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Maybe because we still, like it or lump it, come out of the hippie movement as Neo-Pagans, there's still this bizarre belief with some people that magic should be free and taking money for magical services is dirty and wrong. Well, that's fine, as long as you think that it's dirty and wrong to pay for doctors visits, lawyers services, handmade goods, herbs, massage, magazines, books, movies, etc. and are currently managing to live completely off the grid in a barter/trade society where you can trade for all your goods and services. All of this, obv, is my opinion.
Unless you are bffs with a srs magical worker or a magical worker yourself, why would a service be free? I mean yes, when I get some queries from WitchVox I will often suggest a small working to assist but that's because (a) I have a soft heart for sad ass stories and (b) I'm also lazy and busy and I can cross post it here and show that I do have a magical thought process when my brain is not pre-occupied with more pressing matters like Dance Moms (which, btdubs, makes Toddlers and Tiaras look like a goddamn afternoon teaparty with stuffed animals and cake) and dodging writing a book. But, small. Basically here's the distinction to me between paid magic and unpaid magic:
Unpaid magic when requested and not offered by the provider as a free service (which I certainly would do for my closest friends and family but YMMV) is like bitching to your friend instead of seeing a shrink. Or like asking your friend who is an excellent amateur baker to bring a cake to a party instead of going to a patisserie. Or you have a friend who is a volunteer EMT and s/he assesses if your cut will likely need stitches or not. Unpaid magic is like a favor, something that's not too big of a pain in the ass for the witch in question but takes some time and energy to do. Something that the witch knows off hand or has a lot of experience with and can answer without it being A Whole Thing. Generally speaking, I will offer some practical advice and offer a small spell working for you to do yourself when I am giving free advice. If you want The Whole Thing - divination, a consultation and then me constructing a whole magical working for you and performing it for you, that is not for free because that is now taking up my time and money as well as my energy and my magic. I have found (and this might sound mean and catty) that when you just lead the horse to water, there's little follow through. When someone has to put their money where their mouth is and be willing to have me shove your face into a gallon of Poland Spring that's when you really wanted this working with all of your little heart. In most (not all) cases, that's when I'm willing to get involved personally because then it's a Practical Magic scenerio:
Aunt Jet: Sally, you just stay right there. Keep working on your spells. Just keep working on your spells.
Aunt Jet: Get the bird.
Aunt Frances: Get the book.
A woman: I want him so much, I can't think about anything else. I don't sleep. He has to leave his wife. He has to leave her now.
Aunt Jet: Perhaps you might find one better suited.
A woman: I don't want anyone else. He's all I think about. Why the hell else would I come here?
Aunt Frances: Take the money, Jet.
A woman: I want him to want me so much he can't stand it.
Aunt Jet: Be careful what you wish for.
You're going to give your money to someone and if I don't have any personal ethical quandaries with what you want, then I may as well do it and take the money.
If you want The Whole Thing, ladies and gentlemen and you want to show that you're mannerly and not an oaf who expects an acquaintance or party friend (or even less of a connection) who doesn't really know anything more about you than you like the Yankees and you don't drink red wine to outline your legal defense for you over hors' d'oeuvres , or diagnosis your sore throat in the spare room at a dinner party or ask for your book to be reviewed at a con party where everyone's drinking test tube shots or expect someone to do illustrations for your album cover because you ride the A train together every day, you need to expect to pay for it. When you are expecting favors for free when it comes to any kind of service, consultation or artistic work you are implicitly (if not explicitly) saying what you do isn't worth anything of value, really. Also, super important? In most Neo-Pagan cultures? Don't haggle. It's rude and insulting to the provider. Don't get nasty with the provider about their prices, that's ridiculous. Take your business elsewhere
If you would like The Whole Thing whether it's massage therapy, book proofing, magical services, event planning, knitting or whatever and this service has not been offered free of charge to you by the provider, here are some gracious ways to see about receiving the Full Blown Service:
1. Say, "I need a love spell/an hour massage/candle work/curse work/an illustrator for my magazine/legal counsel. What is your going rate for that?"
2. Say, "I need X, but I only have X amount of money. What can you do for me for that?" and that gives your service provider a chance to decide for herself as to what she is willing to do for that.
3. Say, "I need X and I have Y and Z that I can barter for it if that's an arrangement you would find suitable, if not thank you for considering it."
If you would like to partake of my services my list can be found here
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for service inquires. For my philosophy on paid services, please see here. I prefer to not do phone work.
Honey Jar Spells (to attract money or "sweeten" someone towards you) to be Worked by me on my altar for one week, email consultation, burning a candle every day on it as well as my observations on it, components (7 candles, honey, herbs, petition paper, small honey jar) and then mailed to you for your use: $50 USD*
Bottle Spells (for blessings, attracting, protection, curse work) to be Worked by me on my altar for one week, email consultation, my observations on it, components (an appropriate bottle and appropriate components such as herbs) and then mailed to you for your use: $75 USD*
Setting Lights Seven Day Candle (for blessings, attracting, protection, curse work): to be Worked by me on my altar for one week, email consultation, my observations on it, to be burned continuously until it's completely burnt out and fixed with the appropriate oils and petition paper, picture of it in progress available upon request. $20 USD*
Mojo Bags: (for blessings, attracting, protection, curse work) to be Worked by me on my altar for one week, email consultation, my observations on it, components (red flannel bag hand sewn by me, herbs, minerals, etc) and then mailed to you for your use. $50 USD
Customized Poppet (for use to communicate with a particular god or for use in any kind of poppet magic) to be Worked on by me for one week and for the body to be made out of muslin cloth or felt. Can be stuffed with specific herbs and have an opening for you to add petition papers or personal concerns. Sewn completely by me. Simple six inch "gingerbread wo/man", includes optional yarn hair and optional anatomical correctness and small heart stuffed with an herb that I have in stock: $25 USD* Doll with clothing, hair, optional anatomical correctness and small heart stuffed with an herb that I have in stock $50 USD*
Four Ounces of Yarn for Your Use (binding spells, for use to create ritual dollies, jackballs, knotwork spells, etc) to be Worked on by me as I spin the yarn, dyed the color(s) of your choice and bathed in an herbal bath with herbs that are appropriate to your request and components (dye, 100% wool fiber, herbs) and shipped to you for your use: $50 USD*
Love Spellwork : Please email me with what you would like to accomplish. This is consultative work so if I accept the work, it would be an hourly rate of $50 USD and component costs. I will send you an estimate if I accept and will require a retainer to get started.
Curse Spellwork: Please email me with what you would like to accomplish. This is consultative work so if I accept the work, it would be an hourly rate of $50 USD and component costs. I will send you an estimate if I accept and will require a retainer to get started.
Prosperity Spellwork Please email me with what you would like to accomplish. This is consultative work so if I accept the work, it would be an hourly rate of $50 USD and component costs. I will send you an estimate if I accept and will require a retainer to get started.
Protection Spellwork: Please email me with what you would like to accomplish. This is consultative work so if I accept the work, it would be an hourly rate of $50 USD and component costs. I will send you an estimate if I accept and will require a retainer to get started.
Twenty Minute Tarot Card Reading: Via Instant Message online only, you ask the question and I interpret the cards. $20 USD
* all prices are approximate depending on the request. Pricing does not include shipping of any items. Exact pricing to be agreed upon before starting Work and to be paid via Paypal.
As always, if you have a burning question that you want my input on, feel free to drop me a line at corvaxgirl [at] gmail [dottie] com and I will keep you anonymous and dazzle you with my insight or not. Whatev. As always, you're the captain of your own ship and feel free to disagree with me as often and loudly as you like!
So, I've been kind of pre-occupied with my own star showers as my PEH would say, so less blogging lately. As you may recall, I recently wrote an article for Witchvox about Letting Go, which is, like many things, a lot easier in theory than practice. Witchvox readers always make my palms sweat because their emails tend to fluster me because it's either saying super complimentary things about how I've helped them in their lives (including a recent one from a really kind older pastor gentleman) or asking for help about Serious Shit. Both are equally terrifying because most of the time I feel like a hot mess who just spouts off whatever I'm thinking about, the idea of positively affecting people I don't even know inadvertently is a good but strange feeling, it's like realizing people are actually watching you dance when you think that no one's paying attention to you. People thinking I can advise them in some really dire situations is also scary because I've certainly made my share of life mistakes, but if I want to be a Professional Pagan, I need to figure it out. So I think for a good amount of time and pray and try to pull together a reasonable answer.
In this case, a reader told me that she was having trouble letting go after an abusive relative passed away and asked what she should do.
Firstly, letting go doesn't mean forgetting, by any stretch of the imagination. You're never going to forget anyway . . .and sometimes it's good to remember. In my particular situation where I've chosen not to forgive, I was journaling nearly every day trying to sort through my feelings during that time. When it's the "anniversary" of that time, I re-read those journal entries to remind myself how horrible that time in my life was but also to really focus on all of the positive changes I've made in my life since then and to remind myself that if I hold onto it too tightly it will eat me up inside until there's nothing left.
Some days, this is easier than others. Unfortunately, there will likely never come a time where you are completely free of this weight you carry, there will likely always be bad days. As to what can make it easier to live with and what can help you from having it eat you up inside, there are a few things - journaling through your feelings, as sometimes revelations come that way, figuring out if you feel any negative emotions towards yourself about it and working to heal those feelings, figuring out what kind of positive changes would make you feel less helpless now if you feel that way - learning a martial art or reminding yourself as much as needed that he can't hurt you anymore and that now as an adult, you're captain of your own ship and you can do whatever you want and lead whatever kind of life you want to lead and no one can stop you and no one can have control over you again like he did when you were a child because you were forced to live in that situation day in and day out. Now, you can chose who is in your life. Living well really and truly is the best revenge, it shows that that person could not keep you from leading a happy and satisfying life, no matter what they did to try to hurt you.
If you don't work with any deities in particular, I feel like working with Diana could be healing for you. Forming a close relationship with a god or goddess can sometimes help guide us through dark times. Prayer can really help I find. Sincerely ask Her for help to guide you through figuring out how to let go of as much of this burden that you carry. Offer Her offerings of light (tealights) and water (I use a little shot glass and fill it with tap water) whenever you can (I do mine anywhere from weekly to monthly depending on the month). Offer Her praise for the things you're grateful about in your life. In terms of a ritual, I think doing a rite to formally cut ties with your relative would be healing.
You can craft your own rite of course, but in case you're not sure, maybe this may work:
A picture of the two of you together
Small muslin bag
Paper and pen
A bath tub
A small shovel
Make an offering to Diana and ask for Her help in your rite. Write down all of the things you want to let go of from what your relative did to you and write down why you need to be separated completely from him. Cut him out of the picture and wrap your paper around it, wrapping the paper away from you. Wrap the yarn around the paper/picture while saying, "I free myself from you/by my will I see this through". Take it outside and bury it some place and then walk away without turning back. Light the candles around the tub and fill it with water and sprinkle the salt into it and then fill the small muslin bag with the herbs. Visualize yourself being free from his influence and free from the burden you carry. Think about all of that negativity being washed off of you with the water, salt and herbs leaving you open to have positive influences come into your life. When you are done bathing and you let the water go down the drain, focus on all of the burden and negativity going down the drain with it. Whenever things get rough for you, make an offering to Diana and repeat the bath.
Hey charmers! I'm looking for high traffic blogs with a witchy bent who do periodic giveaways as I would like to increase my shop traffic. Know of anyone and/or you are a high traffic blog looking for giveaways?
Now, as we just discussed in my previous article, I don't really ascribe to needing to forgive every person in your life. If that person has crossed a boundary that is unforgivable to you and you no longer wish to have a relationship with that person and strive to have as little contact with that person as possible, congratulations! I will be more than happy to write you a note excusing you from having to forgive that person. . .
Read the rest here.