People have asked me what New Age really means. It is a valid question and there is no succinct and definitive answer, such is the holistic nature of New Age! Here’s my own explanation as your New Age Editor.
First it is probably best to clarify what New Age is not!
The New Age is not a religion you can join. Although spirituality is at the heart of New Age philosophy there is no organised religion involved. ‘New Agers’ can come from all walks of life, from religious and non religious backgrounds.
The New Age is not a cult or a secret society! This one always makes me smile…there are people who genuinely think the New Age has an underground membership system and that New Agers are infiltrating society with some ‘master plan’. I've even been contacted by someone begging to be allowed into 'my cult'! Sorry to disappoint, there is no thrilling Dan Brown novel material to be had in the New Age movement, no secret agenda, or if there is no-one has let me in on it!
There is no New Age leader. The closest thing to leaders we have are people like myself voicing the philosophies and beliefs of the New Age. We have some wonderful writers and teachers who are decidedly New Age in their outlook but they are not part of a hierarchy and you can choose who you listen to.
Having dealt with some of the common misconceptions here is my understanding of what the New Age really is:
The energy of the World is now changing. We are moving into the Age of Aquarius and have been making this major transition over the last few decades. Hence the New Age is the Age of Aquarius.
Our experience on Earth over the last 2000 years has been within the Age of Pisces. The Piscean Age has been dominated by the power of organised religions and patriarchal societies. Most people’s religious experiences have been accessed via a male figure of power; a priest, a bishop, a rabbi, a male religious leader of some sort.
The New Age heralds a more directly accessible and personal experience of spirituality. Many of us have felt this change and found that our awareness has been opened up in the process.
So there is a New Age movement, but you can’t sign up, there is nowhere to sign, nor is there a membership list, but it is most definitely happening and if you want to be part of it you can be.
Look at how you feel about some of the key New Age principles I list below. If they are mostly in agreement with how you perceive the world then you are in alignment with the New Age.
Some Key Principles of the New Age
In the Age of Aquarius people are becoming less religious but more spiritual. In New Age philosophy you can talk to the Gods or Goddesses of your heart. You don’t have to go via an intermediary unless you want one, you can have a ‘direct line’ and communication is two way. Learning skills such as meditation and prayer opens this faculty up, but it’s up to you to listen and look for the answers which can be a direct message but often take the form of synchronicity and intuition.
The New Age is about Love. That sounds fluffy doesn’t it? I don’t mean romantic love though, but unconditional love and respect for all of Creation. It's quite a challenge because it is about honouring the whole picture, not just the bits you like. Opening our hearts is a challenge of the New Age and it feels scary, because that kind of openness makes us feel vulnerable, but it is the key to experiencing life with full engagement.
The Age of Aquarius is about balance. In the Age of Aquarius women have as much right to express their spirituality and be empowered as men. We’ve seen this happening in the ordination of female priests. The New Age is dominated by women at the moment. Women are at the forefront of the movement, but this doesn’t mean a Matriachal world view is taking over, it is a redressing of the balance. We need to come back into balance and cherish the interplay of the sexes rather than move to a new power struggle for supremacy.
If you are in tune with the New Age you'll feel that your life on Earth is one of the ways your soul can grow and learn. In the Age of Aquarius we are moving onto self-development pathways that are defined by our own needs and learning, rather following a set route with a fixed set of goal posts. There are many ways to go and much to discover. You determine your path and take responsibility for your spiritual development. Spiritual teachers and healers are there to help guide you on your path, but they are not there to control you. This theme of self responsibility runs through all aspects of life.
The New Age is something felt with the heart, not dictated by the mind. Ultimately the energy of the Age of Aquarius should usher in a higher vibrational way of living peacefully and respectfully on this beautiful planet. Here's a book to help with the transition into the New Age by one of my favourite authors, Eckhart Tolle.