Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wiccan Ethics: You get what you Pay for

This Wiccan Ethics post is something that I personally had problems with for years.

If Divination/Healing/Cleansing/etc are gifts of the Divine...why do certain people/witches charge for them?

Picture from Divine Playground
I asked myself this when I was first taken under the wing of my Tarot mentor, June Wright.
June was charging for her tarot readings as part of a service she provided at her small shop on Main street. I had nevr received a reading that I had to pay for before and was a little uncomfortable with the idea at first. Wasn't divination, including Tarot readings, intuitively and divinely inspired? If we do not have to pay the Divine for the gift of reading, why charge others for also receiving the gift.

The same questions can be asked of Reiki, Sekhem, laying on of hands, and other forms of healing. Reiki and Sekhem are both divinely given to the original teachers and yet it costs a good bit of money to be trained in either form as well as charging for healing services.

Answers to these questions came gently and over time, just like they were needed.

My lessons in Reiki explained that originally Reiki lessons were not charged for in a sense. Instead, the teacher (Dr. Usui for example) stayed with the student and the student would provide such menial things as food, shelter, a bed, and so on. Today in our society, such a student/teacher relationship would be unlikely and probably unethical in many cases.

By paying for Reiki instruction, the student is doing the same as before. Instead of buying the food and providing the shelter, he or she is paying money to the teacher so that the teacher can provide those things for him or herself.

Goddess Leonie explains what she calls Sacred Pricing beautifully with a conversation she had with friends of hers in a goddess circle:

“You must charge for your art. In everything – everything – there needs to be an exchange of energy. An equal one. One that fills me up. One that fills you up. If I give you a massage that nourishes and sustains and relaxes you, I ask you for money to nourish and sustain my life too. We must both be involved in the exchange, otherwise it is one sided. We must both be invested, so we both receive value. If I do not allow you to pay money for my service, I do a disservice to myself, but also to you. You must contribute too, in order to be fulfilled. You will value the things you pay for more. And my life will be better because I have helped your life be better. And your life will be better, because you have helped my life be better too. Everything – everything - must be an equal exchange of energy. It is sacred. Money is the manifestation of energy. Money is sacred too.”

In the end, I learned that
1. Everything has a price - an exchange of energy. This doesn't have to be money. Energies can be bartered - reiki healing for a crystal, tarot reading for an evening out and dinner.
2. The exchange of energies needs to be fare. Pricing does not need to be too low or too high. By under-pricing, you undercut your own energies and their worth. By overpricing, you use others.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Azure Green

AzureGreen- Celebrating All Paths to the Divine