Articles/Essays From Pagans
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The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
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What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
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September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
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July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Magic in Sentences
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Living the Dream: A Pagan Career
Article ID: 11903
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,432
Times Read: 4,322
RSS Views: 39,732
Author: Dr. Alexandra Chauran
Posted: September 2nd. 2007
Times Viewed: 4,322
"We're going out of business, " she confided in me ruefully over the counter.
I was paying a percentage of the money I'd made that day selling tarot readings out of her charming storefront. I made comforting noises and expressed my own genuine disappointment, feeling a little guilty that the fluidity of my own business model would have me working elsewhere with no trouble at all.
"Are you interested in buying a dying Pagan business and magically bringing it back to life?" She asked it with a sort of desperate, half-joking laugh.
"Gods, I never thought I'd make that offer." She shook her head.
I kept my mouth shut, a skill that I've been working on for some time with limited success. I've seen this business change hands already, and it wouldn't surprise me to see it sold again.
What would surprise me, indeed, is to see it not leave it's next owner in financial ruin.
In my own leafy branch of Paganism, Traditional Wicca, there are no paid clergy, and I wouldn't have it any other way. There's something both comforting and inspiring to me about having my religious peers and elders struggling with real-life career and financial issues right along beside me.
Indeed, they are not immune from the very problem depicted above. I've had more than one good friend quit their day job, buy up wholesale Pagan supplies and throw their whole lives into a store, despite having no experience in the retail field, only to be shocked at the resulting downfall.
And I've made countless new friends who were just starting out at psychic fairs whom I never saw again at subsequent events. I could easily write an entire book about the high burn-out rate in Pagan business, but in the narrow scope of this essay, I'd like to address at least one of the issues that cause smart people to fail at doing something they love.
A financial adviser once told me that we are all living our own financial myths, and that we have to give voice to some of them in order to combat and dismiss them. One of his myths, he shared, was this: "I'm magical. What applies to others does not apply to me."
I think that a lot of Pagans don't suffer from this delusion; they revel in it, and with good cause! After all, many of us have been quite successful in manifesting our intent!
Why doesn't it work the same with starting a career in Pagan goods or services? Well, the short answer to this question is that, it does.
The long answer often comes in the form of a spiritual clue-by-four or a very real and mundane bankruptcy. You see, sometimes we don't know in what way the universe will begin to fulfill our desires, and that can cause us to ignore blessings or even fight back, in the annoying ways that control-freak entrepreneurs the world over tend to have.
Bear with me, because I'd like to share with you a half-remembered version of a Christian parable that you may have seen floating around the Internet or heard related to you by starry-eyed grandparent types.
Once upon a time, there was a man trapped on a small island in a flood. He prayed to God for rescue and soon saw a boat heading his way. A coast guard threw him a rope but he refused to take it saying, "God will rescue me."
Next, a policeman in a helicopter hovered overhead and tossed down a ladder that was again refused. "God will rescue me."
Soon after, a woman in a hot air balloon actually landed on his island and bid him climb into her basket away from the rising waters. The man refused a third time saying, "God will rescue me."
Finally, the flood rose up and claimed his life. He found himself in front of God in the afterlife, livid at having not been rescued.
"Silly man, " God retorted, "you refused that boat, helicopter and hot air balloon I sent you!"
To those of us who trust in the process, this is the reason trust is not always enough. It's not simply a matter of being confident in the power of yourself and your Gods. There are complex issues in the world of a business in which one is just starting that, naturally, a newcomer will not yet understand!
One has to be able to roll with the punches and jump at opportunities. That may mean that one will have to embrace some very real doubt, if only to take a look at what choices are available.
If you have been considering starting your own Pagan business, you've probably already envisioned your dreams. If you are a practitioner of magic, you may have already voiced your desires to the universe and are waiting for your vision to manifest. I challenge you to also give voice to your doubts and explore them as well.
Though it may go against some schools of magical training, think about the ways that you might get there. Think six months into the future, a year into the future and plan your journey. Suffer through some banal research into your field of interest. Remember that all new business-people go through a process of trial and error. Some things work and some things do not.
Consider also the possibility of networking and partnering with other local Pagan businesses. This will be trial and error as well, and you'll have to develop some boundaries, but sometimes one can find a healthy strength in community, rather than feeling threatened by competition.
Of course, like cold-calling customers, you might get a few frosty reactions to your contacts with other Pagan businesses. I'm always happy to welcome folks into my line of work. However, if in a few years time, you find yourself offering to sell your business, don't be surprised if I keep my mouth shut.
After all, it's a skill I've been working on developing for some time!
Dr. Alexandra Chauran
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Bio: Alexandra, of Earthshod.com has been running her business on-line since 1999 and throughout her local community since before the launch of her web-site. She is available for affordable divination services on the Internet and in Washington state.
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