I’ve been coming across a recurring theme lately, on blogs (see The Deepest Well and Wise Whispers as they too addressed this issue) as well as on YouTube and other forums about charging for spiritual services. It seems there are those who like to holler and scream on other people’s blogs, in private emails, on YT videos and other places that it is wrong to charge for spiritual services and the people who offer them should do so for free. It seems that our society has become one of entitlement, of expectation and disrespect toward others. I fail to see why people think some one who puts time and effort into their Craft should give it for free to whomever wants it. I’m not even sure where the idea of spiritual services having to be free comes from because that seems to be the popular argument these people (or trolls really) make – that spiritual services should be free and people are wrong for charging money for them.
The thing is there has always been a charge for services rendered by those who work within the spiritual realms. Now it may not have been monetary, it may well have been goods or services but there was always a price because it was a Craft, a livelihood. Wise people and Cunningfolk of old charged for their services – they had to in order to survive. Those in service in ancient times were taken care of, it hardly helped to have starved, half dead representatives of the Gods. In order to be close to the Gods, their representatives had to be taken care of; fed well and venerated otherwise the Gods would retaliate in a most fearsome way.
I choose not have a paid blog because I made the decision to share my experiences and knowledge in an open forum without the expectation of anything. I’m happy to do that, for whatever it may be worth to some one else along the way. I volunteer at an online school, I choose to do this to help others learn and grow on their spiritual path. This is one facet of my path, my journey I keep free for the public. On that same note, I do run an online store. I sell select Pagan items and I am currently building it up to include other things – it is slow going.
I also offer tarot and oracle readings in my store and I charge for them. Why? Because readings are draining, they take energy and focus to do. I commend those who wish to offer readings for free, but I don’t envy them the position they may get in when a large amount of people request readings and get rude when they don’t receive them in a timely fashion. I can and have done tarot readings for free. When I was at Firefly, I had a tarot stall and I did readings free, however it was more manageable there and it was a great training ground. But now I feel as though I am ready to do readings on a wider scale and for the effort I put in, I do want to be paid. It’s not wrong of me to want that. It’s not wrong for anyone to want to be paid for their skills.
Spiritual supplies cost money. Workings require supplies – candles, herbs, runes, woods, roots, bags, jars etc – whatever the medium the worker chooses to use, no doubt somewhere along the way things had to be purchased. Some of us grow a lot of our own herbs; this still requires time and energy. Some of us make our own candles – we still have to buy the wax. For some, working with the spiritual realm is their livelihood, their way of making money, of earning a living. Are we to tell them in order to be a spiritual person and offer their services they must take a vow of poverty? I would love for my spiritual works to be my livelihood, my way of earning a living but I’m not even close to there yet. It would be nice; it’s definitely a dream of mine. I mean for example, I’ve just about finished my Foundation Certification in Herbalism. When I become a practicing Herbalist, I will be charging for my services. It is a skill I have and I like anyone who has a skill, I would like to be paid for it should I wish to make it my life’s work. It won’t be cheap to buy the things I will need to help people so why on earth would I do it for free?
And that is what these trolls need to learn. When you have a marketable skill, you should get paid for using that skill if you choose to. I imagine they wouldn’t say to their doctors, solicitors, electricians etc that they should do it for free. Just because you think it should be free for whatever reason, doesn’t make it so. Instead of whinging like children to those who prefer to be paid for their services, go find some one else who doesn’t charge, because believe me; those who do charge are not going to make an exception for you. Especially if you spend your time denigrating them for earning a living using their skills. If you want to benefit from these skills - here's a novel concept - go out and learn how to do it yourself, then it will be as free as you want it to be.