Brief Guide to Secret Religions: A Complete Guide to Hermetic, Pagan and Esoteric Beliefs

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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, practicing High ...

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A Brief Guide to Secret Religions: A Complete Guide to Hermetic, Pagan and Esoteric Beliefs

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Overview

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, practicing 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.  A Brief Guide to Secret Religions, a companion book to A 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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849015950
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/2011
  • Pages: 404

Meet the Author

David V. Barrett has written numerous books on new religions and esoteric movements. His book "The New Believers" was described as "an excellent guide to fringe religions that juxtaposes 'respectable' movements and those conventionally dismissed as cults" (Daily Telegraph) and a "no-nonsense, comprehensive survey packed with non-judgmental information about the beliefs, aims and activities of such movements" (Daily Mail). Michael Baigent wrote of "A Brief History of Secret Societies": "In a field normally typified by confusion and ignorance this book by David Barrett is clear, concise, informative and to be recommended." He has a PhD in the Sociology of Religion.

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Table of Contents

What I Believe … x

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction 1

Notes 16

Part 1 New Age Movements 19

Theosophy 23

Anthroposophy 34

Alice Bailey 37

Benjamin Creme, Maitreya and Share International 41

G. I. Gurdjieff 44

Subud 50

Independent Episcopal Churches and the Apostolic Succession 56

I AM Movement 65

Church Universal and Triumphant 70

Emissaries/Emissaries of Divine Light 82

Findhorn 92

Sir George Trevelyan and the Wrekin Trust 96

Template Network (formerly Emin) 99

UFO Groups and Millennial Expectations 113

Aetherius Society 119

Raelian Movement 127

Alternative History 139

Other New Age and Holistic Groups 142

Personal Development Movements 147

Notes 151

Part 2 Hermetic, Occult or High Magic Groups 163

Kabbalah 165

Tarot 175

Rosicrucian Groups 179

Fraternitas Rosae Crucis 183

AMORC 186

Church of Light 188

Rosicrucian Fellowship 190

Lectorium Rosicrucianum 192

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn 195

Ordo Templi Orientis and Thelema 212

Schools of Occult Science 219

Builders of the Adytum 220

Society of the Inner Light 226

Servants of the Light 231

Fraternity of the Golden Circle 236

Temple of Starlight 238

Avalon Group 240

London Group 242

Chaos Magic 244

Satanism 248

Satanic Ritual Abuse 255

Notes 265

Part 3 Neo-Paganism 275

Shamanism 277

Witchcraft 280

Wicca 285

Other Varieties of Witchcraft 299

Clan of Tubal Cain and 1734 303

Church of All Worlds 309

Druidry 316

Fellowship of Isis 328

Heathenry/Northern Tradition 330

Pagan Federations 341

Notes 346

Coda 355

The Church of Scientology: An Esoteric Movement? 357

Notes 366

Bibliography 369

Index 382

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