In his book, Financial Sorcery, Jason Miller points out that most magical people don’t have the mindset it takes to attract money. (totally paraphrasing here) Most of us feel guilty about wanting money or believe deep down that money is somehow bad for us. This is only exacerbated by the fact that the Pagan community has a (somewhat silly) taboo against accepting money for services. Many of us even expect our clergy to work for free (totally unreasonable, by the way).
I don’t know if I’m guilty of this mindset, but I do know this: I do not want more money than I need. It’s not about guilt or taboo, it’s about something else. It’s about being satisfied with what I have and not wanting things to change too much. I didn’t realize this until recently.
I buy I lottery ticket every Wednesday as an offering to Hermes. Wednesday=Mercury day=devotions to Hermes and I am lazy about devotions but I can at least pick up a lottery ticket. (Rational= lottery tickets = gambling, which makes Hermes smile and supports education which is the exchange of information which Hermes is also into.) Or try to. Honestly I don’t get out that often and it’s more often Saturday or Thursday that the ticket gets purchased but… well I’m digressing again.
Anyway, I was at my ex-mother-in-law’s house and she and a friend and I were watching our collective children playing and I pulled my phone out of my pocket and my lottery ticket fluttered to the floor. “OOps,” I said, “Lost my lottery ticket. That’d be the one that wins too!” and my friend said “Oh wouldn’t that be nice, you could go somewhere warm” (If you’ve missed it, it’s been ridiculously cold and snowy in my neck of the woods.) “I could send you and mom somewhere warm.” I said, the thought immediately entering my mind that if I won the lottery I would want to spend it as soon as possible. “I’ll be fixing up my house.” She said, “You could buy a house somewhere warm.” But I couldn’t keep up with the banter anymore at this point. The thought of abandoning my house for another was so horribly shocking to me. But I thought more about it throughout the day. You see, I buy the tickets for Hermes, I never really think about what it would be like to actually have a bunch of millions of dollars (even though I do always end up checking to see if they’re winners eventually). It is not something I aspire to. At all.
I am acquainted with some millionaires. Not only do I train the occasional millionaire’s dog, but I do temp office work for a millionaire a few times a year when his personal assistant goes on vacation and at tax time when they need help catching up on paperwork. These people do not live lives I envy. The housewives are bored and lonely and depressed and engage in retail therapy daily. Their houses are so huge that the whole family can be home and not even know anyone else is there. Half the family could be dead before the other half knew the house was on fire. And brothers fight with brothers over money neither of them earned and mothers write emergency checks to full-grown whiny sons who can’t stay within a budget, even though their weekly budget is twice my monthly budget. No. This is not a life I want.
If I won a huge lottery prize; first I would faint. And then I would try to get rid of the money as fast as I can.
I like having a routine. I like getting up in the morning with a list of chores in front of me. What would I do if I could afford to pay someone to clean my house, take care of my kids, do my landscaping? I would. And then what would I do? Who would I become? Who would I be to my kids, my home? Nothing. I would be nobody. I know myself well enough to know that I would succumb to laziness. I would no longer grow food or cook food; I’d just buy it. I’d pay someone else to do the work. Oh I might spend some time enjoying my crafting hobbies, and I might take some classes, but eventually, I’d wonder why I make things I can buy. I’d realize that there was no reason to better myself because I didn’t need to advance a career or anything and I’d become completely useless, like so many of the millionaires I know. That is not what I want for me.
My husband, I think, would become useless even faster. He would revel in it. He would be so happy. Until he got bored. Until I got bored and drove him crazy. Or maybe he’d do better. Maybe he would become a famous musician. He’d be able to finance all the projects he and his fellow musicians now have to scrape and save for months for. He’d play more free shows for breast cancer. But I would be nothing. And I would be very unpleasant.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to afford everything I want and never have to worry about “making it” at the end of the month? Sure. But there is some pleasure in saving up for that special something and there is some extra sweetness in using that item that you saved up and sacrificed for. Or what about that very extra special sweetness in giving your husband or child that thing they’ve been wanting but couldn’t afford that you’ve been secretly stashing away money for till a birthday or Yule? I don’t know that the security of never having to worry about bills is worth giving up that sweetness.