So, this was tweeted by one of my tweeps, Lala the Great. Take just a quick peek:
Okay, fine. If you didn’t follow the link, here is what it shows:
If you are suffering, Magic will help Pagans are not supposed to be poor.
Now, the actual post that Pete published proposes a proactive program for pagan prosperity:
I am firmly convinced that abundance is our goal. Enough to meet your needs is not sufficient. If all you have is enough for your needs then you have nothing to contribute to the truly needy and helpless. How can we donate to causes and give material aid to those in real need if all we have is enough for ourselves.
Okay, not bad so far. a prosperity spell. Because merely eking by doesn’t allow us to assist other in need.
Honestly, I can get behind that. I’ve very annoyed at the poverty chic mindset that permeates much of the metaphysical and pagan communities. Money corrupts and complicates, they say. Money distracts from the spiritual. We have higher aspirations. We can do without. Our gods want us to live simple lives.
Bullshit. Having more money undeniable makes life easier. It improves mobility, health, and the ability to pursue one’s desires and interests. And, as Pete pointed out, it allows us to grant aide to others who are struggling to secure needed resources, to donate to charities or issue loans or grants to friends, family, and causes. And quite frankly, my gods encourage fortune, prosperity, and commerce. Such things allow people to follow more satisfying pursuits and escape many of the problems poverty affords.
But where Pete goes wrong is, as one commenter points out, is the emergence of a Pagan Prosperity Gospel.
“Magic will help Pagans are not supposed to be poor”
Apparently, if you are versed in magic, you can cast a spell to get lots of money, easy peasy lemon squeezy. And good pagans aren’t supposed to be poor. So I guess if you’re a pagan you is not wealthy, you are Fail.
Bad poor pagans! Bad!
I’m all for encouraging success and prosperity, but this notion of “good pagans have money” is just as disturbing to me as the pseudo-Christian “money and those who have it are bad” mentality that I see so much of. The idea that Pagans as a whole have a moral and spiritual obligation to accumulate wealth is nonsense. (Not even touching the entire assumption of a monolithic “Paganism” that has common beliefs about anything, of that has gods that even get along, let alone all want us to do the same thing.) And the idea that we, as pagans, are a special elect that deserve wealth is also as ridiculous as it is offensive.
And this whole thing smacks not only of such elitism, but of a condescending tribalism that says it is more important to help pagans that those other horrible earth-killing bastards. Did you miss that?
One of the saddest and most disturbing things I hear about is people who follow the pagan Path finding themselves in dire poverty. I am referring to homes lost, cars repossessed and even homelessness. There seems to be something quite wrong about this. Those who have given their lives to honoring the old Gods should not end up this way. Since getting involved in Twitter and Facebook, especially Twitter where almost all of the people I interact with are Pagan, I have become more and more concerned with the brothers and sisters who find themselves in dire straits.Those who love the Goddess and give honor to the Gods of nature should not find themselves in such a situation.
See, it’s wrong that pagans are poor. We should have enough wealth to help our pagan brothers and sisters. People who love The Goddess shouldn’t be poor. I guess fuck everyone else.
My sister is Cathloic, not pagan. I don’t have any brothers. Someone who is pagan shares no special kindred with me by virtue of that alone. And if I’m going to take action to assist the destitute, I’m not going to show favoritism to people who happen to be pagan. Quite honestly, I will assist those who I see locally who appear to be in the most need first. And yes, I will give preference to friends and family. But being pagan does not automatically qualify you as either.
So dear Pete, if your goal is to provide a tool for others to increase their prosperity, very well then. But let’s dispense with the Prosperity Gospel, the elitism, the tribalism, and the condescension.
And by Jove’s hairy scrotum, could you at least come up with a half-way decent spell? One that doesn’t involve invoking the 10 of swords and the 10 of wands? You know, the ones that have to do with failure and pain? And … well, no that was pretty much all you had, was tarot cards. So, Fail.