Talkin’ Tarot With is a monthly feature designed to introduce my readers to different tarot readers from our wonderfully diverse community! Each month, I’ll be asking various tarot readers 3 questions about their tarot philosophy and style, plus pointing you to their websites and blogs so that you can learn more about them! I like to hand pick tarot readers that I feel are talented and interesting.
I first became aware of Cassandra Snow through her excellent Queering the Tarot series over at Little Red Tarot. In this series, Cassandra takes each card and shares interpretations from a LGBTQ experience. Her writing sheds a modern and inclusive light on the tarot – and got me looking at those cards through a whole new lens. I think this is a must-read column for all tarot readers, no matter what your orientation is.
Here’s why: the world is diverse. Tarot needs to reflect that. We need every perspective to be recognized and all of the folks over at Little Red Tarot are making this happen in the best way possible. Writers such as Cassandra are helping to move Tarot away from the white cis-gendered heteronormative Rider Waite Smith days to NOW. If you’re into Tarot, I highly suggest that you go through her series and absorb every card. It will open your mind and give you a compassionate and inclusive vocabulary for your Tarot readings. This is important stuff, people.
I had a chance to meet Cassandra briefly on my book tour and she’s just as lovely in person as she is online. One of my squad goals is to spend more time with her the next time I’m in Minneapolis! If you’re not in that neck ‘o the woods, you may want to click on over to her site or to her Queering the Tarot series and get to know her better too. In my opinion, she’s one of the Tarot writers that you should keep your eyes trained on because you’re gonna learn stuff ya need to.
Cassandra Snow (she/her or they/their) is a tarot reader, writer, and theatre maker in Minneapolis, MN. Her work is focused on healing, empowerment, and liberation individually and collectively. She runs Tarot by Cassandra Snow and writes Queering the Tarot for Little Red Tarot. In her other life, she is one of two artistic directors of Gadfly Theatre Productions, a queer and feminist theatre company. In her free time she consumes excessive amounts of coffee, reads voraciously, and hikes when MN weather and her rheumatoid arthritis allow. You can find more about her tarot practice at www.cassandra-snow.com
You can find Cassandra at these online places:
Website: Cassandra Snow
Facebook: Cassandrattp or just search “Cassandra Snow, Tarot Reader” or “Tarot by Cassandra Snow”
Check out Cassandra’s answers to my questions below:
Q: What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
Cassandra: I use tarot in a myriad of ways, but my basic philosophy is that tarot is best used as a tool for healing, growth, and empowerment and liberation. That can mean a lot of different things–I do use the cards for divination (or “telling the future”), and though it’s not my personal favorite use for the cards I have seen it really empower people to own up to negative patterns or learn to trust themselves, depending on what’s reflected. I use tarot in group settings a lot in my own life–as an LGBTQ+ activist, I’m always asking what my community needs and what my role in things looks like. I’m as interested in collective liberation as I am personal empowerment when it comes to tarot and think that it can absolutely serve a bigger purpose that way.
Tarot has had a huge healing influence in my life, and I attract a lot of shadow work as a result in my professional life. I do believe in psychic power (including my own) and intuition, but even that I think is best used as a tool for these bigger picture ideas. Tarot is almost like a tool of those gifts–I picked it up in part because it helped me channel all of these weird images and ideas I was picking up from other people. It’s a way to tap into that power, but also gives you a way to channel it healthily. Tarot, like any spiritual or creative practice, is a way to make the world make sense or at least help you figure out how to create the world you want to see.
A big crux of my tarot philosophy is that there aren’t wrong answers–not to learning it, not to reading it, not to the questions querents ask. There are answers that lead us to where we need to be the most efficiently and joyfully, and answers that have us take paths that are a little more, um, risky. But every person is different, so every reading is incredibly different, even if the cards are the same. I use these philosophies and the cards comfortably to guide myself and other clients through every area of life, no matter how spiritual or mundane. For example, my strongest readings are for those who’s identity is either up in the air or super important to them, those struggling with mental illness or the effects of trauma, seekers looking for guidance on a spiritual path, and yet those needing step-by-step action plans for a business or project.
Q: How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Cassandra: To get the absolute most out of a reading with me, I generally recommend that people come with their goals for the reading in mind. It doesn’t have to be a specific question or even area of life, but at least knowing why you’re coming in and even what feeling or energy you’re hoping to change or shift is ideal. I generally seek to help others heal and to empower them to make the best decisions for themselves, so anything one is willing to share is wonderful, as it just helps me narrow the focus of the reading. I always recommend people come with an open mind. I use an identity-based approach which means we start with who YOU are and then see how the cards can best guide you, but that does mean you’ve got to have some trust in me and in the cards. If we tell you you have a skillset you didn’t know or believe you had, you have to trust that we’re taking who you are into account and therefore what we’re saying is true (and actually not all that radical.) I’ve had clients get defensive about things like that, but everything is meant to help you open up and grow. If we (the cards and I) bring up pain from your past it’s not meant to wreck you, but to show you where your blind spots or areas of repression are so you can move on from them. It’s a lot to ask of someone who may not know me, but trusting me and the cards to really see and be honest with you is crucial.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring tarot reader?
Cassandra: I always advise even my own students not to get their information from one source or teacher. Seek out as many as you can, take in as much information as you can, and finally really tap into yourself and your own perceptions of the cards and trust those. Tarot reading is a giant web of realizing how much self-doubt we all have in the beginning, but you have to trust that your ideas of a card are correct even if they contradict someone you trust. I jokingly tell people all the time that if you ask two readers what a card means you’ll get sixteen different answers and a heated discussion with a lot of “oh, but if…” I say this to say that your interpretation is not wrong. Tarot is an exercise in trusting yourself too, so if you’re coming into it without having done a lot of self-reflection and confidence building, it’s going to be a harder road, so make sure grounding rituals and compassionate self-assessment (geared at building confidence, not shaking it) are a regular part of your daily routine throughout your tarot practice. In the very practical, I advise people to get as comfortable with various symbols and correspondences (animals, colors, numbers, etc.) as humanly possible because that gives you something to rely on for when you go totally blank on card interpretations.
High fives to Cassandra for making time for me today! Learn more about her and be sure to get a reading at: Cassandra Snow.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2017