Pagan Magic asked:
This is a question that I see a lot, and I would like to know the opinion of the people here.
Should a spell caster charge for their gifts - is it right to make money from the Craft, or should it be freely given?
I have a double standard. I charge for doing psychic readings and mediumistic work, and for any form of hands-on healing – except for very close friends and family with whom there is a lot of give-and-take and no-one could possibly keep track of who owes what to whom. For absent healings I don't usually charge; it becomes too complicated. In return I feel free to call upon other absent healers to help with any work I need for myself or others. Again there is that give-and-take operating amongst us. And so far I haven't charged for doing spellwork either, for similar reasons.
I do however like the point that others have raised, that when a spell is requested one has the right to ask for an energy exchange. I might do that if it were a member of the public asking rather than someone close to me. Mostly, however, clients ask in the context of readings or healings I'm doing for them. If possible I instruct them in how to do their own spells for their particular purposes, and incorporate that instruction into the time for which they're paying. If it's complex, though, I just tell them I'll 'do something' later. If they offer me a gift, or extra money, I accept; if not, no matter.
I have a friend who is able to 'see' people's energetic origins before their life in this place and time. She herself is what she calls a 'feathered angel', whose joy and purpose is to serve; so she never charges for the psychic information she is occasionally impelled to give someone. The first time I met her, she walked past my market stall while I was doing a reading, and caught my eye. She came back later to tell me – as others have done – that when I read I am plugged into Source. She added, 'You are a human being. You have chosen to do this work. Never let anyone tell you that you shouldn't charge for it. I never charge for what I do, because I'm an angel and it's my duty to serve. But you have chosen it freely and you have a right to be recompensed.'
I like what I recently heard a healer say (after working on my husband for free): 'I do some work for love and some for money. This one's for love. Aren't I lucky that I can choose to work for love or money?' I guess that's how it is for me too; and if the choice is sometimes arbitrary, well that's my right and privilege.
PS A young woman did once take me to task in the market for charging for spiritual work. She cited the case of 'a wonderful man named Edgar Cayce who never asked for money for the wisdom and healing he gave the world.' I was a bit flabbergasted and just reiterated that I was comfortable with what I was doing. I didn't think until afterwards to ask whether Edgar Cayce had a day job or people who supported him! (Of course I have some books about him, but they focus on his spiritual, not mundane life.) Personally I'm on the Age Pension, which is a frugal living, and the readings etc. merely supplement it within the allowable limits.
Re-reading [other answers, some weeks later] I think it rather depends on whether one treats it as the career / profession, or as something extra, outside one's everyday work.
If you're working as a shop assistant, accountant, hairdresser, plumber, you-name-it, then some form of donation or other energy exchange when you do magickal work for others might well be sufficient. It's fine to refrain from charging for the work if you are provided for by some other means.
But some of us choose to make this our actual occupation and source of income, and that's a valid choice too. Then it becomes like any other form of self-employment: a means to eat and pay the bills. It's just that we choose to work at something that is both our passion and our service. (Not unlike those who have a vocation for nursing, teaching, etc.)
In my case I used it to supplement the Age Pension within the limits legally allowed, as the Pension alone was impossible to live on when I was in private rental. Now that I have recently moved into Housing Department accommodation at lower rent, I've retired from my regular work as a psychic medium and energy healer, but will continue to help some people privately — for love, barter or money, as appropriate. I have been given gifts; I also spent much time, energy and even money developing them, and I'm good at what I do, so I don't have any qualms about being recompensed financially.