We need to stop treating money like it's dirty.

"Money doesn’t change people, it just helps them be who they really are. "

Grandpa Simpson

On my reading pile is a book called “Money and the Meaning of Life” by Jacob Needleman. Like it or not, money plays an essential role in our lives and Needleman describes money as exposing us daily to, “the discrepancy between what we are and what we wish to be.” 

He points out there are many books written about making money but few about the meaning of money. His aim in writing the book was to “sacralize the money question” which he explains as, 

“finding the precise place of money at the heart of the most important undertaking of our lives - the search to become what we are meant to be, in the service of that greatness that calls to every man or woman on this endangered earth.” 

Seems like Grandpa Simpson may be right!

When I began to study the Sacred Money Archetypes I felt very uncomfortable using the word sacred. Sacred and money felt wrong together so I just called them Money Archetypes. Reading this book made me realise they are indeed Sacred Money Archetypes. 

There are eight archetypes and each one has different money gifts and challenges.

Working with the Archetypes I have found that they don’t only help you “crack your money code”. When you weave together the top three archetypes you can get a real sense of what a person is here to do. When you are making money doing what you love you will inherently fulfil your purpose. 

Jacob Needleman reminds us that according to ancient teachings we are two-natured beings. We have a spiritual side and a material side. Both need attention. One part is meant to function in the world we see around us whilst the second part seeks contact with something greater. This sets up a creative tension.

Each of the Archetypes has a sacred money contract and that tension can be found there. The contract has two parts, one part the Archetype will find easy, the second will be the challenge. For example the sacred money contract for an Alchemist is, “ To transform ideas into financial success”.

Alchemists have plenty of ideas and see possibility everywhere. Their challenge is to ground those ideas to make money. 

Accumulators are really skilled at managing money. Their sacred money contract is, “To respect the power of money by investing to create freedom”. Respecting money is not difficult for them but investing can be, as it carries an element of financial risk and that is uncomfortable for an Accumulator. 

The sacred money contracts throw light on the tension between our two natures but probably the greatest gift of the Sacred Money Archetypes is our response to the juxtaposition of those two words, sacred and money. What does it reveal about our attitude to and beliefs about money?

Often we are brought up to believe that money is bad, dirty or a source of conflict. There are so many negative expressions regarding money. Jacob Needleman recalls a question asked by a businessman. 

“Is there a way of looking at money, of educating myself and educating our children to look at money so that it is actually not dirty, so that it is an unifying factor in every scale, in every sense? Or is money only a problem?”

Money as a unifying factor? That would make it sacred money.