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Author Topic: Charging for the Craft  (Read 6630 times)

r2squared

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Charging for the Craft
« on: January 06, 2012, 07:58:50 pm »
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.

r2squared

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 07:59:49 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.

 
And with that being said, I don't see a problem with the metaphysical and occult stores SUPPLYING said Craft supplies. After all, the consumer will be the one to use those tools for their own purposes, not the retailers.

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 08:14:53 pm »
Quote from: r2squared;37854


 
I think it appropriate to pay people for doing work for me.  I think it appropriate to charge people when I do work for them.

Doing work for free makes one poor, hungry, and exhausted.
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Valentine

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 08:44:54 pm »
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.

 
I guess I don't see magic as any more pure than any other sort of work--it's knowledge and labor and resources and will put toward accomplishing something, and you can be sacred or profane about it.  I don't want to use witchcraft for monetary gain any more than I want to use anything else I do for monetary gain, but we don't live in a gift economy where people do their jobs in community and support each other with shared substance.  Gain doesn't really come into it--I have to do something in exchange for pay if I want to eat and have a home.

(For the record, I think our economic system is completely broken.  I wish it weren't this way.  But this is where I live.)

I do witchcraft the way I do physical labor--when a friend needs help moving, I show up and carry heavy things, because I care for them and we're in community together.  But if I were moving someone's houseful of belongings by myself, or it was someone I don't know, or it was days of work taking me away from other things, realistically, I'd want to be compensated somehow.  I wish I lived in an environment where I could just do witchery and ministry in a community, free of charge, and in turn would be substantially supported with no money changing hands, with a place to live and food to eat, but I don't.  In this society, I expect to be paid as a minister and paid as a witch, even if I provide services related to both of those professions, free of charge, to my loved ones or as a volunteer.  I don't expect to get wealthy off of either, but I prefer to have enough to live on.

(My first big solo job as a witch--an exorcism--paid me in two cans of soup, half a box of granola bars, a beer, a party invitation, and a girl's phone number.  (She never called back.)  I know, I know: way too traditional.)

My father is a physician, another profession that is, at times, sacred.  He charges less than the industry standard for his services, and has passed up a number of lucrative partnerships in order to be able to do so in his own way.  His services still aren't cheap, but part of the reason they aren't cheap is that, at least once a week, someone comes to him ill and can't pay and doesn't have insurance.  That person walks away with treatment, and later comes back with fresh eggs from their farm, or a stack of homemade tortillas, or a big jar of their mother's best salsa, or a venison steak from a deer they hunted last week.  And my father calls it square.  I try to be like that, as a professional--to have a sliding scale and mindful of the needs of the community.  For those to whom payment is an easy thing, I ask them to give what they're able.  And for those to whom payment is unthinkable, I ask them to give what they're able, or to pass a favor on to someone else.  And it balances out, somehow.
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Jenett

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 09:43:17 pm »
Quote from: r2squared;37854
I'm curious as to what one describes as charging people for The Craft.

 
Depends what you mean by that.

First, my philosophy comes from a firmly rooted idea that I *have* a day job, and it pays me reasonable money, and that having that rooting and requirement to work in the mundane world is a good thing for my Craft and my magic and my service to my Gods.

(And it's also driven by what that job *is*, which is helping people find and use information. It's hard for me to go into money mode outside of work, because my job pays me to help everyone within our scope.)

There's also an element of: my job pays me to deal with everyone (pleasantly, etc.) within our scope. By not charging for the magical/religious/etc. work, it's easier for me to reserve the right to decide *not* to help someone, for whatever reason. Money makes it harder to say no to some things, and it's a temptation and stress I'd mostly rather not deal with in that realm.

I'm certainly not opposed to other sources of income, but for a variety of reasons, I'm more likely to look a step further out from my religious practice than direct magical or divination practice for others. (Writing or music, for example, both of which are certainly on my "projects to pick up again" list.)

But beyond that, it also depends on category:

I won't charge for teaching toward initiation (it's forbidden in my trad, and I'd think it would be the height of rudeness to charge others for something my teachers gave me to pass forward anyway.)

And I take a pretty broad definition of that. (So I won't charge for intro classes that might lead that direction, etc. either. Some people are fine with that, I choose not to, partly because I have a day job that meets my basic needs, and partly because I find "Does this person take this seriously for reasons other than the price tag" a useful piece of information.) I do expect students to cover their own direct expenses (tools, books, etc.) with some discussion of how to do so in a way that works in their budget.

However, I will (especially in the more general cases) look to cover my actual expenses - especially if something like room rental or more travel than I would normally do is involved - and be up front about my costs.

I'd also be open to charging (or working out some equitable agreement) for things I would not have done otherwise: I consider a certain amount of magical consulting, teaching, priestess-hat-wearing, and so on to be part of my basic duties as a priestess and witch in my tradition.

However, if someone wants more of my time than I'd otherwise offer in those settings, or in a way that makes it harder for me to keep up with other obligations or things I also care about, then money starts to make more sense as a way to make that a bit more equitable.

(I'm very aware, for example, that I make some food choices as a compromise between time and energy: if someone wants me to be gone all weekend in a way that's going to leave me more tired for the next week, then money is a way to make sure I still eat food that's good for me with less effort - more prepared stuff, going out to eat mid-week, etc.)

I am extremely unlikely to do magical work for other people who aren't already friends or students (in which case, I'm not going to charge them: at most, again, ask them to cover supplies or non-trivial travel costs. Though, honestly, most of my friends are likely to do their own work anyway.)

I'm slightly more likely to consider charging for divination readings (haven't done it, but have contemplated it a few times).

In the cases where I have considered charging, I really like a model a good friend of mine uses, which is tailored to personal spending - she does "Three times what you'd spend on a celebratory lunch" for very small group training (in a totally different field: adjust the numbers as makes sense.) If your celebratory lunch is fast food, because that's all you can afford, well, ok. $15. If that's sushi and sake, and runs $50+ a person, then that's $150. It scales relatively well for different economic levels.
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r2squared

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 11:30:30 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;37860
Well I assure you I meant no ill or biased feelings towards anyone, that's just hot I was brought around the craft - it's just not an option. We have the choice whether to perform a service or not, for a friend or stranger, and that choice is ours alone to decide, whatever the case may be.

I'm starting to see the other side of the coin now, however. I would definitely be more persuaded to this idea if it were simply a "fair trade" agreement like Valentine mentioned. One of the Craft's main ideas is give to receive, and I do believe in a Law of Equivalent Exchange.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 03:36:09 am by SunflowerP »

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 03:43:53 am »
Quote from: r2squared;37881


 
Hi, r2squared,

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Fier

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2012, 04:53:57 am »
Quote from: r2squared;37854
After all, as witches and pagans, we should be able to do all of that for ourselves.

 
Depends on the type of pagan and specific interests of the witch. Some pagans have no interest in any of those things at all, or only a few of them. Some who do have interest consider them part of their religion, while others don't.

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2012, 07:51:05 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.

Some people do not see witchcraft as anything pure and/or sacred. Some even see magic as just another tool for getting things done. For people who think like this, charging for magic is no different than charging for digging a ditch.
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treekisser

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2012, 09:17:14 am »
Quote from: RandallS;37900
Some people do not see witchcraft as anything pure and/or sacred. Some even see magic as just another tool for getting things done. For people who think like this, charging for magic is no different than charging for digging a ditch.

 
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.

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2012, 09:25:39 am »
Quote from: treekisser;37903
I wonder how practitioners would be able to guarantee success, or for that success to be easily measurable.

*nods*
There is definitely a problem.

And the German law bases on it too, a customer could cheat a psychic, witch or whatever on the payment, because there is 'no job' done in the eyes of the law, because - as we all know ;) - magic does not exist.

Actually you can see the result of a card reading in the way, that a good reader can tell what situation the client is in currently, or was in in the past. The success of a spell is to be seen also.

After all a spell shouldn't be an open ended thing.
There ought to be 'a sign within three days, a movement within three weeks and a result within three months' (this I found once on the lucky mojo page and find it a great rule of thumb for such things.)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 09:26:34 am by Tana »
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That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
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Maps

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2012, 10:30:36 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.

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.

 
Like others have said, it all depends. Are you specifically talking about the Western magical tradition when you say "The Craft", or are you talking about all magical workings, regardless of culture? Because for some groups magic work is sacred, and for others it's just a job. Not to mention that it varies by individual as well~

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 10:37:17 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;37857
I think it appropriate to pay people for doing work for me.  I think it appropriate to charge people when I do work for them.

Doing work for free makes one poor, hungry, and exhausted.

 
This.

When it comes to Tarot work, I don't consider it an aspect of my pagan lifestyle. In fact, I found Tarot long before I came stumbling upon this religious path of mine. The two are not mutually exclusive in my mind's eye since, for me, doing Tarot work is about something that needs to be fed within me and not something that needs to be done for my spirituality. Does that make sense?

I also have no problem with anyone charging for any sort of services rendered, whether it be of a magical persuasion or otherwise. I don't feel that it sullies anything.
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Catherine

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 11:25:06 am »
Quote from: r2squared;37854

After all, as witches and pagans, we should be able to do all of that for ourselves.


Not necessarily. For example, I don't like to do Tarot readings for myself. In most cases, I feel like it's too easy to interpret the cards in a way that points to the outcome that I want. I'd much rather have a competent reader do one for me. I don't mind paying someone for a service like that.

Quote
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.


I'm going to be completely honest, this really pushes some buttons for me.

First of all, spells cost time and money. For example, if I make a batch of X potion and it costs me $50 to make 10 bottles, takes me two hours to blend it and preform whatever ritual is needed, and another 30 minutes to write up and print instruction sheets to go with them should I just give them away? I don't think so. I'm going to set a price that covers my costs. In many cases, that price will be much, much less than what a person would have had to pay if they'd had to buy each component themselves. No one is forcing the customers to buy the potion, that's their choice.

Second, not everyone has the time or inclination to study magical theory for years before they cast a spell. Or, maybe they aren't as proficient as they'd like to be when it comes to divination, but they have a question that needs an answer right now. Or... the list could go on and on.

Let me ask you something, when your brakes need to be fixed, do you take a class in auto mechanics, or do you take your car to a professional? Should you have to walk until you learn how to fix your own brakes?

Are there people out there running scams? Absolutely! However, I don't believe the majority of people offering magical crafts and services are preying on anyone.

Catherine

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Re: Charging for the Craft
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2012, 11:35:18 am »
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.


I think this is where ethics come into it.

Personally, I never made any guarantees. I was always very honest about the possibility that the spell, powder, potion... whatever, may not work at all, for a variety of reasons.

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