alex austin

Fees & Unspelling Capitalism

On Unspelling Capitalism

Charging money at all for healing work is edgy and in the past has created much confusion for me. I have a lot of gratitude to my mentors and peers in these fields who have led by example and are willing to have taboo conversations about financial transactions with me. I am especially grateful to Rain Crowe for her course, The Burning Times Never Ended which among many other things, embodies the work of Silvia Federici and dives deeply into the historical context in which capitalism was both maliciously formed and courageously resisted by European Ancestors.  I identify as an anti-capitalist, yet I exist in a capitalist system wherein which, I need money to survive and thrive. I am also acutely aware of the fact that traditional “women’s” professions (those associated most with care) are greatly undervalued, which has contributed to the ongoing oppressive climate for femme folks around earning a living. While I find it utterly tragic that we must pay to exist, I do not believe that charging money for goods or services is inherently capitalist. So, I am attempting to design a payment structure that best expresses my values. I will not turn anyone away for lack of funds. I will be tithing to the Duwamish tribe, as I do the majority of my magical work on their land, stolen by my ancestors. A percentage of my fees goes directly to Duwamish people.

I am open to and excited about opportunities to trade goods or services for my work. If you are a healer or maker please dialogue with me about energy exchanges that involve resources other than cash. I believe that  just the act of conversing about need and worth is a necessary piece of removing power from capitalist commerce.

Reparations & Energetic Exchange with People of Color

It is my belief that I live in a position of relative privilege and power over people of color because I am white and the culture of the United States is one of White Supremacy. This is a complex of institutions that I wish to turn inside out, and while some of this work is symbolic or ceremonial, some of it also must be done in the tangible field of human relating and dynamics. In the Miraculous New World that I pray for every day, people are working together in kinship networks that are racially diverse, and power-over is transformed into collective empowerment where each being has access to their gifts and ability to share them in their communities. We are not there yet. We are far from there. As one of my tangible acts at this time, I intend to support the shifting of power and access to resources (such as healing) towards people of color. Because magic has to do with psyche, ancestors and imagination, I wish to acknowledge a very real, inherent exchange that is going on between myself and my clients of color: The dominating white-supremacist capitalist culture which I belong to and am a part of has placed race and racism in the shadow (repressed it) which means that I have unconscious, unmetabolized notions about people of color that make it so even when I’m trying my hardest, I am still inherently exuding my racism into the space between us and this is felt consciously or unconsciously by the people of color around me. I understand this to be a weight, or a labor that is then forced on those POC to bear or correct. Furthermore, while I may be guiding them through some magical realms, they in turn are introducing me to places in the psyche I do not naturally inhabit. I believe this exposure greatly influences my ability to even be a practitioner for people of color who wish to work with me. Because of these dynamics, I am open to offering my work to people of color in exchange for their presence and trust. If you are a person of color and would like to discuss an energetic exchange plan that does not include money, please let me know.