I think its a very good question. I am applying this question in regards to the charging of currency for a form of Fortunetelling. This post has been brewing in my head for a good long time--since I was comfortable enough in my beliefs to begin to question them, in fact.
You see, when I was first learning my path--and I was in that newbie phase for a few years--a friend informed me that you must never charge for a reading. I was just learning the runes, and she was an established tarot reader who knew what she was talking about. Being new to the whole fortunetelling thing I accepted it without question, although I did feel dissapointed that I would never be able to make a living doing something I was already rather good at.
Her reasoning was as follows: The ability to read tarot, runes, palms, astrological charts, etc. is a gift from the gods. As a precious gift, an ability we have been granted, we should not impose human limitations like currency on it. As a gift it should be given freely (with perfect love and perfect trust and all that) to those around us, better our fellow man etc., and we have no right to charge (in my mind this translates to "corrupt with money") for something like that.
This is all very well and good and sweet and well-intentioned. That being said, an artist has to make a living. If someone paints, and they're good at it and they love it, chances are they are going to try and make a living out of it. The ability to paint is a gift just as fortunetelling is, just as anything you have a natural knack for is (imho). You would not expect a painter to give their paintings away for free simply because they have a natural gift for it. As wonderful as life would be if we were all just one big loving commune, real life tends to set it. If you're going to paint you have to be able to attain the three basic requirements for life: Food, Water, Shelter. In order to attain said requirements, one needs the necessary amount of money to pay for them. In order to attain the necessary amount of money, you need to provide a service (product, labor, time, etc.).
I don't know about you, but I'm very unhappy being a lifeless drone mechanically performing my duties on a weekly basis for a paycheck. I don't enjoy it, and right now I'm just existing. Just get through the day. Just earn the paycheck, spend it, and repeat. I need to do something I love, something I'm good at, even if it doesn't earn me much of a living. At least I'd be LIVING. If I don't find something like that...well, I don't really know what will happen. I could just slowly die inside. No, I'm not being melodramatic, if the amount of nervous breakdowns and hysteric crying sessions since I've started this job are anything to go by. I've become the most antisocial person I know because being around and interacting with people makes it much worse--in fact more often than not social interaction triggers said nervous breakdowns.
My point is, I need a job that I enjoy and am good at. I'm talking enjoy so much that I would be happy doing it day in and day out, and as much as I love all my crafts they just wouldn't fit that requirement. Reading Runes would. So would anything related to magick. Since owning a magick shop isn't in my immediate future, I need a stepping stone in the meantime. In fact I wouldn't mind being a radio host/dj either, as it involves performing and also qualifies, but I hear they get shit for money. I don't know what I'll do, frankly, but I think the first step is to offer readings on my currently defunct Etsy shop. Sure I'll need to actually make get a banner, clean up my profile and whatnot, but I'll be doing something I love and making a bit of a living with it. Its a start.
And no, I'm not just advertising for my new shop (that comes later, when its actually up and running. ;) ) I am however recording my thoughts and feelings at this point in time. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?