The occult (and everything associated with it) offers a sense of control when everything else feels out of whack.
With so many of our favorite televisions shows and movies repackaged and reprogrammed, it’s truly been the year of the reboot. Nostalgia is alive and well, and as past trends rise from the grave, interest in the occult has also resurfaced in a pretty big way.
Now, folks are more interested in the mystical realm than ever, and it’s become clear to me why — astrology provides comfort in a world that’s chaotic, and right now, it’s a comfort that’s sorely needed.
The Current Occult Revival
Occult is a broad term which, for our purposes, I’m using to encompass greater mystical practices. These practices include tarot, astrology, numerology, spell work, palmistry, mediumship, and other divinations.
While many of these magickal traditions have existed for hundreds (even thousands) of years, they’re becoming increasingly popular. After the presidential election in 2016, I noticed a radical shift in people’s interest in astrology. As societal conventions and scientific “predictions” proved to be untrustworthy, the masses realized that the world is not black and white. Answers exist within the gray areas, the very space that magick occupies.
Art advisor and tarot reader Sarah Potter tells Allure, “Throughout history, we have seen that during times of uncertainty and political unrest, people turn to spirituality and the study of the occult. When the outside world feels chaotic and out of control, we seek balance and self-empowerment. The occult holds those keys.”
Indeed, esoteric practices provide answers when institutions fail. The occult enables us to adjust our internal compass, directing our gaze inward and upward. Stargazing is an innately human experience; we create complex stories and mythologies to provide comfort during times of discord. Whether you’re exploring astrology or recharging healing crystal, magick provides a steady anchor during difficult times.
In a 2017 study, Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of American adults believe in “New Age”-related topics (including astrology, reincarnation, and spiritual energy). In the United Kingdom, Google searches for “birth chart” actually doubled between November 2013 and November 2018, and sales of spiritual books rose 13 percent.
Now, magick is virtually everywhere. Many major brands are doubling-down on mystical content, and zodiac-themed products are surefire best-sellers across fashion and beauty industries. The occult is clearly having a moment.
Recently, Sephora prepared to sell Starter Witch Kits until backlash from actual witches spooked the beauty retailer into recalling the item. The CW rebooted Charmed, Netflix reimagined Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and each and every minute, another post is tagged #witchesofinstagram (as of today, almost 2.5 million images exist under this hashtag). The sheer number of images proves there’s a massive community online.
So what now?
Right now, the occult is becoming increasingly popular — and when it reaches critical mass (like all fads), it will be replaced by yet another trend. But, as your resident astrologer, I encourage you all to really embrace the opportunity to explore your inner-power.
Find something that speaks to your soul and practice the art of manifestation. Within each person is their own cosmology — an individual universe that has the ability to expand exponentially. Don’t be afraid of your power, cosmic warrior. You are magick.