My name is Captain Snowdon, my pronouns are they and them. This is what is colonially known as Victoria, it is the territory of the Lekwungen speaking people, specifically the Esquimalt and Songhees people. We shot the Seven of Wands or Keys. I’m a Leo and I have an Aries rising, I think, or an Aries moon and a Leo rising. It’s pretty hot in here! I have to go swimming, a lot! Specifically in the ocean.
How do you resonate with the card?
Well, I’m just so bored with the Hero’s Journey. I feel culturally nauseous about it, personally and culturally nauseous about it. About one person going to do the things, and do the hard thing, and fighting off the things, and then coming back a hero. It’s not working, it’s a narrative that needs to be done. So the card for me, in the traditional images of it, are of one person and I think that’s done. The age of the guru is over, or I hope, the better language for that the age of the individual. No one person ever gets something done. White supremacy has a tendency to say, ‘Who’s the one person, no, who’s the one person.’ No one person has hardly ever done a thing, there’s always someone, like making them food at the very least, right to continue what they’re doing. I chose this card because I’m trying to shift it from this individual fiery action into long term, sustainable, in-it-for-the-long-haul. Like a game of tag, where we can tag each other out when we’re tired. Or before we’re even tired, like, ‘I think I’m done.’ I’ve had some experience of that in community, I think it’s great. But that definitely not how I was raised, or how I spent my 20’s or 30’s. It was just full on fire, send in, burn out.
What advice would you give your younger self? Speaking as the 7 of Wands.
I think there’s a piece in the 7 of Wands, work at play around believing people when they say they want to help. It wasn’t until I had my chest surgery, and there was an overwhelming amount of support and I really needed it, that my body believed people really wanted to help. I think that’s because I had so often pushed myself beyond my ability to help, I was enduring being supportive, So I had to trust that. I would recommend to myself to thrust that more, and other people. And ‘it’s ok to be you!’ I would tell myself.
The 7 of Wands reversed?
It looked like burn out. I’ll often refer to it as feeling crispy, it’s the stage before burn out for me. There’s times where there’s nothing left in the giving pot. Or nothing left that has filled me up. I’ve certainly worked myself into the super blasé state before. And a super anxious state before.
I do remember one time. This is beautiful, I think it’s beautiful. One time I was in that final burn out stage where I could barely talk. I was with some friends up on Denman Island, there was a sunken lounge in the living room,, just filled it with mattresses and pillows and stuff. I just lay, in what we called The Pit of Joy and people did their lives around me, cooking and doing things and every once in a while someone go, “Pit of Joy, oy, oy, oy, Pit of of Joy, oy,oy, oy, oy, Pit of Joy.” And they would go back to what they were doing. Being around peoples nervous systems that were a lot more regulated than mine, I wouldn’t have had the language for that then but we can heal each other by being around each other, by being in certain states.
So how do you do that for community?
This guy, this nervous system regulates a lot of other nervous systems, practically everywhere I go. He just loves on people.
Yeah, I don’t know there’s a lot of just being with people. Finding out what people really need. Like, ‘I need the furniture moved out of my apartment.” The revolution will be carried in boxes so often. And doing dishes and stuff like that.
I’ve been doing a tremendous amount of recycling because there was a lot of food brought down to the legislature. I live close enough to bring some of the recycling here. I got the retired police chief of Victoria to do some of the recycling too.
It struck me that if I was sleeping on the cold legislature cement I thought I would want a hot water bottle. So I went and got a bunch of hot water bottles and filled them up and brought them down and kept trying to bring them down.If we all do more things like that, things get done.
If someone pulled your card in a reading, what would you want to tell them?
I just heard (*a chant from Witch Camp) in my head, “You’re doing a good job, you look fabulous, everybody loves you.”
I love that. I’m just going to record my note, because I think some people won’t get that reference. You’re doing a good job, you look great… I can’t remember what order it was, but.. You look great, you’re doing a good job… And everybody loves you! Which is ironic because if everybody loves you you probably aren’t doing a good job. Or I’m not doing a good job. But it makes you feel good when the whole entire camp yells it at you.
If you were talking to a Baby Queer or someone who was just learning tarot, what would you tell them about the 7 of Wands?
Don’t let anyone tell you what the cards mean. That kind of feels like decolonizing them a bit because they have been so white, so heterosexual, so cis. Take pictures of people you don’t know and they become your friends! Totally! Sounds like a good strategy, someone should do that. I’ve wondered about that too, I’ve wondered about the usefulness of the tarot. And then there was another huge explosion in tarot decks and magical investment in tarot which is really exciting.
Why do you think a queer tarot deck is important?
I think queer everything is important. It was a long time ago now, but I didn’t have any queer role models, I didn’t know the word ‘queer,’ there was one politician who was a ‘homosexual,’ before I was 15. So to see a wide range of who people are and the possibilities of what’s possible in life and who we are. I think it’s important to see all the things that queer can mean. That’s one of the reason I like the word queer is that it can’t be defined when we’re always crunching it up and changing it up. One person’s queer is another person’s queer.
So tell me about the things that you do.
The thing that takes up the most of my time these days is teaching people to teach other people and sex through their bodies. I run a somatic sex education school with two of my beloveds and we wanted to expand the program of sexological body work and in anti oppressive practice and trauma informed touch, so we started a new school about two years ago and it’s been wildly successful. It’s pretty exciting and fun.
I like to be involved in things that keep me on top of my own stuff. So being a part of somatic sex education and supporting other people around pleasure and trauma keeps me doing my own practises, keeps me doing my mindful erotic practise and keeps me looking at how oppressive structure of society crawl back in if I’m not joyfully vigilant about paying attention.
Sex negative culture is still sort of all around, it can crawl back in and manifest itself as body shame or ways of thinking that I need to be sexual in certain ways, with certain people, or a certain amount of time, or that not being sexual is bad. Those messages can crawl back in, no matter what positive, alternative communities or relationship we’re in, they seem to crawl back in with me.
You mentioned poetry and performance art…
I’ve always had the call to engage with words. As a kid with a bunch of learning disabilities I was always fascinated in how words fail when things can spelt wrong or put in the wrong order, and what that can look like. I’ve been really interested in writing poetry and then seeing what else is possible with it. Whether that be writing it on fences or just finding ways for words to be interacted with.
And your performance art?
There’s been a lot of sexually explicit stuff over the years and some of it has been in public and some of it has been in more private spaces. I get really excited about consensual performance art, where people are consenting to have a certain experience and at lots of different levels, like some people may be at the centre of it and others may be on the edges of it, and all the transition zones in between.
What other ways do you show up, appear, work in the world that you want to share with the wider public? Or the queer public that will be reading this!
It’s a definite priority to take direction from the local Indigenous folk here about what I can be supportive around. We’re in a big time of land and water defence and supporting Indigenous folks doing ceremony in reaction to, is probably not the right word, but presence all our concerns around the pipelines and tar sands and all the other pieces. So however I can turn up that way. From bringing hot water bottles to protests so people can stay warm at night. I like the practical stuff.
That ties in so beautifully with your card. Is there anything else you would like to add about what you do? Or how people can contact you?
I guess the other thing I’m really excited about is collaboration. It’s my number one thing. I don’t like to work alone, and I don’t really believe in one voice any more. I think we’re so much stronger with multiple voices. I get really excited about how we fail and flail at what we do and how we can celebrate failure as much as we celebrate success somehow. Getting a hold of me, my website is, what is it? Captainsnowdon.ca and the training is somaticsexeducator.com. I am looking to chat with folks who are hearing the call of working with queers around death and dying, so if that’s you get in touch with me.