Since we are entering the dark season of Halloween I wanted to run this article as Journal entries for the next few days by a favorite writer, David Brooks, of the New York Times. ‘The Age of Aquarius, All Over Again,’ was written in June of 2019.
“We’re living in the middle of a religious revival; it’s just that the movements that are rising are not what we normally call “religion.” The first rising movement is astrology. According to a 2018 Pew poll, 29 percent of Americans say they believe in astrology. That’s more than are members of mainline Protestant churches.
This surge in belief is primarily among the young. According to a National Science Foundation survey, 44 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say that astrology is somewhat or very “scientific.” Unsurprisingly, online horoscope sites are booming. Stella Bugbee, editor of The Cut, told The Atlantic that in 2017 the typical horoscope got 150 percent more traffic than it had the year before.
Another surging spiritual movement is witchcraft. In 1990, only 8,000 Americans self-identified as Wiccans. Ten years later there were 134,000, and today, along with other neo-pagans, there are over a million. As Tara Isabella Burton put it in an excellent, deeply researched essay in The American Interest, “Wicca, by that estimation, is technically the fastest-growing religion in America.”
“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Jesus