Why You Should Charge for Your Spiritual Work

Recently I received an email from a lady called Dottie.

I won’t copy and paste it here word for word, but here’s what it said more or less:

“You really should be ashamed of yourself for charging for your courses – I am so sick of people asking money for spiritual work.”

I get emails like this maybe once a month, and I wanted to write a rebuttal here, not for Dottie, and not for the average reasonable individual who does not expect others to work for free, but for any other intuitives, healers, and spiritual workers who are starting out and who are afraid to charge for their services. Perhaps because they’ve encountered people like Dottie and have been shamed for even considering charging for their work.

I’ve found this attitude can come most often from spiritualists, who have traditionally done readings as a hobby, and have requested a donation for their services.

Here’s why you should ignore attitudes like these…

Your time is precious and finite

This lifetime that we’ve come into this time around, with these talents, is finite. It won’t go on forever. And each day that passes we will never be able to get back.

And if you choose to dedicate your time to the service of others, then you deserve to be paid for it, because that is time you have spent – creating courses, mentoring students, amassing knowledge and experience, working with clients, or whatever it is – that you will never have back.

In addition, we (like everyone) have bills to pay and things we need or want to do, that cost money.

Therefore, like everyone else, we charge for our time – and it’s right that we do so.

In addition, the game has changed…

We are no longer spiritualists who give readings on evenings and weekends. With the advent of the internet, spiritual work is – more than ever – a viable full-time career. Intuitives these days are less likely to be earning a wage elsewhere, as was often the case in the past.

People who shame others for charging often do not work themselves, and they certainly do not work for free

When I’ve questioned people who have this attitude, around how they support themselves if they believe in working for free, the responses have been revealing. These people are usually not living off the proceeds of their own work:

“I live off my husband’s pension.”

“I live at home with my parents”

or some other variant of:

“I don’t work/ I don’t have to work.”

Now, there is nothing wrong with not working, if it’s something you can make work for you and the person who supports you.

But it is interesting that these emails often come from people who do not work.

I went through a phase of asking these people if they would be willing to come work for me for free, seeing as they believe in being able to profit from others’ skills without offering anything in return 😉 I never heard anything back (of course.)

And finally…

I mostly don’t enjoy working with people who ask for freebies

Even if I were wealthy, I would not suddenly stop charging and give away my work for free.

Here’s why:

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to give free readings and give away copies of my courses to people, and it has not, on the whole, been as rewarding as it is to work with my paying clients and students.

With the exception of a few people, a lot of the people who got my courses for free never got started. They didn’t have to invest anything, so it’s no biggie if the course never got read.

But I didn’t create courses just to get paid. I also created courses because I want to work with people and I want to make a difference. I want my work to be read.

And here’s the other thing I’ve noticed – people who receive free services will often find fault in what they have received. Incredibly, even if you have clearly poured a lot of time or effort into the free service, these people are more likely to complain and less likely to find the work beneficial.

I’ve had multiple rude and ungrateful emails back from those who have received a free reading or healing session. And this has not been a one off, but a pattern I have noticed (and that other intuitives I know have noticed, also.)

I don’t get that sort of response or energy coming at me from paying clients, so why does it frequently come from those who have received something for free?

That’s an interesting question.

I do know that an equal exchange of energy is healthy, in all relationships and if we start off with an unequal exchange, it is less likely to blossom into something lovely.

On the other hand, when I want to give to others, with no strings attached and less hassle, I prefer to give to charities instead.

So, to the budding intuitives, healers and other spiritual workers out there who may be reading this and feel insecure about charging:

The majority of people are reasonable, and decent. They will value your time and pay for your work, provided you charge a reasonable amount.

But the behaviour of the vocal minority, who demand freebies and shame you for charging for your work…

I’m going to call this behaviour out for what it is: abusive and unreasonable.

You will encounter it, but don’t ever let it hold you back.

Please leave your comments below.

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >


  1. Angie Scutchings

    I totally agree with this. As a reiki practitioner I was taught that exchanges of energy are a must in the healing situation. I also taught students in college and it is a sure fact that those that got the courses for free needed the most organising and pushing to complete. The students who paid tended to be self motivated and more willing to invest in their future dreams. I charge for my treatment times – a reasonable amount that reflects my 20 years of nursing experience, plus 20 years of self funded learning in Holistic Therapies, my teaching qualifications and other learning I have done. The only thing I give for free is chatting time and the odd cup of tea when someone needs it. My bills are less now that I am semi retired but when I choose to work I expect to get paid!

  2. Deb

    Thank you Anna. I agree with everything that you said. Also, most of us have to support ourselves. If we have to work a full time job (or more) we would not have the time/energy to provide these services.

  3. M

    Quite right. I am also tired of people saying “but it’s a gift so you shouldn’t charge” Accountants are gifted, they generally charge the earth. Everyone is gifted at what they do best, that is the whole point and while we live in a society where money is needed to pay the bills, we ALL need to be paid for our services. End of.

  4. Janet Thomasson | Wise Woman's Wisdom

    I totally agree. We’ve spent our own time and effort honing our abilities (as does a lawyer, house builder, etc.) and it’s entirely reasonable to expect to receive money in return for providing those services (just as you would expect to pay a lawyer or house builder, etc.)

    Because of my own experiences with this type of behaviour, I decided early on in my practice to not offer free or extremely low-priced readings/products/services. If a client isn’t willing to pay a fair price for what they receive, they’re not a good fit with me.

  5. matt

    I feel exactly the same.

    I dont mind doing the odd free reading here and there if I really feel that the person is in desperate need of advice and cant afford it but for the most part, “Ive got to eat too!?!”

    Also – A one way energy exchange is not great.

  6. Kamy Dova

    Dear Anna, I follow your blog for a longtime and I learn a lot from you. Thank you for the high quality materials, as usual! I am a spiritual teacher myself, and I receive messages like Dottie’s email several times a week. I am tired of explaining the same thing over and over… but I like the way you put it here. I am sharing it 🙂

  7. Brett

    Right you are Anna , I’ve been using your site and the information you provide , I always do the psychic experiments , which are free , you actually do provide a lot of guidance free , if I was committed enough to knuckle down to do one of your courses then of course I should pay , unfortunately in this world there are a lot of takers and the nature of a taker is they are never happy , never get enough , it’s exactly as you’ve stated , I’d like to say thank you for all the free information and sharing parts of your life so openly , best regards brett

  8. Faith

    Agreed. As Angie mentioned in the first comment, the importance of an exchange is taught as fundamental to reiki healers. I think there is a tendency to not want to be indebted to someone else for anything so if you do receive something for free, you’re maybe more likely to downplay it or act like the thing you were given wasn’t really all that great (even if it really was!) in an effort to ease the guilt of receiving something you didn’t pay for.

  9. Anna Sayce

    Great comments – thanks to all for sharing your thoughts!

    Faith – that’s an interesting theory…makes sense!

  10. Jessica

    Yep! I agree 100 percent. I’m building my intuitive/psychic business now and have been told by fellow intuitives from every direction I turn that charging for my services is a must and that it’s a way of equally exchanging energies, not that i needed to be told this! It”s common sense, really…And they’ve noted similar reasons as you have above. And I have noticed that when I have offered courses for free or even for really low fees, people are reluctant to even sign up. It’s like without that exchange or an equal bartering, etc. folks devalue what it is you’re offering.

  11. Anna Sayce

    Jessica – yes, totally! Good luck with your new business!

  12. Michelle Schill

    As a medium who is a grieving mom, I was giving free readings to other grieving mothers. I quickly felt as if my time and health (I suffer from ME/CFS) were not being considered and I was being taken advantage of. I no longer give free readings.

  13. Kelly Moore

    Thank you for this very helpful article. I’m just beginning to learn how to work with my own abilities. I feel I still have much to learn before I would be ready to charge for my help, but what you say rings true, and I will keep it with me. When it’s time, I’ll know.

    Again, many thanks.

  14. Tania Helene


    I enjoy and appreciate you for what you give to the world around you (and in the distance, like me in the USA). I am also a Reiki Practitioner and teacher and find that people, even when experiencing hardships, are happier to know that I would split a payment plan with to match their situation, or plan for the service they are craving. They remember these occurrences much more than the free ones, and they understand the value behind what they’ve just received. It is a balanced exchange. After a session or class, they are more likely to assume they just got away with a great deal, even if initially, it looked like an investment. It is then that they can see and feel the worth behind what they’ve been given, and what they’ve just given to them-self feels more like a gift. It is interesting how the exchange of one valuable offering makes one feel about another valuable receiving from both sides. This practice teaches people how to honor themselves and the others around them. And it also reminds people that each of us has something “worthy” to give, encouraging an awareness that we are also worthy of receiving. Profound lessons at the energetic level happen in these exchanges. Thank you for what you do! You are amazing. Much Love, Tania Helene

  15. Rudi

    Dearest Anna,

    Any brand is developed and grown through funding. Personally, I am uncomfortable with requesting money, but reverting to good old business skills I handle it by making rates and payment options very visible on my booking page, and by emphasizing how many different options I provide to ensure anyone can access me. Yes, certain courses may be expensive, but I even have a external credit provider that is used by hundreds of businesses in South Africa and that makes even the more expensive options accessible to clients.

    All of what we do takes a lot of time, and I market time – not content, unless we speak of coaching and courses where both time and content is relevant.

    When people walk into my somewhat esoteric office, they realize that by it being situated in a mini business park that I have expenses to enable me to best serve them.

    Our inner sense all tells us at some point that this particular person needs to be given a discount or not charged at all, but when that happens I tell them only at the end of our session, so that whilst they absorb the information and service they are fully expecting to pay for it and tend to take the intended value from it.

    What is making it challenging though is that we face many clients that got scammed by other people. It is as if we need to restore their trust in mankind and in the esoteric world that is undeniably real.

    I am blessed to be mostly fully booked at any given time, and I ascribe this to word of mouth and a personality that will not tolerate disrespect and will not disrespect anyone else either. If I suspect that is what will happen, I politely refuse service altogether.

    This site and blog is truly active and you are truly inspired – continue to follow the light as it takes you to where darkness is trying to overwhelm those that need your assistance most.

    Blessed regards,


  16. Linda

    Dear Anna,
    Thank you for your wonderful articles and intuitive exercises. I believe you do give a lot for FREE. This platform is one of your generous gifts:)

    I am a self-supporting artist and an animal intuitive. I could not survive if my clients did not pay for me reasonable prices for my services and my paintings. However…

    I often receive requests from people who are grief stricken because they have missing or ill companion animals, and therefore want my help. I find it difficult to turn anyone away, and especially for the animals’ sake, I don’t charge those people fees, depending on their finances and circumstances. I let their conscience be their guide, and have them pay me what they can afford.

    I have found that most people are willing to pay me reasonable and fair fees for my services. I believe there are times when everyone, including the mainstream, should give back and break the rules and not charge, sometimes.

    But overall, I agree with you. For a person to arrogantly expect psychics to work for free, is quite unkind and unfair.

  17. Louise Chambers

    I agree with this as a Reiki master I do charge . I tend to charge for the first they get the second free for those who’ve not had Reiki before as they tend to be more relaxed as they now what to expect and third session they get charged and those after .And they all come back after the second .What I do find is for the second one I’ll get flowers cake biscuits or they’ll offer to do something for me in exchange . My family I don’t charge but my husband also does Reiki so that works well for us .The rest of the family will do other things .I have done a few healings for free for a lady at end of life and helped her passing.For me I didn’t want money, to do what I did for her was payment in itself.I felt humbled and honoured with the whole experience.Something I will never forget.

  18. Bobbie

    Hi Anna

    I agree totally with all the comments. I have a friend who is a brilliant medium and gave readings to many people but she had a huge problem with charging and flatly refused. She would never turn anyone down and she eventually burnt herself out. She believed her gift should be shared for free. She no longer practises mediumship which is a great shame, I am sure that if she had charged for her services she would still be practising now.


  19. Melinda

    Anna, I love your blog! By all means you should charge. I would love to be gifted enough to give readings. At this time, I am reading, reading, Studying and I am sure will be paying for courses soon. So, If the time comes that I am capable of giving readings, then I have put the work into developing my skills and should be paid. I wish it was just easy to have a gift. I know, some have always known they were gifted and the rest of us have them, just don’t know how to use them. But, just like a gifted sports player…..They have to show up for practice.

  20. Sue

    How irritating! You know, on one level I admire the purity of those people’s views on the value of spiritual work, because they recognise that our scarcity-based money system is corrupt, that the capitalistic quest to monetise everything has demeaned everything. But then it’s very easy for those people who aren’t caught up in the grip to make money to then lose touch with the reality that so many of us are in, of needing to make our way through a truly expensive world. Weird.

    I look forward to a more sophisticated type of energy exchange that is much more classy than our corrupt money system and much less destructive. Until then, this is what we’ve got to work with and this is how we give value. Everyone’s value should be appreciated, especially people doing cool work such as this 🙂

  21. Katie

    Hi Anna, I agree with all your comments… also sometimes people come along to purposefully trigger our emotions, this can be for a number of reasons, if you have been subconsciously thinking you can’t decide whether to charge or give free readings this encounter confirms of course you should charge for your work, you like others have paid to educate yourself and then offer these services. The other reason is test our reactions if we are angry then there is something inside us that feels guilty about charging people or are we calm inside as we “know” our value and it’s worth to others and we can calmly explain why we charge like every other industry, similar to what sue said we have to use this system of money exchange until a better energy exchange system comes along which it will, until then we have to charge money just another form of energy for our energy and time spent helping people, so really we should be thankful for this person who complained as it has helped to re-confirm to both ourselves and other therapists/healers/Reiki practitioners to put a value on their work.

  22. Katie

    Hi Anna also on a personal level as a healer look at the words people use when they write to you..Dottie said ‘”I am sick” of people charging for spiritual work what she’s telling you is she is sick…and needs healing..instead of being on the defense listen to what people are saying to you..most of the time they are asking for healing or mirroring something you need to heal in yourself to raise your vibration higher..love and light xx

  23. Anna Sayce

    Hi Katie,

    I’ve been charging for my products and services for the last ten years, and many of your comments are off base.

    Especially this:

    “If we are angry then there is something inside us that feels guilty about charging people or are we calm inside as we “know” our value and it’s worth to others and we can calmly explain why we charge like every other industry”

    I do the work, so I expect to get paid and guilt isn’t an issue for me these days.

    Instead, anger is actually showing us where we are being dishonoured and disrespected, and where our boundaries are. My boundary is that I do not allow verbally abusive people into my space, nor do I welcome people who send me emails filled with character assassinations. And I certainly don’t engage with them to defend and explain my work’s value, as you suggest.

    It is unhealthy to swallow and ignore our anger, as we are opening ourselves up to being taken advantage of, dishonoured and abused. And I say that as someone who has learned this the hard way, having had extensive first hand experience with abusers.

    It doesn’t matter if the person who is dishing it out “needs healing” as you put it – that’s not our responsibility, That’s theirs. All abusers need healing. Do I let them into my life and put up with their behaviour because I’m a healer? And because they are “doing me a favour” and “showing me what I need to heal in myself”?

    No, I do not, and I hope you don’t either.

    Instead, I welcome anger as my protector, and channel it constructively, to keep me safe and sane.

    And I firmly hand back to the other person, what is not mine to heal or deal with.

  24. Deb

    Anna…Your last post really resonated with me, especially the last sentence. “And I firmly hand back to the other person, what is not mine to heal or deal with.”

  25. Anna Sayce

    Michelle – Glad you were able to set some boundaries that worked for you! & thanks for sharing link to the curses article.

    Rudi – thanks for your kind words & for sharing.

    Linda – I imagine that it’s harder for mediums/animal intuitives to say no to freebie requests.

    It is a happy accident of my business model that there are a lot of free articles on my website. Articles are my favourite way to promote the paid offerings on this site, and reminding people I am still here, because not only do they work really well at doing that, but they also give people a chance to benefit for free. Especially those who will never be able to afford to buy, I’ve got some readers in countries like India who fall into that category.

    If I did not charge for my products I would have no time to write those articles because I’d be out working a job. So that’s the irony. The ones who object to charging for spiritual work often spend a while subscribed to the newsletter, reading the articles, without realising that without the paid courses, there would have been no articles at all.

    Bobbie – that is a shame!

    Thank you to everyone else for sharing your thoughts and experiences here!

  26. Shyann

    Hi Anna ~ I totally agree with you here. I gave a very good mediumship reading to a woman I met at a psychic fair. She took my card and called me many times trying to get a free reading.

    Unbelievable…the nerve those people have !! If they only knew how much energy it takes for us to use our spiritual gifts. People who are willing to be fair and pay for our services…are the most grateful… you are right about that 🙂

    Wishing you the Best ~ Namaste xx

  27. Teri Hill

    It’s so funny that people try to get freebies so much because for most people the questions they are wanting to ask, are things thathat are priceless questions that they aren’t going to get answered any other way… wanting to get in touch with a loved one who has passed, should I take this new job, move out of state or is this guy I met Mr. Right, when will I get pregnant etc…… (or ALL of the above) LOL!

    And let me tell you what Anna, if I got a free course from you…OH…. I would be SOME KIND OF EXCITED!! You WOULD NOT have be on me to be doing any of my stuff or participating, I could guarantee you that! My mother has done AW since I was a teenager, and her Guide told me I’d be able to write someday, when I was stronger. Well I do, and have been for quite some time as I am going to be 50 in a couple years. ? Her Guide is also one of my guides too. Pretty cool!

  28. Teri Hill

    By the way, no, I was not insinuating anything by the course comment either ?

  29. Robin

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I wrote a similar post on my blog a while back. I love to help and guide and feel icky around money but helping and guiding is what I’m good at and money is how we show value in this world – so when I don’t charge, I proclaim that who I am and what I’m good at isn’t valuable. And as an advocate for sensitive folks, I need to stop proclaiming that… cause we are valuable. 🙂

    Thank you, thank you!


  30. Marlene Graham

    I agree that charging for work that one provides, including spiritual work, is prudent and necessary. Early on in my intuitive work, I provided readings for a small fee. There were individuals who could not pay and I provided them with a free reading or what I considered a gift. One of my longtime paying clients wrote a testimony and stated that I could charge more but don’t because she knew I wanted to make my service affordable and accessible to everyone.

    While I went up on my fee several years ago, it still pales in comparison to what other intuitives charge. I strongly believe that great services can be provided to those seeking them for an affordable price. I am retired and while my fee is still low, I look forward to the money clients pay me which is used towards my daily upkeep.

    Oftentimes, I will extend a free 15 minutes or 30 minutes reading to long-time clients. For clients who refer, I offer them $5 off each referral that pays for a reading. One thing I have come to learn… when I give freely, I am blessed beyond measure.

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