Exploring Pagans and their relationship with that earthiest of earth symbols, money.
'Tis the season to move money around
The beginning of shopping season may be blurry, particularly for those whose traditions include portmanteau neologisms, but it's safe to say that it's in full swing as I write this on December 2. The convergence of the gifting culture and the end of the tax year in many locales also makes this the time when many charities make their year-end pitches. Likewise, this is when tax-free gifts to family members are often delivered, stocks bought and sold to maximize profit or minimize taxable gains, and people who participate in pre-tax health savings accounts and the like are making sure that they've spent everything they're required to.
So there's a lot of money on the move right now, a lot of energy flowing. I'd go so far as to say that December is to money what October is to the spirits of the dead: if you want to work with money, this is one of the best times to do so. Spells and prayers for abundance and prosperity, as well as workings and offerings which are released through the movement of money, are worth incorporating into one's practice at this time of year, when the secular cycles are so strong that they reveal the unseen powers which shape them.
When I read about holiday shopping madness, I liken it to someone who draws down a deity without training or preparation, insofar as the damage comes from a lack of respect for, and comprehension of, the powers involved. We presume that, because we invented money, that we understand and control it. Perhaps if we approached the "holiday season" with the same deference and study that some Wiccans apply to preparing for ritual possession, we'd all have a healthier relationship with the stuff.
In the spirit of intentional spending and mindful money management, I've collected a few tidbits about things to do with money. They all involve money leaving the possession of the holder; money only has value -- power -- when it is spent, making a lot of money-drawing spells problematic, but that's a digression for another day.
If any of these inspire your own ideas, I'd love to learn about them.
- For the young person you love but don't necessarily understand, consider opening a savings or investment account rather than giving a gift. Spread out the amount you wish to give the child, and fund the account over time in weekly or monthly increments. Make it clear that you will stop on X date or when the recipient starts withdrawing funds, and you'll teach a valuable lesson about the time value of money.
- Typhoon Haiyan brought unspeakable devastation to the Philippines. This month's donation by Pandora's Kharis is being given to Pagan Federation International Philippines to assist in their relief efforts. They're on track to double the amount donated to last month's recipient.
- If giving to charity is something you are called to do, December 3 is the first Giving Tuesday, lengthening a week that now includes Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. (No one has claimed the Sunday to my knowledge.)
- If you feel called to charity, but your faith doesn't have a model for that, blogger Alley Valkyrie has a suggestion.
- Cherry Hill Seminary is a specifically Pagan charity asking for donations right now.
- I've taken on the ambitious task of creating a festival for Hermes as god of the marketplace.
- Today is the last day to buy the Pagan Bundle, an assortment of Pagan items and services.
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