A Statement on Pricing
Many of you have been with me for several years now, and have watched me experiment with pricing my astrological services – sometimes to great extremes. Over the last few years I have tried everything from normal, to low, to donation pricing. After all this experimentation I’ve reached a conclusion. I’d like to take a few moments to explain it to you.
There is the noble idea that “Knowledge should be given freely.” But this necessitates another noble principle, “Those who give knowledge should never be charged for anything.” These two interdependent noble ideas actually worked in many ancient and classical cultures, especially in India’s history; but in today’s culture of global capitalism, it’s a pipe-dream.
If I couldn’t give it for free, I tried giving it cheaply. But the result was exhausting. I had to overwork to keep up with my expenses (I support a family with three children, living in Japan). I felt that the quality of my work declined somewhat, which I dislike, and I lost the precious time an astrologer requires to continuously study and contemplate.
I tried another angle: donations. I thought that this may allow people with less economic facility to get knowledge, while people with more economic facility could be more generous and make up the difference. It did work somewhat, but “making up the difference” still amounted to working at very inexpensive rates, and thus the same exhaustion, overwork and loss of quality. People in general cannot be blamed for not understanding the hours of study that must go into every hour of giving a reading, so it’s not really feasible to ask them to donate as much or as often as I need.
And so, to my decision: Fixed prices that I know to be fair to myself and my clients.
To determine exactly what that is I did a survey of seven astrologers with similar credentials and situations as I and found their average fee for a birth chart reading was $300, for a transit or progression was $265, and for a compatibility reading was $280. I used these figures as the guidepost for establishing my fee structure.
From here on, I don’t intend to experiment anymore with pricing. My fees will not change except as fluctuating currency values necessitate from time to time. Here are the readings I will offer.