When I was studying and training to do this work, I did free readings for a year. It was great practice for me because there was no pressure. But I noticed that the people I read for didn't really value the information. I'd get emails months later expressing something like, "I didn't believe you when you said I'd be changing jobs, but I just got a great job offer." It was as though they weren't valuing the information from the reading because they didn't pay for it. It reminds me of what I learned in my Reiki training and that is: there must always be an exchange of energy in order for balance to be achieved.
When I did start charging for my readings, I didn't charge much. And then I heard flack from other intuitives! One asked me if I was trying to be "the social worker of psychics."
So, yes I charge for my readings because it's how I make my living and because I want clients to value the reading and honor the messages that come through.
People have said to me, "It's a gift that you have, given to you by God. So you shouldn't charge." And I always retort, "Tiger Woods was given the gift of golf. So should he play for free? Bono was given the gift of music, so should he offer free concerts and not charge for his CDs?" We pay our counselors, our pastors, our psychiatrists, our ministers and our life coaches, so why is it wrong to pay our psychic?
So that's my soapbox stand. If you have an opinion on this, I'd love to hear it.