MOONERS & SHAKERS: THE MOON CLUB MEMBER MAKING FASHION AS HEALING

Meet fashion creatrice Diana Wassef, one of the Moon Club members elevating the game with her poetically evolved approach to sustainable fashion as healing …

Charles Cremona Photography for Diana’s Kao-Kabi Collection

With her eco-conscious “Kao-Kabi” collection for Emily Cremona, creatrice and Moon Club member Diana Wassef  is challenging the fashion community to dress our planet in sustainable threads. 

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“From fabric selection to garment creation, these are healing garments disguised as ‘fashion.'” 

The Passion Project 
I wanted to create ​a sensory experience: one where you feel elevated and transformed … that feeling when putting on a robe after a Moroccan or Turkish bath. This is the feeling I imagined while creating the Kao-Kabi collection.

Kao-Kabi is Arabic for “my planet,” and with this collection I hope to meet the delicate needs of today’s modern wearer through garments that are kind to the skin and to our environment. I work exclusively with natural fibers, including bamboo, hemp, linen, and pineapple.

All the garments from Kao-Kabi have been bathed with Reiki light and love; from fabric selection to garment creation, these are healing garments disguised as “fashion.”

Charles Cremona Photography for Diana’s Kao-Kabi Collection

Dressing to Honor the Spirit 
When I was younger my style was very eccentric, layering my skin with lots of accessories and clothing that embodied a lot of mythology and symbology. This style reflected my fascination with the history of costume, and how each period influenced the image of how the self was portrayed.

After moving to Brooklyn in 2013, my transformative healing journey began: the cleansing and purifying process … shedding skin and tuning in to the core and essence of the delicious self. Now, I dress to honor my spirit by radiating the light within me outwards. In doing so, I find myself surrounded by similar radiant entities.

I really do enjoy wearing white, and a lot of that is influenced by my Kundalini practice. Yogi Bhajan’s idea about the color white resonates with me. Not only is white an auric color therapy, but wearing white is an exercise in awareness, as it takes more consciousness and care to keep white clothes clean!

The Futuristic Fashionista Vision 
Kao-Kabi offers a glimpse into the eco-conscious world I envision for fashion. Moving forward, I intend to create my own sustainable, innovative textiles from which my future collections will be designed—a sustainable material that honors our planet by being gentle to its resources.

Charles Cremona Photography for Diana’s Kao-Kabi Collection

The Moon Club Inspiration 
It has been a huge inspiration to be part of this community—Moon Club is a sacred space for all the Luna lovers out there. As the astrology fan that I am, I get an insightful dose of what’s happening astrologically, the Moon cycles, and their impact on us. Moon Club guides me with my creative process by reminding me to pause, clear my mind, and MEDITATE in order to dive deeper. 

We’ve had such incredible coaching sessions with innovators and healers, like Sah D’Simone sharing the “Happiness Equation,” and powerful female entrepreneurs like THINX co-founder Miki Agrawal—I’m all about the divine yoni power!!!!

I’d also like to share here the Forgiveness Mediation from Moon Club founding member Eddie Stern, which has been particularly inspiring for me in my creative process:

“For anyone I caused harm, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask for your forgiveness/For anyone whom has caused me harm, knowingly or unknowingly, I offer you my forgiveness/For any harm I have caused myself, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive me.”

Diana Wassef in Her Element

Feeling ready to up your manifestation game? Read more about Moon Club here and start working your own lunar magic! 

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.

WHY IS GAY TANTRA SO TABOO?

Why is gay tantra so taboo? It’s time to call an end to the dogma of patriarchy and traditional gender roles, says Lisa Luxx

Credit: Concha on Behance

Here we are at a mountain top tantric yoga retreat on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. The love of all my lives is trembling in zen beside me. Class is about to adjourn after our first day and it’s been enlightening; a breath of fresh mountain air into the depth of my ‘yoni’ after a year of undiagnosed vulva pain and gender delusions.

Then the goddess leading the workshop goes and says something that brings the screeching banshee of psychosexual trauma right back. “Your homework is to think about having sex with the opposite sex.” A fellow dyke raises her hand and asks, “Why has it got to be the opposite sex?” The goddess, unmoving, diverts her eye line from the gays and announces stoically, “Because tantra is for man and woman.”

Oh. I wonder why no one ever told me that before. I’d e-mailed the school ahead to tell them, “My girlfriend and I would like to do the practical tantra retreat,” and they opened their pockets wide for us to dispense our money. But they never said, “Tantra is for man and woman.”

On our walk home my girlfriend expresses how uncomfortable she is to have been given these instructions, I argue that it’s probably okay, trying to diffuse the upset. And start to think about having sex with men. It plays out like a Kung Fu fight in my head until some element gets thrown through the stain glass windows of my eyes and I see in front of me that it’s way too 2016 for this kind of disheartening heteronormativity.

It seems, this super straight approach to tantra comes from the misled belief that Shiva and Shakti literally represent man and woman. However, I got mulling this over with my friend Stephanie (who’s written a book called Sex Drive on liberating her orgasm) and she introduced me to the cult icon Barbara Carrellas who wrote the first ever book on queer tantra: Urban Tantra.

“Shiva and Shakti, in Hindu tantric philosophy, are actually huge entities representing consciousness (Shiva) and energy (Shakti). When Shakti and Shiva had sexual intercourse it gave birth to the world. How this got confused with vagina and penis, I do not know,” Barbara explains on the phone to me, after I’ve returned to England.

Back at Hridaya in Mexico, Antoaneta’s teaching became more cracked and twisted as we went on. By the second day she had termed, and continued to refer to, the clit as the “little penis.” An offensive that landed like the shells of warfare in the trenches of my creed.

I’ve toured spoken word performances that educate women on the facts that may empower their clit and one facet of this is that the clit is not small; it can extend up to 9 inches within us. The clits of many straight women will be bigger than their partner’s dick.

The course leader – who began the retreat glowing in light and by now had morphed into this disheveled, haggered devil of a being – proceeded to laugh off lesbian sex as something that only happens in yoni therapy, not a real manifestation of love on this earth. We walked out. My girlfriend cried all the way back to our cabana.

The next day we bumped into another lady from the course who was quite distressed. She told us she too was gay and what we’d missed in the final day was a ceremony whereby many unknown men had entered the space. Men who had not been on the course but who were marched in to save any woman having to pair up with another woman during the sensual massage.

This lady we spoke to, who we’ll call Kirsty, had left in floods of tears, “I feel stupid because I don’t know why I came back to tantra. I thought it was worth giving another chance but discrimination is all I’ve ever experienced at tantra schools.”

When I spoke to my queer friends about my experiences in Mexico, they had all nodded solemnly and said, “Yeah, homophobia is a real problem in mainstream tantra.” And, that was the key lesson for me to learn; there is a mainstream tantra, which doesn’t have the social awareness that some of us expect.

For anyone who has ever experienced ‘energy genitals’ they’ll know that the line between owning a dick and a pussy can be smudged. I’ve had a dick before. Insomuch as I’ve felt the erection rise from my pelvis and enter my girlfriend, and she’s felt it inside her. I wouldn’t have had the linguistics to explain this before speaking to Barbara, who coined the term ‘energy genitals’.

“There is a position called Yab Yum where the person on the bottom could have a physical possession of a vagina and the person on top could have a physical penis. But the person with the vagina experiences a penis. Once they start rocking and holding eye contact the man feels he’s being penetrated by the woman.”

This is a genderless phenomenon. And for someone who exists in the grey area between genders and doesn’t always feel wholly assigned to the physical sexual design given unto me, tantra appealed because it focuses on energy rather than physicality. And tantra does exist as beautifully open as that. Barbara Carrellas runs her own courses which allows for magic to happen off-script.

For example, “One guy came to a women’s class because he couldn’t make it to another. So he was doing the breathing technique for women and he was flying just as far and as fast as any women in the room. To which I realised, there’s a lot to this I don’t understand and I think I’m being fed a lot of myths and lies.”

The Radical Faeries, once a gay male counter-culture network in the US is now opening up to all gender and sexual identities. Within their discourse is tantric teachings. The network has now spread globally too.

When one embarks upon a tantra course they lay themselves open and become ultra vulnerable, any teacher who is insensitive or who makes you feel invisible can emboss serious damage within you.

It’s important to find a workshop leader that is emotionally equipped to the complexities of sexual identity. When humans come together and open themselves up in a small space it’s bound to get messy and as my friend Jessie says “you just have to hope for a great facilitator”.

Jessie is part of women’s only tantric program called Shakti Tantra which she tells me is a great place to heal. But the divide should not be a must for us to feel safe. For any tantric workshop to serve its purpose it needs to be free of patriarchal dogmas. That doesn’t mean being free of men.

Ask lots of questions before you book your space on a course: will I get split up from my partner, will I have to be paired up with anyone I don’t want to, will I have to reveal details about my sexual past, and so on. If you don’t get the answers you’re looking for then keep searching for the right tantra course. There are retreats friendly to all persuasions, genders and sexualities (including polyamorous types).

Tantra began as a deliberately transgressive art form. It was the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll of its day. It was a political movement. So take these homogenous tantra fundamentalists with a pinch of salt and reclaim the art form. As Barbara says: If you want to practise the semen retention that’s fine but, don’t tell the rest of us that’s the only way to do it!

HOLY F*CK: IN SEARCH OF A SMILF…

“I want to date a spiritual guy who doesn’t LOOK spiritual, you know?” In the latest installment of her column Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo goes in search of a SMILF…

I was recently discussing relationships with my friend Loulou, and I admitted to finally being ready to surrender to my desire for a “spiritual partner” in love and life.

Lou, like many other friends of mine has a diff take on me about this. As I waxed poetic about Hawaiian yoga retreats with a lover she stopped me, saying: “A big block to finding a partner is putting a limit on who they have to be. Whether it’s the type of clothes they wear, or their career – let’s not throw spirituality into the mix, too.” And I toooootally get it. But if we share our spiritual work with our friends how can we not with a partner?

Over the last 15+ years of dating I’ve mostly stayed away from “spiritual types.” I’ve also spent years sneaking out of bed to meditate in bathrooms in the a.m. Praying silently over my food alone. But while keeping your practice sacred and personal can be beautiful, it can also get old. Most people I dated looked at my altars like I was doing voodoo. (Ok fine, there may have been a snake skin and some bones on there from time to time). A few even made fun of my “woo” at dinner parties – and, well, we DID NOT last.

In my show Be Here Nowish my character Sam goes to a Spiritual Speed Dating event at a place based on Maha Rose in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. After a few too many guys wearing patchouli offer to take her back to their place for an “aura photo” she says to her bestie Nina: “I wanna date a spiritual dude. But not a guy who looks spiritual, you know?”

Since I wrote this line I MEANT IT at the time, and have been casually “researching” this “species” ever since. My findings? There’s the spiritual guy who meditates, but still wants to call you a slut in bed. (Over it.) The spiritual guy who is spiritual by day and does molly all night. (I think this one is called “Burner”?) Then there’s the spiritual guy who dresses in all linen and calls your cooch a yoni. (I may be okay with this, but pls know I may giggle and will DEF group text all my friends about it.)

But I have faith that the “spiritual dude” who isn’t drowning in hemp and OM bumper stickers is out there – and here are 10 of my fave SMILFS to prove it! By SMILF I mean “Spiritual Masculine Identified Person I’d Like to…Follow!” Because following someone and their work and passions is a great way to “get to know them” right?

So thank you, SMILFS, for giving us hope in a world where finding someone vaguely attractive to date that also inspires your spiritual path can feel harder than doing 10 days of Vipassana followed by the Master Cleanse!

:: Kyle Gray ::
Okay, any man that works with Angels wins my heart. Enough reason to FOLLOW. Loulou just got me his book and I’m excited to read it. Not only does Kyle have the most adorable Scottish accent and is a one of few out queer spiritual teachers, but he is also covered in inspirational tattoos and obsessed with Vivienne Westwood.

:: Jesse Israel ::
I found out about Jesse through my friend Steph Simbari and her podcast with Elizabeth Kott “That’s so retrograde” where she talked to him about his project The Modern Man Experiment which I think is important work. Jesse also organizes HUGE and hip group meditations and things and I’m excited to see what’s next from him.

:: Nick Krieger ::
Nick is a trans/queer activist, writer, and coach with goals of de-colonizing and queer-ifying yoga. (Praise Goddess!) He won my heart with this article. He also wrote a book called “Nina Here nor There” about his journey with gender.

:: Light Watkins ::
I discovered Light when he taught meditation to someone I dated who then kept saying: “Oh Light this and Light that.” I may have unfollowed that person on social media, BUT in turn I followed Light! Besides his obvious physical beauty, Light brings Vedic meditation to the masses and has cute snapchats featuring his pug.

:: Michael Trainer ::
Michael founded the incredible Global Citizen project and has a new project called Peak Mind. I happened to go to his gathering in LA and witness his devotion to the Dalai Lama and how he is helping the planet with an open heart. Very genuine stuff.

:: Spiritual Stoner ::
I may have quit marijuana for now, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate this guy. My friend Carlen Altman intro-ed me to his insta when I was in a “conspiracy theory/illuminati K-hole” last winter in NY. Radical Instagram activism is the real deal and his posts range from poignant anti-racism memes, veganism support, worshipping women as Goddess incarnate, conspiracy theory reveals…The kinda stuff I could geek out for hours on.

:: Michael Domitrovich ::
Michael claims to help make “The power of the Spiritual plane as accessible as a bag of chips!” That’s kind of light worker I gravitate towards- anyone who isn’t afraid to use junk food in a metaphor! He uses all kinds of modalities and teachings and does a lot of workshops in LA and NYC.

:: Ryan Cropper ::
Ryan does real fun work, deep but with just enough esoteric to keep things fun and not too woo woo: astral projection courses, shadow integration, memory improvement and more, all with a cute British accent and a great YouTube channel.

:: Patrick Beach ::
His Instagram feed speaks for itself. What else can I say about a shirtless hot man in various yoga poses? “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” are the only words I have.

:: Forrest 44 ::
Okay, so we may have no idea what this dude’s REAL name, is BUT his Instagram feed is full of Goddess and Nature imagery AND he makes beautiful crystal pendants and rings. Big blue eyes, crystal grids, and visionary art?! Sign me up.

For all of us single ladies I will leave you with the wise Miss Lou said as we finished our coconut “Cream Party” juices: “How about you just choose to seek out a partner who has a practice of love. They might get high from joy when watching their favorite sports team, connect to mother earth via love for their dog.”

I LOVE that, and she is right. However! I’m not giving up on my fantasies of meditating naked in Bali and getting matching Archangel Michael tattoos with someone yet. A girl can dream, right?

I want to hear your opinion! Are you looking for a SMILF? Do you have one to add here? Or are you in a spiritual partnership? Please write in the comments your story with any SMILFS! I’m going to go deeper into this next month and interview some of my fave conscious couples so stay tuned…