Part of our spiritual inquiry into money requires being honest about what it means to us, how we act around it, and what we value.
Money is a little like sex: we think about it frequently but rarely talk about it in healthy, open ways. Maybe we’re even worse at money talk: when Gaby Dunn started her podcast Bad with Money, she asked a bunch of hip, young strangers to name their favorite sex position and then how much money was in their bank account. Most had no problem talking about their sexual proclivities but clammed up at the mention of money.
Money is also a strange substance when you think about it: material yet really imaginary. It can grow when we have it and shrinks faster when we don’t. We certainly don’t think of money as being spiritual or having a soul, and that’s part of why so many of us have deep pain and unresolved issues related to it. So, what is the spiritual meaning of money?
Intergenerational $$$ Anxiety
Many of us have a scarcity mindset when it comes to money. There’s never enough, and when we think about our bank accounts, we do not feel safe—even when, objectively, there is enough and we are in no danger.
Money anxiety has been passed down through the generations, and much of what we’re feeling and thinking about when it comes to the spiritual meaning of money isn’t even from our own lifetimes.
Take a moment to think about where you got your ideas about money. Here are some questions you could ask:
- What did I learn about money when I was a child?
- Did I feel that we had enough in my family? Enough food, enough space, enough for shelter, as well as enough money?
- Did I feel like I was enough as a child?
- What is my family history in terms of money? Look back a few generations. Who made it? Who lost it? What decisions were made because of money or its lack?
Earth, Home, Security
Money is related to the first chakra, muladhara in the ancient energy system comprising seven energy centers along the plane of the spine. This is the energy center located around the perineum and down into the legs and feet. It has to do with our sense of security, home, safety, and, yes, money. Like it or not, we live in a culture where money is necessary for survival. Regardless of how much money you do or do not have, take a moment to notice how it feels in your body to think about these questions. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Consider the following:
- What happens in my body when I think about money?
- What do I notice around my pelvic floor/perineum when I think about my bank account?
- If I imagine myself completely supported in terms of money, completely safe with plenty to go around, what changes in my body?
In the tarot deck, money is represented in the suit of pentacles, which also represents earth, home, security—all the same things as the muladhara chakra.
In this suit, we are thinking about how we are supporting ourselves, what is happening with our foundation. Money often represents the foundation. When we think of it like that, how can we relate money to a foundation of support?
- Who or what supports me in what I do?
- How do I support myself?
- Am I supported to do what I really want, or am I just surviving?
Money as a Representation of Value
Psychologically, money represents value. When we see something expensive, we assume it has value. When we see something “free” or “by donation,” we assume it isn’t worth much. A classic marketing strategy is to raise prices so that people see the product as being more valuable than at a lower price.
When we don’t have much money or don’t make much for our work, we’re getting the message that we aren’t valuable, nor is our work. Sometimes it’s hard for us to receive a lot of money for our work because we don’t think we have value. Here are some questions to consider:
- How do I value myself? Do I think I am worth something?
- How do I value my work? Do I really think it’s good work worth paying for?
- If I truly valued my work, what would be different about my life?
- What do I spend my money on the most? What does that say about what I value?
The Spiritual Meaning of Money for You
Money is deeply important. We do not think of it as spiritual because it exists so much on the material plane. Of course, people can use money to avoid spiritual connection, but it doesn’t have to be a barrier. In fact, if we have enough money, we can have the time and safe space to focus on things like yoga, meditation, and self-growth. If we do not have enough, we will be much more focused on survival than on spirit.
[Read: “The Yoga of Money.”]
However, we also live in a culture where “enough” is elusive. We don’t really need that much to feel safe and supported in ourselves. Part of our spiritual inquiry into money requires being honest about what we think and feel about it, what it means to us, and what our behavior around money says about who we are and what’s important to us. What is the spiritual meaning of money for you?
Take this quiz to discover which chakra houses your major financial issue and how to move toward prosperity.