My name is Michael J. Morris (they/them/their), and I am a witch, an astrologer, a tarot reader, an artist, a writer, a teacher and facilitator based in Columbus, Ohio—the ancestral and contemporary territory of the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Delaware, Miami, Peoria, Seneca, Wyandotte, Ojibwe, and Cherokee peoples. Currently, along with my consultation practice, I am a teaching assistant for online astrology courses with Kelly Surtees of Kelly's Astrology and a mentor in the Association for Astrological Networking (AFAN) Mentorship Program. I am also a contributing writer for the CHANI App, a contributing artist and facilitator with Livable Futures, and a guest teacher in the Foundations in Embodied Ancestral Inquiry course.
I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I have been practicing witchcraft for 20 years—creating rituals, casting spells, reading cards and astrological charts for myself, loved ones, and local communities. As a queer, genderqueer/nonbinary person, these practices have been integral to my healing, self-care, self-actualization, and growth. In addition to my own ongoing practice, I was previously a member of the Temple of Ara, an earth-based Wiccan community founded by Phyllis Curott. I have studied practices and approaches of the Ara Tradition—including cultivating relationship with more-than-human nature, intuition, divination, and elements of core shamanism—with Elder High Priestess Linda Maglionico. I have also had the great joy to circle with Starhawk for sabbat and magical activism rituals, and I have drawn significant inspiration from her work and the Reclaiming Tradition. My approach to magic, witchcraft, and ritual centers movement and embodiment, an approach that I have shared in workshops and collective ritual practices called Dancing Body Magic and Witchdancing, as well as The Spiral of Fortune (Seven of Birds): A Laboratory for Political Witchcraft, which I co-facilitated in Germany and Austria with Keith Hennessy. You can read more about my approach to witchcraft here.
After years of studying astrology through books and personal practice, I began supporting my studies with online courses with Demetra George and Chani Nicholas. I received my Certificate of Completion in Chris Brennan's Hellenistic Astrology course. I have also studied with Kelly Surtees in online courses, workshops, and in group and one-on-one mentorship. I was honored to be a presenter at the 2020 Queer Astrology Conference and the 2020 Fresh Voices in Astrology Summit. In 2021, I offered astrology webinars with Inner Sense Healing Arts and Fresh Voices in Astrology, and I had the opportunity to co-present with Drew Levanti at the Astrology and Climate Change Conference hosted by the Mayo School of Astrology. I was a speaker at NORWAC 2022 and the 54th Annual conference of the Astrological Association. I have recently also offered workshops with AFAN—the Association for Astrological Networking—and the Aquarian Organization of Astrologers.
I am a member of the Association for Young Astrologers, and have contributed educational resources for the International Association of Ethics in Astrology. You can read more about my approach to astrology here.
I have had the honor of being in rich conversations about astrology on a number of podcasts, including The Astrology Podcast with Chris Brennan, The Strology Show with Kirah Tabourn, the homebody podcast with Mary Grace Allerdice, the Queer Skies Podcast with Daniel Bernal and Drew Levanti, The Magic of the Spheres Podcast with Sabrina Monarch, the Energetic Principles Podcast with Melissa LaFara, the Astrology University Podcast with Vanessa Montgomery, the Livable Futures Podcast with Norah Zuniga Shaw, and Dan Talks with Dan Van Note. Links to all of the podcast episodes on which I've appeared can be found on my Resources page.
I have been reading tarot since 2003. Around 2004, I took a series of tarot workshops with Mark McElroy at New Vibrations, a magical shop and haven for spiritual seekers that was tucked away in the arts district of Fondren in Jackson, Mississippi. Since then, tarot has been a regular practice of reflection, meaning-making, and divination in my life. I have also studied tarot with T. Susan Chang and Camelia Elias. You can read more about my approach to tarot here.
I have been practicing yoga since 2003, and I began teaching yoga in 2009. I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training at the Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in San Francisco, California, and was honored to teach a weekly Queer Yoga class in Columbus, Ohio, from around 2010-2015, then returned to teaching Queer Yoga on a monthly basis from 2021-present. I began practicing yoga at the local YMCA in high school in Baton Rouge, then developed my practice at Butterfly Yoga in Jackson, Mississippi, with Scotta Brady and Edy McConnell. I also studied for several years with Laurel Hodory at The Ohio State University. My practice expanded with the faculty of Laughing Lotus—Jasmine Tarkeshi, Alex Crow, Minerva Arias, Brima Jah, Alice Tarkeshi, Robin Wilner, Valerie Starr, and Dia Tschirki-Penning. I am a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance (RYT-200). You can read more about my approach to yoga here.
I have completed Reiki 1 and 2 trainings and attunements with Alexandra Crow. You can read more about my approach to reiki here.
As an artist, my work has been focused on issues of intimacy, connection, belonging, social relations, and agency for many years, and these creative investigations deeply inform my view of healing as a process of connection. I hold a BFA in Dance from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, and a PhD in Dance Studies from The Ohio State University. My dissertation focuses on ecosexualities and performance, examining the ecological entanglements of sex and sexuality, and how those entanglements show up in the work of performing artists. As a choreographer and performer, my work is influenced by ritual practices, minimalist postmodern dance, Japanese Butoh, queer performance art, and queer burlesque. My work as an artist has taught me invaluable lessons about collaboration, the co-creation of meaningful shared experiences, and the wisdom to be found in uncertainty, ambiguity, and subtlety. Learning to craft and interpret art as an artist and a scholar are skillsets that are integral to how I practice interpretation of mediums like astrology and tarot.
I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University from 2015-2021, where I taught in the Department of Dance, Women’s and Gender Studies, Queer Studies, and Environmental Studies. At Denison, I facilitated sabbat rituals for students, staff, and faculty at The Open House Center for Religious & Spiritual Life. I have also co-facilitated Spell Rebellion rituals with the Temple of Ara.
For more about my choreography, performance, teaching, writing, and research, visit: https://michaeljmorris.weebly.com
Photo above by Megan Leigh Barnard