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How Expensive Is Your Paganism?


Moonhunter
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I've been thinking recently about how expensive the normal (not barebones!) practise of our various paths may be. It has always struck me - for example - that Heathenry was much cheaper than Wicca. That's assuming you forget the tee shirts, horns, animal skins, tattooes, axes... oh yes, and the alcohol! It's very odd that any Heathen rite seems to involve the consumption of that, both by humans and other wights. ;)

 

So how expensive is yours?

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As far as I can work out...mine is pretty much free.

 

I've got/am getting tattoos... some are pagan and some aren't.

 

I've got an axe head pendant. As well as an axe head watch chain fob for my pocket watch.

 

 

Other than that.....nothing.

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Mine is pretty cheap. I don't have any tattoos and the jewellery, t-shirts, animal skins I possess are really religious as such and are not particularly expensive anyway.

 

Alcohol....hmmmmm........now there you might have a point......

 

Of course all of my alcohol consumption is absolutely a vital component of my Heathenry! :o_wink2: :o_drink:

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I think that Wicca is only as expensive as you make it! It doesn't have to cost anything as you can make or adapt all you need. If you go in for heaps of silver jewellery and loads of crushed velvet etc. if you must have the latest blacksmith forged sword and athame and so on, then it will cost. It doesn't have to be so and no self-respecting Wiccan priestess fails to operate a circle just because she has no tools :lol: Alcohol also applies here but, if you collect your own elderberries, blackberries, etc etc all you need is the gear (and the husband/pries) to make it - and the sloe gin and so on !

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It was expensive at the start but only because I was exploring and thought I needed special tools. Now, I don't use much apart from a couple of specific tarot decks, my rattle, drum, incense. Even then I don't specifically need them. Most of the time, it's just walking boots and my creative mind.

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Now Moonhunter, I think this is an important question - sufficiently so to go into Starter's orders.

 

I think many new Pagans are persuaded that accoutrements are essential and there are plenty of outlets to reinforce that thought. Of course it helps that much of the Pagan paraphernalia is decorative and occasionally attractive.

 

My own spiritual path is congruent with my mundane life and so I might claim that it is low cost. I might encourage others not to spend money on their belief system but should I do so.

 

Many enjoy pewter fairies and dragons with amethyst attachments. [snark free statement] They can look spectacular in the shop and perhaps they are equally inspiring on an alter. Perhaps some of us must go through the learning of retail before emerging into something more simple.

 

My own belief - well I could say it cost nothing as it is what I do anyway but how much of what I do anyway is influenced by my beliefs. My offerings cost nothing, being songs or tunes. I've have been very impressed by your sacrifices and thoughts on sacrifice Moonhunter.

On the other hand my cloak took eleven metres of fabric, half of it Gortex [well knock off Gortex to be truthful]. It wasn't necessary or requested by me, it was a gift from my wife. It must have cost a lot even to make at home. Skyclad might have been cheaper!

 

I'd conclude with the thought that we shall spend whatever we wish on whatever we want but none of it is necessary. Spending should be fun and within means. If you really [REALLY!] understand sacrifice then perhaps it might squeeze the housekeeping for a week very very occasionally.

 

Anyway what is wrong with my chromium and quartz pentacle inscribed "Fluffy and Proud"?

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I've only ever been running on barebones thus far, it might change in the future if I feel I need to spend on something to help me. I have and old branch off a tree I use (it's remarkably in the shape of a walking stick) I call it my garden stick I took an instant connection to it but it cost me nothing. I spent on a burning bin for when I light my fires it cost me about 20 quid.

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My cost mostly takes the form of my own time and creative effort. I like to make from scratch many of the things that I use, or that I make for other people to use. I take much from nature in a raw form and work it into what is needed.

 

So a sheep's fleece is traded for, and then I clean & spin it into thread, which is then dyed with madder or kept in it's natural white or black state.

 

Or I purchase whole blocks of beeswax from which to make dipped candles. Gather plants from the wild to make incenses and smudging bundles. Make mead and country wines. Not the full list, but you get the idea.

 

If I need something metal my partner can usually be persuaded to smith or craft it.

 

Books though are different. I am willing to spend very good money on what I deem an interesting or worthwhile book!

 

 

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Now Moonhunter, I think this is an important question - sufficiently so to go into Starter's orders.

 

 

Nice idea. I shall wave my mod's sonic screwdriver, and ... :coz_witch:

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In one sense, my paganism is absolutely free in terms of money. I believe what I believe. Anything else is an optional extra.

 

I could count the cost of a small monthly offering - but again, it would hardly be the end of the proverbial if I did not do it. What little (very cheap) stuff I wear (a pendant and a bracelet) is only a version of something I would likely wear anyway.

 

I've spent a fair bit on books. But then, I'm a natural born bookworm. It's not cost me extra - just influenced at what books I directed the expenditure.

 

Barebones? No. Just no need to spend additionally.

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Well I have a red blanket to keep me warm. I've bought pendants that strike a chord with me. The latest being a hare.

 

But mainly it's about my garden, remember the people care about, and just facing each day, one day at a time (I'm not very well)

 

There's a recent addition of um... remembering a particular God. Who's identify I'm not completely certain of.

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I made most of my items out of craft materials I already had, I buy alcohol anyway, from what I can tell apart from the books I have bought, it costs me nothing. Maybe petrol to get to my local 'connecting with nature' places but that's about it X

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I'd like to think the bare bones of it is free, and when it's not I like to keep the cost low. Candles are a regular, inexpensive expendature.

 

However when I was much much younger and beginning on my path I did feel like I needed *everything*. Some, such as my books were a wise investment. Well most of them, some were pretty diabolical but that's a story for another day. Others, like ornamental offerings, weren't really needed. This is just my experience, though. The times in recent years I have spent any money out of the ordinary it's usually been garden related, a side of things I'm growing more and more attached to than ever before. But anyways that's off topic.

 

It's nice to have the optional extras but determination and education will get anyone on any path much further than any paraphernalia and a wishy washy approach. Not that I think the two go hand in hand and that's not to say I judge anyone who does have maybe a more indulgent (for want of a better word) path.

 

Or maybe I'm just a shopaholic in absolute denial.

 

Since alcohol was mentioned, mine is a rum and Coke.

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Alcohol?

 

Whisky, Ouzo or Metaxa for me.

 

Perhaps that's my version of contacting the spirits; I can't find any other even vaguely pagan link...

 

Occasional bottle of bear - I usually buy four at Christmas and they last me all year. Even less linked with paganism.

 

So, yep, I spend money on alcohol. No, it's not pagan related. It's just the booze I like.

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Whisky, Ouzo or Metaxa for me.

 

Metaxa? Never tried it, so I did a google. Sounds amazing! Where can I get it in the UK?

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Alcohol?

 

Whisky, Ouzo or Metaxa for me.

 

The one and only time I had Ouzo I was in bed for the entire day afterwards. Couldn't handle it. Obviously no Greek genes in me.

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Occasional bottle of bear - I usually buy four at Christmas and they last me all year.

 

 

I can see how they might!

 

Open very very carefully!

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Most of my direct'costs' are related to offerings and candles. So really not that expensive.

 

I do spend money on the occasional book related to paganism. I don't regard most of the reading as essential for my paganism, it's more I love reading and learning. I'm a bookworm and very academically inclined. If I'm honest very little of the reading makes into practise directly.

 

The biggest money I have spent has been on OBOD course followed by the BDO course. My personal point of view is that for me the money was well spent on those two courses. I got and still get a lot out of them.

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Whisky, Ouzo or Metaxa for me.

 

Metaxa? Never tried it, so I did a google. Sounds amazing! Where can I get it in the UK?

 

You can usually get 5 star through supermarkets - look for it with the brandies. 7 star is likely to be a special order in an off-licence, and is expensive. I usually buy a litre bottle of 7 star in the duty free when coming back from holiday as that makes it a more reasonable price.

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I prefer to measure my outlay for my paganism in terms of the time I put into it rather than what I spend cash-wise which is quite little actually ( bought some material to make robes, go to Wales yearly to visits sites pertinent to the old Grove down there, buy wine and a few items for ritual. No expenditure on teachers as we never charge for teaching.) . I would like to think that should someone who was penniless join our group then it wouldn't hold them back at all.

 

In terms of time though it's clearly a case for of "you get out what put in" and at times I'm lucky to have got out more than what I've put in too.

 

ED

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I can't say for sure, but I've needed not just time, but fuel and oil for my chainsaw, buying a bill book nd other tools, which have been instrumental in the slow construction of my woodland shrine which is getting more and more difficult to make excuses about to my dad.

 

 

Aside from that, the free resources of chalk, flint, wood and clay around here are made costly by my investment, such as carving my Venus figure from a free piece of ash (of which I have a few, I made a set of runes from some of the other ash).

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Dear Moonhunter,

 

I've been thinking recently about how expensive the normal (not barebones!) practise of our various paths may be. It has always struck me - for example - that Heathenry was much cheaper than Wicca. That's assuming you forget the tee shirts, horns, animal skins, tattooes, axes... oh yes, and the alcohol! It's very odd that any Heathen rite seems to involve the consumption of that, both by humans and other wights. ;)

 

So how expensive is yours?

 

I've been thinking about your question for a while now but still don't understand why you'd assume Wicca was more expensive to practice than Heathenry. What is that based on? At the barebones level you refer to, a coven meeting would only require a few candles, a modicum of wine, a handful of small cakes and a few other odds & ends, all of which can be home-made or scrounged for a negligible sum. Thinking further about it, in all the Heathen rites I've seen the participants have worn clothes - a quite needless extravagance as far as Wiccans are concerned! Of course you could spend a lot of money on working tools, vellum, books, ...... plus T-shirts, horns, animal skins, tattoos, axes and so on if you wanted to and had the means, but there's absolutely no need to do so.

 

In addition, referring to "normal practise" of either Heathenry or Wicca surely doesn't provide much guidance when practitioners of both tend towards "U-shaped" distribution curves as far as normality is concerned.

 

Just wondering about your thinking here?

 

BB,

 

John Macintyre

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I've been thinking about your question for a while now but still don't understand why you'd assume Wicca was more expensive to practice than Heathenry. What is that based on?

 

As a first degree Wiccan, the coven I was then in seemed to have to lug a fair amount of stuff for miles to the obscure miles-from-a-car-park places in which shedding clothes and certain ritual activities are not quite the same risky activities they might be in - say - Avebury or Stonehenge. ;) Carrying a cauldron, the stuff for a fire, food and drink for the feast and other assorted ceremonial odds and ends could make the mile or so to the site feel more like a few miles. Especially in the dark. And the amount of stuff seemed to multiply with each step. No doubt the whole experience scarred me so badly that becoming Heathen and finding all one required was a horn and some beer - and, a pinch, we could jettison the horn - seemed a much easier form of celebration. :lol:

 

Of course you could spend a lot of money on working tools, vellum, books, ...... plus T-shirts, horns, animal skins, tattoos, axes and so on if you wanted to and had the means, but there's absolutely no need to do so.

 

I agree there is no need. But from observation, many Heathens tend to have a collection of objects - often horns and drinking glasses - while Wiccans tend to have even more. Though usually more in the shape of chalices, platters etc. Without even looking at the various ritual objects of desire on sale at any convention. :P

 

In addition, referring to "normal practise" of either Heathenry or Wicca surely doesn't provide much guidance when practitioners of both tend towards "U-shaped" distribution curves as far as normality is concerned.

 

Yes, and that's the problem. Looking at the house of my friends, although most of us would say our religion costs little, in practice that appears to be untrue. Of course, if I were to point to various animal skulls (do you know what they cost, these days? Disgraceful! anyone would think the punters have realised their value to pagans!) and skins, candles, cards, knives, skins, robes, cloaks, boxes, statuettes, bowls, chalices, plates und so weiter, within these household, many of my friends would protest that they aren't necessary, they're just nice to have.

 

Perhaps I should have asked "How expensive is the 'nice to have' expression of your paganism? ;)

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Dear Moonhunter,

 

As a first degree Wiccan, the coven I was then in seemed to have to lug a fair amount of stuff for miles to the obscure miles-from-a-car-park places in which shedding clothes and certain ritual activities are not quite the same risky activities they might be in - say - Avebury or Stonehenge. ;) Carrying a cauldron, the stuff for a fire, food and drink for the feast and other assorted ceremonial odds and ends could make the mile or so to the site feel more like a few miles. Especially in the dark.

 

Our training was somewhat similar. We quickly learned that when our HPS said we were just going "a wee step" it meant miles of trekking across hillsides, clambering over fences and walls, and crossing marshes, with more than likely climbing down a cliff, then swimming around to a tidal cave at the end of it. All while laden down with the kind of stuff you describe. Wonderful fun and truly excellent training. But it didn't really cost anything.

 

Yes, and that's the problem. Looking at the house of my friends, although most of us would say our religion costs little, in practice that appears to be untrue. Of course, if I were to point to various animal skulls (do you know what they cost, these days? Disgraceful! anyone would think the punters have realised their value to pagans!) and skins, candles, cards, knives, skins, robes, cloaks, boxes, statuettes, bowls, chalices, plates und so weiter, within these household, many of my friends would protest that they aren't necessary, they're just nice to have.

 

Ah well, yes, this is undeniably true but I'd like to pretend that I'd probably have a house full of books, cauldrons, statuettes, cloaks, bull-roarers, drums, animal skins, skulls, drinking horns, pictures, cups & chalices, candles, non-drinking horns, knives, body paint, swords, axes, carvings, spears, bows & arrows, more books, feathers, twigs, pebbles, and yet more books, even if I wasn't a Wiccan. I do appreciate that this argument could be difficult to sustain.

 

Perhaps I should have asked "How expensive is the 'nice to have' expression of your paganism? ;)

 

You have a point there. On the other hand, it's stuff you gather over the years as your purse permits and much of it will in any case be things you've made, or that friends have made for you, or that you found on one of those nocturnal journeys described above. Stuff that holds memories and experiences, expresses relationships, carries individual and often intense meaning for you. Infinitely better than squandering your hard-earned pennies on a giant television or similar frippery.

 

BB,

 

John Macintyre

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Probably the most heathen things we own are a pair of leather thumb beakers and what I call my 'swiss army hammer' (similar to this, but bigger and not a keyring). The former a wedding gift and the latter a Yule pressie from the outlaws.

 

All the rest - clothing and such, is something I would probably still own, were I not heathen, by dint of my other interests.

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