I’d like to feature this blog post from Ray “Dr. Hawk” Hess.  I’ve enjoyed his book, Backwoods Shamanism, quite a bit and think he makes a lot of sense here when he’s talking about the idea of paying for spiritual services.  Obviously, I agree with his conclusions, but sometimes it’s good to present a perspective that comes from a different voice with different experiences.  To that end, I suggest you click on this link and see what he has to say: https://doctorhawk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/on-monetary-compensation-for-spiritual.html

I also highly recommend his book, which can be purchased here: http://a.co/9gb6JU3

 

Source: On Monetary Compensation for Spiritual Services…

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“From the pragmatic perspective of folk magic, God, the Dead and the Devil are all legitimate sources of empowerment. Of course, my conflation of the folkloric concept of the Devil in relationship to goetic magic is meant to have him stand as a kind of mythological signifier for the entirety of the chthonic forces of the goetia, rather than the spiritual bogeyman that figures in mainstream imagination, similarly, I do not propose that he might be any particular figure within the grimoire’s hierarchy is such, but rather a mythic doorway through which a goetically inclined hoodooist might step into the chthonic dimension described by the grimoire.”

— “Infernal Conjure Craft,” Chad Barber, Conjure Codex I

Recommended Spiritual Worker: Madame Pamita

I’m been enjoying Madame Pamita’s insights and comments for a long time.  She’s great.

I like to recommend magical colleagues who I think are particularly talented, smart, and / or skilled.  I am approached by more clients than I can take.  And so, rather than being competitive (a negative characteristic of many public occultists, especially conjure workers), I try to serve the Art by bringing people together.

Recommended Spiritual Worker: Dr. Christos Kioni

 

I like to recommend magical colleagues who I think are particularly talented, smart, and / or skilled.  I am approached by more clients than I can take.  And so, rather than being competitive (a negative characteristic of many public occultists, especially conjure workers), I try to serve the Art by bringing people together.

Recommended Colleague: Balthazar

I like to recommend magical colleagues who I think are particularly talented, smart, and / or skilled.  I am approached by more clients than I can take.  And so, rather than being competitive (a negative characteristic of many public occultists, especially conjure workers), I try to serve the Art by bringing people together.  Balthazar is very smart, in my opinion, and is someone I regularly follow.  You can learn a lot just by paying attention to his YouTube videos.

 

Love Magic

 

I have a theory about love magic: most people don’t know how to work it because they don’t know what love is.  In the occult world, you generally hear two things about it: “it’s hideously dangerous—avoid it at all costs” or “this is how to do it.”  Some public magicians won’t do that kind of work no matter how much money they’re offered.  Others specialize in it.  Why do such extremes exist?  The answer may be that people go to extremes in love and magic because they’re not making informed decisions about how to feel and what to want.

In my opinion, unconditional romantic love is very rare—the kind that wants a partner to be happy with no strings attached at all.  Most romance has strings: I want X to be happy as long as X makes me happy; I want to make X happy as long as X signs a paper that legally commits X to serving my physical and emotional needs for the rest of his/her natural life; I want X to be happy as long as X wants what I want; I want X to be happy as long as my friends approve of X; I want X to be happy as long as X is making a certain amount and we’re living in a certain place, etc.

Is it love when a client comes to me and says, “I need to get my ex back”?  And I say, “Okay, we can look into that.  How long has it been since your ex left?”  And s/he responds, “15 months.”

15 months?!

You’ve been sitting at home, stewing, sweating, fuming, calling, analyzing, suffering, worrying, and regretting for 15 months?  And now that you’re desperate enough, you come to me and ask for magical help?  Why didn’t you come to me after 3 weeks?  Ah, it must be because you had to get desperate enough that you were willing to hope that magic wasn’t all fakery and BS.  Should I—someone who does this as a professional—feel insulted?  Probably.

Instead, I ask the inevitable follow-up question: “Have you spoken with your ex at all in these 15 months?”

“No.  But I know s/he still loves me and can’t live without me.  S/he just has to realize it.”

Uh-huh.  Righto.  S/he just has to realize it.  

There is a simple diagnosis for your situation: you are deluding yourself.  I know it sounds harsh.  It sounds like I am heartless, but that is not true.  My heart goes out to all those people so confused that they don’t know why they’re feeling what they’re feeling or how to fix things.

The real answer, the difficult yet honest truth, is that someone wasting away for an ex has many strings attached to their concept of happiness and love.  They are operating on an “only then will I be happy” model: only when s/he comes back to me will I be happy.  Only when I get my way will I be happy.  They rarely consider the other person’s happiness.  Unconditional love never enters into it.

But I’m not passing moral judgment on anybody.  Sometimes, bringing an ex back is the best thing to do because the ex doesn’t know what s/he is doing, either!  This is why I do a tarot reading every time.  You’ll tell me that your baby daddy vanished after you got pregnant and even though he’s now living with Lana and Donna in the Bahamas, you know he really secretly wants to move back into your broke-down basement apartment in Queens and support you in your time of need.  And you might be correct, as improbable as that may seem on the surface.  Maybe he just needs some time and space to figure things out.  I make no assumptions.  And the cards will tell me the truth every time.

So when the cards indicate that it would be a good thing to do love magic, reconciliation magic, or lust magic, I have no problem with that.  And I cannot say categorically that it’s good or it’s bad without looking at the particular situation.  I’ve brought all kinds of people in all kinds of circumstances together and back together.  And it always makes me happy when I can help them work out their differences (and satisfy those “only then” requirements).

When witches (usually inexperienced Wiccans, but I hesitate to generalize) conclude that love magic is 100% harmful and interferes with the will of those involved, I gently point out that it doesn’t always have to be that way.  Love magic is like any other kind of magic—neutral in its morality.  Like a gun, a scalpel, or a law, it’s a tool.  In the hands of a hurtful or stupid person, it’s an evil tool.  In the hands of someone skilled, it can save lives.

Begging Does Not Reflect a Strong Magical Practice

Granted, emergencies and unforeseen costs come up when we least expect it.  But when YouTube witches beg for money to do some project or just because they feel like their followers are numerous enough to now hit them up for a contribution, it’s a bit disappointing.  We all need to get paid.  I understand that.  And I support Patreon and all those other crowdfunding sites.  But let’s take a step back and think about what it means when a YouTube witch—someone giving out advice and making videos for a large number of viewers—says she won’t be making videos anymore unless everybody pitches in.

You’re a witch.  Do you think it would be possible to draw some money without rattling your donation cup?  I imagine the answer is yes.  Otherwise, I suggest that you stop giving out magical advice.  Successful and capable witches: (1) can hold down a job; (2) can draw money through magical and mundane means; and (3) give out advice because they’re successful in their magical and mundane work.

Asking for help is a good thing in most cases.  Asking for help when you have set yourself up as someone who can provide help suggests that you need to go do some self-work and improve your skills.  I say this as someone who has been working in the field of public sorcery-for-hire and divination for a long time.  You have to be a specialist if you want to be paid for what you know.  You have to have powerful chops when it comes to making changes—for yourself before you expect to do it for others.

Don’t be a charlatan and a faker only interested in money.  Get your skills first.  Then people will want to pay you because you will have something of value to offer.  Begging suggests you really don’t know what you’re doing.