New Age Religions
Beginning in the 1970s, many people turned to a new spiritual movement that is both eclectic in its structure but also bound by holistic views that the self has the spiritual power of healing. These New Age religions blend elements from older spiritual traditions, such as astrology, pantheism, environmentalism and Gaia philosophy, the unified belief in the planetary ecosystem.
Ultimately, New Age religions are a form of Western esotericism, the direct pursuit of spiritual insight. Many New Age religions emerged in the 1970s, out of the waning days of the 1960s counterculture movement. During the 70s, New Age religions included a wide variety of alternative beliefs and practices, all of which were held as alternatives to mainstream society and religions. Frequently, the term “New Age” became an umbrella for a culture undercurrent of metaphysics, holistic medicine, and individualized spirituality.
Many New Age religions hold that there is some Ultimate Source, not necessarily God in the traditional sense employed by Judeo-Christian religions. These religions also hold that mankind is entering into a New Age, the Age of Aquarius, a golden age of peace and harmony. Many of these New Age religions tend to reject scientific rationalism in favor of alternative therapies and astrology. Many adherents also believe in women’s empowerment and sustainable living.