The term ‘new age’ is a very broad term that embraces anything eclectic that seems to have taken popularity in the last 60 years or so. It’s identified by alternative ideas that differ from mainstream Western culture and traditions.
While some view it as a religion, it is actually more of a social movement or a community commentary. This is because new age beliefs are reactionary, meaning that they stray away from traditional religion and redefine their practices as spirituality or esoteric. This is due to a movement that considers religion to be negatively associated with organized religion.
New Age pursuits include spirituality, metaphysics, holistic health, humanitarianism, and environmental issues/planetary healing. Additionally, newer additions to new age thinking include new ways of approaching personal spirituality as a form of empowerment. This added a new discourse on equality, gender, sexuality, work, consumption, and our physical form (our bodies) into the new age understanding of the Universe.
Many of the practices that are included under the banner of the New Age aren’t new at all, though. Some of the activities are actually thousands of years old and are simply regaining popularity as new age followers grow tired of traditional Western society and its standards.
Some examples of these are...
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