The occult plays a role in American society today that may be sorely underestimated. Horoscopes appear in daily newspapers; psychic hotlines were once the rage; tarot cards are for sale everywhere; and ouija boards are still found in many homes. Our continued interest in all things occult poses an interesting question; how are we different than “primitive” societies that embraced the occult, and why did they?
American “culture” imposes on us continual stress. Is the stress of having enough money to feed your family any different from ensuring that ancient crops grew? Is the stress of an angry and antagonistic mail carrier co-worker different from a neighbor that is a sorcerer? Stress and worry impose upon us all, whether American or Trobriand, a fear of what may come in the future. We feel out of control of our surroundings. So where are we to turn? The occult relieves some of the stress we experience. It provides answers to age-old questions. How do we Trobriand deal with the danger of the sea? How do I know if I should include my firing on my resume? The occult may provide answers. Who is to say that the lucky lottery winner didn’t get the numbers from a ouija board? Imagine the stress felt by a world leader. Has American foreign and domestic policy been shaped by the occult? Remember Nancy Regan’s astrologer?
The normal, competitive American is always seeking an edge. Seeking that edge in the occult may be the answer for some. Power is addictive, and if it works once, belief is reinforced. The occult will always be the refuge of some who feel downtrodden, left out, and stressed out. It will continue to thrive in America.