Cooking Up Co-Operation

By Walks with Thunder

My world is filled with psychic fairs, expos, and scheduling individual appointments.  My work as a non-traditional shaman is spiritual work; however, there is a necessary business side to that in order to live.  I was doing a fair a bit west of Seattle, though I hesitated for 4 months before I actually participated.  I started doing this fair in 2007 (Guess I just wasn’t listening to my inner voice very well…).  However, there was something about this fair that wasn’t quite right, but I told myself it was a new way to advertise and went ahead anyway.  

The “deal” was the problem: The person who coordinated the fair (paid only a nominal advertising fee to run a paragraph advertisement and rent for the space) charged me and the other Readers 50% of each client’s payment for service.  Not only that, she set my rate much lower than usual.  I felt like I was devaluing myself.  True, I agreed to this sharecropper status.  Even worse, when I started marketing my DVD I agreed to another $25 fee, as I was technically a vendor as well as a reader.  The person who put on the fair automatically made $25 more than I did every time I simply walked into the fair.  As if that was not bad enough, all the while the fair was taking advantage of my personal advertising and name recognition in the area and not even listening to my request to change the system.

Yes, I am stubborn and outspoken (I have been criticized for the “sharecropper” terminology), but sometimes this works for me.  Therefore, with very few regular fairs in my area, I had little choice in the matter if I wanted routine income.  So, I put up with this state of affairs for about five months.  The options were to do these fairs, or to do no fairs that month.   Finally, I listened to my inner voice and stopped going.  Something had to change.

Right about the same time, my dear friend had also started doing a fair put on by one of the spiritual publications in our area.  Go figure- the person who put on that fair also subscribed to the same model (why people think its ok to take financial advantage of psychics because someone else does) makes no sense to me.  My friend was upset at the way she was being treated, like a non-important person, whose ideas were insignificant.  She was so upset, she didn’t want to do the fair any more however, she didn’t have another source of income for that weekend.  I said, “We are just going to have to have our own fair.”  

As a diamond is formed from coal, under intense pressure, our Magical Pathways Fair was born in much the same way.  We hatched a plan to go to four locations and ask about renting the space for our fairs.  In 24 hours we had four locations for our fairs.  Now since Terri and I had both felt we had no say in the fairs we had participated in, it was important to us that each person in our fair have a voice.  As a Co-Op, each of us owns the Magical Pathways Fair.  Each of us is responsible for advertising (together we comprise a 1/3 page advertisement), each of us helps with setup, and each of us gathers Readers to our fairs.  As with all good things, they take on a life of their own.  In just four days we had 20 readers who wanted to participate.  

Now the Co-Op efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the other fair coordinators.  In fact, one of our members was sending our group’s private emails to them.  Oddly, they didn’t contact me directly even though they had my phone number and email address from the emails (though they did say things directly to me in the email that wasn’t addressed to me).  I later saw that they said they felt “slapped in the face” and “punched in the gut.”  Since I had not sent them these emails but instead simply coordinated a fair with my friend, my response was, “Whoever is sending this information to them is sending them negative energy, as they feel slapped and punched.  That negative energy has a way of sticking to a person, perhaps they should stop that.”

I share this because it’s important to know that doing your own fair creates challenges for others and they will respond in kind.  For the folks around here who ran local fairs before we started Magical Pathways, it seems they felt a tad guilty and wanted a sort of hold harmless agreement.  My use of “sharecropper” terminology inflamed a few to the point that there was a page and a half of response floating around for a while...  I would have thought that someone who puts on a spiritual fair would have the moxie to contact me directly if what I said/did bothers them.  They try to justify themselves by saying that we were really paying for a service, and this person actually tried to defend taking 50% of the Readers’ fees and setting the Readers’ prices- likening themselves to “realtors” (really?  I don't know of any realtors that can get away with charging a fee for their service, force sellers into a specific price for their property and then take 50% of that sale price when the house is sold!  A realtor's income is typically a 4 to 6% commission only!).  They also contacted our advertisers and tried to discourage them from advertising our fair.  Oh my.

It’s true, I use a steamroller when I create a path to get where I’m going.  If you’re going to go do a thing, why be timid when you do it?  Do it big.  I see our Co-Op fairs as being a blow for psychic freedom.  Psychics are a gift from the universe to our communities and should be respected and taken care of, not taken advantage of.  A month after Terri and I promoted Magical Pathways on our show,, we had an inquiry from New Jersey and New York asking about putting on a fair like ours over there.  Again, good things take a life of their own!

Terri C and I offered to share all our information with them and be associated with them.  We shared a few phone calls, looked over the process they had, fixed a few little problems, and advised them to remove a problem member who was slowing the whole process down to a glacial crawl (had they followed that person’s advice they would maybe had a fair by October even though it was late April).  After cutting away the micro-manager, they now have a Magical Pathways Fair scheduled in June.  That Group from New Jersey inspired another group in Sacramento and they too have a fair scheduled to start in June.  And so on and so on…

Here’s a recipe to start your own Magical Pathways Co-Op:

    1. Gather a need for more "fair" Fairs.
    2. Mix Tarot Readers, Psychics, Energy Healers.
    3. Vigorously sprinkle with financial equality and shared decision making.
    4. Add 3T frugal advertising.
    5. Stir 1c. (heaping) of creativity.
    6. Pour in 8oz. of confidence.
    7. Blend well and check for lumps that slow down the process. Remove lumps right away, or they may delay or abort a great outcome.
    8. Add 7 large, warrior Thunder spirits to give it some backbone and kick some blocks out of the way, it's what they do for me.

Our Fairs are like a Diamond in the rough.  My vision for our Magical Pathways Co-Op is to go Nation/worldwide in a good way.  Each of our associate Co-Op groups working with each other- throwing off the financial oppressors and (Can ya hear the national anthem here?) striking a blow for psychic freedom everywhere!  We have a web site for our fairs  

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors.  

Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008 

Questions? Comments? Contact us.