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What practices & beliefs do you associate with "New Age" ?

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  • What practices & beliefs do you associate with "New Age" ?

    To hopefully get some threads and discussion started...

    I'm wondering what sort of practices and beliefs are (in your view) associated with the New Age umbrella of paths?

    What makes a path New Age?

    Are there any opinions, beliefs and practices that are associated with New Age paths that you feel are unfair, or even stereotypes?
    Last edited by Agaliha; October 15th, 2008, 11:13 PM.

  • #2
    The major reason the term New Age does not appeal to me is;;;In my experience they were talking the talk but not walking the walk/.For me it is one thing to read many books....but their has to come a time when you start practicing some of the tools,,,to be fluent in talking the language is one thing but to really have a relatiionshiip with spirit and do the work to raise you level of conciousness is not so easy it takes dedication and practice....but this is only my experience:uhhuhuh:
    Enter Her World
    ~Jaqueline Frost touches the flowers~


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    • #3
      Originally posted by FairieSpirit
      The major reason the term New Age does not appeal to me is;;;In my experience they were talking the talk but not walking the walk/.For me it is one thing to read many books....but their has to come a time when you start practicing some of the tools,,,to be fluent in talking the language is one thing but to really have a relatiionshiip with spirit and do the work to raise you level of conciousness is not so easy it takes dedication and practice....but this is only my experience:uhhuhuh:
      I don't see how this is only a New Age problem. It can be found in Paganism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and all kinds of paths. You can have a Pagan, Wicca, etc who reads tons of books, knows all the rituals and lingo, but doesn't really practice their path. You can have a Christian who knows the Bible through and through, but doesn't practice the qualities within it, such as compassion and understanding and instead judges people. Etc, etc. etc. This isn't limited to New Age. There has to be a balance between practice and researching/learning, I think.

      I also don't see how the actions of those people that don't walk the walk as you put it, would turn you off to a whole idea, belief system and path. There are plenty of people that are part of the New Age movement that do practice their path. Just as their are plenty of Christians, Pagans, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc that do as well. And besides all paths are going to have problems, none are perfect.

      As for the questions I asked, do you have anything to add there? I was hoping to get some feedback to help with discussions and whatnot.
      Last edited by Agaliha; October 16th, 2008, 03:20 AM.

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      • #4
        Well I don't know the correct answer to your question, but when I hear the term "New Age" I tend to think of crystal-gazing, some kind of belief in pyramid power, reincarnation, karma, the belief that we "choose" who we're going to be before we are born, an emphasis on "spirituality" and a distaste for "religion," an emphasis on the self and spirit guides, and less of a focus on deities, and lots of flower power type of stuff. (Which of course is fine with me if one prefers that sort of thing...Whatever floats one's boat, so long as it doesn't sink mine...) There seems to also be an emphasis on angels and on quasi-Christian "white light" type of stuff. I don't think belief in either of these things makes a person New Age, but I do think New Age people tend to believe in this constellation of elements and have a tendency toward what is called "willy-nilly eclecticism."

        But aside from that, I can't offer a clear definition of the New Age movement, mostly because I don't think they really have a clear definition for themselves. I do know that in many bookstores they tend to lump all the pagan, Wiccan, and magic books under "New Age," which I find vaguely insulting. Why can't our stuff be included in the "Religion" section like all the "world religions" are? I don't think of myself as "New Age," but more like "Crotchety Old School."
        Last edited by Darth Brooks; October 16th, 2008, 03:27 AM.
        My God is a real Ass; He butchered the Dying-and-Rising Lord, He stole the Eye from the Hawk, He sires the Children of Rebellion, and He lusts after God and Goddess alike. Every green and growing thing shrivels into dust at His touch; every convention is violated by the seed of His loins. He brings drought and infertility to the land, and He has no respect for the crook or the flail. Yet without Him, the slave would never break free from his bondage, the evil serpent would devour the sun, and the future would never come to pass.

        The song of the tempest is His name.


        Khepher-I-Suti

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Darth Brooks View Post
          Well I don't know the correct answer to your question, but when I hear the term "New Age" I tend to think of crystal-gazing, some kind of belief in pyramid power, reincarnation, karma, the belief that we "choose" who we're going to be before we are born, an emphasis on "spirituality" and a distaste for "religion," an emphasis on the self and spirit guides, and less of a focus on deities, and lots of flower power type of stuff. (Which of course is fine with me if one prefers that sort of thing...Whatever floats one's boat, so long as it doesn't sink mine...) There seems to also be an emphasis on angels and on quasi-Christian "white light" type of stuff. I don't think belief in either of these things makes a person New Age, but I do think New Age people tend to believe in this constellation of elements and have a tendency toward what is called "willy-nilly eclecticism."
          I think that is a good description of how people in general and Pagans in particular tend to see the New Age beliefs.
          I think that for a lot of Pagans the term New Age is synonymous with "fluffy". I don't think that is fair and I think it is a bit elitest or defensive; it is a way of ring-fencing our own beliefs and looking down on those who don't pay as much attention to detail or history as we tend to.

          I do know that in many bookstores they tend to lump all the pagan, Wiccan, and magic books under "New Age," which I find vaguely insulting. Why can't our stuff be included in the "Religion" section like all the "world religions" are? I don't think of myself as "New Age," but more like "Crotchety Old School."
          I agree that this happens and is one of the contributary factors for seeming to be anti New Age. But this is not the fault of New Agers' but rather the fault of book shops and the publishing industry. Then again, the problem is that the term Paganism is just as much an umbrella term as New Age and there are a lot of overlaps.

          Philosphically, I think that the New Age movement tends to have more of a belief in the overall goodness and benevolence of the universe (in a psudo-christian sense) than Paganism which is more neutral and often tries to value and balance all sides of the spectrum.
          😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cassie View Post
            I think that is a good description of how people in general and Pagans in particular tend to see the New Age beliefs.
            I think that for a lot of Pagans the term New Age is synonymous with "fluffy". I don't think that is fair and I think it is a bit elitest or defensive; it is a way of ring-fencing our own beliefs and looking down on those who don't pay as much attention to detail or history as we tend to.
            Not to mention that there are plenty of "fluffy" pagans to go around, too.

            I agree that this happens and is one of the contributary factors for seeming to be anti New Age. But this is not the fault of New Agers' but rather the fault of book shops and the publishing industry. Then again, the problem is that the term Paganism is just as much an umbrella term as New Age and there are a lot of overlaps.

            Philosphically, I think that the New Age movement tends to have more of a belief in the overall goodness and benevolence of the universe (in a psudo-christian sense) than Paganism which is more neutral and often tries to value and balance all sides of the spectrum.
            I agree with you. Only I'm not sure that I would describe them as "pseudo-Christian," which implies that they're fake Christians (which they may or may not be, but I don't feel it's for me to judge). I prefer "quasi-Christian" because at least then it's just saying they resemble something like Christianity.
            My God is a real Ass; He butchered the Dying-and-Rising Lord, He stole the Eye from the Hawk, He sires the Children of Rebellion, and He lusts after God and Goddess alike. Every green and growing thing shrivels into dust at His touch; every convention is violated by the seed of His loins. He brings drought and infertility to the land, and He has no respect for the crook or the flail. Yet without Him, the slave would never break free from his bondage, the evil serpent would devour the sun, and the future would never come to pass.

            The song of the tempest is His name.


            Khepher-I-Suti

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Darth Brooks View Post



              I agree with you. Only I'm not sure that I would describe them as "pseudo-Christian," which implies that they're fake Christians (which they may or may not be, but I don't feel it's for me to judge). I prefer "quasi-Christian" because at least then it's just saying they resemble something like Christianity.
              Yes you are right.
              ...And I only mean "quasi-Christian" in so far as they seem to have a rather dualistic, good verses evil, view of the universe, and use a lot Judao-Christian vocabulary.
              ...But of course, so do some Pagans.
              😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

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              • #8
                Isn't new age a reference to the age of Aquarius which is just beginning. According to some sources this will be an age of goodness and light and lots of fluffiness yeah. But according to other sources it's just a reshuffling of the energy pack but isn't necessarily more light or more dark.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by plumedsnake View Post
                  Isn't new age a reference to the age of Aquarius which is just beginning. According to some sources this will be an age of goodness and light and lots of fluffiness yeah. But according to other sources it's just a reshuffling of the energy pack but isn't necessarily more light or more dark.
                  That's one meaning of the term "New Age," but more commonly it refers to the spiritual movement (though they are often connection, the two meanings)--

                  see, Wiki:

                  New Age (New Age Movement and New Age Spirituality) is a social collective phenomenon and a spiritual nature movement that seeks universal truth through the oneness of humanity. It combines aspects of spirituality, cosmology, esotericism, complementary and alternative medicine, various religious practices, and environmentalism. It is characterized by an eclectic and individual approach to spirituality with a general rejection of mainstream dogma and religion.

                  The term New Age refers to the coming Astrological Age of Aquarius.

                  ...

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age --- also see here for more details
                  Last edited by Agaliha; October 16th, 2008, 05:59 AM.

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                  • #10
                    In response to the topic thread's question:

                    Vulgar materialism, also known as greed.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Snapdragon View Post
                      In response to the topic thread's question:

                      Vulgar materialism, also known as greed.
                      Why?
                      😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You know, come to think of it, I can't think of anything that just screams "NewAge"!

                        Hrmm.... When I sit and think for a couple of minutes, here are a few that come to me:

                        1) Christianising Wicca -- Stuff like the First Church of Wicca where it's obviously a mishmash of the two in either a misguided attempt at "mainstreaming" Eclectic Wicca or a gross attempt at scamming people; or both. Neither Tradition/Initiate-based Wicca nor its Eclectic/Solitary interpretations need to be a "church" for any reason.

                        2) Believing that dolphins have "powers" or can comunicate with humans on a higher level than they currently do (which is about as well as cats or dogs communicate with us).

                        3) The appropriation of First Nations/Native/Aboriginal North American/Mesoamerican/Amerindian spiritual traditions, often very, very inaccurately or inappropriately seems to have long been a staple among what's been coined "New Age". My first boyfriend was Cherokee and his mother said "a good rule of thumb is that if the self-described spiritual guide or leader looks White and lacks papers, chances are good that it's a New Age scam -- not always, but usually; money is usually a sign of sketchy intent, but sometimes the poor guy is only charging what he's sure will ultimately pay for his motel or gas money, if he's getting into three-digits a head, run".

                        4) I seem to have noticed a lot of inappropriate and/or inaccurate appropriation of Buddhist teachings and/or imagery, and to a much lesser extent, Hindu.

                        5) I could also probably throw in Meher Baba and similar, but usually when I think of "NewAge", I think of total nonsense (dolphin powers), cultural misappropriation, and cult-like scams (First Church of Wicca, etc...). What I know of Meher Baba's teachings, and similar, is that he's mixed a lot of spiritual traditions and mysticism, so his teachings probably have a significant validity (hey, at least Pete Townshend didn't become a sort of pre-Tom Cruise), but I'm not so sure about declaring himself "the Avatar of the age" -- his Wikipaedia page seems to lack a "criticisms" section, though so does the Mother Theresa page, and if you've seen that episode of Penn & Teller's Bullsheet, then you'd know that even some practising Catholics have issue with Mother Theresa.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Darth Brooks View Post
                          Well I don't know the correct answer to your question, but when I hear the term "New Age" I tend to think of crystal-gazing, some kind of belief in pyramid power, reincarnation, karma, the belief that we "choose" who we're going to be before we are born, an emphasis on "spirituality" and a distaste for "religion," an emphasis on the self and spirit guides, and less of a focus on deities, [snip] There seems to also be an emphasis on angels and on quasi-Christian "white light" type of stuff. I don't think belief in either of these things makes a person New Age, but I do think New Age people tend to believe in this constellation of elements and have a tendency toward what is called "willy-nilly eclecticism."
                          I think a lot of these things can also be NewAge -- reincarnation and karma, though, only in terms of appropriation from other religions. The idea that we all "choose" our lives before we were born just, frankly, smacks of victim-blaming and other forms of dehumanising anti-compassion, to me: My best friend was raped really horribly and she's got such a severe form of bipolar disorder that she can't even drive a car (not even with her stabilising meds) -- who the hell would "choose" that? Either of those? I guess I can understand "choosing" to be Rufus Wainwright or even just a sweet stay-at-home mother of four who has an awesome husband with a thing for getting spanked, or maybe even "choosing" to be the stereotypical bohemian artist-type who didn't end up with AIDS in RENT.... But who would "choose" to be a starving child in Africa? Who would "choose" to be some Amerindian woman who got raped repeatedly as her villiage burned and her boys were killed in front of her? The idea that "we all chose our lives before we were born" makes it too easy to let people off the hook from caring about those around them -- bad things happening to you that you can't figure out how to stop, or simply can't stop? Well, too bad for you, this NewAge lecturer says that you chose this existance just like I chose to have a 15lb benign growth on my chest that caused my spine to collapse and my paternal grandmother chose both breast and ovarian cancer, and my father chose the life where his first wife and unborn child died in a car wreck and chose the factory closing down in '84, and my mother chose to be a lesbian and have the courts prevent her from seeing her youngest children ever again, and the Keltoi chose Roman invasion, my friend chose getting horribly raped, and one in three Trans women chooses to get horribly raped and/or murdered. It was all chosen long before birth! Long before concption, if you know which NewAge lecturer to talk to! I don't care what kind of justification they're using, it just doesn't logically follow that people would *choose* a physically or emotionally painful experience.

                          The whole "Indigo children" thing smacks of "NewAge", as well. Now, in certain contexts, aura colours can be valid, but if you look at the history of "Indigo children" in even alt.spirituality literature, it quickly went from something rare to something that somehow almost *every* child was. Initially, yes, "Indigo" auras were written about as these amazing movers and shakers *but* that with these great gifts came great burdens and that "Indigos" were estimated as having the highest suicide rates among the auras. Within less than fifteen years, some feel-good NewAge alt.spirituality lit came out pretty much describing *any* child that might even have a few hints of being "bright" and "gifted" as being "Indigo", and none of the old bad stuff was ever mentioned. A common thing I see amongst "NewAge" movements is this desire to absolve oneself of any sort of spiritual, and sometimes even mortal, responsibility. Everybody wants to hear about how bright and wonderful and special their child may be, but next to nobody wants to hear that Kurt Cobain, who shot himself in the head and wrote some of the most depressive, self-loathing lyrics ever put to paper much less tape, fit the original definition of "Indigo aura" to a T. Nope, it's all sweetness and light and nothing bad could ever happen to an Indigo aura, cos you didn't just pay $200+ to hear a lecture that said anything less than rose-tinted.

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                          • #14
                            Compared to antiquity?

                            Pacifism. Valuing the individual and one's experience over general consensus. Nature worship. Bloodless sacrifice and offerings (animal rights). Further mixture of cultural backgrounds and paths. Utilization of technology to supplement the spiritual experience (I'm thinking, blogging and researching on the Internet, using digital music on iPods during trance, using modern forms of transportation to gather, etc.). Mass distribution and absorption of literature (using the printing press and libraries to facilitate the custom of referencing source material - which is expected to be accessible to almost anyone).
                            ‘Αλεξανδρα Δοροθια βωνδ
                            http://helleneste.wordpress.com/
                            http://www.hellenion.org

                            I begin to sing of Pallas Athene, the glorious goddess, bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart, pure virgin, saviour of cities, courageous, Tritogeneia. From his awful head wise Zeus himself bare her arrayed in warlike arms of flashing gold, and awe seized all the gods as they gazed. But Athena sprang quickly from the immortal head and stood before Zeus who holds the aegis, shaking a sharp spear: great Olympus began to reel horribly at the might of the bright-eyed goddess, and earth round about cried fearfully, and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves, while foam burst forth suddenly: the bright Son of Hyperion stopped his swift-footed horses a long while, until the maiden Pallas Athene had stripped the heavenly armour from her immortal shoulders. And wise Zeus was glad. And so hail to you, daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis!
                            - THE HOMERIC HYMNS - XXVIII. TO ATHENA

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by plumedsnake View Post
                              Isn't new age a reference to the age of Aquarius which is just beginning. According to some sources this will be an age of goodness and light and lots of fluffiness yeah. But according to other sources it's just a reshuffling of the energy pack but isn't necessarily more light or more dark.
                              Well, not even. Depending on which of the primary two astrologers dating even the "beginning" of the Age of Aquarius, we're either in the middle of it or a good 1500+ years from it [Wikipaedia link]. Don't let the musical Hair fool you, like it fooled Roseanne -- we are not in even the "dawning" of the Age of Aquarius, and considering that each astrological age is approximately 2,150 years, like it said, we're either in the beginning of the middle, or we're at about Noontime of the Piscean age.

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