“Be Open to Spiritual Experience. Also, Be Really Careful.”

An elegant expression of the CultPunk/Poetic Faith perspective courtesy of Ross Douthat, writing for The New York Times: Start with the broad youthful impulse toward what you might call magical thinking, ranging from the vogue for astrology to the TikTok craze for manifesting desired outcomes in your life. In certain ways this is an extension of the … Read more“Be Open to Spiritual Experience. Also, Be Really Careful.”

“The Witches of Baltimore”

Sigal Samuel writes for The Atlantic: Modern black witches are practicing Yoruba-based faiths, with a few Millennial touches. They build altars to ancestors so they can seek their advice on everything from romance to professional advancement, cast spells using emoji to help banish depression, surround themselves with crystals in the hope that they will relieve stress, and … Read more“The Witches of Baltimore”

“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”

“The Satanic Abortion Clinic That’s Pissed Off Pretty Much Everyone…and Might Beat the Bans Anyway”

Arielle Domb writes for Cosmopolitan on the Satanic Temple’s telehealth abortion service: Never mind that Satanists don’t actually worship the devil. There are no ritual sacrifices or quests for supernatural powers at TST. In reality, Satanism is a nontheistic faith in which TST’s roughly 1.5 million global members view Satan more like a mascot, one … Read more“The Satanic Abortion Clinic That’s Pissed Off Pretty Much Everyone…and Might Beat the Bans Anyway”

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

“Political Analysis Needs More Witchcraft”

Brian Klaas writes for The Atlantic on a perspective foreign to most analysts and pundits: Anthropologists note that nonrational, magical, or superstitious beliefs appear in nearly all human societies, helping to make sense of a world in which individual lives can feel like the playthings of larger, unseen forces or, sometimes, random chance. When, say, … Read more“Political Analysis Needs More Witchcraft”

VR Near-Death Simulation and Memento Mori Rituals (New York City, September 2023)

On the afternoon of September 17th, nine participants gathered in the Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn, NYC to undertake an experiment in ritual space and time, guided by artists Bridget Carey, Tony Wolf and Virgil Wong. The main gates of Green-Wood Cemetery, just a few minutes’ walk from the Morbid Anatomy Library. Note the large … Read moreVR Near-Death Simulation and Memento Mori Rituals (New York City, September 2023)

“A Headless God or religion for our times” (The Structure of Metamodern Religion 1/3)

Substack blogger Octopusyarn writes on metamodern religion: Being self-aware of its constructedness, a metamodern God concept needs to be able to sustain critique. Daniel Görtz describes this concept of a headless God as follows: “It is a God whose altar can be pissed upon, is insulted again and again, yet remains sacred, is resurrected. (…) Always on … Read more“A Headless God or religion for our times” (The Structure of Metamodern Religion 1/3)