James M. Martin was born on March 23, 1943 in Corpus Christi, Texas. In the early 1960s, Martin attended Texas Christian University and received degrees in English and Journalism. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles and attended film school at the University of California at Los Angeles. While living in Los Angeles he was active in anti-war and counterculture movements and earned a living as an editor and contributor to several Los Angeles-based magazines and newspapers. It was during this time that Martin entered into one of his first homosexual relationships.
In the late 1970s, Martin married a woman whom he met while working for the magazine, Coast. The two moved to Vermont where their first son, Alex, was born. The family returned to Texas, where a second son, Zack, was born. Martin then entered law school at Saint Mary's University, San Antonio and subsequently went into private practice. In 1981, Martin and his wife divorced.
Around that time, Martin "underwent a spiritual transformation" and by 1985, founded an occult fraternal order, the Ordo Templi Baphe-Metis, as well as the American Gnostic Church. In 1995, he founded the Servants of the Star and Snake as well as the Sahaja Society, which explored tantric, Kundalini and Sahajayana theory and practice. In addition, Martin wrote and published occult periodicals and newsletters, including The Aurea Flamma and The Trident.
For the rest of his life, he continued to practice law while pursuing work as a freelance writer. He wrote as a film and theater reviewer, and worked on creative writing projects as well.
James M. Martin died at the age of 72 on December 13, 2015 in Corpus Christi.