Wednesday, May 12, 2010

To Charge or Not to Charge?

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?

8 comments:

  1. I think one of the reasons that people think charging money for readings is bad is because they associate negative things with money.

    Money is an exchange just like anything else. Hundreds of years ago the people of the village would exchange a chicken for the services of the local healer. Nowadays we exchange money. To me there is no difference.

    I am a reader and I charge for my services. I am crafter and I sell my crafts. I have a PT drone job which actually isn't too bad but it is steady money that pays the bills. Other than that I love working on my own little business. I often trade and barter my services with other folks. I love to trade/barter! I also offer a lot of free spiritual services and have helped many people who couldn't financially afford to pay money for my services.

    So for me it is all good!

    When we put a value on our talents it doesn't make them less of a gift from the gods.

    Definitely go for it. It was a big leap when I finally changed my thinking on this subject.

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  2. Oseaana has spoken well !
    Energy is energy, if you extend yours for someone who's asked, they must in return put forth equal energy. In modern times the exchange of money is most popular. Depends upon your needs.
    Goddess Moneta show us the way !

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  3. Oseaana said almost exactly what I was going to say about the village shaman/healer.

    Also, why would the gods give you such a wonderful gift if you weren't meant to use it and thrive?

    Just because our culture has grown and changed from small local villages and tribes, our abilities and gifts didn't. They are still needed.

    You can bet your bottom that those shamans/healers would not have just forked over their readings and healings for nothing! They would have moved on to another village/tribe that could and would support them!

    The Gods want you to thrive and be happy! So do what it takes to thrive and be happy!

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  4. Hello :)
    Everything in life is an exchange of energy whether your view point if a spiritual one or scientific one etc etc. Charging for your services is exactly that - an exchange of energy. Leonie has talked about this concerning her artwork/meditations over at goddessguidebook.com.
    If this is the gift you've been given this is obviously the way for you to live your life, an like you said there's just no ignoring the 'real' world. Money is all part of it, and you have to live (by this i'm refering to all the mundane things like... oh, bills for example!)
    Happiness isn't always easy to come by - I think you should take the oppurtunity to grab a little bit of it. Good luck!

    Nellie x

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  5. Sounds like you need to sit down and really think things through. If you decide to charge, make sure that you don't over-charge. And you also want to make sure you get a business license, (especially if you do it full-time) . Don't want Uncle Sam up in your face for unpaid taxes. Etc.

    Or you can do like I do, and charge, but take all your profits and donate them to some organization/charity. It's a good way to practice and get some clients.

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  6. Thank you all for your wonderful recommendations! SpiritPhoenix, I think my major problem will be under-charging more than anything. I've always felt guilty charging more than, say, five dollars for something no matter the time and effort it took to make it. That's something I'll have to get over though. ^_^

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  7. I don't think it's wrong charging people for things you do for them. Of course it should be honest work, but I'll go ahead and assume that's the case. (^v^)

    Someone who is good at painting houses or cooking or... gets paid as well. So why not someone who does fortunetelling? It can be a real tough profession, after all.

    Some people I know do readings and don't charge specific amounts of money. Instead, they have a kind of "tip jar" and tell the people to give what they consider reasonable, on a "free will" basis.

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