A spiritual revolution? Wicca and religious change in the 1960s
A spiritual revolution? Wicca and religious change in the 1960s

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A spiritual revolution? Wicca and religious change in the 1960s


An offshoot of Theosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, which was particularly popular in German-speaking countries. It has a somewhat more Christian theology, and more of an interest in practical applications of the ideas.
The emphasis on turning inward to find truth, which will simultaneously enable a deeper interaction with social surroundings.
The emphasis on turning inward to find truth, which will simultaneously enable a deeper interaction with social surroundings.
Baby boomers
The generation born in the so-called ‘baby boom’ after the end of the Second World War, usually taken as being between 1946 and 1964.
Baptism in the Spirit
An intense spiritual encounter between an individual and the Spirit of God.
Biodynamic gardening
A form of organic gardening that incorporates spiritual and esoteric ideas. Based in the work of Anthroposophy founder, Rudolf Steiner.
A Christian who places emphasis on the power and presence of God’s Spirit and on supernatural giftings, such as prophecy.
A group of witches. In Wicca, a coven is led by a High Priest and Priestess, and traditionally has thirteen members.
Dianic Wicca
Feminist versions of Wicca in which only the Goddess is honoured.
Eastern religion
Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Daoism which historically shaped the culture of Asia but were little known or understood in the West until the nineteenth century.
One of the two days per year when the night and day are of equal length. They occur in spring and autumn.
Weekly meetings of a Wiccan coven. These are less formal than Sabbats.
A variety of Christianity which emphasises personal conversion and the authority of the Bible.
Expressive individualism
A cultural phenomenon whereby emphasis is placed on the authentic inner self and the expression of personality and feeling.
The systematic killing of women.
The class of Christian not ordained for specific ministry in the Church.
Liberal Protestantism
The variety of Christianity which integrates religion with ‘modern’ critical and scientific approaches.
Relating to occult or religious knowledge accessible only to initiates.
New Testament
The second part of the Christian canon of scripture.
Meaning ‘hidden’, this refers to practices aimed at communicating with or controlling supernatural agencies, and usually indicates pre-scientific ideas like alchemy and astrology.
The sixteenth century period associated with the origins and development of Protestantism in Europe.
The principal regular meeting of a Wiccan coven. They take place each lunar month, that is, thirteen times per year.
The process by which religion (or religious institutions) decline in importance to the state and/or the individual.
A form of religious practice in which religious identity is seen as a journey, and the emphasis is on elements seen as being of practical benefit to the individual, such as spiritual experience, healing and well-being. Derived from the work of the sociologist Colin Campbell.
One of the two days per year when the day is longest and the night is shortest, or vice versa. They occur in the summer and the winter.
A tradition of communicating with the spirits of the dead through various forms of communication. It began in the US in the 1840s, but séances became popular in the UK during the Victorian period. Today the Spiritualist Church is considered a Christian body.
An individual’s personal understanding and experience of their surroundings.
The ideas of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and the other leaders of the Theosophical Society, which mixed ideas from Hinduism and Buddhism with occultism and spiritualism. The Theosophical Society was formed in 1875 and still exists today, although its peak was in the 1920s.

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