Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Selling Miracles?


January 20, 2005


Dear Eric:


I would like your opinion on something, if possible. You say that now is a good time to start doing healing, but I seem to be coming up against major obstacles, mainly in relation to the methods of advertising and gaining a paying clientele.


I'm not a miracle worker, but I have had some good results in the past.


Working ethically is not a problem; it's the whole question of selling or convincing someone that, not only is what I'm offering valid, but that they need it.


Do they need it? The focus of my healing is on spiritual development, rather than just recovery from whatever. I think we all need spiritual development, but is it morally, or even practically, right to try to convince others that they do?


To me, it is a need, but to others it may be an accessory. What do you think? If you notice a slight tone of desperation about this, you're absolutely right! I have come to the conclusion that there isn't anything else I can do, and stay on the right side of sane at the same time! Maybe that's not true, but it really feels like it to me. I would really appreciate your honest opinion, though. I would give you my date of birth, if that would help, but I don't want to bother you too much. I sent it to you ages ago, but I'm not sure if you got it. I'm also wrestling with my independent/free spirit at the moment, so whatever...


I don't know what you're going to make of this, but anyway...


Best wishes





Dear E.T.:


Welcome to the dilemmas of the Earth! This is an exceptional question and one that many people face, particularly those who are working in service as healers or helpers. Your question could easily be the subject of a book, and maybe a book has been written on it.


The short answer to your question may be the best. If you put yourself out in the world willing to offer help, and if you sincerely set out to assist others, you will have people lining up at your door. If you open up to receiving a fee for your work, people will be happy to pay you. All that is required is sincerity and being open to receiving.


In terms of doing one-on-one work such as you are talking about, there is no convincing involved. Make yourself available, make sure you grease the door hinges, align your heart with serving Spirit, and the people who need you will find you.


Open up to receiving support for your work, and the funds will come in. People will want to pay you; they will expect to pay you, and they will be grateful; they do need to see that you value your work, and they will value your work. I trust that you will find this an excellent "spiritual lesson." The key with a healing or helping practice is to establish a positive symbiosis; a plus-plus environment; win-win; you know, the way things are supposed to be and the way we're hopefully working with such devotion to re-create the world.


If you're having difficulty with money, I suggest you take this issue on as your own material, and do so promptly. This is in part true because so much of what people come to helpers and healers for is, specifically, survival-related stuff. In the end, it does not matter whether you're a musician, artist, writer, dancer or stockbroker. It is generally possible to make your living doing what you're good at, and what you want to do, and this is part of what you establish in doing precisely that.


If this does not happen, generally I have found that there are beliefs about money in the way. There are many influences and sources we can look to for these beliefs; we would do well to start with what our parents had to say, and moreover, what they did. Generally, we feel a strong need to be loyal to the values our parents, many of whom warned us that we would not be able to make a living at what we wanted to do, or something that helped others, or what we do best -- so we had better be a brain surgeon or a lawyer. Trust me, this is not the person I would want to meet in the operating room or to help me with the legal system; nor would I want that attitude from someone selling me car for that matter.


Loyalty to one's parents can take many strange forms. I'll relate a personal story I hope is relevant. My father repeatedly warned me that I should not be a writer because I would never make any money. He did his best to shower his disapproval on me. However, I felt a strong calling, loved the work, had already done a great deal in high school and college, and displayed some talent and affinity. So, I went for it.


There came a point in my career where I was very well known as an investigative reporter, in New York City of all places, with the repeated acclaim of The New York Times -- but could not at that point make a living at it. With the help of my therapist, I came up with this analysis: I was attempting to be loyal to both my father and myself. Loyalty to him came in the form of not making money as a writer. Loyalty to myself came in the form of being a smashing [journalistic] success.


Strange, I know. But true. I've since changed my act.


People working as helpers and healers have to address these kinds of concerns, but then there are others more specific to our profession. One of them can be found in the Bible, or a Bible dictionary. The word is simony. Hey, it's not even coming up with a red underline in Microsoft Word. Here's a definition of simony, according to the ever-dependable Wikipedia:


"Simony is the ecclesiastical crime and personal sin of paying for offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus, who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:18-24. Simon Magus offers the disciples of Jesus payment for the power to perform miracles."


Here is the full article.


How about that -- an ecclesiastical crime! And this issue goes back 2,000 years.


The basic idea is, it's against Church canon to "sell miracles" -- and so far as I can tell, much of the hesitance of modern-day helpers and healers to make a living at what they do has a direct root into this idea. What did Jesus do? We really have no way of knowing. I do not trust (most of) the content of the Bible because it's been translated and edited so many times by so many different authorities with so many different agendas. But more to the point, the Church as we know it is a vast and far-reaching business venture, as evidenced by its internal bank and a huge pile of gold over which the Swiss Guard stand watch.


The Church replaced another religion, the old religion, and the prohibition on simony basically outlawed any kind of exchange with someone who might help you, in lieu of which that compensation or fee went to the Church in various forms. And the hypocrisy was reeking, literally. In Paris, you would give your inheritance to the Church to be buried in a magic mass grave called Les Innocents. After 15 centuries, this was finally shut down as a public health nuisance. In other times, the Roman Catholic Church sold indulgences (that is, sin tickets that would absolve you of just about anything you wanted to do, which raised loads of money to fight the crusades and slaughter a lot of women, and in turn became the subject of the Protestant Reformation). It's also documented that in Germany (including being used as evidence in a modern court case), that during the Middle Ages, the Church ran brothels, the proceeds from which were used to build cathedrals.


So the Church is in no position to lay down any such law as simony.


Donna Cunningham takes up the issue of helpers and healers getting paid for our work in The Consulting Astrologer's Guidebook, which is a great little book by a dependable and clear-headed author. It's been a while since I read it, but this is basically what she said: remember that most of us who come into the healing and helping professions (including astrologers) are quite often reincarnated monastic types -- monks, priests, nuns, and so on -- who have taken vows of poverty and celibacy in prior incarnations, vows which we are still (needlessly) holding to today.


She suggests that we clearly renounce these vows so that we may proceed in the current lifetime with some measure of happiness and success. Upon reading this many years ago, I sat down at my computer and wrote a letter to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and did just that: renounced all vows of poverty and celibacy, whether taken in this lifetime or any other. I signed the letter in earnest. Then, I put it in an envelope and stuck a stamp on it and tossed into the mail, and somewhere in the Vatican halls, some priest got a great laugh or something to think about. But it's not a joke.


Now, regarding accepting money as a writer and publisher, I have a personal value that could get in the way if I let it -- but which I do my best to spin in my favor. In my current work, which is making ideas and information available to people, I have a strong value on making as much available for free as I can. So, for example, instead of working with clients for a day, I sit and write this column. Many more people get contact with the same basic ideas; you get this column at no cost; then, a certain number of people who wind up on my Webspace subscribe to Planet Waves Weekly.


If people cannot afford to subscribe, we have a business policy of giving them discounts or comp subscriptions, an offer about which we have found our readers to be highly conscientious and gracious. We have faith that this is part of the fulfillment of our mission, and that the energy will in some way come back to us -- the sense of exchange with the environment is vital -- because we're open to receiving, and we welcome the positive exchange with our readers and the community. Indeed, the exchange is crucial for those in helping professions because it's necessary that we not be struggling economically. This sets a bad example for those who come to us with the same situation, or indeed, at all.


I will leave you with one last point. Many times in the course of my work, young practitioners have come to me and said they don't feel good about charging money to help people. To which I respond: So, you would feel better about charging money to hurt them?