Religion and legends
Main article: Legends of Mount Shasta
Sunrise on Mount Shasta
The lore of some of the Klamath Tribes in the area held that Mount Shasta is inhabited by the Spirit of the Above-World, Skell, who descended from heaven to the mountain's summit at the request of a Klamath chief. Skell fought with Spirit of the Below-World, Llao, who resided at Mount Mazama by throwing hot rocks and lava, probably representing the volcanic eruptions at both mountains.
Italian settlers arrived in the early 1900s to work in the mills as stonemasons and established a strong Catholic presence in the area. Many other faiths have been attracted to Mount Shasta over the years—more than any other Cascade volcano. Mount Shasta City and Dunsmuir, California, small towns near Shasta's western base, are focal points for many of these, which range from a Buddhist monastery (Shasta Abbey, founded by Houn Jiyu-Kennett in 1971) to modern-day Native American rituals. A group of Native Americans from the McCloud River area practice rituals on the mountain.
Mount Shasta has also been a focus for non-Native American legends, centered on a hidden city of advanced beings from the lost continent of Lemuria. The legend grew from an offhand mention of Lemuria in the 1880s, to a description of a hidden Lemurian village in 1925. In 1931, Wisar Spenle Cerve wrote Lemuria: the lost continent of the Pacific, published by the Rosicrucians, about the hidden Lemurians of Mount Shasta that cemented the legend in many readers' minds.
In August 1987, believers in the spiritual significance of the Harmonic Convergence described Mount Shasta as one of a small number of global "power centers". Mount Shasta remains a focus of "New Age" attention.