Let me preface all this by saying the things about me that I’m most trying to embody (an artist, author, magician, gentleman, etc.) are also the traits I’m the least comfortable self-applying. Let’s just say, I try to be these things at all times, to varying degrees of success… the final judgment of which must naturally lie with others. Ergo, I can say I made a painting, but leave it to you to decide whether or not it’s Art. Practicing magick however (at least white magick) is the one area where most results are instead internal, and so the opposite dynamic holds true, and places an entirely different onus on others… a challenge you may wonder if you too can meet.
I was born with both the Sun and Pluto in Libra, four planets in Scorpio (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Uranus), Jupiter in Leo, Neptune in Sagittarius, and the Moon waaay over there in Pisces. It really explains a lot. Though Astrology has only interested me relatively recently, it nice to see how much of my life has reflected my chart over the years. I feel like the Universe “printed me” to be exactly what I am, and all is right with the world. Here’s a pic for those of you who can read this stuff and are interested enough to have a look. You can run your own chart for free on Astrolabe which is where I ran this from.
Art (or the process of trying to create art) has been huge pursuit of mine for as far back as my memories go, as has a fascination with religion, philosophy, fantasy, and the occult. I wanted to know what was forbidden, because I always wanted to know the full picture so I could know what was actually True. I earned my B.A. in Illustration from the Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA) and during my time there, ended up making a huge “leap of faith” which ultimately was a turn down a very dark path. Sparing you certain details, let’s just say my youth’s pursuit of spirituality ended poorly, as I’d become involved with a controversial church that ultimately did not have my best interests at heart… and I came out of the other side of that experience as a very angry atheist. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I missed a calling, and should have become a deprogrammer instead of a “creative”.
After college I began working in the comics industry, and while a smattering of work has come and gone over the years, my only major published project is the graphic novel Serial Artist, though I do plan to make it just the first of many. I also worked for over a decade as a buyer and reviewer for the Diamond Previews catalog, and my current day job is now as a director for a digital distribution company. I had the honor of being one of the judges for the Eisner Awards in 2006. Later, I also dabbled in reviewing comics for NY Journal of Books, but stopped once I’d published Serial Artist. I also enjoy doing custom painted miniatures for wargames/tabletop RPGs and so created Blackspire Studios, and also use it as a platform to showcase certain elements of one of the role-playing games I regularly participate in.
I’d proposed to my wife Jenny within a month of our first kiss, and our story is a pretty incredible example of two people being plugged into the current of the Universe and how everything either assists or gets out of the way of something like that. We’ve been married quite happily since 2009, and have 5.5 great cats: Grimalkin (Grimmy), Bastet (Bast), Crowley, Isis, Osiris and General (General is an alley cat that lives on our back porch now).
Anyway, over many years, a series of synchronistic events (including some of my “fiction” later revealing itself to be something closer to “revelation”) have brought me back into the fold of spirituality, this time as a practicing ceremonial magician, and I’ve taken the magickal name “Azamon Kith” as a way of solidifying that astral bond. I even went so far to join the magickal fraternity the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) and advanced as far as the second degree (II°) — and while (energetically speaking) I still feel a part of brotherhood of Thelema, I am currently not a participating member in my local body.
Much more interestingly, my wife and I are now essentially the “founding members” of our own little group of esoterics (including other O.T.O ex-pats) we call the Temple of the Western Gate and we come together every few months at Jenny and my home to practice group ritual work… with a curious bent towards light-work and spirit communication. We have close to two dozen folks on our TotWG email list and I bump into new interested folks all the time.
I also began giving a series of lectures on the topic of Magick and the Occult after being invited to speak at the Theosophical Society in Maryland. I’ve since started turning them into a series of instructional videos on YouTube:
And far more recently, I’ve created two different Podcasts (Adventure Hook and Blackspire) which is a whole other story in and of itself, but so directly related to my fundamental ideas concerning “Art & Magick, Comics & Gaming… and how they all tie together…”
I see now how everything I am, everything I’ve done and experienced has led me to this point, and I intend to put it all into regular practice. A friend convinced me other people would find what I do interesting and that I should make a blog about my work (including my Great Work). If you’re still reading this maybe she was right… regardless welcome!