The pervasiveness of the Occult in the West (together with Western Esotericism) is an outgrowth of Emperor Constantine the Great moving the capitol of Christendom (the Roman Empire) east to Byzantium.
Thereby, the Mystery of Lawlessness was released and apostasy of the Church of Rome ensued. The Papal Reformation paved the way for creation of the secular by way of Anthropological Pessimism which in turn spawned the Protestant Reformation and the resultant Wars of Western Religion by which the Age of Enlightenment was birthed, resulting in the disenchantment of the material world.
Western Esotericism is but one of various demonically deluded ways in which the West seeks re-enchantment of the material world that it disenchanted. The West seeks to reestablish contact with the supernatural, albeit not with Truth, with The Living God (not dead idols) who has revealed Himself through Abraham to the Children of Israel, and ultimately through the Incarnation of His promised Messiah, Y'shua (Jesus) in whom humanity can be reunited in communion with Divinity.
Occult | Wikipedia
• esoteric supernatural beliefs and practices...
• fall outside the scope of organized religion and science, encompassing phenomena involving otherworldly agency, such as magic and mysticism and their varied spells...can also refer to supernatural ideas like extra-sensory perception and parapsychology
• term occult sciences was used in 16th-century Europe to refer to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic...term occultism emerged in 19th-century France, among figures such as Antoine Court de Gébelin...associated with various French esoteric groups connected to Éliphas Lévi and Papus
• 1875 was introduced into the English language by the esotericist Helena Blavatsky
• by the 21st century was commonly employed – including by academic scholars of esotericism – to refer to a range of esoteric current that developed in the mid-19th century and their descendants...Spiritualism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Wicca, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and New Age
• In the English-speaking world, notable figures in the development of occultism included Helena Blavatsky and other figures associated with her Theosophical Society, senior figures in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn...and – in the early twentieth century – Aleister Crowley.... By the end of the nineteenth century, occultist ideas had also spread into other parts of Europe, such as the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and the Kingdom of Italy.
• Unlike older forms of esotericism, occultism does not necessarily reject "scientific progress or modernity". Lévi had stressed the need to solve the conflict between science and religion, something that he believed could be achieved by turning to what he thought was the ancient wisdom found in magic. The French scholar of Western esotericism Antoine Faivre noted that rather than outright accepting "the triumph of scientism", occultists sought "an alternative solution", trying to integrate "scientific progress or modernity" with "a global vision that will serve to make the vacuousness of materialism more apparent". The Dutch scholar of hermeticism Wouter Hanegraaff remarked that occultism was "essentially an attempt to adapt esotericism" to the "disenchanted world", a post-Enlightenment society in which growing scientific discovery had eradicated the "dimension of irreducible mystery" previously present. In doing so, he noted, occultism distanced itself from the "traditional esotericism" which accepted the premise of an "enchanted" world. According to the British historian of Western esotericism Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, occultist groups typically seek "proofs and demonstrations by recourse to scientific tests or terminology".
• In his work about Lévi, the German historian of religion Julian Strube has argued that the occultist wish for a "synthesis" of religion, science, and philosophy directly resulted from the context of contemporary socialism and progressive Catholicism. Similar to spiritualism, but in declared opposition to it, the emergence of occultism should thus be seen within the context of radical social reform, which was often concerned with establishing new forms of "scientific religion" while at the same time propagating the revival of an ancient tradition of "true religion". Indeed, the emergence of both modern esotericism and socialism in July Monarchy France have been inherently intertwined.
• Another feature of occultists is that – unlike earlier esotericists – they often openly distanced themselves from Christianity, in some cases (like that of Crowley) even adopting explicitly anti-Christian stances. This reflected how pervasive the influence of secularization had been on all areas of European society. In rejecting Christianity, these occultists sometimes turned towards pre-Christian belief systems and embraced forms of Modern Paganism, while others instead took influence from the religions of Asia, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. ...Another characteristic of these occultists was the emphasis that they placed on "the spiritual realization of the individual", an idea that would strongly influence the twentieth-century New Age and Human Potential Movement. This spiritual realization was encouraged both through traditional Western 'occult sciences' like alchemy and ceremonial magic, but by the start of the twentieth century had also begun to include practices drawn from non-Western contexts, such as yoga.
• Although occultism is distinguished from earlier forms of esotericism, many occultists have also been involved in older esoteric currents. For instance, occultists like François-Charles Barlet and Rudolf Steiner were also theosophers, adhering to the ideas of the early modern Christian thinker Jakob Bohme, and seeking to integrate ideas from Bohmian theosophy and occultism. It has been noted, however, that this distancing from the Theosophical Society should be understood in the light of polemical identity formations amongst esotericists towards the end of the nineteenth century.
• In the mid-1990s, a new definition of "occultism" was put forth by Wouter Hanegraaff.
• ..."a category in the study of religions, which comprises "all attempts by esotericists to come to terms with a disenchanted world or, alternatively, by people in general to make sense of esotericism from the perspective of a disenchanted secular world".
• ...covers many esoteric currents that have developed from the mid-nineteenth century onward, including Spiritualism, Theosophy, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the New Age.
• ...argued that its development could begin to be seen in the work of the Swedish esotericist Emanuel Swedenborg and in the Mesmerist movement of the eighteenth century, although added that occultism only emerged in "fully-developed form" as Spiritualism, a movement that developed in the United States during the mid-nineteenth century.
Modernism and the Occult | Amazon
The Occult Roots of Modernism
— Joséphin Péladan’s mystical art exhibitions, in Paris, set the stage for everything from Kandinsky’s abstractions to Eliot’s “The Waste Land.”
Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation
— “From its earliest days, America served as an arena for the revolutions in alternative spirituality [to Christianity] that eventually swept the globe. Esoteric philosophies and personas—from Freemasonry to Spiritualism, from Madame H. P. Blavatsky to Edgar Cayce [and cults from Mormons, Christian Science, and Jehovah‘s Witness to Scientology]—dramatically altered the nation’s culture, politics, and religion. Yet the mystical roots of our identity are often ignored or overlooked. Opening a new window on the past, Occult America presents a dramatic, pioneering study of the esoteric undercurrents of our history and their profound impact across modern life.”
The Capitol – a symbol of American democracy
Temple of Liberty: Building the Capitol for a New Nation
The Apotheosis of Washington: Deciphering the Symbols of Our Nation Hidden Within the Capitol Building’s Dome
• USA may have been further infected with the Occult from influence of Nazis illegally smuggled into the country post World War II by government officials —
Operation Paperclip | Wikipedia
What Was Operation Paperclip?
Fact check: Nazi scientists were brought to work for U.S. through Operation Paperclip
The Secret Operation To Bring Nazi Scientists To America
How Thousands Of Nazis Were 'Rewarded' With Life In The U.S.
Hitler‘s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War
Nazis and Axis Collaborators Were Used To Further U.S. Anti-Communist Objectives in Europe--Some Immigrated to the United States
The CIA and Nazi War Criminals
• Nazism was modeled upon America (USA not so “exceptional”, lily white, squeaky clean righteous, goody two shoes, but just as fallen, sinful as anyone else) —
Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law
— “Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes.”
America Through Nazi Eyes
What America Taught the Nazis
The Nazis and the American South in the 1930s: A Mirror Image?
How American Racism Influenced Hitler
Hitler’s American Dream
— The dictator modeled his racial campaign after another conquest of land and people—America’s Manifest Destiny.
Was Nazi eugenics created in the US?
Spiritualism | Wikipedia
Fox sisters | Wikipedia
— three sisters from Rochester, New York who played an important role in the creation of Spiritualism as mediums
“In 1888, Margaretta confessed that their rappings had been a hoax and publicly demonstrated their method. Margaretta attempted to recant her confession the next year, but their reputation was ruined and in less than five years they were all dead, with Margaretta and Kate dying in abject poverty. Despite their confession, the Spiritualism movement continued to grow in popularity.”
Harry Houdini | Wikipedia
— Hungarian-American escape artist, magic man, and stunt performer, noted for his escape acts
“In the 1920s, Houdini turned his energies toward debunking psychics and mediums in order to show how they were taking advantage of the bereaved....”
But not all dabbling in Occult Spiritualism was a hoax, some was contact with actual supernatural demonic entities . . .
P. D. Ouspensky | Wikipedia
Rosicrucianism | Wikipedia
Edgar Cayce | Wikipedia
Wicca | Wikipedia