A couple nights ago at a Pagan fundraiser/dance thing, I had a conversation with a fellow Pagan about Pagans and money. We basically asked questions and neither of us really had any good answers.
Why do we Pagans always seem to be broke? I'm an unemployed teacher so right now I'm really broke but I've never been rich or even comfortably well off. I see other Pagans at functions and although most are well educated, I'm still better off than many. How do we manage to all end up with jobs that don't really pay a lot? Do we just not know how to manage our money or what?
Most churches have a cadre of "rich" members who kind of fund stuff that needs funding. Last time I was down at the Krishna Temple I looked at the donor plaque on the wall of their social hall and there were two dozen members who had given in the 6 figures to help build the place. Where are the rich Pagans? One of the Pagan groups I belong to is still raising money to put in a water treatment system so we can have showers at camp. It costs more than I could just write a check for but campared to what even a modest sunday school wing costs, it's nothing.
I read Tarot to bring in a little cash. I charge $20 per reading in person or $2 a minute online. Almost all my cliants are some variety of new age Christian and would likely be willing to pay more for my services. I don't think I've ever read for a Pagan and charged for it. When I visit a botanica I see fairly low income latinos who come in and pay the resident curandero for some spellwork and believe me, those folks don't work cheap. I know there are fakes out there who charge for plastic shaman sessions and snake oil. I know that some of the new age practicioners over charge but why, exactly, are we Pagans reluctant to charge for or pay for the expertise of those among us who have real knowledge?
Speaking of those among us who have knowledge, our Pagan elders... I had the pleasure of spending time with one of the grand dames of Paganism last year and was appalled to learn that she is almost pennyless. Why don't we support people like this who have given so much to our movement? Apparently, no Pagan, no matter how good they are at it, can make any kind of living selling books and doing workshops. I'm not saying we need the Pagan equivalent of televangelists who rake in the cash right and left but why don't we at least support our elders?
Ok, I might have a few more paragraphs of rant in me but I've got to get on my bike and check out another job possibility. Hopefully, this is enough to get some good discussion going.
I totally agree. Off the grid and semi off the grid Pagans definitely deserve not only our respect but our admiration. Also, Pagans who can't work for whatever good reason deserve our respect and support. It's not just about making cash money or who makes the most.
WHO is supppose to give them "A living allowance?" Those of us that are working and paying taxes for those on welefare,socvial services,foor stamps.medicaid,fuel assist? BULLSHIT on that noise,. These programs were meant yo HELP people for a few weeks,or months get "through the bad times" not as a way of life or income. My son JOSH,is in Colorado,took him 2 weeks to find a job as a cook,till his truck driver job kicked in. My friend JIM took a job at Macdonalds till he got his degree. i have been a bartender,hostess,school crossing guard until i got the job I wanted with the $$$ I wanted also......UNEMPLOYMET CHECKS are what people do get now. i'm tired of supporting the single Mom with 4 kids and those that say they cant find jobs.
That is welfare,social services,food stamps,sorry for the poor spelling.......
I'm certainly not going to be a grammar/spelling nazi. I'd be the first to get slapped down for misspelling something.
I agree that welfare should be for the truly needy and hopefully temporary. I agree that there are those who abuse the system. You and yours are certainly to be congratulated for all your hard work bootstrapping youselves through hard times.
I would invite you to try a harmless little experiment. Pretend that you and your husband suddenly became unemployed. You have what you have now but for the next several weeks or months depending on how long you want to run the experiment, you won't cash any paychecks or if you cash them they go in a savings account that you won't touch. If you get sick, you don't use your insurance. You pay cash or do without. You start sending out applications and resumes as if you were actually looking for a job. Who knows, you might find something even better than what you have. Let us know how it goes. Times have really changed and what was true about job searches 5 years ago or more isn't true now.
Been there, done that. I DID go on social assistance and worked me ASS off to get off of it and land a job. It wasn't a great job, but it was enough that I could put some money away AND in my spare time (which I didn't have much of) look for something better.
I have changed jobs before too. Several times. This time is different. A little over 3 years ago when I landed my more recent teaching job it was at a job fair. There were something like 60 districts represented and close to 20,000 job seekers. It was crowded. The lines were long. The big districts were just taking resumes, no interviews. I found a small district I'd never heard of with a short line and ended up getting hired about an hour later. This past June, that job fair was called off because there weren't any schools that were accepting applicants. This June, only high school math, science and bilingual teachers will be allowed in. In the past, there were other smaller job fairs, this year there aren't. I realize job fairs are not the only way and teaching isn't the only thing I can do. I'm just saying that things have changed. This is one measure of how much they have.
Where did my response to this go??
No, if you choose not to work, you don't have a right to another's productivity.
I am as guilty of being a low income pagan as the next person but I've relized something as of late that might help explain why we as a community tend to be in the lower income status. Yes there are well to do pagans out there that have worked their butts off to be where they are at. I also a agree that the majority are having financial troubles. Poverty consciousness is when you are affraid of breaking out the means you've already been given. Those that do have the money were clever enough to be inovative and find the way to make their "product" sell. Alot of us don't feel self vaule or worth so we charge less and don't look for outter solutions or angles to help get us out of this thinking. We continue to struggle and that promotes and attracts more negitivity thinking about ourselves and services so we are unconsciously depreciating what we are putting out there. This is my just opinion.
AS mentioned,I know MANY Pagans that do just fine.,including myself.It is knowing how,doing,thinking out of the box,believing,taking chances and a 100 other variables and NEVER allowing or thinking anything is "owed" to us.....to get out there and do it. Self value is indeed,important and is a step in the right direction.
I don't think there is any shame in being a low income person. I have no idea how many Pagans have what incomes. It's just been my experience hanging out with Pagans and going to Pagan events that no one seems to be rich, some are doing ok and a lot are just barely making it. I think it's normal to avoid taking huge risks when you can't afford to lose. Yeah, negativity is hard to shake especially when you are reminded of it daily and negativity doesn't help. I think we need to band together somewhat and help each other when and where we can. Thank you for your opinion, really!
It has nothing to do with shame,it has to do with deciding and making it happen. There have been lots of great suggestions on here for you ....I hope they work for you .....Negativity is a CHOICE to get past or not.......When I lived in a run down trailer,at friends homes,on food stamps......I chose it every day or fought for it......