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 Tag: life

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!

I Did A Bunch of Scary Stuff Lately

I live with pretty severe anxiety, and on top of that while I'm not super pro self-diagnosis, I'm almost positive I have Avoidant Personality Disorder. Some of the specific things I'm afraid of include (but are definitely not limited to): queer girls who are cooler than me, speaking in front of people, talking out loud about shit I've been through, asking for things, asking for money, dealing with conflict, receiving even the most well-intentioned critical feedback, and telling people out loud that I'm setting boundaries. So it might seem weird that I've chosen not one, but three career tracks (Renaissance Soul for life!) that rely heavily on engaging audiences or clients, asking for tangible support from theoretical supporters, and speaking my truth. I've managed to carve out comfort zones within that though: asking via internet, delegation when that can't be done, and setting firm boundaries and post-scary-thing self-care modules.

March and early April were rough for me for a lot of reasons, but truth be told I've been through much harder times in my life. After taking some time for self-reflection I think what wore me out SO much was how much I pushed my own boundaries, which is a good thing, but without taking extra time and effort for self-care, which is not. After realizing this, I'm really proud of some of the things I did: I directly engaged with queer girls who are WAY cooler than me. I maintained some substantial professional relationships that in the immediate rely on me asking for prolonged favors. A project failed and I had to look my collaborators in the eye and ask why. And ultimately I ended up on stage doing a story-telling feature about getting my period all over a nice restaurant in a nearby affluent suburb.

Some of the lessons I took away from this seem so basic. "Just do the scary thing" is obviously the biggest one, and I used to be a lot better about that. At some point I had enough professional colleagues or close friends to delegate scary things too and enough successes I could achieve without digging TOO deep that I really had ended up in a very comfortable place. This is such an achievement in and of itself for someone who doesn't trust people and is afraid of both fear and success in and of themselves, and it was important for me to get to that safe place to know that I COULD get to safe places in my life. But I know more than anybody that if we sit complacent for too long, we stop succeeding. So it was also important for me to get OUT of that safe place and into scary-land again. I didn't take the impetus myself, and the universe forced my hand, but it did remind me of how much more confidently I used to approach such things. Doing the things that terrify me never crushed me quite like it did this time, even when they failed, and sometimes the lesson we're meant to be learning are not new to us.

I also learned something kind of horrible: there's no easy answer to overcoming anxiety enough to succeed. There isn't. At some point my fear of continued failure became worse than my fear of talking to people, and that's what pushed me towards the scary stuff. I think getting to that point IS the point. There is no quick fix or easy answer for something that requires prolonged therapy and possibly medication. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and feel like I fit in with hip lesbians or more successful WTFs. I'm not going to overcome my fear of criticism in a day, or by receiving positive feedback. I'm not going to conquer my all-consuming fear of failure simply by having it come true once and being okay. There aren't easy answers. Sometimes you just have to do the thing anyway. You have to reach as far inside of you as you can to summon enough strength to get through that hour, or evening, or even day. 

And know this: everyone is afraid, all the time. Nobody feels like they know what they're doing a majority of the time. Maybe that's depressing because that means dealing with fear doesn't get easier, but I choose to look at as comforting, because it means I'm not alone in my fears, ever. Yes, there are confident people, and yes, that sometimes includes me--but for me, my confidence is now coming from knowing that I am going to be okay no matter what, and knowing that the things I'm feeling are necessary for growth. It comes from knowing I am perfectly competent at the things I do, even if in the movement I'd rather disappear than do the scary thing. It comes from knowing I am loved, on the right life path, and usually have karma on my side--in other words, I do tons of spiritual work and am a good person well BEFORE I need to be confident in a moment. And, yes, as a part-Slytherin sometimes my confidence comes from knowing everyone around me is just as scared and there is no way all of our fears are justified.

And the thing I re-learned this time, with a vengeance, is that when you summon up the courage, or the energy to override ANY neuroatypical or trauma-based coding, you have to, have to, have to take care of yourself afterwards. After my story-telling feature two of my best friends took me out for a nice meal and a beer and listened to me just whine about how scary things were. It felt great. It also reminded me that after all of the other scary things I'd done in the previous three three weeks, I should've had a glass of wine, a hot tub, a good book, or even just a fucking pizza waiting for myself when I was done. Because taking care of yourself in the moment may be beyond your control, but if you nurture yourself before and after, you WILL keep doing the scary stuff, and it's not gonna drain you nearly as much.

I don't have all the answers. I'm just a queer, disabled solopreneur and artist trying to survive capitalism and help others do the same--but I think I'm starting to get a handle on keeping myself together, even when all I want to do is fall apart. I can say with certainty after this month that the scary things are worth doing--but you should definitely have a safe place to land in between.

Blessed be.