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Religious Tolerance logo

New Age Spirituality: Part 2 of 2

a.k.a. Self-spirituality, New spirituality, Mind-body-spirit

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This topic is a continuation from Part 1

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About the "Age of Aquarius:"

The Age of Aquarius is a reference to the precession of the zodiac. The earth passes into a new sign of the zodiac approximately every 2,000 years. Some believe that the earth entered the constellation Aquarius in the late 19th Century, so that the present era is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Others believe that it occured at the end of the 20th century. It is interesting to note that the previous constellation changes were:

bullet from Aries to Pisces the fish circa the 1st century CE. This happened at a time when Christianity was an emerging religion, and many individuals changed from animal sacrifice in the Jewish temple to embracing the teachings of Christianity. The church's main symbol at the time was the fish. The cross came later.

bulletfrom Taurus to Aries the ram circa 2,000 BCE. This happened at a time when the Jews engaged in widespread ritual sacrifice of sheep and other animals in the Temple.

bulletfrom Gemini to Taurus the bull circa 4,000 BCE. During that sign, worshiping of the golden calf was common in the Middle East.

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New Age practices:

Many practices are found among New Agers. A typical practitioner is active in only a few areas:

bullet Channeling: This is a method similar to that used by Spiritists in which a spirit of a long dead individual is conjured up. However, while Spiritists generally believe that one's soul remains relatively unchanged after death, most channelers believe that the soul evolves to higher planes of existence. Channelers usually try to make contact with a single, spiritually evolved being. That being's consciousness is channeled through the medium and relays guidance and information to the group, through the use of the medium's voice. Channeling has existed since the 1850's and many groups consider themselves independent of the New Age movement. Perhaps the most famous channeling event is the popular A Course in Miracles. It was channeled through a Columbia University psychologist, Dr. Helen Schucman, (1909-1981), during the interval 1956-1972. She was an Atheist, and in no way regarded herself as a New Age believer. However, she took great care in recording accurately the words that she received.

bullet Crystals: Crystals are materials which have their molecules arranged in a specific, highly ordered internal pattern. This pattern is reflected in the crystal's external structure which typically has symmetrical planar surfaces. Many common substances, from salt to sugar, from diamonds to quartz form crystals. They can be shaped so that they will vibrate at a specific frequency and are widely used in radio communications and computing devices. Many New Agers believe that crystals possess healing energy.

bullet Meditating: A process of blanking out the mind and releasing oneself from conscious thinking. This is often aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra, or focusing on an object.

bullet New Age Music: A gentle, melodic, inspirational music form involving the human voice, harp, lute, flute, etc. It is used as an aid in healing, massage therapy and general relaxation.

bullet Divination: The use of various techniques to foretell the future, including I Ching, Pendulum movements, Runes, Scrying, Tarot Cards, etc.

bullet Astrology: The belief that the orientation of the planets at the time of one's birth, and the location of their birth predicts the individual's future and personality. Belief in astrology is common amongst New Agers, but definitely not limited to them.

bullet Holistic Health: This is a collection of healing techniques which have diverged from the traditional medical model. It attempts to cure disorders in mind, body and spirit and to promote wholeness and balance in the individual. Examples are acupuncture, crystal healing, homeopathy, iridology, massage, various meditation methods, polarity therapy, psychic healing, therapeutic touch, reflexology, etc.

bulletHuman Potential Movement (a.k.a. Emotional Growth Movement) This is a collection of therapeutic methods involving both individualized and group working, using both mental and physical techniques. The goal is to help individuals to advance spiritually. Examples are Esalen Growth Center programs, EST, Gestalt Therapy, Primal Scream Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Transcendental Meditation and Yoga.

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Numbers of practitioners of the New Age:

This is essentially impossible to estimate.

The Canadian Census (1991) recorded only 1,200 people (0.005% of the total Canadian population) who identify their religion as being New Age. However, this in no way indicates the influence of new age ideas in the country. Many people identify with Christianity and other religions, but incorporate many new age concepts into their faith.

According to Wikipedia:

"In the mid-1990s, it was asserted that the New Age movement was primarily found in the United States and Canada, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. It is problematic ascertaining the number of New Agers because many individuals involved in the movement don't explicitly identify themselves as such.

[Religious studies scholar Paul] Heelas highlighted the range of attempts to establish the number of New Age participants in the U.S. during this period, noting that estimates ranged from 20,000 to 6 million. He believed that the higher ranges of these estimates were greatly inflated by, for instance, an erroneous assumption that all Americans who believed in reincarnation were parts of the movement. He nevertheless suggested that over 10 million people in the U.S. had had some contact with New Age practices or ideas." 1

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"Indigo Children"

Some within the New Age movement believe that children with special powers and indigo colored auras have been born in recent decades. According to Nancy Ann Tappe, this is a global phenomenon affecting over 95% of newborns since 1995. She writes:

"As small children, Indigos are easy to recognize by their unusually large, clear eyes. Extremely bright, precocious children with an amazing memory and a strong desire to live instinctively, these children of the next millennium are sensitive, gifted souls with an evolved consciousness who have come here to help change the vibrations of our lives and create one land, one globe and one species. They are our bridge to the future."

Some New Agers feel that the special personality factors among Indigo Children result in them being diagnosed with ADD or ADHD by therapists who do not understand their special qualities and needs. 2,3,4

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Links to some New Age web sites:

bulletAquariusAge.com is a spiritual/new age web site with articles mostly in Dutch. See: http://www.aquariusage.com/

bulletBlue Ridge Spirit is a web site featuring New Age and Metaphysical gifts and products. They also have a series of self-help essays "dedicated to empowering Individuals in the pursuit of clarity and truth during their lives journey." See: http://www.blueridgespirit.com/

bulletThe Center for the New Age in Sedona, AZ has "... over 15 professional psychic readers and energy healers..." specializing in "...spiritual quest and inner transformation." They distribute many free newsletters. See: http://www.sedonanewagecenter.com/

bulletLife Positive offers "a complete encyclopedia on holistic living and new age alternative sciences." See: http://www.lifepositive.com/

bulletLinkLight is a New Age site whose goal is to "create a spiritual connection between everyone on this Planet, and in this way raise the Consciousness of the Planet." They are at: http://www.linklight.com

bulletNew Age Truth emphasizes that: "...in seeking our paths we have the opportunity to embrace and explore all possible 'truths' before choosing the path which best fits our footsteps. Remembering that no one path is absolute. No truth is in itself whole. See: http://www.newagetruth.com/

bulletNew Age Web Works honors: "....all life as important, and all humanity as One." They support and invite :....the New Age, UFO, Pagan, Occult and Alternative Spirituality communities to share ideas, products and services." See: http://www.newageinfo.com/

bulletOpen2love.com is "a positive spiritual new age community for Lightworkers and Wanderers, featuring chat, forums, links and more." See: http://www.open2love.com

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Amazon.com's online bookstore lists the following books on the New Age:

If you see a generic Amazon ad here, please click on your browser's refresh key.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "New Age," Wikipedia, as on 2015-APR-11, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  2. "Are you an Indigo? 11 traits of Indigo children," Spirit Science and Metaphysics, 2014-5, at: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/

  3. book cover Lee Caroll, "The Indigo Children, The New Kids Have Arrived " Hay House, (1999). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

  4. book cover Doreen Virtue, "The Care and Feeding of Indigo Children," Hay House, (2001). Read reviews or order this book

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Web sites which sell New Age / Metaphysical products:

  • "Abaxion" describes themselves as "Your one-stop world-wide supplier on the net for occult and new age merchandise." See: http://www.abaxion.com/

  • "Natures Energies," features "over 1300 metaphysical and new age store products and topics to browse and learn about online!." See: http://www.natures-energies.com/

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Copyright © 1995 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2015-APR-13
Author: B.A. Robinson
Links checked: 2015-APR-13

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