For several years now, I've been asked by friends and Facebook acquaintances to create a site that centralizes Pagan Authors, Artists, Crafters, Vendors, Musicians, et al..
The community wants to be able to support our own people, but many times, they don't know where to look. If you hang out with me on Facebook, you know I've been discussing this with you for weeks now. I've finally gotten the page up and running. It's being called "The Little Black Book for Pagans". It went up yesterday, and I've had several inquiries about the site already.
I've decided it's easier to blog about it here, since many of the questions are turning into FAQs ;)
1. Yes, I'm charging a fee for this. Why? Because I've seen too many free sites that fail because they have links that aren't legitimate and are featuring shops that go out of business quickly. There is very little upkeep given to these free sites. My time is valuable to me, just as yours is to you, and I'm willing to do the upkeep. So, I am charging a minimal fee in order to ensure that the sites themselves are legit, and that they are serious about their businesses. If you can't afford $10.00 a year for marketing, you aren't serious about your business. That's just a fact.
2. What ARE the fees? They are listed on the site, but I will explain them here as well.
The minimum entrance fee is $10.00 (USD) for one listing. If you want to list in more than one category, you can add a listing for $5.00. I've given a bit of a discount for 3-4 listings. So, if you want to list in 3-4 categories, that fee is only $20.00 for the year. After that, it's 5.00 per listing.
3. Yes, I'm aware that since I started talking about this, some other sites have recently popped up that are free to list. If you prefer to list there, you are welcome to do so. I'm not in competition with anyone. I'm doing this because I've had numerous people ask for it, both on the 'vendor/artist' side and on the consumer side. No, I'm not worried that somehow I'm going to fail because they are free and I charge for it. See #1 for the reason why I am charging a fee.
4. ALL non-profits are FREE. I only ask that the non-profit send proof of their status.
5. No, you do not have to sell "Pagan Products" to list. I don't only use Pagan products in my house, and neither do you. If you are selling things that aren't considered "Pagan", I'd still want to support you over a non-Pagan vendor. And, I know that the community-at-large wants to do that as well.
At this point in time, I'm asking the authors, artists, astrologers, tarot and other divination experts, coaches, counselors, musicians, and vendors of all sorts to join up. This site is less than 24 hours old. I look at this much like any community project. If you are serious about wanting to be supported by your community, I invite you to join up. The community has expressed the interest. Once the site is up and we have listings on it, then it's up to the community to utilize it. It's a symbiotic relationship. Both sides need to work toward getting this realized. So, please- do share with others and let's create something magical :)
Tara Smith (blog designer for all of my sites) will be creating a button for vendors to put on their sites if they choose to do so. It helps get the word out to everyone.
Let me know if you have any further questions about this. I'm looking forward to getting this up and running for all of us :)
Before we get started, I need to announce the winner of the Secret Services Giveaway that took place over the weekend. Receiving one tarot reading ($50.00 value) and 3 shamrock fudge pops from Sterling's Fudge Emporium ($15.00 value) is...
Congratulations to Janille! I'll be reaching out today to work with you on your prizes! Thanks to all of you who shared the page and helped me get to over 200 likes :) We'll hold another giveaway soon. Now, on to the blog ...
I'm in muse-mode today about friendships and competition.. more to the point, about people we encounter in life that determine somewhere along the way that they want to be us, and begin emulating body language, speech patterns, writing styles, etc... there is a saying that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." But, I don't think any of us really believes that. It's wonderful to have heroes and people who display particular qualities we'd like to emulate. What I'm talking about here is those who want to take on all of another person's attributes and lives, or to get as close as they can to the person they want to be in order to somehow have it all "rub off" on them. It reminds me of a story...
The Eagle and the Jackdaw
Aesop's Fables (Translated by George Fyler Townsend)
An Eagle, flying down from his perch on a lofty rock, seized upon a lamb and carried him aloft in his talons. A Jackdaw, who witnessed the capture of the lamb, was stirred with envy and determined to emulate the strength and flight of the Eagle. He flew around with a great whir of his wings and settled upon a large ram, with the intention of carrying him off, but his claws became entangled in the ram's fleece and he was not able to release himself, although he fluttered with his feathers as much as he could. The shepherd, seeing what had happened, ran up and caught him. He at once clipped the Jackdaw's wings, and taking him home at night, gave him to his children. On their saying, "Father, what kind of bird is it?' he replied, "To my certain knowledge he is a Daw; but he would like you to think an Eagle."
Eagles and Jackdaws both have a purpose in the world, but they have very little in common, other than both being birds. Eagles are large birds of prey that are considered to be apex predators in the world. Jackdaws are small members of the corvid family that feed mostly on invertebrates.
In Aesop's story, the eagle was serving his purpose and intention. The jackdaw, however, found himself in all kinds of trouble by not fulfilling his own.
First, the jackdaw paid too much attention to the eagle. By wasting his own precious time and energy focused on the eagle's activities, he became jealous and wanted to compete with the eagle. He wanted to take that eagle down a notch- prove that this eagle wasn't "all that."
With this kind of intention, the jackdaw immediately set himself on a course of self-destruction. He quickly discovered that he could not beat the eagle by trying to "BE" the eagle. He ended up entangled in a mess, and, to add insult to injury, the eagle wasn't even paying attention to him. The eagle was already long gone.
In the end, the jackdaw lost his freedom both to fly and to live as intended; and he suffered the humiliation of having his true intentions exposed and ridiculed by those around him. How much would you be willing to bet that he blames the eagle for his misfortune, as well?
Had the jackdaw simply focused on his own purpose; had he been content with his unique gifts and talents, how much happier would he have been?
If you are an eagle being hounded by a jackdaw, I highly encourage you to ignore those antics. Focus on your goals, and continue to fulfill your purpose. Soar above it all, and keep being you.
If you've found yourself relating to the jackdaw, take heed of his cautionary tale. Don't look at someone else's life and envy it. You have no idea what their own challenges entail. One thing is for certain- they are naturally equipped to deal with those. They also don't have the natural ability to handle your challenges like you do. The eagle's beak is hooked. It cannot pick up sticks and use them as tools, but a jackdaw can. The eagle misses its prey more often than a jackdaw misses his.
In petty attempts to "take down" someone else by trying to be better at being them than they are, you only thwart yourself. Eventually, that kind of thinking and behavior will take its toll, and it only ends badly for you... not the other person. Most likely, they're not even paying attention to you.
Rather than waste your time, energy and self-esteem on futile attempts to be someone you are not, focus instead on the wonderful gifts that you can share with the world. Take to the skies in your unique flight pattern and fulfill the purpose that only you can. As the adage says, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."
Our diversity is what makes life special. The eagle is only better in the eyes of the jealous jackdaw.