I’ve been pondering the ongoing debate about whether its appropriate to be paying for a reading or other esoteric services such as house clearings, reiki healings and so forth. The argument essentially is over whether these services should be offered in exchange for payment or completely free and I can see some validity in both sides.
On the one hand, why would you charge for a service that may have no tangible outcome often with minimal, if any, evidence to support its function? Why would you pay for a service that may have no measurable result other than making you feel a little better? Why pay someone to deliver a service or skill that comes as a result of minimal recognised study, has no commercial “credibility” or that was gifted to you by deity or spiritual means?
Conversely, why would you not expect to pay for a service delivered by someone who has spent years developing and focusing their craft and who deserves some form of energy exchange?
I’m afraid I come down firmly in the camp of appropriate payment for quality service and it annoys me that many people expect highly skilled practitioners to give of their skills, talents and expertise without any form of recompense. So here’s my contribution to the argument…
1. An exchange of energy, be that monetary payment or skills bartering is a universal concept that has sustained communities for thousands of years. You craft my sword for me and I will grow vegetables for you. You apprentice me to you and teach me how to make barrels and I will give you my full loyalty and labour during those years. You help me birth my baby into the world and my husband will help build your family’s animal barn.
You get my drift here? The economy and sustainability of communities has been based on appropriate sharing of resources through bartering and through the exchange of tokens such as money. The key here is that the value of the exchange has to be appropriate for the skill, service or product in question.
Not only is this a physical concept but it’s a spiritual one too. The universe provides for our spiritual welfare so that (hopefully) we may honour the environment and people with who me share our lives in order to maintain life.
2. Some may argue that a skill not developed as a result of study and that instead is gifted by deity or a spiritual source does not warrant payment. I beg to differ. While a skill or talent may indeed be gifted to an individual, the ongoing development of that skill usually takes many hours, weeks, months, years of dedicated practice, reading, focus and research. This may not be in a formal setting of course but does informal versus formal study really bring about such a difference in outcome? A doctor for example usually does 7 years of formal training but his results with patients are often the result of a combination of intellectual knowledge coupled with intangible concepts such as intuition, listening to the patient and a caring bedside manner. So should a doctor charge for his services?
3. Still more may suggest that a skill, service or product not supported by scientific evidence is not worthy of payment. Once again, I beg to differ! In terms of esoteric skills such as Tarot reading, I agree that outcomes may be difficult to measure but there are countless numbers of clients who can testify that their experiences with a divination reading were clear and obvious revelations of future events.
Where do we draw the line here on this argument? In terms of herbs for health and the argument that scientific evidence des not support herbs in medical practice, the reverse is clearly the case. Notwithstanding the placebo effect, there are increasing studies that support a variety of herbs in providing measureable, predictable outcomes that support improved health. Gingko biloba for brain health. St John’s Wort for depression and so forth.
Let’s take the line in the sand just a little further. Where is the scientific evidence that says a law banning gay marriage is ethical, moral, righteous, effective, appropriate etc? Yet it exists in many states and countries and is defended by formally qualified lawyers and other practitioners. So the argument that a service, skill, product, talent etc cannot be provided for payment where there is no scientific evidence is neither valid nor effective. Traditional (versus a lack of scientific evidence) clearly shows that acupuncture works amazingly well for a variety of medical conditions and we have no issue with paying for that service.
I guess I could go on and on about this but I’d love to hear your views on the topic. How do you feel about paying for a reading or other esoteric service? Do you think Tarot readers, traditional healers, spiritual counsellors etc should charge for their services or should they find alternative ways to pay their bills while delivering their services for free? Please feel free to comment below.
Smiles and blessings, Amethyst