Recently published by Inner Traditions International
OCCULT RUSSIA: PAGAN, ESOTERIC AND MYSTICAL TRADITIONS
BY CHRISTOPHER MCINTOSH
At a time when attitudes to Russia are often marked by a mood of accusation and mistrust, this book looks behind the image of the country touted in the western media and explores the currents of mysticism, myth, magic and spiritual to which the Russian soul has always been susceptible, currents that are now moving again with the force of a great river, long ice-bound during the communist years. In the post-Soviet era the Russian people are seeking new – or often old – ways of giving meaning to their lives. This search has given rise both to a revival of ancient spiritual traditions and to a plethora of new movements, cults, sects, -isms and -ologies. In the opening chapters the author explores the precursors of these movements in the “Silver Age” before the Revolution, and describes how, suprisingly, many of them survived through the early post-revolutionary years, only to be crushed and decimated during the Stalinist terror.
The book goes on to discuss the reawakening after 1989 with the resurgence of the Orthodox Church and the burgeoning of alternative forms of spirituality, ranging from esoteric and New Age movements to new conservative tendencies and a glorification of the ancient Russian past. A chapter is devoted to the controversial Book of Veles, branded by some as a forgery and hailed by others as an epic chronicle of the Slavic people. Further chapters describe how millions of Russians are turning or returning to the Orthodox Church, while paganism and neo-paganism are also enjoying a revival, including the indigenous pre-Christian customs of the Mari people and the shamanic traditions of Siberia. The author also speaks about indigenous and alternative forms of medicine, about Russian attitudes to love and sexuality, and about the interface between spirituality and the arts. A chapter is devoted to the Russian language, its unique qualities as a spiritual medium and its role in shaping the Russian soul.
Published on December 20, 2023
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