TRANCE-GRESSION: TECHNOSHAMANISM, CONSERVATISM AND PAGAN POLITICS
This article looks at the politics of successive Conservative governments in Britain in the 1980s and ‘90s through the lens of the increasing politicisation of Paganisms in that period. A wave of moral panics in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90s concerning marginal communities – such as Ravers, New Age travellers and anti-road protesters – and their ‘riotous assemblies’, culminated in the Conservative Government of John Major enacting The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994. This was seen by these communities as legislation against alternative lifestyles and, in some respects, an infringement of spiritual freedom. Using the case study of technoshamanism – a Pagan meeting of ‘rave’ culture and neo-shamanism – I wish to examine how the political and Pagan religious landscapes of ‘80s and ‘90s Britain intersected and led to politically engaged forms of Pagan practice often centred around grassroots lifestyle and environmental politics. This will be explored with especial reference to the politicisation of The Spiral Tribe, a technoshamanic collective of the early ‘90s, and their increasing involvement in resisting the 1994 Act and promotion of campaigns such as Reclaim the Streets.
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