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Author Topic: Calling the Quarters?  (Read 19761 times)
Jessica A
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« Reply #60: January 05, 2008, 11:08:25 pm »

Having just read Juniperr's comments: revising my original answer a bit to add in a couple of things related to that here.

Jenett,

Thank you for revising your original answer.
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« Reply #61: January 05, 2008, 11:39:42 pm »

Well, no, not pathetic, but I'm not sure I understand. I have been a teacher for many years (not Paganism however), when I teach I use no materials other than my experience and understanding. I most certainly expect to be paid and paid well and the students supplies all their own materials.

If witches or HPs were set up to be given bread and board for counseling and running rituals by a congregation splitting the costs (i.e. Catholic priests) then of course you would expect them to simply help you and have the church and a sermon ready. But witches and other Pagans do not have that option.

Teaching someone is hard work and getting to a place to have enough skill and experience is hard work. Why would you expect something for nothing? Would you walk into a place that teaches anything, say piano, and say "I really want to learn to play, but I do not have much money so I certainly do not expect to have to pay you." They would toss you out on your ear.

I suppose it could have to do with in a tradition that requires study with a teacher/mentor then charging for it is an issue, as if someone had a strong calling to that system but no money it would limit the incoming folks to only those with money, which does not seem right. But classes at a local occult shop do not sound like that. Am I missing something here?

Oh, I wanted to add: When I was running a school I always had 'working students', people without a lot of money who still wanted to learn. I always made a work/trade option available. Their time was valuable to me as well and I thought everyone who wanted should be given the opportunity.

I'm sorry...I didn't mean to make you mad. I wasn't suggesting that teachers don't deserve to be paid, I'm just frustrated that I don't have the money to do that, that I won't have it in the next 10 years, and that I'm not one of those super teens that can do it all on their own.

And religion, to me, is different than learning how to play the piano. It's much, much more personal, it's more frightening, and it leaves you more vulnerable. I just don't think you can compare them like that. I don't need my violin teacher to like and support and be a friend to me, I need her to just teach me. But when you're trying to enter in a community that seems pretty forbidding, you need someone who would provide a bit more emotional support than that required from a music teacher.

My own commitment is to not charge for training that potentially leads towards religious training or initiation (this is partly because it's how I got my own training: making money off something I didn't pay money for seems quite imbalanced). I would consider charging for things I consider optional extras: not required to follow the path I would teach religiously - many groups consider things like divination methods or making ritual jewelry, or even something like the Pagan research classes I sometimes teach to be optional extras: they ideally improve your religious work, but there are other ways to get that information besides paying a teacher.)

This is more what I meant. I would pay for extras and materials, but if I was training to join a group, I would feel a little awkward. I know I am naive and have a romanticized version of covens and groups like that, but it seems to me that you'd at least become friends with these people, if not good friends, and paying a friend over a hundred dollars a month would just make me feel strange.

If you're a teacher at a workshop, pagan pride, or occult shop, then I definitely agree that you should pay at least *something*, but paying people who could potentially become very important in your life would make me uncomfortable. Because then you never really know whether it's you or your money they like, and it seems to me that uncertainty like that could become a problem after a while, if you're really supposed to trust and work well with the people.

Again, Juniperr, I really hope I didn't make you mad. I don't expect to learn for nothing, I just wish there were ways I could compensate that weren't monetary.
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SunflowerP
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« Reply #62: January 06, 2008, 01:12:51 am »

And religion, to me, is different than learning how to play the piano. It's much, much more personal, it's more frightening, and it leaves you more vulnerable.
<snip>
I know I am naive and have a romanticized version of covens and groups like that, but it seems to me that you'd at least become friends with these people, if not good friends, and paying a friend over a hundred dollars a month would just make me feel strange.
You're not as naive and romantic as you think.  This is at the core of why I won't charge for teaching Craft.  (I have no problem with the costs incurred in teaching being shared, but I prefer to keep those to a minimum anyway.)

Not quite for some of the reasons you mention; the personal/frightening/vulnerable stuff isn't just on the "community that seems forbidding" level - shouldn't be at all, really.  Supposing for the sake of discussion that you lived here and had approached me for teaching, if you found me and those around me "forbidding", I'd question whether we were even the right environment for you to learn.  It should be more like what you go on to say about those people being friends.

Being great ol' buddies isn't really necessary, but trust is.  There can be a lot of vulnerability involved - variable mileage depending on just what flavor/trad/style is being taught, but for the current I work, that's very much the case.  Training in that current isn't without cost, but it's not monetary; it's the effort of doing the work, the pain that often accompanies growth, the surrender of old cherished-but-limiting ideas to open oneself to new ones.

All this stuff builds bonds, often strong ones.  Those bonds can themselves be important to the Work.  And I'd feel very strange indeed charging anything more than, "Can you bring the wine for the ritual?" or "Put what you can in the coffee/candles/etc kitty," to someone with whom I have that kind of bond, for the very things that are supposed to build the bond.

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« Reply #63: January 06, 2008, 01:14:02 am »

I'm sorry...I didn't mean to make you mad.

Oh goodness, you didn't make me mad at all. I am sorry I do not write better to covey my actual feelings, but angry wasn't there at all. I figured I just must be missing something and used examples to illustrate what I was understanding from the posts to see if I got it right. I really thought I was missing something.

Quote
This is more what I meant. I would pay for extras and materials, but if I was training to join a group, I would feel a little awkward... (snip) but paying people who could potentially become very important in your life would make me uncomfortable.

And THAT was it, the missing bit. I did not understand you were referring to paying people in a coven type situation. And I agree, paying coven members would be weird indeed. I thought you simply meant taking a class or two at a local occult shop to learn about the basics of Wicca or something similar. My lack of comprehension, thank you for clearing it up!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 01:26:13 am by juniperrr, Reason: to add a missing word » Logged
Jenett
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« Reply #64: January 06, 2008, 10:48:20 am »

There can be a lot of vulnerability involved - variable mileage depending on just what flavor/trad/style is being taught, but for the current I work, that's very much the case.  Training in that current isn't without cost, but it's not monetary; it's the effort of doing the work, the pain that often accompanies growth, the surrender of old cherished-but-limiting ideas to open oneself to new ones.

Sunflower nails it, as always.

My favorite expression of this comes from a discussion on a British Traditional Wicca focused email list, a couple of years back. The poster was talking about her phone conversation with a Seeker to her group - they'd been talking for maybe 20 minutes, when the seeker said, rather cautiously "So, um... how much does training cost?"

The priestess blinked, and then said, gently "It doesn't cost money, but I have to like you and want to spend time with you."

It's the core of the interaction. Because many of us *don't* charge (and a number of us think it's important to have 'day jobs' or at least 'other interactions than Pagan community ones on a regular basis'), our time is a really precious thing. For me to want to do group work with someone means I've got to be willing to spend ritual time with them for rituals (which might be the better part of a day and an evening, each month, or even more.) It means I've got to feel comfortable being around them enough to train them. And in many cases, since so many of us teach out of our homes (at least for coven-focused stuff), it means having someone in your home, and probably also calling you with an urgent need a few times.

I don't need to like this person more than everyone else in my life (best friends, in other words), though one of my closest friends these days is a woman I went through Dedicant training with. But I do need to like them enough to spend a lot of my free time with them, and in ways that are emotionally vulnerable and intimate at times. You can't force that or fake it. And as Sunflower said, it also creates the difference between "Hey, pay me money" and "Hey, can you pick up wine for the ritual on your way here, so I don't have to run out and get it while we're setting up?"
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