The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 10 - 10/9/2000
Money and the Craft
Money And The Craft is something that Pagans have wrestled with for decades. Are tarot readings and the like really a "part of the Wiccan religion"? Should we consider a "paid clergy"? What do YOU think about exchanging teaching, readings or clergy service for cash?
| Reponses: There are 82 responses posted to this question.
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| Money And The Craft Is Not An Ethical Worry To Those Witches... ||Oct 9th. at 8:33:36 pm EDT|
|Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 58 - Email |
Money and the Craft is not an ethical worry to those witches in the "trade" aspect of Witchcraft.
It is the cowan who wants the use of the witches powers for that extra metaphysical push in life for love, luck, money and to be rid of the ooga boogas and for psychic prognstications, not other witches.
They come to the witch for a spell to solve their problems, hurt enemies, obtain money and have a love-life handed them on a silver platter.
I come to Craft through the trade, having been an occult supply dealer for over 30 years.
If I were to depend on "witches" as customers, I would have been bankrupt that long ago.
A successful occult/metaphysical shop caters to the occult needs of the cowan, who do not wish to be witches, but want the witch around to provide the ingredients for spellcraft.
Charge as much as the traffic will bear. Set your own fees for what you think your psychic talent is worth.
It is not charging a fee for Wicca. Money should not be the criteria for status in the Craft or the Wiccan Religion.
Wicca has no ownership claim to a practice in the traditional witchcraft occult arts and psychic sciences.
Just do whatever you are big enough to do, as we witches from good old Las Vegas use to say. BB Tarostar
| Hey What Ever Happened To That Little Thing That Pagans Are To... ||Oct 9th. at 11:39:34 pm EDT|
|Crescent (Sykesville) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Hey what ever happened to that little thing that pagans are to remember about not taking money for helping others? Well I'm sorry but reading the cards should not be your big money maker.(Now if the person who your reading for wants to slip you a few bucks, that's on them.) but I don't think that anyone should have a set fee, or charge you for it. What happened to giving from the heart? When I do readings I don't take money for it, I'm just happy to do it.
| Paid Clergy? What Would They Do For Us That We Couldn't Or... ||Oct 9th. at 11:43:13 pm EDT|
|Amanda (Providence, Rhode Island US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Paid clergy? what would they do for us that we couldn't or didn't already? If you can give me a good reason why we need these people, and what they'd do, i'd say pay them whatever is fair and don't let it go to thier heads.
As for teaching, I think it's unethical to accept money for any exchange of knowledge. Why should I have to pay my college a small fortune every year just to *learn*? It's not like all my teachers can't go out and get second jobs to support themselves. Seriously, they don't have anything else to do besides teach us. They should feel lucky I go to class at all, I could pick up a couple of books on anatomy, a few on medicine, and then I could be a doctor. It's not like I need thier experience, past knowledge, tools, or anything else. Sheesh, this country is too materialistic.
PEOPLE! You are using someone's time and effort, there is little reason not to pay them somehow. If someone doesn't want to charge you, fine, but if they do, don't get all snippy about it. If Madonna can charge $20 for her new CD, I can charge $10 for a dessert at a restaurant, and a doctor can charge $200 a visit, why can't Morganna down the street charge a few dollars for lessons in Wicca? This isn't a religon where you sit back and do nothing, often there's a lot more involved with spells, herbs, and the like. It's a religon, and a craft. I would have to pay to learn any other craft, why not this one?
| Tarot Is Not A Totally Wiccan/pagan Thing. Anyone Of Any Faith... ||Oct 10th. at 6:30:06 am EDT|
|Sundee Ziegler (Langweid7Stettonhofen) ||Age: 49 - Email |
Tarot is not a totally wiccan/pagan thing. Anyone of any faith can walk into a book store and purchase a tarot deck and a how to book and learn to read the cards. I believe that if an individual wants you to take time from your day and away from what you are doing, than they should offer some kind of compensation. I am an artist and my time is valuable as i work on commission only. If i take the time from my commission work to give a reading for a person i am taking time away from that which is my livelyhood. I do n—t however set a certain price, but will accept what is offered. I let them know upfront that some form of compensation is expected. It can be money, a gift and i have even had my house cleaned and meals cooked in returm. I do not turn away a person for lack of money but some service will be accepted.
As for a paid clergy...I do not believe a paid clergy would benefit us as there are sooooo many different ways and beliefs within the pagan spectrum that one individual cannot minister to all ways. It would take an army of clergy to minister to us all and then there are those of us who are solitary who would not really benefit from them. One of the finest things about our path is that you can follow any path and have the freedom of creation of rituals, traditions and so forth. Never forget that our way was almost totally lost by following "paid clergy". I do however believe that those "elders" who take time out of their busy schedules to help us should be "gifted" in some form much as our ancestors did when recieveing help from them. Would a batch of homemade cookies or help with some yard work or housepainting be out of line? Or a hot meal or maybe somebaby-sitting?
I also think that if we all have knowledge to share we should share it especially when asked by newcomers or those who are searching for a new way. If such a person asks me, I do not expect compensation for the information. As far as spells and magick? I ask for the costs to be covered but not for the actual working of the magick. I think charging for the magick weakens the power as it comes from the pocketbook and not the heart.
| I Must Say That I Get The Impression That We Are Missing... ||Oct 10th. at 7:42:51 am EDT|
|Michael (Dublin, European Union, Ireland) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I must say that I get the impression that we are missing an important ethical point:
There is a difference between profit, and compensation. One is excessive and the other is just and fair.
Teachings are given of free will, and obviously money is needed to cover costs, but remember that if you are charging more than neicessary then it is on your own head. If we allow teaching and readings to become an "industry" or profitable business, then we will naturally draw those who love profit in greater and greater numbers.
Always ask yourself, am I doing this because I'm getting paid, or because it is the correct thing to do. Money can be a nice bonus, but the important question is, would I be doing this if there was no money involved?
Remember we are all our own clergy, as such we must be responsible how we represent our respective Deities and fellow Pagans.
Due to our loose organisation and small numbers we must be all the more vigilent that we are indeed working for the greater good and setting the right example. We are by far more open to criticism than others.
There is an obvious difference between sale of a product (herbs, components etc..) and servces (divination, spells, preyers etc..), one is tangable and the other is not, this does in fact make all the difference.
Many of are fond of pointing out how other religions stole traditions from us, lets make sure we don't steal such habits as the Catholic chuchs of the middle ages.
Then a person could purchase ANY service from the Church, from ancient "relics" (finger bones of christ, and splinters of the cross etc.) up to absolution from ANY sin, all if you pay the right price!!
Sorry for being long winded, but I feel very strongly about this,
| I Have Strong Feelings On The Idea Of "pagan Clergy". I Have... ||Oct 10th. at 8:00:13 am EDT|
|horse (Missoula, Montana US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I have strong feelings on the idea of "pagan clergy". I have felt for a while that, a loose confederation of pagans, say a non-profit group (a "church" might be too much "normilization" of beleifs), that was nationally recognized as the 'pagan religion catch-all' orginization, what people in the media and local community groups would automatically go to for 'just the faqs' of paganism, this could lead to the further recognition and acceptance of paganistic beleifs as normal as Christian or Muslim beleifs. I would gladly become a memeber and give money to pay for people to hold positions for the purpose of reaching out to the pagan and nonpagan communities. A person like this may not be "adept" at every pagan path, but would know enough of different paths to be a source of enlightenment for, say, the local newspaper's halloween articles or for a new pagan to find companionship (please, no offense, but we pagans can be cliquish). Also, this person could be instrumental in resolving tensions between local covens, a sort of "neutral ground" to work through differences as well as working towards unity. I think the best people for postions like this would be our modern craft 'elders', those pagans who grew up in times when there just weren't open pagans, those who have fought tradition and conformity to learn and practice a way of life they felt in their hearts. It is thanks to them, and those before them, that we can walk into corporate coffeeshop bookstore and find everything from Asatru to Zoroastrian. (i'm getting misty-eyed)
Maybe these are just pipe dreams, maybe we are too disorganized of a bunch to make this happen...but maybe not.
| Divination, In My Understanding, Is Certainly A Part Of The Wiccan Religion... ||Oct 10th. at 10:07:54 am EDT|
|Kathwoman (Mission Viejo, California US) ||Age: 49 - Email |
Divination, in my understanding, is certainly a part of the Wiccan religion.
A "paid clergy" is a separate issue. Clergy implies organized religion and I am certainly opposed to anything of the sort! That's when you start getting into dogmatic situations and that would be a tragedy for witchcraft and paganism.
However, exchanging teaching, readings, and services for cash is perfectly acceptable. As a matter of fact, my Tarot teacher made it quite clear that an "energy exchange" was necessary for doing readings. That can be a number of things such as favors, gifts, return readings, or even cash!
| I Believe That Divination Is A Part Of The Wiccan Faith, At... ||Oct 10th. at 10:27:28 am EDT|
|Kori Parathena (Nashville, North Carolina US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I believe that divination is a part of the Wiccan faith, at least in the eyes of my tradition. I realize that this may not be the case in other trads, however.
I think the idea of a paid clergy is a bad one. I have yet to see a religious leader...Pagan or otherwise...that could accept money for religious services and remain uncorrupted. Whe it comes to religion, I think money really is "the root of all evil."
I do think it is okay to charge for readings and spellwork, though, especially to "outsiders." I do not charge for teaching, ritual leadership, or counseling, because I believe these matters fall fully within the realm of the spiritual. At one time, I didn't charge for my "magickal" services either, i.e. divination and spellwork. I was soon being taken advantage of, however, and I fell prey to those I lovingly term "Tarot junkies" and "Spell junkies." I have found that when you charge for these services, you are slightly less likely to be taken advantage of, plus, it cuts down on your personal costs when you can expect the client to pick up the tab for any spell supplies you might need.
| In My Opinion Tarot Readings Are Not A "part" Of The Wiccan... ||Oct 10th. at 11:52:07 am EDT|
|Rev. Maya Ravensong (Council Bluffs, Iowa US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
In my opinion Tarot readings are not a "part" of the Wiccan RELIGION. It is a wonderful tool or aid in many many different ways and "can" be used during ritual or as a way to connect with the Divine. But so are many other things. Most Wiccans I know use tarot or a similar tool but none of them consider it a part of thier religion. Many people who use tarot are Not Wiccans, I know some Christians that use tarot! So how can it be a part of our religion? You can be a Wiccan and never touch a deck. This does not mean of course that you can not MAKE it a part of your own path, it is just not something you MUST as in honoring the Goddess and or God.
As for paid Clergy. I have no problem with this when the Clergy is performing a service such as a handfasting, Birth rite or passing over ritual. They are taking time out of thier day/night to do this, sometimes without knowing very well the one(s) the ritual is performed for. I am listed in my local Countys listing of clergy who can perform legal marriages. I did it so Pagans who wanted a ceremony that reflected thier own beliefes could find someone if they were solitary. I think it is entirely appropiate to be compensated for taking time to do it. I am not talking large dollars here, just whatever the peple can afford to give as a thank you. It has ranged from $5.00 to $30.00. Paying to learn the Wicaan religion is another matter. The only thing I think should be paid for by the student is thier own supplies. Such as the cost of candles, oils, incense, notebooks etc. Paying to learn about the Goddess and or God and how some worship them is WRONG wrong wrong! And could lead to unseen or seen nasty little egos hurting people. It turns the relastionship from one of teacher and student in a spiritual sense to one of business. Never should profit be made off of one who has interest in The Old Religion. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth every time I hear about it.
THANK YOU Witchvox for having a place where we can speak on these issues and so many more. All your hard work for the Pagan community shows Pagans what can be accomplished when you work hard enough. Brightest blessing to all of you!!
Blessed Be as Blessed is!!! ;) I love that btw!!
Rev. Maya Ravensong
Coven of the Spiral Wheel
Council Bluffs IA
| I Don't Believe That Tarot/rune Readings Are Part Of The Duties... ||Oct 10th. at 12:01:48 pm EDT|
|Edred Wodener (Roseville, California US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I don't believe that Tarot/rune readings are part of the duties of a priest or priestess in wicca or part of the gothar in Asatru. I believe that the pagan/heathen "clergy" should not be paid for services such as sabbat/esabbat rituals and other base services that are done by a minister type role (i.e. crises councelling, healing rituals, & hospital visits).
I do believe that the pagan "clergy" should be able to charge for weddings, readings, and teaching classes. I believe that the pagan clergy should teach to anyone classes that explain the basic tenets of the faith for example a Wicca 101 class or an Asatru 101 class regardless of an individual's ability to pay.
I myself teach Wicca 101 classes and Asatru 101 for a donation of $5.00. The way I collect is I have a coffee can or jar on a counter in the pagan store where I teach with a sign on it that says donations. I do not look at the jar until after everyone is gone, then I count the money and leave 20% to the store keeper to help cover the costs of the utilities and as a thank you gift. The rest of the money I cover my expenses for the night (hamberger at McDonalds, copies of the handouts, etc) the rest go into my Kindred's fund. I do not expect to receive anything because that is my duty as a gothi(asatru priest).
| Clearly, One Can Not Believe That We Should Expire To The Stability... ||Oct 10th. at 12:52:14 pm EDT|
|John (Blackwood, New Jersey US) ||Age: 0 - Email |
Clearly, one can not believe that we should expire to the stability of an income through Tarot cards. However, I will say that I wish beyond hope that the faith could be recognized more clearly and that perhaps we could become (even more than now) enlightened teachers throughout the community. I understand that at this time some of us are. I also understand that many of us would like to desire a paying job doing things in the faith. Our reward is the presence and the eternal exsistence of the faith in this world. Is that reward enough? Besides, being known for Tarot readings would be just degrading to some of us....
| Divination And Herbalism, Etc. Are Not Part Of The 'religion' Of Wicca... ||Oct 10th. at 1:49:54 pm EDT|
|MachaCrow (Charles Town, West Virginia US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Divination and Herbalism, etc. are not part of the 'religion' of Wicca. They are common practises of peoples who subscribe to Wiccan 'religion'. There are those who actually do not read the cards, or runes, nor do they create noxious recipes in their kitchens. Just as spell casting is not, in my opinion, a requirement for believing in the Lord and Lady, I do not feel that palmistry, or such is "part of faith".
As for accepting monetary recompense for services, well, I think if a reader or herbalist or healer is paid for service rendered and has rendered service of such quality that is valued at the compensation, then so be it. In the not so distant past, it was common practise for healers, doctors, vets and midwives to collect "payment in kind", this usually in small rural communities was in the form of barter. Their service was valuable and they were compensated for it. Small farming communities could not afford for these knowledgeable persons to seek a living elsewhere, therby putting the locals and their livestock at risk.
It's a matter of valuable service. Therein lies the crux of the matter. How valuable do you as a consumer, hold divination? I read tarot for myself and will willingly do so for close friends at no cost. I have read at fairs and parties and generally any monies collected went to the charitiy or group.
I study herbalism and at this point I still need the services of others, whether recipes, instruction or materials. I expect to and gladly pay for such. To the ability that I can and in a manner I feel reflects the value of said service.
As in any "business" (and it is a business if you are compensated, whether with "silver" or "chickens") there are ethical and unethical persons. You as a consumer should seek the ethical business person. "Buyer Beware". If you are the entreprenuer, then you set your compensation according to how much you feel your service is worth, what the market will bear and try to be ethical in your day to day practices. If you are in it to simply make money, then you are doomed to failure.
There, my $19.95 worth..
Anna (aka MachaCrow)
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