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On Money
by Melissa Oringer
(c) Melissa Oringer, 1998-2000, All rights reserved

At 02:06 AM 2/26/98 EST, Rowena K wrote:

>I have never seen someone become greedy over a pile of
>candles, lots of charcoal, reams of incense, etc. However, I
>have seen money do that to people everyday! Therefore, you
>can't say that money hasn't got the >power to corrupt! Maybe
>if our society used goats for our currency, we would become
>greedy over goats. However, in our society, money means
>power, and power corrupts. Therefore, money by extension is
>capable of corruption!

Money is paper - it doesn't have any more power than that. People, on the other hand, have the potential to behave in a greedy manner, especially if they attach all sorts of power to the paper.

It's similar to the idea that magick is a neutral energy - it's the intent of the user that directs its course.

The key to understanding money is to USE it. Understand the game rules and make it work for you. I've had to transcend my own bias toward the stuff, and only recently did I finally get the THUNK on the head I needed to break the assumption. I finally realized that financial success does NOT mean that magick goes away.

As a musician, I've been struggling with the idea of earning money with our music. I was afraid that it would cheapen the music, that I wouldn't be able to feel the same way about it if it was "just a job". I've discovered that choosing to make it a growing career, dedicating myself to it, makes me cherish it more. Magickally, if we give our best in our performances, gifting the audience with the music and the energy it carries, they will in turn gift us in they way most acceptable to our society. In hugs, laughter, tears, appreciative applause, and in money. People also donate feedback, time/services, equipment, and other useful items. There is NOTHING wrong with accepting money along with the other gifts, and in fact it is churlish not to. Money buys us our own equipment, and, more importantly, it eventually buys us TIME. Time to devote to the music because we can live off the music.

We've been performing for free for over two years, now, honing our skills and our presentation on our family and friends and strangers. It's time for us to take the next leap, which requires money. Without my shame-fear attached to the idea of success, I have nothing but excitement at our ideas for raising the money we need to make a recording, which we need to expand into clubs, which we'd like to do to reach a larger, broader audience. I want to reach a larger, broader audience because I believe there's magick in our music and I want to share the experience.

I would love to see more Pagans join together to earn money for the local communities. The key is that the people involved would HAVE to benefit and live off the business. If they had to support themselves in addition to a full-time business, the business becomes a hobby that leeches their energy and ultimately fails. I'm in awe that COG works as well as it does, staffed by volunteers. I can think of many worthwhile things a Pagan community could do with money...

My favorite pipe dream: when I get closer to retirement I want to see about funding a Pagan Community Center - and I want to do it right, with a business plan, accountants, lawyers, staff, insurance, etc. etc. etc. I want it to succeed and become the place I envision, which includes daycamp, before & after school services, childcare, pre-K and Kindergarten, a nature center, a theater/music hall, an arts & craft center, and a temple. To do that, you have to play by the rules and you have to make money with a facility of that size in order for it to survive. There is nothing (save, perhaps, the temple) which wouldn't also appeal to non-Pagans, broadening the market. Heck, expand out to an athletic facility - that's how Jewish Community Centers thrive. I can even see eventually expanding into a private school, K-12. The service provided feeds the business which expands the service provided which feeds the business... magick.

Money is a tool - it has no power but what we give it.

Blessings,
-M

(c) Melissa Oringer, 1998-2000, All rights reserved


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