On Monetary Compensation for Spiritual Services...

The main thing about professional spiritual work is that it is a highly specialist skill which takes years and years of sincere and devoted study and practice, so we expect to be compensated like any other specialist.

It's like this- anyone can look up the actions and pharmacology of an herbal supplement and make a tea or tincture. They can then use that to treat any condition or symptom for which it may be effective, and that may well be all that is needed... However, if the condition persists, comes back, or other symptoms present themselves, the problem may be more complex.That's when you go to a professional, be it a medical doctor or experienced herbalist or energy healer. In any case, these people have sacrificed their time, money, their very lives, to the perfection of this art. To slander or look down on people who expect to be paid for their services is tantamount to saying their lives are worthless.

I personally struggle with this all the time. I have literally spent my life in pursuit of the spiritual. I grew up in a southern hoodoo type tradition. I also studied druidism, shamanism, rune lore, and a variety of Eastern practices. I didn't just scratch the surface either. I went DEEP, even to the point of studying texts in dead languages until they made sense to me. As a result, I have highly developed and refined knowledge of these subjects... and yet I have little to no "practical" skills or job experience for today's world.

I committed myself, mind, body, and soul, to the pursuit and development of my knowledge and skills, trusting in Spirit to protect me and see that I was able to live a good life while continuing the work I was born to do... yet we have this prevailing notion that spiritual services should be done for free, because they cost little to nothing in terms of materials.

But, you see, "material" is not all there is. Anyone claiming to be any kind of spiritual should know that. At the same time, true students of spirituality will understand balance, and that even spiritual people have families to feed and bills to pay, and their spirit guides and ancestors are not going to pay that for them. That is where the denizens of the material world come in. That means YOU! By paying for spiritual services, you are compensating a specialist who has sacrificed their life to be able to provide you with something that no one else who has committed themselves to "practical" skills can provide.

You may be able to repair a leaky faucet, but when pipes burst and rooms flood, you call a plumber. You don't typically ask that plumber if they would throw in a free exorcism, you know, while they are down there in your haunted basement, right? Professional knowledge is professional knowledge, no matter what area it is in. Chiropractors don't have much cost in the way of materials, either, but do you expect them to crack your bones for free? Do you just try and cram your slipped disk back in place yourself and risk paralysis? NO! of course not. So why should spiritual workers be any different?

I will tell you why. Because there is no regulating force or institution in place to monitor the industry, which I think is just as well. The government gets too involved in our private lives as it is. Now, the draw back is that, with no regulating force, the doors are wide open to frauds and scam artists. It also means that any random and rank amateur can read one or two books and then start an e-store or website. They may know just enough to seem legit to someone who knows no better, they may even be somewhat effective at what they do, lending some credence to their claims. They may not even claim to be an expert, but, of course, anyone who sees their snazzy website is going to think they are anyway, and why bother telling anyone otherwise? Oh, and most of these people have regular "day jobs" as well, so this spiritual thing is really just a hobby they make "extra money" off of, usually just enough to continue funding the hobby. THAT sets an unfair standard for the real professionals who have sacrificed their lives and livelihoods to something which they may not have had a choice in to begin with.

One thing about the "shaman" phenomenon, it is universal, every culture throughout time has had them, and, universally, it is never a choice. Spirit chooses the shaman, and the only choice is to serve in that capacity, or die, or go insane. Whether we use the term "shaman" or not, there are many spiritual workers who are what they are because that is what they must be.

The problem, therefore, is not the immorality of persons charging money for spiritual services, but a culture which so undervalues the spiritual as to relegate spiritual professionals to lives of suffering and poverty... you know, because that is how spiritual people are supposed to live... We are not all ascetics, and even if we do suffer, our spouses and children shouldn't have to.