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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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| 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.
| 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*
| I Feel Tarot Readings Are A Part Of The Wiccan "religion", Insofar... ||Oct 13th. at 10:23:21 pm EDT|
|Rev. Aurila (Monroe, Washington US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I feel tarot readings are a part of the Wiccan "religion", insofar as it's a common tool that many of us use. As for charging a fee for readings, I see nothing wrong with that, provided the reader's motive isn't greed. I don't charge; I simply tell a client (whether friend, family, or other) that if they honestly feel I've helped them, they can leave a donation or drop a barter item off later. I've received gift certificates for restaurants and stores, a pre-paid phone card for my cellphone, and homemade goodies.
As for "paid clergy", each of us is a member of the clergy. I personally am an ordained minister, since it seems to reassure some non-Pagans that my faith is a valid one (I know...Sounds egotistical, but it does help to breach some people's resistence to anything non-Christian!). There is nothing wrong about being compensated for services rendered, as long as you don't let the money make decisions for you.
| Personally, I Think That It Is Wrong To Charge For Such Sevices... ||Oct 14th. at 1:20:21 am EDT|
|Soloswan (Malvern, Arkansas US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
Personally, I think that it is wrong to charge for such sevices. It takes away from the true need of things so to speak. But, if someone wants to give you something in exchange for a reading or help (spells ect...) be it money or a service of their own, that is wonderful.
| I Was Raised In A Unitarian Univeralist Home. My Mother, Step-father And... ||Oct 14th. at 3:04:37 pm EDT|
|Colbiras (Tallahassee, Florida US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I was raised in a Unitarian Univeralist home. My mother, step-father and I went to fellowship nearly every Sunday. We didn't go out of a sense of religious obligation, however. We went because of the sense of community we had when we attended fellowship, and because my step-father was the minister. Many was the day when I would pass the door to my step-father's office to hear him typing away at his weekly sermon on an old electric typewriter.
Being a UU minister was one of his many jobs. Each week he would write a sermon on a topic, and then deliver it that Sunday. In turn, our church would pay him a nominal fee for services rendered. It was a fair exchange of work for pay, essentially.
When it comes to a "paid clergy" it only seems fair to me. A minister or priest performs services that take a portion of their time and energy. This time and energy could also be spent elsewhere just as well as on the coven or congregation. The difference is that the clergy makes the decision to spend his/her time on that congregation. I know that if this were the case with me, I would prefer to recieve some payment for my services. However, I would not ask.
I would not ask for payment of my services, but I would not expect to be paid. When I started learning about the Craft, I learned it from a friend's grandmother. She came from a line of naturally gifted witches. She taught me that I shouldn't ask for payment for using my gifts because it would take away from the power of that gift until it was ultimately sapped away. I believe this was because eventually the gifted would start to view their gift as an object or toy, and not a gift. What she said made sense to me.
In one form or another, the clergy-person is paid for their services, no matter what. Either the God/dess gives them what they need (food, shelter, protection, etc.), or the individual or congregation pays him/her for services rendered. As I understand it, clergy is Called to service by God/dess, to perform duties to the people. True, it isn't always the case and there are those out there who are high muckety-mucks just for the power it gives them. They are usually the ones that demand high sums of money, homes, or other things they see as necessary for their welfare and well being.
But it isn't an issue of their welfare and well being. It's a matter of the well being of those around them, their friends, their family, their congregation, coven, circle, students, etc. In giving of themselves, these people recieve in turn.
As for tarot, I personally don't think that it is "part of the Wiccan religion." Tarot is a tool, just like athames and cauldrons. Tarot is not needed, and the pagan and Wiccan world existed for a long time before Tarot ever came along. There are many other systems of divination out there, such as reading tea leaves and geomancy, that are just as valid and can be just as useful when used correctly. Tarot is just popular with modern society.
Okay, so that's really idealistic and utopian. I realize that the world we live in is not perfect, and sometimes priests and ministers give a lot of themselves and don't get paid when they should. Or they just get plain shafted somehow.
I think to answer the question, yes, clergy should be paid for their services. It's only fair to them and the congregation. However, they should not have to demand payment.
| While Ministers And Pastors Of The Christian Faith Are More Often Than... ||Oct 14th. at 3:19:52 pm EDT|
|Wendy (Sarnia, Ontario CA) ||Age: 2 - Email |
While Ministers and Pastors of the Christian faith are more often than not "paid" for their acting services with their church, the work they do for community and people outside of church duties is not.
I have no problem paying for someone's "time" if they have something I seek to gain, be it knowledge, insight, etc. However, there is a definitive line (for me, anyway) where I believe that "teaching" or "sharing" the Craft would only be of valid/true status if the person offering this was doing so out of non-monetary compensation. I would feel much more confident if my "teacher" were walking with me in kinship rather than as payment for services.
Retail....well, that's a money market with no exception.
| Divination, Such As Tarot Reading, I-ching And Astrology, Are Very Important For... ||Oct 14th. at 3:29:24 pm EDT|
|Lori Dake (Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Divination, such as Tarot reading, I-Ching and Astrology, are very important for those of the Pagan faiths, but is in no way exclusively *for* Pagans. I find it to be useful for daily living, as well as using it for magickal purposes.
Since I have worked for a "psychic hotline" in the past, I've gotten alot of questions about the ethics of reading cards for people over the phone at $4.99 a minute. Here's my stance on the issue:
- I never forced anyone to call me. The ads, while only briefly mentioned or in very fine print, did state the fee.
- I did *not* get rich off of it. The money I earned was used to help support my family. In fact, I had to quit working at home because the money was not enough.
Should you want more information about my work, you can go to my website's section on psychic hotlines at http://www.users.drak.net/doomdiva/hotline.html
| At One Time While I Was At School, I Was Shuffling My... ||Oct 14th. at 7:29:15 pm EDT|
|Dennis Tibbs Jr. (Mishawaka, Indiana US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
At one time while I was at school, I was shuffling my tarot cards and someone asked me for a reading. Well, I thought one reading would be no trouble at all... after all, it was a friend. People started gathering when I did my friend's reading and before long I had them lining up before me. After about an hour of this I was getting quite exausted, and I asked a simple fee of a dollar. I ended up with over $20. I felt that this was a gift, but I started to think about what I just did and I felt I was making someone pay for what I feel enybody who is willing should get. So if I where able to give all those people back their money I would. It just didn't feel like the "right thing to do."
| On The Question Of Payment, How Much Time And Effort Have You... ||Oct 14th. at 8:34:26 pm EDT|
|the ShadowDancer (Tucson, Arizona US) ||Age: 47 - Email |
On the question of payment, how much time and effort have you put in learning your skill or trade? What is your time worth?
Do you just pick up a Tarot deck, have some luck with the cards, and then begin asking for $$$? Or have you spent years in study, reading and divining?
Can you counsel on esoteric as well as exoteric matters, or do you even know the difference. Who is your teacher and how much time did you spend learning?
Have you made the deck and its symbols yours? Or are your just beginning?
I think such matters should be taken into account before setting a price on your time. It is a matter of professionalism, just like any other skill or trade.
The same goes for paid clergy, in my opinion. Can the person counsel the sick, the dying, teens in trouble? Will they devote their time to these matters? Can he/she officiate weddings, namings, funerals? Is the person ethical? Does the person truly know the faith, or is he/she just another charlatan wannabe trying to avoid getting a job. Can they truly speak for the god/goddess?
If someone does me a service, I owe them either $$$ or a return favor. But I don't just hire anybody to paint my car or watch my kids.
In my own profession, I have college degrees, state licenses, in-service and continuing education, certifications, and about 16 years experience. So in getting a new job, I ask for a certain minimum of $$$$$ for my time. I don't ask for the same $$$$$ if I wash my sister's car.
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