ABSTRACT

Following the punk rock explosion of the late 1970s, Gothic music presented a romantic, decadent and inward-looking alternative to anger and nihilism; Byronic moods largely replaced political posturing (Reynolds 2006), and black became the clothing colour of choice (Hodkinson 2002). Goth subculture in both fashion and art appropriated religious iconography from a variety of sources – Catholic, Anglican, Buddhist, Pagan and occult, but there were “no established norms for the interpretation of such signi- ers” (Powell 2007: 361). Due to this broadly secular tolerance, many modern Pagan and occult practitioners found a comfortable sanctuary within Goth. According to a survey conducted by Nancy Kilpatrick for her book The Goth Bible (2004), up to 33 per cent of respondents who self-identied as Goths held allegiance to some form of Pagan belief system – by far the largest theistic grouping within Goth.