"The wedding of the sun and the moon in alchemy is very important. Not because we're going to have a wedding up in the sky of two luminaries, but because we're going to have a union of the principles for which they stand inside of the human body itself."
- Manly P. Hall on Spiritual Alchemy and the Great Work
Today I want to share the bigger spiritual purpose of my work, specifically around the mission to heal the relationship between men + women, and why this is so much more than just something that would be nice to have.
I’m going to cover bits around the esoteric practice of Alchemy, how this provides the map to divine union, and why this is a profound path of spiritual enlightenment.
I will include practical takeaways on how we can take this advanced knowledge and put it into practice in our lives - within inner work and the work of relationships. This is the most important part, so you can understand what is required and become part of the very real evolution of human relationships and spiritual development.
What’s exciting to me is that we have the roadmap on how to step into evolved relationships. We actually know what needs to be done in order to create this new paradigm. While it’s true that most of us have never witnessed this modeled in our lifetime, we aren’t flying blind.
Every bit of information that I have uncovered around the higher path is embedded in the work that I do, and it’s only expanding and becoming more potent with what I continue to learn and understand in my lived experience and spiritual study.
I am devoted to creating the path to higher love and making it accessible to whoever is drawn to it, and so this article is my most comprehensive attempt at describing what Divine Union is and how we move towards it.
Before I jump into Alchemy and how it provides the map to divine union, I want to provide some context on why I do the work that I do and how deeply personal this is for me.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with my story, this will help explain the drive behind my work, why I am endlessly passionate about it, and the reason I feel this is my mission in this lifetime.
Eight years ago, I was two years into a dark night of the soul surrounding the very painful ending of my marriage. After peeling back many layers to make sense of what happened on a psychological level, which was a brutal and confronting process, I couldn’t deny that what happened had roots in childhood trauma and my parents’ dysfunctional relationship.
And so my inner work moved from a more surface level approach of attempting to work out present-day things with my son’s dad in therapy, coupled with stress management, to full blown shadow work.
And thank God, because the things that reside in our unconscious are what’s really running the show. So I cut to the chase and traced everything back to the root cause. On the way, I made sure to clear all of the skeletons out of the closet. For those who have courage and grit, this shadow work is the lightning path to change.
Eventually, all of it made way for me to be able to see the bigger perspective. I was able to see the patterns that have repeated generationally between men + women in my family line. Then I was able to witness these same patterns in the lives of my clients. And now, after working with hundreds of people over the years, in addition to my own lived experiences, I have lightning fast pattern recognition. This, coupled with a honed intuition, helps people trace current day relational challenges back to the original wounds that need to be healed in order to make way for healthy relationships.
But there is something bigger here beyond just the psychological application. As I was doing my own work, I came across this radical notion that relationships may in fact be a catalyst for spiritual evolution. In his book Transformation Through Intimacy, Robert Augustus Masters makes the claim that you can use the material that comes up in relationships (especially romantic ones) to heal, grow, and evolve together.
My life (and work) was forever changed in that moment. I began a deep dive into the principles of conscious relationships, and began to apply them in my life. To this day, I consider it a huge key that unlocked a major part of the puzzle, and I continue to guide clients in using relationships as a form of shadow work - and beyond that, as a container for growth, joy, and expansion.
A little bit later, I was guided to connect the dots regarding feminine and masculine energies and how they relate to Divine Union, another huge piece of the puzzle. That took years for me to understand on a deeper level, and the work I want to share with you today relating to Alchemy is my deepest level of understanding yet.
So, as my work evolved in the world, healthy relationships morphed into conscious relationships, which then led to Divine Union - and now my vantage point of what is happening on a higher level between men and women is extraordinarily expansive and very much tied into the bigger picture of spiritual evolution and enlightenment.
Thankfully, I began studying esoteric spirituality in childhood as a young seeker, so diving deep into the material on Alchemy as a way of connecting the dots was something I was already prepared for. I am grateful for that.
So, let’s talk about Alchemy and how it directly informs the path of Divine Union. In particular, I want to illustrate how this expands things that I've spoken of before.
The first discovery I’ll share validates an internal hunch that I had years ago regarding the masculine and feminine energies, and how we must clean up the distortions within their current-day expressions to elevate them into their purest, highest forms.
This is a way to conceptualize the difference between feminine energy and The Divine Feminine, and masculine energy and The Divine Masculine. If we are going to put the word “Divine” in front of these terms, we must be aware that we are referring to purified forms of these frequencies - their true essence - not versions that have been influenced by programming, conditioning, trauma, and other things that distort their expression.
For example, while the phrase “toxic masculinity” has been misunderstood and misused by people who incorrectly claim that ALL masculinity is toxic, there is a truth behind both “toxic” masculinity and “toxic” femininity when you understand that the expressions of both of these energies have been distorted.
Essentially, how we are expressing both femininity and masculinity on a collective level is NOT the true essence. In other words, the true Divine Feminine and true Divine Masculine have been tainted by programming, conditioning, and trauma.
True Divine Masculine attributes include action/will aligned with a higher purpose, critical thinking, intelligence, courage, protection, assertiveness, accountability, and responsibility.
In opposition to this, the inverted (or shadow) aspects of the masculine that we see playing out on the collective are tyranny, authoritarianism, dominance, violence, and power-over (persecutor). Also, rigidity, a disconnection of the head from the heart (cold, robotic behavior), narcissism, psychopathology, and atheism/lack of faith or connection to the Divine.
True Divine Feminine attributes include love, care, open-heartedness, nurturing, receptivity, compassion, empathy, and pure intuition.
The shadow side of the feminine includes victim/slave mentality, people pleasing, emotional manipulation, blind faith, and naïveté (being easily manipulated/controlled). And one huge aspect of the shadow feminine that is playing out collectively right now is the use of beauty and sexuality as currency - a way to (intentionally or unintentionally) manipulate and control men. Much of this is hidden under the guise of ‘sexual empowerment’ and yet is an inverted use of sexuality, women’s version of using sexuality as a control game of having power-over.
There is much to clean up on both sides, and while this is not an exhaustive list, it touches upon some of the major distortions.
Last year, I began to ask, “what is the pure expression of the feminine? And what is the pure expression of the masculine?” I knew there was some importance to this beyond my understanding at that time.
My curiosity had to do with the obvious fact that we are not currently embodying or living these higher expressions, and I wondered what things would be like if we did.
I knew it had something to do with the inner work that women must do, and separately, that men must do, and I could see that it would vastly improve relationships and heal our wounds, but it wasn’t until I studied Alchemy that I learned the true esoteric key behind that internal nudge. Alchemy states:
1) The purification of the masculine and feminine MUST occur before Divine Union is possible.
YES. This makes perfect sense. Just as so many spiritual and psychological traditions encourage us to peel back the layers of the false self in order to step into the True Self (through healing trauma, deconditioning ourselves, etc.), the same process occurs when we consciously and specifically hone in on the masculine and feminine energies within us.
Essentially what this teaching from alchemy points to is, the shadow aspects of both the masculine and the feminine must be transmuted into the pure essences of the Divine Feminine + the Divine Masculine. This is a requirement of Divine Union.
This purification is done through shadow work. Men and women must grapple with, and come to terms with, the purified essence of masculinity and femininity. This is really a reclamation of the exalted form of both, a transmutation of what has been distorted.
And so on a practical level, you can review my outline above of shadow vs. divine characteristics of the feminine and masculine, and get to the root of why these shadow expressions may be operating in place of their higher, purified expressions.
This purification of the masculine and feminine is also done through the principles of conscious relationships, which is shadow work done in partnership (relational shadow work).
In the Alchemical container of relationship, a light is shined on what is hidden (the unconscious becomes conscious) allowing for healing, growth, and evolution of both partners.
When both partners are familiar with what the shadow aspects are of the masculine and the feminine as opposed to their higher expressions, they can practice healing these areas together through conscious practice of polarity and shadow work.
Using relationships in this way to heal and grow together is the spiritual purpose of relationships, and it is why we incarnate with other humans.
We all have blind spots and need the 'other' to hold a mirror so that we can take shadow work to a more complete level as opposed to trying to do it all solo.
So, as a reminder, the 'stuff' that comes up in relationships is alchemical material for us to use in order to heal wounds and evolve. The more we run from these invitations, the more our lives will serve up bigger and bigger lessons for us to learn.
(Trust me, I learned this the hard way - it’s no fun!)
With the purification of the feminine and masculine, moving us towards the Divine Feminine and Masculine, you can see progress here on a collective level - although you must be tuned in to see the bright spots, since it’s easy to become disillusioned with all of the darkness.
Moving on to the second discovery I wanted to share with you in relation to what Alchemy shows us about Divine Union, and this ties into a big theme that has been popping up over the last few years, is this question so many women are asking: “Where are all the conscious men?”
Now, I’ve spoken about this quite a bit on the podcast with my male colleagues and am someone who is a huge supporter of men’s work, so I know with 100% certainty that there are MANY good men out there who are actively involved in ‘doing the work.’
At the same time, there is a truth to the imbalance with regards to the number of women who are ‘awake’ vs. the number of men, especially in relation to this new paradigm of love, sex, and relationships. Without a doubt, women are much more tapped into this domain, they see it clearly in their mind’s eye, and are deeply yearning for it.
I talked about the awakened woman’s role in healing men earlier this year, and also led a women’s group shortly afterwards called Visionaries of Love, so this discovery through Alchemy felt very important:
2) The feminine goes first.
The rise of the Divine Feminine (our inner work collectively towards embodying this higher frequency) holds the key to the rise of the Divine Masculine, an invitation and catalyst for men to evolve.
This relates to the descent before the ascent, the cycle of death and rebirth, and the movement from the false self to the True Self through layers of ego death.
All major spiritual traditions have their version of the ‘fall’ of humanity and the way out, and the ‘fall’ is synonymous with the descent process.
The descent has a purpose, and serves as an evolutionary vehicle so that we can learn hard lessons, become more resilient, and develop embodied wisdom from hard things and challenges we have been through.
Some call it the ‘dark night of the soul,’ and it has been illustrated in the stories related to the Descent of Inanna and Persephone’s underworld journey. These are deep feminine initiations.
And so the descent is associated with the feminine, while the ascent is associated with the masculine.
Again, in Alchemy, the Divine Feminine comes first (in her purified form, having come up and out of the underworld) and acts as a catalyst for the development of the Divine Masculine.
[Advanced explanation from my personal notes: In Alchemy, Silver (feminine) becomes Gold (masculine). The Descent of the Feminine into the underworld leads to Albedo, the process of spiritual purification through the burning out of impurities from the ego, leading to the Divine Feminine Essence.
She comes up and out with purified heart and intuition (and embodied wisdom) leading to the development of the Awakened Mind. This is where the Higher Mind becomes possible, led by the heart and intuition (thus, a connection to Divine Will). The Mind is no longer led by the ego, which is the lower level expression of the masculine. It is led by a higher mission and purpose rooted in love, service, and truth.
This is the ascent/masculine process where the transmutation into Gold (masculine) occurs, representing a purified and enlightened consciousness, the Divine Masculine Essence.
The completion of both the descent and ascent leads to Divine Union, the unification of the Divine Feminine + Divine Masculine principles, leading to the unification of the Human + the Divine.
Both parts are necessary, the Feminine and the Masculine energies must work together for this Alchemical Marriage to occur.]
Hopefully you can see how this is playing out on a collective level right now, and why women are awakening in larger numbers as compared to men within the realms of love, sex, and relationships.
However, men can also take this into their own hands by skillfully working with and integrating their inner feminine. This is related to Jung’s anima integration, and I will have to write another article to dig into this process, but it has to do with the integration of the head and the heart and trusting the feminine force within. Men who have a distrust of emotions, intuition, or even faith in something bigger can further their own evolution and growth by understanding how the interplay of the masculine and feminine within can radically change his life. Leaning in to the descent process of going down and in (tied to shadow work), and opening to the other intelligences of the body, heart, and spirit are key here. This will collectively help men discover purpose rooted in their higher mission, connecting to what really matters, and bringing a sense of fulfillment and nourishment that is unparalleled.
The practical takeaway for women here is to have patience. We are in a huge time of transition and cannot expect men to awaken overnight to the vast spiritual potential of relationships. Rather, we make the invitation and invite them to the table.
Women have long inspired men as the muse. We need to continue our inner work, especially relating to any wounding around love, sex, and relationships, shadow work relating to purification of our feminine energy, and even animus integration (which is beyond the scope of this article, but is integration of the inner masculine).
Additionally, we learn how to do the outer work of evolved relationships, including practicing conscious relationship principles and understanding the conscious interplay of masculine and feminine energies within romantic partnership.
And perhaps the most important work of all is surrendering to the Divine - developing that clear channel of intuition and being led by the bigger thing.
Any ego based desires around wanting a conscious relationship NOW need to be checked and cleared. We trust divine timing and continue to deepen into our spiritual and psychological work in preparation.
There is a lot to work with here! The frequency of an awakened woman who has embodied wisdom from actively pursuing this path is enough of a catalyst for men to awaken without her needing to say a word; but there are some other factors at play as well.
David Deida states, “The Divine Feminine settles for nothing less than the Divine Masculine.”
Awakened women who are devoted to Divine Union do not enable the shadow masculine aspects outlined above. They take a stand and call men forward into the Divine Masculine - with love. They do not settle because they are lonely or bored or unsure of their worth. Participating in relationships with men who display these characteristics/behaviors with no desire to change and grow, especially when sexuality is involved, teaches men that there’s no reason to do anything differently.
The awakened woman does not often get involved with these types of men because she finds the characteristics of the shadow masculine repulsive.
Individuals who embody the shadow aspects of either the masculine or feminine are attracted to each other. I would argue that the vast majority of relationships between men and women include this shadow dance. In particular, we see the victim/victimizer dynamic playing out constantly, which is why I speak about the empath-narcissist dynamic so often and help clients become empowered empaths with boundaries and discernment. This is shadow work coupled with inner union.
The good news is that individuals who embody the higher aspects of the masculine and feminine are also attracted to each other. And the work continues in relationship as the conscious use of polarity deepens and refines these qualities. Women have the opportunity to relax and soften even deeper into their feminine, men get to practice and hone their evolving masculine, AND both can move towards inner union, the key to Divine Union.
Women who are tuned in have the ability to see men at a soul level. We look into their eyes and glimpse their full potential. This can be a blessing and a curse! However, there is something important here. This ability allows us to be the oracle in the relationship and provide the catalytic energy that cuts through bullshit with the sword of truth. In this way, when a man has done the work around taking personal responsibility, and embraces accountability for his highest good (not as a punishment, but as fuel for growth), it is easy for him to put his ego to the side and trust that his woman has his back with deep love and devotion. What is actually happening in this case is that she is helping him move from the false self to the True Self.
This can absolutely happen the other way around, as well. When he is deeply tuned in to his woman and can see her at her highest, he holds that bar for her with love.
For both partners, it certainly helps when they have their own guides and mentors when it comes to embodying the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine, so that some of the pressure can be taken off of the relationship. Additionally, having good support people in your corner to help do deep shadow work is a must.
Up to this point, this article has been a lengthy outline of a rich path of awakened relationships. Before I start to wrap up, I’m going to recap some of the takeaways that I feel are important to explore in your life if you are drawn to this work.
A Guide for Inner Work:
And, if you know of someone who would benefit from reading this article, please share it with them. I am grateful for you!
Leigh-Anne LoPinto is a psychologist, breathwork teacher, and relationship coach based in Los Angeles. She works with clients all over the world to strengthen foundational relationship skills, heal core wounds, practice conscious relationships, and move towards true Divine Union.
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Read the companion article here:
Towards Sexual Sovereignty: The Alchemical Purification Process of Human Sexuality
[Note to readers: This is a companion piece to my article entitled Alchemy, Divine Union, and Spiritual Enlightenment, essentially a Part Two that applies the work to human sexuality. If you haven’t already read that article, please do, it will help put this one into context.]
Sexual sovereignty, in my definition, is the reclamation of our true sexual essence, cleansed and cleared of any trauma, distortions, conditioning and programming that have tainted it into something that is not truly our own.
In other words, it is your AUTHENTIC sexuality and not a sexual persona.
I don’t think most people realize just how programmed they are here. Not many stop and think to question what’s under the surface, and it’s sad to see. And if they do come to realize this, few would really care.
I’ve seen that people like to cling tightly to their ‘preferences’ in this arena, allowing it to cloud their minds. They think that they are sexually advanced in some way with kinks and toys, when this is a lie. It is actually sexual enslavement, keeping them small and stuck in superficiality that lacks depth and true connection - eye to eye, heart to heart, soul to soul.
Real authentic sexuality is beyond comprehension, yet few have tasted it.
Sexual energy is the easiest energy to manipulate, and this is not news to those who purposefully manipulate it.
For all of us to become sexually sovereign is incredibly expansive and powerful beyond belief - because while sexuality has been demonized quite a bit in our world, and conversely, misused, it is actually a powerful key of communion with the Divine, when reclaimed and used as a bridge to the higher realms.
What has actually been happening is quite the opposite, our sexual energy collectively is being hijacked and programmed to take us in the other direction. So, this is the first thing to recognize.
With regards to the demonization of sexuality, Bringers of the Dawn states:
You have been taught this in order for you to be controlled and to keep you from seeking the freedom available through sexuality. Sexuality connects you with a frequency of ecstasy, which connects you back to your Divine source and to information.
We have spoken to a number of individuals who have been utilizing light. Since finding the proper partner in a monogamous situation, they have been able to achieve very high states of being…when your frequencies are attuned and joined by a love frequency, incredible things can occur…this has been one of the best-kept secrets on the planet.
And, since that book was written over thirty years ago, we have seen the pendulum swing to an ‘anything goes’ culture with regards to sexuality, which is another trap in and of itself that I will get into more as we continue.
If we think about the steps required on the path to Divine Union, we can apply the work to sexuality in particular - and this is a very necessary part of the process, as sexuality in general holds a lot of shadow and can be very uncomfortable for some people to face within themselves.
Similarly to part one of this article, I will include practical applications of this work towards the end of my writing - things you can do to move towards your True Self, sexually.
In my own life, I was only able to begin shadow work on my sexuality after I had lifted many other layers first, and I see this commonly with clients as well. So, trust yourself to know when you are ready. Simply reading this article can provide some internal inspiration; it can act as a catalyst to begin to alchemize this essential and rich gold mine within.
Whatever your beliefs are on sexuality, it is not hard to see a positive correlation between healing sexual wounds and trauma, as well as deconditioning ourselves from unhelpful or misleading beliefs about sexuality, and the upliftment of humanity. The shadow side of love, sex, and relationships in general includes a very dark and disturbing pocket of human behavior that is difficult for many people to look at with clear eyes.
What I had to learn the hard way in my life is that ignoring or turning away from this dark underbelly is not part of the solution, it must be faced and dealt with on a collective level. And yet, on the other side of the coin, it is important not to get swallowed up by the darkness and have it overtake you. We do need to hold the light and frequency of the higher octave of love, sex, and relationships that is possible. It’s collective shadow work that, when transmuted, will skyrocket us into the next level.
There’s quite a long list of things playing out right now that fit in the category of the shadow side of human sexuality, and I would list some of the big ones as child and human trafficking, pornography addiction (breeding more intense forms of sexual addiction, especially in our men), continued and intensifying victim/victimizer dynamics creating widespread sexual trauma, the non-monogamy trend, and hijacking and harvesting of female sexuality through promiscuity programming under the false guise of ‘sexual empowerment.’
Male sexuality is also being hijacked and harvested through pornography addiction, as men’s literal life force energy is being siphoned and weakened, leaving them chained to their lower nature and further blocking the opening of the heart, which is necessary for the higher octave of sexuality (the full intimate experience between two people, which includes not just pleasure but deep love and care for one another.)
While pleasure in and of itself has been demonized in the past, especially by organized religion, too much pleasure in isolation when not connected to the heart space is an inversion of the true purpose of sexuality, and is too easily manipulated to keep people stuck in the lower realms.
Now, there is likely some natural exploration in this area as a first step of healing sexual disconnection (i.e. if you truly are attempting to heal yourself from this idea of sexuality being evil, then you may go through a phase of exploration that does include promiscuity, and pleasure for the sake of pleasure alone). Some individuals need this in order to come to the realization that it starts to get old over time, and does not satisfy the deeper yearning for true intimacy and deep connection with another human. Once this realization occurs, it can propel the individual into deeper healing around fear of true intimacy and vulnerability, what constitutes a strong and healthy relationship, and even a bit more discipline and discernment with how their sexual energy is being used.
However, this rebelliousness around the former restrictions around sexuality - which is well-founded and onto something true - is also being manipulated into encouragement to stay in the hyper-sexual realms eternally as the ‘answer.’ Meaning, the natural inclination to liberate sexuality and follow the desire towards its higher expression is being interrupted and sidetracked into the lower realms, almost normalizing sexual addiction and depravity of all forms.
Ultimately, I believe in humanity and feel that the collective inner knowing will eventually lead to the recognition that this is not nourishing on a soul-level, but it is a slippery slope, as sexual addictions can be very tricky and all-consuming for many people. As it goes so often, we may need a hard wake-up call to shift out of this.
In relation to the current trend of non-monogamy, and this false belief that humans are somehow wired that way, it is my understanding of Divine Union as facilitated by the path of spiritual partnership that it is only possible within a monogamous container. And so while humans can do whatever they want to do with their sexual expression, if you are really committed to this path, it is with one partner alone.
This does not mean that you have to be with one person for the rest of your life. If that is the case and it is true, then wonderful. But there are times when these types of partnerships are only meant to last a certain amount of time.
Personally, I believe that it is wise to go as far as you can with a partner, while also being honest with yourselves around when it may be time to move on, for the highest good of both people. I am pro-commitment, while also leaving space for what’s true.
We are also seeing an attack on the Divine forms of feminine and masculine energy, with massive gender confusion and either a push to keep humanity locked into the shadow forms of each energetic (see part one here) or a negation of the importance of keeping these energetics distinct and separate (i.e. ‘non-binary’).
Regarding the latter, there is truth mixed in with distortions here, as we all do have both masculine and feminine energies inside of us to varying degrees, but respecting the polarity and complementary nature of these two separate energies allows us to perform the internal alchemy to achieve Divine Union. So, convincing people that the energetics of the masculine and feminine are made up as a false binary, and that humans are just ‘human,’ ends up robbing people of the two essential ingredients necessary to move towards Union.
With regards to the transgender phenomenon, the natural instinct internally towards inner union is currently being exploited by a hugely profitable industry pushing pharmaceutical interventions and surgical removal/alteration of reproductive body parts. The idea of being born into the wrong body points to a value system fundamentally divorced from trust in life and God, and yet this explanation is somehow being normalized, which is very confusing for children especially. And so of course while adults have free reign over what they choose to do with their bodies, the true thing underneath it all is spiritual evolution towards inner union.
As is stated in the book Twin Souls (written in 1993, way ahead of its time):
We live in a time of gender confusion, even gender denial. We must look more deeply to the source of our sexuality. Sexuality is soul deep. Through all our incarnations we have been developing our basic gender while nurturing the essence of the opposite in our male or female soul. We have no need to alternate our sexes in earthly life. As a woman evolves she could say, “I, woman, know what it is like to be a man, without need of the body parts; I know it as my own inner masculine takes on strength and fortitude, creative initiative and leadership. And a man could say, “I, man, have knowledge of my womanliness, as my womanliness expands my heart from within, inspires my higher mind, and stirs my most compassionate and tender feelings towards the young and the needful all about me.”
Once we as a culture have a better understanding of inner union and its spiritual purpose, which can begin perhaps in a more psychologically accessible way with greater knowledge of Carl Jung’s concept of anima/animus integration, we can channel our inner urges to explore the full spectrum of consciousness into this path of individuation and evolution of the True Self. Transitioning into the opposite sex as a remedy for what is really a spiritual calling is having devastating and often irreversible effects, as can be seen in the detransitioner movement.
Additionally, and this goes without saying, unhealed and unacknowledged trauma is so often at the root of individuals who feel a need to reject the body/sex they were born into.
So now, let’s return to the main idea of sexual sovereignty and how to get there. If my definition (again) is that this is the reclamation of our true sexual essence, cleansed and cleared of any trauma, distortions, conditioning and programming that have tainted it into something that is not truly our own, then we have a direction to move towards. Here is where we can get into the process of purification, a releasing of anything that has turned our authentic sexuality into something that is not truly ours.
Step One: If you consume pornography, stop. Pornography is designed to create addictions, divorce sexuality from love, and program dark (and often violent) sexual preferences into your brain. For men especially, it is siphoning massive amounts of life force energy that is weakening them, leaving them drained and easy to control. Many consumers are incredibly desensitized to the point where they have been cut off from a healthy, connected sexual exchange. Pornography is a huge problem that will only intensify with the rise of AI, so the more we can spread awareness and speak openly about this topic now, the better.
If you need support, please work with a therapist or trusted support person. There is no shame here. While it is true that we all need to take personal responsibility for our behavior, the reality is that pornography is intentionally created to manipulate you.
It is vitally important as you are attempting to heal this form of addiction that you realize that true, connected intimacy with another person is unlike nothing else in the world. And as you move towards liberating yourself from this dark addiction that keeps you chained to a shame spiral, begin to nourish yourself with authentic connection with other humans, especially those you share intimate energy with. Sexuality is not meant to be suppressed, it’s meant to be channeled into a higher expression. In addition to getting specialized support on the addiction, it can help to work with a coach or therapist who specializes in spiritual sexuality to help you discover and move towards the vast potential of true sexuality. However, within these realms, it is very important to be discerning about who you choose to work with. Make sure that your values align. Unfortunately, I see many people who are doing this work that are enabling the lower path through the celebration and encouragement of non-monogamy, kink, fetishes, and more. For example, many tantra communities are filled with sex addicts and predators hiding under a spiritual facade.
As a grown adult, it is up to you whether or not you want to eventually allow the use of some pornography into your life. I personally am not a fan, but everyone has free will. The important recommendation here is that you take this first step so that you can begin the process of deprogramming yourself from external preferences and addictive manipulations. It is the beginning stage of getting clear on your authentic sexuality, not that which is being programmed into you by some external standard of what is attractive.
Step Two: If you are a woman, ask yourself if you are participating in the shadow aspect of the feminine that is playing out collectively right now - the use of sexuality as a way to (intentionally or unintentionally) manipulate and hook men. Much of this is hidden under the guise of ‘sexual empowerment’ and yet is an inverted use of sexuality, women’s version of using sexuality as a control game of having power-over.
Do you post sexual images or videos of yourself on social media? You may not think you’re being overly sexual, but subtle hooks are the norm at this point, and it’s starting with our young girls at an early age.
Get really honest with yourself about the intention behind this. Is there an underlying need for attention or validation? Value yourself. Know that your worth comes from much more than your sexual attractiveness. Running around in a bra and underwear in front of thousands of people is not liberation.
This kind of behavior isn’t just limited to the manipulation of men, women are also using their sexuality to sell all kinds of things online to both men and women, in subtle or not-so-subtle ways.
The lesson here is to reclaim your sexuality as sacred, and become discerning about who you choose to share that with.
Step Three: Become conscious of all external input around sexuality that is influencing you. Television, movies, music, books, social media, billboards, other people’s opinions, and so much more is conditioning you on a daily basis to develop certain beliefs and preferences about sexuality, and has been since day one. Take time to consider what you really need to be allowing into your field, and clean out the rest. In particular, during this initial stage of getting crystal clear what your own, unique sexual expression is, it can help to go on a total media cleanse. Think of this as part of a sexual detox. Sexuality is used in all of these arenas to hook you in and increase consumption. See the game and opt out.
Step Four: Within this reprieve from external stimulation, take time to go within to explore your sexuality. Start to remember how your sexuality began to develop, from as early on as your memory will allow. It can be helpful to journal about this so you have a full written account of how it came to be, and if you’re working with a therapist to heal sexual trauma and dysfunctions, this is an essential piece. After you have written it all out, see if you can begin to see the bigger perspective of why certain preferences or patterns came to be.
Can you see how your sexuality has been shaped by your family upbringing, what you learned in school, religion, how your friends expressed their sexuality, and all of the media we discussed earlier? Which of the aspects of how your sexuality has been shaped feel true and authentic to you? Which do not?
There will be certain things that may be obvious to you on a conscious level that you’d like to clean up, while other things may be more hidden. Shadow work will help you dig deeper.
One of the patterns I see frequently with female clients is a sexual attraction towards partners who don’t treat them very well. It’s the whole ‘bad boy’ thing. Since the sex tends to be intense and passionate, it can be a hard pattern to break. Listen to the podcast episode here if this is something you can relate to. Rewiring sexual attraction to align with a more healthy expression is something I help many of my clients with. While women like to joke about this kind of thing, it’s not actually funny when it plays out for real. This is a big shadow that women need to face.
Step Five: Face and heal sexual abuse and trauma. This ties into step three, but deserves its own space due to the profound affect it has on our sexuality, in addition to the sheer numbers of people who have experienced it. The vast majority of my clients have true trauma in this domain, and many have not been able to accept or label it as such. Healing and reclaiming sexuality as a deeply connected act of love between two people - in addition to the profound spiritual potential within that has been hidden from the majority of humans - is a huge gift you can give to yourself and others. When a deep and intimate connection is exchanged between two people on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level, there is nothing that is more healing. I have no doubt that if we can move towards this type of sexual exchange within committed, conscious partnership, that the world would radically change for the better.
Before you skip this step if you truly feel you don’t have any sexual trauma, also consider that much more subtle negative influences have shaped your sexuality. Look at the relationship between your mother and father and what was modeled for you, especially with regards to intimacy and sexual connection.
And, any mother or father wounds (from overt to subtle) can absolutely shape our ability to be vulnerable and connected with other people, especially as it relates to the deepest form of intimacy.
People who have a more avoidant attachment style and/or difficulty with emotional expression and availability need to pay special attention to healing these areas.
Step Six: Take time to get clear on where you are at with your sexuality. Where do you want to go with it? What is your dream sex life? What still needs healing?
If you have a partner, share these reflections with each other as a move towards open communication around sexuality. It can be exciting (and very fun!) to deepen your sexual connection, and it also signals a level of commitment to this area within your relationship that can feel very freeing and healing. Your bond will deepen immensely.
Also, as you begin the more generalized shadow work that I described in part one that moves you towards true embodiment of the Divine Feminine and Masculine, your sexuality will naturally evolve and reflect that. Our sexuality tends to amplify the things that live in our shadow that have not been brought to consciousness, so that work will directly refine your sexuality. This article allows you to go even deeper into sexual sovereignty, so read both parts.
The next suggestions are a little bit more advanced.
Step Seven: Explore practicing masculine/feminine polarity in the bedroom. The way that I teach polarity is non-dogmatic, as I help people move towards inner union, but it can be incredibly profound and deeply healing for women to drop into deep surrender and receptivity in the bedroom. This helps them to move towards true embodiment of the Divine Feminine.
Especially for women who have experienced sexual trauma, this can be a huge part of healing - to slowly learn to dearmor yourself, relax, and let go in the bedroom with a partner you can trust. Of course, deep surrender is only possible with a partner that is trustworthy, and more men need to understand their part here.
It is also incredibly healing for a man to experience his woman in this state. Often, deep emotional releases for both partners occur within this dynamic. It is most profound when you are with a partner with whom you have a physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual connection. Layers and layers of trauma can be released in this way.
Men can also practice learning to receive by fully relaxing and enjoying oral sex, giving the woman an opportunity to be the giver as an act of devotion and deep love for her partner.
Step Eight: Learn about the bigger agenda to program men and women to have distorted sexual preferences that take us away from Divine Union. This is a huge rabbit hole, and I can send you some resources if you want to go deeper, but the bottom line here is that because the path of Divine Union is a spiritual path to enlightenment that includes huge potential for evolution, and the powers that be are well aware of this, there is an agenda to take people in the opposite direction.
Personally, I want to be well aware of all of the external attempts to manipulate me in a way that restricts my spiritual liberation, and it helps to keep me devoted to the path.
To conclude this deep dive into sexual sovereignty, my intention with this article was to provide an outline of sexual healing as it fits in to the path of Divine Union, because this is a big shadow area that needs attention and must be looked at for those drawn to the path. Once liberated and brought back into alignment with your true nature, sexuality can be part of an accelerated spiritual path.
As always, if you need support with any of the aspects described in this article, please reach out. This is my life’s work, and it is an great honor to support those who are sincerely on the path.
Leigh-Anne LoPinto is a psychologist, breathwork teacher, and relationship coach based in Los Angeles. She works with clients all over the world to strengthen foundational relationship skills, heal core wounds, practice conscious relationships, and move towards true Divine Union. The true definition of this is union with the divine, and it can be facilitated through relationships. Learn more about The Path of Divine Union here.
Leigh-Anne LoPinto is a Los Angeles based psychologist, relationship coach, and breathwork teacher with 12+ years of experience.