One of the gods I regularly worship is Hermes, who among his other associations is god of the marketplace, and god of lies. If you've ever purchased a car, the link between the two shouldn't come as any surprise; lies are part and parcel of what makes money work. In fact, it's reasonable to argue that money is itself a lie, or built on one.
That does not erode money's influence or role as a holder of energy (value), although the fact that some people avoid money entirely is understandable. Rather than resist the lies, I prefer to use them to my advantage.
I've imposed some rules upon my own interpretation of the Pagan savings challenge, some of which are probably going to fall before long.
I'm using the smallest bills possible, because I'm posting a picture each week and want that image to express abundance. The envelope I use is pretty much maxed out as of this week, and my money shrine isn't large enough to support a larger one, but I still like the look of the growing pile of singles.
I'm also replacing the cash entirely each week before I add new, to keep me mindful of the flow of money. As the numbers grow higher, the practicality of doing so will drop, because . . .
I am performing this savings challenge in cash, because talismans are powerful. While there are security concerns for this practice, I have put sufficient safeguards into place that I feel confident continuing in this manner, even if I can't comply with the first two for much longer.
These rules are part of ritual which surrounds my savings, the ritual which places this work into religious context. While I won't be dogmatic about them, I do believe that rooting work with money in one's faith practice will make it more powerful, more successful, and more valuable to the whole person than a wad of cash can be in its own right.
This past week has been a tough one on the household budget. If money flows, then my household was at the top of a hill watching it flow down and away at an alarming rate. When money is leaving faster than it's arriving, it can lead to some interesting reactions . . . such as a stronger urge to spend what you've got, to stock up for bad times. Or to choke off the flow entirely and preserve what you've got, even though this will also likely stop the inward flow as well.
It's hard to save money when it feels like you don't have any.
This week, my Pagan savings challenge reflection goes all Hellenic, for today I celebrate Noumenia, the first of the month. (Specifically, it's the first of Elaphebolion, 698th Olympiad, but I wouldn't have known that without checking.) It's a time to honor all the gods of the household, and good for fresh starts in my experience.
Have you stumbled in your savings? This happens, and it's okay. It's time for a restart. What that means is your choice, but here are some suggestions:
My brother once likened debt to a negative savings account. It's a good analogy: debt is money you've spent before you saved it, and both will accumulate interest if arranged through a formal financial institution. Of course, with debt the interest is being paid to someone else.
Paying off debt is a valid way to meet the Pagan savings challenge. It could take the form of simply using the weekly savings amount to pay off a bill faster, or the money could be allowed to build over the year and used all at once for that purpose. Either way, it strengthens the discipline of building energy through saving money.
I feel a certain obligation to post weekly about the Pagan savings challenge, if only to remind readers that I am still plugging along, and to cheer on my fellow savers. This week I did not have a topic at the ready, so when in doubt, do some divination!
Using the Greek alphabet oracle, I drew tau, the parting from the companions now around you. I drew this tile separate from my daily divination, and despite carefully shaking the jar of letters, I got the same one both times. Given the growing stream of money that is being diverted from my wallet to my savings, I believe the companions I am parting from are all named George Washington.