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: queer tarot

My Book is Coming! My Book is Coming!

As you likely now by now if you’re here reading my blog, I have a book called Queering the Tarot coming out on May 1st from Weiser/Red Wheel Publishing and y’all I am so so excited! Yesterday a big box of books showed up at my apartment and look. how. cute.

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This process has been so wonderful. I got to re-write my earlier columns which I was less proud of and explore the tarot as a whole—not just card by card. The final product is something I am truly excited about and proud of.

AND! The true reason for my post; it’s on hella sale on Amazon and a few other places. Pre-orders help new authors SO much. It’s what will convince Weiser to bring me back for more books and it certainly helps my always-struggling bottom line in the meantime. Grab your copy for chhheeeeaaaap right here.

I’ll have another post soon detailing my book events and the radio shows you can catch me on, plus my regular tarot and witch content is (hopefully!) coming back this April.

In the meantime, Blessed Be Y’all!

Cassandra

Wow this year really might end after all


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It is December 3rd which means this ridiculous year is actually coming to a close. I can’t even believe it. I want to believe it I do, but man, this year. It seems like every one step forward I took as a person, my body decided to push me back three. For every step forward we took as a society…well, you know. It’s hard to be a person right now. It’s hard to be a person with empathy, it’s hard to be a person with their own problems, it’s very hard to be a marginalized person.

A new year isn’t going to change that.

I’m not a naive “new age influencer” who wants you to banish your bad thoughts. Just the opposite in fact. As we think about closing 2018, we should lean in to our anger and our grief and our sadness. We should let ourselves feel however we want, need, or just DO feel. We should use this winter to think about all of the things we’ve lost and if we even want to regain them. We will all feel motivated and peppy to make plans at the start of the year. For now, we should let ourselves feel the feelings.

In letting myself grieve and be sad for losing basically a whole year, I have already started to feel better. See, psychologists think that if we let ourselves experience peak emotion, there’s nowhere to go but up. We don’t actually get stuck in the well of sadness or pain, we start seeing the light and finding our way out naturally. Choking things down leads to bigger blow-ups later, so you WANT to let yourself lose it in the moment.

As I am slowly turning a corner, I am starting to be grateful again. November was a better month than most and this is actually a pretty chipper end-of-month recap. I do these monthly when I’m blogging to remind myself of where I’ve been and hold myself accountable to my goals. I also do them because I really love personal blogging and personal checklists, so maybe you do too?

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Business News!

  • ICYMI: I released this Sex & Tarot E-Zine that I like a great deal. It’s over 20 pages of healing work, thoughts on sex and tarot, and spreads to empower your sex life. I’ve got some grounding exercises should you panic before or during sex, and some personal stories too. It’s just $13.99 and a great way to process your end-of-year dating feels.

  • My Patreon is off to a strong start! I do this thing community style so everyone gets the same access to my work. I release something on there weekly. This month that meant the next in my “Queering the Tarot” article series, a patron-only spread to tune directly in to your intuition, a Full Moon reading to help you zero in on your intentions for this moon cycle, and a Tip Sheet to help you assess your own relationship to tarot. In addition to this high quality, heart-all-in work, if you sign up by the end of the year you get a FREE workbook or e-zine in my shop around February! Plus I like, donate to charity and stuff.

  • Most exciting: my book has a sampler! Queering the Tarot comes out May 1st and in the meantime, you can read the first couple of sections here. Pre-ordering helps debut authors A LOT so if you wanna see me do more books, help me get there by snagging your copy ASAP!

  • I mostly read tarot at Eye of Horus this month, and I’m still there through December and beyond! Check me out if you’re in the Twin Cities!

  • It’s obviously the perfect time for a year ahead reading. These need a week plus of prep and write-up time, so if you want yours by end of year, now is the time to snag!

  • Finally, gift certificate sales are OPEN—but ONLY through 12/22! Buy your best friend a year ahead reading, your mom a short general e-mail reading, or bring your partner IN for a reading in January. E-mail snow.cassandra@gmail.com and I’ll get you all set up to give the gifts of magick and insight this year.

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Other Stuff I Did In November

  • Northern Lights Witch took a bunch of us up to her parent’s farm where I actually got to relax, sleep amongst creepy dolls (really!) and enjoy the food and company of her delightful parents and several of our close friends. Also a very cute dog and two very cute cats were there!

  • I did an escape room set in a “haunted house” for my good friend Troy’s birthday. That was election night and being trapped in a house unable to check my twitter feed incessantly was actually a huge relief!

  • I had the sweetest vegan feasting holiday with the same friends as the puzzle room, including a vegan wellington that my best friend made! It was amazing and divine.

Recommendations

Tarot Decks: I’m not sure why I waited so long to get a Wooden Tarot but having this animal-rich deck absent of people has been 100% delightful. The deck feels so good even when I’m just holding it in my hands.

Books: Again, not sure why I waited so long given how much I love her other work, but Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother hit realllly close to home in a really good, cathartic way. I also read Saga Vol. 9 and cried a lot. If you haven’t started Saga, now is as good a time as any! Finally I flew through Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment and it’s surprisingly relevant to today but in a way that is fun and relatable and won’t just remind you that you meant to spend today screaming into the abyss.

Movies & TV: Not gonna lie, all I care about from November is the She-Ra reboot.

Music: Cat Power’s Wanderer is what I have wanted and craved from her for so long. She’s back to haunting in this one. It’s wonderful. I’m also re-stuck on Brandi Carlile’s By The Way, I Forgive You album so if you need me I’ll just be over here crying about aging and life alongside it.

Internet:
I really loved this piece on Armenian diaspora and writing. Here’s a cuter, lighter piece about drag queens and the children’s books they love. This piece about how white supremacy, fatphobia, and colonialism are linked has been making the rounds for very good reason. Yes and Yes ran this piece that has me a little bit shaken up about my own life and habits. To end on: a really sweet piece about home and tarot.

That’s it for me this month! Please, please feel free to share some of your favorite moments from the month in the comments or on my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, especially if you have recommendations. (I love recommendations!)

Blessed be y’all!





Where I Am Now: January 2018

Hello all!

If you missed the social media announcements, you probably still figured out that I gave/am giving the blog a little hiatus. Some of it was because I really am not happy with the quality of work I was putting out. I really love the Multi-Passionate Diaries and I really love when I get personal about tarot and spirituality (IE my Reclaiming Hestia post). It's important to me to share links that say things I wish I'd said or are just neat, and important to keep myself accountable with end of month check ins. Everything else I just felt meh about. No inspiration, no drive to complete anything. So I am still on a little bit of a hiatus, but wanted to do a beginning of the year/big news/where to find me check in since there is a lot of buzz happening in my hive.

For starters...I got a book deal!

I'm so ecstatic to turn my Queering the Tarot series into a book, but that does mean things like blogging take a bit of a backburner. I suspect I will be much more present on my own blog once my draft is turned in. I have LOVED finishing up this series and working through re-writes. My book won't be out until early 2019, and I will certainly keep you posted about specific dates and other important info. In the meantime, you can always catch the latest article in the series here or here

I also just agreed to be the in house reader at my friend and client Dominique's website about managing bipolar disorder, Take Your Pills! I'll be doing a monthly reading to help you anticipate and handle any mental health quandries that come up throughout the year. There will be a mini interview and bio about me going up in the next couple of weeks, and then right around the first of every month, the reading will drop. I'm sooooo excited to give this series to those who need it. As someone with a laundry list of mental illnesses, this is an area I'm very well-versed in reading cards for and about, and I'm thrilled to share that side of my work with you all. Furthermore, Dominique's writing about self-care and her honesty about her own bipolar disorder are groundbreaking, and I'm THRILLED to be part of it.

That's my BIG news but there's some other cool stuff going on too. As you can see, I updated this website to show off some of the teaching and coaching adventures I've been getting into, as well as encourage other businesses, organizations, and individuals to bring me in to teach tarot or small business/solo entrepreneur/freelance skills. If you want to catch classes already slated, you can head down to The Future tonight for a Sex & Tarot class at 7 or sign up for Tarot 101 for Creatives in February. I LOVE these classes and I love this space, so 10/10 would recommend. You can also catch rare short readings from me at this beautiful, healing event (for queer women and non-binary people only) on the 20th. I adore reading for GirlPond events, and Northern Lights Witch will be reading also if you want ALL the queer readings. 

I am, of course, still reading tarot cards and witching it up all over the Twin Cities. I have in-person appointments available if you e-mail me or go through this website's contact form, or e-mail readings available here. I'm excited to start another year reading at The Eye of Horus too, where you can make even in-person appointments online. I'm also doing some really fulfilling arts journalism over at The Column still. I was so excited to talk about Bi-Lesque, a burlesque show of all bi+ performers most recently, and you'll see a piece about the Minneapolis Art Shanty Project soon too. 

My theatre company is working hard too--our March mainstage play is about trans identity and mental illness and how they overlap. I'm "just" producing and so happy to see my genderqueer business partner work with an all trans and genderqueer cast for this. To raise money for it, Sober Queer History is happening at Steamship Coffee in Minneapolis on January 28th, so if you love queer art, come on down. If you want to support queer art but don't live here or that date doesn't work, check out our GiveMN which allows your donation to be tax deductible. 

Things I'm still looking for this year:

  • A regular tarot or witchcraft column at a major publication (online or in print).
  • More teaching opportunities!
  • Storytelling, other big writing gigs, and miscellaneous arts, writing, and witchy gigs. 
  • Cheap adventures! (Or enough money to do regular adventures!) 
  • Obviously more Gadfly Theatre donors and audience.

If you've got any idea or thoughts about any of that or have a gig to offer, let me know. I set a lot of big intentions for the year PLUS I already know I have a book getting ready for publication so I'm in for an exciting year and a half no matter what. I'd love to amplify that with more of the work that makes my heart sing though, so here's my open call to speak with me about any appropriate opportunities.

Before I go, here's some quick recommendations of things I've read/seen/gotten into lately:

  • Books: My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emily Ferris. Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. 
  • Movies: The Shape of Water. Ladybird (Yes, I'm among the millions who loved it)Coco. And of course The Last Jedi. This is actually one of my favorite Star Wars movies of all times. 
  • Decks: My Next World Tarot by Christy C. Road is one of the only things in the world I really, truly care about at this moment in time. 
  • Miscellaneous: I got a SodaStream for secular Christmas and honestly it's such a game changer. I like putting lemonade (which is usually WAY too sweet AND too sour for me) into it with just a small splash of simple syrup. I'm obsessed. It's one of the only other things I care about in the world, truly. Other things that have delighted me lately include the card game Bears Vs. Babies and watching House Hunters International on Hulu and daydreaming about other lives I could live if I really wanted to. 

That's basically it, y'all! This is where I've been and what I've been working on. I'm so grateful you all came along with me in 2017, and am even happier to have a great 2018 full of whimsy, witchcraft, and art with you. To keep up while the blog is on semi-hiatus, check out my Instagram for (almost) daily promotional readings, my Facebook or Twitter for real time updates on where to find me, and my newsletter which sometimes has exclusive offerings and free monthly readings. To support this blog or any of the other tarot or writing I do for free, here's my PayPal.me link.

Until next time then, Blessed be!

That's A Wrap on June!

Happy July, friends!

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This June we saw Litha, a summer Sabbat best used for thanks and resets. My closest friends and I did a simple spell with roses, the lake, and our deepest wishes. The lake was as wonderful as she should be and the city's reflection reminded us we were home. That is my place to reset: a large body of water, still night air, and lots of thanks to give. Before we made our wishes we thanked our dieties and spiritual energies for the gifts we already had that would enable this next phase of our lives. I am so grateful for my friends and loved ones, my own love of love, my work ethic, my careers, and my magick and gods themselves. I needed room and time for thanks as much as I needed the clarity or the energetic reset. One of my friends bought the most beautiful light purple roses to make our wishes on, and we watched them float away in the water as we breathed in hope and renewal. It was perfect for anytime, but the best Litha I think I've ever had.

So...what else was I up to this June? Uh...kind of a lot.

Tarot Stuffs!

  • As mentioned in my last end-of-month post, I have not one, but THREE classes lined up for August and September at various venues! I can officially reveal that on August 17th, I will be revamping my Queering the Tarot class at The Future, a really quirky, unique, very Minneapolis witch store and event center. You can reserve your seat here. I'm pumped. The OTHER two classes will both be...Sex & Tarot! I'm so excited to take my joyfully slutty view of the tarot and teach others to read that way. I'm premiering this one at The Smitten Kitten on August 20th (and then moving it to the Future). It's FREE at the Kitten, so definitely save the date!!!

  • I'm still at the Eye of Horus from 11:30-6 on Sundays and 3-9 on Wednesdays. I've been so happy (and busy) the past couple of months, so I'm strongly suggesting appointments if that's where you prefer to read for me.

  • If you prefer coming through just my business, that's great too! I'm reading Thurs-Sunday 1-6 P.M. And Monday 1-6 P.M. Or, and the reason I'm writing this when it's clearly visible elsewhere on my site, is that I've been working hard to promote my e-mail reading service and I've been doing some really wonderful readings that way. E-mail snow.cassandra@gmail.com if you're interested.

Things I Wrote

  • My review of the radical Urban Tarot by Robin Scott is up at Little Red Tarot. I got some great feedback from the deck creator herself and am so tickled with this deck. If you go back a little deeper on the site, you can also get some Queering the Tarot action.

  • Over at Thecolu.mn I'm still covering Queer Arts Must Sees in Minneapolis, giving a needed spotlight to worthy artists, and advancing the Queering the Tarot series.

  • Right here on my own blog I wrote another handy, easy tip for learning tarot and let my friend Abbie from Northern Lights Witch take over my Multi-Passion Diaries for the month.

Theatre Life

Photo courtesy of Jessi Hiemer/ @gluestickgeek on Instagram

Photo courtesy of Jessi Hiemer/ @gluestickgeek on Instagram

Okay, so this is where most of my life got away from me this month. In fact, it doesn't even deserve separate bullet points because it was a wild ride where Gadfly was concerned and it's all connected. First, we DID very successfully open and close our annual one-act festival. My play was HILARIOUS, and I'm so proud of everyone's work. The tech week process though? Kinda rough tbh. Our air conditioner broke, we had an actor just straight up not show up for tech rehearsals, and we were tech-ing six shows, some of them fairly artsy, with only a week to do it. You know, with no A.C. And a missing actor. Yet the festival was marvelous, all actors were accounted for during performance, and we closed on a very full, happy audience. Then...as a company, we made a tough, sudden decision. We had applied for several major grants for placemaking, and when they all failed to come through, we decided to let the lease on our art gallery run out instead of battling with another rent increase while still having a non-accessible restroom. This decision also meant a very, very fast turnaround to get out, and basically I've spent the last week cleaning an art gallery. This has been a really emotional turn and change in my life. A very good friend used to run the space, and we took over her lease. It's been queer run for six years. It's been magic this whole time. I met my current closest group of friends there. I fell in and out of love incredibly hard each way in this gallery. I created some of the best work of my life. I made some of the most important, notable connections of my personal and professional life in this gallery. It was a heartbreaking decision that we didn't take lightly. I am hopeful for these next steps. We ended on an incredibly high note. The support as we close up the gallery has been almost overwhelming. My business partner and I are more platonically in love than ever before. We will find a new space--the right space, in the right time. In the meantime? Well, season announcements are coming soon and it's going to be a breathtaking season of queer, feminist art. It's going to be one of our most rad seasons to date, and I'm antsy to reveal info soon...not immediately, but soon.

Recommendations

  • Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times is the first book in a long time that took me a long time to finish because I wanted to ruminate and absorb it in a way that was as unique as the book is. I can not recommend it enough to activists who love good prose.

  • J. Selby's in St. Paul has some of the best vegan food I have ever had in my life. I do eat mostly vegan, but this was truly special. Half comfort food, half gourmet, all delicious.

  • Manny and I dealt with our moving day blues for the Gallery by heading to Daddy: A Queer Variety Show and Dance Night, expecting friends and fun. We got those things, but it was also one of the most affirming, queer, warm spaces we've been in in a long time. Normally one of us likes an event more than the other, but we both felt totally at home and totally enthralled. They're doing it again on Thursday, August 10th at the Icehouse. It's so good. Don't miss it if you're a Twin Cities queer!

Other Shenanigans

  • My queerplatonic partner and I reached total queerplatonic partner peak this month as we spent our weekly date night on a beach eating pizza and laughing about all the bad sex we've each had with romantic and sexual partners. After a sad day of starting the gallery exit, it was the best thing we could've done for ourselves. Whoever you love or need the most right now, grab a pizza and a beach and hunker down for the night. You'll be transformed.

  • Northern Spark, Stone Arch Festival, and in spite of my issues with it this year, Pride all provided what I needed at the time: bonding with friends I already love, some quality solo time, and connecting with people from my community I hadn't seen in awhile, in respective order.

  • My darling friend Kate who runs the 318 Cafe did a really sweet gig for charity where she sang with her husband, and then several of our friends joined in for a few songs, and eventually her youngest child took the stage and blew us away with her voice and ukulele skills. It was music and love and giggles all around.

  • Goose teenagers at the park. Goose. Teenagers. At. The. Park. I was in love. Until they all started heading towards me at once and then I was kind of scared. But still in love.

That's a wrap for me on a wild, somewhat unpredictable but ultimately beautiful month. This July I'm dog-sitting for a week, then my AMAZING sister is coming down for a week, and in the meantime I've got pieces to write, cards to read, and art to get set on dates and locations. I'm ending the month like I started it: bursting with love and gratitude.

Blessed be, y'all!

    We Are All Fledglings Now

    Some of this you've already seen if you follow me on Instagram, but as I continue on my path learning the Slow Holler tarot, and as things around us seemingly dissolve into Chaos, I am pulling the Fledgling much more than I ever pull the Fool, and much more than I did when I first got the deck.

    First though, about the Slow Holler: this is a deeply spiritual tarot deck, rooted in Southern and queer identity, and I've truly relished my time getting to know it. It was collaboratively drawn and written by several different artists, and it takes me right back to my early days of tarot and witchery when there was this constant sense of spiritual power right underneath my feet. It's also deeply concerned and enlightening regarding two other things that have shaped the very core of who I am: trauma, and the fight for the collective. Grab your copy here. It's so, so worth it.

    As this card starting coming up with unusual frequency for me, my initial thoughts were as such: the Fledgling is the Slow Holler's take on the classic Fool card, but a fledgling is not the same as a fool. They are both starting journeys, but whereas the Fool's optimism comes from a sense of naivety or a childlike fearlessness, the Fledgling's cautious optimism comes because they know that while now is a time for bravery, it doesn't mean you won't fail. It simply means you will find your feet again if you do and grow from there. The Fledgling does a lot more feeling for firm ground and a lot less running towards cliffs, but they still charge ahead into the unknown. The Fool is starting a journey and the Fledgling is starting something more. We don't know what yet. The Fledgling doesn't know what yet. But as the events of this week plunge us equally into determination and uncertainty, there is no clearer metaphor for the role of an activist right now. You will flounder, and you will not be sure, and you may lose. But you will regroup, and you will get your land legs back, and you will do great things again.

    It feels like the lessons of the Fledgling were clear to me. Take chances. I am learning the lay of a new land, so be careful, but be brave. The card keeps coming up and keeps coming back to me though, and today as I pulled it even for my daily draw on my Instagram it finally hit me. The world at large is the priority right now, but it's not the only thing that exists. Our microcosms are still here, supporting us, loving us, empowering us. Yet in our daily lives, we still hold back. If there was ever a time to not though--this is it. What if instead of keeping your creative power tightly wrapped around your intellect you completely unfurled it and let it take over your current project? What if instead of finishing your routine to-do list you took two days a week to scrap it to work the big, scary projects instead? What if instead of keeping our heart so tightly in your chest you said "screw what everyone else thinks," ripped it out and let it bleed your power and love all over everyone you care about? We don't know what tomorrow's going to look like anymore--and maybe there's a lesson here in how we never really did. So why wait? Why hold back? Why sit and wonder and wish instead of doing? We are coming back from marches and meetings so on fire--use that. Use it. Use it. Use it.

    The Fledgling wants us to be an activist, an advocate, an ally, to be as queer and brazen as we have it in us to be right now, but everyone I know is doing that. I have seen an outpour of collective action that I never anticipated, people who argued with me about marches inviting me to them now, and that's amazing. That's wonderful.  The Fledgling has more to say though, because this is a new world, and everything we know is upside down. Yet, for now, at least, life still goes on. What does it mean to work and create in this new world? And my god, can you imagine what love could be in this new world? The Fledgling is screaming at us to let go, let loose, right now, and find out. Because if we let go and spread these wings we think are so small, we just might find out how close we are to flying.

    Blessed be.

    Tangled Roots Oracle Gets AMAZING Update

    Hello all! This post is so long overdue, and I'm happy to finally be sitting down and writing it. Some of you may remember back in April, I reviewed the first run of a friend's deck, and while I overall loved it (and it's the only Oracle deck I use regularly), I had some issues with one card--the Commitment card. To recap, the deck we're discussing is an incredible independent Oracle deck by Leora Effinger-Weintraub, called the Tangled Roots Oracle. The deck was created in the spirit of Leora's own spiritual tradition--the ecstatic tradition of the Upper Mississippi River Reclaiming community in Minnesota, USA., and while my own practice is incredibly eclectic, I responded very deeply to the deck's Earth based roots that still leave room for the very human experience of well, being human.

    However, the original commitment card in the Tangled Oracle gave me cause for pause. While I myself am monogamous (mostly) and future-family minded, the rad queer in me had a lot of trouble accepting two wedding rings as a sign of commitment. I felt, and still feel, that that can be isolating for a lot of poly people, LGBTQ+ people, and even just Pagans who prefer handfasting or unique tradition to gold rings so often assumed to belong in heterosexual wedding scenarios, and in a deck so rooted in paganism and universality I felt it was particularly jarring.

    Well, after hearing this feedback and taking some time to think about their own life and commitments, Leora updated their already spectacular Oracle deck, and this is the updated Commitment card:

    When Leora's spouse handed me my copy of the updated card, something moved in me, very similar to the feeling most of the cards in this deck give me when I pull them, and I was thrilled when Leora had this to say about the update online: "The "Three Sisters" companion planting of corn, bean, and squash shows how multiple beings can grow together, supporting and nourishing each other. I honor all relationships: friendships, couples, open relationships, committed polyamory.... All the ways our commitment supports each other."

    See, if you get readings from me, I am very likely to use gardening metaphors. Planting, harvesting, waiting, weeding, these are all crucial elements of most things in life, and this metaphor for all types of relationships struck the exact right chord. Furthermore, this card's very re-creation in this manner displays the themes at play in the card itself. In my critique, for example, I honored my commitment to honesty in relationships, and my commitment to my relationships as a result. In being so honest in my feedback, I displayed my commitment to better, more honest, more personal divination, as well as to Leora as a creator and friend who I knew could come up with something brilliant in lieu of the traditional wedding rings. In considering my feedback so heavily and creating such a card, Leora showed a commitment to their deck, our friendship, and their current art fans to keep pushing and creating things that represented the communities they're a part of. They showed a commitment to the Pagan community, the queer community, and the world at large to think outside the box.

    With this update, this deck is a solid 10/10 for even skeptical Oracle deck users. The way the cards work together represent the Three Sisters plants growing in and of themself, and more than that, so many people are still living in the dark, terrified after last Tuesday. What better time to show your commitment to your friends, family, community--what better time to acknowledge that commitment isn't a one time gesture of generosity, but a lifetime of following that initial planting with maintenance and with cycles of death and rebirth and trust that no matter what happens, the things we've planted will grow again. This is a post I should've written a couple of months ago--but with everything that's happened recently, there is likely no better time to praise and honor the commitments my friends and I have made to each other. This card is breathtaking, and I hope everyone reading takes time to think about all the "Three Sisters" relationships in their life and how to use this card's lessons to honor and nurture them moving forward.

    Again, you can check out Leora's deck here and grab your own. Thank you so much to the Effinger-Weintraub's and their commitment to our artsy, nerdy, Pagan friendship, and to Leora for creating such a beautiful deck.

    Until next time, dear readers, 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!

    Heart and Hands Tarot--Support Now!

    Good Afternoon all! I once again feel myself compelled to apologize for a lack of posts but I'm excited to be back, and SO excited to be writing a tarot deck in the works. Liz Blackbird contacted me about her upcoming Heart and Hands Tarot and the IndieGoGo making it all possible. I'm always happy to support queer creators, and I was additionally intrigued by the black and white art. As I watched the video on the campaign's page, I was moved by the unspoken but strong healing energy that went into the deck. I responded and told Liz I was eager to learn more. Here's our Q&A and some info about how you can support this great deck:

    Tell us about yourself, first!
    My name is Liz Blackbird (she/her/hers). I’m a visual artist, fiction writer, and poet currently based in Brooklyn, but I’m about to move to Ohio to pursue an MFA in creative writing. I’m originally from Michigan, so this will be a bit of a homecoming!

    Prior to printing this deck, what was your relationship to tarot?
    I’ve been interested in tarot since I was a teenager. I grew up in the suburbs of Flint in the 90s and generally felt a little unsatisfied with the environment around me, like it was kind of a bad fit, like there had to be something better out there. So I think I was predisposed to be attracted to all things magical. I was not raised religious, but my mother’s family was Catholic and evangelical Christianity was a strong (and often oppressive) force many of my friends’ lives, so I’ve also always been resistant to organized religion. A lot of my friends at that time felt similarly and were exploring wicca, neopaganism, and other more open-ended spiritual practices, and I initially learned about tarot through them. Many of us would ultimately come out as queer, and I think that had a lot to do with those initial feelings of discomfort with the status quo and the “bad fit” it seemed to be for us that led us to seek alternative spiritual paths in the first place.

    The tarot attracted me as an artist, because I love the way its meanings are conveyed visually through mysterious and evocative images. It also nested nicely with my general agnosticism – whether or not I believe that I am being guided by supernatural forces, I can still trust that what I “read” in the tarot represents my truth on some level, even if it’s just tapping into something I already know about a situation but have been afraid to admit to myself, or giving me a framework to think about a situation in a different way. I generally only read for myself or close friends, so I’m usually pretty intimately acquainted with the lives of people I read for.

    What stands out about the Heart and Hands deck? Why did you want to create this deck specifically?
    The genesis of this deck was different than most, because it initially began not as a commercial endeavor, but as a personal project that I undertook to help me develop a new artistic direction at a time when I was feeling a little blocked. I had decided not to focus on studio art in college, and was regretting that decision a little bit. I had a really inspiring art professor at the time, Jyung Mee Park at the Maryland Institute College of Art, who essentially told me not to force it, that your art should stem from something you do naturally. In my sketchbooks, I had been doing a lot of casual black-and-white free-associative drawing, so I decided to try to take on a project in that style to see where I could go with it. I was already interested in tarot but didn’t feel that my knowledge of the cards’ meanings was very strong, so I decided to try designing my own deck to both stimulate my creativity and get to know the cards better. This, of course, turned out to be a much bigger project than I expected! It took me ten years to complete the illustrations. Though I had initially expected the project to remain private, as the years went by, so many of my friends saw my drawings and asked about how to get a copy of the deck that I decided I had to print it. I named it the Heart & Hands Tarot as a reminder of the power of our hearts to dream new possibilities and our hands to put those dreams into practice.

    Ultimately, I think the black-and-white illustration style I developed is very unique and makes the deck stand out. I also think that my intention to enact a kind of creative “rebirth” through creating these cards really permeates the deck and comes through in the lushness and exuberance of the drawings. I also tried to create images that communicate the meanings of the cards in a direct and relatable way without requiring prior knowledge of other fields, like astrology and Kabbalah. But in general, I think my slow and meditative composition process—the fact that I didn’t force it—is what makes this deck special.

    How does your deck speak to marginalized and queer audiences?
    Because I identify as queer, and because queerness was so bound up in the way I first became interested in tarot, I tried to design this deck in a way that that avoided presuming heterosexuality or a male perspective, and that included people of color. Many of my figures, especially my Lovers, are very androgynous, and my number cards are all zoomed in to depict only the figures’ hands to avoid ascribing them a fixed identity. For my court cards, I chose to use a Prince and Princess rather than a Knight and Page to have gender equity within the court. There are also two major arcana cards that depict genderqueer figures – Justice and the World. In general, I wanted to create space in the designs for readers to be able to ascribe their own gender and sexuality interpretations to the cards.

    Another big element of my work is in helping people heal so they can get to the part where they can be inspired and empowered. How does your deck speak to the healing process?
    I think that in a lot of ways, creating this deck was a form of shadow work. Being a visual artist was a strong part of my identity as a teen, but because I did not focus on studio art in college, I found it harder and harder to maintain a creative practice in my 20s. Working on this deck was a big part of what kept me connected to that creative part of myself even as I was trying to make a living in other fields. Also, because the tarot is, among other things, a compendium of archetypal personalities, situations, concepts, and developmental states that we might experience throughout the life cycle, I found that working on parts of the deck that corresponded to issues I was dealing with in my life at the time was a great way to think through those issues in a broader, more distanced, more insightful way. 

    Thank you so much for taking time to tell me more about this wonderful new addition to the tarot canon. How can we find out more or support you?
    I’m currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to print the deck, so please visit my campaign page to support the project and to check out the "perks" (including copies of the deck) available for donating. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/heart-hands-tarot-deck/x/14290775#/ The campaign will be live until August 14th! I'm also launching an Etsy shop, ThirteenWaysToLook, so that I can make the deck available there after the campaign ends. It should be active by the winter of this year.

    Thanks so much to all of you, especially Liz. Now, go support indie decks!

    Blessed Be.

    Quickie Relationship/Crush/Friendship Check In

    Relationships are tough, but so much of the advice I give ends up advising people AGAINST overanalyzing and thinking things to death. There are several spreads to check in with various relationships that are 7-10 cards (or more), but often what "solves" the problem is a quick, sudden insight, so I designed a simple, four card spread instead. This way if the issue is a simple one of communication, insecurity, or decision-making, we trust our intuition and cut to the heart of the matter. It looks like this:

    Lay down the spread in this order: 1) Your left, 2) your right, 3)center top, 4)center bottom

    Lay down the spread in this order: 1) Your left, 2) your right, 3)center top, 4)center bottom

    The spread is so simple, as promised. The two on the sides represent where each party is in general in their lives. The one on your left is YOU and where you are right now in life. The one on your right is where the other party you're inquiring about is. This placement is important even when dealing with a soul mate, twin sister, or someone you're building a life with, you are still dealing with two individuals, and advising as if you are one entity can do more harm than good and open the doors to co-dependence and a host of other not-helpful behaviors. In addition to showing where each party is, the sides also show what aspects of yourself, your identity, and your individuality you are bringing into the relationship the strongest, for better or worse.

    The card on top is where the relationship is currently headed. This is the outcome if nothing changes. If it's a positive outcome, then sometimes knowing things are ending up well is enough to pull us through the slump. If not, then we use our final card, which is our card of advice, to turn the energy back to the way it's supposed to be, or to cope and communicate effectively to stay on track. If the current outcome is NOT desirable, then that advice card is obviously about how to turn it around to get a different result, or how to cope if the reading shows the relationship really shouldn't continue.

    It should go without saying, but just in case, this spread can be used in ANY kind of relationship--if you're fighting with a parent, a boss, or a friend, it is every bit as effective. I've done several test runs, and it works out as often as my other favorites.

    Enjoy, and please report back if you have any feedback or ideas.

    Blessed be!

    Vacations, Birthdays, Theatre, and Pups!

    2016 has not started subtly or slowly for most of us; I hit the ground running and my March is not slowing down. I like to check in with you guys and myself every month just to remember where I've been and see where I'm going. This month my "what I've been up to" is pretty simple, everything is just big. SO here are the adventures February took me on:

    • Falling more in love with my steady tarot gig and steady writing gigs every day.
    • A birthday trip to Duluth chronicled here
    • I performed at Patrick's Cabaret--this put me back on stage (flying in the face of anxiety) to a very successful end. This was really hard for me, but something it really felt like time to do. I'm so grateful I did it and so excited to take on more opportunities where I'm creating outside of my company.
    • Speaking of my company, which is still my favorite thing in the world, we have an IndieGoGo campaign happening HERE and you know what? We're off to a slow start but we are raising money for a space where queer art can thrive--not only our own but other low-income LGBTQ+ or marginalized female's art as well so I know it's gonna take off as more press catches wind (we already have a great write-up here). We're also doing a spectacular 3-day celebration of queer art at Lush. Tickets are on sale now! They're the ones labeled "One Night Stands" on the 17th, 18th, and 20th, So grab 'em! AND finally, we're scheduling director interview and actor auditions now so if you're a theatre person rocking the Twin Cities, hit me up!
    • AND FINALLY, I moved in with the cute little dude pictured below. Don't worry--the queerplatonic partner and my beloved feline friends came with. We're staying here for four months so I can focus on YOU--my clients and readership, my writing overall, and of course my theatre work while saving up for other big life plans in the coming years. The dog, Parker, has two dads who are some of my favorite people on the planet and a super-cute couple--but one is stationed in LA getting some film work, and the other is on an academic sabbatical in Italy, so we get to invade their townhome and get our ducks in a row for a bit and take care of Parker for them.
    Parker the pup is pretty happy we're here, in spite of the chaos that led up to us landing here.

    Parker the pup is pretty happy we're here, in spite of the chaos that led up to us landing here.

    I pick a power word and sentence/mantra every year, and my mantra came late to me this time, but I've always known this year was meant to be guided by MOVEMENT, embodying the ideals of The Chariot tarot card, and between travel, hopping back on stage, and physically moving my home I'd say I'm definitely meeting that goal. I'm really happy with how things are going, and really excited for a March full of travel, tarot, art, and animals as well.

    And that's it! That's where I've been when I wasn't here! I'd love to hear where your tarot (or other) lives took you all this month. I also want to recommend jumping on the Little Red Tarot bandwagon if you haven't. Beth's work is incredible, and now she's pulled on some amazing collaborators to help make this site I'm so proud to have a small place at even better.

    Until then, Blessed Be!

    My Birthday Wishes

    I didn't have candles to blow out this year (which is A-ok by me. 31 + 1 for luck seems like a fire hazard), but I still did my annual birthday reading and intention setting, of course. (I also went to Duluth, so enjoy some silly pictures interspersed to keep things interesting.) In addition to a ton of personal stuff, here is what I'm putting out in the world that I want to percolate on and manifest by the time I'm 32 (and how you can help me with one big dream!) :

    • This sounds so wild and out there--but I'd really like to at least be in talks about a book deal for my Queering the Tarot concept and columns.
    • A nice three-bedroom space for me and the queerplatonic partner to sprawl out in, and that can more easily accommodate for both of us manifesting adult relationships and other family dreams we have.
    • More road trips and travel in general--which I'm kicking off with a trip to LA in March!
    • AND speaking of space, my wonderful queer, feminist theatre company, Gadfly Theatre Productions is looking for a small found space that we can turn into a 70ish seat, adaptable space for not only our own work but other queer art and art by marginalized women to thrive. We have an IndieGoGo campaign ready to go here. We're off to a bit of a slow start but have plenty of time so I know we'll get there. Still, every little bit helps, and if we meet our push goals after the $7,000 we can start discounting rentals for other artists besides what's already in our business plan, creating a truly low-cost space to create in. I am so passionate about and excited to actually enter a phase where we can share a valuable resource AND root our own work so people know where to come for radical, patriarchy-smashing queer art.
    Look, it's Duluth! One of my favorite places in this entire world. Lake Superior is so soothing and restorative, and there are very few places I would have rather been on my birthday.

    Look, it's Duluth! One of my favorite places in this entire world. Lake Superior is so soothing and restorative, and there are very few places I would have rather been on my birthday.

    Beyond these four (BIG) goals, I just want to constantly be moving forward in my life right now. Last year was a huge year for personal emotional and spiritual growth. Now I want to take that into a year of action where my dreams morph into tangible goals. The Chariot card and the word "Movement"are what I'm holding in my heart for 2016. However, two days before my 31st birthday I was reading this amazing book, and there was a David Mura quote in the beginning:

    Sometimes, you’re so busy surviving, you forget you already have.
    — David Mura

    I've had a ROUGH life. I don't say that to garner any sympathy, but so people understand that every single thing I do, every facet on my life, is built on the idea of surviving. I do just enough to get by, because building and growing has never seemed like an option. What if I need to pick up and run again, after all? Well after seven years in a city I love, six years running a theatre company that is the love of my life, a metaphysical store and a ton of clients supporting my tarot business, a writing job I wake up every day excited about, and a truly supportive "squad", I'm done being ready to pack up and go at a moment's notice. I have survived, and I am here to stay and make my mark in this world. (Besides, where else would I go that has this many quality coffee shops I can walk to in any given neighborhood?) I want to move forward, not away. I want to grow taller, not apart. I want to thrive, and for the first time in my life I see that as a possibility. I'm going to become more visible, and that terrifies me...

    But never publishing my writing on a large scale? Never being a name in the theatre world at large? Never trusting and fully forming the non-traditional queer-as-can-be family I've always dreamed of? Those things terrify me way more, and those things deserve for my 31st year on this Earth to be one of moving towards them. 

    Blessed be (and happy birthday to me!)

    January is Over!

    Tongue in cheek as it was, I recently blogged about getting off to a rough start on this blog. I adore having my own personal corner of the internet, different from social media, but truth be told this was a pretty brutal month for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Just as I was recovering from a really gross, painful PCOS issue, I got the sinus infection from hell. As soon as I recovered from that, a bunch of personal stuff hit the fan (everyone's fine...now.) I ended the month getting in a minor car wreck on the way to event, hearing that someone I used to be very, very close with passed away, and with my least favorite server at a diner I frequent just to add insult to injury. Still, a lot of GREAT things happened this month too:

    ~I joined the cast of Patrick's Cabaret's next show, My Horrifying Love Life. I have a dream team cast and we're doing 7 plays in 15 minutes. Our show is called "Go Home, Aphrodite, You're Drunk," and we are "equally inspired by the hyper-realism of the theatre movement started by the Neo-Futurists and the complete and utter absurdity of the gay and lesbian channel on Netflix."
    ~Wrote some art reviews and about tarot here, and about tarot here.
    ~Secured really top-notch talent for Gadfly's Three-Day Celebration of Queer Art in March.
    ~Was a clue in a scavenger hunt!
    ~And of course, read for a lot of really wonderful clients. I actually added a few new probable regulars which is always the best feeling to know you've really connected with someone.

    In my theoretical downtime I've been reading tons of graphic novels (read The Woods series, it's so good!), getting the queerplatonic partner caught up on The X-Files, and seeing a lot of really great theatre and art. I also had adult dreamsicle floats, entertained an out of town friend by playing Superfight, and spent way too much money at a steampunk coffee shop. The best books I read where I am Princess X by Cherie Priest which is a YA novel that was so not what I expected and so, so very good, and Portia de Rossi's Unbearable Lightness which almost broke me.

    I have a very hectic, amazing February planned. I'm moving out of my cute little hobbit hole in Uptown Minneapolis and into a lovely split level townhouse in Whittier where I am dog-sitting for four months at the very end. My birthday is the 19th. (Don't let the cusp fool you. I could not be more of a Pisces,) and I have the Patrick's show the 12th and 13th. My client hours will stay relatively the same:

    Eye of Horus Monday and Wednesday evenings
    By appointment or email, 2-7 usually, Thurs-Sun

    Appointments outside of Eye of Horus are payment due in advance, as are email readings. As for this blog, I've got an oracle deck to review, and some surprises up my sleeve, so definitely stay tuned!

    Until then, Blessed Be.


     

    Photo by http://www.melissahessephotography.com/

    Photo by http://www.melissahessephotography.com/


    "All We Are Is Our Stories"

    This is something the flawless Desiree Burch said during Nerdcon in the fall, and it is a sentence that haunts me and comes back over and over again. It grows deeper every time--when it was stated, Desiree was giving a speech on why stories matter, and basically said that stories matter because we matter, and all we are once we leave this plane is the stories we leave behind. That is such a stunning and beautiful concept, such an impetus to speak your truth. Then this kept showing up in my readings.

    This is the card "History," a special card added into The Tarot of the Silicon Dawn by Egypt Urnash. You can see an in-depth review of this card (that I did not write) here. It is devilishly queer and the extra cards are so wonderful and perfect add-ons for my life. This History card is starting to get under my skin as I grow and evolve, and keeps showing up in readings to really push the point home.

    I've had a rough life, you guys. I make no secret of this, but I don't harp on it either. It is what it is, and I like to think that in spite of a rough upbringing, several chronic illnesses, and the reasons behind my PTSD and severe social anxiety disorder I am learning to move and thrive, and I am. I so am. The past year was so wild and I remembered how much potential and promise I truly have. Still there is something holding me back at times, and it is that voice that sounds like everyone who didn't believe me, everyone who hurt me, everyone who thought they were better and tried to oppress me. I have grown leaps and bounds, and still this card keeps showing up.

    This card, you see, is about what we make of our history. It's about the stories we tell ourselves about our histories, and therefore our futures. In the card we see our figure bound by their words, bound by their stories, bound by their history, but this is not a card about how great bondage is. (Those cards are in this deck though, don't you worry ;) ) This is a card about how crucial moving forward is, but it exists to remind us we can not move on until we take control of our stories. This card tells us we can rewrite them, and we can rewrite their ending, and that we have too. We have to write our history in a way that we are empowered and we come out the victors in the end. We have to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves if those stories put us down and reinforce our insecurities, we just have too. We deserve stories where we persevered and we are so powerful. We deserve stories where we win. We deserve stories where we recognize that the story isn't over and anything can happen. We deserve empowering stories.

    Because all we are, after all, is our stories, and we can't leave marvelous tales of wonder to the world when we just keep telling ourselves the same old horror stories.

     

    Yule is Coming!

    Both Yule and Secular Christmas are very happy times for me, and we'll get to the latter shortly. For those who don't know, Yule is a Pagan celebration and depending on who you ask it can mean several different things. Common elements, and what I celebrate have to do with rebirth, returning to the starting point, the promise of coming light, and storing your harvest for the winter. As such, I created this rad Yule tarot spread for you all! Don't worry if you can't read my writing. I'll go through it all underneath.

    The Spread is four cards, and you can use any layout you want but this one really shouldn't require anything fancy. Before I share spreads, I go through them several times to make sure it works out and the flow is right, and I had the best readings when I just did the four cards in a straight line. The four cards laid out should be read in order of how you read them, with the placements meaning:

    1) What should my Yule focus be? By this we mean how should you focus and direct your energy on this day. For those of us who do ritual, what should that ritual be about? For those who just meditate and think a lot of things through throughout the day, what should you be thinking about?

    2) What parts of me need to be reborn? In other words, which parts of ourselves should be transforming and changing or looked at totally differently this season?

    3) What should I do to plan and store for my future? (Pretty straightforward)

    4) How can I use the energy and lessons of this Yule to increase my happiness moving forward?

    Below is a sample reading. Please note that while I do occasionally share public readings, this one is just a sample. Do not take it as a reading meant for you, me, or anyone else. It was done with my Tarot of the Silicon Dawn by Egypt Urnash.

    Here we see the four cards laid out in a straight-ish line. We have the Chariot, the Five of Swords, the Queen of Pentacles, and the Two of Swords. As a reader the first thing I do is look at everything all together. What are my big messages this Yule? In this sample, we have Two Swords and the Chariot, all of which have elements of pain or moving on from it. Perseverance is a concurrent thread, or lack of it as the case may be. I'll note which colors or symbols stand out to me and if I think that means anything. Then I make note (mental or otherwise) of those things and look at the placements and cards individually.

    1) What should my Yule focus be? With the Chariot here most likely my spiritual energy is best spent pursuing and going deeper with ongoing spiritual work, and based on the interpretation in this deck, connecting with my body and putting the various pieces of my life into something streamlined.

    2) What parts of me need to be reborn? With the 5 of Swords, the parts I'm looking at rebirthing or transforming are the parts of me that are getting trapped by past pain or current fears. So I'd spend some time journaling and thinking about what that rebirth looks like. Do I need to reassess how I process pain? How I use fear? Or do I just need to let the parts of me that have been hurt grow back or rejuvenate?

    3) What should I do to plan and store for my future? The Queen of Pentacles likes things nice and lush, but is in a stable place in her life and can enjoy herself. She works very hard and knows she deserves the rewards that come with that. The cards are likely telling me to invest in nicer things so I don't have to replace them as often, and to keep growing my businesses and allowing them to flourish. Likewise, investing in my own companies would be a good idea here. Enjoying myself and sharing with others is also key this holiday season, as holding on to every penny and investing it all will not make me feel confident financially, which will not allow me to grow.

    4) How can I use the energy and lessons of this Yule to increase my happiness moving forward? Two of Swords--take all of these lessons in, and clear my mind. This card has trouble seeing what's in front of it and is frequently called on when one needs to make big decisions. So my best course of action is to clear my mind, take the rest of the advice of the cards, and then take that leap of faith. In this deck, that is particularly true if that leap of faith requires letting things go or moving beyond them, which ties in nicely with our other cards. The Chariot wants me to push forward and the 5 of Swords wanted those pain filled parts of me to be reborn.

    Hope you enjoy it! I love Yule as a time to celebrate the faithfulness of light, and the more disciplined, determined dieties I worship. Sun dieties especially come to me now, guiding me even when we can't see them. Yule is the same time as Winter Solstice every year, which makes it December 21st this year, but I designed this spread with the idea that you'd use it to prepare for the day. It's also a good end of year spread, but I'll be doing a specific end of year spread a little later this month too.

    Another thing I love that people are surprised by is secular Christmas. I grew up in a Christian household and community and still hold many of Christ's teachings close to my chest. ("Love your neighbor as yourself, and love me as I have loved you" is still one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.) Christmas doesn't mean what it used to mean to me as my faith has evolved, but it still represents a time to celebrate hope, love, and time with family. The pressure of buying so many gifts gets really overwhelming for me sometimes, but I genuinely love the practice. I also love receiving gifts and anyone who says they don't is lying! However, Christmas absolutely has its pitfalls. It is SO commercialized, there is SO much pressure to be ON all the time, and so many people are basically forced to spend time with so many people who may not love and support them the rest of the year the way they claim to now. Last year me and my roommate decided to reject those parts, but we are in a place of privilege to have been able to do so. For the rest of us, this is my favorite "dealing with the holidays" spread I have ever found. Seriously, it's SO good. Do it as much as you need to as many times as you get stressed this holiday season. It will help.

    In the meantime, Blessed Be!

    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!