Magical Bobbles

Sunfell over at the Juggler has posted an excellent piece about Pagans and Money. She writes about Pagans who can’t pay their bills, but yet must have the newest occult quick fix. I’m glad I’m not the only one to recognize this pattern. I see it in the Tarot community too, where people who are asking for readings about their dismal financial situation are also gushing about the two new decks they just picked up. I shake my head, but what I’d really like to do is give them a good shake.

I will admit to being partly guilty of this myself. I have a weakness for books, and bought far more then I should have (of all varieties, including Wiccan related) during my lean university years. But, I have been a practicing Wiccan for over 13 years and I am just now buying working tools, as I finally have the means to do so. But, in actuality, the money I am spending on these things could be better spent paying off my student loan or saving for a house, or even contributing to charity.

I think, perhaps, part of the problem is the focus on things in the books aimed at new or young Wiccans. They are learning that things are needed to practice their faith. Often a book will say that one must have three herbs, one oil, a wand and a athame to cast a spell, and the list of altar tools can take up several pages. As the years progress, it is easy to remain in this pattern, especially if one only reads books from a certain publisher. I think I managed to avoid this trap, to some extent, because I was so young when I discovered Wicca that I truly had no money to buy tools. I felt books were more important, so what little I had went to buy them (or, uh, video games…). Now that I have a little more spending power, I am finding myself looking longingly at the lovely Willowroot Wands and at yet another Tarot deck. (I have 12, do I really need more?)

So, I’m trying to figure out why books and magazines sway poor Pagans to buy things they don’t really need. I think part of it is the promise that any commercial good offers: “If you buy this, good things will happen!” And since these items are tied in with a religion, this message hits us in a very vulnerable place. We are being told, often indirectly and/or by “Big Name” Pagans, that we cannot achieve depth in our faith without these bobbles. I hardly think that is true, since I did quite will for 13 years without them, and I’m still doing fine even though I don’t have that Isis Wand I covet. (Donations of said wand are always welcome. 😉 )


3 Responses

  1. Moon says:

    I wonder why this faith has to be such a money making racket? You are so very right. And yet some teachers will emphasize that the most powerful tools are the ones you make yourself or the ones that find you, either yard sales, flea markets, or just plain found or inherited items.

    Being “crafty”, I love the aspect of the craft of making my own tools, hand binding a BOS or journal, and I’ve just started growing my own herbs. I am waiting for just the right branch to find me to make my wand out of. I’ll know it when I see it. These things are part of how I feel connected to my spirituality. I wish more Pagans would try making things themselves.

  2. Susan says:

    I completely agree with Moon. WHat little I know of the Pagan faith, many books that I have read actually told me that those “tools” I created were by far more powerful than those I could buy.

  3. Silverlotus says:

    Okay, I will amend my statement. Some books give them impression that one must have many tools, other book (and far to few, I might add) encourage one to make their own tools. But I still think it is easy for am impressionable young Wiccan (or older one) to be taken in by laundry lists fancy tools found in some books.