Dr. Huntsinger is an associate professor of environmental sciences, policy, and management at the University of California, Berkeley, California 94720.
SPIRITUAL PILGRIMS AT MOUNT SHASTA, CALIFORNIA*
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2000 American Geographical Society
Volume 90, Issue 4, pages 536–558, October 2000
How to Cite
Huntsinger, L. and Fernández-Giménez, M. (2000), SPIRITUAL PILGRIMS AT MOUNT SHASTA, CALIFORNIA. Geographical Review, 90: 536–558. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2000.tb00353.x
The authors thank the people of Mount Shasta who graciously gave interviews and, often as not, welcomed us into their homes. We thank the U.S. Forest Service for funding part of our research and Professor Barbara Allen-Diaz for involving us. We thank Catherine Phillips and Shelley Evans for their help with surveying.
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- Crystal People;
- Mount Shasta;
- New Age;
- power point;
- U.S. Forest Service
ABSTRACT. Even the casual visitor cannot fail to notice unusual activity on the slopes of Northern California's Mount Shasta. Prayer flags, altars, and crystals are found in the meadows; drumming, chanting, and meditation are commonplace. Non-indigenous spiritual pilgrims have found Mount Shasta a sacred place. An amorphous group of spiritual seekers, these are sometimes referred to as “New Age” adherents or “Crystal People.” Within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the situation of this sacred site exemplifies the difficulties of reconciling nonsecular claims to public lands with secular management mandates. Spiritual activism at Mount Shasta includes recently successful opposition to development of a Forest Service-endorsed ski area. Using a questionnaire survey and interviews, we compare the characteristics, activities, and attitudes toward resource management of spiritual pilgrims and others who visit Mount Shasta's meadows. Conclusions are drawn about the environmental values and concerns of all visitors and of spiritual pilgrims in particular, including some that bear on pilgrim activities and ecological restoration efforts.