Thursday_slideshow
Breaking Glass

(Not) The Age of Aquarius

I may be stereotyping Chronicles readers unfairly, but I suspect that not many read witches&pagans.  If your subscription has lapsed, I draw your attention to a recent feature that actually has far-reaching consequences for more mainstream believers of all kinds.

In an interview, well-known pagan author Diana L. Paxson complained that

The generation that founded modern American paganism in the 1970s is rapidly aging. . . . Pagan groups that haven’t found a way to integrate younger members may be lost, though emerging Pagan libraries are working to preserve our history. . . . The children of the first generation of modern Pagans have now grown up, and although many of them identify as Pagan and may maintain connections to their family-based practices, very few are active in Covens or Pagan community activities.

It is especially difficult to attract millennials to the faith.

The trend that Paxson discusses is in fact one of the great unreported stories in American religion—namely, the near-evaporation of the country’s once-thriving mystical, esoteric, and occult traditions.  I particularly think of the New Age movement, which received its title around 1980, but which was deeply rooted in American religious history.

Think back to the world of the 1970’s and 80’s, and the mass public interest in esoteric themes: reincarnation...

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