An Astrological Road Map to Sex

Written by: the Editors of goop


Updated: May 25, 2020

There’s no guidebook for how to have good sex. There’s also no single definition of bad sex. That’s because we don’t all desire the same thing—and that’s cool. Sex is a constant, deep exploration into our innermost selves, says psychological astrologer Jennifer Freed. But how do we come to know what pleases us most? This is what Freed defines as sexual wisdom. All sexual experiences tell us more about who we are and what we want—and what we don’t want. Which is why Freed started doing workshops on sexual wisdom: She wanted to help people navigate their sexual journeys using their zodiac birth charts.

What do sex and astrology have to do with each other? First, Freed says our complete astrological birth charts reveal a lot about ourselves in general (we have sun, moon, and rising signs, so each piece is useful). And, she says, the signs can give us insight on our sexual journeys and into the different parts of ourselves that get expressed through sex. But what she really hopes is that people feel more comfortable talking about sex when they have a framework for doing so. Sexual wisdom, explains Freed, comes from being open with ourselves—because then we can be open with someone else.

One other hot tip: Freed will be joining us at In goop Health San Francisco the weekend of November 16. She’ll be leading workshops with psychiatrist Will Siu on connecting with our true and authentic selves. We’d love to see you there.

Sexual Wisdom

Wisdom comes from the experience of making both poor and great choices—and learning from each. It comes from exploring and studying a subject and being open to new discoveries and ideas. Sexual wisdom, in particular, requires continual reflection on the social messages we receive, our innermost emotional needs, signals from our bodies, and our consciousness around liberation and desire.

When we embody sexual wisdom, we are alive, confident, erotic, and in our highest integrity. We have a sense that our body is an exquisite vessel through which all parts of ourselves may be lit up and affirmed. We embrace our totality as a living art, and we experience sexuality as a profound gift that combines our animal nature with our divine nature.

What choices, actions, and beliefs can be our greatest teachers? When we have moments of body, mind, emotional, and spiritual ecstasy, we remember what we are here for and what we are capable of. These momentary glimpses can guide us to our greatest potential as human beings. But our disappointing or self-negating encounters can be powerful educational tools as well.

When we make sexual choices that leave us feeling empty, mistreated, unloved, or ashamed, we can make this pain count and truly grow from it. Behind our patterns of sexual behavior often lie unmet emotional needs and a host of self-defeating messages. But unfulfilling sexual experiences can also turn into new proclamations of self-worth and profound personal discovery, and we can reassert self-care when we mine the lessons that our missteps offer. The road to our full sexual maturation is paved with numerous detours that invite us to evolve and value ourselves more. At times, we all meet unsavory psychological aspects of ourselves that need understanding, love, and attention. These experiences can help us unearth our capacity to have a healthy, genuine, emotionally satisfying, and balanced relationship with our sexual and emotional needs.

Our sexual choices rarely have anything to do with overwhelming horniness or sexual desperation. Our sexual decision-making has more to do with unfulfilled and unconscious forces inside our emotional being that we have not yet learned to nourish or heal. There is no part of our sexual journey that benefits from humiliation. When we stop blaming or shaming ourselves, we can begin to be deeply curious about which parts of ourselves are running the show.

Every wounded part of our sexual psyche is waiting to be reintegrated into a loving whole and healed by understanding and compassion. For example, if I am drawn to unavailable sexual partners, I can feel compassion for the parts of me that don’t feel worthy of having a complete love and start to heal the insecurities that have falsely taught me that I cannot be fully cherished and have my needs met.

With so much social emphasis placed on our sexual status in terms of being desirable, viable, and proficient, we often feel pressured to act instead of to reflect and to prove instead of to be present. All of us need more encouragement to listen to the broken or damaged pieces of ourselves and to find loving ways to address those wounds. We also need more out-loud examples of being on track: What does it feel like to befriend our total sexuality? Sexual wisdom is not a fixed state. It is a journey of becoming clearer and truer to ourselves and more fully and honestly expressed.

The Zodiac Signs

Through the symbols and signs of the zodiac, we can explore the possibilities and variances of becoming wise. Remember that each person’s astrological profile contains every sign; therefore, the ultimate journey will take us through each of these portals.

Each zodiac sign also has an essential energy: the basic thrust as it relates to sex and sexuality.

Aries: The Ram
Through the self-assured energies of this ancient fire, we come deeply in touch with the power of desire itself. We use this tremendous strength to be clear and assertive about what is best for ourselves and the beloved other.

Action steps:

Transform impulses for sexual conquest or competition into narratives of sexual valor and empowerment. Talk about the times you were able to be patient and reflective, from a place of slow and seasoned confidence. Build on those strengths.

Taurus: The Bull
In our sacred respect of our sensual nature, we treat our body as a holy temple in which we welcome and give nourishing pleasure.

Action steps:

Sense that pleasure can be a window to self-treasuring. Use your great capacity for containment to hold true to your highest values. Discuss the moments when you felt most beautiful in your body and most in touch with your own approval. Increase your dedication to treating your body as a temple.

Gemini: The Twins
We are gladiators of witty, delightful, and candid conversations about the reciprocity inherent in all great intimate encounters. We understand the importance and healing of shared and accurate mirroring.

Action steps:

Focus on being more present in this moment and bringing a sense of contentment to the connection at hand. Talk about times you have been able to settle into an experience you were having and your mind was calm and peaceful. Believe that you can be complete when time is slowed down.

Cancer: The Crab
Our capacity for caring and connection creates a space for vulnerable needs to be entirely safe and held.

Action steps:

Turn your impressive nurturing instincts toward yourself and ask, on a continual basis, “How can I provide more nourishment to my soul?” Talk about the times when someone truly tended to your needs and how that felt. Realize that asserting your true wishes and desires is actually caring for others because it means they do not have to read your mind.

Leo: The Lion
The joy and affection we readily and spontaneously express and receive promotes the genuine play of being in a loving sexual relationship.

Action steps:

Create moments in your life when you are so engrossed in love that you have no need to be special. Discuss the moments when you felt most alive and expressed, and you were completely spontaneous with affection. Build on your strength of bringing play and joy to yourself and others.

Virgo: The Virgin
Our discernment about what serves our highest good and also meets the needs of others provides a sturdy foundation for our sexuality to bud and blossom.

Action steps:

Bring your acute attention to detail to your own well-being and ask continuously, “How can I serve my highest vibration and faith in divine well-being?” Share times when you were blissed out because you felt an ease and flow in your body. Increase your attention on something greater than you that gives you a sense of peace.

Libra: The Scales of Balance
Our aesthetics guide us to choose sexual experiences that are beautiful, harmonious, and affirming.

Action steps:

Put yourself first before you eagerly tend to the needs of others. Talk about times when you allowed the focus of attention to be on your pleasure and happiness. Fortify your capacity to receive and realize the gift you give to others when you take them in.

Scorpio: The Scorpion and Eagle
Transformation inspires us to have intimate liaisons that deepen our emotional authenticity and help us embrace our shadow side with grace, acceptance, and stability.

Action steps:

Dwell upon the positive energies all around you. Make a pact to go deeper into what makes life so rich and amazing. Discuss the times when you felt the most powerful and revealed. Notice and reaffirm that your secret power is fearlessness.

Sagittarius: The Archer
Exploring the vicissitudes of meaning and positive adventure through lovemaking brings out optimism and gratitude.

Action steps:

Crave the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life. See how simple routines and rituals with someone can be sacred. Share stories of when you were relaxed and open to the experiences you were having without seeking or desiring more. Build your intentionality to praise life as it is.

Capricorn: The Sea Goat
Luxuriating in the carnal aspects of incarnation, we approach sex as a testimony to nature itself. We honor boundaries that enable us to climb the highest mountains together.

Action steps:

Believe that others love you exactly as you are without any further accomplishments. Realize that your earthiness is your magnetism. Talk about times when you laughed until you peed. Increase your willingness to enjoy the ride without any big goals.

Aquarius: The Water-Bearer
Originality sparks us to be intuitive and tuned in to the present, generous moment of lovemaking and to uplift the vibration of sex to one of liberation and actualization.

Action steps:

Share tales of when you were so mesmerized by a connection that you had no need to fix or improve the situation. Discuss times when you opened to a greater energy that felt absolutely gentle and soothing to your body and mind. Build your capacity to see people and the world as inherently whole just the way they exist.

Pisces: The Fish
We use our infinite compassion and empathy to tend the souls of ourselves and others. We embrace divine union in our dance with the erotic.

Action steps:

See your feelings as fleeting guests instead of loud bosses. Make more room to host your emotions and release them. Share stories of when you felt balanced and had a strong sense of emotional stability. What most helps you feel steady? Fortify your commitment to life as an ocean of wonder and build your strength for swimming with the tides with composure.

Our Sexual Journeys

When we are in a state of embodied wisdom, our sexuality is the greatest expression of heaven on earth. Through our intermingling of desires and emotional maturity we can transcend our physical body into unlimited dimensions of rapture. But we can also fully occupy the flesh and sensation of our physical body in absolute, vulnerable presence and communion.

Even when we fall far from these ideals, we can be on a journey toward them. It’s not failing to feel lost. That’s when we remember we are worthy of compassion and continual support. In kindness to ourselves, we can remember that none of us were taught to recognize how our emotional nature dictates our sexual behavior. We can choose to get real about mistakes, and we can be optimistic about healing the soul and body.

Imagine if, as young teens, instead of being bombarded with the incessant marketing of image-based sex and unreal sexual expectations and uninitiated sexual explorations, we had the opportunity to dive into the link between spirit, sex, emotion, and mutual fulfillment with the support of wise mentors willing to recognize us as blossoming sexual beings. We would all be more equipped to negotiate the complexity of sexual desire and emotional longing.

We are called now to act as our own mentors and help one another honestly raise our consciousness about what truly satisfies us. It’s time for us to openly discuss our journeys and to make space for others to share theirs without judgment. Reveal stories of mistakes and mishaps and find others who will benefit. Promote tales of healthy sexuality with pride, joy, and candor and be a humble host for the expansion of sexual wisdom and the liberation of holistic desire.

Jennifer Freed, PhD, is a psychological astrologer. Her new book, Use Your Planets Wisely, is available for preorder. Freed is also the founder of a AHA!, a nonprofit organization, and has been leading groups on sexual wisdom for the past ten years. You can subscribe to her free course on sexual wisdom here, and you can email her at [email protected]