You might not know it, but people of different beliefs (especially Christians) and those who are religiously unaffiliated have something in common: they adhere to what are known as “New Age” beliefs. New age beliefs encompass a wide range of topics, such as belief in astrology and the existence of spiritual energy in natural things like crystals or trees.
The New Age Movement
In addition, the New Age Movement encompasses a diverse range of techniques and ideas based on paganism, psychology, psychotherapy, Tarot, magic, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. Common practices include meditation and breathwork, mediumship, Reiki, astrology, yoga, and the use of healing energies in crystals and stones. However, most New Ager believers think that when people open themselves up to the spiritual powers that are accessible to all people, they can transform themselves.
The simplest way to define the New Age Movement is as a “spiritual marketplace,” where people are free to select and combine the spiritual practices and concepts they believe would most successfully aid them in attaining inner peace or their full potential. It encourages greater spiritual awareness, intuitive reasoning, and a tranquil relationship with others and the natural world. This type of spirituality is highly individualized.
This pick-and-choose approach is likely one of the many reasons these beliefs have become so popular, especially given the more…restrictive aspects of religion, which many see as more challenging to adhere to given these turbulent, stressful times where we are expected to juggle jobs, socializing, bills, and many other stressors.
Love and Light
What is the New Age movement, though, exactly? In the 1970s and 1980s, it became a phenomenon that spread throughout the occult and metaphysical religious scenes. It anticipated a “New Age” of love and light and provided a glimpse of it via healing and personal growth. Modern esotericists were the movement’s most ardent backers. This belief system has existed in the West since the second century AD.
In response to worldwide turmoil in the 1970s and 1980s, New Age Spirituality flourished throughout the religious and spiritual sectors. The fallout of the Vietnam War and demonstrations against discrimination and prejudice occurred during this period in the United States. There was a lot of pain. Nevertheless, spiritualists thought a planetary transformation known as The Age of Aquarius would bring a new intellectual era. Its seekers believed that this Age would usher in a period of harmony and provide a glimpse into a new world that would throw negativity aside. Everyone can proceed with hope and happiness.
In recent years, there’s been an increase in the popularity of being “spiritual but not religious” and of New Age beliefs in general.
The growth has been steady, I’d say. Approximately six out of ten Americans currently agree with at least one of them. In addition, four out of ten people specifically adhere to the belief that physical objects hold spiritual energies. On the other hand, fewer people believe in astrology (29%) and reincarnation (33%).
How about you? Do you practice these beliefs in tandem with the religion you currently practice, or are you what people would call “non-religious” but spiritual? Either way, know there is healing and transformation potential in New Age beliefs.
What is the New Age Movement?
Realizing the New Age
‘New Age’ beliefs common among both religious and nonreligious Americans
From Crystals to Horoscopes: The Rise of Spirituality in a Skeptical World
New Age Movement: Background, Spirituality & Beliefs