Astronism and the Astronic Religious Tradition


  • Cometan University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster University
  • Michael York Professor Emeritus at Bath Spa University



astronality, Astronic tradition, Astronism, new religious movements, space religion, transcension


A new religion was founded in 2013 that goes by the name of Astronism while its community of followers are known as Astronists. This article gives a rigorous account of the eschatology, soteriology and worldview of this new space religion while contextualizing its emergence as part of a broader Astronic religious tradition. This proposed tradition may itself possess prehistoric roots in the Upper Palaeolithic in the earliest human observations of the night sky. Human beings in turn came to establish a relationship with celestial phenomena, one of both spiritual and secular utility that has since produced systems of astrotheism and astrology. In the contemporary, the projection of the Astronist theory of history onto the Astronic tradition has meant that Astronism’s salvific doctrine of transcension is established as a grand narrative and universal ethic that unites the Astronic tradition. In essence, this article considers how Astronism, as a new religious movement, is working to revive astronomical religion, albeit in ways relevant in an age of space exploration and appropriate to modern scientific knowledge about humanity’s true place in the universe.

Author Biographies

  • Cometan, University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster University

    Cometan is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Founder of Astronism who is currently conducting research on religious recognition and registration issues and their detriment to religious freedom. Cometan founded and continues to develop his Astronist religion and writes academically on the matter. Cometan also conducts research on Traditionalist Catholicism in England, is an Associate Lecturer at UCLan as well as module tutor for Inventing Human Rights at Lancaster University.

  • Michael York, Professor Emeritus at Bath Spa University

    Michael York is Professor Emeritus of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University. Professor York continues to conduct research on contemporary paganism and its relationship to pre-Christian European religion. His latest work, published in 2019, was titled Pagan Mysticism: Paganism as a World Religion.


Albanese, Catherine. 1990. Nature Religion in America from the Algonkian Indians to the New Age. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Al-Da’mi, M. A. 1997. “The Intellectual Significance of Carlyle’s and Irving’s Commentaries On the Pre-Islamic Religions of Arabia.” Medieval Encounters 3(2): 142–157.

Answers 2000 Limited. 2022. Dharmic Religions—Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism. [Accessed 3 October 2022].

Taoic Religions—Confucianism, Shinto, Taoism, Caodaism.

Astronist Institution. 2021. “Major Astronist Mechanism 3 – Entire Astronism.”


“History of Astronomical Religions.”

Barker, Eileen. 1999. “New Religious Movements: their incidence and significance.” In New Religious Movements: Challenge and Response, edited by J. Cresswell and B. Wilson, 15–29. London: Routledge.

“The Not-So-New Religious Movements: Changes in ‘the Cult Scene’ over the Past Forty Years.” Temenos 50(2): 235–256.

Berezkin, Yuri. 2005. “Cosmic Hunt: Variants of Siberian-North American Myth.” Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore 1(31): 89.

Braley, Heinley. 2021. “Philosopher of the Stars.”

Cometan. 2020. “Astronomy in the Origins of Religion.” Astronist Institution.

Cometan, Irene Mary Taylor and Derrick Taylor. 2022. “Irene Mary and Derrick Taylor’s Traditionalist Catholicism: A Cause to eatify.” ResearchGate. Last Updated: 2 May 2022.’s_Traditionalist_Catholicism_A_Cause_to_Beatify

d’Huy, Julien. 2013. “A Cosmic Hunt in the Berber Sky: A Phylogenetic Reconstruction of a Palaeolithic Mythology.” Les Cahiers de l’AARS 16(1): 93–106.

Fitzgerald, A. P. 1951. “Some Aspects of Primitive Astronomy.” Irish Astronomical Journal 1(7): 197–212.

Gingerich, O. 1973. “From Copernicus to Kepler: Heliocentrism as Model and as Reality.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 117(6): 513–522.

Hayden, Brian AND Suzanne Villeneuve. 2011. “Astronomy in the Upper Palaeolithic?” Cambridge Archaeological Journal 21(3): 33–355.

Kelly, W. E. 2006. “Entranced by the Night Sky: Psychological Absorption and Noctcaelador.” Psychology and Education 43(2): 22–27.

Lewis, James R. 2009. Scientology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Makemson, Maud Worcester. 1954. “Astronomy in Primitive Religion.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 22(3): 163–171.

McDermott, James and Benjamin Sullivan. 2017. The Panendeism Treatise. Panendeism Organization Press.

Palmer, Susan. 2004. Aliens Adored: Raël’s UFO Religion. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Rappenglueck, Michael A. 2004. “A Palaeolithic Planetarium Underground: The Cave of Lascaux.” Migration and Diffusion 5(18): 93–119.

Saliba, J. A. 1999. “The Earth is a Dangerous Place—The World View of the Aetherius Society.” Marburg Journal of Religion 4(2): 1–19.

Sayce, Archibald Henry. 1913. The Religions of Ancient Egypt. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

Seligsohn, M. 1906. The Jewish Encyclopedia, 527–528. Philadelphia: Kopelman Foundation.

Smith, S. G. 2003. “Opening a Channel to the Stars: The Origins and Development of the Aetherius Soc.” In UFO Religions, edited by C. Partridge, 78–97. Abingdon: Routledge.

Space Renaissance International. 2021. “Space Renaissance and Spirituality.” YouTube.

Walliss, John. 1988. “Crises of Charismatic Authority and Millenarian Violence: The Case of the Order of the Solar Temple.” In The Order of the Solar Temple: The Temple of Death , edited by James Lewis, 105–116. Aldershot: Ashgate.

York, Michael. 2022. “Religion and the Environmental Crisis.” IntechOpen.

“Astronism” in the World Religions and Spirituality Project:

Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion. New York: New York University Press.

Young, David. 2021. The Dedication of Cometan. WikiArt. Last Updated: 29 April 2021.;

Young, G. M. 2012. The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zaleski, Pawel. 2010. “Ideal Types in Max Weber’s Sociology of Religion: Some Theoretical Inspirations for a Study of the Religious Field.” Polish Sociological Review 171(3): 319-325.

Zell, Oberon. 2022. GaeaGenesis: Conception and Birth of the Living Earth (A Love Story). Cincinnati, OH: Left Hand Press.

Zeller, B. E. 2011. “At the Nexus of Science and Religion: UFO Religions.” Religion Compass 5(11): 666–674.






How to Cite

Cometan, & York, M. (2023). Astronism and the Astronic Religious Tradition. International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 12(1), 3–31.