For this time period, I am working through Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan’s book Money Drunk, Money Sober before I work through the Prosperous Heart. The following blog entries are in response to prompts and experiences from the book. I see this as an extension of my Artist’s Way work. Some of my entries are jarring and highly personal – any program of sobriety and self-improvement demands admitting dysfunction both personally and in family, and it also calls to admit some painful truths. While not everything I work on appears here, a number of realities do. I have a genuine body of work thanks to my work on the Artist’s Way program, and I can’t ignore the changes the continual commitment has brought about. Because of that, I also can’t ignore what going further into the harder aspects of the program – like facing money issues – has the potential to improve.
Being something of a Gnostic polytheist, it’s never occurred to me to ASK what God thinks about money. When it comes to human needs, and whether to take them to divinity, I often hear back a “For fuck’s sake, that’s what I’m here for!” I get much the same response about money and asking for financial assistance and provision.
It actually puts me in mind of an experience I had while living in Mankato. My former working partner brought over a girl who was interested in Wicca, to do a full moon ritual with us. He wanted to satisfy her curiosity/alleviate her fear, and while I don’t remember much of what went on that night, I do remember how it ended: as we opened the circle, some clouds drifted right above us – in the unmistakeable shape of a woman’s face. We all saw it, and there were no differences in interpretation among us.
The girl, upon seeing this, said, “Wouldn’t the Goddess have something better to do?”
I didn’t react at the time – at that age I put far too much emphasis on trying to be polite no matter how rude or arrogant I found someone’s behavior – but I was pretty thoroughly offended. I just couldn’t verbalize WHY I was offended.
A decade later, I know why that pissed me off. First, she was being utterly dismissive of a divine manifestation that literally appeared before her eyes. Her fear ≠ my problem, especially as I’d just gone out of my way to give her the hospitality of my hearth and circle. I’d done everything I’d done to alleviate her fear, and there’s nothing you can do about someone who actively fears that God is real.
But it was also the arrogance of false humility that pissed me off. To the God/ess, appearing to us WAS something “better to do,” and while I do question G.O.D/God all the time, to respond as though a direct experience is somehow trivial is basically a combination of humble-bragging (which is douchey) and putting down the gift of an experience not everyone gets – which is just plain rude to the God/ess, who physically appeared, so it was essentially putting her down like she wasn’t there. But ultimately, it was a “For fuck’s sake, it’s WHAT I’M HERE FOR!” moment that I happened to witness. That the girl retreated from it meant a comfort had been taken away from her, and she was rejecting it since the bias she had come to have confirmed went away unconfirmed.
G.O.D has no problem with money that I know of. It’s popular in Wiccan thought to talk about “prosperity” manifesting in ways where you don’t need money – the secondary implication being “ew, don’t touch that dirty stuff.” But for a sustainable life, you do need to touch the stuff – if you live into an old age, you need more than just the prosperity of circumstance, although that certainly has its own value, too. G.O.D provides – and usually that provision comes in the form of opportunity. Seeing the face of the God/ess in the clouds was an opportunity for my house guest to open her heart to a different way of seeing the world, or at least a chance to make her a better neighbor and friend to those who saw and experienced the world differently from herself. She blew that opportunity, and probably a chance to be a better, happier person because of it. People at peace with the differences of others are, after all, the most at peace with themselves – it’s rare to have such a gift offered so early in life.
There are further complications to the money stuff probably more appropriate to my writer’s blog, where magically focused conversations are relevant. A lot of it taps into magical practices that were about survival in extremes, and how we need to frame working with money to ourselves since from the divine perspective, for many of us the wealth is all there and we just haven’t learned how to use it properly.