|at Understand the Times, 1/26/19
It's common knowledge that the New Age movement has a strong foothold on our culture right now. Bookstores are lined with best-selling titles teaching people how to use crystals, how to meditate and cultivate "higher consciousness" and how to make contact with spirit guides, as people like Jim Carrey and Oprah Winfrey continue to push things like Christ-consciousness and meditation on the masses. Popular teachers like Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle continue to sell millions of copies of books teaching the idea that God is an impersonal force in the universe and that we are to cultivate relationship with this force by shifting our consciousness and practicing things like "mindfulness," "presence" or yoga. This year, Netflix recently came out with a series called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, complete with spell-casting, incantations and demonic manifestations right around the same time the makeup company Sephora announced that they would be releasing a starter with kit for little girls, complete with crystals, sage and tarot cards. A study found that witches now outnumber Presbyterian Christians in the US by 100,000, with 1.5 million self-identified witches as paganism continues to grow "astronomically." Twenty-seven percent of Americans identify as "spiritual but not religious", including 35 percent of Protestant Christians. This is one of the fast growing spiritual-religious demographics in the West right now. In fact, the population of those who identify as witches or pagans is continuing to increase as those who identify as Protestant Christian continues to decrease.