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Author Topic: Charging for the Craft  (Read 6631 times)

Stardancer

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2012, 11:51:39 am »
Quote from: r2squared;37854

In the case of charging people for the Craft, would you count psychic, tarot readers, mediums, and that sort as falling into this category, and how do you personally feel towards it?

I just remember going to a "New Earth" festive a couple months back, and the room was filled to the brim with all sorts of psychic healers, mediums, fortunes tellers, and the works.

 
I've seen both sides of that metaphorical and literal coin. I used to find the prices at those fairs absolutely horrendous - about $50-60 for a halfhour with a tarot reader or astrologer? I felt they should be using it as an opportunity to market themselves and catch future customers, rather than charging full price and possibly driving off customers.

Then I looked at the clients; middle class, middle aged women in well off clothings. They weren't driven off at all - they could afford it and used it to sniff at something they would otherwise scoff at.

Then I sat at the other side of the table for a few years, and realised how expensive that was. About $600 for a table for a weekend. If you don't get a steady stream of clients (and as other threads have talked about - that just isn't sustainable unless you are very well trained in keeping your energy about you!), you have to set the price high - just to cover the table. Add travel costs, maybe accomodation if you're out of town, and the $50 for 30 min is suddenly a minimum. And marketing? Maybe one person out of all those 20-40-60 you see over the weekend will come back.. They're just there for the fair, so that's your only chance of getting paid for your services, time and energy.

After two-three instances of ending up in the red after fairs, I quit that mess.

I thought quality was the most important thing, but couldn't compete with the peacocks, and since I'm really not naturally a peacock.. well..
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SatSekhem

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2012, 01:02:26 pm »
Quote from: treekisser;37903
Although I'm curious how practitioners go about determining prices. Charging for time spent, cost of components and expertise I can understand. But can you charge for the end result? I can see that the ditch has been dug. I wonder how practitioners would be able to guarantee success, or for that success to be easily measurable.

 
It feels like there is a certain formula utilized for the charging of magical services. The thing is how far is too far? I know there are many "Mambos" and "Houngans" out there who will charge you hundreds of dollars for a simple ritual that you could perform yourself. (I use quotes to describe them because, while I'm all for being paid for your work, I think $500 for a Lave Tet is a bit much.)

A Mambo that I know and have been talking with a lot lately tends to only base her prices on the components of the spellcraft with a little added in for time. Her prices are incredibly reasonable. For example, she will set a candle for others if the need arises. Her prices is $30 (also depends on how much energy is needed to manifest, but generally, that's the price) versus a Mambo who would charge $75.

I think what ends up happening is that ego becomes a major aspect in how to set prices, which is sad.
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yewberry

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2012, 01:30:28 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;37921
It feels like there is a certain formula utilized for the charging of magical services. The thing is how far is too far? I know there are many "Mambos" and "Houngans" out there who will charge you hundreds of dollars for a simple ritual that you could perform yourself.



I think what ends up happening is that ego becomes a major aspect in how to set prices, which is sad.


Caveat emptor.  I personally don't believe magic done for others (especially strangers who've paid me) is anywhere near as effective as spells done for/to oneself.  This is mostly due to the number and variety of variables present in such a transaction.  It's hard enough to really know myself, much less the motivations and intentions of another.

That said, I don't have any problems at all with charging for spells (or wouldn't, if I were ever propositioned to do so).  Although I'd probably draw the line at truly malicious or highly manipulative stuff.  Not because I think such spells are always the wrong choice, but because I can't imagine getting so intimately involved in a complete stranger's personal crap.

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2012, 03:35:08 pm »
Quote from: r2squared;37854
I'm curious as to what one describes as charging people for The Craft. Most witches and pagans that I have met have come to look down upon anyone casting a spell or doing anything magickal for a fee, but I also know that many of us live near metaphysical and occult stores that will also sell psychic reading and other services for a fee.

In the case of charging people for the Craft, would you count psychic, tarot readers, mediums, and that sort as falling into this category, and how do you personally feel towards it?

I just remember going to a "New Earth" festive a couple months back, and the room was filled to the brim with all sorts of psychic healers, mediums, fortunes tellers, and the works. I was honestly a little put back by it. After all, as witches and pagans, we should be able to do all of that for ourselves. I feel like those people are preying on the people going into festivals or stores like that and not really understanding that they have the power themselves to do what they're doing...either that or maybe their customers simply can't be bothered to learn what it takes to know in order to become more psychically aware.
In my personal opinion, I think it's a shame to want to use something as pure and sacred as our Craft for monetary gain.

 
Two things that form most of my mild problem with this stance/statement.

1) It assumes that "psychic skills" (for lack of a better catch-all term) are equally present in everybody; that the potential is evenly spread across humanity. In my experience, it isn't. Some people are better at it than others, whether "it" is Tarot or mixing potions or hexing the testicles off of pedophiles. Just like my sister is the runner of the family- she's built for it and does it easily. I'm the heavy lifter. Could we swap, and I'll go running while she lifts heavy crap? Yeah, but it would take a lot more effort on both our parts for a less-than-optimal result. You can build up "weak" areas, of course, but sometimes you just don't have the time to do so.

2) It also assumes that The Craft (tm) owns psychic skills. It doesn't. Half of the readers at my local New Age fair market themselves as angel guided and/or showing God's will because their target demographic trusts that "source" of information. Hardly the mental picture presented when someone says The Craft.

Now, charging for spellwork is a different ball of wax, particular to everybody who plays with it. Charging for something you do religiously, like a blessing from the gods you worship or a favor from the spirits you work with, is yet another ball of sticky wax to decide over personally. Its just a good idea to remember that such decisions are personal and vary from person to person.
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Valentine

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2012, 08:00:10 pm »
Quote from: treekisser;37903
Although I'm curious how practitioners go about determining prices. Charging for time spent, cost of components and expertise I can understand. But can you charge for the end result? I can see that the ditch has been dug. I wonder how practitioners would be able to guarantee success, or for that success to be easily measurable.

 
That's interesting--I don't do a lot of what you'd call spellwork, these days, mostly the boringer sort of magic you can pass off for other things if people are edgy about it.  (For me, it's not so much that magic's not sacred as it's not pure--it's tied into everything I do, if I do it right, so the line between "magic" and "not magic" is very hard to determine in most pursuits.  So I mostly do things where you do see results, even if the result is just "comfort for a little while.")  
Your question is part of why, while I don't rule out compensation or pay for labor, I do--when it comes to explicitly doing magic--much prefer barter over money.  It's much easier to ask someone, "Well, what was it worth to you?"  Often enough, that means being welcomed to a dinner, or having someone help me with something later.  Doesn't pay the rent, of course.  I rely on the stuff you can mistake for not-magic-at-all for that.
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GaiaDianne

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2012, 10:01:09 pm »
Quote from: r2squared;37854
I'm curious as to what one describes as charging people for The Craft. Most witches and pagans that I have met have come to look down upon anyone casting a spell or doing anything magickal for a fee, but I also know that many of us live near metaphysical and occult stores that will also sell psychic reading and other services for a fee......
In my personal opinion, I think it's a shame to want to use something as pure and sacred as our Craft for monetary gain.


Quote from: r2squared;37854
I'm curious as to what one describes as charging people for The Craft. Most witches and pagans that I have met have come to look down upon anyone casting a spell or doing anything magickal for a fee, but I also know that many of us live near metaphysical and occult stores that will also sell psychic reading and other services for a fee......
In my personal opinion, I think it's a shame to want to use something as pure and sacred as our Craft for monetary gain.



GAIADIANNE:

Hi and Merry Meet -- I'm somewhat new here and just finding my way around.
I hope it's ok to raise/address  a related  issue  -- Charging for Classes.  Since I teach, that's the area with which i'm most concerned, and most often hear objections.

I agree that one should not charge for actual religious services, such as formal Training leading toward Initiation, for Wicccanings, Handfastings, etc  (if someone wants to charge for Initiation, i say run the other way!) --

But i teach a time-limited (12 Lesson) introductory Wicca Class, on which i've spent literally hundreds of hours researching, fact-checking, choosing and organizing materials (not just articles and books, but all sorts of resources, including Music and Chants, Videos, etc -- as well as obtaining the Permissions to use them!) into what i hope is a quality experience.  I have students provide Class and Teacher evaluations, and i continually upgrade and improve the class to reflect those suggestions and new information and resources that become available.  

I ask for a "Sliding-Scale" fee, to be determined by the Student. I let them know i'm very willing to work with them, and if they want the Class, i want them to have it and not stay away just because of money.  I have on occasion offered partial barters, scholarships, even "Pay It Forward" arrangements, to single parents or others dealing with unusual expenses or extreme hardship.  

I think it's important to keep in mind several things:

a) Money shouldn't be the only consideration, but it's a legitimate one, since we live in a material world.  I once heard a very devoted, well-known HIgh Priestess who has served the Pagan community all her life, admit (sorrowfully) that she desperately needed dental work, but couldn't afford it.  I think that's very wrong.

b)  Teaching – really good, quality teaching – is an often-unappreciated and devalued gift / talent.
 
Most people have little if any idea what a responsible teacher goes through to try to research and put together a well-organized, complete, intelligent, logical Class that will (hopefully) teach, educate, involve the mind, heart, soul and spirit, and be both memorable and inspirational.  

Many Pagans/ Wiccans (understandably) want well-educated and experienced teachers, but they don't realize the time and effort it takes to acquire all that knowledge and experience -- or the things we've had to sacrifice on the way to obtain it .

c)  Being human, we all tend to value those things for which we have to work, or expend "prices" to obtain.  What we obtain too cheaply, we tend to devalue.  

d)  Even a very limited amount of money can be a meaningful payment:  $15-$25 per month is not an awful lot to ask, and most people can afford it if they truly value (and are willing to make modest sacrifices for) what they want.

e)  Thus, I think Teachers (and those who provide other services) have a right to be fairly, reasonably reimbursed for their time and efforts, as long as they do try to be responsible and fair about it.  

Charging exorbitant fees (as is often done at the kinds of "NewAge" Fairs mentioned in the OP) is imo, UNfair and UNreasonable.  It tends to both shut out many who would use the information honorably and responsibly, and to cater to the wealthier "dilettantes" who want others to do the (spiritual, emotional and intellectual) work for them.

I think it should be entirely possible to work out an arrangement that is fair, reasonable and respectful of both the Teacher and the Student  ;)

Blessed Be - GaiaDianne

r2squared

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2012, 05:10:19 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;37911
I'm going to be completely honest, this really pushes some buttons for me.

Again, I meant no ill words to anybody. This is why I don't use online forums a lot - I have a probably choosing the correct words and, more often than not, I get misread.

I was brought up around an idea that selling services, magickally or psychically, was just unacceptable. And yes, the idea that everybody DID have that potential, with enough time devoted to studying and learning, was generally accepted within my group. Now that I'm branching out and seeing different views and different ways of approaching this, I am starting to realize that the beliefs of my group are just that - the beliefs of my group.

So I repeat again, for the third time now, I am not intentionally trying to call anyone out or nor am I stating that it's downright wrong.

You all have most definitely given me some food for thought.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 05:11:42 pm by r2squared »

Asch

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2012, 05:16:16 pm »
Quote from: r2squared;38071

TBH I always found the idea that charging for services, supplies, items etc as a moral failure to be extremely odd.

As some have stated far better than I could and from direct experience there are types of services that it would be inappropriate to charge for (training within a group's hierarchy etc) but seriously if someone is going to the trouble of creating a spell/ritual/material or performing a requested service that falls beyond what might be normally provided it's just natural, imo/philosophy to offer some kind of recompense.

Whether that takes the form of barter or cash is immaterial what matters is that the expense, effort, and time are acknowledged and an equitable return is produced.

It just seems unfair and disrespectful imo to expect persons to extend themselves and use their energy/skills/materials/experience to benefit a person without an exchange of some kind occurring.

Just because that exchange involves money or barter doesn't make it any less sacred or profane the service in fact, again imo, it legitimizes the whole process. To me it says, yes your work and your product are worthy of the same consideration given to any other person's efforts and products, whether that product is a sandwich or a Tarot reading.

It's just...rude to expect to receive something without offsetting the effort and costs of the providing party.

But that's me.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 05:16:52 pm by Asch »

r2squared

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2012, 05:47:01 pm »
Quote from: GaiaDianne;37982
GAIADIANNE:
Blessed Be - GaiaDianne

 
Merry Meet! I found your post extremely thoughtful, and informative as well. I hadn't taken classes into an account, and it's true, most classes I have attended have either been free or they have the option of a small donation. I'm now started to see the ramifications of that trade off. Perhaps I'm just spoiled. Either way, I completely agree in a fair trade off agreement, but not just on a magickal/psychic/philosophical concept - as a marketing, economical concept on a grand scale. Sadly, our economy does not generally reflect this notion...

I give you Kudos for best reply yet. :)

Jenett

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2012, 09:46:50 pm »
Quote from: GaiaDianne;37982

d)  Even a very limited amount of money can be a meaningful payment:  $15-$25 per month is not an awful lot to ask, and most people can afford it if they truly value (and are willing to make modest sacrifices for) what they want.

 
One of the things I've thought a lot about, actually, is the amount issue.

Here's the thing: even in the intro classes I've taught, we're talking 10 hours of teaching (plus another hour each class for getting there, setting up, answering questions after, etc.) plus whatever prep time. Call it 15 hours, over 2.5 months, not including actual prep time for classes (which, Gaia's right, for most teachers are equal or double the actual time in front of a class), or 6ish hours a month.

At that point, $25 a month is a *totally insulting* amount of money ($4 per hour per person), if you're actually charging for your teaching time. (Given that teaching salaries run $25 an hour a lot of places, these days.) And any other substantial expenses (more travel, room rental, etc.) just make it that much worse.

And in a way that can encourage undervaluing of other teaching time, in other areas, as well.

On the whole, I'd rather either work with people who value it without having to pay for it - or who work out something that means something to them (barter, service, etc.) that takes a money number out of the equation.

One other interesting solution I've seen - that apparently works quite well for 'intro class at the local/regional witchy store' type of thing is to have people pay in advance, and if they drop the class before the end of the series (barring some good reason, identified in advance - medical issues, for example), they get back a substantial amount of the cost back at the end. (How much depends on things like room rental, etc.)

The people I know who've done it found it worked well for situations where they needed to pay for a room/supplies/plan for a certain number of people, while rewarding those who actually stuck with it.
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Catherine

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2012, 11:53:24 pm »
Quote from: r2squared;38071
Again, I meant no ill words to anybody. This is why I don't use online forums a lot - I have a probably choosing the correct words and, more often than not, I get misread.


Just so you know, my saying up front that it's a hot button issue for me is my way of giving you a heads up that my post will probably contain snark, and reflect my irritation.

I didn't think you were intentionally trying to be offensive or putting down anyone's business practices. I am happy to hear that you're at least looking at all of the reasons why people might charge or not, as they see fit.

Things just aren't always so cut and dry. And sometimes, things that look bad on the surface really aren't bad at all when you get into the meat of them.

Like potion X. I would probable charge 9 or 10 buck for a bottle. If you were going to buy all of the components yourself, you'd be looking at a lot more money. Which is fine if they're ingredients that you'd use again later, but you'd be surprised how many people don't want to invest in lots of different herbs, oils, stones, etc.

So, it's a win for both sides, provided the prices are reasonable.

r2squared

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2012, 12:50:45 am »
Quote from: Catherine;38128

So, it's a win for both sides, provided the prices are reasonable.


You know, this thread is actually giving me some GREAT ideas. ;)

Rowanfox

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2012, 11:42:12 am »
Quote from: r2squared;37854
I'm curious as to what one describes as charging people for The Craft. Most witches and pagans that I have met have come to look down upon anyone casting a spell or doing anything magickal for a fee, but I also know that many of us live near metaphysical and occult stores that will also sell psychic reading and other services for a fee.


 
If you talk to many initiated BTWs, the answer will be a resounding no, we do not charge for the craft. This is part of our belief system.

My take on this is that we do not charge money for teaching the craft, nor do we charge for the crafting and casting of magical work within our tradition.

This, in my opinion, is more about personal integrity. If I charge no monetary fee, i can choose with total control who I teach, and what spells I choose to cast. The exchange of money for those things can give the illusion that the payer has the choice to demand certain things in return for the money; and my craft, my religion, is not for sale.

On the other hand, we tend to think that most students give much, in terms of time and effort. the simple commitment to attend a number of classes and sacrifice personal time in the pursuit of learning, is enough for many of us.

Just our take, of course, YMMV

Micheál

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2012, 05:34:44 pm »
Quote from: r2squared;37854

In the case of charging people for the Craft, would you count psychic, tarot readers, mediums, and that sort as falling into this category, and how do you personally feel towards it?

I don't see anything wrong with it personally. I'd find it hard to do myself, but have had friends of mine that work in shops charge me, and I can totally understand because I know their position.

For "The Craft," there's mixed emotions about this. In Traditional Wicca, training, initiation, e.t.c. is all free, that's just how it is. However it's a bit different if offering services to the public. My HPriestess for instance does a 2 hour Intro to Witchcraft class every now and then when she's able. It's once a week for 11 weeks, being 22 hours. She runs it from her home, and even takes students out to sacred sites. She does charge for this, and rightly so I think. If money is an issue she'll even work with people, and accept "payment" in other ways such as good deeds&gestures. It's also a requirement for newbies who may possibly want to join the coven(mostly, with a few exceptions) because it lets her know where they stand, the extent of their knowledge, and equips them with basics they'll need to know. Everything to do with the coven is free, although I think it's proper to chip in a bit if say your elders spend £100 for oils, herbs, e.t.c, but that's just me.

I know others as well that charge for Tarot readings, regression and what not. They put in a lot of hard work for the community, and rely on using their skills for a living like anyone else does in their 9-5, or on the side.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2012, 12:12:55 am »
Quote from: r2squared;37854

In my personal opinion, I think it's a shame to want to use something as pure and sacred as our Craft for monetary gain.



People charge for weddings, funerals and other rituals of so many faiths, I don't see why magic is different.

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