This wide-ranging book explores the diversity of esoteric and occult beliefs.
Neo-Paganism is one of the fastest-growing new religions in the western world where witchcraft or Wicca, Druidry, and Urban Shamanism are thriving. Alongside this there has been an upsurge in New Age ideas of an even wider variety, including astrology, Tarot, numerology, and many others. And then there are members of various schools of occult science, practising High Magic.
Why this new interest in old beliefs? Why are millions of educated people today abandoning both the established religion of their parents and 21st century scientific rationalism and turning to magic and esoteric teachings? In their search for spirituality those who follow these paths claim to be applying ancient wisdom to the modern world. The Brief History of Secret Religions, a companion book to The Brief History of Secret Societies, looks at the history and variety of these esoteric movements, where they came from and what they tell us about the world today.
A Brief History of Secret Societies examines the significant hidden power wielded by clandestine organisations from ancient times right up to the present day. Throughout history, humankind’s search for knowledge has revealed strange truths. Barrett explores the powerful attraction of esoteric religious beliefs and reveals how such societies have gained a powerful hold on the popular imagination. He presents an unbiased and balanced history of humanity’s desire to uncover secret knowledge, and of the societies that seek to preserve such knowledge.
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