Have Questions?     267-405-2232     katie@katiemcbrien.com

Have Questions?     267-405-2232     katie@katiemcbrien.com

Notes Between The Worlds-Blog

Qualification & Certifications

So lately I've been doing a lot of research and soul searching about some very important topics, rather than write about them in long elaborate sentences to introduce them, i'm going to bullet point them, and then break them down at length:

  • Certification & Training 
  • Qualifications

All of this course ties into Money & Spirituality.

Yes I know if you've been on a spiritual path for a while, and have spent any time reading business training, this could really open a can of worms.

It's okay I like upsetting the balance.

A Little Background:

I've felt this way pretty strong for the last eight years or so; I used to believe differently but I've seen a real upswing in some unsettling business practices that have really caused me to question where I stand on these topics.  

Certification & Training

So certification & training are like the latest buzzwords the spiritual community. Get certified as an essential oil practitioner, crystal healer, priestess, witch, shaman.... the list goes on! 

The basic definition of certification is:

Completing an elaborate curriculum in order to gain mastery in a specific subject or subjects. 

Now my problem with certification and training isn't so much the learning aspect of it; it ties into the greater whole of money.

I've been looking to expand my knowledge, my Gemini self just can't sit by and not expand my knowledge, I crave it like a drug. However, who the hell can afford a $10,000.00 program? Mind you that's one of the cheapest programs I've seen, $15,000 is another..... 

I sure as shit can't, and I'd wager a guess that 98% of the people who read my blog or stumble upon it can't either.

Hell the average american can't either without taking out loans, using credit cards with outrageous fees and interest rates. I mean for real it's almost as much as a basic model car, and most american's can't buy them outright without taking out a loan! 

We talk about how spirit/God/Goddess etc wants us to do this work and how it should be open to everyone but be sure to pay this amount, enough to put us in debt and possibly homeless if we can't make those payments to pay for the training? That's ridiculous. 

Here's a hard to swallow truth:

Just because you've been certified doesn't mean the clients are going to come running to you. You can pay for Facebook ad's, google ad's, put in ad's in local magazines, go to new age expo's and fairs, but it doesn't mean that clients will pay you $400.00 a spiritual healing session to pay for your training, house, car, bills, food, etc. 

Once good ol' Uncle Sam (the government) takes their share of your money, you pay for website hosting, newsletter hosting, payment processing, etc. This is, of course, if you're lucky enough to find enough clients to begin with, you'd be lucky if you see half of the money that you're charging for a session. 

So lets get back on topic: Training & Certification. 

We create these elaborate programs: stay in the powerful _( insert name of powerful place) and be trained by _( insert name of celebrity teacher). 

Are the teachers really teaching for the sake of spreading knowledge or for lining their pockets? Now I understand everyone has to eat, but lets just take a moment to think about it like this; if you charge 10,000. for each students training and you have 75 students in each class at least, two times a year that would be a total of (without taxes and administrative fees)


So, that's one million five hundred thousand dollars a year! Not to mention any other royalties that your teacher may make from other content such as:  books, meditations, etc. and any healing sessions they themselves may offer.

I'm not saying that teachers shouldn't charge for their teachings, they should, but what i'm saying is this:

  • If you charge so much that a student has to put their financial well being in jeopardy you're charging too much. 
  • If you're charging almost as much as a total price for a car then you're no longer in a spiritual mindset but a mindset of greed.
  • It has absolutely nothing to do with, energy exchange, or making sure each person takes their training serious. Each student is different. I could pay $5.00 for an online course and master it better than a student you charge $5,000 for a training.

The financial investment a student makes doesn't automatically equal maturity, devotion, or anything else. 

We live in a materialistic world where the more expensive something is the more we have to have it and once we get it, we think it's going to solve all our problems. The honest truth is that's bullshit! It's never enough, there's always another training, or another program, or something else we need before our clients will take us seriously. 

You're teacher is no longer in the place of service to humanity, which is why they should be doing this to begin with.

Not make their millions of the soul sucking labor you put yourself through on a daily basis until you can gain the required*(more on this later) training to help others. 

Spiritual training isn't a college program, it's not accredited or recognized by the government, there are no financial assistance programs, her fancy "certification" is nothing more than a $10,000.00 piece of paper that doesn't demand respect from anyone. Certainly not in the same way as a degree from Yale or Harvard does. The average Joe doesn't know who Sally the Master Healer is who certified you. Why should they care? They don't- trust me. 

Another point:

That girl from the ghetto, who literally eats ramen noodles and spam because she can't afford anything else, may be one of the most profound healers, able to speak the language of her neighborhood, and to bring great change to her people, reducing stress, spreading love and healing, lowering crime, but we'll never know.

There's no chance in hell she'll be able to afford training. 

Last point:

I've been studying spirituality for a long ass time, over twenty years in fact, I have over three hundred books (lets calculate how much that is by the way, if each book was 19.99, I've spent over: 5,500.00 on books.......)

I've cast spells, I've done rituals, I've attended workshops and weekend retreats, I've met famous authors and teachers. However, lets look back at our roots. 

Alternative spirituality, alternative healing, has always been for the people.

Oftentimes when you went to see a healer, you'd bring a gift, perhaps the supplies the healer needs for their practice (candles, incense, oils, stones, etc) or you'd bring food to feed the healer, or if you had it money. 

The community was never asked for money directly, they were asked for an energy exchange, labor to assist the healer, housing, food, supplies, etc. 

Modern alternative healing and spirituality is no longer about healing and spiritual development it's about ego & greed. 

Energy exchange does need to happen, but poverty and other circumstances need to be taken into account. Perhaps the student who needs training has a background in graphic design and can update your website look. Or perhaps they are an auto mechanic and will fix your car for free. Who knows.

The point is it's never taken into account. If you can't pay they don't respond to you, they don't take you seriously. 

The average total bank account balance for american's in 2019 is :

$10,545. *see article

The average american can't afford to be trained as healers, spiritualist, shaman's, priestess's, etc. 

In a time when this healing is the most critical. It's a crime. 

Shame on us! 


Another point I want to make is about qualifications. I've talked about it previously with training but i'd like to make a few unusual points. 

The basis of all alternative healing, spirituality movements that I have studied or have an interest in is at it's core:

Personal connection to the higher powers that be.  

This could be through connection with the divine (God/Goddess/etc.) or this could be through helpful and compassionate spirits. 

  • Who trained the first shaman? 
  • Who trained the first Reiki Master (Miako Usui) 
  • Who trained the first village wise woman or witch?

It wasn't a person, it was spirit.

This connection, was done through meditation, prayer, journey work (a freestyle form of meditation where the soul leaves the body and travels between the various energetic realms.) 

That is how healers learned to channel healing energy, to find herbs, roots, crystals, to make oils, or potions... It was through personal connection to the source of all that is(God/Goddess/Universe/helping spirits etc.)

In my quest to deepen my knowledge of shamanism, specifically Inca Shamanism, 98% of the training I have found is before the shaman will even consider you as a student they will seek the green light from spirit. 

So why is it, if i pay an american teacher $10,000.00 she/he doesn't care if spirit says i'm meant to be one, that doesn't matter.... They will take my money (which I've already mentioned I'd need to take out a loan or use a credit card to get)  and train me regardless. 

Then I can hang my shingle and say "Trained Shaman" even though I have no spiritual talent to be one. It's not my destiny to be one; just my human ego's desire? Yet you'll gladly take my money, my hard earned money, the money I had to fight for through sweat and tears in a soul sucking job? 

Wake up, You're not in service you're in your ego! 

This needs to change.

I have a real issue with pricing what I offer, I can't offer it for free because people really don't take their healing or advice seriously for free. This is personal experience. I also can't handle humanity's level of entitlement right now. Someone cuts you off they felt entitled to be in front of you. Someone comes into a business and demands something that's entitlement. 

At the same time, I can't bring myself to charge hundreds of dollars for anything I offer because the people who need it the most can't afford it. 

Basics of Study:

Now with all this being said there are certain fundamental things that one needs to be trained on in spiritual matters otherwise I don't think they are as capable of getting the teachings they need from spirit. This isn't always the case there are some naturals who can slip between the worlds and get the information they need naturally. Perhaps it's because this isn't their first lifetime doing this work. Perhaps it's because of traumatic experiences they had as children or adults that allows their spirit to naturally break off and traverse the worlds. 

I spent years thinking i couldn't call myself a medium because I wasn't trained. I've been doing a lot of reading on the practices of mediums, and it turns out I was a medium my entire life i didn't need training, it happened naturally. 

I didn't think I could call myself a Shaman because I wasn't formally trained. As I sit in courses I realize that everything that I'm taught to do in class are things that I was already doing without training. 

Final thoughts:

The only qualified teachers for spiritual matters, is actually spirit itself.

No human has the right to tell you what you are or aren't. (Re-read that sentence please, and then re-read it again....) If they do they are coming from a place of their ego. Perhaps they offer a $10,000.00 training program... who knows... 

Spirit gives out the certifications not teachers. 

It doesn't matter how much money you spend on training, certification, etc. You can learn the techniques but that doesn't make you what you think you want to be, spirit does that.

Spiritual healing is part of your soul plan, and just because something looks cool or interesting doesn't mean you should be learning it.

Most of all, it doesn't mean you're able to call yourself that if you've taken the most expensive training in the book. 

Let's look at this another way; a person who has a natural tremor of the hands could never be a heart surgeon no matter how much training they go through, nor would you want them to be! They could kill you. It also doesn't matter how much they want to be either. Sure a school may take their money and train them, but it wouldn't last long before they would loose their license. 

Most importantly that's not their souls mission, if it was they would have a steady hand, a great attention to detail, a cool head, and a certain level of detachment. It would be their true calling and spirit would provide them with the necessary mindset, body, and ability to carry out that mission. 

Just because you have an interest in being a Priestess, a professional Witch, Shaman, crystal healer, etc. Doesn't mean you can if you're souls mission is something else. It doesn't matter how much money you spend on a teacher.

Your mind body and spirit have to be in alignment. 

So really think twice, is more training necessary?

Are you paying for training or community? 

I've taken courses just to be near others of like mind rather than actually needing the training and oftentimes I've spent hundreds and learned nothing new from it. 


Now, there are times where learning formally is important. Perhaps you need that affirmation that you're on the right track. Perhaps you want the student teacher relationship, which I happen to enjoy. That's okay. 

However, as I said I don't agree with the current model of needing to take out 3 loans, sell your car, and sell your body & soul to afford training in anything.  

We bitch that college is so expensive that kids will be paying it off until they are in their 50's or 60's, why are we making our training courses as expensive? 

On the other hand, if you feel you're ready to call yourself something and you have the gut feeling it's okay (that's spirit talking to you), I can't stop you.

Those who will benefit from what you have to offer will be called to you. 

Just be sure you clearly let your clients know this fact. Don't lie and say you've been formally trained in something you haven't. Don't give out prescriptions for oils, herbs, etc. Unless you've been trained enough to know what's safe and what's not. You're opening yourself up to being sued and possibly imprisoned.

The Judicial system doesn't care if spirit says something and it doesn't work out right, at the very least it would be negligent homicide (yeah you'd go to jail for a long ass time). 

So use your good judgement, if you don't have good judgement, spend that $10,000.00 on training.

Most of all, don't quote me in your defense, because i'm not saying that you should be doing anything.

I'm just saying right now, us spiritual teachers suck ass, we are raping our clients, we are setting them up for failure. 

We make empty promises of being able to pay back the investment we make in training that there is no guarantee for. 

Final Thoughts

I am just one woman who believes strongly in this subject, you don't have to agree with me. I honestly don't care. 

Hell I could infuriate you, that's okay too. You're entitled to your feelings. 

Do not email me and curse at me, or leave shit comments on my post. I will delete and block you.

This is meant to open up a new line of thought about how the spiritual community has transformed over the last decade or so.

Personally, I think it's amazing there's so much training available, I love the internet, I love the fact that anyone can publish a book on and get their message across. I love that there are blogs, teachers, podcasts, weekend workshops, weekend retreats, retreats to meet authentic teachers. 

What I don't love is people trying to turn spirituality into the next get rich scheme. 

Don't take a page out of the churches book; remember they are the ones who say abortion is a sin, then rape and then force un-wanted abortions under the guise of the will of god....(let me provide a link for this sweeping statement.....) 

We are better than that. 

This is my biggest passion, my calling, my souls mission. I take it beyond serious, and I wish others would do the same. 

If you have something nice to say: post it below, if you're going to tell me i'm wrong and curse me out or be a bitch, don't waste your time, all comments are moderated and i'll never approve yours. 

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