“You are now on the business beat,” said my editor to me yesterday. That suits me just fine, because I am fascinated with how we struggle with money issues in the Pagan communities. We’ve got a fair amount of poverty (some by choice), and a fair amount of guilt over doing well. There are rules about who can charge what money for which services without automatically being deemed jerks. The permutations may be endless.
Last week I spoke with a vandalism-targeted Pagan shop owner who has dealt with proselytizing inside and out, broken windows, Chick tracts and spit-attacks. On the flip side, I was honored to interview Abby Willowroot, whose spiral goddess design is a staple in Neopagan circles. (Side note: I really, really dig interviews with elders.) Yesterday I wrote about the ongoing issues faced by esoteric business owners, whose products and services are often indistinguishable from outright scams to the average observer.
Do Pagans and polytheists risk a loss of our core values by getting serious about business, or is it one of the best ways to ensure that we are seen as serious and legitimate religious practitioners? That debate is sure to rage for quite some time to come.