Crafty… in the right way

28 03 2008

I was thinking about the folk I know on this path; all of them have developed or are exploring handcrafts or talents, small and large. Dear Fox has opened Shades of Midnight, her new online shop, and her beautiful wares sing out her care and her good thoughts for those that buy them. I look at beweaver’s amazing and intricate embroideries and applique work, and marvel at the intricacy and the attention required to produce it. Witchypoo’s hand dyed and spun wools are made into gorgeous and useful knitted items. Glen and Willow Goldentree and their wonderful work in wood. PiedPiper can turn her hand to most anything; crochet, embroidery, knitting and painting.

The making of these items serve multiple purposes for the maker; it’s art, and abstractly beneficial as creative expression, it’s a form of therapy and of positive use of creative ideas that might otherwise go to waste; it’s a form of worship for the Goddess, using Her gifts for her further glory, and finally it’s a means of making a little money. That item was purposefully last; I don’t think any of these people seek to make money only from these things; it’s a tangential benefit at most.

Cruising about the net I have come across many sites where people seek to make money directly from the Craft. For example, the sale of spells and so forth. Have a read of this person’s site and look at some of her wares for sale. Apparently, love, a better figure and so on are just a haunted ring away.

 I really dislike this. It seems to me to be completely at odds with our spiritual aims. It’s like selling Holy Water. In the Middle Ages priests would be charged with the crime of Simony – illegally selling Masses. What is this except for peddling the divine, brokering the link in order to make a quick buck? There’s no difference at all between this and selling your services as a witch.

I’m seeking actively to develop my skills in the creative sphere… I’m no great shakes but I can turn out a nice prayer string and take a good photo. Perhaps, if I hit on a real talent or unique product, I could think of selling them. But I’d never offer what few skills I have as a witch in return for money. It’s a dirty bargain, and even if I got paid, I have a feeling I’d come off worst in the deal.

I’d like to know how those that do sell spells and so on feel about what they do. How do they justify it? If you can buy spells and charms on Ebay, then you know that the market must be there! And what about those that buy? One site I found had hundreds of satisfied customers. Am I alone in finding this ever so slightly bizarre? Perhaps these people are the modern cunning men and women, providing magical help in return for considerations in cash or in kind. Whatever, I still don’t like it.

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17 responses

28 03 2008
darkwingedangel

In the tradition of the Wise man/woman of the village, I can see where people would get paid chickens or money to buy food and keep the tax man at bay, however I can’t really justify getting paid for any working that I preform for someone. I can’t even justify charging for my classes!

Perhaps it’s just the two of us. 😦

28 03 2008
The Green Witch

I’m sure it can’t be, darkwingedangel – I would have to assume the way we feel is the rule rather than the exception – !

I feel as though, if I did work on behalf of someone, that the Universe would do me good in return and therefore I would have been paid anyway. To be give money is simply stealing – it’s asking to be paid twice. I think! 🙂

Thank you for dropping by!

28 03 2008
The Shepton Witch

I’m with you on this. You wouldn’t believe how many emails I get from other purportedly witchy sites telling me how much traffic a link with them would generate. One even offered me a “luck generator” if you can believe that?!! I look at al the link submissions and offers of untold riches with a very impartial eye, but mostly the sites are selling ‘quick fixes’ to people who are desperate or not aware that there are so many hacks about.

This topic raises two issues: the first is recompense for work you do and the other is the ‘work’ that is done. I can’t see how selling a bit of paper, tied with a ribbon and a few herbs (probably out of a Schwartz box) can be classed as selling spells, but there are gullible people and always the unscrupulous waiting to prey upon them. Recompense for work is reasonable if it is the only thing you do, though I don’t know too many professional Witches, and it is not done with an eye to profit, but as a fair trade, rather as Darkwingedangel has suggested. Some of the scams and blatant profiteering that is about at the moment is outrageous and downright disgusting.

So, no, you’re not alone, I find it deeply distasteful too.

28 03 2008
The Green Witch

You’re right, SW. Interestingly, from the purchaser’s point of view, what do they hope to achive by buying said twig/ribbon/Schwartz confection in the first place? Do they think it’s as simple as that? ‘Mend my broken heart’ with what amounts to a Christmas ornament? Perhaps those who look for such easy fixes are falling foul of their own free will and the universal fact that, even if you can’t cheat an honest man, it’s as easy as hell to cheat someone who wants to be cheated.

More to come on this, I’m brewing a diatribe!

28 03 2008
fox

I’m with you on the idea that selling things like spells is not quite right. It is one thing if you offered to do work for someone because you cared and they gave a gift of thanks in return. To actually set a price on something like that, seems really wrong to me. Heck, I have a hard enough time charging for what I make because it really isn’t about the money for me, so I can’t even begin to imagine charging for something like that.

I can also see the “need to make a living somehow” mindset that I’m sure some people get into this kind of thing with. I guess I can really see both sides of it. It is the ones that do it strictly to make money on the needy and less fortunate that really bother me the most. Especially the kinds of people willing to sell ethically questionable spells and charms to people who really don’t know any better and are desperate.

28 03 2008
The Green Witch

I think you’ve got it there – it’s the inequality of power and knowledge that causes this type of transaction to be so shady. The sellers cannot have any real confidence that their spell or whatever will work for the person they sell it to. Snake oil merchants!

28 03 2008
The Shepton Witch

Ha! It makes snake oil merchants look distinctly ethical!

28 03 2008
The Green Witch

😉

29 03 2008
Noctiluca

I agree, I agree, I agree. So much. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous, selling spells like that.

30 03 2008
Crystal

I’m with the lot if you on this … and I think Fox hit the nail on the head. It is those who are strictly out to “make a quick buck” and have no concern for whether they are helping or harming another in the process that are the biggest problem. They prey on those too ignorant to even realize how many scammers are around. It makes me angry as well, but I just try and remember that karma will catch up to them one day … and judging by the type of spells some are willing to sell, that debt could be a hugh one to pay. 😉

31 03 2008
The Green Witch

Crystal, I hope you’re right about the karma – but it does make my blood boil!! Thanks for coming by!

Noctiluca – beats me how more people don’t see through scammers like this – !

4 04 2008
beweaver

Goodness, I decided to surf your blog by topic and founds this entry that I missed somehow. I’m honored to be in such amazing company. You got it dead on, the reasons why i do what I do.

I don’t have much to add regarding selling spells, I just know that for me, when i see a spell for sale in a pretty pouch with pretty paper, the first thought that enters my mind is hmmmm even in my spell isn’t that pretty I bet it works better simply because I had to do the work to figure out what I needed for what results and the whole process is part of the magic of it. Somehow shopping for the spell doesn’t feel like part o the magical process. Although don’t get me wrong. I love shopping for the right little something. But even better I like shopping my boxes of stuff to see what I have hanging around that has been waiting for the right opportune need.

4 04 2008
beweaver

Oh, and I meant to say this.

Photography is an art. A very valuable art. If that is what you do, then you can call yourself an artist and be in the company of great people like Ansel Adams. Or my brother. http://www.pbase.com/mikelong 😉

4 04 2008
beweaver

omg. I went to the link you provided. $55 for a $2 ring and a spell? omg. haunted even. woo hoo.

5 04 2008
The Green Witch

Haha!! Woohoo is right! Well, she seems to make it work, so I suppose I feel a sense of grudging admiration, if only for the size of her balls.

Your brother wipes the floor with me – what amazing work!! He takes the sort of pictures I’d like to – still practising!!

🙂

7 04 2008
Crafty… in the Right Way - Update « The Green Witch

[…] 7 04 2008 My check aobut the Pagan blogsphere this morning brings up a nice little coda to the above discussion, which I got into last […]

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Lines of Personal Responsibility « The Unveiling of a Pagan Spirit

[…] actions, whether they be positive or negative.  It was something that was discussed recently in this post on The Green Witch’s blog.  Taking responsibility for ones actions is something that […]

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