I heard an interesting story on NPR about women and investing the other day. The points which jumped out at me were:
Women are more risk-averse when it comes to investing, and testosterone plays a part in the gender difference;
Fear of an impoverished old age -- women generally have more time as senior citizens -- adds a layer of paralysis which amplifies the hormonal factors;
In heteronormative relationships, women are more likely to let the man control the money, even women who are the primary wage earners; and
When they invest for themselves, women tend to be better at it than men.
More than a decade into the 21st century, we haven't reached gender parity in how we relate to money. How much of that difference is cultural and how much is biological isn't clear to me, but differences there certainly are.
As the Pagan savings challenge progresses, I'm aware that there are Pagans who are not participating because my weekly (and impersonal) posts aren't motivation enough to keep it up. The pressures are many, and my voice is small. But my belief in the power of savings is strong.
Savings is a discipline, as surely as devotion and magic are, and discipline is its own reward.
Savings transforms one's relationship with money, changing it from one of reaction to one of intention.
Savings results in a pile of money that literally wouldn't have been there if it hadn't been saved, which is the sort of reward that even the most right-brained among us should appreciate.
Savings requires the right mix of patience and attention, which in proper measure can nurture virtually anything.
So in keeping with my sincere belief that each and every Pagan should have a savings plan as part of their spiritual practice, I present an alternative for working groups: the sou-sou. It is one of the simplest savings programs to understand, but challenging for the typical American to participate. It came to the United States from West Africa, and is most commonly used in this country by populations who are on the edges -- or outside -- of the traditional money system.
Writing and marketing my new book, Teen Spirit Wicca, has been a very interesting process. Most people know that my prime work in the community is based on advocacy and youth outreach/support. Advocating for young Witches and Pagans means constantly engaging with this demographic and being open to their interests, likes, and dislikes. I learned so much while interviewing teens during the initial writing of TSW, but I continue to learn as I pose new questions to the community that has built up around it. So for the next few months I'm asking the young Pagan community about their thoughts on a number of topics that I'll report on here. Some of them will be deeper and more intellectual, and some will be based on simple feelings. I ask these questions through a number of outlets including Facebook pages, groups, and via email to the youth I know.
Last week I started with a simple question: What in your opinion is the best part of being a young Wiccan, Witch, or Pagan? How is it helpful for you? What are you most proud of?
Being Solitary is a defining part of who I am as a Pagan.I meet so many other Solitaries in my journeys and often find them feeling disconnected from the greater Pagan Community.That is why I write this blog and speak on this topic whenever I can.The specific topic I write about today applies to every segment of the Community because, when it comes right down to it, each of us are Solitary within our own minds, and that’s important to remember.Even Traditional Pagans often feel disenfranchised or isolated, (and most practice away from their Covens as well as with them) so this article is really for everyone in the Community.
A few of you might be aware that I was involved in a very serious (and very stupid) accident in mid-December.I quickly sent out a call to my friends asking for healing energy directly from my hospital bed.I was in extraordinary pain when I sent that request and was badly broken.One aspect of my life as a Solitary has been to shield myself from the energy of others in most instances.Bad experiences from my past have made me very cautious about the energies I take in and (generally speaking) I never open myself to energy from people I’ve never met.
It is a new year, and it’s time for this woman to focus on her quest of connecting with womanspirit, and to focus on this blog as the home base for the exploration of the feminine mysteries and sisterhood.
This year I will be attending the monthly Women’s Sacred Circle at my local Unitarian Universalist congregation, I’ll be making new friends and hopefully forming a coterie of women, and I’ll be starting a spiritual practice that will delve into the feminine mysteries to blend them with my animistic and solitary journey. I might even pray. :) I’m hoping music will have a part, too. In 2014 I am emerging from the wild hedge to dance in the circle of women.
I keep finding myself imagining Artemis emerging from the woods… not lonely since she lives with the animals and plants and moon and earth, but curious about the gathering women, and sensing a sisterhood she belongs to… and taking her place among them, contributing to their presence and magic, and helping to ground it in the earth and lift it toward the stars. Grow…
Dramatic weather here and elsewhere--yesterday I watched an enormous weather front come up from the South in the form of a dark gray shelf cloud. It was a scene out of Hollywood: surely a mothership of some sort was lurking there or it was the precursor, the warning of some King novel. I got back into my car and drove home to my old house that was under the edge of that shelf of doom.
And by the time I'd parked the car and looked up, the front had moved backwards, retreated back the way it had so ominously come, ragged now, undramatic, ordinary.
I have spent decades talking to Pagans about the perceived “culture of poverty” within the Pagan Community.That is the belief that “I can’t afford that and I never will be able to” or “I can’t go to that festival for $70, even though they will feed and house me for 3 days.”I have spent the last year telling anyone and everyone who will listen that the Pagan Community needs a professional media corps.If you’d like to see some of my arguments for why, check our website – www.PaganTV.org.
I realized something a few weeks ago.Pick the euphemism you prefer – “put your money where your mouth is”, “put up or shut up”, or “if you talk the talk you need to walk the walk.”It is true that I spend a fair amount of money every year attending various Pagan events and festivals.Like many of us, I also buy plenty of Pagan goodies from incense to altar tools to books, books, and more books.All of those activities are good for our Community economy but really aren’t enough to help us get to where we need to go.