One of the reasons so may thoughtful people -- including quite a few Pagans -- are reticent to use money money is because it's such an effective tool of war. Money can be used to house, equip, and pay military personnel; it's also the primary weapon of economic sanctions and in trade wars. Could there be war without money? Of course. A more hopeful question to ask is, "Can there be money without war?"
What makes money so powerful and so dangerous is the fact that it can be wielded by anyone, for any purpose. Indeed, the world we live in was largely shaped by our collective-yet-undirected use of money. When we spend to fill a desire, but not with a spiritual intent, the results we seek are often tied to consequences long after the fact.
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?
Pictured is an antique writing desk on an antique table, with a coffee cup depicting the logo for a fighter jet which is probably also an antique. We'd hoped to turn this space into an ancestor shrine, but it just hasn't happened yet. Likewise, this probably would have been a post about how savings honor's one ancestors, but it isn't. Instead, it's just a stupid pun.
My week thirty-one savings: $496, 6.25% ($31) of which I added today.
For the first time since this challenge began, I didn't take a picture of the cash. I don't know what I was thinking, but I feel the touch of the hand of fate. Why wouldn't I take a picture? Maybe it's so we can talk about visualization.
Having a growing bank balance, stuffed money jar, or other visual reminder that the savings is adding up can actually be a bit risky, because the temptation to use that money can also grow. While it may be appropriate to do so, determining that requires discernment.
Who hasn't had the experience of one's life being massively altered by some external force? I'm calling it the "hand of fate" as a shorthand, but your own experience may have felt like the hand of a particular deity, or the force of random luck. A lot of money events fall into that category, like landing a well-paying job or ending up homeless through a series of unfortunate events. Particularly when things aren't going your way, those events can make you feel powerless.
Unexpected expenses can eat up the money from your Pagan savings challenge, and make it darned near impossible to raise enough energy for your goal. But if you were able to avert something bad by using money you'd saved . . . that's actually part of the point of this exercise. Congratulations: you now have a saving habit, and with it you raised enough energy to avert the hand of fate.
Money is very often seen as a completely pedestrian thing, such that anything touched by the stuff is automatically not spiritual. Don't be fooled! Just because mainstream society embraces it completely doesn't mean that money does not have its own spirit and esoteric roles to play. That's part of the reason for there being a Pagan savings challenge at all: to encourage people of these communities to work with money according to our values and using our tools.