I bought my first tarot deck, the Mythic Tarot, in 1989, the summer after I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History; I was 21. That version of the Mythic Tarot came with a fantastic workbook, which I completed over the course of the summer and into the fall. I was deciding what my next step would be: either find full-time employment or return to school to start on a Masters degree in either History or English.
In January of 1990 I was accepted into the English graduate program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and started my six year journey to the completion of my PhD. During that time – while attending graduate classes, teaching undergraduate courses, and bar tending – I continued to study and use the tarot for myself and my friends. In 1992 I took my first payment for a reading and have been reading professionally since then.
In 1989, at the same bookstore where I bought my tarot deck, I remember picking up and reading Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs book. Even though I did not decide to buy the book, I became interested in astrology as well, just not to the same degree as the tarot cards. Over the ensuing years I would periodically delve a little more deeply into astrology, eventually purchasing Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology, and learning how to cast my own chart (by hand no less!). The more I “played around” with astrology, the more I came to realize how broad and deep the field actually was, rivaling my own doctorate work in English.
It became painfully clear that a person could not “casually” study astrology and plumb its vast power and insight; years of concentrated, passionate study were required and I was unable to create the space and time necessary to study at this level until 2007, when I retired from my career with UNC’s School of Government to become a stay-at-home father. From 2007 to 2010 I began graduate level effort in my study and practice of astrology, reading charts for anyone that would give me his or her birth information and amassing an extensive library of books by the best minds in the field (Steven Forrest, Stephen Arroyo, Jeff Green, Demetra George, Jessica Murray, Erin Sullivan, Dane Rudhyar, Alan Leo, Alan Oken, Noel Tyl, Jan Spiller, Bernie Ashman, Richard Tarnas, Robert Blaschke, Robert Hand, Marc Edmund Jones, Lyn Birkbeck, Liz Greene, and many more).
Besides my institutional academic credentials and my individual self-study efforts, the most important credentials I can write about are my life resume experiences, which inform the spiritual vitality of both my tarot and astrology practices. Technical skill and scholarly knowledge are necessary but not sufficient requirements to fully embrace the mantle of tarot reader and astrologer, which is, in fact, to embrace the role of Spiritual Counselor. I have found two essential qualities present and internal to those of us willing to counsel others on spiritual matters; 1) a desire to serve humanity and 2) the ability to transform ourselves. We “rush in where others fear to tread,” sometimes foolish, sometimes not, but always with the sense that we must risk to learn and meet challenges head on to grow. I offer my tools in readings about:
- one’s life purpose, having my own grow and evolve dramatically over my life time;
- parent/child relationships as an adult with a dynamic relationship with my own parents and the primary caretaker of my own child;
- romantic and life partner relationships, having been married (10 years) and divorced (2003)/loved and rejected and loved again;
- where to live and why, having moved more times than I care to count; and
- how to process severe anxiety caused by spiritual crisis, having worked through two profound periods in my own journey.
And lastly, the best credentials I can offer – now that I have been reading cards and casting charts for over 25 years combined – are the testimonials of my clients.