status update (or why my answer is always “you’ll get the report just as soon as it’s ready”)

I’m still not caught up from the backlog due to weather/~3 weeks offline. But I want to illustrate why all of my handling/turnaround times are estimates only and a service can take longer than expected. [1]

I just finished a reading that a client booked last month.

The typed reading was 7,000 words long.

If I were still a freelance editor or writer working in Times New Roman 12 point font with 1″ margins, that would be 14 single-spaced pages.

It wasn’t some special “next five years” or extended birthday reading. It was just a regular old Tarot reading. But it was an incredibly important issue for the client and a pretty complicated situation with a lot of moving parts connected in sometimes quite subtle ways. And the cards were really digging into some nooks and crannies. I had no idea it was going to end up being that long. But that’s where the reading went, so that’s where I went, and that’s how long it took.

And that’s how I work. You’re reserving your spot in line when you place an order. Just like every other client, you’ll get your report or your stuff when it’s your turn in the queue. And when it’s your turn, you’ll get my full personal attention, just like every other client, and that takes as long as it takes.

Every item and service listing explains that my handling/turnaround times are estimates only, as do the site Terms of Service and the FAQ, and they explain that I do not give play-by-plays or answer emails asking, “just checking to see when it will be ready.” If you’re asking that, you didn’t read the item details/TOS. So when I get to your “just checking” email in the queue, I’m gonna cancel your order and send you a refund if I haven’t started work on it yet, ’cause we aren’t gonna be a good fit to work together.

But I promise you, if you are waiting in the queue and your reading or service or reply or order is later than you expect, *I have a good damned reason.* And I assure you that when it’s your turn in the queue, you’ll get that same personal attention.

To those of you who are waiting patiently, I very much appreciate your understanding and I am not taking your patience for granted. I’m steadily working on getting caught up and I am very grateful for your patronage and trust. ā¤


[1] This isn’t even touching on how long it takes me to make it through the various inboxes of all the various platforms and sites, and my God, there are a lot of them, and I have ADD and a farm to look after, and I need a virtual assistant. I’m not even kidding. Email resume and references to karmazain at gmail if you’re interested.

New Moon in Aries Road Opening Service

Booking deadline for New Moon in Aries Road Opening service is midnight Central time on the 10th of April.

This is a specific rite with a specific start and end time rather than a vigil light setting service. It’s designed to remove obstacles in preparation for new beginnings.

Visit Seraphin Station for details and booking info.

Response to an email asking me to “prove I’m for real”

…Or why legit workers aren’t even slightly interested in doing Psychic Pet Tricks for free to convince you to be their client, and what you should do instead of playing Test the Psychic.

Q: I was wondering if there was a way you could help me to prove you are genuine by maybe stating something about me that i have not told you. I want help, but I am tired of encountering all these fake psychics when i search.

A: [Name], what you need to do is not search but *research.*

There is a lot of good advice out there to help you avoid getting scammed.  There is also a lot of bad advice, given by scammers themselves on their scam websites and ads. Then there’s a lot of well-meaning advice that is inaccurate, biased, or just plain ignorant. So it’s hard to sort the wheat from the chaff when you don’t know the warning signs and don’t understand the principles of spiritual work.

Alas, asking a professional rootworker for a free reading, even a tiny one, is not going to be a good method to determine who is and isn’t a scam. It might be a good method to determine who is actually busy with real clients and who has time on their hands to send cold reading tidbits out to whoever asks because their time is not taken up doing any actual spells or readings, though.

If a worker gives *every single person who writes* a sales pitch, without even knowing what that person is after, that worker should make you wary; legitimate spiritual workers will not take every single case every time. But it’s safe to say that the willingness to work for free in order to tantalize new clients will never be on a legitimate list of things to look for when looking for a good worker.

I am a firm believer that only the open hand can receive, and I have seen firsthand the miracles that can be accomplished from the kindness of strangers, so I try to play some part in all that by doing some pro bono work for clients in urgent situations who are unable to pay my regular rates. We never know where our miracles will come from.*

But like many professional workers, I generally have a queue at least a dozen deep of people who have booked work or consultations who are waiting their turn, so it makes absolutely no sense to go out of my way to try to “reel in” an unknown client, especially one who has had the sorts of bad experiences that tend to indicate lack of knowledge about the principles and realities of spiritual work. (This is not a jab at you – a lot of very good people have been ripped off because very bad people preyed on their emotions, hopes, and desperation.)

It’s not because they are bad people or want unworthy things, but because their expectations are usually coming out of left field, and they need to learn some basic principles of spiritual work and research before they pay anyone else (including me) to do any more spells or readings for them. 

So most legitimate spiritual workers aren’t receiving emails like this and feeling any sense of “oh my god, I’d better convince this person I have never met, whose case I might not accept anyway, that I’m for real.” (Most of us probably get at least twenty emails like this every day, as well; even if I wanted to, I couldn’t oblige all the people writing them.)

I’m sure you’re a great person, and I am positive you do not deserve the treatment you have received. But I’ve found that clients who have been repeatedly scammed are too often seeking very unlikely or even impossible results that make them vulnerable to the unethical who will promise anything (e.g. reconciliation with an ex in a case where the ex has decisively moved on, a huge lottery win on a short lead, a drastic change to their physical appearance through spellwork). They don’t know much about how spellwork actually works and instead have lots of misconceptions in their heads that they’ve picked up from a variety of dubious sources online and in the media.

But you can’t just be a passive consumer. You need to understand the difference between voodoo and hoodoo, between wicca and rootwork, between an empath and a card reader and a clairvoyant and a high priestess, to be able to recognize liars and cheats.

You have to do research, which should start at the very least with reading what a reader or worker has written about their own work and practice and seeing what there is about them online. How long have they been doing this? Do you know who they are and where they are, or is all that obscured under some grandiose language about “powerful covens” and “we” and “dual casting” and “spellcasting awards”?

“Psychic” means so many different things to so many people that it’s nearly useless as a word. Some people think all spiritual workers are psychic or that all psychics are spiritual workers. Some people think psychic = empathic, or that psychic = clairvoyant, or that psychic = medium, or that psychic = returns lovers. None of that is necessarily true. Not everyone gifted for doing spiritual work is also gifted for doing the type of readings that many clients are looking for. And not everyone gifted for doing readings has even a modicum of ability as someone who can perform a given type of spiritual work. Finally, not everyone who *can* do certain types of things is therefore *willing* to do them in every case.

If you’d done research on me, for instance, or even just skimmed over my blog page about me, or my website pages on altar work or consultations, you’d know that I do not refer to myself by this useless term “psychic.” I am a rootworker, and I do traditional rootwork. I do consultations for clients seeking rootwork and those involve divination, but I don’t even do what you’re asking for, which is tell total strangers, whose cases I might not even accept, something about themselves.

In addition, even if I wanted to convince you of my ability to do whatever it is you’re looking for, you haven’t given me enough information to do it. When you read about “psychics” who don’t need you to tell them anything but they can just tell you what’s going on without you saying a word, you are usually reading about a classic scam called a “cold reading.” Here ya go:

You have a box of unsorted photographs in your house, you see yourself as an independent thinker, you had a scary experience with water in your childhood, you haven’t quite lived up to your full potential, someone has broken your heart, you aren’t naive but people have taken advantage of you in the past, you’re having problems with a friend or relative, you are sometimes insecure with people you don’t know very well, you are close to someone whose name starts with a J.

All of these statements are statistically likely to apply to a majority of any given United States or UK sub-population, and with some minor alterations, to the Latin American and southern European populations. That’s not a reading. It’s a game of throwing darts and seeing what gets a reaction.

The kind of person you are looking for — one who can tune into anyone immediately from a two-line email and see a particular recess of their lives in detail that will be relevant to them and put it into words in a way they can immediately understand and see the value of — does not exist. I say this as someone who’s given (and received) thousands of readings over the last almost 40 years.  While you should not fork your cash over to scam artists, you won’t get far knocking on doors and introducing yourself by saying “prove you’re real.” *You* have to do research on *them,* just like you would (I hope) before you choose a veterinarian or mechanic or attorney.

A final point is that established workers are not generally desperate enough for new clients to do free readings upon demand to get them. Professional workers do not take all comers. I personally refuse more work than I take. This stuff requires significant investment in energy and time.

For example, I generally have no more than a dozen clients’ mid-to-longer-term/intensity work or issues in various stages on my desk or altars at any time (not including vigil lights and paid consultations). That’s all I want to handle at once, since I’m not a corporation, a company with employees, or a front for a marketing scheme, and since I do other things with much of my time besides just readings or just altar work.**

But I get more emails than that every day inquiring about work. And I’m more likely to decline to work with a client who doesn’t understand how spiritual work and readings actually work rather than take lots of extra time educating them, when what they probably need is to stop spending money on “spellcasters,” period. So here’s what I suggest.

Stop searching and start researching.

What you find at the top when you search are people who know how to have their sites turn up high in results due to search engine optimization. That’s all. They may or may not be legitimate, but they have good tech guys. Those sites that handle thousands of clients in a short period of time are owned by a group of people who know how to write their own testimonials and who know how to send out dozens of “readings” and “spell work reports” a day that are all the same vague thing but with the name changed.

Second, have a look at my FAQ here and pay particular attention to these:

My blog also links to other readers and workers whom I personally know to be reputable and ethical. You will find, at their sites or blogs, photographs of work they have done that *they* took and uploaded, a glimpse into their background that doesn’t sound like it came from a made-for-TV movie, some mention of what types of work they do and what types they do not do, You’ll see a person, not just a bunch of vague, generic marketing copy.

Third, pick an area of spiritual work or readings to learn about, just something small to start, and learn about it from a variety of places, not just one so-called authority.  Even this small step will help you begin to learn to sort the wheat from the chaff. 

Until you know how to do that, until you know enough about what you’re venturing into so that you can be sure your hopes and emotions aren’t putting you in a place where you are vulnerable to scam artists, don’t buy any more spells from anyone. Learn the principles of candle magic and spiritual bathing instead, spend your money on a few simple and inexpensive supplies, and learn how to use them for the types of spell you want to do.

I offer you my sincerest best wishes for your pursuit of your goals.


*So I actually do occasionally work for free, or for extremely discounted fees. When I was a member of AIRR, I’d regularly do work for indigent clients who were accepted into AIRR’s pro bono program, and I have always tried in some way to help people in crisis situations who couldn’t afford my usual rates.

I do a lot of pro bono and reduced rate work for the following:

  • people with legal trouble because someone else is abusing the legal system to harass them or force a certain action, esp. when children are involved
  • parents trying to get child support and/or cooperation from the child’s other parent
  • people trying to leave abusive relationships
  • people facing charges for non-violent drug offenses
  • people, esp. single parents, facing housing difficulties
  • people who badly need spiritual cleansing or uncrossing and need help getting that work done
  • people in populations historically or habitually targeted by law enforcement and government for profiling or harassment who need protection

And I regularly set lights on several community altars on a pay-what-you-can basis. These don’t come with light setting reports or anything like that, but anyone can ask to have their name and petition paper added to my community work for getting steady work, for blessing, and now in the era of COVID, for health/safety and protection from illness. (Anyone interested in doing that can just contact me via the website. I’ve been trying to post it as its own product all week and keep getting derailed by various things, but I’ll get it eventually…)

In addition, for years I hosted local events (local to me, but people traveled from other states for them frequently) in which I did in-person consults and then performed whatever spiritual cleansing, spiritual bathing, headwashing, footwashing, censing, etc. the client needed. (If the world doesn’t end first, I’ll do them again one day when COVID cuts us some slack).

But what I don’t do is free work for just anybody on just any situation just because they asked or showed up in my inbox. Love work and gambling work will never be eligible for pro bono consideration, for instance.

**People who do only readings and no altar work can do more readings; people who do no readings and only altar work can do more altar work. But I do consultations, readings, altar work, teaching, translating, writing, and research, as well as make and ship products, answer crap-tons of email every week, design and make jewelry, and run a small farm. I am not sitting in front of the computer all day.

status update

I know I promised the store would be getting repopulated over the next week or two. Things have been a bit crazy – in addition to the move, I had some problems with the new DSL hookup, and then there’s the issue of finding local vendors/suppliers for some of the stuff I prefer to get locally rather than through mail order. But as of *right now*:

All client work extended during the upheaval period *was* maintained (extensions are for things like honey jars; something like a new vigil light setting order would not be in this category); the orders were received and work performed, but updating the calendar was slow. The calendar is now caught up with extensions of current altar work, so you can see where it’s at. If I owe you a report and/or photos, I’ll be working on that next.

If I owe you a light setting report, I’m working on those now.

If I owe you a light setting, I’m working on those too.

If I owe you a consultation, I’m starting back up with the queue this week.

I have put many store categories back up and am *slowly* getting stock re-listed, starting with conjure oils/hoodoo condition oils.

More as it comes.

livejournal services/paypal buttons update

A few of you have recently pointed out to me that my paypal button on my livejournal userinfo page here
http://karmazain.livejournal.com/profile
for booking extensions on honey jars and the like makes more work for you, in that if you want more than one session or more than one week, you have to complete more than one transaction since you couldn’t add multiple things to a "cart" but had to check out immediately after making your first selection.

I had reasons for not wanting to permit quantities on the livejournal services menu, but your points were well taken, and I came up with a workaround which makes room for my reasons but also allows a few services to be booked in multiple quantities at once – and that’s simply a second, more limited "menu" that permits multiple quantities on some select services.  I should have thought of this before, I’m sure, but – well, I didn’t.

So anyway, now *existing clients* can book upkeep on existing honey jars more easily, and clients who want longer-term "runs" of back-to-back vigil lights with one report at the end of the run (rather than a full report after each single light) can book them all at once.

Examples:

You are a new client and want a honey jar made by me and worked by me on my altar for one month.  You would use the first "services" menu to book that service (and you need to write me about first really anyway, because that kind of work needs a contract so we are both on the same page about disposal, shipping or not, what you get re. photos and reports, etc).

You already have a honey jar on my altars and you do not need a new one made.  You just want me to work the jar longer, after the initially contracted work is complete.  You would use the second menu to book further work by the week, and you can now manually input how many weeks you want by changing the "quantity."  A quantity of one = one week (three lights, on M, W, and F); a quantity of four = four weeks.

You are an existing client, know how I work and what to expect, and want a taper light set on a saint’s or loa’s altar for a petition or a thank-you or the like.  You don’t need a report with ceromancy reading.  Use the second menu to book that service, at whatever quantity you please.

You are a new or existing client and want a standard vigil light setting with emailed report and photo.  Use the first menu to book those, one at a time.

You are an existing client and want a three-day or seven-day "run" of vigil lights set back-to-back on my altars, so there is no interruption between the lights – a vigil will be constantly burning for the duration of the run (the next one will be lit right before the previous one goes out).  You don’t need a full report after each vigil goes out – you just want a summary and photos at the end of the "run."  Use the second menu to book these at the quantity of your choice.

You are a new client, or an existing client with a new issue, and you want a consultation.  Use the first menu to book a new consultation.

You are an existing client and want a followup on an issue we’ve consulted about before, or a checkup on current work that has been ongoing for a while.  Use the second menu to book at a discounted followup rate.

All these examples have made it sound more complicated than it actually is – there aren’t all that many services available without a contract and prior consultation, so there aren’t all that many services available on these menus to be booked directly. So it’s not as confusing as I think I just made it sound šŸ™‚  In any case, this should make life easier for those of you who want extensions on current or previous work.

Also, the new web store is currently being populated and, knock wood, should be online and fully functional in July. I will make an announcement of course, and probably do some kind of promotion or giveaway, but at long last, the day is actually coming where the website and new shopping cart will be ready to go and much more user-friendly!