Cassandra Snow

Magickal. Practical. Radical.

Cassandra Snow is a tarot card reader, writer, and theater artist professionally. This website is focused on her life in tarot, with substantial references to witchcraft, LGBTQ+ community, and chronic illness.

Filtering by Category: Solopreneur

The Million Dollar Questions: Where Have I Been and Where Am I Now?


  Photo By Janet Nguyen Photography

Photo By Janet Nguyen Photography

Hello Dear Readers,

I promise this is not yet another blog post where I just rehash the trauma of my brain injury, because where I’ve been in 2018 is so much deeper and more nuanced than one injury (even if that injury did suck literally over half a year out of my life).

When I was blogging before, my monthly posts about everything I accomplished/did/learned (and because I believe in accountability and strength in vulnerability, everything I failed at, struggled with, and didn’t accomplish) where some of my most popular and shared pieces. As I start back up, I want to keep the same personal voice with higher quality material so here we are back at the beginning of the month and ready to roll with some updates.

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As a reminder OR as information for new readers, the reasons why I do these “month in review posts” are basically because:

  1. Even if people didn’t enjoy them, holding myself accountable for my health, my productivity, and my community is really important to me. Posting publicly what works and what doesn’t keeps me going strong.

  2. I get really overwhelmed and excited about all of the great things that exist in the world and I want to share the ones I’ve experienced with everyone and promote some great things.

  3. I absolutely love reading personal posts, listicles, and other writer’s monthly round-ups, and I figured if I love those things that much, maybe you do too. My numbers consistently showed that that was true too!

Since it’s been almost a year since I wrote last, I obviously won’t recap EVERYTHING. That would take forever, and without an intense look through my photos and social media and journal from the year I’m not sure I’d even remember them all. (Thanks, brain injury! #stillbitter)

Instead, here are some snippets from my year:

  • The biggest news of all: I finished my book! It’s coming out May 1st, 2019 and it is so queer and so personal and still (I hope!) such a great educational tool as you start or continue on your own tarot journey.

  • Little Red Tarot decided to archive, cutting short the series that led to the above book. I’ll be doing a Queering the Tarot article a month on my Patreon, which is open for wide release on Monday. I am at peace with this decision and the beauty of the site archiving on Samhain was not missed. I decided to take this as an opportunity to get back into doing things my own way for awhile, and see what exciting new opportunities that leads to this time. The archived Little Red site is here.

  • The Column has also decided to archive. I’m still struggling with that, in part because I fell absolutely in love with doing regular arts journalism and haven’t found a new outlet yet in spite of pitching and applying for a few spots. I trust my writing skills and my ability to manifest, and I have so, so much respect for my editor. The struggle is completely in “how to move on” and not any anger or frustration AT ALL. Andy Birkey worked so hard for so long and made this beautiful thing that I’ll never forget being a part of. My past arts journalism can still be found here as the website looks for their best archival options.

  • I’ve taught several tarot classes this year. Many Queering the Tarot, Tarot 101 for Creatives and Sex and Tarot as well as a Tarot for Spiritual Use and a handful of others. As a response to those classes, I’ve also got some unique workbooks and an E-Zine in my tarot shop on this website that you can check out.

  • Theatre mostly went on hold while I healed, and that’s legitimately okay. I still performed improv a few times, put together a Drunk Queer History or two, and put together an amazing Board of Directors for Gadfly. I also got a very generous grant for my dream show: [Working Title]: 60 Queer Plays in 90 Queer Minutes. That goes up in March and trust me when I say it is a freaking dream team of writers, cast, and crew so far.

  • I fulfilled a lifelong dream of performing stand-up comedy and I apparently was good at it? I was VERY bitten by that bug and while I haven’t done it since, one of my upcoming projects is to scope out other opportunities that feel safe and daring at the same time to perform at.

 Same adorable cat.

Same adorable cat.

In some ways, things haven’t changed that dramatically. This was a hard year in both my personal and my medical life, and the past two months have been very trying professionally. Yet I still wake up in the bed I love so much every morning, next to my cats who I adore, in the same apartment I fell in love with two years ago. My queerplatonic partner is still my person, and some of the same people who have ALWAYS held it down for me still do. I am still doing the things I love for a living, by some God’s grace. This was a year of good-bye and of death. It was a year of huge change and very dramatic scenes. It was also a year of rest and recuperation though. Most importantly, it was still a year of love, laughter, and at times, out and out silliness. I am grateful to my core, to the deepest part of myself for these things. I feel gratitude into my bones and oozing out of my pores. I haven’t felt this in a long time, and I hate what it took to get me here. I’m here now though.

 My book cover! So great!

My book cover! So great!

As I look forward:

I see my first book being released. I see my dream show going up. I see more time in this wonderful apartment with more of the people who make it and Minneapolis a home for me. I see a successful Patreon and while I don’t know where or what they will be, I do see more really great writing gigs in my future. I see some other more ambiguous ideas right now too: a podcast, more theatre, some vague ideas for adventures. I see such lovely clients and collaborators, especially at my steady gigs like the Eye of Horus, The Future, and Gadfly Theatre Productions. I’m eager to add to that roster too, but I can wait.

I’m also facing something really hard and scary in this Pagan year.

I don’t know when or if I’ll be ready to talk about it, but I will say that I have decided to seek treatment for vaginismus as well as any underlying causes for it. It’s really hard and scary and I have cried every day for the past two weeks as I wait for the right doctors to call me back. I’m keeping things close to the chest regarding writing or talking about it, at least currently. I live most of my life VERY out loud so that others will know they are not alone. I am not in a place to be of service regarding vaginismus right now though. I am not equipped practically or emotionally to answer questions or shoulder other people’s confessions. I don’t know if I could have admitted that before my brain injury. That injury has taught me so much about rest and focus on self. Maybe I’ll just need an outlet and it’ll be this blog after all. Maybe not.

In any case, that is another very important answer to the question of “Where Am I Now?” Because where I am IS hopeful, excited, and well-rested. I am also facing the realities of what happens when you have Avoidant Personality Disorder and a really painful, terrifying problem like vaginismus. Where I am is also petrified, wanting to run and hide, and kicking myself for letting my AvPD convince me to wait this long. I am so emotional about this. There’s not another way to put it. That is where I am though, and that is what I’ve been carrying as I work to build this blog and it’s readership back up.

I obviously don’t want to end on that note!

SO here’s some happier stuff that I’m super into at the moment:

Current Fave Tarot Deck: The Numinous Tarot

Currently Reading (and Loving): Calypso by David Sedaris

Currently Watching: The Good Place, Charmed, and How to Get Away With Murder most vehemently.

Current Fave Movies: The new Halloween which I LOVED and Colette which I can not and will not ever shut up about. To think I used to not like Kiera Knightley?! Honestly what was wrong with me?

Current Favorite Websites: Them is what I read most often. I also like this article about traveling while arthritic.

Current Favorite Recipe: This really easy cucumber salad: Chopped cucumbers, feta cheese (I dump like half of a crumbled brick in there but most people probably use about half of that), and Garlic Expressions salad dressing. Plus whatever else I have on hand. Handful of onions or a couple croutons or whatever is there that meshes. SO good, easy, and relatively cheap once you have a bottle of dressing on hand.

Current Music: Sparrow by Jump, Little Children (the whole dang album), and I still can’t stop with Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer or Brandi Carlile’s By The Way, I Forgive You.

Most Recent Adventure I’m Still Raving About: This place is so much better and weirder and creepier than I ever could have imagined. I promise.

Thank you all so much for being here and sharing this time and space with me. I’ve missed you all! Please feel free to comment below with what you are up to or what you’re most excited about post-Samhain/Halloween!

Blessed be, y’all!

Return of the Blog + A Radical Patreon Launch

Dearest Readers,

As you may know, I bonked my head pretty badly all the way back in January and had to put this blog, my work in theatre, and a number of other things on hold. As I’ve recovered, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the process of making art and writing and being a witch in the real world.

I’ve learned that sometimes your physical health has to come first. I know as much as I blog about mental and physical illness it may seem weird that I didn’t know that. I knew it on some intellectual level, but I was still running myself ragged and just adding time and energy consuming body-care tasks to my ever growing list of things to do. That’s not prioritizing your health. I get it now.

I’ve learned that I absolutely love theatre and that sometimes you need time to take a breathe and see a bunch of shows, read a lot of blogs, and think about your craft and what you want from it before you dive in and try to get all fiesty and creative.

I’ve learned that being a witch means it’s okay and even profound to learn to harness “darker energies” and to ask for selfish things (like personal healing from a traumatic brain injury or you know, whatever). I have always felt a call to dead people and underworld energies that I was so afraid to call my own. I’m not afraid anymore.

I’ve learned that I hate organizing anything that isn’t art. Like. Hate it. I want there to be voices and spaces for emerging tarot readers and witches, but I don’t need to kill myself to create that. I have lots to give and offer without taking on a role that no longer suits me (and perhaps never did).

I’ve learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to who is there for me and who isn’t. People I thought were my soul mate friends disappeared, and people I was on the fence about keeping in my life have come through in more ways than I could ever list here. I have no anger or bitterness in my heart for those that aren’t here now but I have learned to trust my gods that there will always be people in my corner, even if they aren’t the people I expected. I think that was supposed to be my lesson for literal years, but now it has finally hit home.

I think maybe I’ve actually learned how to prioritize. Which has unexpectedly helped everything from my work load to my eating disorder. This is never a perfect art though, so I really hope I don’t shoot myself in the foot by speaking to it!

I’ve learned that my lifestyle before this injury was completely unsustainable. I was working too, too much without ever really getting anything of value done. I was terrified of spending money to delegate out, in large part because I don’t have any. I was terrified to work less because what would I even DO? How would I even fill that time? I was terrified to go easy on myself because my identity is so wrapped up in “art, witch, Type A” that I was afraid of a total loss of identity. I needed to learn this maybe most of all. I was exhausted for literal years before this, even as I stuck to my guns on sleeping eight hours a night and drinking a whole lot of water. Honestly, even as I get back to myself, I still feel exhausted when I think about jumping into any semblance of my old life.

Which brings me to the point of this whole post. I’m starting a Patreon soon, and I’m really, really excited about it. It’s community style so even at the $1 level you will get full benefits. This will allow me to donate to causes I care about and people in my community who really need it. It will also allow me to work on the work I am best at and most passionate about. Hopefully I will soar past my first goal and be able to buy some decent recording and editing equipment so I can bring you podcasts and video content about tarot, the occult, art and my queer, chronically ill life as it pertains to all of the above.

As part of this Patreon, I am emphasizing my work to make tarot accessible-not only in content by exploring what the tarot has to say to marginalized people or others who have trouble relating to it, but even in price and the ability to learn easily and cheaply. That means a return to this blog in addition to Patron only writing. This blog and creating theatre work have been the two things I’ve missed the most this year. My theatre life is making a slow, scheduled return that I’m sure you’ll hear all about in coming months.

The blog I am thrilled to bring back as well. I’ve had almost whole year to dream up spells, funny stories, and tarot spreads and knowledge for you. I’ve had almost a whole year to miss you all so much and am so eager to come back.

Thank you so much for rejoining me on this journey. I will absolutely post when my Patreon goes live—and I’ll be posting pretty regularly from now on.

In the meantime, Blessed Be!

At Home Tarot Studio Is Open For Business!

Y'all. I am so excited. The QPP and I's last space that was just ours only had a tarot section of the living room due to space constraints, and I'm SO thrilled to have this room--I won't be able to use this extra room as a tarot studio forever, but that's a different announcement for a different time. In the immediate though, this beautiful apartment also comes with space for me to make magick, experiment with new decks and cards, and of course--read for clients and coach students. (My writing will probably still be done from my bed, if I'm being totally honest). Furthermore, my QPP is now fully qualified and taking Pay What You Can Reiki clients, and WE LEFT SO MUCH OPEN SPACE FOR ENERGY WORK which means the energy of the whole space is going to feel healing and vibrant in no time. Without further ado, LOOK AT THIS MAGICKAL ESCAPE:

 Uh, we maybe haven't figured out altars yet. Don't judge us for this messy one.

Uh, we maybe haven't figured out altars yet. Don't judge us for this messy one.

Here's a close-up of the corner I journal, read, learn, teach, and read cards in--it's right by the windows so we have the great views still. That table covering is a zodiac wheel that I got while visiting my family in Ohio. I love it. It changes depending on my mood though. Sometimes it's just black, green, or purple.

 

AND THE BOOKS. This is only about 2/3. I just discovered a box I was really confused about way back in the end of the apartment hall I don't go in a lot, and I am very generous with loaning my books out so long as I trust the people. A dear friend is dropping off a TON of mine back to me in the next couple of days. I might even have to move my decks, so we'll see! (They probably deserve their own small shelf anyway).

That's the gist of it for now, but I haven't done any photo-heavy posts since we moved. Once I have altars and everything ready to go I'll likely do another one. In the meantime,

Blessed be!

My Year of Movement, So Far

Every year I pick a word or idea to focus on to keep me going. This year I picked "movement" because man, I have some big goals and dreams and they are not gonna make themselves come true. It just really feels like it's time to be pushing myself towards the things I want, and up until the past couple of weeks that really felt like it was swimming along just fine. January was so much prep and planning and getting ready for all that a year of movement entailed that I really didn't have a lot of emotional investment in it. I had no clue how it would all shake out in real time, but I knew what my goals were and what I wanted to move towards and what the tangible steps involved were. I took a very even-keeled approach to the whole thing. I packed all my stuff in boxes and got ready for a February physical move. I threw out a bunch of old to make way for a bunch of new. I read up on graphic design for dummies (still so lost. Please point me to resources if you have them!), mediumship, and how to land a book deal. I saved a ton of money. I prayed a lot. I made lists and plans and wrote down my most ridiculous dreams, just in case.

Then February came. Time to physically, literally move and that went okay. It was exhausting but it got done. Also as a side note, I turned 31. Nothing keeps you marching in forward movement like time refusing to stand still for you. I don't know that I've written about the specifics of my move before, but essentially I (and my queerplatonic partner of course) were offered free housing in the house we dog-sit at sometimes for four months. Pretty decent amenities were involved too--a Jacuzzi every night is a pretty effective pain management technique, and I'm not gonna argue with free cable. I was immediately so relieved by this offer. Yes I'm dog and house sitting in exchange, but my life has been so hard financially since I was a kid, and it seems like every time I take a step forward I am forced two steps back. I took this offer as a sign that I was to spend this time to really grow my businesses and make them sustainable financially. With Gadfly my goal has always been to have a space where queer artists can thrive, make enough to keep it going and pay artists decently, and to make radical art in traditional mediums that elevate queer voices. I've been doing the latter for six years, but it's definitely time to hone in and focus on the first two, and I know not having to worry about making rent or bills for essentially five months (since you don't pay for your last month in a space usually) meant time to focus that energy in other areas. Additionally, my tarot, miscellaneous art, and writing pay my bills now, but that's about all they do. I work so incredibly hard, and I am so blessed to actually make my living doing only things I love and think are important while also making a flexible enough schedule to manage my chronic pain. But no life is perfect and truth be told there are months on end where I am scraping by with an occasional "good" month where I can do things like buy new bras and save for a vacation. This is the reality of solo entrepreneurship that a lot of people won't tell you, and I live in a mid-sized city with a huge artistic community and it's still really hard. It's worth it. Do not misunderstand. I am not cut out for early mornings and hours of busy work, and manage to have both avoidant personality and oppositional defiance disorders. I am not cut out to do only one thing with my life, or to only see my friends for one or two happy hours a week. Some people live so fully and happily in that life and that's great. Some people need the structure, the order, the safety and some people legitimately love crunching numbers and are willing to do it during regular business hours to do it and that's amazing because nothing I do is possible without those people. I am definitively not one of those people though, and I love my life. I love sitting on a friend's porch while they chain smoke and talking late into the night knowing I don't have to be up the next morning. I love not having to "put in" for time off hoping it comes through. I love working in coffee shops, or on my couch, or in my temporary home's king-sized bed. More importantly though, I am head over heels in love with the written word, with tarot cards, with theatre and all of it's beautiful messy amazing relatives, and I also love realizing I'm behind on deadlines and owe people readings and holing up for three days and talking to no one and emerging a productive, recharged butterfly with an empty to-do list. It's also a fact that my typing hours are limited sometimes because of joint pain, that sometimes I can go on five hours of sleep for three weeks and feel great but other times I need my eight hours and possibly a nap because I ruptured a cyst two nights ago and have been totally exhausted ever since, and that I can't be on my feet for a six hour retail shift without it knocking me out for the next four days. I am so, so lucky that I found passions and vocations that make this workable. I would never talk shit about my life. But it's really hard sometimes.

And with that, I digress: for four months I have a chance to do nothing but fundraise and create for Gadfly, to write and write and write, and to grow my business skill set and work to build my client roster so that those aspects of my life are not merely paying my bills but are allowing me to flourish, and in that flourishing help others find their voice and do the same. So this physical move that embodied so much symbolism for the full year ahead had a lot of emotion riding on it and put into it, and it went fine. I was a little disappointed by how chill it all felt. I've been to this house so many times, so leaving the crappy basement apartment Manny and I occupied longer than I've lived anywhere since early childhood was bittersweet, but the full impact of that hasn't hit me because the joy of friends like the ones who's house I'm staying in is that it just felt like going home. It's a good thing, but my emotions about it all are really complicated but also way more muted than I expected. I suspect this is frequently true for people in housing transition like this, but the complete quiet of it still took me by surprise.

 Some post-moving spoils.

Some post-moving spoils.

Then March happened in earnest, and my fucking Goddess did it happen in earnest. One goal for this year was to travel more and figure out how to make that a part of my life while still sustaining otherwise. I took a road trip to LA which you can read more about here, and I feel really good about how that fit into this year's goals and movement. I also got to catch up with some old friends, and that was significant to a year of movement for me. In the past I have had primarily unhealthy relationships where I just picked up and fled the friendship (or even the state in a few memorable instances) when it was time to "move on". This was usually the right call, but one thing catching up with great people reminded me is that when you're nurturing the right relationships in your life they get to move forward WITH you. You don't shed quality people, even if takes you awhile to realize your impact on each other and that's something I'm still learning and working on.

Then I came back from L.A. full of emotions, excitement, and exhaustion and everything else in my life hit the fan. In every aspect of my life. So while in January I prepped and planned for a year of movement, in February I physically moved, and for half of March I checked off a major goal, the latter half of March has left me with this huge question:

How do you keep moving forward when everything is falling apart?

And I don't know the answer yet, but I know I'm gonna figure it out. With Gadfly we've taken the tack of "okay, let's break down what's not working and rebuild." We're gonna pull our own Tower down and start over where some things are concerned while keeping the good stuff. That's not gonna work in my personal or emotional life though. In so many ways I don't want to get into I feel like a failure for the first time. I failed at some things this month, and that doesn't happen to me a lot. It brought every fear and insecurity boiling to the surface and I straight up shut down for a couple of days. In the grand scheme of things, two bad weeks mean nothing, but where I go from now is hugely important and I haven't made any decisions or taken any steps fully forward because I am scared of failing again. This is again totally new territory for me. It's always been my fear of success or of the unknown that have held me back, but this feeling of failure is brand new territory and I'm really baffled and upset by it.

And maybe that's the point. Maybe we can't move forward truly without some failures along the way. Maybe I'm supposed to be learning how to fail gracefully. Maybe I'm supposed to be learning to fail, period. I don't know. What I do know is I owe it to myself and the plethora of people who inexplicably believe in me to keep marching forward. So I will, somehow. I just don't really know what that looks like right now.

Until next time, Blessed be.

P.S. If you're super into queer art spaces existing, click here and help us out!

Mental Health as a Solopreneur

Hello all! As someone who lives with PTSD that largely manifests as anxiety, I've fallen head over heels in love with this series, running on one of my very favorite blogs in the world. It's about rocking that solopreneur life while dealing with chronic or mental illness, and it is fabulous. Check out the articles so far here, and here!

Oh, and my latest queering hit on thecolu.mn, so pop on over!

Higher quality blogging coming soon, I swear!