International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol 5, No 2 (2014)

Spiritual Tourism and Frontier Esotericism at Mount Shasta, California

Madeline Duntley
Issued Date: 10 Mar 2015


Mount Shasta City, California (pop. 3300) is the gateway to this region’s major attraction, a 14,179 foot volcano that is a sacred site for tourists seeking spiritual ascension, a mystical practice rooted in the Theosophical Society and the Saint Germain Foundation and the post-1950s associational offshoots of these traditions. Analysing 150 years of pilgrim narratives in the Mount Shasta Collection of the College of Siskiyous library, this study charts spiritual tourism and the central role pilgrims play in the foundation and promotion of key esoteric associational groups and concepts in the United States. Pilgrim accounts of encounter and ascent at Mount Shasta effectively create and reaffirm its sacred status. Spiritual tourists transmit and ascribe new metaphysical meanings to the mountain using an ever-expanding repertoire of cosmic attributes and esoteric signifiers.

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DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.v5i2.26233


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