Monday, June 29, 2009

Poor Pagan Syndrome

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but I do spell work and Tarot readings for clients from time to time. Yesterday I was at a little gathering arranged through and ran into an old female acquaintance that I don't particularly care for. She considers herself an expert Tarot reader. When I mentioned that I do readings for money she proceeded to berate me in front of this crowd saying that was "bullshit", and that "any reader that is really talented does not charge". I believe that if you are good at something never do it for free. Now although I haven't seen this person face to face in a while, I had seen her picture attached to a collection jar in two locations. She has a chronic illness of some sort and needed money for a surgery or procedure. She is willing to let some asinine self imposed morality impede her from collecting much needed money for a service that she provides. This is a symptom of something that I and few friends refer to a "poor pagan syndrome". Poor pagan syndrome refers to the type of new agers and pagans that seem to think that somehow their rejection of (or lack of) money somehow makes them morally and spiritually superior to everyone else. It's a coping mechanism I suppose. This type of thinking is the reason I have yet to see a shop in my area that caters to that demographic stay open for more than 2 years tops. When your demo is notorious for being light on funds, they aren't the ones to provide goods or services to.

I don't understand why anyone would want to adopt or continue to cling to any morality that inhibits progress of any kind. Why shoot yourself in the foot constantly? This is part of the reason why I embrace the concept of working with "the shadow" or any archetypes associated with darkness. The more one confronts and reclaims the parts of themselves relegated to the shadow self (usually due to societal constraints and ideals), the more power one recovers. As you reclaim more of your shadow self, you tend to break free from the bonds and false morality and taboos. This puts more tools at your disposal for achieving goals. In the end it's about self empowerment.

I do want to address the reason why I charge for my services. Not that my actions need defending in the least. I feel that what I do is very much in the tradition of the tribal shaman or witch doctor. These once important roles figures in a community never wanted for any of the necessities. All of their essentials would be provided in exchange for their knowledge and wisdom. In some cases clients or members of the community would present the worker with other things of value for barter. In today's society what people really seem to value above most things is the dollar, thus it is offered in exchange for my services and I gratefully accept it. I would be willing to barter for other things but no one has ever asked. Plus I'm good at what I do (and modest to boot) and wouldn't dream of doing it for free. Do the Loa work for free? How about the Goetic Spirits? Of course not, and neither do I.


VenusSatanas said...

Do your readings! make that money. haha i loved your post, it was SO true, i have seen all of this before. Should an artist work for free just because they have talent? hell no! because you have the knowledge and ability you provide a professional service.


Cool Hand Luke said...

Do we expect a plumber, electrician or automechanic to work for free? No. Yet their skills and aptitude are no different to the skills a tarot reader, clairvoyant or psychic uses - they just haven't 'spiritualized' their abilities and gift with the fancy-schmancy language. You cannot help anybody if you are terribly spiritual and potless and if you have put in the effort and invested your energy to become highly attuned to Spirit, then what is the difference, really, between that and an apprenticeship in, say, carpentry? Occupation vs vocation? Same dog, different tale.