From selling witchcraft supplies, to offering spirtual guidance, to leading workshops and classes, there are more opportunities to share your mystical gifts with your community than ever before. There’s no doubt, witchcraft has become a big business. Trying to stay true to your craft (and yourself) while still honoring the needs of your business can be tricky. To get some advice on navigating art and commerce, we talked to some of our favorite business witches about inspiration, how to get started, and how make money magical.
Lisa Levine, MS, LAc. Founder of Maha Rose Center for Healing in Brooklyn.
My very first massage teacher said, “You are going to have to get used to exchanging love for money, because that is what you’re going to be doing.” It can feel awkward at times, but it’s necessary for there to be an exchange, and money is most often the most convenient thing to use for that exchange. There also might be some passed down ideas in us that work should be hard, and not something we love doing. If enriching people’s lives feels so good and so natural that it seems odd to be paid for it, then there must be some belief that we don’t deserve to be paid for doing something we love. That is a belief worth examining and exchanging for a healthier one. Can our work be fulfilling and meaningful and support us abundantly as well?
For people who want to work as healers, I would say just start treating people— lots of people—to gain experience and confidence and understanding. Some things we learn from studying and taking classes, and other aspects of healing we can learn only by doing. Also, let it build slowly. Don’t quit your day job and put all of the financial responsibility on your healing work. That can kill the magic. Let it grow organically and without too much pressure. For someone who wants to open a center, I would tell them to do their research and get a mentor. Someone who has done it and seen it before can really help you along the way.
Melinda Lee Holm, Los Angeles based tarot reader and jewelry artist.
I don’t have a hard time with the idea of both helping people and making money. I know that a lot of people do and I’ve seen a lot of discussion about it, but I have never seen any sort of conflict in getting compensated for my work. In systems of organized religion you have a concept of tything or supporting the larger organization financially and then receiving spiritual guidance from individuals within that organization without paying specifically for the service. In a de-centralized system, it just makes practical sense to compensate the individual providing the guidance directly. I am fairly certain that most of my clients are averaging well under 10% of their income on my services, so they’re getting a better deal than they would from the Catholic church with far less guilt and judgment!
I think the most important thing is the concept and practice of holding space – being present and available to someone without taking on their energy. It’s something I learned in my Reiki training and it is essential to my business life. I am able to serve my clients at a much higher and deeper level by holding space for them than I would by getting inside their experience with them energetically. Though as an empath I can still definitely feel any unpleasant emotions they are experiencing, because I recognize them as originating outside of myself and keep them held there, I feel I retain a greater ability to assist and provide guidance.
If you’re ready to start your own mystical business, I would say: practice, practice, practice. Be someone who other people can look up to, get your own spiritual and energetic house in order, and always be learning and expanding. Most importantly, never be afraid to say “I don’t know.” Particularly when giving direct guidance to individuals (as readers, healers, teachers, etc), we have a huge responsibility to care for our clients with the utmost grace, love, and humility. None of us has all of the answers and we should never pretend to. That’s what the Universe is for.
Aja Daashuur, medium, life coach, and founder of Spirit House Collective in Los Angeles.
When it comes to running a business that is based on being of service to others, it’s important to have a set of boundaries to fall back on. What are you willing to give, and what do you need to keep sacred for yourself? Balance is because you will tempted to give everything. Giving everything should ALWAYS include giving back to yourself as well. Your business is an extension of yourself, not the embodiment of you.
The purpose of Spirit House Collective and my private practice as a Spirit Guide Coach, is to help people. With that being said, I also need to keep the lights on and the doors open. Our workshops are for the most part kept in the $30-$40 dollar range, and I make sure that when I meet someone in dire need of guidance, an exchange of energy instead of money is always an option. It can be tough sometimes, because you want to help everyone, so when making decisions based on cost I ask myself: “Is this good for the collective? Will this allow for more freedom within the community that I have helped to build?” I am highly aware of my worth and my power. Therefore, I wish to extend it to as many people as possible, versus a small percentage in a way that feels comfortable to me.
My mediation routine became invaluable when I first started my business. I was able to “see” what I needed to achieve for myself and my business each day before I even headed out the door. I can’t begin to articulate how important this became, especially since I had no idea what starting a business entailed.
I think that the first thing anyone who steps into the spiritual work arena should ask themselves is “why.” I know that can be an abrasive question, but it’s also an important one. Why are you feeling the call to work in this field? Being of service taxes all aspects of your physical, mental, and spiritual bodies and it’s imperative that you get real with yourself about where this could lead you. Caring for yourself is one thing, but taking care of others is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Once your clear on your “why’s,” I suggest getting out there and becoming active in your spiritual community, if you aren’t already. Offering your services for free or as an energy exchange, will also be a huge way to download a lot of information about your practice very quickly. Some people are quick to get a certification, pop a website up and start charging, and that’s just not how I feel spiritual work should operate. You learn so much through offering your healing modalities or opening your space to those in need. You learn abut your strengths and weaknesses, discover what your boundaries are, and which mystical spaces you feel drawn to.
Melissa Madara, co-owner of Brooklyn’s Catland Books.
I think that business owners in the spiritual field have a responsibility to check in and make sure they’re committed to the right things. Under capitalism, we all have to work for our bread, and it’s important to have places where people can buy their books and spiritual tools and whatever they need for their practice. That said, it shouldn’t come at the cost of authenticity and dedication to spiritual integrity. It’s our responsibility as practitioners ourselves to ensure that we’re not commodifying or watering down the tools and scholarship we’re selling for the sake of making a profit. At the same time, I don’t think there’s any cognitive dissonance between providing spiritual supplies and leadership and wanting to be paid for that service. Priests are paid by the Vatican; witches are not. For myself, I take a lot of pride in what I can provide for my community, and I take great care to do so with dignity and honesty.
My intuition is my greatest asset in business. I find that a lot of business is about trust, and having sharp intuitive skills has been useful in figuring out who to partner with. I also use my knowledge of herbalism, ritual baths, and spell craft to help abet the inevitable stress of being a small business owner. I do a lot of magic to ensure peaceful, restful sleep, and to make sure my voice is strong and graceful when I’m talking business.
For someone interested in starting their own spiritual business, I would say to prepare for criticism. There are thousands of spiritual traditions in the world, and you will never be able to satisfy everyone or cater to everyone’s practice. Being mindful of the vastness of the world of witchcraft and magic keeps you from getting too stuck in your own head, or lost in the judgements of someone else’s. Furthermore, I’d say to make sure you’re very strong in your beliefs before you begin that journey, because as any small business owner can attest, there will be moments you’ll want to tear it all down, and that moment can be doubly emotional when the business is tied to your spiritual self. However, I think marrying your spirituality and your business also gives the project extra fortitude. I find it very comforting and inspiring to know that I get to get up every day and do work that closely aligns with my practice. It’s very fulfilling.