This wide-ranging book explores the diversity of esoteric and occult beliefs. Neo-Paganism is one of the fastest-growing new religions in the western world where witchcraft or Wicca, Druidry, and Urban Shamanism are thriving. Alongside this there has been an upsurge in New Age ideas of an even wider variety, including astrology, Tarot, numerology, and many others. And then there are members of various schools of occult science, practising High Magic.Why this new interest in old beliefs? Why are millions of educated people today abandoning both the established religion of their parents and 21st century scientific rationalism and turning to magic and esoteric teachings? In their search for spirituality those who follow these paths claim to be applying ancient wisdom to the modern world. The Brief History of Secret Religions, a companion book to The Brief History of Secret Societies, looks at the history and variety of these esoteric movements, where they came from and what they tell us about the world today.Praise for The New Believers:'an excellent guide to fringe religions that juxtaposes "respectable" movements and those conventionally dismissed as cults.'