Come sit, my magick-makers. Settle in with a comforting drink. Today might get a little rocky.
I want to share a thought I’ve had growing for years, and it all came to a head when I listened to this podcast episode. (So, technically, this podcast is about money mindset, but the message is still really clear.)
When I started studying Reiki and energy work a really long time ago, I was held up by the fact that I didn’t feel like I could charge money for my spiritual work. I was spending all this money learning but then hit a wall with how to make it back. I didn’t think it was right; I felt icky. I didn’t want people to think I was only in it for the money, or that I was tying to scam them. I mean, I was trying to heal the world!
And I know plenty of witches and bodyworkers that feel the same way. It’s the reason why Salem MA is considered a tourist trap; why gurus who charge for services are thought of as scam artists. And yes, theres’ a lot of crap for sale in Salem. Some spiritual leaders just want to grab your money and run. But it’s not the money, or the act of charging that’s making these undesirables – it’s the person behind it. The money is just a tool.
I’ve come to realize over the years that it’s actually really important to charge for what you do. It’s important to honestly put a price tag on what you do. Charging money for a service that you offer – even a spiritual service – represents an equal exchange of energy. And we all know that energy is of utmost importance in Magick! When you’re providing a service to somebody, and they’re taking that service, then you’re the one putting out all of the energy and they’re not giving anything in return. The universe is all about balance so there needs to be something in return.
A lot of people use this argument to support bartering or trading, which I definitely think is a worthwhile option. I trade massage for lots of things! Trading and bartering is great community building and definitely has its use, but we don’t live in a world where you can get by with only bartering anymore. There are lots of things that you need physical cash to be able to do or maintain – like a home. You can’t barter your spiritual services for rent every month (and if you can that’s amazing and you should give me your landlord’s number) but you need cash to be able to pay those bills. We all have skills and we all deserve to use those skills for compensation to improve our quality of life. You wouldn’t tell a recent marketing graduate that they shouldn’t charge a person for coaching just because they’re helping that person! So why do it for spiritual practices?
(And this mindset goes a long way in “legitimizing” what we do – because we’re treating it no differently than any other learned, practiced skill!)
Another point: the “I’d rather trade for something like that!” can put unnecessary pressure on the other person. Not everyone has barterable skills that would create an equal exchange of energy, and insisting they do so when they’re readily prepared to just pay you is unfair.
Sometimes you don’t feel comfortable charging for a skill because you feel like anyone can do it. Okay, I get that. So if you don’t like the idea of charging for a house blessing, for example, maybe you can charge a small fee to teach someone how to do it themselves. That way you’re passing along the knowledge and the information but you’re still being compensated energetically.
Now, this isn’t to say you can’t be charitable. I’m definitely not a hard ass when I choose my clients – I offer free bodywork from time to time, if I think I’ll benefit in some other way, or if I know the person really needs it but can’t afford it. I give free advice, coaching, and consulting all the time to members in my groups or inner circle. But I’m allowed the freedom to do this because I don’t do it all the time. I’m still making money and helping support my family. I’m still balancing the energy.
If your skills lie within the spiritual realm, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be charging for them. A lot of people shy away from money for spiritual services because they feel like it taints the practice. They feel like it takes them out of the spiritual realm and makes them a less good person. But this podcast has a quote that I resonate with strongly (and which prompted this whole post) and I think everyone needs to hear it. “Having money doesn’t change who you are in your heart, having money just lets you be more of who you already are.”
I’ll repeat it again for those in the back.
Having money doesn’t change who you are in your heart, having money just lets you be more of who you already are.
If you are already a nasty person and you just don’t have the “luxury” to act that way, when you get money you’re going to be nasty. You’ll feel like you finally have the freedom to be that way, like you can “get away with it”. But if you’re a good person in your heart, suddenly having money or charging money for your spiritual practices is not going to make you bad. It’s not going to prevent you from being spiritual. It’s just going to allow you to share your gifts with the world even more and spread that spirituality and spread that goodness. Its giving you the freedom to do the work without dropping into poverty.
Money isn’t evil; it’s freedom.
So if you have a skill, whether it be blessings or healing or freaking underwater basket weaving, you deserve to be compensated for that skill. And don’t let anyone – especially yourself – tell you otherwise.