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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in money

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


b2ap3_thumbnail_bullcoin.jpgProsperity - a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition, especially in financial respects

We all want to be happy, and see those we care for to be happy as well. To be successful at what we do, to flourish and thrive is what all humans hope for. But why does it so often involve money? To be sure there are tribes that do not use money. The Bushmen of the Kalahri are happy to be eating ostrich eggs and boar’s heads, cooked in hot sand and embers, and feel extra privileged to get a bite of mostly cooked boar anus or a roasted beetle. Jakob Malas, a Khomani hunter from a section of the Kalahari that is now Gemsbok National Park says "The Kalahari is like a big farmyard, it is not wilderness to us. We know every plant animal and insect, and know how to use them. No other people could ever know and love this farm like us." * They do not feel poor. They have few material possessions, but they dance and sing.

And we might envy that happiness, that simplicity. Life in the Western world is hard apace, and filled with choices and conflicts. We lack the deep knowledge and support of each other that comes with living closely in groups. Modern economists call this social capital. And money can be very hard to think about. My mother, raised during the great depression, used to agonize over balancing her checkbook to the penny. She would sit at the kitchen table and moan and swear. The consequences for not thinking about money are high. We can loose our mode of transportation or our home. But it is worth noting that the consequences for the bushman who fails to think ahead are even higher.

In truth, even in the developed nations, we have the option of checking out of the economy. People have been making communes for generations, some of them non-monetary where resources and labor are pooled for a common goal. And yet only a small portion of the population chooses to do this at any given time.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thinking in Pagan

 “Think what god it may be."

(Ezra Pound, Religio)


In the Baltics, conversion came late and memory of the Old Gods lingered long. Some of Europe's first New Pagan Movements got their start there during the period of national and cultural efflorescence between the First and Second World Wars known as the Baltic Renaissance. Like ourselves, the pagans of Latvia and Lithuania are new pagans, but they have been so for a generation longer than we have, and their experience has much to teach us.


The small (11½ x 8 x 3½ inches) inlaid wooden box shown above, from Latvia, dates to the 1920s. It is a cash box, with interior compartments for coins, banknotes, and bills. The inlaid pattern on the outside lid represents the phases of the Moon.


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Pagan savings challenge, week thirty-four:  mutant duck

I've hinted at the mystery of ducks and money in previous posts, but as with any true mystery, words can never fully explain it.  This is my primary money duck.  It is a mutant duck, largely because its eyeball is located on its cute little neck, rather than in a more convenient location, such as its head.

The duck is tied to a deep prosperity, such that the ordinary sense of the word as relating to money, worldly goods, and abundance simply scratch the surface of the depth of the prosperity the duck enfolds and describes.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

A few weeks ago I wrote about Hudson Valley Current, a complementary, labor-backed currency that is being developed in my region.  I have been getting paid by one of my clients in currents fairly regularly since, but it wasn't until this week that I finally got around to spending some of them.  And wasn't I surprised to discover that I was doing business with another Pagan!

The current marketplace is still small; many of my fellow users aren't yet explicitly advertising their services, so it can be tricky to find something to spend them on.  The staff behind the currency is not only working on expanding that market, they are also in the business of keeping the currents flowing by matching up people with a whole pile with others who have services that they could use.  Knowing that there's a limit to how many currents I may hold, I have been accepting them to force myself to find ways to use them.  I want this currency to succeed, because it will help me understand money all the better to be in on the creation of a new form of it.

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Financial literacy:  what money questions do you have?

I was speaking today with a moneyworker whom I respect a great deal.  The conversation largely focused on financial literacy, and the fact that it's not common in our communities.  (I think that's more because we are a microcosm of a society in which education about money is sorely lacking, but we spoke more about solutions than causes.)  We floated a number of ideas about how we can lift each other up from the self-perpetuating cycles of poverty and money anxiety, and those ideas are certainly going to manifest in our communities, but I want to know what you know, and what you don't, about money.

Some questions which come to mind include:

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  • Dver
    Dver says #
    I feel I know everything I need to in order to live my very simple life. In other words, yes I can balance a checkbook (and I do i
Pagan savings challenge, week twenty-five:  are you an animist?

Given the strong emotional ties made with money, I think a lot more people in our society approach it as animists than they themselves realize.  To love money, or to hate it, or fear it, is to imbue it with spirit, or recognize that it has spirit regardless.  Why not take the next step, and allow that relationship to be a two-way one?

What have you done for money lately?  Do you say prayers, make offerings, keep a shrine?  Do you give and take money without thought for the medium itself, but only the necessities and luxuries it can provide for you and your loved ones?  Do you use it for magical purposes?  Do you thank money for its role in your life, ignore it, avoid it, or curse it?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thrift is a Pagan value

In a fascinating post that examines the impact of free events on the economic viability of the Pagan community, Sable Aradia uses the tongue-in-cheek subheading of, "Pagans are . . . Thrifty" to drive home a point about one of the ways we struggle with financial issues.  What she means is that we're cheap.  While I won't take exception with that -- heck, I come from a long line of tight-fists which I could probably trace back to the invention of money itself -- I do wish she would take another look at what the word actually means.

I think she would find that thrift is a sincerely Pagan value.

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