The Nature Theatres of the Occult Revival: Performance and Modern Esoteric Religions Chapter (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Lingan, Edmund B


  • This essay explores how two of the leading figures of the Occult Revival – Katherine Tingley and Gerald Gardner (who established Wicca, the modern witchcraft religion) – did just this. This exploration of Tingley and Gardner’s work will provide insight into a legitimately religious current of nature-focused theatre that seems to have been a part of the broader open-air theatre movement that Cheney describes in his book. It will also demonstrate that the sacred, natural theatre that Tingley and Gardner practiced anticipated contemporary forms of alternative spiritual and reli- gious performance that are rooted in Western “ecospirituality.” Ecospirituality is a contemporary religious perspective that expands the conventional Western “sense of sacrality” beyond “its overly human center” by including within its scope every- thing that occurs in the natural world, such as soil, water, plants, animals, and the atmosphere (Mazis 2007: 125). Today ecospirituality is promoted by adherents of various esoteric movements, including Neopagans, Goddess worshippers and modern witches.

publication date

  • 2015


published in

start page

  • 2477