Advice to the up-and-coming generation of Spirit-Workers
This will be the first post in a series focusing on the expanding world of contemporary divination and spirit-led consultation. Tarot appears ubiquitous these days; visual artists and poets are using the tarot as source material, and Tarot schools and themed costume parties are emerging everywhere! As one diviner I know says, “Tarot is the new Yoga.” From the point of view of an experienced spirit-worker, I see a number of very beneficial repercussions that the mass-distribution of Tarot has for the cultural zeitgeist. However, there are a handful of potential spiritual pitfalls. Elements of both will be featured in a series of blog posts that will focus on expanding the dialogue around the newfound and widespread acceptance of divination as a cultural mode and practice.
Advice to the up-and-coming generation of spirit-workers:
As a small business owner educated primarily by Marxist professors, I’ve witnessed myriad worrisome trends in relation to how spiritual service providers are treated. My concern is that some don’t perceive divination as traditional labor, and yet it is a profession. Even if divination or spirit-led consultation is held in a social setting, it still constitutes very intense spiritual labor, which has cost the practitioner in training and time, not to mention the spiritual drain that occurs following such work. Though some perceive it as a party-trick or a gimmick, it is in fact a job—and to that degree, a very intense job. Please keep this in mind when for-profit business owners (including myself) attempt to employee you and profit off of your labor. Think long and hard about how much of your income you're willing to offer to someone simply because they possess more physical resources than you. Your insight and your spirit are more valuable than any storefront, party, or bar.
Please think twice when the opportunity to practice your craft is presented to you as some sort of gift- a gift that demands a large percentage of your profit as mandatory reciprocation.
When a work opportunity is presented to you as ‘community run’ or ‘not-for-profit’ - ask yourself: Is there a collective here who is making the business decisions? If yes: Am I entitled to reap the financial benefits of this “collective” that extend beyond the price of my labor? To what end? Do I have a boss or overseer making demands upon the way I promote myself and how I set my hours? Am I being asked to compete with other readers in the way that commission-based salesmen compete in a car dealership? Under whose business name am I working? Is this a club, or is this a for-profit business? If I’m being asked to rent space or pay dues, is the fee they require worth it when compared to alternate locations/organizations? Is someone making more money off of my labor than they deserve? If you discover that you suddenly have a “boss” overseeing your spirit-work know that you not only have the right to negotiate fair rates, you also have a duty to not denigrate the spirit (or spirits) who lead you in your practice by allowing yourself to be exploited.
In the past few years, spiritual workers have made a massive cultural impact. We have become an undeniable voice in the zeitgeist; but this impact comes at a cost. Now those who have previously cashed in on the zeitgeist will be eagerly waiting to profit off of us. Know your value as a spiritual worker—your gifts are precious and RARE.
In the words of Daniel, the prophet: "The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy."