I came to the tarot — or rather, it came to me — towards the beginning of my Saturn return in 2016, on a visit to the Met Cloisters museum in New York City. I was drawn to a beautiful medieval looking tarot deck in the gift shop, and felt compelled to purchase it despite not really knowing what it was. For the past ten years I’d been exploring occultism, ritual and symbolism through my art practice, but always from a distance — with a bit of a wink to the viewer that said don’t worry, I know this isn’t real.
I had no idea this deck of cards would become a close companion and transform my relationship to myself and to life. On that visit to the Cloisters in 2016, I was tired from frequent mystery illnesses, and felt burned out on the art world. But my identity was wrapped up in *being an artist* and I was grasping onto how I thought that should look.
But my body knew better, and it essentially forced me to slow down, release old ways of working and living, and learn to sit with the discomfort of not knowing what would come next. I’d been getting sick with colds and infections pretty frequently for the better part of a decade, but in 2016 I hit a wall. I was sick in bed almost constantly, and although I’d seen many doctors in the past, I hadn’t been able to find one who took it seriously enough to help me figure out what was wrong.
Finally, (as Uranus conjoined my natal Venus in the 6th house) I found an immunologist who was kind, thorough, and led me to a diagnosis. After several months of blood tests, he found that I have a rare but easily diagnosable Primary Immune Deficiency called CVID, which means that I don’t produce enough antibodies to protect me from infection. It was a mixture of heartbreak and relief — but mostly relief at knowing there was measurable evidence for why I’d been sick for so long, and that while there’s no known cure, there were ways of mitigating its effects.
This initiated a period of healing on many levels: I started bi-weekly infusions of subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy. This involves self-administered injections of a purified antibody serum, which essentially gives me the antibodies I don’t produce naturally, allowing me to have a more healthy level of protection against illness. I also began exploring a wide variety of emotional and spiritual healing modalities: I studied the Akashic records, intuitive and psychic development, mentored under a shaman, explored Human Design, reiki, talk and somatic therapy, herbalism and more.
Aside from medical interventions, the most consistently healing and transformative tools for me have been the tarot and astrology. Working with these tools has produced a deeply felt sense of connection to myself, the world around me and the larger cosmos we inhabit. This sense of enchantment persists even through loss, grief, disappointment — because I see those experiences and feelings reflected back to me through the cards and the stars. It fills me with continual wonder to see that meaning, metaphor, and symbol are woven into the fabric of reality.
Working with tarot and astrology has opened me to an entirely different relationship to my life: by studying my birth chart, observing my transits, and dialoguing with the tarot, I have learned to work with, and not against, life’s changes, to grip a little less tightly, and to uncover the deeper meaning and context behind whatever season of life I’m experiencing. Being in relationship with life makes its challenges easier to bear and its joys that much sweeter.
Talis began in 2017 as a clothing line for psychic protection inspired by my study of the occult, apotropaic magic, and astrology. It evolved to include collaborations with other designers and artists, including Landbreakers clothing, Fruitstitute LA, and a journal I edited called the Journal of Psychic Protection. In addition to the original line of shirts for psychic protection, I also also offer talismanic clothing, tarot and astrology consultations, classes, and writing.
Talis clothing and related objects have been sold at The Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Creatures of Comfort, the Marciano Foundation, Ooga Booga in Los Angeles, The Future in Minneapolis, The Witches Confluence, as well as a handful of independent art book fairs.
ABOUT MY APPROACH: TAROT AND ASTROLOGY
A birth chart reading is an analysis and interpretation of the picture of the sky at the moment you were born. A reading can provide a deeper understanding of your life's challenges, patterns, and gifts. I use a combination of traditional and modern techniques, and my readings take a psychological approach (the chart can reveal facets of the psyche), a spiritual approach (looking at the birth chart as an imprint of the soul's desired growth) as well as a practical approach (assessing the current and future "weather" to help you align with and prepare for the larger timing cycles of your life). Consultations can be tailored to your needs and desires, but most hour long sessions will include an analysis of the birth chart and a consideration of the present and future through the use of different timing techniques.
Working with the tarot is akin to dropping a plumb line down to the core of your psyche — or straight upwards to your guides, if you prefer — and getting in touch with the truth of the present moment. It is helpful for deep self-exploration, revealing past dynamics, uncovering deeper layers of the present, and illuminating future potentials and opportunities. I conceive of a tarot reading as a dialogue that I help to facilitate between your conscious and subconscious mind, or your present and future self. In this way, a reading helps to bypass your conscious mind and connect to the part of your psyche which already knows the answers. Seeing your inner and outer life reflected back to you in the cards can be an affirming experience which brings you deeper into contact with your own inner knowing.
I have learned from and studied with many invaluable teachers and thinkers. My astrological practice is informed by a hybrid of traditional and modern approaches, and I try to blend similarly ancient and modern approaches in my Tarot practice as well. Some of the teachers who have impacted me most include Richard Tarnas, Demetra George, Austin Coppock, Chris Brennan, Christopher Warnock, Mark Jones, Mary K Greer, and Rachel Pollack. My work is also influenced by depth psychology (especially the work of Carl Jung and James Hillman), mythology (especially Greek), and art history. I have also studied intuitive development with Naha Armady of 22 Teachings in Los Angeles, and core shamanism with Mimi Young of Ceremonie.