New Age

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New Age,

a term popularized in the 1980s to describe a wide-ranging set of beliefs and practices that are an outgrowth of the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s in the United States. Adherents of the New Age movement believe that a spiritual era is dawning in which individuals and society will be transformed. The movement encompasses a wide range of ideas, including personal spiritual growth and self-realization, holistic medicineholistic medicine,
system of health care based on a concept of the "whole" person as one whose body, mind, spirit, and emotions are in balance with the environment. Stressing personal responsibility for health, a holistic approach may include conventional medicine and various
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 (including the use of crystals for healing), reincarnationreincarnation
[Lat.,=taking on flesh again], occupation by the soul of a new body after the death of the former body. Beliefs vary as to whether the soul assumes the new body immediately or only after an interval of disembodiment.
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, astrologyastrology,
form of divination based on the theory that the movements of the celestial bodies—the stars, the planets, the sun, and the moon—influence human affairs and determine the course of events.
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, and the mystical energies said to be induced by pyramids. Many critics of the movement regard it as anti-intellectual. In music, the term refers to meditative, relaxing, usually instrumental styles.

New Age

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A modern term given to a spiritual movement originating in the 1960s that embraces meditation, belief in reincarnation, creation of one's own reality, nonconventional religion, channeling, astrology, tarot, holistic medicine, use of crystals, various healing techniques, and many of the arts and sciences previously listed under the heading of "occult." As a label, it serves a useful purpose in attracting seekers and querants who might otherwise be repulsed by the occult heading.


New Age


an Indian English-language weekly, the central organ of the Communist Party of India. Founded in 1953, the newspaper is published in New Delhi.


Kruglov, E. V. Kommunisticheskaia pechat’ Indii. Moscow, 1966.

New Age


As a social movement held together by specific ideas, the New Age can be traced to the late 1950s. The following four essential ideas came to distinguish the movement. None are particularly new ideas, their distinctiveness lying in their being brought together in a new gestalt.

  • The self as Divine. Within the New Age one theological affirmation has found popular support: the identification of the individual as one in essence with the divine. Underlying this notion, which takes a wide variety of forms, is a monistic world in which the only reality is “God,” usually thought of in predominantly impersonal terms such as “mind” or “energy.”
  • The possibility of personal transformation. The New Age movement offers the possibility of personal transformation in the immediate future. The transformative process is most clearly seen in the healing process, and transformation often is first encountered as a healing of the individual, either of a chronic physical problem or a significant psychological problem. Healing has become a metaphor for transformation and adoption of a healthy lifestyle, a prominent concern of New Agers.
  • The hope of broad cultural transformation. The New Age movement offered hope that the world, which many people, especially those on the edges of the dominant culture, experience in negative terms, would be transformed and enter into a golden era. It is, of course, the millennial hope of the coming of a golden age of peace and light that gave the New Age movement its name.
  • The transformation of occult arts and processes. The New Age movement embraces the familiar occult practices, from astrology and tarot to mediumship and psychic healing. Yet in the New Age movement the significance of these practices has been considerably altered. Astrology and tarot are no longer fortunetelling devices, but tools used for self-transformation.

The New Age movement has tended to latch onto several aspects of the faddish interest in dreams in contemporary culture. For example, new dream dictionaries, containing interpretations of specific dream images, have been composed to express a New Age perspective. Betty Bethard’s The Dream Book: Symbols for Self-Understanding (1983), is a useful example. As do the occult arts, the New Age sees dreams as tools for transformation and healing, as discussed in Patricia Garfield’s popular book The Healing Power of Dreams.

Some New Agers have also shown interest in lucid dreaming, the practice of becoming conscious during one’s dreams and learning to control their direction. Of note in this field are the works of Stephen LaBerge and Carlos Castaneda. Various forms of dream yoga from Eastern religions have also influenced New Age thought. As with other kinds of dreamwork, lucid dreaming is viewed as a potential tool for healing and self-transformation.

New Age

a. a philosophy, originating in the late 1980s, characterized by a belief in alternative medicine, astrology, spiritualism, etc.
b. (as modifier): New Age therapies
References in periodicals archive ?
In a final grab at hope, however, new agers say that when the world ends, the mountain will open up and aliens will come out in spaceships to save humans who live near the mountain.
By the 1940s, they were completely gone from England (although some survive in rural areas on the continent), and Davies debunks purported continuities between the last cunning-folk and Wiccans and New Agers.
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised to see a spaceship in the backwoods of Madison County, North Carolina; after all, the New Agers who have taken over nearby Asheville write books on the alien activity in the area.
YWAM and Christian Direction have co-operated in projects, including a mission to New Agers.
It has poked fun at greedy medical professionals, trendy New Agers and emotionally challenged men who enroll in sensitivity training workshops.
More critical words appear in his attack on purveyors of pseudoscience, such as homeopaths and New Agers, who espouse nothing short of "drivel," writes the author.
It follows that in such a dynamic, chancy universe, the Holy One cannot be the cuddly Super-Therapist proposed by New Agers.
I once had a dreadful vision of new agers traipsing around Wounded Knee in 1890, collecting pretty bits and bobs of spiritual regalia from the frozen bodies of Indian women, children and Elders, to the tune of "Tiptoe through the tulips.
The readers are, consequently, treated to new agers, healers, psychologists, hypnotists, dietary specialists, et cetera, but also to wine-testing, cigar-testing, shopping trips to the German border, and various sporting events, none of which inspire the narrator to move toward a more satisfying life.
Bishops have requested guidance on whether practices embraced by New Agers, including yoga and healing by crystals, are compatible with Christianity.
To the delight/terror of many it seems the New Agers are now here to stay, as the many shops flogging trinkets and books unlocking Mystical Powers exemplify.
Spring Air's Four Seasons collection, ready to roll out on retail floors, seeks to push the right buttons of environmentally conscious New Agers.