Dear Friends and Pagani,
So I am working on my own self and spiritual practices and trying to rekindle my creative and spiritual fires. Some of this spiritual hearth-building has involved journaling, and some of it has involved puttering and updating pages on this blog/site. This has included some work on the Online Pagan Resources page. Including the creation of a category for Pagan Economic Empowerment.
Now I have written before of my belief that it is important for the Pagan movement to start examining how we spend our money, and to find ways to increase the economic health and prosperity within our own local and regional Pagan communities in my posts on Invoking the Power of the Pagan Dollar. This issue was highlighted for me again this October when The Wild Hunt did a story about a Wiccan who alleges that Bath and Body Works fired her for her religion. It was actually in the comments/discussion of this last story that my thoughts on Pagan Economic Empowerment were rekindled. Folks brought up the idea of a boycott, and then the idea of spending money with some of the Pagan purveyors of Bath and Body Lotions, Notions, and Potions on Etsy was brought up. This is an excellent idea!
As I have said before if we spend our money in community, with Pagan owned businesses on Pagan made goods and services wherever possible we can build a stronger community better able to face the challenges the 21st Century will bring as the Contemporary Pagan Movement matures and grows. If we spend our money with our fellow Pagans who are business owners and professionals, as well as our artisans and crafts-people, we can improve the economic and social status of our movement. If we can empower our community through our economic choices then we can build a world where it is as unthinkable to fire someone because of their Wiccan Faith as it is to fire someone for being Hindu or Jewish. (Not just as illegal, but as unthinkable…)
Now, what I am NOT saying, is that we should choose an inexperienced or shoddy good or service simply because it is Pagan owned/made. Nor am I suggesting that in pursuing a Buy Pagan approach to our goods and services that we need Out ourselves or our fellow Pagans… being out as a Pagan is a personal choice and a life-long process.
I would also like to once again remind folks that a Pagan business can mean a heck of a lot more than simply a book & paraphenalia shop (or online store). Spending Money at ANY Pagan owned business, with any Pagan professional, and on any Pagan made good will empower our community!
I am suggesting that if you have the option of buying your Pagan books and paraphernalia from a Pagan owned store, do so. I am suggesting that the next time you want to hold a Pagan Pubmoot in your local community, you look at reserving a backroom at the quietly Heathen owned brewpub. If you find yourself looking for a new home go with a Pagan Realtor. When you move into that new home, and you are looking for a new local Doctor, look for a Pagan one. If you have a Pagan Building Contractor/Remodeller in your area go with him for your remodelling needs at the new house. If you go out to eat regularly, and you know some local Pagans work as Servers, go to their restaurants and ask to sit in their section.
(Oh, on that last one, leave a good 20% tip! I know that 15% was standard once upon a time, but times have changed people!)
So I have covered Buying Pagan, what about Pagan Selling. Well, Pagan business owners and professionals of all types, ADVERTISE! You don’t have to completely out yourself to advertise in your community! An add saying “your Pagan and Heathen friendly realtor”, or an add saying “please be discreet when making appointment” will work wonders in your advertisememts to local Pagan Newsletter’s and at the local Metaphysical/Occult shops. Depending on your business and how out you are, you could expand to local coffee house postings or in the local Gay publications as well if you and your business is also Gay friendly. (there is some overlap between the Gay and Pagan communities, or so I have heard…)
If you are interested in advertising and networking you might want to check out the Pagan Business Network, an international networking and resource organization.