There’s a revival currently taking place among tastemaking twentysomethings: an occult revival. According to a recent Newsweek article, in hip Brooklyn neighborhoods, more and more Millennials are turning to witchcraft as their source of spiritual answers. In areas like Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district, séances, pagan ceremonies and tarot card readings have become common occurrences at parties and social events.
The trend is even making a retail impact. At hip boutiques, tarot cards can be found alongside retro clothes, and at Urban Outfitters, the “prayer candles” are often on a month-long backorder. An NYU professor who helps organize occult conferences told Newsweek that black magic has a way of empowering the “disenfranchised,” such as 18- to 30-year-olds facing a tough post-recession economy and limited opportunities.
But the trend also goes against a bigger trend of foregoing religion altogether. A 2012 Pew study found Millennials are one of the least religious generations in American history. A 2011 Barna study found almost 60 percent of Christians over the age of 15 “disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life.”
But, as Barna Group President David Kinnaman says in the study, the problem isn’t with a generation asking difficult questions. It’s with a Church unprepared to give answers. The world for Millennials is changing, he says, and they have become more skeptical toward external sources of authority, including Christianity.
Kinnaman says in order to reach Millennials who are leaving the faith, the Church must be willing to address simplistic teachings and judgmental attitudes. Because if leaders within Christianity aren’t able to shed light on the truth, a generation may start looking in much darker places.
###TV’s Bewitching New Trend
Witchcraft isn’t just catching on among twentysomethings—it’s also prime time’s latest trend.
Lifetime’s hit series follows a family of witches as they come to grips with their supernatural powers.
“Coven,” the third season of the dark miniseries, explores showdowns between black magic practitioners with its signature doses of unflinching shock and gore.
Fox’s new adventure series features a character whose secret life as a witch is used to torment Ichabod Crane.