The practicing of Medicine ways was a full time job for the responsibility, the well-being, and emotional
balance of the Tribe/Villagers belonging to the Medicine Woman/Man.
In return for her/his services, she/he was cared for by the members of the Tribe/Village. He/She always had food, shelter,
his/her needs met, assistance when it was needed, and special "Spirit Gifts" that showed the honor and respect of her/his
people. This was how the Medicine Women/Men were "paid".
As much as many Natives consider me asking for some type of payment for services distasteful, I have had to do it, because
I deal with many Nationalities, who's customs are different from Native American beliefs, and who are unaware of the Rudeness
of Non-payment of Some Sort.
Also, I do not live within the boundaries/borders of a Tribe, where my needs would other-wise
be taken care of by the Tribal members. Even many Native Americans have lost their way (and/or) knowledge concerning a payment
as an Offering, Blessing, or Gifting, to an Elder, Teacher, or Healer.
This offering is Usually done BEFORE you ever even ask for anything of importance concerning a healing, instruction, or
direction,(in the "Old" days, an offering of Tobacco or herbs like Sage, was given).
It is showing honor and respect for what is being offered.
To ask for such, without an offering, is considered to be Rude and Disrespectful.
As previously stated, even many Native Americans are Now, also unaware of this custom, because they were raised outside
of a Traditional N.A. system or home.
In my studies of other Indigenous Peoples, world-wide, one will find this same common practice, although slightly different,
depending on the individual culture.
Examples of the type of "Gifting/Blessing" you may offer for my services:
A handmade, N.A. Pipe, flute, or drum, dream-catcher, talking stick or feather
Stones, such as: turquoise, amber, jade, aqua-marine, coral, mother of pearl, etc.
Handmade items such as clothing, moccasins, quilts, blankets, Artwork, etc.
(Handmade items actually mean more to me than money).
You do not necessarily have to make an Indian object.
If you live near by, you could offer to work on the car,
help feed and water animals,
plant or weed a garden,
a bill, buy groceries,
make cookies, a good cake, pie, stew, or meal.
If You prefer to make an "Offering" of cash, I will leave it up to you and the "Spirit" to bless me with what is appropriate.