Is there really a definition for “New Age”? What is the “New Age” and what does it mean?
We couldn’t find a good, complete New Age definition. We’re not sure that one exists.
According to Wikipedia, “New Age” isn’t a new term.
In fact, the term New Age was used as early as 1809 by William Blake who described a belief in a spiritual and artistic “New Age” in his preface to Milton: a Poem. (Click on the image at right to see it larger.)
The New Age — as we use that term today — draws upon many beliefs and practices from the 19th and 20th centuries, including Spiritualism, Theosophy and New Thought.
It is interconnected with alternative health discoveries, and sometimes with Western esoteric and occult traditions.
In the mid-20th century, Edgar Cayce was among the leading visionaries who established the New Age movement. By the 1960s, a growing counterculture embraced New Age concepts. Findhorn, an intentional community in Scotland, played an instrumental role in the evolution of New Age ideas and ideals.
The following are some concepts adopted by some — but not all — believers in New Age ideas. It’s important to consider them when you’re searching for a New Age definition.
God is an abstract concept, sometimes described in Universal terms, rather than a person with (sometimes negative) human impulses such as anger and destruction.
Spiritual beings such as angels, spirit guides, ascended masters, and extraterrestrials can assist humans if they need — and/or seek — their help.
Spiritual healing is not only possible, but it can be an important part of traditional, holistic and alternative medicine. Food, environmental influences, and a mind-body connection are of greater importance among some people in the New Age movement.
Death is a transition, not an end, and we continue as energy or spirits. This may be phrased or conceptualized in a variety of ways, depending on the individual’s personal theology and beliefs.
Astrology is among the practices respected for its influence — and sometimes predictions — of events and behaviors.
The Age of Aquarius is believed to be a time of peace, harmony and spiritual realization. Many members of the New Age community think that this age is here now, or it will begin soon. For some, this is has a clear astrological connection; for others, it is an era with general astrological associations, but it is primarily an evolutionary change in the human condition and experience.
The Age of Aquarius is the next step after the Industrial Era, and another swing of the pendulum towards greater harmony and balance in our lives. Beyond that, there’s no simple New Age definition for this Age of Aquarius.
Earth-based beliefs and practices are part of some New Age lifestyles, but they are often more inclusive than anything with a defined structure or religious label.
Quantum physics and related sciences are explaining — and proving – some New Age concepts that were scoffed at in previous years.
Parallel realms, ancient civilizations, alternative realities, and mystical worlds are all possible within some New Age concepts.
Indigo children are being born into our world with higher awareness and consciousness, to facilitate the changes of the New Age, and perhaps the Age of Aquarius.
Some believe that indigo is a predominant color in the auras of these gifted children.
Others correctly explain that the term “Indigo children” was coined by synesthete Nancy Tappe. (Many synesthetes perceive words, letters, numbers or concepts in terms of color. They are not necessarily literal associations, but a conceptual connection.)
In addition to the Indigo children, new waves of gifted, sensitive children are being born now. Instead of labeling them with medical terms suggesting problems, we need to see that they are bringing us important gifts to help and heal our world.
Many other beliefs, practices and traditions can be part of and define “New Age” but the nature of “New Age” beliefs make it almost impossible to provide a complete New Age definition.
In general, the New Age movement avoids strict rules and dogmas. It places faith and optimism in the innate goodness of all people, and the spiritual forces we believe in, as well as the positive qualities that connect us all.
For further information
Findhorn Foundation (website)
Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment (website)
The Indigo Children Ten Years Later: What’s Happening with the Indigo Teenagers! (book)
The Children of Now: Crystalline Children, Indigo Children, Star Kids, Angels on Earth, and the Phenomenon of Transitional Children (book)
Indigo Child (website)
The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World (book)
The Intention Experiment (website)
Agape International Spiritual Center (website)
New Age, at ReligiousTolerance.org (webpage with good information – but their links aren’t current)