Some good news and some bad news. Good News: millennials are not succumbing to atheistic nihilism. Bad News: it’s because millennials now believe in witchcraft.
According to Market Watch, “interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials.” Worse still, a majority of Americans now believe it is “not necessary to believe in God to have good morals”
The replacement for more than of these young adults has been astrology, which involves aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry. Adherents to these practices grew 2% between 2011 and 2016, creating an industry that is now worth $2 billion annually.
Melissa Jayne, owner of Brooklyn-based “metaphysical boutique,” Catland, confirmed that she has seen a rising interest in the occult these past few years.
“Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,” she said. “For a generation that grew up in a world of big industry, environmental destruction, large and oppressive governments, and toxic social structures, all of which seem too big to change, this can be incredibly attractive.”
Astrology has never been considered an exact science and has been debunked by serious-minded academics. However, Banu Guler, co-founder of artificial intelligence powered astrology app Co—Star, said that’s exactly why young people like it.
“It’s very different from the way we usually work and live and date, where everything is hyper-mediated and rational,” she said. “There is a belief vacuum: we go from work to a bar to dinner and a date, with no semblance of meaning. Astrology is a way out of it, a way of putting yourself in the context of thousands of years of history and the universe.”
Banu Guler’s app had such high demand after it launched this October that crashed three times in one week.
Another meta-physical field of interest is the use of mystical items. Danielle Ayoka, founder of spiritual subscription service Mystic Lipstick, has sold an exponential number crystals, “reiki-infused bath salts” in recent months, a full 75% increase since last year.
“When I started my journey in 2010, I was the weirdo,” she said. “Now it is becoming more and more normalized, and I believe it is because more people are looking to heal. Millennials are much more open-minded.”
Millennials looking to partake in this culture should be warned of accidentally committing its one cardinal sin: cultural appropriation.
“It is really important to give credit to who is doing the work,” Layne said. “There is a whole culture of white women who capitalize off of spirituality, but it all comes from people of color. People need to do their homework: being in touch with your spiritual side is a natural, human thing to do. To be able to connect yourself is essential to healing not only your own wounds, but healing together.”
Both Christianity and Judaism regard witchcraft and astrology as demonic practices. In recent months, witches have joined forces in casting spells to bind President Trump.