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.
Chronologically, this week marks the halfway point for the Pagan savings challenge. The monetary halfway point is still a few weeks away, if you're following the same arithmetic progression that I am, or well in the past if you're going in reverse.
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?
As I was doing my money work this morning at my outdoor altar (pictured), I wondered how I could incorporate Father's Day into a Pagan savings challenge post. Since I just published a reflection on shaving and fatherhood in a paper I write for, I'm opting to tie my experience with razor shaving into the process.
I know that not everyone is following the savings plan I laid out at the beginning of this challenge, but if you are, you're putting away $24.00 in this, the twenty-fourth week. That's just about a third of my weekly allowance, which is starting to crimp my style! To continue this pace, finding ways to cut expenses is becoming a more and more important priority.
Okay, "heat wave" might be a tad histrionic, but 75 degrees at 10PM is the hottest it's been since I started this challenge, and it saps my will to be clever, so there.
What saps your will to save? Does it rise to the level of things like a family member falling deathly ill or your home being destroyed by some calamity, or does it take less than that? As someone who can have his motivation drained by the heat before it even reaches 80, I think I can understand someone wanting to give up on this challenge for much less serious reasons than the examples I gave. And if you have suffered something as terrible as either of those, may the gods give you the strength to persevere in the days ahead, whether you choose to continue saving or not.