I have been talking for a little while with the excellent Jeff about how I carry on the business of astrology. Apart from the occasional foray into carpentry, I have no other source of income these days; and there is no question that making astrology pay is possibly the most difficult aspect of the entire calling. I quite humbly acknowledge that I do very often change people’s lives with the astrology, although it often doesn’t tally so well in that light with the realisation that when a monetary value is determined for what I do, it very often equates to something considerably less than a pair of shoes. Of course I recognise the intrinsic value of positive thoughts and good wishes as well, but they, more is the pity, do not pay the rent. Occasionally somebody is very generous, and that has been my experience on more than one occasion, but I only need one “non-payer”, and I would say that happens really more often than you might believe when you are operating on a fair-play system as I do, and life becomes decidedly difficult. I have on more than one occasion come very close to quitting the astrology altogether as a result of non-payers. My situation is not helped in the least by the appalling exchange rate between the UK and the US currencies which, when coupled with the fact that the cost of living here is so very high, makes the dollar almost worthless as a measure of compensation. My rent alone costs $60 US every day, which in the UK is not particularly high, but if I am getting paid $50 US for a day’s work, you can very easily see how my problems begin, and very rapidly fail to improve.
It is for this reason that I have been re-examining my methods of late. I write the interpretations out for a start, and I do not think this is helping me; I can type about 5 times less quickly than I can speak, so arranging my thoughts on paper does take much longer, so that appears to be the first aspect of the astrology that I am determined to change. Of course it may be that I have this all wrong and I simply should be expecting more money from people for what I do, it is very hard for me to judge. I do know that for the most part my ability to see into the heart of things is very valuable to people, but when that equates to less than I need to even keep a roof over my head, it makes me question the value of any of it. I also feel very strongly that I do not want to withhold my service from people purely on the basis of wealth; that way it all becomes rather fatuous and empty and if I had another source of income I would very happily work for free, I am not remotely motivated by the need for personal affluence.
Thus, I am put into a position whereby I have to think carefully about my future approach. I recognise that I certainly put far more time into my interpretations than I am paid for; I work more than full time hours and get paid considerably less than the minimum wage for it, so I just cannot continue in that vein any longer. My options seem to centre upon these three key observations:
1) I need to charge more for what I do, certainly from those who can afford it.
2) I need to stop writing reports and start recording them, or working only face to face in personal consultations.
3) I need to stop worrying about producing quite so much in terms of quantity. I do try to work around a question and I ought to learn to stick with that and not feel the need to cover everything.
Of course I do see that half of the more difficult expectations surrounding this subject are entirely of my own making, so I am looking at changing things somewhat based upon these observations. If anyone has any thoughts, experience, or insight I would be glad to hear it of course.