Why do I have to book a consultation to have altar work done?
I have to sink a bunch of time into discussing it with you and learning about it before I can say much of anything. We have to have a conversation back and forth before I'd have enough info to say whether I can and will take your case and if so, what work would be best and what it would involve and cost. There's always more than one way to approach anything. If I'm going to take your case to do customized altar work for you, I need to choose the best approach considering the details of your situation.
Many potential clients think their situation or question is pretty simple - they'll send me a paragraph and expect me to give them advice or say I can or can't help them based on that. In reality, I usually have to ask and get an answer on a number additional questions before I will have enough information to advise on the best way to approach it, never mind whether I am willing to take on the case.
These are all real questions I've had to ask potential clients just within the last few weeks before I could even recommend the best approach to the work:
Do you know all the names? Is your information coming from first-hand or third-hand?
Does your partner have female relatives in town?
Does your target have a history of trouble keeping a job?
What is your relationship like with your ex? Do you have property or children together?
Have you met this person's mother? Is this person normally prone to angry outbursts?
Do you wash their clothes or do they do their own laundry? Are they vegetarian?
If they come back but aren't willing to go to therapy, is that a dealbreaker for you?
Do you have any allergies?
What's more important to you, that you get an answer fast or that you get the answer "yes"?
And that's just a fraction of them off the top of my head, just from August 2020. And I can't tell you how many times a client has sent an email requesting a certain type of work, only I discover within a few emails that that isn't the type of work they need at all.
Altar work in hoodoo isn't something you pick off a shelf. That's why you don't see that many "spells." Rather, we build the right "spell" for the given situation and we often never do the same working exactly the same way twice, because every situation is slightly different. While there a few types of spells or workings that tend to share a similar framework, even with something like the "standard" honey jar or sour jar, there are going to be variations and adjustments depending on things like what types of personal concerns we have to work with, whether we need access to a river or graveyard, what you want to happen to all the people involved, etc.
Can't we skip the consultation just this once?
If clients could see all the stuff that crosses our desks, they'd start to understand why we can't do this. When you write to ask us if we can skip the reading or consultation just this once, you can rest assured there are 20 more emails in our inboxes from other people asking the same thing. Meanwhile, we have customers and clients who have booked a reading or consultation who are waiting more or less patiently for us to send it to them.
We don't charge because we're stingy or trying to milk you for all we can get. We charge because we have to eat and pay the power bill and stay in business; otherwise we couldn't help *anybody.* We always have inboxes full of folks wanting free advice and free altar work. Many of us do provide pro bono consultations and pro bono altar work via some venue or another when we're able to, but in order to be able to do that, we have to make sure we've taken care of our business expenses first.
Many times, I have just brushed aside this requirement and basically gone on to do a free consultation with someone who was considering having work done. It has bitten me in the rear end just about every time and been a colossal time suck - one that the potential client in question often doesn't even appreciate as such, because many people do not value what they can get for free and will not value your time if you give it to them.
So please understand that I cannot assess a complex situation without a consultation. And I can just about guarantee that the situation is more complex than you think, esp. if it involves more people than just you.
Do I get a refund if you won't take my case?
No. Consultation fees compensate me for my time spent discussing your case and doing divination. My not agreeing to take your case doesn't erase the time I sunk into going over it with you.
That means it is possible that you might book a consultation, we might go over it all, and I might say that I will not take your case. It happens every once in a while, mostly with folks who don't read my About and Altar Work pages before they book and thus didn't see the part about how I don't usually take the kinds of cases they're describing.
But my simply saying "no" is really, really rare when the client has educated themselves, knows what questions to ask, and has realistic expectations of spiritual work. Assuming you aren't trying to get work done for something illegal, immoral, or just plain creepy, then if I can't or won't take your case, I will tell you exactly why and what I recommend instead.
Sometimes that will be different work, other than what you were talking about wanting. I might say something like "I'm not seeing you having much longer-term satisfaction with the path you're planning to take. I think it'll work but you'll lose interest in the near future. What would you think about trying X instead?"
Sometimes that will be another worker who I feel can handle the situation better than I can. In that case, I might offer to forward them the consultation session with your permission. That can save you both some time and they might not even a require a new consultation. (But they might, so don't assume anything - ask.)
What's more likely, though, at least for those clients who read this information I post beforehand to understand how I work, is that I'll take your case and offer you a few different options that fit your budget and comfort/experience level. At the very least, I'll give you guidance on how to do the work yourself if I can't or won't do some or all of it.
In short, if I won't take a case because a client is unrealistic or because it looks like the work is not ultimately in their best interest, I'll say so and we'll discuss what that means specifically, so the client is not leaving the consultation empty-handed, so to speak.
I wish I could afford to sink 20 or 30 or 90 minutes into hearing about and advising on everything that crosses my desk, but unfortunately I am not independently wealthy and I have to pay my bills, so I have to charge for my time.
But I respect that you're spending your hard-earned money on a session, so I'm not going to just tell you "No, I won't take your case, that'll be $45, bye." I've been reading for others since 1986. You don't have a 35+ year career of reading for folks if you rush through your answers and don't address their concerns, and I'm not gonna start doing that now.
I need help but I can't afford to book a consultation.
If you can't book a session but you don't mind waiting until I have time to answer your question in a blog post/article, that's another option, assuming there is something about your situation that could be informative or instructive to others, and there usually is. In that case, you can just email me and let me know it's ok to answer it on the blog with your identifying info removed. Or you can post your question to the blog as a comment. Absolutely no guarantees about how long you'd be waiting for the blog post to answer it, but I will eventually answer it if there's something in there that could help other readers, too.
Read more about my background and approach to spiritual work here.
Read more about consultations and readings here.
To educate yourself about how all this works, understand what is realistic and what is just fantasy, improve your chances of getting your case taken by a spiritual worker, and reduce your chances of getting scammed by a con artist, see the Education tab up top.