Things Fall Apart: Why We Think Everything’s Getting Worse

Most Americans, year after year, continue to think that the country is on the wrong track. The older you are (i.e, the more experienced you are, and the more of history you’ve seen), the more likely you are to think everything is falling apart. And it’s not just in America: worldwide, people tend to think…

At Death’s Door: Thoughts on Immortality and Spirituality

A few months ago there was another breakthrough in geriatrics. This time, scientists were actually able to reverse aging in mice. The very thought of reversing aging has been considered insane for most of the history of science. Getting old happens — to animals, plants, buildings, planets, and stars. Bodies, like everything else, just wears…

The Future of Neopaganism in the West, Part II: Going Organic

In the previous post, I outlined a model of prestige and stigma which predicts whether a language or religion will grow or wither in a society. Now let’s take the prestige/stigma model and look at Neopaganism today. By these measures, Neopaganism is in trouble. Stigmatized Neopaganism Imagine trying to revive the Latin language. Imagine speaking…

The Future of Neopaganism in the West, Part I: Prestige and Stigma

Modern religions that are derived from or inspired by the indigenous polytheistic traditions of Europe (I’ll call them Neopagan) have experienced a great resurgence in the last couple of hundred years, and especially in the last fifty or so. This is surprising, because prior to that, everyone pretty much thought they were gone for good.

Predicting the Future

Someone once famously asked, “Where we all going? And what are we doing in this handbasket?” Predicting the future is an old game. It’s popular because it’s fun and frequently profitable, especially if you are sufficiently vague or incomprehensible. The Book of Revelation is a good example. John’s vivid accounts of horn-blowing angels, floods, devastations,…