I don’t think this post is going to make me incredibly popular. But who cares? My site, my rules.
Recently I recieved a comment about my love of Charming Pixie Flora on Youtube. It declared Flora a fraud, and said that charging $660 a month for her private coaching course was pure greed.
I chatted to some peeps about this on a forum, and this is the response I got from a lot of people – spiritual teaching should always be free.
One reason I’ve seen cited for this is “Nature does not charge for her teachings”.
Well of course she doesn’t. She’s flippin’ nature. She doesn’t need money. Her time spent teaching us is usually time spent multitasking – we are learning stuff by watching her go about her business.
I am not sure where this idea that teachers and knowledge do not deserve to be paid comes from, but it’s total balls.
Teachers deserves to be compensated for the time they have spent training you, supporting you, planning lessons and helping you grow, because newsflash – it costs money to rent out rooms, it takes a lot of time to create a great curriculum, and good teachers always go above and beyond the classroom to help their students, because they care. I’m a teacher too (not a wicca one) and I know how much work and effort goes into these things, and we agonize over how much to charge our students, as we want to make what we love accessible to as many people as possible, but we have bills to pay just like everyone else. Teachers are taking up huge amounts of their spare time to teaching you guys, time they could be spending baking or hiking or meditating or earning money to pay their bills with. They need to be paid back.
In adult teaching land, money is usually an indicator of commitment – how many of us have signed up for free courses on the internet, and not completed them? How much more committed were you to courses that you paid for upfront? If you are spending lots of time teaching people for free, it is heartbreaking when they don’t turn up, or stick to deadlines, drop out, or act generally human-ish and rubbish. (It’s pretty upsetting when they’ve paid up too.) You feel like everything you have so carefully planned has been taken for granted and trashed. Even something you love will turn to resentment when you feel that you are being taken advantage of. Money acts as a buffer sometimes in this way: at least for me. I’m a career teacher, so I work a little differently, but I am sure it’s similar in other teacher paths.
Teachers in university and schools get paid. Yoga teachers get paid. Dressmaking teachers get paid. Dance teachers get paid. The Buddhist Centre takes payment for their courses. Why not pagan teachers?
Maybe it’s because we have a really funny relationship with money in the pagan community. Like, serious issues y’all. I have heard agreements on lots of discussions about teaching that there should be an “energy exchange”, but not money – money would sully it. An energy exchange can take the form of a bag of groceries, for example or a trade exchange, like fixing some pipes or reflexology treatments or something, but not money.
Why not money? Everybody loves money, it’s possibly the most useful energy exchange there is.
Honestly, when people say “Spiritual teaching should be free – that’s too much, she must be a fraud charging that much” I hear “I don’t want to pay for stuff – I demand access to everything for free”, sometimes with a little “I feel I have a right to all her information for free” or even “these paid classes are making me feel that I am missing out on something, and I don’t like that”.
Try telling a university professor that you demand s/he teaches you for free and see how far you get. They’ll say – Hells no! I spend over a decade of my life dedicated to this stuff – you want what’s in my brain? You paying for it.
Dude, if you don’t want to pay a spiritual teacher to train you that’s cool – no-one can ever force you to pay money to learn spiritual stuff, that’s a given, and it is always, always your choice – but don’t get all whingy about it. If you don’t feel you should pay for spiritual services, then just don’t have them. It’s simple – there is no need to get upset, or defensive, or go on the offence. It’s just not for you.
If you feel that someone owes you all their hard training, time and dedication for free however, then you have some issues to go deal with. Go deal with them like a grown up.