HELLO CHAKRUBS: YES, THAT’S A CRYSTAL DILDO

Forget the battery operated vibrator, and pick up a high-vibe, soul-opening crystal sex toy from Chakrubs. Founder Vanessa Cuccia shares her story with Gabriela Herstik.

Chakrubs founder Vanessa Cuccia

 

Yes, Chakrubs are exactly what they sound like, and these high vibe crystal sex dildos are here to shake things up! Vanessa Cuccia, the #girlboss behind Chakrubs, is on a mission to promote self-love, acceptance and a whole lot of awareness with some super sensual playtime. And with a background in sex toys and holistic medicine, Cuccia is the natural choice in enlightening the world, one crystal dildo at a time. By combining the healing properties of crystals with sexual energy, and then pairing that with some sexy intention setting, Chakrubs allow you to really root into your pleasure. So whether you’re an amethyst kinda gal or you’re more into onyx, you can get your sexy on while giving yourself some extra TLC – Numinous style.

The Numinous: The crystal dildo – something we would never have thought of but…are totally into. How did you some up with this concept? Why crystals?
Vanessa Cuccia: 
Really, the idea was the result of a culmination of experiences and desires I had experienced since a young age. About age four when my mother had a paranormal experience that opened up many conversations about energy, God, conspiracy, and spirits in my household. My father is also a doctor of the spine, an inventor of a non-surgical medical device called Extentrac to help heal and alleviate back pain, so I also had influence in the importance of homeopathic health.

 

My views on sexuality also played a major role in coming up with the concept. I had held my virginity in high regard, but when I had sex for the first time, I wasn’t ready. For many years, I struggled with feeling pleasure with another person. No sex toy on the market appealed to me, and yet I had a desire to explore my sexuality and remove shame around it. Crystals seemed like a natural and therapeutic option. Once I came up with the name and started telling people my idea, it was clear that this was something that was needed in the lives of many people, and the sex toy industry as a whole. The philosophy behind it being just as important as the product itself: self-love, self-awareness, and self-acceptance.

TN: How do the different stones used in each toy impact the experience?
VC:
Different stones have been used for thousands of years for their various metaphysical properties, since each stone vibrates at a different frequency. One may be best for opening the heart chakra for love, one may be best to open the throat chakra for communication and creativity. We suggest to our customers setting an intention with whichever Chakrub they choose. This way, each time they have a “session” with one, they are reminded of the growth they wish to achieve, the pain the wish to release, or the things they wish to manifest.

TN: Chakrubs merge two really beautiful energies: raw stones and sexual energy. How do they aid one another?
VC:
Crystals have perfect molecular structures, providing a therapeutic vibration that we may benefit from just by being near them. Some of us are very sensitive to crystal energy. Some of us – not so much. For those who aren’t so sensitive, they may first become acquainted with this energy by first feeling their own sexual energy – since arousal is an easy signal to us that energy is flowing. This can lead to the realization that energy is all around us, and helping us flow in whatever circumstance we are in – in turn, helping us navigate all areas of our lives. The energy of a crystal dildo will simply amplify sexual energy, and sexual energy will amplify crystal energy. This works through focused attention and awareness.

 

 

TN: Also, total fans of the wordplay in “Chakrubs.” How does sacred playtime, with the aid of toys, help to balance the energy of the chakras?
VC:
 When we are truly rooted in our pleasure, comfortable and excited, our minds go into a state of meditation. It’s a place free of anxiety. This allows for a clean and unblocked flow of energy, and that flow can become more intense when our intention is also to allow this to happen. The combination of sexual energy, intention and the energy from the Chakrub is powerful medicine for our chakra, endocrine, and nervous system.

TN: One of the most beautiful parts of your mission is to encourage love, especially self-love and acceptance. How does using a crystal dildo facilitate more love, acceptance and awareness?
VC:
 The philosophy behind Chakrubs is self-love, self-awareness, and acceptance. As such, this mission is instilled in each of the products, and there to be connected with each time a person uses a Chakrub, and sexual arousal with the use of Chakrubs becomes a signal to remember and tap into the ideas of self-love, spiritual growth, and awareness.

 

 

TN: How do you think being aware and vocal about your needs, sexually and emotionally, can help spiritual growth?
VC:
Spiritual growth IS self-awareness. It is understanding that everything that happens is happening as it needs to in order to facilitate growth. Removing fear and shame (or rather, not holding on to these feelings) from the part of ourselves that is meant to receive and give pleasure is a potent place to start on a spiritual path.

TN: What’s your advice for someone who is hesitant to experiment and use a sex toy? What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you?
VC:
If someone is hesitant to use a sex toy, don’t use a sex toy! However, if someone is hesitant to use a sex toy but still desires to use a sex toy – figure out what’s scaring you, do your research, and explore! Work towards understanding who you are, and what you need to feel pleasure. This is really about learning to understand and speak of your flaws as points of empowerment. To honor your whole self and your desires.

Discover more at Chakrubs.com

WITH INTENT: WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE LIVING IN A COMMUNE

Living in a commune reflects the humanitarian vision and values of the Aquarian Age, says Amanda Capobianco. Just no-body mention the “C” word…Homepage image: The Source Family

Just over a year ago I did something that would appear crazy to most people around me. I let go of a five room, $1600 apartment in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and traded my solo living situation for well over 20 roommates.

When I moved into to my own apartment I thought I had “finally made it.” But as I set my last moving box down and crossed the threshold, the voice of my spirit, my own higher self – or what I actually like to think of as Shiva – came through: “Don’t get attached,” it said. “Appreciate this to the fullest because it’s an illusion that won’t last forever.”

I appreciated it for over a year. Walking around naked, decorating however I wanted, all of that alone time… It was dreamy and ideal. I was proud that after years of roommates and sublets I finally had a place of my own. Not to mention the apartment was beautiful – a top floor, sunlit, spacious home, with a walk in closet to boot!

But the voice kept getting stronger. This living alone business wasn’t for me. You see, when I wasn’t alone in my apartment I was involving myself in another space just a neighborhood away in Greenpoint – an intentional community called Golden Drum.

I had been connecting with them for about four years or so, and at one point it became very clear that in order to progress on my spiritual path I would need to embrace the initiation of communal and intentional living. After all, this is the teaching of the Aquarian Age – to move out of the solo and selfish Piscean age and into the communal and humanitarian vision of the Aquarian. I knew this had to be my next step – or rather leap – into the unknown.

While it was a clear decision, it wasn’t an easy transition. I had moments where I doubted my choice, believing everyone would call me crazy, and if this new situation proved to be temporary I’d be stuck trying to find yet another home. I didn’t back out though, and I could have.

A year or so later, after some deep spiritual scrubbing, I find myself living in the most harmonious environment, and with some of the greatest people I have come to know on this path of awakening. My work has been supported as well as my health and my happiness. It was by far the hardest and yet, the best decision I have ever made.

We spoke to Amanda in more detail about her experience of living in a commune…

The Numinous: How did you first connect with Golden Drum?
Amanda Capobianco: A close friend of mine had been doing some spiritual work with the community and had just come back from a week long retreat. When she spoke of her experience with the community’s spiritual teacher I knew that I had to investigate. Here I was, like so many, a yoga instructor with no real teacher to learn from or help guide me. I knew it was something I needed to feel into so I started attending events and creating relationships with the community to see what it was all about.

TN: What appealed to you about the community and their lifestyle?
AC: What appealed to me most was that it was and is highly intentional, rooted in the study of sacred practices and open to all walks of life, especially to those that express a need for healing and transformation. It felt revolutionary, compassionate and also, the people were very real, very human. There was no big illusion of spiritual grandeur. You felt that everyone involved was working through their stuff and totally committed to doing so. After being a part of this myself, not only do I see my own transformation but I am a witness to those transforming around me. I can see how people have empowered themselves through their dedication to spiritual disciplines and studies.

TN: Is this something you sought out or, did it find you?
AC: I feel like it found me but it was something that I had wanted all along. I loved the idea of a space that fostered community and peaceful living. I had tried living in community in some sense, renting an industrial loft and having like-minded roommates. But, without any sort of structure or discipline, it was never fully realized. We were all good people but it just never opened in the way I had envisioned. I believe now what was missing was sharing in strong spiritual practices and a commitment to serve others, as well as guidance beyond our own “inner guide”.

Amanda with a drum gifted to her by her spiritual teacher

TN: What are the rules/codes you live by?
AC: It’s not a rigid household by any means, but there is a code of conduct that helps keep the energy peaceful. Because we base our work in spiritual disciplines, it’s important that we keep the space very clean, not just physically but energetically. We are very mindful in this way. These guidelines may appear strict, but are truly set in place as an advantage to our liberation.

We are substance free, no smoking, drinking or drug use.
We do not shout at each other or act in any violent capacity, if we do, we have to leave.
We do not eat flesh foods including fish.
We all have a service duty to help move the non for profit organizations (Golden Drum, Sacred Arts Research Foundation) along.
We all pitch in to help with events and everyday household chores.
We have a protocol for inviting guests over to stay.
We communicate via email threads to make communal decisions and we have house meetings on a regular basis.

TN: Can you describe an average day at home?
AC: We begin each day with some form of morning practice or ritual. This could be communal or individual. After which we head into our work life, studies and/or tend to the business of the community spaces. If I’m working from home there are usually, at least, two other people around, with others coming and going. There may be a music rehearsal then a private healing session, I may even be giving a yoga lesson online, it really just depends on the day.

There are usually some communal meals and if more than one of us are eating at time a good conversation about the current astrological aspects might be taking place! If we have an event in the evening we take care to organize and set up so that all is in place. We tend to our individual sacred practices before bed. There is no code of when we should sleep just an overall sense to be mindful of others if we are pulling an all-nighter.

The beauty is in the harmony of it. To be in a space where so much is happening but it is flowing peacefully is the true take away of community living. It really teaches you how to let go of all those things you think you need, like absolute quiet and for no one else to be around in order to focus. You learn how to conquer all of that and get your work done anyways. It is a true training for any spiritual practitioner.

TN: Who is your teacher/guru and how often do you see him?
AC: My teacher is recognized as Taino Elder Maestro Manuel Rufino. I am eternally grateful for all that he has shared with me. I try to see him as often as possible.

TN: What are your feelings about the word ‘cult’?
AC: It feels like a word rooted in the paradigm of fear.

TN: How do you explain your living situation to your family, people you’re dating etc.?
AC:
With transparency. Being a yoga teacher, my family is used to me being the “odd one,” but they trust how happy and healthy I am. Year after year, my spirit is in peace. While they might not share the same values they cannot deny their daughter’s happiness and contentment.

Dating is funny in the world of intentional community living though. It’s not impossible, but it will never be what it was when you lived alone. Which for me is actually a high point. You have to go really slow and gently bring that person into the fold. Otherwise, it’s just too intense for them. However, if they make it they are met with an incredible community of supporters. I’ve learned a lot about relationships being surrounded with conscious couples. It’s been a great way to undo the ideas of the past surrounding love and partnership, and it has been very healing.

With her roommates at the Sacred Arts Research Foundation

TN: Do you think more people will seek this kind of living situation in the future? Why?
AC:
 I think when people start to understand how incredibly helpful it is to live in community, they will begin to let go of the illusion of needing so much private space.

Think of all the people who are afraid to have children because they don’t have enough money or they don’t have a partner. When you live in a community like ours you have help that you can lean into. You have people that have done it before and can share knowledge with you. You also have children around you via other families, so maybe you don’t have to have a child after all. Maybe that child comes to you in another way. Again, its learning to let go of what you think you need (the societal pressures we are all subjected to) and recognizing the gifts that are already right there in front of you.

On an even more practical note, why pay $1600 a month when you can pay $800 and live just as peacefully, abundantly, and harmoniously? I guess keeping up an image can be cool, but I would much rather live simply and spend all that extra money investing in my continuing education, helping out my family or perhaps taking some time to travel.

TN: What are the difficult parts, if any?
AC: Living amongst spiritual practitioners means you are stepping into a vibration that’s going to show you things about yourself that were much easier to hide from when you were living in your independence. It is a mirroring process with many mirrors! In a lot of ways, you are completely exposed, and it is up to you to own your stuff and then transcend it. Sometimes, it takes a while for this to happen.

You have to let go of judgments and allow for others and yourself to grow, which means you have to learn to forgive and practice compassion. It’s much easier to hide. It’s much easier to isolate yourself or run away. But then you aren’t really growing, and those that come to live in an intentional community are on a path that values spiritual growth. It’s not enough to just take a yoga class every once in a while and call that spiritual living. This is a clear and deep investment in your path of awakening.

TN: Do you see yourself growing old with your community? Is this your long term plan?
AC: I do! I am not sure what it will look like 50 years from now and I don’t know that staying in NYC is really something that I want for the long term but staying connected to this community, our way of life, our walk and these teachings are something I hope to carry with me for as long as I possibly can.

Follow the links for more about Golden Drum and the Sacred Arts Research Foundation, and discover ore about Amanda Capobianco and her work here.