Planet Waves is running a membership drive.
Read more in Solstice Fire and the Art of Service, by Eric Francis.
By Amanda Moreno
When I stumbled upon Planet Waves sometime in 2010 I realized I had essentially found my soul mate in a website. The fact that I could find intelligent, honest, sensitive and shrewd writing that covered current events (the ones that truly matter and that are often ignored), sex and relationships, and politics all ensconced in the astrological paradigm was kind of like a wet dream come true.
Since then, I’ve set out to follow my passion: healing myself and helping others to heal themselves through what I fondly refer to as “practical woo.” The gratitude and sense of incredible fortune I feel to be able to follow this path cannot be understated.
I also feel a great deal of frustration at how difficult it can be to be of service in this way, although I am careful not to sink into bitterness. There are times when it seems like our cultural infrastructures are not only impossible to work with when trying to establish oneself in a business model using a modality that is outside the norm, but that they are somehow actually trying to prevent it.
I feel quite strongly that apprenticeship and community work are important to the growth of a healer/therapist/social-service type. It’s an integral part of learning the craft as well as contributing to community. I struggled at first to ask for money for astrology readings and coaching services, and was reminded time and again that the exchange of value is an important part of spiritual services — and that that container is worth having, and that being compensated for it is necessary.
I worked through those blockages pretty quickly, but also felt the need to keep my services accessible to people who exist outside of the normal demographic that can afford something like an astrology reading. There is such value in astrology and I’m hard-pressed to contribute to a society where that knowledge is locked up in the middle and upper classes, especially as I increasingly find myself to be part of the lower class.
Just recently I reached out for help from a practitioner whose work I value greatly and learned that they could not see me because they did not have room for sliding scale clients. On the one hand I understand the business model, but on the other hand it’s frustrating to feel that desire for assistance, reach out for help, and know that you can’t have it because someone else can pay more. Ah well, these are the experiences that help us learn how to heal ourselves, right?
Balancing the desire to be of service and the desire to afford life can be tricky at times. Finding Planet Waves has not only provided me with an incomparable resource for growth and knowledge, it has helped me to understand the Art of Service, which very much has to do with finding that balance. Knowing that what goes on in these pages is accessible — memberships come at a variety of accessible and reasonable prices — is hugely important to me. Ensuring that the website remains sustainable is also hugely important to me.
I am consistently humbled by the dedication, loyalty and passion that flows through these pages — and how much I’ve come to rely on this forum for a dose of reality and a sense of stability and sanity in a world that feels increasingly chaotic and insane. Being able to participate in the form of a weekly offering is an honor and also brings me in close contact with the incredible effort it takes to keep this community going.
In the interest of full disclosure, it is perhaps important to note that my contributions here are part of my community work and are not monetarily compensated. But the value I receive from participating is huge, and as I say in this space so frequently — I truly believe that claiming responsibility for the wellbeing of our communities is vital to shifting our paradigm into something that supports life.
The kind of service provided by the folks at Planet Waves is truly an art form and one that tends to be undervalued in the ways that can keep it sustainable. So, if you’re able and haven’t done so already, please do consider one of the membership options here. In the true ethos of accessibility, Eric’s fantastic team is willing to work with you if you need the monthly fee to be lowered a bit, once again showing that the priority here is, in fact, service — but we all need to claim membership in order to keep it viable.