The problem of money dogs our steps throughout the whole of our lives, exerting a pressure that, in its way, is as powerful and insistent as any other problem of human existence. And it haunts the spiritual search as well.
Jacob Needleman, Money and the Meaning of Life
This weekend, we will be celebrating the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. What better time to be thinking about our work and the payment for it?
Do you think it is wrong to pay for things you value? Of course not. But what about those things or services that have a spiritual dimension? How do we separate the material and the spiritual? Should we even try?
I realize this is a hot button for many Pagans and Witches, and very probably people on other spiritual paths as well. Somehow along the way, we got funny about money.
But unfortunately, I have seen how time and again, the desire to dodge paying top dollar for the services and leadership of our spiritual elders is what keeps our best and brightest burning out on a regular basis. Not to mention that we usually get what we pay for.
Could it be that we have been contaminated with the attitude that poverty is somehow good and noble; that there is a difference between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘profane?’ That it is somehow unseemly for spiritual people to be financially comfortable?
For Witches and Pagans, this attitude is especially harmful, because it sabotages the efforts we are making for people outside the Craft to take us seriously and understand that we are a ‘real’ religion. This happens, in part, because every other mainstream religion supports and pays their teachers and clergy.
If we don’t have enough respect and honor to pay ours, how can anyone believe we’re going to still be here in a generation or two?
It seems to me that money is work made solid and visible, so that it can change hands. Money is a person’s proof that s/he has done work that someone else has found of value. Money is tangible energy. Money is sacred.
More about this tomorrow.
But first, we take a moment to acknowledge that this is the last day of the month, which is sacred to the Goddess Hecate. In ancient times, worshipers would leave a Hecate’s Supper with specially prepared foods as offerings to this great Triple Goddess of the Crossroads. The offerings were also gifts to appease the restless ghosts, called apotropaioi by the Greeks. These offerings should be left behind at a three-way crossroads at night, without looking back.