Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: phoenix

Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries is Out Now!

Queer Magic Anthology
Queer Magic is real! It’s here! It exists!

The book, that is. And, well, also queer magic.

I’m SO excited and proud to have co-created this amazing anthology with Lee Harrington and the 40+ other contributors. The anthology officially comes out today, April 2nd, and I couldn’t be happier. The book consists of personal stories, poetry, comics, artwork, academic essays, interviews with community elders, and so much queerness of various kinds! My essay for this anthology is focused on the Queer Erotic Alchemy of embodying the Phoenix.

Last Thursday Lee and I did a book signing and class in Portland, Oregon at Raven’s Wing Magical Co., which is a lovely shop in SE Portland that I absolutely adore. Then, on Sunday, we had a pop-up table and signing at KinkFest. This was my very first time attending KinkFest and it was delicious. I left with my head full of some new information and many delicious conversations, and I left with my hands full of new toys to play with! I’ve been acquiring many new toys lately and am hoping to revive my old review blog, now called GlitterSexual. But, I digress.

Queer Like Escaping DefinitionThis week, Lee and I are in Seattle doing the same class The Queerness of Magic, the Magic of Queerness at Cunning Crow Apothecary on April 4th.

On April 5th we will be doing a Queer Magic Book Signing with a few authors and artists from the anthology at Edge of the Circle Books.

We have a few reviews that have already rolled in. The first couple are here: one on GoodReads, and one on Gods & Radicals. From Anthony Rella’s Gods & Radicals review:

queerness is elusive, evolving, pluralistic. So too is the collection of pieces gathered together by editors Lee Harrington and Tai Fenix Kulystin in Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries. They have accomplished an impressive feat, publishing the voices and images produced by a wildly diverse and fascinating array of individuals along the axes of class, gender, race, ability, spiritual tradition, and more.

Buy on IndieBound | Buy on Amazon | Buy from Your Local Bookstore

I Was Published in Numen Naturae: Dismantling the Tower

Numen Naturae: Dismantling the Tower Anthology

I have officially been published in Numen Naturae: Dismantling the Tower, the second volume in the Numen Naturae anthology series! The volumes in this anthology series each relate to a tarot card and plant, exploring their mythological, archetypal, and practical applications and connections. This volume in particular relates to the Tower card and Devil’s Club.

My essay is about the relationship between the Phoenix and the Tower in the process of transformation. It was featured as an excerpt from the book on the House of Hands blog, so you can read it here if you would like, but I also encourage you to pick up the book itself, as there are many more amazing essays to read within it! It is available now! You can order Numen Naturae: Dismantling the Tower here!

Also, if you missed the first volume, The Magicians Wand, focused on the Magician card and Yarrow you can order that here along with Dismantling the Tower. Submissions for volume three, focused on the Priestess and Black Cohosh, are currently open in case you are interested in writing something.

Destruction in the Name of Healing and Transformation:
the Phoenix and the Tower
by Tai Fenix Kulystin

We are change. It is the only thing constant about this manifest world, and, I believe, change is one of the great joys of being alive. The alternative to the cyclical change and growth of this material universe is the stagnancy of limitless awareness, the experience of omnipotence, omnipresence, and/or omniscience that is often ascribed to the All. This, in my cosmology, is the reason for breaking away from the cosmic soup of all that is and inhabiting these finite forms that advance, steadily with each breath, closer to death from the very moment that life begins. There is benefit to this finite and limited way of experiencing the universe, and that is the ability to experience change, the unknown, and the unexpected.

In order for us to change and grow, there is a necessity of death. In order for there to be space for change to happen within, for a new beginning to occur, we must clear the way and experience an ending. The ending may simply be the ending of the old way of being, the ending of a relationship, or any other kind of ending. This growth–death–rebirth cycle is the particular focus of this piece, specifically working with the archetypal, mythological, and alchemical aspects of the Phoenix and how that associates with one of the foci of this anthology, the Tower card of the Tarot.
Click here to read the rest…

On Graduating

After an amazing weekend where I put on (with the help of so many other wonderful people) the first temple in my home and the first where I was the lead, the hierophant, the ultimate-in-charge person, etc. I am ready to spend the day relaxing and focusing on my own pleasure. Art, reading, snuggling, and funny videos are all on the menu, as well as some of the delicious leftovers from the catered weekend.

The weekend ritual-workshop-retreat went delightfully. Much releasing, much expressing, much being, much phoenixing (it’s a verb, you know), and so much more. I infused some bits of my own personal mythology into the programming, shifted and shared some parts of my own self that are often reclusive, and witnessed so much bravery in vulnerability and beauty of those around me that I was brought to tears multiple times. And so much gratitude. Holy fuck, I have so much gratitude for everyone who participated, supported me, shared themselves, and helped to make it what it was.

Back in the end of June, in the last week of my Master’s program, the week before graduation, I described the sensations of anticipation that I was feeling as standing on a precipice. I was looking down at the darkness beyond the jagged cliff below, knowing that I needed to leap into it, and not knowing if I would fly or fall.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote: “we have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” I had been growing and constructing wings throughout the process of school, occasionally testing them and often falling flat on my face. I knew I needed to take that step. Intellectually I knew that the wings would hold me, but I had never had the visceral experience of flying. I was terrified. I could only do so much development in preparation for these jumps, these leaps into the unknown, the rest had to be done mid-air.

I jumped.
I fell.
I caught wind.
I flew.
Then I fell some more.

I have been developing and refining and fixing the wings as I’ve been soaring (and falling and soaring and falling and…) since the end of June.

This last weekend was another cliff. This time, my wings were stronger, more developed. I already had the experience of flying embodied within me, so I was not nearly as terrified. Or I was a different kind of terrified, the kind that propelled me forward.

This weekend was another kind of graduation for me, the culmination of the priestess training I started five years ago. It was a moving more fully into myself and my leadership, and attempting to do so mindfully, with humanity, with gratitude, with compassion, and with the backing of a community.

It was heart-opening and deeply awoke me to another layer of my own worthiness I had not accessed before. Like so many of us I have long struggled with worthiness, of feeling worthy of love and attention and belonging. I’m sure I will continue to struggle, this is not the end of it, but it was a step in the direction of wholeness.

Now, I look forward to the next cliff. Still terrified. Still moving forward.

Spiraling Forward

Well, I’m officially moving back to Seattle. I have a one-way ticket for March 17th.

This seemed like an impossibility at the end of November, the end of the triad, and part of me is surprised at the way things turned out, yet I’m also not surprised.

I still feel guilty for the way things ended, and I feel guilty for being with Onyx again when I was so sure that wasn’t going to happen. I allowed for it to happen, obviously, and I’m happy that we have come to a much better phase in our relationship, but I still have this gnawing sense of guilt. Why? Because I told Marla it wasn’t going to happen. I told her we would be with each other, I told her we would be together. I truly believed it at the time, but I spoke in absolutes not knowing what the future would hold.

I still miss her sometimes, lots of things remind me of her, and I wonder how it will be to go back to the apartment where the three of us lived. I wonder how long it will take before it takes on new light and I see it again as my home with Onyx and not where we three lived. I’m sure it will forever be both, but eventually the pang of longing will fade. I look back now and I see how we weren’t right for each other, I know what happened has been for the best, but that doesn’t mean the love I felt went away.

Things with Onyx are so different, so new, it’s almost like a completely new relationship in some ways, and our connection is now better than ever. We were both able to break down many of the walls between us after, in spite of, and because of what happened. We are connecting on a deeper level, I think, and in new ways.

Of course, reconnecting is bringing up old issues too, namely social, things I can just think about while I’m here and don’t have any way of fixing or doing anything about now. I’m worried about the way that we fit together in social situations, I tend to be quiet and even when engaging in a conversation I never seem to get a word in because I’m not a Conversation Top. I prefer quiet intimate settings to clubs or parties, but how does one get to the point of having a quiet intimate setting without knowing people first? I tend to feel left out and even, admittedly, anxious in social situations where I don’t know anyone, or even in social situations where I do know people just not well.

Sometimes I just wish I was more outgoing, but I’m not. I’m trying to change that as much as I can, but it’s not easy.

I’m also battling again with being a queer person in a heterosexual relationship. Maybe this shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it is. Sometimes I feel like I am betraying part of myself to be with him, which is an odd thing to say.

I worry about falling back into the rut that we did before, or that we are idealizing each other due to being apart and when we are back living together the changes that seem to have happened will disappear. I don’t know if this will happen, obviously, but I definitely don’t know for sure that it won’t. I am trying not to have that expectation, though, and not encourage it to happen, but I do wonder.

We are at a much better place than we ever have been before, and we have been making plans to do things that we have talked about for a while but not gotten around to. Hopefully we will be getting memberships to the CSPC in addition to planning on attending SEAF, Sex 2.0, Element 11, and generally getting more involved in the community in Seattle.

Onyx will be coming up here on Friday for a week to see the play I am in as well to spend time with me. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of relationship blah-blah-blahing lately on this blog, so hopefully soon I’ll get back to writing some sexy stuff after he’s here!

Reflections and Refractions

Of all the pain and disaster of everything that has happened there have at least been some good things.

I have learned a lot, both about myself and about what I desire in another person. When forced to make a choice between Marla and Onyx I chose neither, and through that choice learned who was truly supportive of me.

I needed time if I was going to be with either of them again, and Marla would not give that to me. The little time that we were still in contact after I broke us up or paused us or whatever she basically constantly brought up her and I being together and how she could not understand how I had not chosen her automatically. She didn’t seem to understand the bond between Onyx and I, and maybe that was my fault for being so unsteady in my relationship with him and confiding in her my questions and unsureness. It seemed that we could not have a conversation without her saying something passive-aggressive or bringing up our possible future.

However, I am not saying she is wholly to blame. I am definitely not without blame. We both needed support at the time, but we needed the opposite of what the other needed. She needed me even more after the triad disbanded, and I needed time to figure things out. I needed her to be happy without me, and she needed me to need her.

Finally things between us got to the breaking point and I knew we could no longer be in contact. I was content still being loosely in contact through social networks and such, just not direct contact, until her mother posted on my Facebook page essentially telling me to remove anyone she was related to and not be in contact with them again. I followed her instructions and took that beyond Facebook to every social media network Marla and I had contact on. It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary for us both, I think.

This was before Onyx visited. During and ever since he and I have been in more and more contact. I have been hesitant to say we are in a relationship again, but he has proven time and time again that he is supportive of me and my needs. He had questions after everything that happened too, but was willing to give me the time I needed without pressing the issue or getting in arguments with me.

It has been two months as of today since the triad broke, and twenty one days since I broke all contact with Marla. While I mourn the loss of what we were trying to do and of Marla as a friend and lover I also think everything has turned out for the best. From what I hear she is doing well and is happy, and I am extremely glad for that, she deserves all the happiness in the world.

As for Onyx and myself, it has come to the point where I cannot deny that we are in a relationship again. It feels very much like a new relationship, however, a new and improved version of us, a fresh start in some ways. The experiences of the past year as well as being apart have combined to rekindle the passion between us, and it is simply amazing.

The positive side of me focusing on my own failures is that it has become easier for me to heal long-held emotional wounds. I have a tendency to hang on to them for as long as possible, and some I was holding on to were a huge hindrance in my relationship with Onyx. I can’t say I have abandoned them one hundred percent, but I have as much as possible and I’m working on releasing the rest.

Essentially we have a second chance for us, something we have been talking about needing for quite some time.

I’m actually quite amazed at the desire we have recovered, and I think having gone through everything we have in the five years that we have been together all will contribute to us being smarter about things in the many more years to come. We hope to avoid the pitfalls we fell into the last time around.

We both have grown a lot since and because of everything that has happened and have talked a lot about what we will and will not do next time we find someone we are interested in either separately or as a couple. We are both, in many ways, different people than we were before and ready to try things again which failed in the past, including rediscovering our D/s roles together.

I’m still staying up in Juneau, and he’s still in Seattle, so we will have time apart for a while to figure out our respective lives before being able to be with each other in the same way we once were, and I think the time apart will help us both immensely.

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