Spiritual work is not the Polytheist or Pagan equivalent of free cycle. Do take note.

I frequently cringe when I read something Ms. Krasskova writes. There’s something about her tone, no bullshit-no holds barred-that sometimes rubs me the wrong way. I’m not entirely sure what it is, maybe something in myself that shies away from being especially assertive that I frequently note as missing from my daily interactions and this woman has it in spades. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I genuinely DON’T agree with her, but today I do AND I don’t.

We need financed community. I’ve been saying this for years. As Heathens/Pagans/whathaveyou we simply don’t have the network other mainstream religions have to provide safety for our communities. We can’t organize efficiently enough to oust predators or provide safe havens in quite the same way that others do-even when they bungle it-and a lot of that is because of money. Covensteads are wonderful, but they are small, and they are frequently not open to the public unless the area where they are found is extremely small and “the public” might be a grand total of about six pagans in the area. What I’m getting at here? Yes. Yes we need financing. No, we can’t expect people to work their ever loving balls off for us without anything in return. I’ve watched the collapse of my local pagan community due to similar things. Everyone always wants something for nothing. The few people who have money end up footing way too much of the bills.

BUT, here’s where I’m seeing a different side from Ms. Krasskova. The pagan community doesn’t have a huge problem with giving money because we’re all stingy miserly assholes, I think the pagan community tends to attract people who askew mainstream living, which quite frequently correlates with poverty. I haven’t had a traditional paycheck in over a year, and that leaves me wildly grasping to fill the money void from time to time with normal every day essentials. There are frequently times I couldn’t pay someone for anything even if I wanted to. And yes, there were times in the past when I didn’t receive medical care I needed because I couldn’t pay for it either. If we had a stronger community, a FUNDED community, however, people would still have something to fall back on even when their own finances were in shambles. I’m lucky enough that I have a kindred, whom I love like my own family, so when I have troubles it’s to them that I head and I hope I keep my own door open wide enough in return.

There’s something to that-the community of people who simply help one another, but there are times when having a temple to flee to, to make offerings to, to simply sit in, would benefit everyone. I don’t know what the answer is, honestly. You can’t take a culture of people who askew authority and make them fund it, even when they’re clamoring for it. I suppose on a personal level, as a practitioner at least make sure you’re covering your own expenses and time whenever possible and when the people you are working with clearly have the means.

Money is such a tough thing to work around when someone simply doesn’t have it.

Gangleri's Grove

So once again the issue of whether or not to pay our religious professionals has arisen, this time in an article on wild hunt. Really? Of course you should pay your specialists. I can’t believe how often this comes up. I think it’s indicative of the deeply unhealthy relationship our communities have with money. It boggles the mind.

I’ve written about money as a powerful and sacred tool, of how to develop a working relationship with the spirits of exchange and transformation here. I’ve even taught a class in how to develop a healthy working relationship with money. I’m not going to repeat myself here. Instead, I’m going to speak bluntly on the matter (and if a healthy dose of profanity offends you, best leave now).

I simply cannot believe this is coming up again. Seriously, I should hope people wouldn’t quibble about paying a doctor or hairdresser, a tailor…

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2 thoughts on “Spiritual work is not the Polytheist or Pagan equivalent of free cycle. Do take note.

  1. Yeah, when I read her stuff, I just kind of put on a mental filter of “Hmm, interesting opinion. I agree with this, but not this” I mean I do that with everyone to some degree but with her writing style I kind of have to mentally reinforce it.

  2. I think the problem with the whole discussion over money (or buildings, or paid clergy et al) is people keeping making broad statements of “All Pagans Must Do (or Not Do X” It’s best to be specific- in my tradition we do X, my patron deity wants me to do X, etc and so forth. There may be some of both people who *can* donate to things choosing not to, and having many people who have limited funds. I think one thing people get stuck on when they look at Pagan demographics is that many of us (not all) have college educations. That does not automatically correlate to having a certain level of income. There are also many of us with disabilities, GLBTQ people, folks with kids etc. and all those things impact people’s ability to make money due to both discrimination & practical considerations.

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