|I was born in Sacramento, California on December 11, 1948. From an early age on my life has been filled with magical experiences. They were signs that I was destined to dedicate my life to rediscovering the lost knowledge of the ancient world. For the first years of my life I experienced visions and memories that descended from a time before I was born. I was able to recollect these images and use them to find the inner peace I so needed as a child. I was ahead of my time from the moment I was born. I was a very independent child with an analytical character, which caused my knowledge to be misunderstood on many occasions. I was very conscious and happy as a child even though my every day life was a challenge, but as I grew older even sleep became a very hard place for me. At times my dreams would trap me and it felt as if an inner source took over. I rebelled against this inner authoritarian world, and overturned my dream world. I knew that my intellect separated me from the children around me.
At the same time I began to overturn the authority all around me, the dictation of school and authority of my parents. My highly gifted talents stood in the way of a smooth integration in society. I knew that my consciousness was ahead of children with the same age. In those days, being a gifted child was not something that was easily recognized. My life could have turned out differently had there been a special program that had not only tested, but also worked with my special gifts. At twelve years old, I withdrew into my own world of fantasy and turned my back on convention. My inner childhood world came back in full force, and I began to question existence and the role of all in life.
I did not fit into my age group and life at school was quite an emotional task. I developed my ability to see normal life in a magical perspective and I learned to see things from 'my mind's eye'. The images that came to me, humbled me greatly and helped me to realize that I had to deal with life as it came. Being misunderstood as a child exposed me to school violence from an early age on. I often felt persecuted for my personality and intelligence. What this did to me was make me non-violent (a conviction that I followed all through my life, even in the most difficult of experiences).
At one point I discovered Hinduism, Yoga, and Buddhism. These fascinating religions came to me at age thirteen. The overwhelming sensation of my first encounters with these world religions helped me to open up my soul completely. I was reconnected to God and I knew that I would never leave God's embrace from that moment on. In discovering Buddhism all that I wanted was to enter a Zen Monastery. I wanted my parents to send me to Japan. I knew that if I withdrew into a monastic center I would crack the mystery of the universe. I felt I could never do it in the mundane world, that I needed a teacher and a monastery, something that would never happen this lifetime, but undoubtedly occurred in a prior life for me. And at this period I discovered the symbol of the yin yang and took that symbol on as my explanation for the meaning of life. I drew it again and again, and found great balance in its shape. I did not have the possibility to realize my dream, but my interest in the occult continued.
The discovery of Buddhism set me on a trip of self-discovery. All of sudden I knew what life was all about. At age thirteen I felt that I had completely figured out what had taken so many time previous lifetimes of discovering. 'For the goal in life is to discover who you really are, and if you shirk from the responsibility of knowing your inner essence then this life is wasted.' I set about meditating and looking deep within. I found a flame burning so ever brightly and a conscious mind that could transcend all boundaries of this mortal earth. I felt the touch of God as a descending mist of dew. My life became filled with the fiery passion of knowledge, but no one could even begin to fathom what I was really experiencing. All of a sudden I discovered that almost everyone around me was locked in a deep sleep: my family, my teachers and even my fellow classmates. I felt desperation at times, not being able to bring the people around me to a state of reawakening. Those years were extremely hard for me to cope with.
I went deeper into Buddhism and felt that nothing in the West could attract me, until I discovered an extremely magical word: TAROT. When I first came across this word, I rushed to the library to find more information about the Tarot. At that point in 1964 there was no published information, nor could one easily buy a tarot deck. In my hometown of Sacramento there was nothing, but I found an article in an encyclopedia that gave the titles and a brief description of the Tarot's first 22 cards (the major arcana).
I wanted to own a deck so I started to paint a complete deck without ever seeing one. Each day I would try to meditate on a certain card and when I had the design I would paint it. Today this deck is so rare to me, for it shows that I knew the essence of these cards before this lifetime. Once the cards came into my life, magic entered never to leave. And I drew many other decks after this, the greatest being created in 1970, all 78 in full color.
I entered San Francisco State College in 1967 at the height of the hippie movement. I was thrown into the most tumultuous times in America in the Haight Ashbury. I was in college, living in a dormitory, and majoring in philosophy. My exposure to San Francisco at this most transcendental time put me right in the middle of a spiritual quest for my soul and I conquered my fear of death. I saw God in all of Her/His beauty and saw how beautiful the world really was. It changed my perception of the physical world from that point on. I saw and experienced spiritual experiences that I had only read of and I finally found my soul. My love for God never stopped from that moment on, and then I discovered the Hebrew alphabet. When I first saw Hebrew it was like a long, lost memory, and the first time I saw that the 22 letters were also numbers, my life changed forever. This is when I first discovered God's name as the four lettered Tetragrammaton, which is the word Jehovah or Yahweh and is valued at twice 13. When I found this name I felt that I finally got to see and write God's name in the original.