Witches are Increasing the Prices of Their Classes

Mo Magic, Mo Money

I came from a background that most of you probably already know about. I came from a Charismatic background. If you know anything about it, it’s pretty similar to the Evangelicals – often, Charismatics are Evangelical – at least in a lot of ways. Some of these people are also cross-overs into the “Word of Faith” movement.

You’ll recognize such names as: Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, Juanita Bynum, TD Jakes, Rod Parsley, Benny Hinn, the Crouch family (of TBN). All of these folks (and there are many more examples besides) won’t admit it up front, of course, but what they’re really all about is: the almighty dollar. Hell, one of them even has it as his last fucking name.

What I fear is that the world of Witchcraft is going the way of the Charismatics[ref]The Charismatic Movement is the international trend of historically mainstream congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals. Fundamental to the movement is the use of spiritual gifts. Among Protestants, the movement began around 1960. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_Movement[/ref] /Evangelicals/Word-of-Faith-ers.

What do I mean? Simply this: people are charging to teach the Craft.

Back when I was growing up …

You know how it goes. One calm summer’s day, you’re sitting on the front porch with your grandfather. The two of you are hanging out – him in his rocking chair, you sitting on the steps. And you – being the modern teenager that you are – start to get a bit grumpy, thinking about the fact that today is Sunday and tomorrow is Monday, and it’s Autumn, and you have to go back to school. And you just happen to murmur aloud, “I hate riding the bus.”

Suddenly (you know where I’m going with this), you’re grandfather pipes up. “Ahem,” he says. “You should be thankful for the bus. Back in my day, I had to …”

Invariably, he had to walk seven miles uphill in a snowstorm with very harsh winds and blustery cold to get to school.

But I’m not talking about school, here. I’m talking about fakes, frauds, pellars[ref]The Oxford English Dictionary cites “Pellar” as a word from Cornwall meaning “An exorcist; a sorcerer, a wizard.” Mid 19th cent.; earliest use found in Robert Hunt (1807–1887), chemist and photographer. Origin uncertain; perhaps from pell + -ar, although the semantic link is not clear, or perhaps shortened from repeller. Robert Cochrane (died 1966), who founded the Clan of Tubal-Cain, also called himself a pellar, and his followers use it as a term of honor. But to judge from Doreen Valiente’s description of her experiences with Cochrane (chapter 8 in her The Rebirth of Witchcraft) — the dubious and even fraudulent claims he made, and his aggressive slandering of Gerald Gardner — Cochrane may have been the reason why the term acquired a negative connotation. In my opinion, the term is a negative one because it implies a fraudulent peddling of goods – like a “snake oil salesman.”[/ref] and posers.

To paraphrase Papaw, back when I was being trained in the Craft, a person took an Oath. Part of that Oath, in my tradition, was to not sell the Craft[ref]I cannot legitimately reveal the full wording of my Oath as it would render that part of the ritual almost useless for newcomers to our Tradition, but I can say that the exact phrasing of one particular line is: and I shall never take payment for teaching the ways of our Tradition, or for initiation or membership in a Coven, neither in money nor in goods; [/ref]. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t charge for magic or spellwork. If you do work on behalf of an individual, fine, take the payment (or “donation” – whatevs). You’ve used materials that you likely had to purchase yourself, so charging to cover that cost would be ethical to me. Also, when you’re a writer and you’ve sold some books that might be instructional – okay, fine. You’ve put a product on the market that people are willing to pay for – it’s called information.

But what you do not do is charge for teaching the Craft to another person who is interested in the deep, spiritual experiences and life-changes that result from those experiences. Charging for teaching or initiation, or for membership in a group, is just plain unethical to me. Not to mention that some of the people charging for said teaching/training, initiation and membership may not be real Witches.

What Happened to Integrity?

Yes, that is a question that could be asked of all of American society in general. But I’m specifically posing that question to Wiccans. What happened to our integrity?

Even in secular society, my grandfather always said, “A man is only as good as his word.” You do what you say and you say what you mean. If you can’t accommodate someone’s request of you, you are honest about it and say, “That’s not feasible for me right now.” You don’t him-haw around and be coy and try to weasel your way out of a promise. You fucking do what you said you’d do, or you say you can’t do it from the get-go.

It really is that simple.

As Witches, we owe it to ourselves to be more honest with ourselves and with others, as well. We are examples – of the truth, honesty and integrity that actually doing real witchcraft brings into your spirit, heart and life. If you’re a real witch at all, you know that, in your heart of hearts, you can’t lie (i.e., say “Yes, I’ll do that,” and then make up some lame-ass excuse later). Any witch worth his/her salt is going to be honest.

The title of this writing is Witches Increase the Prices of Their Classes. I have to admit: that was more of a way to get your attention. The truth is: this article is not about an increase in price. It’s about the fact that people are charging at all.

Just like the Evangelicals, Charismatics and Word-of-Faith-ers, our religion is faltering. It isn’t faltering because of the religion – it’s faltering because of the unethical principles and practices of these people who are charging for training and initiation/membership – fakes, frauds, posers and pellars.

So I say again: what happened to integrity?


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