The 2010’s Return to The Occult

Adelai Evans
“Occult” is such a broad term, but it can mean various theories and practices involving a belief in and knowledge or use of supernatural forces or beings. Such beliefs and practices—principally magical or divinatory—have occurred in all human societies throughout recorded history, with considerable variations both in their nature and in the attitude of societies toward them. For centuries, practices have evolved and gone through ridicule and persecution. Now, since the early 2010’s, the resurgence of astrology has opened a new belief system in popular culture. But with that resurgence, consumerism also takes its place in the comeback.
Belief is a powerful tool, so the success of the occult and its positive effects is directly related to that ability.


There has been an every increasing loss of interest in organized religion, which may be a reason why practicing other arts has resurfaced. The more common practices like astrology, crystals, and Wicca have become more popular in millennial non-believers. By the late-twentieth century, scientific and secular forces had drastically diminished a sense of the supernatural, the transcendent, the sacred, and the immortal in American life. But in the last 10 years, there has been a strong push for certain light occult practices, like astrology. A major epistemological shift—particularly in religion—has taken place. Astrology is now being sought after as a replacement of religion. Less spiritual and based on divinity but still have an explanation for life’s happenings. Because of their worldview and desire to validate their activities, many occultists reject a concept of the supernatural–although there are plenty who still accept it. Nevertheless, they engage in a quest for other aspects of the transcendent, whether they be the forces of nature or of the hidden depths of the mind. Occult and metaphysical movements met a deep spiritual thirst, and this is a major part of their attraction today.


The old occultist imagery of woodblock prints and lithographs is over in the 2010’s. The harsh, demonic imagery is smoothed over by the millennial, modern aesthetic that focuses on minimalism and simple typography. With a consumerist agenda, new companies have sprouted during this decade to attract people newly interested in light occult practices like psychic palm or tarot readings and astrology. From birthday candles to crystal shops to horoscope apps, it’s all more accessable to anyone now than ever before. Astrology is now part of a $2.2 billion industry known as the “mystical services market.” There are popular gift items pictured below. But there is a basic rule that denounces practices that become popular knowledge. Once specific previously guarded knowledge is readily obtainable, say at a bookstore, then that practice becomes obsolete. So are millennials practicing dead magic ?

For the most stressed out generation as of yet, astrology seems like the perfect new age supplement.


Astrology used to be so overlooked, even if daily horoscopes were printed in local newspapers. But in the 2010’s astrology made a huge comeback with things like apps and meme acconts on social media. Ouija boards are now sold in Barnes in Noble stores and it’s not even a game. Some of the appeal has to come from being so discnnected from the people around you, so you grab onto something that can make it easier to close that gap. Astrology supposedly gives us a glimpse of a person’s basic characteristics, preferences, flaws and fears. So if you believe it, you can read and understand yourself and others better. It’s a rationalization.