5 Updates from Shadow Femme

A bunch of things have been brewing over here in Shadow Femme Land, and I have so many things to share with you that I figured I’d use today’s 5 Things Friday to do so.

5 Updates from Shadow Femme
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams / Unsplash

A bunch of things have been brewing over here in Shadow Femme Land, and I have so many things to share with you that I figured I’d use today’s 5 Things Friday to do so.

So in lieu of 5 random and interesting links and articles, I’ve got 5 updates for you on how things are going over here…

5/ I’m about to embark an exciting mentorship journey.

In September, I’ll begin working one-on-one with AJA Daashuur (aka The Spirit Guide Coach) as a mentee in her spiritual business mentorship program. I am super excited about this!

I think that this opportunity has come to me at just the right time. I’ve been feeling for the past few months that I’ve been in a transitional phase in my practice. Everything’s been a bit murky—I’ve had the feeling that my offerings need to change and evolve, but I haven’t been sure of what direction to take them in. A few months ago, I completely shifted my newsletter and website to this current format, and since then, I’ve been somewhat sporadic in announcing my one-on-one session availability. This is because I feel that my core offering needs to change in some way, and I’m still figuring out what that will look like.

Aja is such a seasoned practitioner and talented channel that I know this mentorship experience will bring me a lot of much-needed guidance and clarity on my offerings.

And, as my guides have told me, this mediumship mentorship will also help take me “from a baby medium to a toddler medium”! 🐣🔮

(Btw: I never get tired of shouting out the other inspiring practitioners whose guidance has helped me grow over these past few years. Thank you to Kwonyin, Stevie Leigh of Weaver + Rose Somatics, and Kaitlyn Graña of Spirit Garden Tarot.)

4/ I’m considering making this newsletter free + donation-based.

As you might’ve noticed, this new newsletter format (publishing twice-weekly posts to my website that also get delivered to you via email) has been pretty experimental.

I’ve been publishing these words through Ghost, which is basically an open-source, nonprofit alternative to Substack.

The expectation with these types of platforms is that you will monetize your newsletter: your writing becomes a paid offering—likely, your main offering. Substack heavily courts individual writers and journalists, and Ghost attracts larger publications and organizations (tech companies like Buffer, Unsplash, and Airtable publish through Ghost, as well as newspapers like The Stanford Review). These are folks who make a living primarily from their words, and who need to gate their content in order to do so.

When I switched over from my old website platform (Webflow) and email marketing platform (Flodesk) over to Ghost, I was relieved by the change. Finally, I could focus on just the words, not fiddling with pixels and graphics. I could put my energy into expressing myself and connecting with all of you, not trying to analyze metrics and optimize email sequences and convert subscribers and play on people’s emotions through traditional marketing tactics. I was never really into that sort of thing anyway—and for awhile, I felt bad that I never followed through with creating things like welcome sequences, nurture sequences, upsells, time-sensitive offers, segmented campaigns, etc etc, until I said to myself, “Maybe I just…don’t need to?” (Btw: I'm not trying to shame people who enjoy and use a lot of email marketing tactics. I think there is an ethical / transparent way to go about it, and an unethical / coercive way to go about it. Also, I know we’re all just doing our best to make sure our businesses survive. Also also, here I am, not using these tactics, and making practically no money 🤷🏻‍♀️)

I was pretty idealistic about this shift to Ghost. I thought, “I love writing. I don’t love selling. My newsletter won’t be primarily for selling. Instead, it’ll be an offering in and of itself—a way for people to get to know me and my work in a non-coercive, generous way, and subscribers who want more of what they’re reading can pay me for the effort. It’s a win-win-win.”

Then my idea to just write a weekly newsletter ballooned into a twice-weekly newsletter, and then into what could be a full-fledged membership, thanks to me deciding to take my material for a Human Design course and convert it into written guides that will live online for paid premium subscribers???

Here’s the reality: I do love publishing through Ghost. I love writing, and it feels fulfilling to genuinely share my thoughts with you, not because I’m trying to set you up for a sale, but because I simply want to share. The reality is also this: I spend A LOT of time on these newsletters every week, and I don’t really like the idea of sharing some posts for free while paywalling others for premium subscribers, and I don’t think I like the idea of bundling a bunch of courses or guides into the premium membership, and I am still fiddling and experimenting with what that paid tier even looks like, and no one’s signed up for it yet anyway 😆 As my gf says, I am currently in my “labor of love” phase with this endeavor 💖

🤔 So all of that leads me to these thoughts…

  • Should I keep the newsletter at twice-weekly posts, free for everybody, and accept support on a donation basis? (Like $5/month if you want to support me for all the time and effort I put into writing.) Lovely and idealistic, though perhaps not sustainable in actuality??
  • Should I chill on my idea to turn this newsletter thing into a whole freaking membership, with courses and guides included, which would would probably be more ongoing work and commitment than I could handle—and instead just record and publish my Human Design material as actual stand-alone video courses, like I was originally intending to? (Yeah, probably.)
  • Should I keep all my writings free, and instead offer other perks to the premium tier? The ideas are—unfortunately for my ADHD brain and indecisive Venus in Libra—endless.

I think there’s a delicate balance between offering whatever I want to offer and staying true to myself, and gauging and checking in on the needs of others to see what people desire and what most resonates with them. A balance between believing in myself (even when the going gets hard and it feels like I’m shouting into the void) and knowing when to cut my losses—when to adapt, change, and pivot.

It all lives somewhere in the tricky tradeoff of listening without people-pleasing, honoring my authentic interests while making sure I can make a living, and enacting my own vision without letting an idea grow too big and unwieldy in my head—only to see it flop in real life.

So, all that said…

If you have any feedback on this newsletter and what you want it to look like in the future, please let me know! I welcome your thoughts. Such as, do you want to pay me money for something you currently get for free? (😂 Doesn’t hurt to ask.) Are there things you would love to see from me—extra editions of the newsletter? behind-the-scenes moments? discounts on 1:1 sessions? drawings and half-baked thoughts that get left on the cutting room floor? the ability to comment on or chat about posts?—that you would wanna see included in a premium membership? Hit reply and let it fly!

I’m truly grateful for the responses to my last email—thank you for letting me know you’re interested in the offerings I proposed! That was encouraging and incredibly helpful. Read on to the bottom to see what came of it 😉

3/ I’m gonna write a book!

In what may seem like a wildly counterintuitive move—considering that I’m moving through a murky phase of life in which I don’t even know what I want my newsletter to look like—I am about to begin…writing a book.

For context: I applied for a scholarship for a course on how to write and self-publish a “tiny book,” and—I got it! I have wanted to write a book since I was a little girl (I was a smol bookworm who did, in fact, create my own handmade books and stories throughout the years, and who got into every reading- and writing-related activity I could think of).

As adulthood wore on, though, I came to think of myself as someone who had lots of ideas but could never finish them, and who was getting further and further away from any sort of professional writing career. (I at least satiated my need for creative outlets by hosting and sharing some of my work at poetry and standup shows and performing and writing for the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater here in LA, until everything ground to a halt at the start of the pandemic two years ago.)

Then this year, I began to feel the pull of the writing and publishing worlds, as different signs started cropping up in my life and nudging me in that direction.

It feels a bit nerve-wracking to announce this sort of project before I’ve even started on it, because I am so jaded by my own history of getting excited about my big ideas and not completing them. It’s funny—so many things in my astrological and human design charts (and my ADHD brain chemistry) point to the fact that my intensity comes in waves, that I have fluctuating energy and interest levels, that I should avoid making big energetic commitments, and that I should be willing to quit when things just aren’t working. And yet I also am really, really hard on myself about all these things.

Regardless, here I am, sharing that I plan to do this very cool thing and actually write a book. It may be tiny. It may be big! We shall see how everything unfolds :)

2/ I’m looking for other jobs to help support myself.

I mentioned this briefly a few weeks ago, but just to elaborate on it a bit—I am in search of part- or full-time work to keep me afloat.

I am sharing this, in part, because I want to normalize this experience. I know that many fellow spiritual practitioners (and creatives, gig workers, freelancers, and artists who rely on precarious employment) are reading this newsletter, and I’m guessing that many of you have also taken classes, worked with coaches, or have seen Instagram posts that make you feel like you should be “successful” within your first one to two years of business, and that if you aren’t, there’s a secret method that you’re just not using yet (that you probably have to pay to learn) that will help you bring in all those dream clients and start making $10k months.

The reality is that it’s always been hard to start your own practice, and I think it’s been especially hard if you’re someone who started yours during the pandemic. And if you’re struggling right now, just know that there are also larger forces beyond your control that are fucking with the economy and making it harder for your clients and customers to find the money and the time and energy to invest in your work. Anecdotally, I’ve heard that even “big,” successful, and seasoned practitioners, ones with sizable and dedicated audiences, have been struggling somewhat in the past few months, due to the current state of the world. It helped me to hear this—it helped me to feel less alone, and less like a “failure”—and I hope that, if you needed to hear this, it helps you too.

It has also helped me to hear that it’s normal for the first 1 to 5 years of business to be experimental, to be difficult, and to be not-yet-financially-sustaining.

For me, it’s been almost two years, and I have made some money through Shadow Femme, but not even enough to cover what I’ve invested into it (through courses, trainings, software costs, and coaching)—and not nearly enough to live on. I’m getting to the point where I really need to make a regular, consistent income, and so I’m in search of a job or jobs that will help me do so. As much as I would rather make a living solely through my spiritual practice, working a “normal” job again will help me breathe a huge sigh of relief, and will also help relieve the pressure from Shadow Femme, so that I don’t yet crush something I’m passionate about with the weight and urgency of material, monetary needs.

I’ve got a couple of promising part-time gigs that I’m interviewing for (namely: working at a cool bookstore, and possibly working as an in-house tarot reader, but it’s all very much up in the air right now), but if you happen to know of anyone who’s in search of the following, please do let me know:

  • Virtual Assistant work
  • copywriting or editing
  • retail or receptionist jobs in the LA area (ideally at places which are introvert-or witch-friendly such as bookstores, crystal shops, witchy shops, any sort of healing-related business, etc—and for some reason my guides suggested “cosmetic surgery centers”??? They said it’d be fun / amusing and they want the chisme on who walks in there lol.)
  • an in-house card reader at any LA-based business

I’m a Projector, which in Human Design terms means that I function best when I’m “invited” into job opportunities, but which in practice is often frustrating and highly unrealistic. But here I am putting my Projector self out into the world and seeing if this actually works!

1/ I’ve decided to make ✨Spirit Snail Mail✨ an official offering :)

Thank you again to those who responded to Wednesday’s email. Both of the proposed offerings (mini tarot readings and channeled letters) got some love, but people were especially enthusiastic about the idea of receiving a handwritten letter from their guides and mine.

As much as I love the interplay of working with people through live sessions, I’ve also been craving the chance to create and share something tangible that people can hold and keep, and handwritten letters seem like a wonderful way to do that.

I was inspired by an offering I bought from an internet friend of mine, Christine, a few years ago (an Akashic letter) as well as seeing a popular past offering from Aja that she no longer does (her Spirit Letters). I honestly don’t know what else to officially call this sort of of thing other than “Spirit Letters,” because even though “Spirit Snail Mail” is cute, it mostly just makes me think of snails , so 🐌 sorry Aja for copying the name! 🙈 “Spirit Letters” it is.

If you would like to receive a lovingly crafted letter with a personalized drawing on the front and handwritten, channeled guidance inside from the spirits that love and support you, then you can commission one for yourself for $75 here (postage included).

what's that? is that a Spirit Letter in there?? idk, open it and find out!

Thanks for sticking with me on this wild and experimental ride, and here’s wishing you a wonderful weekend and a (belated) happy New Moon!