Thursday, 6 January 2011
Capitalism and spirituality
On the one hand, this is a lovely, friendly group dedicated to studying the Gaian Tarot, sharing learning and insights with one another, and trying to support our beautiful planet. On the other, it is quite expensive (well TABI, the only other Tarot group I'm a part of, costs about one tenth as much).
And this isn't the only case in point. Aeclectic now has a membership fee, with special privileges attached. Likewise, there's Tarot Town where you have to pay a fee to be a full Citizen.
Now, there's no denying that these sites have some fabulous content, and that everyone needs to make a living in our society. And of course, being a tarot lover, there's a part of me that is happy for my money to go to people and projects that I think are interesting and beautiful. Still, there is a bit of me that wonders about both those that sell tarot in one way or another, and those that buy it. Perhaps it's a feeling that something spiritual shouldn't be just another commodity...
I have had similar issues with yoga. As a teacher, of course, I needed to make a living so didn't just offer free classes. From the other side of the fence, most people just take classes, and the more capitalist side comes out in things such as multi-class offers and, especially, the yoga shop at the front desk where you can buy ridiculously-expensive-but-lovely yoga clothes, interesting books, DVD's, cards, chimes etc.
Compared to just buying tarot decks, in some ways I prefer the tarot communities where you are part of something, learning and growing. In other ways, putting a price on belonging feels rather cold.
So what do you think? Can spirituality and capitalism happily cohabit? Or is something lost in the process?
Image: Six of Earth from Joanna Powell Colbert's Gaian Tarot.