Q: Do you charge money (or other ways of compensation) for your readings/services?
I actually do charge for professional Tarot readings (see my Readings page for details), and I have also done free readings as part of my work with the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI). Some folks think that we shouldn’t charge for spiritual or esoteric guidance at all, but I disagree. Tarot readings have value for the recipient, we hope (or they wouldn’t have asked), and querent and reader are part of a value equation that needs to be solved for it to be complete.
Energy Exchange in Nature
Energy exchange is not inherently evil. It’s a natural part of how the universe works, balancing energy and matter. The two galaxies in the image are sending matter and energy back and forth as they get closer. With this energy exchange, they both put out more “stuff” to be made into new stars, new planets, new . . . life. And this is what we’re all made of, of course—star stuff.
Deserving and Undeserving
So many spiritual messengers, energy healers, inspirational authors feel like their channel is a gift and therefore should be given away to others “for free.” Well, the universe doesn’t work that way. It seeks balance. You paid certain prices to be a messenger, a healer, a writer. You made a deal with that channel or whatever you call the still, small voice that feeds your work. So, when you release that energy to another being, they need to give you some back in exchange (doesn’t mean you can’t have a sale, or use barter, of course). It gives your gift more value to the recipient.
Ultimately, it’s not about whether or not you “deserve” compensation for your time or energy; it’s a simple equation of balance; psychological, physical, and spiritual. Besides, you do your client a total disservice by not gracefully receiving an appropriate exchange; they are disempowered by your lack of grace.
This ethic of giving without exchange is a leftover from our Puritan ancestors, for those who come from European folk. And it was based on guilt and the idea that we should suffer in this life (and be slaves to those folks in power or to our inner fears) in order to “deserve” a reward in the next. We should be long over this by now. Long over it.
On the other hand, selling your stuff at every opportunity without developing real relationships (again the balanced exchange is missing) is counterproductive in a lot of ways. People will get tired of you real quick if you don’t market with balance, transparency, and integrity. There are just two things I firmly believe in:
1) Asking questions to find out what you can do for your clients rather than simply broadcasting your services. It pays to be curious.
2) The 99%/1% rule. Your business-related communication should be 99% interaction and conversation and relationship-building, 1% broadcast advertising.
Be visible, create value for people and care about them. They will find you. Then offer them a reasonable energy exchange, and you’ve got a win-win. The trick is to be as wise as the cosmos. 🙂
I found the questions for this series at a Tumblr account that no longer exists. A lovely person named Rhee started the thing. These are great prompts for telling stories about one’s journey through the world of Tarot, so I’ve started the series again on a weekly basis so you all can get to know me better, and also share your own answers to the questions in comments or links to your own posts. I’d love to hear from you!