Thinking about the Taurus New Moon (May 17th) got me considering our complicated relationship to wealth and abundance. Taurus is about worth in all its forms, the most central being self worth. It is from self worth that all other forms of worth flow. When we don't feel worthy, deserving, or valid, then we will have trouble accepting other forms of worth into our lives; unconsciously, we block money, wealth and abundance.
This is especially difficult for intelligent, conscious, and sensitive people, who so clearly see the injustices of the distribution of wealth; how systemic racism, sexism, and class bias have allowed the rich to become obscenely richer and have withheld opportunity from those who need it most; and how capitalism goads us to overconsumption and tells us that is what wealth is.
Most everyone I know who is conscious enough to recognize these injustices has understandably complicated feelings toward wealth, money, and abundance. Conscious people are often overcome by guilt for whatever wealth they do have and feel resentment or disgust toward the wealth of others.
I believe that while these feelings toward wealth are understandable, they only work to perpetuate injustice and undermine our ability to fight for our causes. Now, I am not in any way arguing that injustice is caused by our emotions or beliefs, or that those with less privilege are to blame for their lot. It’s called injustice precisely because it’s not just; those who don’t have access to privilege and wealth are certainly not to blame for their situations. We absolutely need to overhaul our economic and political systems, address patriarchy and racism and other forms of systemic bias, and dismantle the structures of capitalism. . . And yet. I sometimes feel as if the power-hungry rich are laughing in their castles while so many of us waste our precious energy wallowing in resentment and guilt.
I truly believe that our social justice projects will be more successful if we can acknowledge the unjust distribution of wealth and the material, structural conditions that maintain that injustice, and at the same time accept that our attitudes toward money and wealth also affect the extent to which these flow into our lives.
Disgust toward money repels it. Feeling unworthy perpetuates struggle. Conversely, honouring wealth in all its forms clears the way for it to flow toward us. The insidious notion that we are somehow better equipped to fight injustice when we ourselves are poor, and discriminated against, works against us. Won’t we be better able to fight for our causes when we are able to care for ourselves with ease, when we don’t have to worry about how to pay the bills, when we don’t have to forego health care, and so on? The fear that we may be corrupted by wealth is only crippling and undermining. It’s time to excise that thought from the collective unconscious.
What I have come to realize is that abundance and wealth are not the same as consumption; I’m not helping those with less by having less myself; when I honour and value money and wealth they flow into my life more readily. I also find am in a better position to help others when I have allowed abundance into my life. I have managed to replace guilt for what I have with gratitude. I value myself and allow abundance into my life, and as such I have more to give.