Welcome to episode one of my new series, Spiritual Mythbusters, where we will discuss pervasive myths in the spiritual and healing communities that need to be put to rest.
Myth #1 is:
“Spiritual leaders and healers shouldn’t charge money for their services. If someone is charging money, it’s probably a scam.”
This might be one of the more damaging myths, on many levels.
It was quite prevalent about 15-20 years ago, and had died back a bit. I am noticing a resurgence of late, and so, I feel it’s time to talk about it.
I believe part of the reason this myth is so persistent is that it USED to be true.
Way back when we lived in villages, and bartered for or created in the community everything we needed, this myth made some sense. We rarely, if ever, used currency. We didn’t pay rent, we built our homes from natural materials available on site. We didn’t pay property taxes or give up a huge portion of our resources to our government each year.
And, we didn’t have health insurance. When we were sick, we called on the village medicine woman or shaman, and they helped us for free because the village supported them and made sure they had everything they needed.
We had no need for currency, and saw anyone asking for it in exchange for medicine as an outsider looking to extract resources from our village without giving back in equal exchange. A snake oil peddler!
However, we do not live in villages of huts anymore.
We are no longer hunter-gatherers, we don’t grow our own food, and we do not have a barter-based economy. We live in a capitalistic society where people need money for literally everything in life. It won’t be long before they will be charging us just to breathe the damn air around here!
We buy pre-built homes with our money. We pay property taxes with money, and we buy our food with money rather than growing it on the village farm. And, we pay doctors and insurance companies PLENTY of money when we need medical attention.
In our society, money – not products or services – is the central energy of our economy, and therefore, when someone offers you a healing service or spiritual guidance, money is what they need in exchange.
In our world, healers and shamans and spiritual leaders MUST charge money for their services, because they cannot survive without it.
So please MISS ME WITH THIS DUSTY-ASS, OUTDATED BELIEF SYSTEM that went out of style back when we grew all our own food and bartered for what we needed.
I don’t care if your great grandma told you not to trust medicine people who charge money; bless her heart, great gran is stuck in an antiquated way of thinking that does not work for our time.
Poverty is not noble. Pushing away money does not make you a better medicine person. Being poor does not make you more spiritual, and being broke sure as hell is no badge of honor for a healer.
You’re not better than anyone because you don’t charge for your tarot readings. And, the person who does charge isn’t automatically a scam artist for doing so.
I am OVERJOYED to pay spiritual guides, shamans and healers for their services because:
- I want a professional. I don’t want some hobbyist with a side hustle trying to help me unpack deep psychological baggage and ancestral trauma wounds. I want someone who is devoted to their work, 100% focused on their practice, and is not being distracted by trying to make money to make ends meet and support their healing “hobby.”
- I want to support the people who are doing the hard work to truly improve our world. Healers and spiritual guides are helping to make this world a better place, one person at a time. What better place can I find to place my money, energy and support?
- It’s hard work. People think healing work is easy, woo woo fluff; just a matter of making a claim that you are a healer and going through the motions of some airy-fairy process. What I know – as a healing arts practitioner – is that it’s brutally difficult work that requires us to go through difficult initiations and heal at much deeper levels than average folks are willing to go. It’s really fucking hard, and people deserve to be paid for such work.
- The work of spiritual guides and healers is just as important and effective – sometimes more so – than medical attention from a conventional doctor or psychotherapist. If I am willing to pay handsomely for conventional medical help, why would I not also be willing to pay my spiritual healers? What kind of entitled hypocrite would I be to expect someone to work with me for free?
Now, are their scam artists out there? Sure!
Are their megachurches out there exploiting people and extracting money while not practicing equal exchange with their communities? Absolutely!
But, this is not a justification for making a sweeping claim that NO spiritual leader or healing arts practitioner should accept money.
Learn to use your discernment. Choose professional healing arts practitioners with good reputations. Support a church or spiritual community that is transparent with its finances and does plenty of good work in the community that supports it.
And most of all, develop your own intuition enough that you don’t need to make sweeping generalizations and become heavily polarized in your beliefs.
We can’t indulge in the fantasy that “everything should be free” when we do not live in a society that is even willing to provide basic medical healthcare for all at an affordable price. Everything has a cost, and we must be willing to see the value in the things we want, and be willing and able to make equal exchange.
Truth is, all spiritual leaders and healing arts practitioners deserve fair pay in exchange for their services, just as any effective professional does.
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