There’s an old story, which I will now shamelessly steal and Paganize, that goes like this:
There once was a Pagan, we’ll call him Dru Iolo, who was very poor. Every day he would go out to the sacred grove and exclaim, “Gods and Goddesses! Why can’t I win the lottery? I’ve been a good man, I help my neighbors, I love my family, I go to all the holy day services. Surely I deserve some blessings. So why can’t I just win the freaking lottery?”
Finally, after many months of this daily complaint, he heard the sound of loud voices coming from the trees and the earth and the sky, saying, “Iolo! Meet Us halfway — buy a ticket!”
I was watching a news piece about yet another lottery winner who had received the winning ticket as a gift, and wondering why there weren’t more of us Pagans, like Ellwood “Bunky” Bartlett, winning the lottery. Surely we have plenty of deserving Pagan Elders and seniors who could use even minor prizes of the sort given away daily by lotteries.
Then I remembered the story and it occurred to me that there are probably thousands of Pagans who buy lottery tickets on a regular basis. Sure, it’s a “tax on people who can’t do math.” Yes, it’s a difficult goal to affect magically, since zillions of other people are all competing for those winnings. But it’s meeting the deities halfway, and if you only buy a couple of tickets a week, it’s a harmless pleasure.
Then the crystal ball lit up over my head. Lots of people have truthfully told me, when I’ve been pushing my “Adopt an Elder” program (see my most recent post here at Views from the Cyberhenge), that they can’t afford to send $10 or $20 regularly to their local Pagan seniors or to their favorite Pagan Elder.
So here’s my suggestion: if you are someone who regularly buys lottery or instant-win games, just buy an extra ticket each time and give it away to someone worse off than you are — which is most Pagan seniors and Elders. If they started getting a dozen tickets a month, sooner or later some of them would be winners. There wouldn’t be many Bunky Bartlett-sized prizes, of course, instead almost all of them would be smaller amounts. A few hundred extra dollars, however, will buy an older Pagan extra food, get their car fixed, pay the heating bill, etc.
Or, you could do what Rev. Bartlett did, make a promise to the Gods. In this case, promise to devote a percentage of any winnings to helping out older Pagans.
Either way, if you can’t afford to “adopt” a Pagan senior or Elder, meet the Gods and Goddesses halfway — buy a few tickets!