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Happy Summer!

It's been quite a while since the last time I sent out a newsletter. It's also been a while since I've been at my regular monthly fair. So there are quite a few of you with whom I haven't spoken in months! How the heck are ya? How's your life? What's new and exciting (or old and boring)? 

Things have significantly slowed down for me recently, in part because of the part-time job I picked up at the end of last year. Initially I was really frustrated about missing fairs and losing sales, but now, over six months later (lol), I'm really starting to enjoy it all. I mean, my job is fine, but the amazing part is the paycheck. I haven't had a regular paycheck since 2014, and it's taken some time to truly appreciate the freedom it affords me. 

I have, for the first time in a long time, been able to really look at Zu Foos and explore what it means to me, what I want out of it, and what I want it to ultimately be. I created Zu Foos as an effort to recreate the feeling of creating magick in the woods, to bring back the sensation of being a kid who could believe anything, and reviving the sense of wonder that allowed me to just keep walking down the path. As an adult who has experienced significant hardships, this has been easier said than done. While I started Zu Foos with honesty and clarity, it wasn't long before it became a "business" and I was more concerned with metrics and money flow than I was with being in the woods. And, it had to be that way. Zu Foos was my only income for years, and I felt like I had to make it succeed financially. Zu Foos stopped feeling magickal and affirming, and started to feel desperate and manic. It wasn't all that different from my old nine to five. Tension built, money drained away, and my anxiety became overwhelming. Just when I thought I couldn't handle any more, my mom died. Very suddenly I found myself identifying her body, calling funeral homes, meeting with cemeteries, planning a funeral... I broke. Everything fell apart. 

It truly felt like her death triggered some sort of cosmic reset button and threw me right back down to the ground. It was my Tower moment (tarot nerds know what I'm talking about). I saw everything that had been normal about my life, quite literally, in piles around me. Even though so much of that life had been stressful and anxiety-inducing, I was accustomed to the normalcy, and seeing it fall was devastating. The Tower, though, has become one of my favorite tarot cards in part because of this experience. The Tower is a gift, even though it feels like quite the opposite. But here's the thing: The Tower fell because it had a bad foundation. I built my tower poorly and was hoping it would just keep standing. As stress and anxiety about money and purpose moved into my life, it started to wobble and crumble. Mom's death knocked it right over without even trying. It wasn't built to last. It couldn't weather a storm. 

It's better to have no tower at all than one made with such shoddy workmanship. Why's that? Because over the last several months I've been working (literally and figuratively) to clear away the debris from the fall. There is still a lot to deal with, but something happened that I didn't expect: where my tower once stood is now a perfectly flat clearing, waiting for something new to be built. That's the gift of The Tower: after it falls, you have the opportunity to build something better and stronger. I mean, that's not necessarily going to be fun or easy, but it does place you in the role of "creator" again. You get to choose where to lay the first stone. 

Ok so what does this actually mean?

As I continue to clear the debris from my fallen tower, I've been taking the time to investigate what pieces worked for me, and what didn't, and that's going to affect what Zu Foos looks like going forward. 

It became clear to me that I was turning my heart-centered business into a factory, essentially. All I wanted to do was mass-produce a set amount of products so I could have consistency and so it would be easier to go to fairs (I'd always have the same display for the same items). That's not what I want, and frankly, that's not what you want either. You may have noticed from a recent blog post that I have begun to reexamine what had been essential pillars of Zu Foos. I'm sure that this is just the beginning and that there is more change to come. 

For example, I've been thinking about things I wanted to make (some I currently sell, some I don't) and looking into why I wanted to make them, and what feeling I was trying to recreate. If they aren't doing what I intended, I'm not going to sell them anymore. A lot of things I sell don't fit that bill anymore, mainly because they are, effectively, mass-produced. There are some things that I like making in huge quantities (like my lavender sachets!), but other things really don't deserve that and need to be doted on individually. 

To make room for new stuff (like, physically make room. My storage closet is full!) I'm having a Summer clearance sale right now through Etsy. A bunch of things I'm either discontinuing or reimagining are discounted anywhere from 10-60% If you're thinking about grabbing essential oils or amulet pouches or scrying mirrors or candles or bath salts, now is the time to do it. 

To make this process easier on me, I'm going to be taking a break from fairs for the foreseeable future. I want to make sure I'm producing things I truly love before I buy table space again. (Though I might pop into places to vend from time to time. Idk. We'll see how it goes)

I also recently started teaching a tarot class locally, and while I have one more coming up this month, I don't think I'll be doing any more teaching soon. I frequently have people asking me to teach classes on a variety of topics (I realize that makes me sound like I'm really all that, but I promise, it's not the case), and I just don't love teaching, as it turns out. I want to find other ways to share what I know with people, but I'm just not positive what that will look like yet. I'll probably experiment with podcasts, video, and blogging to find a good spot. In fact, I just wrote a short little introduction to intuitive tarot reading on my website. I'd love to hear your thoughts about it! 

So that's it! That's what's going on with me. Just going back to the beginning again to figure out what my Truth is. It's becoming more and more clear to me that doing that, finding our own Truth, is really our whole purpose on this planet. 

I wish you all the best and while you may not see me out and about at local fairs or shows this summer, I'd still love to hear from you. Please don't hesitate to email me or message me on Facebook or Tweet me (or whatever. you get the idea) if you have questions or want help with something or just want to say hey. 


Who doesn't love a good sale? This month ONLY grab some good-smelling handmades for 10-60% off! Offer only good through my Etsy store :)
June 20 is my next in-person tarot class. It'll be at the Rochester Brainery, and you can sign up online
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