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The beliefs and practices of New Age religions are difficult to define because there is no official New Age dogma. Rather, it is a network of often unaffiliated organizations, most of which do not consider themselves to be New Age.

Common themes that are shared by several New Age groups include an interest in angels, miracles, and psychic phenomenon, such as clairvoyance. These beliefs are often combined with other elements, including various Asian traditions, American Indian traditions, astrology, the human potential movement, and holistic healing practices. New Age practitioners will often include trance channelers, psychic healers, healers using crystals or magic objects, those using meditation, and therapists specializing in past-life regression. Of course, each New Age group isn't going to share all of these distinguishing factors, but each of these are often associated with New Age beliefs and practices.

Rather than meeting in weekly or monthly ritual groups, like the covens of the Neopagan groups, New Agers prefer specialist-client relationships, or to blend New Age practices with those of a Christian denomination, or another religion.

New Age self-growth techniques and healing practices are largely based on an assumption that positive thinking has the ability to produce change. They may believe that salvation comes through the cultivation of a divine inner self, often with the assistance of various techniques that can be learned in books, through workshops, or from spiritual teachers.

In addition to the power of positive thinking, they may emphasize that negative experiences illusory and that they can be transformed into positive ones through the power of the human mind. Most New Age practitioners believe that accessing the psychic powers of the mind is the key to both physical and mental healing. However, methods will vary greatly from one group to another.

Some New Age groups will form intentional communities that are often viewed as Utopian models, while others adhere to New Age beliefs and practices while living in the general society, and still others will attend a New Age workshop one a year, while meditating at home.

Many New Age groups have a high level of social consciousness, which often turns into a criticism of institutions and traditions that are viewed as being responsible for isolating people from one another, or from nature. Similarly, most New Agers believe that humans have a special responsibility to the rest of the planet. Human beings are often viewed as being separate from nature, and harmful to the planet. Sometimes, this includes a view of the earth as a living thing.

The popularity of channeling among New Agers has waxed and waned throughout the years and can be traced back to 19th-century America. By the late 1800s, channeling declined but continued to maintain a small following. By the 1970s, channeling was gaining in popularity again. Typically, a medium will contact the spirit world and convey messages from a spirit guide.

Although psychic readers are viewed with a skeptic eye by most people today, those who engage in the practice are nearly always New Agers.

Psychic healers draw upon their own powers, or on the help of a spirit animal or guide.

Interests in indigenous cultures, ancient civilizations, yoga, and meditation blend together in New Age beliefs and practices, and are often taught in centers or foundations.

Often, New Age practices are taught along with Reiki, color therapy, yoga, and creative movement classes.

Reincarnation is a common belief among New Agers, and most embrace the idea that good and bad karma will result in either reward or punishment.

Another common belief is that every religion in the world offer alternate paths to the same goals, which may involve personal transformation, healing, or enhancing human potential.

Several New Age groups have grown around a belief in a coming world leader who will usher in the New Age, but many of these groups have faded away when that leader failed to materialize at the predicted time or place.

Most of the individual New Age groups are built around a strong personality, often a New Age philosopher or theorist, but sometimes a celebrity.

While New Agers may entertain a belief in God, they tend not to conceptualize God in the way that a Christian does. Rather, they tend to seek God within themselves or in nature, while Christians view God as being above and beyond creation. Generally, this is true even of Christian New Agers, who may use the terms of a Christian view of God, but with an alternate interpretation or understanding as to the nature of God.

Beliefs and practices characteristic of the New Age movement is the focus of topics in this category, although many of these practices are associated with other religions as well


New Age Beliefs

New Age Practices



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