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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 23,343,442  

Vox Q Stats

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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. Reverse Sort 

No. Rather Use An Immaterial Criteria To Select Those Who Should Receive... Oct 12th. at 1:05:40 pm EDT

Hirjha (Georgetown, Kentucky US) Age: 19

No. Rather use an immaterial criteria to select those who should receive teaching - for instance see if they are truly interested.

Hi Everyone, I Would Like To Thank All Of You Who Have... Oct 12th. at 2:19:58 pm EDT

Sandra (Cumming, Georgia US) Age: 38 - Email

Hi Everyone,
I would like to thank all of you who have sent me advice, and words of encuragement. A special thanks to Sine. You really helped me with my problem. I have been able to learn a few things, and where to look for help. I feel stronger now, than I ever have before. I am well on my way to a better understanding of the spiritual world , and myself. Again thank you Sine.

I Think That Tarot And The Like Are Part Of The Pagan... Oct 12th. at 2:27:58 pm EDT

Katherine netherwood (Leeds) Age: 14 - Email

I think that tarot and the like are part of the pagan thoughts and love for the mother, But exchanging them for cash is an insult to the mother and we who do our own readings and palmstry. J ust a note a very good day this month Friday 13th and its a full moon too.

Thankyou and Blessed be

Jhessail of the coven of the Nymph.

A Paid Clergy Wouldn't Be A Solution For Wicca; We're All Priests... Oct 12th. at 4:28:41 pm EDT

Nwyvre (Zwijndrecht, Netherlands) Age: 17 - Email

A paid clergy wouldn't be a solution for WICCA; we're all priests and priestesses, so we should all have to be paid... However, I do think that paying other people for their services is possible. There are, for example, people who devote their spare time to giving workshops or readings. I think it is no more than reasonable to pay those people for their services, just as we pay pagan writers for their books or pagan craftsmen for their artifacts. But it is not a good thing to pay other pagans for all they do. Healing work, for instance, or casting a spell for someone else's benefit, are activities that should not be charged. Otherwise there'll be more and more people, pretending they are powerful magicians or whatever, and wanting to be paid for what they do. A famous trick is to tell someone he/she is cursed and then wanting to be paid to remove the curse.

All in all, I think the most important thing is to remember that if people offer us services we ask, if they teach us or if they do readings, it's no more than reasonable to pay them for it (especially if it's the only thing they do for money). But if someone wants to force you to pay or makes you use his/her services, then don't pay. We don't want charlatans around, do we?

I Think That Offering People The Benefit Of Our Religious Insights For... Oct 12th. at 6:18:55 pm EDT

Anfa (Vancouver, British Columbia CA) Age: 29 - Email

I think that offering people the benefit of our religious insights for money smacks of the old Catholic practice of selling "indulgences." Yes, we don't claim to sell absolution but I can no more picture myself charging for my insights than I can selling my prayers. The goddess has gifted me with my knowledge of her and my ability to see beyond the tangible and I would not sell anything given to me out of love.

As to whether tarot cards and the like are actually "part of the Wiccan religion" I think that they are truly not but that they are such common tools used by the people of the Wiccan faiths that they have become almost inseparable from us. Think of the Fish or the Cross and Christianity. Are fish Christian or are they simply a symbol? Is a Cross on a chain really a religious relic or something so commonly associated with a particular religion that it takes on some of the power and mystery of the religion itself? Tarot and other divination tools are often viewed as Wiccan "signature" items...they are how others define us, not necessarily how we define ourselves.

I Don't Feel That Tarot Or Divination Is Neccesarily A "part Of... Oct 12th. at 11:45:14 pm EDT

Maythen Apple (Redding, California US) Age: 23 - Email

I don't feel that tarot or divination is neccesarily a "part of the Wiccan religion". It is a tool used by more than one spiritual path. While I've met many tarot readers, not all were wiccan. If you take away my cards it wont make me anyless a witch.

on the whole idea of paid clergy:
I must say it makes me reluctant whenever I hear the cry of "Pay Me Pay Me". Perhaps it comes from bad experiences with other religions. It takes a lot of time and work to be clergy, I don't want to deny that. I can understand everyone pitching in to pay for supplies, space rental, and other expenses. But beyond that makes me a trifle skittish.

If This Is Your Profession As Well As Religion Then Why Not... Oct 13th. at 3:58:20 am EDT

Osiris (New Orleans, Louisiana US) Age: 24

If this is your profession as well as religion then why not be compensated for it? Everyone needs to earn money in some long as it is legal and it harms none!

I For One Think This Is Crazy. To Accept Money For Our... Oct 13th. at 11:44:11 am EDT

Pat Harrington (Chicago, Illinois US) Age: 26 - Email

I for one think this is crazy. To accept money for our knowledge of the craft be littles how special it really is. We would go back to the days when witches used to hide there knowledge. I think one of the best part about being a "witch" is that there is so much support out there. So many other witches are more that willing to lend you a hand to help you find your way. I personaly think that obtaining money for helping would only lead to us recruiting outsiders. Which I feel is what really sets us apart from other religions. On AOL I chat in a room called "ask a witch, " and from time to time this can be a strain trying to tell somebody the same thing over and over can be hard. But I enjoy it, cause I am not only helping to educate outsiders to what we really are, but are also helping my fellow pagan in times of need. I think we are doing a great job with helping each other out, never have I felt so much love from my fellow man/woman then I do now. Thanks. =)

In My Opinion. I Personally Think It Is A Matter Of Preference... Oct 13th. at 12:23:57 pm EDT

Artemis CrystalMoon (Baylis, Illinois US) Age: 20 - Email

In my opinion.

I personally think it is a matter of preference. I do Tarot readings for members of my family and some of my friends. I have never asked for payment and they have never offered. I am still learning to do readings for myself, but sometimes I go to a friend of mine when I need a reading done that I feel I cannot read properly. When I go to her, I bring a gift in exchange. The last time she did a reading for me, I gave her a cucumber-melon scented bar of soap. For me, I like to trade and barter with other Pagans. But I think that it is up to the person doing the reading to decide if they want payment or not.

Blessed Be,
Artemis CrystalMoon

I Have No Qualms About Charging For Readings Made For People Outside... Oct 13th. at 12:32:29 pm EDT

Silver MayKitten (Springfield, Missouri US) Age: 55 - Email

I have no qualms about charging for readings made for people outside my family and group. After all if you give them away for free you get overloaded with reading requests from freeloaders who will not pay even a buck for a reading.

Likewise if someone asks me for healing prayers I will hand them an envelope and say that my cost is just under three dollars, please put a donation into the envelope when I leave the room and place it in the basket on the buffet. (Czech it out for your self, candles, annointing oil &c, it comes to (the last time I calculated it, ) US$ 1.81.) Usually they put a ten or twenty in the envelope, sometimes as much as a hundred; others just put an empty envelope into the basket, and some I suspect of this I know just cannot afford anything.
Incidently I only open only about half the envelopes selected at random once a month.

As to a paid clergy; it is proper I think for a HP and HPS to ask a fee for Wiccaning, handfasting, premarital councelling, family councelling, handparting, healing rites and funerals, these tie up their time and resources just as clergy of any other faith. Likewise the cleric who takes care of the federal and state paperwork of running a non-profit organization, which is what an organized coven is, deserves some kind of allowance; don't forget they often have to set aside time for those all day semenars on 501c3 and the like, and they have to take time off from work to deal with lawyers, bureaucrats other vexations.

Some Thoughts Off The Top Of My Head... Divination, Whether By Runes... Oct 13th. at 12:37:07 pm EDT

galen wainwright (New Westminster, British Columbia CA) Age: 34 - Email

Some thoughts off the top of my head...

Divination, whether by Runes, Tarot, heated oil, smoke, dreams, the flight of birds, etc., etc. has long been a part of our faith. When we employ the various methods we are only looking for a hint of things to come, asking that the gods and goddesses point one of the ways the future may turn.

As to being paid for our knowledge and craft, I agree that yes, a *modest* amount may be accepted, of if the person can return the deed in kind ie.- barter.

I have read many stories where self serving fraud artists charge hundreds, even thousands of dollars to perform a ritual they *guarantee* will work. When it doesn't, the victim tries to get their money back, only to be told a litanny of excuses for the ritual's failure. Among the most offensive are, the victim's faith in the ritual was not strong enought, they did not pay enough (and now they must pay more), or too bad, it was a one shot and you already paid for services rendered. The victim then goes to the police to lay fraud charges, but more often than not remains silent so as not to appear an even greater fool.

For the idea of a 'paid clergy'...hmmm...I can think of no good reason to have one. I know, historically, that preists and preistess' were given food and shelter but that was at a time when only they were initiated into the deeper mysteries of their faiths. To have a 'paid clergy' to me sounds like falling back on the X-tian doctrine of 'we know so little, and the man at the front knows so much more'. On that path lies gross abuse of power and influence.

Walk in peace,

In Tarot, I Only Ask For A Trinket Or Something They've Had... Oct 13th. at 7:43:12 pm EDT

Matthew McFadden (Iowa City, Iowa US) Age: 23 - Email

In Tarot, i only ask for a trinket or something they've had contact with, , when they try to offer money, i ask them if they ever have to pay to look in a mirror when they wake up in the morning.
I also tend to believe that all forms of learning/teaching should be free. we'd get alot more good done, if we weren't so worried about the money system in the first place. *not fond of money*

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