing, sensual embodiment and empowerment! *Parts of this piece were edited from Alexandra’s “Sex Goddess” monthly column on Horoscope.com—check out her other work HERE.

HOLY F*CK: HOW TO REALIGN SEXUALITY AND SPIRITUALITY

Tired of disembodied meditation and higher chakra holiness? Alexandra Roxo tells us it’s time to get down and dirty with our healing, and realign sexuality and spirituality …

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell

How many times have you walked into a yoga class and had the teacher speak to your womb or your balls or your anus?

While you can find cute articles about sacred sexuality, breathing with your partner, and yoni eggs, the nitty gritty WHOLE body is largely left out of the modern spirituality and wellness conversation. And of our healing journeys as a result …

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:: Sacral Shutdown ::
Right now, many of us are caught in a cycle of closing our “lower” chakras (a.k.a. our connection to Mama Earth and the body), as we focus on higher ones. This cycle often looks like:

PHASE 1: Make unconscious choices around sex, the body, and pleasure for a certain period of our lives (i.e. eating unconsciously, using sex for self worth). This phase is often impacted by everything from sexual trauma to eating disorders, which affect our ability to receive joy and pleasure.

PHASE 2: We find comfort as we begin our spiritual paths, manifesting in attempts to “transcend” the body with meditation, mantras, and other external spiritual tools (astrology, tarot etc.)

PHASE 3: Once “woke,” we wonder, why do I still not feel whole? Why am still not able to experience pleasure, and feel JOY on a regular basis?

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:: Returning to the Raw ::
With millions of women coming forward as sexual abuse survivors through #metoo, many of us are more painfully aware than ever that trauma and shame live in the BODY, not just the mind. This means that more than ever, we have to figure out how to include sexual healing and a return to bodily pleasure in our modern spiritual journeys.

But this integration can’t come in a neat and fragrant package; we need to welcome the body and sexuality to the door in all its messiness—raw and bloodied, awkward, weird, and slightly unsettling. Because the conversation around sexual healing IS unsettling. IS raw. IS painful.  

How do we start bridging this gap? I’m not suggesting you start masturbating on the meditation cushion (through you can if you want … I have!) But we do need to get more fearless and more courageous in our conversations about the body, sex, pleasure, and pain, and in the way we heal.

Here are 4 ways to start integrating your sexual story with your spiritual one, right now …

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell

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1// Woo your body back from numbness. If you spend 90% of your time on the computer and the rest in a seated meditation practice, most of your life is disembodied. I prescribe the Sofia Loren/ Italian housewife style of medicine, where you eat and dance and dress and fuck with such joy, that your pleasure begins to heal the Earth—because she’s so happy you’re enjoying her gifts!!  

Practice: Make a Pinterest Board with your fave women who embody RAW pleasure. I love Penelope Cruz in Almodovar’s films, Brigitte Bardot, and Sofia Loren. Eat food as if it’s your LAST meal! Feel how amazing it can taste when you slow down and savor every bite.

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2// Explore. Last month I lead a retreat in Los Angeles that combined Japanese rope bondage and sexual healing (more on that here). And if you follow my work you know I dance with snakes too which awakened my sexy like WHOA.

While ropes and snakes may not be your thing (my Mars is in Scorpio, what can I say), find ways ways that feel safe and good for YOU to reclaim and LOVE your sexy side. Does taking a floor dance class sound fun and healing? Or learning how to make your body an offering to a lover with a sexy lap dance? Get curious! 

Practice: There are conscious kink classes in major cities (Babeland in NYC has rad classes!) I also highly rec reading erotic books, and exploring practices and women integral to this movement like Vanessa Cuccia of Chakrubs, Cycles and Sex, and Kimberly Johnson, aka The Vaginapratcor. 

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3// Talk. Hold an intentional sharing circle for sexual stories, embarrassing stories, and erotic tales. Implement a timed sharing policy with no cross talking so people can share their stories without needing validation, approval, or advice. Or hold a dinner party themed around fun and sexy talk, and draw anonymous questions from a hat.

Practice: Here’s a sexy Moon ritual and an erotic recharge activation that can be used anytime AND done in a group!

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4// Bring your shame and pain to the table. One barrier to embodied healing is compartmentalization. Often, we don’t think it’s possible to feel JOY while also experiencing PAIN. Or you may start an excited conversation about your new crystal dildo but also feel ashamed. Remember, your body knows that it’s possible for multiple feelings to exist at the same time—hold space for all of them, express them, and don’t shoo them away. 

Practice: When navigating shame, I choose my 3 go-to shamanic tools—BREATHE, SOUND, MOVEMENT. Lay on the floor, breathe into your belly like you’re pregnant with air, and make sounds while moving your spine. Breathe the shame, sound it out with a HA, a growl, a moan. Cry in your car. In the tub. And then put on a song and dance!

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Bottom line is, the sexual and body healing that is necessary on this planet in our times is not going to happen from the MIND. 

It will only happen when we begin to integrate and come home to the body. Seek pleasure. Make space for joy. Sensation. Rage. Crying. Screaming. Cumming. As we come back to the body, and release old programming about it being shameful and dirty, we will come home to Mama Earth and her environment, which has been abused for far too long.  

*I am taking on 5 clients from February 2018 to July 2018 for a 6 Month Transformational Healing Experience around sexual healing, expression, and embodiment. It’s going to be a radical return to the body, pleasure, love, sexuality, and healing. For more info, please email [email protected]

HOLY F*CK: DATE NIGHT AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

While our solo work is oh so vital, Alexandra Roxo tells us that colliding with another can take us even further. Date night can even become your soul’s mirror …

Whether you’re in partnership or single, when you’re able to clean the dirt of old stories and receive your truth, you can let your relationships be a clear mirror for your soul.

And a date is a perfect way to see where you are on your journey on any given day, in any given moment …

It can be with your husband. A stranger. A boyfriend or girlfriend. If you walk in with intention and clarity, you can see how much you are accepting all of yourself: where you are tight and holding, where you are closed, where you have grown. Treat it like a ritual. A ceremony.

Whatever stories cloud your mirror, here’s how to start to scrubbing and seeing yourself without the scar tissue, warning labels, and caution signs …

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3 DATES + A HOMECOMING 
After some soul searching and radical up-leveling at Burning Man, I returned to L.A. and decided to hop back into the dating scene to see what I attracted …

Date 1: Sacred Sluts & Shadow Work
My first mirror was a director, Reiki healer, and angel speaker, who told me stories of BDSM clubs in Europe, had erotic poetry on the walls, was kinda Goth, had been to Burning Man, and fed me banana pudding.

I was staring at a mirror of an old version of self, the hipster meets healer meets artist who likes to party but talks to Angels. But the difference was that this man was accepting ALL these parts of himself, especially his kinky side. Though I am happy the “hipster me” was put to rest, colliding with him made me realize that I was still struggling to mix my BDSM side with my Mother Mary side, my Goth side with my sacred side.

I left the date, cried for two days, and never heard from him again.

But what I’d learned was that it was time to accept and love my Sacred Slut, Radical Queer, Kinky Freak … who is also creative, deeply spiritual, pious, artistic, and a Spiritual Teacher.

I felt like a part of me had come home out of the shadows … 

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Date 2: Wood Chopping & Clear Channel Intensity
I arrived at a beautiful house, and a man began to chop wood and made a fire for us in a ceramic fire pit.

As he then lead us through breathwork and we journeyed through the elements, I wondered if he’d Googled me. Did he know I loved to practice ritual?! It didn’t matter. It felt good nonetheless.

As we laid on an oriental rug by the fire, turned on our sides and gazed into each other’s eyes, my body shivered and shook. And then we danced. We prayed. We sang. We painted.

WOW. This is how I LIVE. Ceremony, ritual, intensity, intention. And because my mirror had been foggy and not reflecting out my whole self, I had rarely been met by the people I dated in that fullness.

Seeing the beauty of my life reflected in this person was moment was a gift and a miracle for myself. My fave books on his shelf, my anthem “Higher Love” playing, an arrow tattoo on both of our left ribs.

I understood that I wasn’t seeing my wounds anymore because I was accepting myself. With all my flaws and stories. And so he was able to be a clear mirror for me.

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Date 3: A Man Named “God” 
I didn’t think my new picture of myself could get any sharper. But as we change, our mirror changes too. After doing a 3-day intimacy intensive, something shifted in me, and my capacity and definition of intimacy and love expanded even further.

During the following week I met three men whose names meant “Who is Like God,” and decided to go on a date with one of them. 

This person was consciously devoted to spiritual practice, and our date became a moving meditation of connection, not even a date at all. Few words were needed. Clothes stayed on. But we went into ecstatic states.

He saw where I was holding back and invited me to share my Fullness. I saw where he wasn’t trusting himself and I helped him to trust.

We spent our time in a fluid dance together, a type of date I never thought was possible! Putting it into words seems silly. Like describing the shape of raindrops. Or trying to gift someone a jar of laughter.

And this is where my soul is now. 

4 STEPS TO TURN YOUR OWN DATE NIGHT INTO SOUL WORK 

STEP 1. Work on radical self-acceptance. This means stop trying to change and fix yourself. Be willing to see yourself fully so you can be met in your Wholeness. With all the mess.  All the trauma. Cellulite. Credit card debt.

Write the Mess a Letter: What do you HATE about yourself? What is hiding in the shadows that you think isn’t socially acceptable? Bring it all up to the surface and then LOVE it so so so hard. Write it love letters. Affirmations. Make it an altar. Buy it an outfit. Treat that part of you like a Queen.

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STEP 2. Resource yourself. If you’re single, get clear about what is of value to you and bring it to yourself until you are completely “resourced.”

Fill Your Own Cup: You want safety? Make a list of what makes you feel safe and do those things. You want someone who texts back? Start being more consistent with your own communication skills. You want more sexy fun? Bring it to your SELF. Fill your own cup.

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STEP 3. Be clear about what you want. Own it. Claim it. And be ready to attract a few “Mirror Cleaners” —a.k.a. free teachers! Just be safe and take care.

Say it Out loud: Clear shame about what you want by telling yourself aloud. You want your hubby to role play doctor with you? Or your date to meditate with you? GREAT. Get comfortable with it by writing it down, saying it aloud to yourself, and lastly, sharing with friends—but only when it feels solid for you.

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STEP 4. Be ready to step into practice. When you are on “the path” EVERYTHING is practice. This doesn’t just happen in yoga or kundalini class or meditation time. LIFE becomes your daily yoga.

Gauge Your Presence Level: Start giving yourself a 1 to 10 in terms of Presence Level on every coffee date, work meeting etc. Then at the end of the day ask yourself “How could I have gotten more present?” Did I need to scream, nap, dance, cry? Bring more rage? More warrior vibes?  Start practicing.

And most of all, remember that “the work” of being fully met doesn’t have to be laborious (and it doesn’t have to conform in the least bit to society’s ideas about partnerships or an outcome driven process—years of birthdays and cuddling and make outs and camping trips are all extra).

The GIFT is being met in a moment. And then being able to see the reflection of how far you have come.

Alexandra is a writer and spiritual teacher who works with clients one-on-one in person and remotely. Join her in LA next week on 10/11 at Free People Santa Monica for a Practical Love Magic Workshop, and on 10/14 at Saje Wellness for Love, Sex, and Other Things (use CODE Alexandra for $10 off!)

HOLY F*CK: WHY SHIBARI BONDAGE IS THE ULTIMATE SURRENDER

In search of the deepest act of spiritual surrender, Alexandra Roxo gets bound and discovers boundlessness with the ancient art of Shibari bondage …

Shibari (Japanese Rope Bondage) can be erotic, intimate, loving, sexy, quiet or raucous, meditative, artistic, insightful, transformative—all depending on the people engaged and how they both feel at the moment” – Victoria Blue

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I am always on the hunt to find ways to get free, to go wild, to let loose, and to go deeper into myself. Over the last 15 years, my search to explore the depths of my sexuality and spirituality has taken me everywhere from witch camp in the woods of Oregon, to working as a dancer in a truck stop strip club in New Mexico, to banging a drum at a Rainbow Gathering in West Virginia, to an orgasmic meditation circle where I had my clit stroked by an old Indian man … and SO many other places and practices.  

Drugs. Sex. Spirit. Art. It’s been a lifetime of exploration that started the first time my mom pulled Louise Hay off the bookshelf when I was 7, and the first time I kissed a boy, and girl, at 8 … 

So for an explorer of depths who hasn’t left many stones unturned, I am always seeking something new to try and am always ready with a big fat YES! 

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WOMEN TYING WOMEN 
My next yes fell straight into my lap after my dear friend Kyp Malone (who played the “urban shaman” in my web series “Be Here Nowish,” and whom I consider a Yoda of sorts), took me to a dinner party, introduced me to a woman in the corner named Victoria Blue, and said “You two should talk.”  

It all remained a mystery until months later. I was on the bus back home from 3 days of steeping and soaking in the magical Orr Hot Springs of Northern California and I suddenly thought to myself: I want to be tied up. This was especially random after spending 3 days in a tub reading a book about Jesus’ mystical life. But the words were clear and from my heart.

I’d been tied up by lovers before and engaged in a fair amount of BDSM in sex, but I knew there was something more here that I wanted and I began to investigate the ancient form of Japanese bondage called Shibari. Whereas other types of BDSM include performed dominance or submission, or the giving and receiving of pain as practice, Shibari is a fine art. Comparing a “50 Shades” rope scene with Shibari would be like comparing an IKEA rug with one from a Moroccan souk. 

Interestingly, when I googled “Shibari LA” and the first thing to pop up was a workshop called “Women Tying Women” with none other than Kyp’s friend Victoria as teacher! The next day, the magic continued when I walked into my 5Rhythms class and a cute woman ran up to me, handed me a card, and said  “Come to ‘Women Tying Women!’ My friend Victoria Blue is teaching!“ “She has one private session left. Do you want it?’ 

FULL. BODY. YES! 

Victoria in a state of calm, suspended surrender

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GOING OFF LEASH 
So why did these words spring from my soul and why did I even want to be tied? Perhaps there is some past life witch healing there. But really, I think it’s because I crave deep surrender. And I crave deep catharsis.  And I long to become art as often as possible … 

How many places in your life can you TRULY surrender in? By surrender, I mean LOSE YOUR MIND. Let go of the reins. My friend Andi calls it “going off leash.” When you go “off leash” you slip into an altered state of ecstasy and sometimes agony and the mind goes quiet. Void.

Mind-blowing, expansive sex is a place one can find surrender. Meditation can be. Some good old fashioned tequila and a night of all night dancing with some MDMA licked from a tiny plastic bag in a Brooklyn bathroom worked in my late 20s. Plant medicine ceremonies too. Dance can be ecstatic and deep. But being tied up seemed like a depth of surrender and catharsis that my soul needed now.

Even though I’d been “off leash” many times, I was still nervous before going to see Victoria. Because not only was I going to be tied, I would also be suspended. Not like suspended from school—like suspended from the ceiling off a rope. Yes, this may conjure some morbid images of hanging corpses, but I thought of it like making myself into an ornate chandelier hanging as a centerpiece.

I told Victoria I wanted to be tied in a pose of expansion—heart opening, if possible. She quietly blindfolded me … 

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BOUND & BOUNDLESS 
I closed my eyes and Victoria began to play a German instrumental album that was integral to my sexual awakening in my early 20s. Out of all the music in the world she chose the goth band that the first person who ever tied me up used to play, and whom I had learned some of the most beautiful and fun things about sex at the age of 23. This moment of kismet softened my heart like butter, and as she tied me I felt myself starting to relax after being reminded of the divinity present.  

She bound me tight, hands up and open, back arched up, heart to the sky, one leg extended, and one folded. I let the ropes hold me. They were tight. Not soft and sweet. I began to turn into pliable flesh with no other option but letting go. I was like an infant. Helpless. Paralyzed almost. But the more and more I was tied, the more and more relaxed I felt. Like someone was caring for my soul.  

Then she hoisted me up and I lay back, being held only by this rope around my waist, floating in the air. The whole of my weight resting on one piece of rope. Completely bound. Angelic even. And that’s when the full surrender and deep catharsis began … 

Tears streamed down. Then they broke into deep, deep sobs from some place inside me that I had never met before. And moans of pain mixed with joy. Of release. Of heartache and heartbreak. I hung there. The pain escalated until the discomfort quieted the mind in the most nurturing way. The only thing possible to do was breathe.

I sobbed and breathed until I reached that edge that I have loved to flirt with for so many years. I whispered to her: “I’m at my limit” with tears streaming down my face and my chest. And then, ever so gently, Victoria pulled me down. She stroked my head and told me that I stayed up there a very long time and that I was very strong. As she pulled the ropes off me, my body felt lighter and freer than it had in ages. I felt my consciousness move into every cell. I could breathe into corners where breath hadn’t touched. I felt alive.

Victoria and @sophiashibari

Discover more about Victoria’s private sessions and group classes HERE, and join she and I this October for a two day overnight retreat in Topanga that will bring together Shibari, Shadow Work, Storytelling, and Sexual Healing. If you’re interested in this deep work, add your name HERE and we’ll send out applications and full retreat info in a few weeks. 

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

A post shared by Chakrubs™ (@chakrubs) on

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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

HOLY F*CK: HOW HEARTBREAK CAN BE THE MOST POWERFUL MEDICINE

When Love is our teacher heartbreak can be the most powerful medicine, says Alexandra Roxo in her latest Holy F*ck column…

So maybe just maybe some mega shit has been hitting the fan during this Venus Retrograde? Or perhaps it’s minor pieces of shit for you. Little annoying pieces of shit you thought were gone…but are still stinking up the place? Perhaps it’s around romantic love, rejection, partnership. Or perhaps self love, worth, value.

Chances are you’ve been stung. But guess what??! This means your heart is open—that it’s accessible, soft, tender, growing, reshaping, adapting, expanding. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Heartbreak can be the most powerful medicine.

Committing to living with an open heart it is not an easy road. It can mean letting your heart break and break and break, but each time it breaks it swells and becomes bigger and messier and wider and has the capacity to hold more.

This is the way of Love. (Cue Rumi.)

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CRUCIFIED BY LOVE  

Love has always been my personal teacher of choice. When I was 20 and all my friends had gurus, I was secretly writing the words “AHEM PREMA” (I am divine love) on my hand and telling folks, “Love is my guru!” I’ve been obsessed with Love for as long as I can remember. I’ve been in Love MANY times and rejected MANY times more, and still I keep on going for it.

How do I define Love?
Love is that which we were made from and that which we will return to. The primordial ooze in us. The ever present God-Goddess sparkle living in each cell. Which we feel when we”fall” in Love. Really what I believe happens is that this “falling” is us OPENING to the Love that already exists within us. What if you could feel that without an other person? This is what I’m talking about!!

And because I also never quit being curious and doing things that scare me, I signed up for a two-day intensive last week called “The Yoga of Intimacy” with Londin Angel Winters and Justin Patrick Pierce (who also may be the hottest couple on the planet. Major #RelationshipGoals.)

Arriving at a beautiful inn in Topanga I prepared myself to be “crucified by Love.” (My ideal Saturday!) Standing across from a man whose name I didn’t know, who wasn’t “my type,” I let Love show me where I was guarded. And I let it make me feel safe enough to pull down the walls and completely open to said stranger.

I looked into his eyes and cried. I shared my depths. And it felt as powerful as an Ayauasca ceremony. If not more powerful! With eyes open and locked onto someone else’s, instead of eyes closed solo-style like in plant journeys, I couldn’t escape my demons or pain or shut down or dissociate. Justin said it perfectly … “If you think ayahuasca is crazy, try love.”

I could literally NOT form a sentence afterwards. As a writer and wordsmith I was kinda freaked out by the temporary mush in my brain. But I was assured that this meant I had surrendered to the pure-as-hell-delicious Shakti/Divine Feminine energy that resides outside the mind.

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99 HEARTBREAKS & I DON’T WANT TO SOLVE THEM

At the workshop, I also had to go on a practice dinner date with an older doctor from Beverly Hills who talked like I imagine Freud would have sounded. I did NOT wanna get vulnerable with him but I did, and I broke into tears across the dinner table as I revealed to him my deepest desires. He was beyond grateful that I showed him my Heart.

As I cried and told him of all the times I had broken my heart, he said “At the end of your life would you rather have loved and had your heart broken 99 times and on the 100th found someone special, than hidden your heart and not loved at all?” It was true. And all 99 times of heartbreak are heart opening and “special” in my book.

Two days at this intensive rocked me to my core. It was SO terrifying to let go and let Love do its thing. Yet I felt more delicious than I had in ages.

SO HOW CAN YOU WORK WITH LOVE’S MEDICINE? 

When Love becomes a skill and a medicine, you can hang out with a close friend and feel deeply nourished and fed when you leave them, like you just got 10 hugs and a bowl of soup from your Grandma.

Or you and your Lover can be in a constant state of divine communion, and one glance feels like 1,000 gourmet raw chocolates for your soul.

A solo Love practice means at a stop light in the car you can feel the depths of Love swimming through your body and yoni, and you have the power to release a warm honey glow throughout your body that feels like you are cumming. Try walking into a meeting from that place!

Here’s how to start … 

– Love and be loved. Identify the 5 ways you feel most Love(d). I do this with all my clients. Perhaps it’s petting your cat. Or watching your fave film. Meditating. Chanting to Goddess. Get to know the direct path to your Heart, if you don’t already, and start feeling the Love vibes often by using those tools.

– Connect to humans/animals. The internet doesn’t count unless you are one-on-one on Skype with someone. IRL is the best way to go. Make this a priority. It is the remedy against overeating, loneliness, indulging in bad habits, overworking … I’m talking real connection! Even one solid hug and “Good Morning” from a roomie is something.

– Let your heart get naked. This is where you get vulnerable. If you can practice this daily, you’ll either deepen your already existing partnerships or tenderize the nest of your heart to get it ready to let love in. Call a new friend and share something intimate. Write a poem and share it online. Ask someone for help. Practice vulnerability and practice receiving some Love. (Like let the guy at Trader Joe’s help you to your car already!)

– Feel, feel, feel. Sounds obvious, right? But how often do you feel your feelings in the moment? Practice vocalizing your pain. Frustration. Sadness. As you’re experiencing it. Let yourself feel the depths of your yearning/your rage/your sadness/your joy DAILY.

– Daydream. Do a little bit of daydreaming each day. Imagine your lover caressing your neck. Imagine your lover giving you that “I wanna fuck you” look across the room at a crowded party. If this sounds cheesy to you then work on the vulnerability of your heart.

Whether you are in partnership or flying solo, you can play with Love every day. You can become more and more conscious of living in your full beauty and radiance and sexiness the more and more you release the fear of getting hurt. You can just open. The pain becomes part of your practice too and, trust me, you even start to love that! WHAAA?!!! Can it be?!!! Yeeeep.

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Londin & Justin’s next intensive is September 16-17th, and I’ll def be there crying and loving and embodying all the Shakti I can, Goddess willing. You can discover more about them and their work Londinangelwinters.com

HOLY F*CK: RECLAIM YOUR SEXUAL POWER & HELP HEAL THE WORLD

Reclaiming your sexual power and potential is part of the collective awakening happening now. And it’s never too late, says Alexandra RoxoPortraits: Alexandra Herstik

I’ve taken a few months off from really diving into topics of sex, eroticism, and partnership here in my column. Why? I must admit, I’ve been distracted by politics and found myself thinking: “How can I dare talk about sex, as the world is seemingly in dire need of discourse about so many other things?!”

Well, as my passion for sharing about love and sex wandered around my brain like a disenfranchised child with no home, who else but Sigmund Freud swooped in to validate it—and shove it back into the world!

Freud said that sexual repression is the chief psychological problem of humankind, and the root of many crimes, illness, war and woe. As if I need a dead white man to remind me of something I already knew! But I did. Touché Dr Freud, touché.

And his theory reminded me that it’s okay to continue sharing about love, sex and partnerships—even in a time when ICE raids are being done to innocent people, families are being separated and deported, and the whole structure of a country that felt like it was moving towards progress is being threatened.

Because this includes LOVE and SEX.

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THE SEXUAL LANDSCAPE YOU WERE BORN INTO

Let’s take a very brief tour of history. Some say that we once lived in a “partnership” society, where people co-existed in some states of harmony. This shifted into a “dominator” society. Have you seen the movie or read the book “Mists of Avalon?” In the book there is a battle between the “old” religion—a religion honoring nature, The Goddess, the many faces of the Divine—and the “new” religion, a religion honoring ONE man.

Pantheistic to monotheistic. This shift changed everything for humanity. When the Goddess religion/pantheistic religions went out, so did our connection to nature, to ecstatic states, to sex, to the Feminine. By denying sex we denied nature! As Terrence McKenna said in his book Food of the Gods: “The dark night of the soul for planet Earth began.”

The “Wild Woman” (seen as a reflection of nature herself) was then sought to be tamed. We saw the literal possession of women. Burning of witches. Corsets. Chastity belts. Women’s rights being taken away in many many cultures. The polarization of “the virgin” and “the whore.” And this, my dears, is what YOU were born into.

Fair enough, in this country we got it about the LEAST bad—we are able to vote, get an abortion, wear what we want. BUT this also created a dichotomy that can be VERY confusing.

You were told you can speak up and be you. But you must also be sweet and pretty and skinny. You were told it was slutty to enjoy lots of sex. But you were told also “Claim your sexuality!” You were told you could wear what you want. But when you wore it you were treated differently. At least when it was scandalous to show an ankle it was very clear. ANKLE = SLUT. Now the dial is all over the place.

If you were born into any religion that is monotheistic and patriarchal then whether you want to accept it or not, you probs have internalized all kinds of sexual repression with a side of shame, and a dash of guilt on top. (If you somehow escaped all this then…GODDESS BLESS!)

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SO, HOW THE HELL DO WE MOVE BEYOND THIS?

It’s going to take a lot more work. See my piece from last year about “Sexual Healing” for a refresh and jump start.

The biggest thing we can do is keep QUESTIONING. Everything. In sex. Redefining our experiences as our own. Making our own rules. Reclaiming what is our human right.

FOR EXAMPLE. Perhaps by society’s standards it’s not acceptable to sob uncontrollably during sex. HOWEVER, the energy of sex is MAD powerful, and when used to it’s full conscious potential can be a shamanic experience. So, if you are having conscious deep deep sex, and start releasing trauma or shame or guilt from your body you will probably sob. This can cause more shame because we’ve been taught that’s not okay.

My first girlfriend was a shamanic mover of energy and she knew it. The orgasms I had with her moved massive amounts of shame I had internalized growing up in the Christian south, out of my body. She held space for me. Made me feel safe enough to completely release into my body and use the energy of sex for deep healing. Sometimes that meant opening further and further when I thought I couldn’t anymore, but she helped me keep going, much like in a plant medicine ceremony, or even running a marathon. The altered state that one enters during sex can be a place where so much work can take place.

So how do you allow yourself to let go enough to work with the energy of sex, or even love or partnership, for healing and ecstasy?

HOW TO LITERALLY RECLAIM YOUR SEXUAL POWER

Create a conscious container. By container I mean a defined space. Whether you are coming together just for sex or also for a certain amount of time weekly for sexual exploration define the rules, the terms. How long? What do we do if someone wants to scream or cry?

Communication! If you want to have a soul sob with a deep cervical orgasm you have to make sure your partner can “hold” you through it. Instead of saying, “Hey babe. What’s wrong? Don’t cry,” educate them to hold the space for you, and say instead: “I’m here. Let it out. Stay with it. I love you.”

When you release some of the pain in your body that’s hidden deep within your cervix or womb of COURSE there will be tears, shouting, laughing—ALL OF IT! But you will feel so much lighter and freer afterwards if you let those emotions come out and you don’t hold them in. Not worrying about what you may look like or sound like. Instead, being like a raging river, embodying Kali, embodying Venus, the rivers of Oshun, the energy of a storm, the energy of the ocean. She is never ashamed for her moods and needs. She just IS.

If you look at sex as expansion beyond the “get in and get off” vibe we’ve been taught by movies and TV our whole lives, you will see it has massive healing potential to clear through chakras and move blocks—while increasing your radiance and attraction levels in a major way! It’s a super power and that’s why it has been repressed and controlled for so long.

If you think back to how you “learned” sex it was probably mostly through media. Women “sound” like this or that. They make these faces during sex. They lay on the bed in this or that way. What if that was all learned behavior and in order to reclaim your full sexual potential you get to go on the journey of FINDING OUT what your natural sexual state is?

What faces you make. What sounds. Maybe you sing when you cum! Or make low guttural grunts. Maybe you sob uncontrollably for A YEAR as you release shame from your body. Does that mean something is wrong with you? NO. HELL NO. Maybe you find your fantasy and realize you like to be flogged or spanked. Does that mean something is wrong with you? NOPE.

It’s a choice. You make the choice to embody Bridget Jones. Or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Or Carrie in Sex and the City. Or…Venus emerging from the ocean. Kali emerging from a fire. Persephone diving into the Underworld and coming back renewed. You choose.

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RE-WRITE THE SEX SCRIPT

Here are some practical ways to begin to rewrite some of your sexual programming…

– Be Curious! Read books. Listen to podcasts. Don’t be ashamed if you want to learn about polyamory. Or multiple orgasms. Or whatever the hell you’re into. Nothing is too strange. Nothing is too weird. As you begin to delve, protect your little seed of curiosity before sharing with everyone. You don’t need anyone’s opinions about your desire to learn about 1950’s Occult Sex Parties or prostate massage. It’s your exploration. Keep it sacred.

– Look at your demons. Your shadows. Your shames. Have you engaged in healing around your sexual history? Chances are your first sexual experiences were rather “unconscious,” maybe with alcohol attached and not centered around heart opening and connecting. And if not, well, kudos to you! (Mine were pretty dope with candles and a fountain and fairy lights and soft music and eye gazing even when I was a preteen cause I was #BornThisWay. But then I’ve also had about 100 that were NOT like that at all…) If you feel you have work to do around love and sex then start journaling about your programming, stories, traumas. Engage in conversations. Do the healing work with a coach or in a group.

– Create the space to explore. If you’re in partnership then consciously communicate with your partner about wanting to make the sex more conscious and expansive, and work to bust through some of the cultural norms together. Perhaps this means engaging in some connecting work before sex. Eye gazing. Doing some tantric breath. Giving each other space to hear fantasies without judgement. That means if your lover says “I’m turned on by watching horses fuck” you have to listen and hold space for that and not be like “EW!” immediately. Trust is very important when opening in this way. If you’re solo then start getting in there and doing your own exploration work with your self. Learn your fantasies. What feels good and what doesn’t.

– Be aware of your words. Stories you perpetuate with your words which can cast magical spells. Sometimes I catch myself talking like Samantha from SATC and I stop myself. Some of that languaging and programming is NOT conscious at all. Sure, it’s fun, but it’s creating a reality that I picked up from TV. Not my own heart.

– Question everything. This can be fun! “Do I actually like to wax my puss? Or do I do it cause someone told me to?” Hmm well for me honestly I think it’s the later. “Do I actually like lingerie and Agent Provocateur?” Resounding YES for me on that one! “Where is my sexuality at on the Kinsey scale?”

– Talk to your friends. THIS IS HARD. One time when I brought up the transcendental power of fisting to catapult you into an altered state in a car of women there was RADIO SILENCE. It was awkward. But without discussion things continue to be taboo Unspeakable. Hidden away in dark corners. So moving past that awkward silence with some laughter and humility is enough to open the floodgates. Before you know it someone will be sharing how they once used a cucumber as a dildo and you won’t feel alone.

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If you want to work with a group on this, I’m doing a monthly HOLY F*CK workshop starting on the New Moon of 2.26!  This is a little different than the salon I did last year as this is deeper work, and enough to keep you busy exploring and reprogramming and rewiring your sex energy until the next month’s workshop! Sign up HERE. And as always I do one on one mentorships and coaching sessions which you can book HERE.

HOLY F*CK: SIX WAYS TO SEXUAL HEALING

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 ::

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Movement. I am SO pro-movement. Daniella swears by Gyrotonic. I love 5Rhythms, dancehall, and hip hop. Move those hips.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

BEST OF 2015: THE NUMINOUS YEAR IN REVIEW

So many fantastic contributions from the Numinati this year! Here’s a month-by-month run down of some of our favorites in a special best of 2015 review…

JANUARY :: WHAT IS DHARMA? THE JOY OF SERVICE AS LIFE PURPOSE
Author: Naomi Costantino / Artwork: Erin Petson

 

FEBRUARY :: FASHION DESIGNER TAROT
Words: The New Age Hipster / Image: Alexandro Palombo

 

MARCH :: THIS ONE TIME, WHEN I WENT TO SHAMAN SCHOOL…
Words: Wolf Sister / Image: Karolina Daria Flora

 

APRIL :: SEXUAL HEALING (A.K.A. FINDING F***ING ENLIGHTEMNENT)
Words: Hanna Bier / Artwork: Romain Gorisse

 

MAY :: 20 THINGS I LEARNED AT CRYSTAL SCHOOL
Words: Ruby Warrington / Artwork: Karina Eibatova

 

JUNE :: INSIDE CAITLYN JENNER’S BIRTH CHART
Words: Kimberly Peta Dewhirst / Image: Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair

 

JULY :: HOW TO CAST A MONEY SPELL
Words: Nabeel Afasr

 

AUGUST :: TAKE A LOVER WHO LOOKS AT YOU LIKE MAYBE YOU ARE MAGIC
Words: Ellie Burrows / Portrait: Mikal Marie

 

SEPTEMBER :: HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR SPIRITUAL ROADMAP
Words: Shaheen Miro / Images: Benoit Paille

 

OCTOBER :: HOW TO WORK WITH EACH MOON PHASE
Words: Hannah Ariel

 

NOVEMBER :: PROTECT YOURSELF FROM VAMPIRE LOVERS
Words: Alexandra Roxo, Natalia Leite, and Cat Cabral / Artwork: Pa-kwan Promsri

 

DECEMBER :: THE ART OF SACRED ADORNMENT
Words: Kitty Cavalier / Photography: Anna Dabrowska / Illustration: Mara Gonzalez Telman

UNDER THE ARMOUR: WHY MEN FIND IT HARD TO FEEL

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

SEXUAL HEALING: FINDING F***ING ENLIGHTENMENT

Bad sex is no joke. It’s time for a little in the way of sexual healing, says Hanna BierImages: From Sexual Orgasms 1-10 by Romain Gorisse via Behance.net

A large proportion of the people I know are willing to settle for “blah” when it comes to sex. My spirit sister once told me about her first time having sex in a bunk bed of an Australian hostel. She basically said: “Well, I knew I had to get it over with sooner or later anyways. I was young, so I thought, what the heck.”

I’m sorry, but to me this sounds a lot like self-rape, the social acceptance of which is alarmingly high. Because to me, saying “yes” to any kind of sex that isn’t rooted in complete transcendence and sexual rapture is an act of self-violence. Sex is a sacred act! Why would we want to settle for anything less than mind-blowing, life-altering boner sessions?

But as the saying goes; “Sex is like pizza, even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” And so no wonder there’s an epidemic of 15-minute fucks, with only the privileged / lucky few having been awakened to the power of a three-hour sexual prayer.

Before I broke up with my first boyfriend, I was clueless about sexual misery. He happily took care of me for four to five hours, not stopping until my body gave up and my mind, body and flesh had been thoroughly penetrated.

And it wasn’t because he was overly experienced or had taken a gazillion tantric seminars before we had sex. It was actually quite the opposite, and simply that he was totally in tune with his cock. He was the kind of skilful that can only come from total sexual innocence. He fucked with his heart, his mind unpolluted from pop culture’s pornographic mentality. He was fully present, just doing his thing. Over, and over, and over again.

How could I have known that such wholehearted banging was actually a rarity? But since him, I have yet to find a lover who’s given me even a fraction of what he was capable of.

This discovery truly shattered me. I began to see the feminine energy around me shrinking and turning pale. I noticed the male getting limp and giving up way too soon. This sexual inadequacy manifested as stilted creativity. A loss of perseverance. Power mistaken for bitchiness. Attention mistaken for weakness.

And it’s infuriating just how ingrained the idea is that the female has to orgasm within 30 minutes, and keep quiet while doing so.

Because the biggest healing potential for the feminine archetype lies in deep and thorough fucking, and there’s no way a lady can find enlightenment in a half-hour lunch break fling. No wonder she backs out and would rather settle for no sex than intercourse that feels more like being poked or stabbed.

Every time we have bad sex, our consciousness is injured in some way, and if we don’t make efforts to heal ourselves from that, our capacity for enlightenment is severely constricted. Which basically means, bad sex = longer soul journey. And we don’t really want that, do we?

So when considering your next sexual encounter, here’s how to not rape yourself…

As a woman:
– Spend time smelling and tasting the person you are sleeping with. Ideally, you’d want to chug your lovers cum and sweat. Our body liquids are nature’s love potions. They contain all information we need in order to workout if the person we’re about to merge with is sexually compatible with us. And if they are, just a drop of their elixir will send us off into the void.
– Notice your vagina giving you signals that she’s truly ready. She needs to be fully lubricated, aching to be penetrated, and energetically sucking in the finger/penis/tongue.
– Now your only task is to open. If you can’t, something’s off. Your vagina is like a compass, pointing you away from spiritually violent sex by not wetting and not opening up. This is alarmingly obvious, yet so often ignored advice. I wouldn’t have to give sixth grade sex-ed pointers if it weren’t necessary. So trust her when she says no. Get ready to break when she says yes.
– In short, if it’s not a “fuck yes”, is a “fuck no.”

As a man:
– Wait to be invited. You can only safely enter a person to the extent that your counterpart sucks you in. Every time you push to open a gate, you violate yourself and your partner. By feeling for the opening and waiting for the call, you give permission for complete surrender by your partner.
– Be aware that the more she gets to open, the more deeply you get to penetrate. So play with it, advance a little and then wait to see if there’s a pull. If there is, go further.
– Practice stamina. Bend life over and fuck it senseless. Over and over and over again. Every time you finish early or give up before you’ve truly penetrated what asked to be penetrated, you are selling yourself sexually short.
– The male archetype enters a higher sexual order when he has perfected the skills of easing the female open. Think of it as opening her legs open, her heart, and her brain. And then keeping her there, until she surrenders just a little more to spill all of herself, losing herself completely in the torment of her sexual awakening.

Do you agree? Or is there something to be said for sex that’s short and sweet? Connect with us and share if you dare on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Find out more about Hanna Bier and her work at FreeSpirited.co