Forbidden Fruit Eve: a Proposal for a New Satanic Yuletide Custom

In the hallowed tradition of inventing new holidays and rituals expressing the wants and needs of niche communities – witness the viral success of Wolfenoot, an annual festival of canine-themed kindness created by an imaginative seven-year-old, or Festivus, as popularized by Seinfeld – here is a modest but timely proposal for Forbidden Fruit Eve as … Read moreForbidden Fruit Eve: a Proposal for a New Satanic Yuletide Custom

Read this first: “A Cultpunk Manifesto”

We are Cultpunks.  We affirm that belief systems, rituals, symbols, pilgrimages, tenets, holy days, shrines, festivals, taboos, mythologies and pantheons can and should be created as works of art.  If so, then surely any sufficiently advanced magic is likewise indistinguishable from technology, and religions may usefully be considered as psychological technologies.  Just like any other tech, … Read moreRead this first: “A Cultpunk Manifesto”

“Metamodern Religion is Just Getting Started”

Inspiration from Brendan Graham Dempsey, caretaker of the Sky Meadow retreat center and principal of the Sky Meadow Institute: Despite the recent uptick of high-profile conversions to traditional Christianity, metamodern spirituality remains centered in progressive developments of and radically novel innovations to religion. Here I foreground and recall these efforts in the desire to reconnect … Read more“Metamodern Religion is Just Getting Started”

The Institute of Devotional Arts

A trailer for a 2023 retreat with the Institute of Devotional Arts, whose manifesto reads: We believe we are both actors and spectators of the divine comedy we call life. As spectators, we cultivate our sense of wonder and reverence. As actors, we find ever new ways to give expression to the human experience. Devotion … Read moreThe Institute of Devotional Arts

“The Demons of Satanism & the Religions of the Nontheistic”

Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves writes: Theistic religions often only differ from nontheistic religions, at their core, only in degree of intellectual humility. We identify with our mythology, our values and ethics are contextualized by our understanding of Satanism, but we view all knowledge as provisional, as we religiously believe in the value of intellectual … Read more“The Demons of Satanism & the Religions of the Nontheistic”

“UFO Belief is a Modern Outlet for Ancient Spiritual Yearnings”

Francesco Dimitri writes for Psyche: The Raëlians are not the only UFO religion born in the 20th century. They are the most laid-back, with their dancing nights and their ‘sensual meditation’, a far cry from the nihilism of another, Heaven’s Gate, whose members died in a mass suicide in 1997. The Aetherius Society is an … Read more“UFO Belief is a Modern Outlet for Ancient Spiritual Yearnings”

Thanksgiving/Day of the Dead in Cicely, Alaska (Northern Exposure, 1992)

The good people of Cicely, Alaska enjoy their eccentric, Day of the Dead-inflected version of Thanksgiving in this scene from Northern Exposure (1992). As explained by Marilyn Whirlwind (Elaine Miles), the indigenous people of Cicely do not regard the orthodox Thanksgiving as a day of celebration. In fact, they carry a lot of ancestral anger … Read moreThanksgiving/Day of the Dead in Cicely, Alaska (Northern Exposure, 1992)

Lamplight

Author Craig Chalquist on Lamplight, the religion of his Assembling Terrania Cycle of stories: Even more than readers, writers find themselves astonished by unexpected plot twists. In the story “Ten Lamps,” a mysterious philosopher named Simeon writes down ten cosmic operating principles that work at any scale, even inside us. One of these Lamps declares … Read moreLamplight

“Psychedelics show religion isn’t the only route to spirituality”

Chris Letheby writes for Psyche: Mystical-type experiences are the phenomena that people most commonly feel to be spiritual. So, if we want to know whether spirituality is necessarily always focused on non-naturalistic ideas, one obvious approach is to ask people who’ve had such an experience what it meant to them. Qualitative researchers have done this, … Read more“Psychedelics show religion isn’t the only route to spirituality”

“The zeitgeist is changing. A strange, romantic backlash to the tech era looms”

Ross Barkan writes for The Guardian on the strange meldings of the nascent neo-Romantic movement: Not all of the old romantics were opposed to Judeo-Christian religion, but they were drawn, like the youth of today, to spiritual realms that operated far beyond any biblical teachings or rationalist precepts. They were deeply wary of technology’s encroachment … Read more“The zeitgeist is changing. A strange, romantic backlash to the tech era looms”

“Beyond Belief: The Cults of Burning Man”

An excerpt from the ever-increasingly-iconic Erik Davis’ 2006 essay on emergent cultic activity at Black Rock City: Thus it is with some trepidation that I turn to one of the more vexing questions that one might ask about Burning Man: can or should we speak of the event as a sacred gathering? Even if we … Read more“Beyond Belief: The Cults of Burning Man”