Sunday, June 26, 2016

Misconceptions/Misinformation #1: Personal Gain By Todd Silva

Re-blogged from information found on Facebook. Credit to Todd Silva for the wonderful topic

I see this a lot in various groups, or some form of it..."Oh no, you can't charge people money for Tarot readings/spell work/(insert magical working here), that would violate the "personal gain rule".  Almost immediately the thread conversation polarizes into one group asking where that rule was written or where it came from and the other group agreeing and complaining that asking where it came from is an attack on their "beliefs".

Here comes the bluntness...There is no such rule.  Look, if a person does not want to charge a fee or be compensated for their magical workings, that's fine, I have no problem with that.  What I have a problem with is people not recognizing that as an individual choice.  I have a problem with those who mistakenly dress that personal choice up as some kind of "Pagan commandment" that must be followed by anyone who wants to be considered a "real Pagan".  As is the case with so much misinformation within the Pagan Community, many who believe this, do so only because they are parroting something someone else told them or what they read on a website run by someone who were themselves misinformed.

So let's be clear...there is no "rule".  There is a personal choice.  The largest source for this idea that it is an actual rule (in other words the source that the most people heard this from) is the TV show called "Charmed".  It was a fun show, I enjoyed it.  But I enjoyed it for what it was...a FICTIONAL show that was a supernatural fantasy genre piece.  The "no personal gain rule" existed for the Halliwell sisters because it was needed as a plot control device.  Without that "rule" in their fictional universe then the answer to almost every single financial or personal problem they ran into would be, "cast a spell" and thus the sub-plot about Phoebe needing to get a job would be over very quickly.  Real life does not have the need of such plot devices...nor does it have the kind of magic that the fictional Halliwells could wield.

Though I am not certain that "Charmed" is the actual first source for the "no personal gain" concept, I have no doubt that it is one of the primary reasons that it is passed around the Pagan Community and represented as some kind of "rule" or requirement.  The plain and simple fact is though...there is no such rule.  There is a personal choice and no matter what a practitioner chooses, to charge a fee or not charge a fee for their workings, it has no bearing what so ever on whether they are a "real Pagan" or "real Witch" or real anything. 

My personal opinion...why would someone NOT charge at least some kind of fee, be it money or trade for something else, for something they worked hard on and has to use their skills to create?  Although some artists do indeed post their art for free for all to see, many if approached and asked for a specific drawing of something will charge some form of commission to do that work.  If I were a craftsman who was very adept at making, for example, furniture, I would not just build pieces and hand them out to anyone who came along.  I especially would not work for free if the person came to me with specific requests for a certain design.  Again, there would be a commission.  So, seeing as I was not born out of the womb reading Tarot and casting spells (oh, believe me that will be another entry in this series) and I had to work hard to learn how to do those things, I have no problem with charging some form of compensation to those who approach me and ask me to use those skills to create something for them or do something for them.

Agree?  Disagree?  Have a different take on this topic?  Use the comment section to discuss this.

Return of the guest authors

I will be having some guest posts and some re-blogging of some information that will be of benefit to the community and my readers.

Keep an eye out for the first one.