YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Energy Equinox

Thank you to everyone for your saint-like patience the past week, including today. Made a trip out of state for family reasons, and have been playing a little catch up the laundry today. Sorry to YouTube folks for the delay posting the written part of this.

Not a lot going on as far as announcements go. The 2nd anniversary Tarot reading giveaway is still going on (use the contact form on the special offers page to get yours)

It’s going to be a big financial hit, but I won’t be doing parties or in-person readings this Halloween season because our local test positive rates are still around 5% and outside of stores, mask wearing is spotty at best. It just isn’t worth the risk. I hope you will get one of the free digital handwritten one card reading. It might be a nice way to cheer ourselves a bit as we head toward flu season and a possible covid resurgence.

That being said –

Left: Knight of Wands. Knight are usually the action heroes, all about doing something. In this case the action part of the knight card is taking a little bit of a back seat. This card was featured in the book / mini-series “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel” as a sign of the second magician appearing who would bring magic back to England. Rather than physical action, this card is a symbol of action, a place holder for action when we look at all three of this week’s cards together (more on that later.) This knight for this week isn’t about physical doing…it is all about spiritual doing. Call it magic(k) if you like. In subtle energy work, intention is everything. Astrology isn’t my specialty, but the full moon coming soon seems significant. If you feel drawn to astrology, please do research and find out what a full moon in Pisces means for you. This is a good week to stop being caught up in the physical day to day activity, and focus on your intentions, pay attention to your energies. You get what you give. Deliberately and actively set your mental and spiritual intentions, think of it as activity and quiet thought in exquisite balance

Center: Four of Swords. When we exercise rest is a thing. Muscles need a little rest every now and then in order to repair and become stronger. Rest is a necessary opposite to action in order for things to work as they should. While swords cards, like knight cards, often denote action the four in particular denotes rest and repose. Proper sleep is necessary for healthy minds and bodies. To move forward in battle, warriors will stop and look and see what must be done, what is the most effective way to proceed. If you chose this card, it might be a more active and busy week than for other people, but don’t just charge ahead in order to get through it all at any cost. Look before you leap. Think of it as observation and analysis in exquisite balance with swift action.

Right: Two of Pentacles. This is the classic card about balance. Only Temperance gives a stronger message about keeping everything in check and not getting too extreme with anything just now. Moderation is your friend. This card is about dynamic balance, moving parts, constantly adjusting, a little like the constant adjustments a unicycle rider makes. Balance is a key idea this week. Watch for anything that is getting to be too much, try not to get ‘out over your skis” as they say about anything, but given this is coins card, you might want to pay particular attention to work-life balance. Think of it as exquisite balance in, well, everything.

Taken together, these three cards are all about an exquisite balance. We just had the autumnal equinox, day and night in perfect balance. Think of the old myth of balancing an egg on its end on the equinoxes. This is the most fleeting tiny pause, the breath holding, one-footed moment on a tightrope, that can only last the barest second before the tightrope walker must tilt to one side, or the other, or take a step forward or take a step backward. Nature abhors a vacuum and gives precious little time to any sort of static balance. This week feels to be the tiniest pause, a balance that can’t last, a held breath before the exhale must happen, an equinox of energies. Gather in the magic of this fleeting golden moment before that balance born of change and motion must begin again.

Today’s Tarot: Frosty Fall

The Five of Pentacles makes me feel sad today. It has tendrils of tragedy, misfortune, and fear. It is one of those things that makes me stop, and as we have talked about before, take a little inventory. Is it me? Is it any sort of real threat? Is there something I’m missing or need to do? Or is this an energy from outside myself, a purely “the current zeitgeist is ringing my bell” empathic feeling. It seems to be the latter. I have to travel for family reasons but there is no logical, physical reason that would explain the card’s vibe. This is a coins/pentacles card. As a reader, not only is it always good to stop and consider if a strong emotional reaction is product of our own psychology (as opposed to a purely intuitive reaction to the card) but the suit of pentacles or the suit of swords points to the real world and cold logic straightaway.

Given all of that, I don’t see any real world, my issue, or logical reason for this visceral sort of reaction to the card other than maybe the continued political news here in the U.S. Maybe I’m reacting to the passing of Justice Ginsburg …but there is so much else so wrong and has been for nearly 4 years now.

The card has more of a sense of more foreboding now that I write this than it did at first blush when I filmed the card-draw video. You all know how writing is a more potent connection to intuition for me than working with YouTube is.

The parable of the grasshopper and the ant comes to mind….as does the squirrels and chipmunks busting around the neighborhood in a prehybernation frenzy. The “Pre-hibernation Week” episode of Spongebob was pretty close to reality from the look of these guys.

Today’s Five of Pentacles gives us the same advice. Fall is a time to harvest and store and budget and take care. It might be a hard winter. I hope I’m wrong, but that hurricane on the horizon feeling is back. If it is wrong…great. If not, be safe and be well.

Please prove me wrong.

TaoCraft Portfolio: The Bones Of It

Click HERE to get the FREE download of all the “Portfolio” posts in one .pdf document

The Bones Of It

The details of a person’s face is unique to them, but underneath we all share basically the same skeleton. Tarot is a bit like that. The details of your reading are totally unique and for you alone. Party readings are different, but all of the individual readings I do have the same core pattern and structure, regardless of whether they are in-person or distance, live or recorded, spoken or written.  

Introduction: We will talk about the questions or concerns that brought you to the reading. For distance readings this happens during the ordering process. To speed things up during ordering you can use the “instructions to the merchant ” or “customize” buttons to let me know your question or consent to an open reading. Questions do not have to be detailed or specific. You can just give a general topic, like career, romance or what-have-you. It is perfectly fine to leave a reading completely open and not ask a question at all. Some of the best readings happen when we let the energy lead the way. Talk or type, the short introduction of seeing (or hearing) your name and your question (or your permission for an open reading) is the thing that connects my intuition to your message and gets the process started. 

Card Shuffle and Layout: In distance readings I simply shuffle until it intuitively feels right. In a live reading I’ll ask you how many times you want the deck to be shuffled or cut the deck and let you choose which section we work from. The cards are placed on the table face up in the layout pattern that you ordered. The layouts will be explained in a later chapter.

General Pattern: We look at the cards as a whole picture. This can include things like major vs minor arcana, distribution of the minor suits, repeating numbers, where cards cluster within the layout, or any purely intuitive impressions that may appear.

Card by card: We talk about each card individually including its meaning, the meaning of its position within the layout and the type of message it is giving (advice, caution, validation, etc.)

Summary “psychic reading”: This puts all the cards back together in one summary. In this part we also listen for any purely intuitive information that might come through whether it is directly related to your cards or not. This is a chance to hear things that are needed, even if they are not requested or expected. There are NO guarantees about the information that will come through here. No one gets everything, but most of the time some sort of helpful intuitive message comes through; colors, crystals, aromatherapy, positive affirmations based on the cards, spirit guides, and on very rare occasions, crossed over loved ones.

Sigil Element / Intuitive Doodles: In an in-person session, I take handwritten notes as we go along for you to take with you. If any mental images come up, I’ll sometimes be able to  draw shapes to help show you what I’m seeing in my mind’s eye. Great art they are not. If anything these little psychic doodles look like petroglyphs, hieroglyphs or some kind of circuit schematics.  Sigil elements are only routinely included in the InkMagick pen and paper readings through the TaoCraft Tarot shop.Q&A: You are always welcome to ask questions throughout the reading process. If we are working live, in-person or over the phone, please ask your questions as they come up. Questions in real time can lead a reading to some of the most interesting places! If we are working at distance, questions are welcome too, but are clustered to the beginning and end of the reading. All distance readings include a follow up email at no extra charge. Email is always my primary contact with you (even for parties and in-person sessions, if and when they return)

YouChoose Interactive Tarot 20-26 Sept. 2020

As seems to be the emerging natural pattern, just have a quick announcement before moving on to this week’s cards: I’ll be on a reduced Tarot / online schedule Tue-Sat. because family stuff. If you are interested in a reading or anything from the store, don’t hesitate to order. The only change is that shipping & delivery might take longer than usual. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Left: 10 of Cups (grasshopper) Take the leap and dare to be happy. Beware of self-sabotage, and allow yourself to succeed. Don’t be afraid of finishing well. 10 cards, being the largest of the number cards in any suit, are a sort of pinnacle, the essence of the suit in its greatest expression. Taoism teaches that anything in its extreme holds the seed of its opposite. Be careful not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victoty. Finish, succeed, allow your self to be happy.

“People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” – attr. Abraham Lincoln

Center: 5 of Swords (Goose) Overcoming obstacles is a journey as well as a destination. This card has shown up previously. My hunch this is for emphasis rather than a hint that we aren’t getting the lesson. Historic things have happened between the card’s appearances to show how important the lesson is: Stay chill, stay calm, work the problem. Swords are associated with the element of air and thereby mind and logic and cool intellect. My attention is drawn more to this elemental association than the contemporary relationship style of meanings. Mr. Andrews association with vision quest grabs my attention too. Especially the quest part. Big, systemic problems aren’t solved in a day. They take time, steps, parts, cooperation, and both tactics and strategy. The journey around or through an obstacle may be long and arduous but also needed and worthwhile.

“Let’s work the problem, people. Let’s not make things any worse by guessing. The Lunar Module just became a lifeboat. I don’t care what anything was designed to do.” – Ed Harris playing Gene Krantz in Apollo 13 (movie)

Right: Strength (Lion) This isn’t going to be easy, but when you have the strength to meed the challenges, the hard doesn’t matter. This card is just exactly that sort of reassurance. You have strength, whether you feel it ahead of time or not. If you don’t, get some. The ability to find solutions and to obtain resources is as good as having them in the first place.

“When you can’t walk, you crawl. When you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you.” – from Firefly (TV series) by Joss Whedon

Today’s Tarot: Every Little Thing Can Be Magic

What is magic, really?

Being raised on a steady diet of 60s sitcom re-runs, I full on want nose twitching, wand waving, hand gesturing, incantation mumbling, midnight margarita saturated POOF! magic.

It’d be fun, you have to admit. But out here in the real world we are dealing with technology, stagecraft and the spiritual path kind of magick (I like making the distinction between stage or fictional magic and the spiritual practice of magick by using the ‘k’ at the end. Besides, it just looks cool.)

Regardless of fictional fun or your serious spiritual beliefs, The Magician is nonetheless a very powerful card. It is a card of transformation, in essence, of initiating and controlling change.

TV magic is alluring because it is all instant gratification but no real possibility. Real magick is all potential and possibility, but not instant, and with a better grade of gratification. They don’t call this stuff magickal or spiritual work for no reason.

In a daily read like this, the message is in that potential…and the change. Change really is possible. New attitudes, new habits, new feelings, new lifestyles, new philosophies take time. The magician is powerful. Tap in to that power – however long it takes. Real magick is absolutely possible, but you have to realize it is made of some amount of time and a sufficient amount of effort and the secret potion of waiting, welcoming and holding space. Change anything and POOF! you are magick.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget the second anniversary giveaway on the special offers page. Just a reminder that the blog is not at all monetized (neither is the youtube channel) so any blog follows, likes, shares, social media follows and of course reading orders are all greatly appreciated. Thank you all!

RWS Tarot magician image from the public domain

YouChoose Interactive Tarot 14-19 Sept. 2020

Whew! At last. Our weather forecast finally includes some cooler nights, the first hint at my favorite time of year.

It is still that re-branding anniversary season, and the one card Tarot reading giveaway continues until Halloween. All you need to do to get the FREE reading is use the contact form on the special offers page.

Please stay tuned to the blog. More re-introduce-TaoCraft-anniversary season “Portfolio” posts are on the way.

Left: Queen of Wands. All queen cards represent leadership from a care-taking and nurturing standpoint. While kings were out defending the kingdom, the queens would care for the welfare of the subjects. From a more contemporary standpoint, this is like parenting, teaching and caring for other people. I see this card often in readings for caretakers like health care workers, teachers and so on. It often serves as a reminder to take care of yourself too. You are not as helpful or effective as a leader (of any type) if you are burned out and exhausted. This isn’t a call to over-indulgence, but it is permission to grab a nap, take a few minutes to meditate, indulge in that half hour online yoga class…that sort of thing.

Center: Ten of Wands. The Ten of Wands is as much short term encouragement as the Queen of Wands is advice for a marathon. The queen is lifestyle…the ten is looking at the short term situation. It’s a grind, and going to be that way for just a little while more. Ten is the largest of the number cards and is often associated with completion. I think of it as being similar to a ‘changing line’ in I Ching readings. In Taoist thought and the I Ching, anything in its most extreme holds the seed of the opposite, is primed and on the verge of a shift, a little like going over the top part of a Ferris wheel ready to go around again. The ten of wands, as the artwork suggests, is related to feeling overburdened or stressed. It’s not quite over yet. Sometimes this card asks you to evaluate what you should put down and what is needed to carry – a sort of a ‘thin your sticks’ idea. In this case, for this week, it is more of a ‘grind it out’ feeling. There is a sense of something nearing completion, so hang in there, do the do, grind the grind and soon you’ll be able to just toss the whole load down, job well done.

Right: Queen of Pentacles. There is something very similar in energy between this card and the Queen of Wands. I suspect it is also related to self-care, but with a different spin. Pentacles are related to the element earth and the practical, physical realm . This card brought several old adages to mind, heavy on the Benjamin Franklin. “A penny saved is a penny earned” makes me think that if you chose this card, this isn’t a week for impulse buys or unnecessary spending. At the same time, “penny wise and pound foolish” came through and in hand with the other advice. Don’t impulse buy, but don’t fail to invest in something good and needed. The energy around that part is about quality and value. Make the calculation between cost and quality. It brings to mind all of the DIY, low plastic and refillable products that the algorithms have figured out I like and are now filling up my socials…it costs more up front, but saves money in the long run. That is the kind of budgeting and money-wise thinking the card is suggesting. “Cleverness” and “Shrewd thinking” comes through too. Use your head in money matters this week. Be clever, not miserly.

Overall, three cards together, nurture your leadership, whichever style fits your situation the best. Take care of your self as you go along to keep yourself strong and well for the long haul. Grind through if you need too, then take time to recover when it is all said and done before you pick up your next project or obligation. Or works smarter, not harder. Use cleverness and wise investment to take care of yourself and those who depend on you.

TaoCraft Portfolio: Introduction

I want to work with you and this is my portfolio

Download the entire FREE TaoCraft Portfolio booklet HERE

When an artist interviews for a job, they bring examples of their work so the employer can decide if they are a good fit for the company or project. Authentic Tarot readers have more in common with artists than they do with stage show mentalists or movie psychics. From cave paintings to Da Vinci, art has many different styles and genres. No two artists are exactly alike. No two psychic intuitives are exactly alike. There is no ultimate psychic authority. There is no official right or wrong way to do a Tarot reading. Tarot is artistry and spirituality, not rules and regulations. One thing is certain. If you read this booklet, a Tarot reading with me should meet or exceed your expectations because you will know exactly what to expect in advance.

There aren’t many Tarot portfolios around. So how do you know who is a good match to do your psychic reading? The best advice, of course, is follow your own instincts. Pay attention to your deep down, reflex feelings when you look at a website or advertisement. Because of religious and cultural prejudices that are on the rise in some parts of the country, many of the best psychics and Tarot readers are still very quiet about what they do. It may take some research, asking around or visiting small, local “new age” bookstores to find anyone at all. Once you find someone who does readings, talk to them for a minute and ask reasonable questions. Don’t pour out your heart to a stranger or try to get an impromptu free reading over the phone. Instead, ask practical questions like location, prices, payment, scheduling and so on. Their demeanor in a non-Tarot conversation will give you a sense of the level professionalism they will bring to the reading itself. If they seem evasive, impatient or leave you feeling uncertain, then honor those feelings and look for someone else. If it feels right and you can afford it, try a session. If it is a good match, you’ll know right away. A good Tarot session inspires, empowers and reassures you. A reading should never frighten you, make you feel judged, or feel as if you have done something wrong.  If it isn’t a good experience, simply try again with someone else. A mismatched personality doesn’t necessarily mean that the reader is doing anything wrong. By the same token, you should never take it personally or feel that a bad session was your fault for “not believing” or any such nonsense. Of course, always use plenty of common sense to steer clear of scams. “Psychics” that make outrageous promises or make repeating and increasing demands on your time (and money) are best avoided. 

Thanks to the Internet, no matter where you live, you can get affordable, expert, caring Tarot readings. Distance Tarot is my specialty, and we’ll talk about that in more  detail in the chapters that follow. In this booklet, we’ll look at the basic structure underneath all of my readings, both distance and in-person. No matter whether we work face-to-face or remotely, no matter whether we are working with Tarot, Reiki or Meditation, I follow the same ethics and standards that I applied in my mainstream medical work. All policies are transparent, written in plain English, and found in the “Fine Print” chapter at the end of this booklet.

Following your instincts, combined with a little common sense can help you find an excellent psychic. I hope that once you read this, your instincts will be to get a reading with me. 

I want to work with you and this is my portfolio.

Meet Your Reader 2020

Meet Your Reader 2020

Hi. This is me from (mumble mumble) years ago. I still use this photo because it is the only one of me I’ve ever really liked.

This is me now, in Bitmoji form which is as good as it’s going to get because the website, blog and socials are mostly about Tarot, a little bit about spirituality, with a sprinkle crystals, meditation, spirituality and just enough off-topic things to keep it interesting. I want you to feel confident and comfortable ordering a reading here, so please let me tell you a little about the bitmoji-fied face behind your email reading or the voice on the phone.

I started reading Tarot cards around 1990 or so. Early 90s anyway. I was still in my 20s, had left my parent’s religion and was finding my own spiritual path. Tarot & oracle cards played a crucial role in helping me find a healthy way out of a fundamentalist evangelical upbringing .

I started reading for myself because, honestly, who could afford to use those phone psychics that were so popular back then? It took a little effort to find authentic readers and teachers in those pre-internet days, especially in an a conservative area where good psychics were still mostly underground. Eventually, I was very fortunate to have readings, workshops and intuition development classes with talented, brilliant people like Sallie Christensen, Gina Hiller, Joy Star, even meeting Ted Andrews once at his Animal Wise workshop.

It turned out that I’m actually really good at doing Tarot readings too. A good friend encouraged me to work online, so I started with Keen, Advice Trader and AllExperts under the handle Baihu. When dissertation expenses came along, I started working for myself and Modern Oracle Tarot was born. In 2018, Modern Oracle and Tarotbytes blog were expanded to include Reiki, meditation tutorials, and my Quirk & Flotsam Etsy shop. I renamed it all that Fall to create the TaoCraft Tarot that you see today.

I’m a Reiki Master-practitioner (2000)

I’ve been doing folk arts and crafts since my Grandmother taught me to embroider when I was 6 years old. Making handcrafted meditation beads was a natural extension of everything else at TaoCraft Tarot. The meditation beads are in the TaoCraft Tarot Shop along with ebooks like PeaceTarot and a few other handmade odds and ends that find there way there.

I’m a retired Tai Chi instructor (Chinese Martial Arts, Mount Lebanon PA 1998-99) but still love playing taijiquan. I’ve studied meditation, Taoism, Zen / Chan Buddhism and other spiritual traditions on my own from various sources through the years. In magick, you might call me a solitary eclectic.

In “real life” I have a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science and worked as a physician assistant in psychiatry and cardiology. When motherhood came along, I went back to school to be able to work independently, completing a Ph.D. in Natural Health. Although the school’s accreditation has since been withdrawn, my work and dissertation stands. The dissertation is available to view on Needless to say, this is a science, logic and reason friendly Tarot style.

That’s pretty much all of it. It’s all Tarot and the good stuff from now on, at least until I get the urge to re-introduce everything next year at anniversary time. I’m really grateful to all of you, new subscribers and old friends alike. If nothing else, I hope this lets you know I’m nice, normal, nonthreatening kind of person who just happens to be able to read Tarot. I wish you all the best and hope you feel confident getting reading because there is nothing to fear here.

Today’s Tarot: The Watcher

Apologies for the delay in posting, because, well, 2020.

On to the Three of Wands. Yes, again. Different deck, different day, same card. Cool thing happened; about an hour after I filmed the card draw above, I did a one card reading for an individual with a different deck (Steampunk, their favorite) and wouldn’t you know it – Three of Wands. This card is really trying to get our attention.

It also gives us a little insight into how Tarot can be such a broadly useful tool for something as subtle, complex and personal as spiritual guidance or personal growth. The math is pretty much un-do-able, but let’s just look at these one card daily meditation type of readings. You have one card position, with one position meaning, raised to the power of 78 possible cards, raised to the power of all the card keywords and meanings that have attached to each card over the years. Now, multiply all of that by multiple cards, various layout position meanings, different intuitive messages, different intents or flavors of each card’s message…try knitting all of that together into a coherent message that someone can actually understand and put to practical use. Now you know why we charge the rates that we do. The more cards in a reading, the more complex it becomes, and the more effort it takes to make sense of it all for a client.

The Three of Wands is often associated with things like watchfulness, active waiting, observation, proper timing, or vigilance.

Recently, the energy seemed to flow toward the watching for the right timing, watching for events to happen that would in turn prompt you to action.

Today, the energy is more toward the vigilance end of things. The watchfulness isn’t times to a particular action. It isn’t about timing your action just right. It has a more general sense. This is tied to the idea of healthy boundary setting that has been front of mind of late as well. Now that we know where the boundaries ARE, the Three of Wands is asking you to maintain them, patrol them, defend them. The words “perifory” and “vigilance” step forward. Now that we know, based on logic and historical fact, that more turbulent times are likely on the horizon, be politically or pandemic related, the card is further reminding us to guard our energy and mental health. It is always better to over-prepare than to under-react in such things, be it literal storms, public health, or your energetic and emotional well being.

Don’t forget to check out the special offers page for details about the anniversary free Tarot giveaway. Distance Tarot NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED always available to order on the home page.

Taking My Own Advice: Introduction Edition

Let me give you the one room grand tour.

I take my own advice, occasionally.

But not exactly as I write it for the general audience blog, and neither should you. This is reason, rationality and freethinking friendly Tarot. As we talked about yesterday, I’ve been intuitively getting a big picture, national level, storm-on-the-horizon-ringing-epaths’-bells sort of energy lately, akin to the vibe from the early days of 2020. Thankfully, today local energies are capturing my attention. It is a sunny peaceful morning in the neighborhood. I’m taking advantage of that and turning my attention from counting down the days until the current heat wave passes to thinking about autumn and TaoCraft Tarot’s second anniversary.

The whole thing is a little bit of a head trip, really. On one hand, the whole exercise is way too egotistical and self referential. On the other hand it is like having a birthday party for your creation-kid. Even though it is all my readings and my writing, it is also all about the readings, the blog and the books. That’s why I refuse to appear on camera on the YouTube channel. It’s not about me, it’s all about the cards and how they can help you. Same for here on the blog. But I can’t help you if you don’t know this stuff is here and. let’s be honest, I need to do paid readings to keep the business, the blog and the free social media going (I like to buy food every now and then too) so we are right back to self promotion and on and on. The best solution I know is to talk about TaoCraft Tarot as an extant thing, a place in cyberspace, a place where you can come for Tarot readings, Reiki and Meditation to help you sort through difficult emotions and just plain day-to-day living.

I am, as always very grateful to each and every one of you. If you have been here and have gotten readings here…thank you, thank you, thank you. If you are new to the blog or the YouTube channel, welcome. Let me give you the one room grand tour.

That will do something nice for both of us. Yesterday’s Five of Pentacles reading gave strong advice to batten down the hatches and set healthy boundaries, especially if you are at all empathic or energy sensitive. I’m taking my own advice. Re-introducing TaoCraft to everyone sets boundaries and reinforces our shelter from the crazy energies that swirl around out there sometimes. If you need to come inside and warm up from the storm, there are comfy chairs and a free digital one card Tarot reading over there by the front window. Help yourself.

Over here is a big table by a crackling fireplace where you can sit for a Tarot reading. Words spoken through the phone, or printed on a screen or written on a page are all the same here. The ideas, the messages, the love from the energy/spirit realm for you are all the same no matter how they are delivered to you.

On the other side of the room, there are shelves of crystals that lend their energy to both Tarot readings and distance Reiki sessions. I don’t sell crystals. That way there is no conflict of interest or ulterior motive to recommending them. But they are darn pretty, and I do have my own collection to use for Sending Stones Reiki in real life.

In the middle, here are the meditation beads I make and the ebooks I wrote, all with the same uplifting intention and empowering energy as all the rest.

Whether you have been here before, or are here for the first time, welcome to TaoCraft.

TaoCraft Tarot logo, 2020 – Ronda Snow