Coyote: Clarity is the path to inner peace.
Homer Simpson: Well, what should I do? Should I meditate? Should I get rid of all my possessions?
Coyote: [snorts] Are you kidding? If anything, you should get *more* possessions. You don't even have a computer.
When I gave my class in financial magick this month at New Hope, a student asked the following during the Q&A: "So, if I do magick just for what I need, that isnt bad magick right?"
I don't quite know how I lost her, but clearly I did. Though I did point out in the lecture, as I always do, that we need perspective about how wealthy we already are, anyone making over 20g a year is in the top 10%, anyone over 47g is in the top 1% income earners on the planetr, I also made a point of saying that wealth is not a zero sum game, and that there is nothing wrong with wanting more.
Yet I find this attitude amongst a lot of pagan and magick folks. Material wealth = evil or at least bad. Is it a holdover from Christian teaching? Is it hippy ethic? Is it just fear of being judged for still living in your moms basement because you spend more time playing world of warcraft than building wealth or doing magick (loser!)? Maybe its all of these. I will never forget when Al over at Open Buddha was asked how he could reconcile being a magician with making lots of money at Microsoft? I was taken aback. What did this person think one had to do with the other?
Here is the deal folks. There are spiritual paths that are built around poverty and non-materialism. They are wonderful paths, but if you are going to do it, than really frigging do it! Join a monestary, become a wandering yogi that lives on alms, make a meager living doing nothing but divination or whatever your practice is. It is a valid path with hige spiritual benefits.
However, if you are not going to join a monestary, establish some spiritual occupation, or go homeless than STFU about it and get in the game. Non-materialism is not your practice, embrace that. Than find the amount of wealth that you think you want and go for it. If like me you want a more or less normal middle class life, with little stress from work, than make that. If however you want the million dollar chateau in wine country, than go for that. Balance it against your spiritual needs, but dont pretend that you are on some non-materialistic spiritual path while you sip your americano. Its just a lie.
If you are not on a path of renunciation, than you are on a path of tranformation or acceptance. Realize that money plays a role in your life. You cannot avoid it. Truth be told even as a monk or renunciate you cannot really avoid it, but thats another issue. If you deal with money, than DEAL with it. Realize its importance and do good with it. Transoform the poisons that can arise from money into blessings. Master Mammon or he will master you.