James Foster


Tau Barnabas | Sâr Theodotus

It’s been a long and winding road, starting in the 1980’s. Rather than the more “modern” approach of finding a “Path(tm)” and sticking to it to the end, I took the more 18th & 19thcentury approach of casting my net wide… but letting it sink deep. I’ve been an initiate and adept of multiple “Orders” and systems – though I took my time (often many years) in each. Mine has been the path of the Wanderer, though not the dilettante.

The end result has been an integrated and eclectic system of theurgy (spiritual work/mysticism) and thaumaturgy (practical magick/sorcery) – though calling it an “end result” is a bit misleading, as it continues to grow and evolve.

My graduate degree is in psychology, and I am a: Theurge/Mystic, Thaumaturge/Sorcerer, Gnostic Bishop with Apostolic Succession, Zen Master, Tarot Reader, and Spiritual Counselor. That means I use a blend of traditional Eastern and Western esoteric knowledge to help facilitate change. My style of work is firmly rooted in Western and Eastern esoteric practices, but has undeniably been influenced by my work with Gnostic Christianity. That’s why you’ll find me performing sadhanas and reciting mantra; conjuring spirits, angels, or elementals; petitioning saints, and saying mass to change conditions.

Some of my specialties include being able to understand and work with the unique sensitive psychological needs of those involved with esoteric work; using and teaching zen kōan work as a method of deconstructing deeply held misconceptions; uncrossing and warding. When I am not divining solutions or manifesting objectives I occasionally teach practical magic and write; and have contributed to peer-reviewed academic publications.

As I work on fleshing out this autobiographical narrative, I’ll end with a brief bullet-point outline of my “Esoteric CV.”

  • Japanese Mikkyo (priest ordination/tokudo; shido kegyo/esoteric ritual training)
  • Tibetan Vajrayana (monastic ordination/gelong & getsul; training & retreats)
  • Spiritual Alchemy via Rufus Opus’ “Red Work”
  • Jason Miller’s “Strategic Sorcery”
  • The Temple of Set
  • Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
  • The Martinist Order
  • Freemasonry
  • The Friary/Ordo Sacrae Flammae (Founder, & Grand Master Emeritus)
  • Kōan Training completion
  • Inga / Dharma Transmission
  • Clinical
  • New Media
  • Organizational
  • Episcopal Consecration w/ valid Apostolic Succession
  • Presiding Bishop, Liberal Gnostic Church
  • Archbishop of Ohio and in Partibus of Ephesus,
    l’Eglise Gnostique Catholique Apostolique: Autocephalous Primacy of North America
  • Archbishop of Cincinnati, Metropolitan of the Liberal Gnostic Rite,
    Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar, Sovereign Catholicate of the Inland Seas
  • Founder, Sovereign Pontiff & Patriarch Emeritus, Apostolic Johannite Church
  • Prior General, Order of St. Cyprian of Antioch
  • Religious Studies
    • History of Christianity, East and West
  • Psychology
    • Clinical
    • New Media
    • Organizational
  • Peer reviewed articles in psychology journals on the use of Zen Kōans for psychological flexibility
  • Chapter in psychology textbook on the use of Zen Kōans for psychological flexibility
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