When I started the Dirty money blog, I didn't have a money shrine. I didn't work any money magic, because it all seemed self-referential spellwork to make more money. I didn't give much away, and I knew nothing of the mystery of the rubber duckie.
More than a year later,my relationship with money has grown. A lot of that comes from a really excellent money class given by Galina Krasskova, which reawakened the animist in me and helped me connect with money on a spiritual level, while simultaneously reinforcing the rules of how money acts, and how people act around it. I don't know if she will ever give that class again, but if she does, jump on it, because the information is enough to transform that money relationship. This is one of those cases where the money spent will return to you many times.
One of the reasons we fail to save money is because we fear it, and what we fear we don't think about as if that will make the fears -- and their causes -- go away. To solve this problem in myself, and keep me on track, I am awash in money; I started a money-changing business. Money changers have a long history, because for every solution money brings in simplifying exchanges, it creates three more for people that have the wrong kind of money. I deal solely in United States currency, because merchants in my area often don't have the right kind of money to give in change, particularly when banks are closed.
Immersing myself in money forces me to think about money, which is actually as much of a challenge for me as it is for other middle- and lower-class folks whose lives are in many ways defined by the stuff. It also allows me to engage with money magically, for every exchange is an opportunity to use money's true power. It makes my every transaction more intentional, and the results are in: I expected to be struggling to keep up with this challenge by now, but I'm not.
Recently, I was, um, invited to participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge, the quirky and incredibly successful spontaneous viral outpouring of support to find a cure to a disease which has been well-known since 1939, but which still strikes down far too many people. As of this writing, the ALS Foundation is reporting that the challenge has raised $106 million this summer, a pretty big bump from the $3 million in annual donations the organization is more used to seeing.
What strikes me about this phenomenon is that this is the kind of magical work that money is intended for. Most of what I see discussed (and sold) in terms of money spells focus on, as one of my employers would put it, "Get that money, sucka." There's a flaw in that thinking, one that reminds me of a couple of friends of mine who tried to start an internet marketing business just before the Great Recession. The term internet marketing is (or maybe was) used to refer to a set of techniques used to find potential clients online (the "warm" market) and provide them with enough information that they would want to purchase your service. The problem my friends ran into is that their coach was flummoxed when he found out what they wanted to market: science lessons for curious children. Everyone else in the internet marketing field, you see, was building web sites that marketed internet marketing businesses.
The Pagan savings challenge isn't just a way to get into the habit of saving, it's also a way to get in the habit of thinking about money magically. Charged with energy, representing earth, moving from person to person, what can you do with this stuff? Here's a hint: there's more to money magic than "send me more money."
Do you make offerings to the money spirits? Do you keep a money shrine? If the answer is yes to either of those questions, how is that work similar to, or different than, tending other shrines and working with other spirits?
For all that I write about money, I've never summarized how I work with it, in a religious sense. In part that's because I only set up a formal money shrine recently, and having that around has caused me to step up my game. Here's a snapshot of my money practice as of today. I'm actually hoping that I will come back and read this in a few years and be amazed by it. Who knows, maybe this will chronicle practices that I will forget, and then reconstruct based upon my own ancient writings!
But even if the internet archaeologists don't find it interesting, I hope some readers will.
This morning, when I went to set aside this week's allotment for the Pagan savings challenge, I was faced with another sort of challenge: I couldn't find the envelope with the money in it. I was being practical, I thought, by not leaving it out in plain sight; even if robbers don't break into my home, out of sight is out of mind, so I will be less likely to spend it.
Note to self: there's a very fine line between out of sight and out of sight. It does me no good to not know where the money is in the first place!