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Author Topic: Pagans and the Poverty Level  (Read 16147 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Reply #15: August 10, 2008, 07:31:42 am »

are you saying this in a broad, general sense? Because of course lots of people were and are raised pagan, or exposed to it when they were very young.

Even those that are raised Pagan, or exposed to it young, are usually given more options than just "this is your religion".

I'm not saying one way is better than the other, btw - just pointing out that to be Pagan these days almost always involves a period of spiritual introspection.  There are a few that are born Pagan and take it as just something to do on the full moon (or whatever, depending on religion) but by and large, you've had that period of introspection.  This changes the way you think about spirituality and about religion.  Not because you're Pagan - but because you've THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

I suspect you'd find similar demographics in people that have converted to, say, Catholicism.  Or any faith which clearly speaks of what we owe to those around us.  (as opposed to the churches which speak to wealth as the goal - clearly they're going to have a different effect).
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« Reply #16: August 10, 2008, 10:20:39 am »


I'm not saying one way is better than the other, btw - just pointing out that to be Pagan these days almost always involves a period of spiritual introspection.  There are a few that are born Pagan and take it as just something to do on the full moon (or whatever, depending on religion) but by and large, you've had that period of introspection.  This changes the way you think about spirituality and about religion.  Not because you're Pagan - but because you've THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

ok, I see where you are coming from here. I would have to add though, that for the most part, as I started back on my path in my mid-30s after being away from it for about 12 years, I *didn't think about it. I felt my way through it. I didn't start thinking about until I suddenly realized one day that i had an altar set up in my kitchen, and was doing spellwork of a sort on a fairly regular basis. I'm not sure if this kind of metamorphosis is common, but it's definitely what happened to me. Sort of like what Lily said about being born a pagan but raised Christian (although I was raised pretty much pagan).
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« Reply #17: August 10, 2008, 10:22:25 am »

Okay, I'm going to try to make this as coherent as possible as it is something I have been thinking about a lot but have been unable to articulate well.

Who I am in relation to the universe is defined by what I do, and my spirituality is the relationship of me to the universe. My spirituality is how I understand my place as a part of the universe. And who I am is so tightly and inextricably tied to service that it is impossible for me to imagine myself without my need to serve. It's like I am born to care for people, to keep them warm and fed and healthy and more than anything safe. It's really hard to explain, it's like a physical ache in the middle of my chest. And my spirituality is tied to that, to sacrifice. It's my way of giving back to the universe and connecting with the divine. It's kind of like Christian communion, communing with the divine and being nourished spiritually. It's like the only way I can nourish myself spiritually is to give bits of me away, but it's not really giving bits away because I'm no less afterwards. I really don't know how to explain it and this is about the best I can manage. The short of it is that I would not survive in a profession that did not involve directly helping other people, I'd go crazy and waste away or jump off a cliff or something.

I understand what you are saying, absolutely. But I didn't truly come to that understanding of myself until I became a mom Smiley
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« Reply #18: August 10, 2008, 11:47:21 am »

I think that, too, is really based on the generation.  Currently my children are exposed to both paganism (myself) and christianity (my hubby), as well as other religions by way of various family and friends.  However, when I was growing up this wasn't so much the way of things.  A high majority of people who came into paganism, came into searching, not through birth or early exposure.  And when you go back to my parents generation, this would be lower still.  Not to mention my grandparents'.  And even today, there isn't nearly a fifty/fifty ratio between those who have converted, vs being "born into" the religions.

I will agree. My kids weren't actually raised Pagan (I want them to find their own paths) but they were exposed to it along with lots of other religious/spiritual possibliltes.
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« Reply #19: August 10, 2008, 11:53:30 am »

Who I am in relation to the universe is defined by what I do, and my spirituality is the relationship of me to the universe. My spirituality is how I understand my place as a part of the universe. And who I am is so tightly and inextricably tied to service that it is impossible for me to imagine myself without my need to serve. It's like I am born to care for people, to keep them warm and fed and healthy and more than anything safe. It's really hard to explain, it's like a physical ache in the middle of my chest. And my spirituality is tied to that, to sacrifice. It's my way of giving back to the universe and connecting with the divine. It's kind of like Christian communion, communing with the divine and being nourished spiritually. It's like the only way I can nourish myself spiritually is to give bits of me away, but it's not really giving bits away because I'm no less afterwards. I really don't know how to explain it and this is about the best I can manage. The short of it is that I would not survive in a profession that did not involve directly helping other people, I'd go crazy and waste away or jump off a cliff or something.

You did a beautiful job of explaining and that is about how I feel too. I am definately a giver not a taker.
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« Reply #20: August 10, 2008, 12:24:20 pm »

It seems to me Pagans in general (there are always exceptions) place at lot of emphasis on their spirituality and actually living that spirituality, basically, putting into practice what they believe. The professionals I have met, usually have more service oriented careers; teachers, counselors, social workers, etc. Pagan students seem to have similars ideals and gravitate to the arts, human services, or environmentalism.

Yeah, that would seem pretty accurate. Many of the Pagans I have met have been that way inclined. A lot of the Pagans I know are also big readers. And that's definitely something that rings true here on TC.

How is personal prosperity measured in relation to your path? Is it important to you to make a positive contribution to the world through a career choice or way of life?  How do you balance your spirituality with the materialistic world?   

To answer these three questions:

I want to prosper. But by prosper I don't necessarily mean financially, but rather I strive to become knowledgable and I want to live as happily as possible. To me, that's prospering. Having a lot of money doesn't ensure happiness, although having said that money can sometimes make it easier to be happier. Less stress, for instance.

I don't so much wish to make a positive contribution to the world, as I think that's quite a grand thing to want to do, but I definitely would like to try and not make a negative contribution. If that makes any sense at all.

I don't try and 'balance' my spirituality with the materialistic world, instead I just view the two as pretty much separate. It's difficult in this day and age not to become absorbed in the materialistic world, as a lot of things are a part of it. Even though I do try and be environmentally friently as possible and all the rest of it, I wouldn't necessarily say that it's because of my spirituality that I do this. It's just a part of who I am, as is my religion.
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« Reply #21: August 10, 2008, 12:27:50 pm »

And balancing spirituality with the materialistic world is a hard thing to do.  I think it is impossible to get a really good balance.  There are just times when you have to make sacrifices in one for the other.  There are ways to get around this, but you need to have a good helping of creativity, as well as really great scheduling skills (I happen to have the first, but not the second).  If I have to make sacrifices, I tend to make the spiritual ones, as the gods are more forgiving (or perhaps less attentive) than my bosses.  However, that does not come into play nearly as often with me, as for some others.  My ceremonies tend to be short and sweet, and as I tend toward a more relaxed form of spirituality, kind of at random in a way.

Yep, that is pretty much how it goes for me too. Except when I have to make sacrifices it is housework - lol!  I think maybe because so much in life is scheduled in, I too have a more relaxed form of spirituality. Sometimes I get up early and just sit in my yard and "feel" the day before it begins and that is enough.

Keeping it simple means I don't need to buy too many ritual items either, consumerism and spiritualism just can't go hand in hand in my mind. I have purchased some idols, but they are small and did not cost me big $.  Picking up a branch or rock that has "called" me is way more effective for me than buying a mega bucks tool. Some of my tools I have had for years, even though they are rather battered now.

I am starting to see more pagans getting away from making or creating their own tools and getting into buying ready-made. I think it's the time factor. They would like to, if they had time, but it is easier just to buy something.  Of course there are things you just can't make yourself, but I don't like to go overboard  - thou shalt covet thy neighbors cauldron. Smiley
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« Reply #22: August 10, 2008, 12:38:57 pm »

  - thou shalt covet thy neighbors cauldron. Smiley

Randallism! Cheesy
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« Reply #23: August 10, 2008, 02:52:17 pm »

Yep, that is pretty much how it goes for me too. Except when I have to make sacrifices it is housework - lol!

lol...damn straight, sister Wink

Quote
Keeping it simple means I don't need to buy too many ritual items either, consumerism and spiritualism just can't go hand in hand in my mind. I have purchased some idols, but they are small and did not cost me big $.  Picking up a branch or rock that has "called" me is way more effective for me than buying a mega bucks tool. Some of my tools I have had for years, even though they are rather battered now.

I am starting to see more pagans getting away from making or creating their own tools and getting into buying ready-made. I think it's the time factor. They would like to, if they had time, but it is easier just to buy something.  Of course there are things you just can't make yourself, but I don't like to go overboard  - thou shalt covet thy neighbors cauldron. Smiley

This is something I've noticed too, I think in part b/c there is so much more *stuff than there was even ten years ago. Certainly my mom and her witch pals didn't have a whole lot of things. When they wanted new crystals they went to a rock and gem show, b/c there was no lovely New Age store in the mall, or pagan auctions on ebay. Most of my really important tools are the ones i inherited from her, or were given to me, either by a person or the world.
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  The power of Fire,
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  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #24: August 10, 2008, 04:43:19 pm »

How is personal prosperity measured in relation to your path? Is it important to you to make a positive contribution to the world through a career choice or way of life?  How do you balance your spirituality with the materialistic world?   

Career: I consider librarianship a vocation in the religious sense: I can't *not* do this, so I might as well get paid for it. That said, librarianship is not a highly paid field, comparatively (especially given the level of education required for reference and management work, and the kinds of stresses you can get, depending on setting).

More than that, though, I've learned it's important for me to have a job where I go home at the end feeling that I made the world slightly better. (I'm a realist: I think 'slightly better' is the only way to reasonably aim day-to-day.) Doing tech-support didn't do this for me: I had a hard time feeling like the world was better off because HR consultants could use their computers or that people could use an online annual review tool slightly better. One of the reasons I love libraries is I'm pretty much guaranteed to have at least one conversation a day where someone learns about something important to them in a way that makes their life better/easier/brighter (in my current job, I also get the pleasures of getting teenagers interested in fun stuff sometimes or feeding their passions).

For these reasons, I'd have a very hard time working somewhere that went against my ethics: it'd be unlikely that I'd get enough of the "World is a slightly better place for this work" to satisfy me.

Scheduling: If I'm going to lead a group (and some of this applies for participating), I need to have a job that isn't going to require unpredictable overtime, or unpredictable scheduling.

There's just no way to do it. And while I made my career choices fundamentally before getting serious about Paganism, it was a consideration for other things - I knew that if I wanted to have time for a music group, or for a religious community beyond regular services, would have a really hard time doing medical school or law school or something similar, all of which would both eat my life while I was in school, *and* likely lead to really demanding work schedules for at least 3-5 years after graduation. Technology work has some similar issues if you're involved with production or server admin work. This, however, leaves out three sets of jobs I'd otherwise be well-suited for, in terms of my interests - and incidentally, probably leaves out the three highest paying broad career fields I've ever seriously considered.

The last one (which is still under consideration) is getting a Ph.D - but doing so would likely require a move for school (or some very complex negotiation), plus a likely move following the degree to get a job. (I'd originally considered this post-BA in one of my undergrad fields. I continue to consider it seriously in library science, but I'm also aware of some of the issues of doing it.)

And again, if I'm leading a group, or have ongoing community commitments (like my Pagan Pride work), it's *really* tricky to plan that if I might be moving in a couple of years. Not impossible - but I think the smaller nature of the Pagan community, and certainly the tiny nature of a coven setting makes it really problematic in places. And that changes the types of jobs I'll look for, personally.

Values:
Finally, there's the question of values. Lots of money? Takes *time* to manage ethically, honestly. I know people who do it. I also know how much work it is.

My own desires also aren't for lots of money. I want to be out of debt (working on that.) I wouldn't mind eventually owning a home. I want enough money to spend on energy efficiency (high mpg car, energy efficient appliances, appropriate changes to home insulation/etc.) I want enough for regularly updated technology (computers, mostly: I'm starting on my 5th year with my computer, and given my usage, it really should be a 3 year cycle, not 4, partly for professional reasons.) I'd like enough money to do an international trip about every two or three years, give or take, and the occasional weekend trip within driving radius or for a weekend con otherwise (locally, maybe once or twice a year, and flying, maybe once a year.)

But that doesn't require 100K a year. If I weren't still dealing with marriage-related debt, I could manage most of it except the house on my current salary. (about a 3rd of that as of my new contract kicking in.) It's a good reminder to pay attention to where I'm spending money - and *how* I'm spending it. Do I need to spend it that way? Is there an alternative that's more in tune with my values? Am I buying stuff for the sake of stuff, or because it's truely useful and productive for me? Is this item worth the space in my (small) home?
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« Reply #25: August 10, 2008, 09:44:11 pm »

ok, I see where you are coming from here. I would have to add though, that for the most part, as I started back on my path in my mid-30s after being away from it for about 12 years, I *didn't think about it. I felt my way through it. I didn't start thinking about until I suddenly realized one day that i had an altar set up in my kitchen, and was doing spellwork of a sort on a fairly regular basis. I'm not sure if this kind of metamorphosis is common, but it's definitely what happened to me. Sort of like what Lily said about being born a pagan but raised Christian (although I was raised pretty much pagan).

That's about how it was for me.  Although, I was basically raised agnostic with semi-Christian leanings.  I had never really felt connected to Christianity, and was always of the belief that there definitely was something more out there.  I spoke to animals, meditated, used energy workings, etc. starting from the age of about five or six.  I had no clue what I was doing, I think my dad may have, but he just let me be.  I think he wanted me to find my own path in life, and likely did not know of paganism, or had only heard of it in the worst contexts.  He probably thought I was going to become a Buddhist when I grew up or something.  Now that I think of it, when I decided to start attending Bible camps, and going to church, I remember both him and my gram asking me if I was sure that was what I wanted.

I think that's why it never really came as a shock to my family that I became a pagan.  They knew that I was different, that my morals, my beliefs, were so very different from those of Christianity.  They allowed me use of the family computer for my search.  They knew what I was doing, I never tried to hide it, and honestly wouldn't have known how to if I wanted to.

Don't get me wrong when I talk about the things I did at that young age.  Me and a friend were playing at the time, and some of these things didn't come along until I was quite a bit older.  It's like how all children talk to animals, they know the animal understands them, because of those little signals (like the animal doing what they tell it to do).  I can say I do seem to have a gift of some sort with animals, but I think that is mostly in how I act toward them.  I treat them, not as lesser beings, but as equals.  And they seem to respond quite well to this.

Okay, now I will shut up, as I believe I am going a bit off topic.  It's just the first I have been able to communicate some of these things properly... although I don't think I really did quite what I was aiming at.
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« Reply #26: October 20, 2008, 03:10:00 am »


How is personal prosperity measured in relation to your path? Is it important to you to make a positive contribution to the world through a career choice or way of life?  How do you balance your spirituality with the materialistic world?   



I'm one of the Pagan poor. I've never been prosperous and nor am I likely to be in the near future. I would like to make a positive contribution through my writing, but wealthy writers are few and far between (we all can't be Stephen King). So while I might be able to contribute in a good way, I most likely won't get rich by doing it. But I'm a lot better off that I used to be. I used to live one paycheck away from being on welfare, for a good long time. There was a long time when I lived without a phone and had my electricity cut off for weeks at a time, when I had to eat at homeless shelters and had to receive handouts of clothing and food from charities (you can't survive on minimum wage when it's $4.35 an hour and you can only get part-time jobs).
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« Reply #27: October 22, 2008, 01:43:32 pm »

(This is more or less and spin-off from a couple of other threads)

I come across more pagans who are at the lower end of the pay-scale than I do those who are in high income brackets.  Pagans I meet always seem to be just getting by or barely getting by. Granted, the rise in paganism is mostly among younger people yet to make their mark on the world, but even so, the ones I know don't seem to place climbing a corporate ladder or acquiring vast sums in a bank account very high on their list of priorities.

It seems to me Pagans in general (there are always exceptions) place at lot of emphasis on their spirituality and actually living that spirituality, basically, putting into practice what they believe. The professionals I have met, usually have more service oriented careers; teachers, counselors, social workers, etc. Pagan students seem to have similars ideals and gravitate to the arts, human services, or environmentalism.

I would like to ask:

How is personal prosperity measured in relation to your path? Is it important to you to make a positive contribution to the world through a career choice or way of life?  How do you balance your spirituality with the materialistic world?   

I think I must be an aberration or something. While I'm certainly not loaded, my DH and I are quite comfortable in the monetary sense. A lot of that stems from the fact that we both graduated without student loans and thus have been able to save more money quicker than most of our peers.

I don't have a service-oriented career, nor do I want one. I'm quite ambitious and do put a strong emphasis on career. (I would work even if I won the lottery.) I don't find any conflicts between my spirituality and my career goals.

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« Reply #28: October 22, 2008, 02:12:59 pm »

I think I must be an aberration or something. While I'm certainly not loaded, my DH and I are quite comfortable in the monetary sense. A lot of that stems from the fact that we both graduated without student loans and thus have been able to save more money quicker than most of our peers.

Ditto that.  We feel a little pinched most of the time--but it's because early on in our marriage we made some bad decisions and ran up a lot of credit card debt.  (Which we have under control now and are paying down, but for the moment it's still there.)  If we didn't have that...  We wouldn't be millionaires or anything, but we'd be quite comfy.  Our income isn't huge, but it's more than enough to provide us with what we need and then some.

Quote
I don't have a service-oriented career, nor do I want one. I'm quite ambitious and do put a strong emphasis on career. (I would work even if I won the lottery.) I don't find any conflicts between my spirituality and my career goals.

*nods*  I'm not very ambitious myself...  But I'm also not in a service-oritented career and I'm not doing what I'm doing because of my religion or spirituality.  I'm a programmer because I enjoy it and because I'm good at it.  I'd probably keep doing it even if I didn't have to, simply because I'd go nuts otherwise.  (The moreso now that I have a child.  Have I mentioned the HUGE amount of respect I have for SAHM's?  Because I can't imagine how they do it without collapsing, seriously.)

I think I should go re-read the thread before I continue, because I can't remember whether anyone else has already said the other stuff I want to say or not.  Smiley
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« Reply #29: October 22, 2008, 02:20:58 pm »

Have I mentioned the HUGE amount of respect I have for SAHM's?  Because I can't imagine how they do it without collapsing, seriously.)

trust me.  collapse happens.  frequently. Cheesy
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Aisling 42 14813 Last post June 13, 2008, 08:46:51 am
by Aisling
Should I bother? Beginners classics at my level « 1 2 3 4 »
Books and Other Resources
Samantha 47 13252 Last post October 18, 2010, 09:13:25 pm
by SunflowerP
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