Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cross that palm with a shiny dime. Quarter? Master Card? Platinum?


The Season of the Witch is approaching, and something about this time of year always makes people in my social circles seek out tarot readings or other forms of divination.  Sometimes even a brave few who are wanting love charms or to hex a rival.

I have never read or done spell work for money, mostly because I keep a low profile in my everyday life.  When I was in college, people would come to my apartment and share their liquor in exchange for a tarot reading, which I thought was most fair.  One fella even offered to clean my apartment...shirtless.  Natch, I thought that was fair as well.

But at some point I realized how draining it can be to have constant requests for divination or spell work without getting some kind of compensation for it.  Spell work especially can be a major drain on one's resources, and an intense round of divination can be very taxing on my system.

So I look to you all for guidance.

What better way to ask a question of some of the most awesome Magicians in the world, than to do it via this blog.  So for those of you who read for others and charge for it, what do you think is an appropriate fee?

9 comments:

  1. Whatever it takes to make them value the reading, rather than just getting one "for kicks". I think an exact fee depends on the person's situation, and how intensive your reading will be, but if they don't pause for a moment and wonder "is it worth it?", it's not enough.

    Then again, I'm easily annoyed by people who treat my trade(s) with a lack of respect, so a grain or two of salt with that, 'cha?

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  2. *pinkie to mouth*

    One million dollars.

    But seriously: It's not something you base on other people's opinions. By its very definition, price is the amount the market is willing to pay, so google other readers -both nationally and in your area- and go with that.

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  3. Well,

    On the purely practical level I would say Barter or "suggested donation". Check with some of the readers in your area / state to see what they suggest in terms of "for amusement only" signage and any other hedges that might be needed.

    On the ethical spiritual level, which is where you were going with this, I would say how much is your time worth per hour and how long does it take you to do a reading? Seriously what are you usually paid for an hours work and then divide that by how many minutes it takes you to do an average reading.

    In the case of barter, what does performing a reading really mean too you? If you are going by the above pricing scheme for your suggested donations how much of your time is the object worth?

    For spell castings, I would say go purely with the barter system... that's just a personal preference though. It seems like taking money outright for a spell would cheapen it, like taking money for Sex; of course I am willing to accept gifts for spellcraft so I guess I can be plied with gifts... who new?! (grin)

    Then too making the spell seeker gift you with something that is equal in value to the value they place on the spell can not only tell you a LOT about the seeker and the spell, but would serve in its own way as a Sacrifice to the Holy Powers of creation and would - it seems to me - aid the spell greatly...

    Peace, and Humor,
    Pax

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  4. First decide how much your time is worth per hour. Then set a basic reading at that minimum. If they want something in depth and life strategy like the price would go up as you'd need more time and details from their life. If there are any resources used in the process of divination: offerings, incense, whatever, make sure they are factored in to your price in the first hour. That will allow you to seemingly bump down the price for additional hours.

    For spellwork again: How long is this taking you, and how much do you have to spend on supplies to get it done. Also factor in how inconvenient it is, like if you have to be up at done for nine days that would be a pretty large pain in the ass and thus would cost more.

    Also you mentioned that the work is taxing, factor that into price also. If you are drained to the point where your day is shot, or you can't read the cards for a day to a week, that is money lost and should be calculated into the price.

    As for how much your time is worth, that is up to you, but you are providing a specialized skill, so don't sell yourself short. My home town got pretty ritzy as the years wore on, but there are still two professional psychics, and one tarot reader in town who have been there for as long as I can remember. They obviously charge enough to make rent, bills, and at least food money in a nice area of NJ.

    Personally, if I am doing it as a gift or to calibrate myself to a new deck/dice I would do the reading for free. If someone wants to barter me a service or some goods, I would haggle for something I actually needed. I also would take a formal oath to help me when I called from someone who takes an oath seriously. (I know one or two people max on that list) You can also look at professional diviners in your area, and price accordingly.

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  5. I believe in making readings accessible, cost-wise, because this is an important social service we as spiritual workers can bring to our world. It brings value and it cements our role as valid participants and indeed an important part of the social fabric. It needs to be paid for however, people value something when they pay for it. Spell-work however needs to be charged for as one might charge for any highly skilled service.

    Generally speaking, the more selfish the aims of the work the more expensive it becomes in my book. Work that contributes to a person's safety, heart, health or livelihood should be priced more affordably, because once again - this is where we can contribute to society as conjurers. Work that is driven by more murky motivations is always more expensive. This ensures it's worth my time and effort. And discourages unnecessary or vindictive requests.

    There is also the matter of materials, difficulty level of any job and then duration that it might need to be sustained until results are achieved.

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  6. Different gods and spirits have differing concepts of what constitutes proper respect. And differing requirements for their adherents. So I think what to charge for spellwork -- or whether to charge for it at all -- would depend upon what tradition / current you'd be working in.

    After all ... you'd hate to piss off the gods!

    While anything's possible, I've never heard of anyone getting in trouble with the Powers That Be for charging for divination though. In my neck of the woods $30 is the least I've seen someone ask for a reading.

    Good luck with your endeavors!

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  7. Thank you all for the great advice. I knew I could count on your wise council!

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  8. It depends on what you're doing and how you're going about it.

    For individual readings I tend to charge by the half hour or hour. When I do a party or event I charge more for the first hour, and slightly less for every hour thereafter.

    My website and rates are here, if you're interesting in seeing how I present it to my clients.

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  9. As every student of economics learns, "TINSTAAFL." There is no such thing as a free lunch. As a reader and a witch, I feel like I have as much right to compensation for my time and effort as the man at the store bagging my groceries, or as the woman running the checkout at the local WooWoo store. (I love that term, btw, and am totally appropriating it for my own use) ;) The universe/gods/great spirit/flying spaghetti monster ALWAYS exacts a cost for everything; by the person choosing to pay me, or to trade me something, they are choosing the cost. They're also informing the universe exactly how badly they want the information or the outcome of the working. I used to do readings for a shop in north houston, and we charged $20 for a 30-minute reading. I had a few people who were appreciative enough of the information that I got a tip on top of that.
    I don't see it, ultimately, as a problem, provided you're not doing spellwork/divination to 'make money'. you're providing a service, you're not gouging people, and they're compensating you for your time and effort and often material costs.

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