Should You Pay for Clergy, Spellwork, Classes or Divination?
By Patti Wigington
One issue of spirited debate in the Pagan and Wiccan communities is that of whether or not it’s acceptable to charge for teaching classes or performing services. One school of thought says it’s never okay — after all, knowledge is something that should be shared freely, at no charge to a student, because you can’t put a price on spirituality. Another group argues that of course it’s fine to charge – after all, teachers need to make a living too. Many people fall somewhere in the middle of all this and say it’s okay to take money for teaching, as long as it isn’t an exorbitant amount. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of charging for one’s services, in a spiritual capacity.
Let’s say you’re looking for someone to perform a Pagan clergy service for you. Perhaps you’re being handfast, or you need a clergyperson for a memorial service or a baby blessing. It’s reasonable for the individual to charge you. After all, they are entitled to be compensated for their time and skill, just like your accountant or your mechanic are. In addition, someone who is Pagan clergy has undergone a significant amount of training to attain that position – being paid for their services validates their training and experience. If you think the individual’s rates are unusually high, do what any other consumer would do — comparison shop. Find out whether their rates are comparable to other people performing a similar service, or if they’re overcharging. If the going rate for a handfasting or wedding ceremony is $250, and your clergy person wants $500, ask why.