vulvalchemy™ as medicine with the somatic feminist
If you’re curious about learning how to honor your body and your vulva as a way of connecting to your deep power and decolonizing from systems of oppression, this episode is for you.
My guest, Sasha Ostara, is a Mexican multicultural woman, Somatic Feminist, and the Creatrix of Vulvalchemy™
Tune into today’s episode to hear more about the invitation that led Sasha to explore her own body, how to go about being kinder and more compassionate to your own body, and how connecting to your sexual energy can allow you to reclaim your wholeness as a woman.
complete transcript below.
In this episode you'll discover
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION ON THIS EPISODE AND MORE IN MY FREE FACEBOOK GROUP, FIND YOUR FEMININE FIRE HERE.
Sasha Ostara is a Mexican multicultural woman, she's a Somatic Feminist,
Somatic Trauma Healer and Pleasure Coach Specializing in Female Sexuality, and Jade Egg.
She believes Vulva Love is a Feminist revolution, and pleasure as medicine and liberation.
Follow Sasha on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sasha_ostara/
Feeling Safe In Your Body: https://www.sasha-ostara.com/safebody
Work with Sasha in her one-on-one coaching program, Unbroken: https://www.sasha-ostara.com/unbrokencoaching
Work with Sasha in her group program, Untamed: https://www.sasha-ostara.com/untamed
Have a topic or question you'd like Amanda to address on a future episode? Submit it on this anonymous form.
EPISODE 232: Sasha Ostara
[Fun, Empowering Music]
Amanda Testa: Hello, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. I am your host, Amanda Testa. I am a sex, love, and relationship coach, and in this podcast, my guests and I talk sex, love, and relationships, and everything that lights you up from the inside out. Welcome!
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the podcast. Today, I am so thrilled and honored to be welcoming an amazing guest. We are going to be diving into somatic feminism. We are going to be diving into honoring our bodies and our vulvas as a way of connecting to our power and really using this to decolonize ourselves from the systems of oppression. I am so, so thrilled to welcome the incredible Sasha Ostara. Welcome, Sasha. She is a Somatic Feminist, and I love this term that she coined. We’re gonna talk more about that. She’s a Mexican-Lebanese multicultural mother. She’s a witch, a goddess, an amazing human, a powerful, powerful space holder, and I just am so thrilled to be talking with you today. Thank you so much for being here, Sasha.
Sasha Ostara: I’m so honored for this invitation. Thank you so much for allowing me the chance to be here with you, with your audience, and just to share this space with you. It means so much to me.
Amanda Testa: Yes, yes. Well, I’m so excited to share more about you and your wisdom because I really feel like -- we were just talking about this before we started recording because we got to spend time together a few months ago in Costa Rica where we were space holding for our retreat and just talking about how when we can get together in those types of spaces, it really just brings out the best in us. It brings out that empowerment, the support (feeling that support), and, in this day and age, oftentimes, we are very siloed in a way because we’re still recovering from COVID, and just with the way it is, is we don't have that in person connection as much so it feels really good to be remembering that and also to connect energetically with you over the waves of the Zoom land. [Laughs]
Sasha Ostara: Yes, it’s so amazing how when, particularly, people that have been working on their own embodiment, their healing, these powerful witches get together, magic happens, and it’s exponential healing and an exponential empowering experience. I feel like that’s maybe my favorite part of sharing space with other powerful witches. It just feels like we grow exponentially in a couple of weeks.
Amanda Testa: It’s so true, and because we don't -- I feel like, we need more spaces like that where we can be celebrated and encouraged in that way versus most of our cultural experiences that are the exact opposite where we are not able to fully express that.
Sasha Ostara: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: So it’s so important, Yeah.
Sasha Ostara: And to be nourished. I feel like it’s just the same with sharing this, it’s like maybe the thing that makes magic be so evident is the fact that we get to be nourished by one another instead of being the sole providers of nourishment in our communities, in our environments.
Amanda Testa: Yes.
Sasha Ostara: It’s just usually the role that so many people with pussies crave.
Amanda Testa: Yes.
Sasha Ostara: So many women just start becoming the immediate nourisher of our environments, our families. It’s so exhausting to be dealing with our kids, our husbands, our mothers, our families and friends. We need the spaces to just sit and receive. Oddly enough, we are also giving, but it’s such an energy exchange that it feels nourishing at the end of the day.
Amanda Testa: Yes, and for everyone out there listening, I’ll just invite you to try that on even for just now. How about you just sit back and relax and receive and let yourself be nourished through Sasha’s wisdom and our conversation.
Sasha Ostara: Yeah. Yeah, we all need a little bit more of receiving. We are so used to just giving. Let’s just receive for a change.
Amanda Testa: Yes, yes to receiving. I’m wondering, too, because I know all of our stories are a very long web, but I’m wondering if maybe there’s one aspect that you might want to share about, really, what led you into your passion for this work.
Sasha Ostara: Ooh, that’s such a fascinating story because what led me to this work was that I needed it to survive because I was just about to give up on my dreams, my hopes, not my life, of course, but there was, at some point, a sense of “there’s nothing else for me. I guess, this was it. I guess this is as far as I will ever get in life.” I just felt that gloomy energy growing everyday in my life.
I had lost my joy, my humor, my desires, my ambition, my vision. I was feeling really lost in my own little world journey, and the thing with the journey into the underworld is that we risk hanging there for so long that we forget that we can actually start climbing back up.
So I was in that moment in which I was hanging in the underworld for too long, and I was just starting to give up and feeling like there was nothing else for me, and then my grandmother died. She was like my mom. She’s the person that raised me and is closest to me. When she died, I was hit by this force, by this arch of leaving, of thinking, okay, I don’t want to get to that point in my life and think that I didn't do anything with my life, that I just raised my kids and then was left empty with my emptiness and emptiness as well.
So I was pushed towards looking for more. That search led me back to my body. I had been looking for that in mythology, in meditation, in spiritual practices, but the one place I hadn’t looked for it was in my own body, in my own pleasure, and when that moment happened, in which I was just about to give up, about to just let life happen to me without really trying to make anything out of it, it was like a force inside of me woke up and said, “I’m not giving up on you. We need to make something with our lives. We need to experience pleasure again.”
For me, it was really an energy of Aphrodite. I usually share that it was Aphrodite, who I felt that had died, but then she came back and said, “Oh, no, I’m not dying. [Laughs] I’m reclaiming you. I am taking you back, and we are living life at our fullest.”
Amanda Testa: That is so powerful, and that you were able to listen to that call.
Sasha Ostara: Ah.
Amanda Testa: Which is not an easy thing to do either, right?
Sasha Ostara: Yeah, I am so grateful that I had the chance to listen. I am grateful for my grandmother because I feel like that was her biggest farewell gift, and, for me, she had to give me that because she was the woman that lived fully until she gave up on her pleasure. So it’s like healing that trauma.
Amanda Testa: Yes.
Sasha Ostara: I have always focused on healing my family trauma, but I didn’t realize that that was a piece that needed healing as well, the piece of reclaiming my Aphrodite, my pleasure, my desire to live fully.
Amanda Testa: Ah, I love that so much. I’m wondering, too -- you know, I love how you mentioned you had searched everywhere for your own body. I’m wondering how you came upon that. What was the invitation into exploring that?
Sasha Ostara: Hmm, so I found that -- I had a spontaneous Kundalini awakening during a meditation. I could go on long, long meditations. At some point, I started meditating three or four hours a day, and my spirituality, up to that moment, was a spirituality of detachment from the body.
Amanda Testa: Mm-hmm, yes.
Sasha Ostara: It was about leaving my body and moving to the higher spheres of consciousness. Then, I had this experience in which I felt my body pull me back, pull this consciousness back, and I started having waves of orgasms. It was like what’s going on? Is the universe having sex with me? What is happening? [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: [Laughs]
Sasha Ostara: I was having orgasm after orgasm in ways that I hadn’t experienced before. I feel like that was the moment in which something shifted when it came to connecting to my body because I realized that this energy was craving for something more. It was literally the Kundalini asking for experiencing more for experiencing more like this. After that, things started to shift and change, and I heard from Layla Martin, and I heard from -- I started flirting around with a friend that I had talked to many years ago. Just having that conversation, it was like I started to feel alive again, and that started showing in many different areas, and one thing led to another which was finding my picture that allowed me to connect to pussy again, to connect to her power again.
What started as a search for more orgasms, like the one I had just experienced, ended up becoming a search for myself, for my deepest power.
Amanda Testa: Yes. Mm, I love that so much. I love the term that you coined - The Somatic Feminist. So I’d love if you might share a little bit more about what that means for the listeners.
Sasha Ostara: Yeah, so, precisely, in that journey (in the journey of finding my pleasure) I found that there was an internalized sexism that I didn't realize I had. There was a sense of an urge of giving my power away to my partner or to whoever might take it. I realized that the whole experience of many of the people I was surrounded by was similar.
There was a desire to become the perfect concubine, to please the partner, to be sexy and desirable. At the end of the day, it was not what my soul was craving. My soul was craving for something deeper, and I started exploring the wound that was lying underneath that desire. I found that the wound was one of misogyny. How, after all, cultures of oppression have caused the deep harm regarding how people (specifically people with pussies) have embraced our sexuality for a long time, how we kept learning that our sexuality belongs to somebody else, how we are sexual to please somebody else. That has been something that I literally heard from some of my earliest clients.
They would tell me things like, “I feel guilty about self-pleasuring because I feel like I am cheating on my partner.” There is even a phrase in Mexico that says that women are produce for gentlemen. So I have a client telling me, “This is what they used to say in my family,” and then I heard it somewhere else, and I said, whoa, this is precisely the wound that so many of us have been carrying about our sexuality. It’s a wound of having had our sexuality and our pleasure being taken away from us and used to pleasure others, to get other people to be nourished by this powerful source of energy, and then we are left empty, tired, and feeling like giving up like I was these years ago.
So I discovered that it was a struggle that didn't start with me. It’s a struggle that so many other women have studied about, worked on, and I recognize that it is a path that is deeply connected to both the body (our somatic experience, how we live these experiences in our body) and feminism as a fight for justice and equality and for bringing a sense of understanding of how to find freedom from the systems of oppression through our pleasure, through (like Audre Lorde said) our erotic nature, our erotic force. So it was this recognition of those giants on which shoulders we are standing - their fights, their achievements, and to continue that lineage. I was always craving for a lineage.
When I was very young, I joined the sanctuary. I was craving for a lineage, and now I found that lineage is the lineage of those thinkers and revolutionaries that have been craving to bring equality and justice to, not just women, but to everybody because I believe in the kind of feminism that integrates everybody (that integrates people of color, that integrates people with different gender expressions, and people of different social statuses). So, for me, that is the lineage that I am to follow.
Amanda Testa: Mm-hmm, and I just want to hold a minute for that reverence. Yes. Ah, so good, and so important to recognize. I think, like you mentioned, too, it can feel so big but yet there’s so much we can do, right? And so, when it comes to that, it’s like when I am kind of reclaiming my pleasure and using it as a way to take back freedom, how do I go about that, right? If someone’s listening and is like, “That sounds amazing! I want that! What can I do?”
Sasha Ostara: [Laughs] Yeah! Yeah, that sounds magnificent, but, yeah, then, the implementation of that is what takes the work and understanding.
Amanda Testa: Yes.
Sasha Ostara: The good news is that it’s actually very specific. The thing with the feminist approach is that it has very specific steps that we can follow, and then we can follow the somatic and pleasure approach, and it creates magic, but one of the things that I love is that it’s simple. It’s about connecting in sisterhood or siblinghood. It’s about putting other women up and listening to those that came before us and bringing them to the front and center and saying, “Hey.”
Just quoting the people that inspire us that a feminist trait, recognizing the struggle and the system around us. That’s another way to do it, and that’s maybe one of the most important ones because when we recognize that we are not by ourselves, dealing with our struggles, but that it is the system that has kept us in this way for a long time, all of a sudden it’s not a personal problem. It’s not that I feel unlovable, unlikable, undesirable. It’s that it’s actually a system and understanding that this system of oppression is thriving by keeping us disempowered and small, allows us to rebel against it, to name it. Once we name it, we get to actually do something about it. We stop thinking that it’s something wrong with us, and we recognize that it has a name.
I was listening to a teacher that I deeply admire called Kelly Diels, and she was speaking about how, before she knew about the term mansplaining, she actually thought that there must be something wrong with her and with her way of explaining things because people didn't seem to get it, and they think that maybe she wasn’t smart enough. Maybe people were not understanding what she was saying properly so she needed to elaborate better. Then, she read from Rebecca Solnit in her book, Men Explain Things To Me, about the term mansplaining and how men have tried to explain her books to her, and she got it. She said, “Okay, it is not me. It is a system trait. It is called mansplaining, and it’s not about me or my experience. It’s about the system and how it works to keep me feeling that I am not fitting enough, that I am not smart enough.”
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Sasha Ostara: So once you name it, you get to actually do something about it because it’s not about you anymore. That is deeply powerful.
Amanda Testa: Mm, you mention that, too, that sometimes it takes being in community to realize that, right?
Sasha Ostara: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: Because so often when there’s the community you're like, “Wait a minute. I thought that was just me!” and you realize, oh, wait, it is cultural. Like you were saying, it’s not a problem that’s just affecting me.
Sasha Ostara: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: And then it takes this huge weight off of, like, oh, it makes so much sense now.
Sasha Ostara: Yeah. Yeah, and it allows you to focus on other things instead of focusing on the thing that we thought was our sole experience. We get to understand how other people go through it, but, more than anything, we get to feel validated in our experience which is one of the hardest things for women to feel validated in our experience because, for a long time, we have been gaslit into thinking that whatever we are feeling must be just our hysteria and our weird way of understanding the world because who understands women, you know?
We get to be validated in our experience of the world, and that empowers us deeply.
Amanda Testa: Mm-hmm, yes. That validation piece is just, ah, so huge. I think, too, like you say, there are things that we can do and things that we can focus on that can kind of change our experience and make a difference.
Sasha Ostara: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: Right? I’m wondering what are some of the most profound things that are coming to mind for you that have been so supportive or that you love to teach or to invite people into?
Sasha Ostara: For me, if I could just teach one thing to people or be satisfied after I have coached somebody because they loved that one thing it could be self-compassion. For me, that piece has changed everything. When people get to understand that they are worthy of love and compassion, that they are doing the best they can with the things they have at hand, that we are made of different parts, different pieces, and that all of them deserve to be seen and validated with love and compassion, we get to just change drastically the way which we experience the world. That is the one thing I keep teaching again and again and again.
Whenever somebody comes with a sense of rage, sorrow, or whatever piece that they have been denying, being just pleasure or being even just disgust about their own bodies. Whenever they come with whatever is necessary for them to work on, the magic that changes everything is learning to see these parts of themselves with love and compassion, slowing down and loving yourself can really change the way in which we experience the world.
Amanda Testa: I’m wondering, too, if people may be struggling with self-compassion because it is not an easy skill to embody and learn. So if someone’s starting to realize, okay, I need to be more kind to myself, I need to honor my experience more, what might you offer around that?
Sasha Ostara: That is true for so many people, and with good reason. It’s hard to deal with self-compassion.
It’s hard to slow down because that’s the first thing is slowing down. It’s hard to actually love anything about them, especially the parts that we have been unlovable for a long time. That feels so easy, but it’s the hardest thing that so many people can aim to get to do. There is always a way to achieve that. For me, that has always been very personal, depending on the person I’m dealing with, but pretty much the magic trick is finding that person or that creature that they love the most and picturing that thing that they are saying to themselves, that thing they are punishing themselves for, that thing that they are having a hard time loving about themself, is something that that one person or creature they love is bringing to the table.
For example, their kids. Would you talk to your kid this way you're talking to yourself? What would you tell your child if your child came to you telling you that she’s horrible and that she has the worst body in the world and that she’s unworthy of love and appreciation? That’s the moment in which they tear up and realize that they would never speak to their kids the way they are speaking to themselves -- or to their dog or to their mom or to their best friend. Very slowly, somebody that we are gentle and kind and loving to, and so, constantly the invitation is to play a little bit with that relationship and recognize that that way in which we love that person can be applied to ourselves and that we can show ourselves that same tenderness and compassion that we show others.
Amanda Testa: Mm, such a beautiful way to describe that. Thank you. I also have a daughter. She’s ten, so I always think about that as well, and also, noticing when we have kids (as a side note) often that can bring up a lot in ourselves, especially if they're certain ages where certain things might have happened in your own life. It’s just also to honor and just appreciate that it’s not easy [Laughs]
Sasha Ostara: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: Compassion is the best thing you can do. Like you say, we’re all doing our best with the tools that we have, and the more that you can see that, I think you have more empathy for everyone and how they are 'cause they're doing their best. Honestly, I think most people really are doing their best.
Anyways, so I want to switch gears a little bit because I also want to talk a little bit more because you are the creatrix of Vulvalchemy -- and let me know if I mispronounced that, but I love that term, and I think it’s so delicious. If you don't mind sharing a little bit more about that for everyone.
Sasha Ostara: [Laughs] Thank you. Yeah, I love the term.
I was playing around with everything that I wanted to bring to the table, and that term just came magically to me. For me, it’s the mixture of the things that I am the most passionate about. What is definitely the recognition of these systems around which we grow because we are traumatized in community and we heal in community. So understanding how our family systems, cultural systems work is a fundamental part.
Then, understanding how magic happens when we learn to relate to our vulva in a way in which we would relate to our best friend. If we start connecting with her (chatting, exploring her, asking her questions), then we recognize that those same things that could be ideal for her, like compassion, again, like consent, like a constant conversation about her boundaries and desires, those same things are the things that we want as women.
They’re the very same things we crave to receive. So, like, okay, yeah, you want to offer consent to your vulva? Are you being clear about your boundaries when it comes to your connection with other people? Are you clear about your desires? So I realize it’s a microcosmos of the bigger cosmos that we are. So it’s this reflection of who we are.
Then, the magic of the Jade Egg practices incorporated with my own flavor that brings storytelling and going deep into the journey of the goddesses and their own mythology and their own mythological journey around healing. So it’s this blended mixture of all of these pieces together which, at the end of the day, are just about loving our vulva madly so that we love ourselves that same way, so that we learn to listen to our bodies in that same way, and to demand the same level of deep love and compassion from our environment because the thing is, is that when we learn to love our self deeply and shamelessly, we also want that from the people around us, and we bring that to the table as well (to the people that we love). We bring that sense of compassion and consent and tenderness to everybody around us so it becomes, again, a systemic thing in which everybody starts getting something from just loving these parts of ourselves.
Amanda Testa: Mm, so good. If you think about it -- because it makes me realize when we think about people with vulvas, for many of us, that’s been conditioned as something that’s not good, right?
It’s dirty, wrong, whatever, all the things that we hear. By loving that part of ourselves, it’s just life-changing.
Sasha Ostara: Yeah, yeah! Specifically loving them in whatever way it means to love them for us.
Amanda Testa: Yes, yes, yes.
Sasha Ostara: Because that is also very important. I realize that what was very simple for some -- I would ask them to look at their pussies, to do some pussy gazing, to just talk to them -- for some people, that was already too much. It was already too much to ask for, and for those people, I learned that I needed to reach them where they were at, to teach them that love didn’t need to be the same thing that meant to love their pussies to other women. So, for other people with pussies, it was about self-pleasure and dearmoring and taking photos or painting, and for others, love just meant being compassionate enough to understand that their pussy was afraid of being seen, that was afraid of being touched, and to love her in that moment just like that.
There was no need to do anything else. Just like that. Just the way they are right now.
Amanda Testa: Yeah, pondering exactly what is and letting that be enough because it is enough, right?
Sasha Ostara: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Sasha Ostara: Ah, that’s the beauty of it. It is enough. We don't need to show up with an agenda when it comes to loving ourselves, and I think that that is the thing that gets many people confused about what loving ourselves means. Some people think that self love means the big things that we see some people do on Instagram, you know? Posting and being super open about their sexuality. It means that for them, but it means a quiet stillness for others.
It means allowing yourself to cry when you haven't cried for others. It means laughing hysterically for others. It means whatever there is. There is no agenda. There is no right or wrong way to love ourselves. it’s just loving what is.
Amanda Testa: Yes. I love this conversation so much. I feel like I could keep talking to you for hours because I could.
Sasha Ostara: Mm-hmm. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: I’d love to know if there’s maybe any question that you wished I would have asked that I didn't ask or anything else you really want to make sure to share?
Sasha Ostara: Ah, thank you. What I feel is very important that we bring into the conversation is how -- a friend of mine was calling it a beautiful way. She said, “We are divergent people. Not just neurodivergent, but divergent people, people from different ethnicities, body shapes, narrow ways of thinking, and how all of us are invited to the party as well.
I feel like sometimes it’s easy to think that vulva love, sexual liberation, sexual expression, pleasure is a privilege. We forget that we are all invited to join into this celebration of our bodies. The differences that we all bring into the table, our cultures, our beautiful body sizes, and our beautiful ethnicities, our beautiful ways of perceiving the world, even though our own journey and things, they are all part of this amazing symphony. This is a celebration for all of us. Our body is a freaking party. Let’s live it. There’s no need to look a certain way in order to be worthy of love and appreciation, and that is something that I really want everybody to remember.
We don't need to wait until we have lost those pounds or we have the partner that we wish we had. We don't need to wait to actually start connecting to our pleasure. It’s there, literally, at the tip of our fingers to just start connecting. It’s literally about connecting -- even that, for some people, it feels sexual, and for others, it will never be sexual or it will just be a sensual experience. It will just be about connecting to eating the freaking pie and enjoying the freaking pie and not worrying about enjoying it too much, and not discussing the idea of the guilty pleasure, and just enjoying our pleasures for what they are - a roadmap to our soul calling. So, for me, that is the thing that I really want everybody to remember.
We are all welcome in the celebration of our bodies. No need to wait to look a certain way. It’s not just for young people, it’s not just for skinny people, it’s not just for a certain ethnicity. We are all invited.
Amanda Testa: Thank you so much for that. I’m just so excited for you to share more about where people can connect with you and work with you and all the amazing offerings that you have. So if you wouldn't mind sharing a little bit about how everyone can connect with you and learn more about you.
Sasha Ostara: Oh, thank you. So I am on Instagram @sasha_ostara, and I have a web page www.sasha-ostara.com. I have a free program. It’s a free mini program that I created for people during COVID. It’s called Feeling Safe In Your Body. That is a beautiful, delightful amount of tiny practices for everybody to just connect real quick to this sense of safety back in their bodies. It was created in times of distress, and I think that it’s very present and very useful still to this day.
I am working one-on-one with my coaching program, Unbroken, which is, for me, the biggest realization. We are not broken. We are whole. We are perfect just as we are. So Unbroken is my one-on-one coaching program, and I have a group program called Untamed which is all about this reclamation of our sexuality from the clause of patriarchy.
Amanda Testa: Well, I just cannot say enough amazing things about Sasha. She is incredible, and so, I highly urge you to check her out and connect with her. I’m just wondering if there’s anything else that feels important to share as we close today? Thank you so much, again. I really appreciate your time and being here and sharing your wisdom. It’s so beautiful and powerful, yes, thank you, Sasha.
Sasha Ostara: Thank you so much, Amanda. I’m so, so, so honored to be able to share this space with you. Thank you for all the gentleness and kindness and deep, wild, loving wisdom that you always bring with this blanket of love and compassion. Thank you for everything that you do, and, yeah, for me, I feel like it’s just about reminding people that we are worthy of love, that this is all about remembering that the greatest craving that we all, as humans, have is to be seen, validated, and loved. Let’s offer that to ourselves and to those around us.
Amanda Testa: Thank you so very much. Again, I’ll put in the show notes where you can find more about Sasha Ostara and how you can connect with her. So thank you so much, again, for being here, Sasha. Thank you all for listening. Wishing you a beautiful week ahead.
[Fun, Empowering Music]
Thank you so much for listening to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. This is your host, Amanda Testa, and if you have felt a calling while listening to this podcast to take this work to a deeper level, this is your golden invitation. I invite you to reach out.
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[Fun, Empowering Music]