New Age Spirituality


Margaret Hoff, Editor-in-chief

In the past year, there has been a noticeable rise, specifically in  young people, turning to spirituality as their “religion.” This could be because spirituality is a much more broad idea and less constricting than traditional religions. But whatever the reason, what is this “New Age Spirituality”?

To start off, what people often refer to as “New Age Spirituality,” actually originated in the 1970s. This referred to the new practices of spirituality rather than religion in western countries. However, during this time, these beliefs were a lot different than they are currently. They appeared to be a lot more cult-like back then. Both still combine theology, nature, and philosophy. Now, this term is commonly used to refer to people who turn away from traditional religions and beliefs and lean more towards natural healing and connections. Although almost everyone who uses this umbrella term now has unique and different beliefs, they mostly surround the same idea. Within this New Age Spirituality (NAS) there is a large focus on healing, specifically alternative medicines. There is also an emphasis on the idea that spirituality and science can be unified.

This is not to say that new age spirituality is an entirely different entity from other belief systems. NAS draws from Buddhism, Wicca, Paganism, as well as Native American and other cultures’ traditions. There is a lot of influence from eastern countries. There is a big emphasis on connections with the earth and your “energy.” Basically, NAS is all about bettering yourself through nature and spirituality. 

So, how do people practice this belief system? As I said before, I think that a lot of young people turn towards this belief system because it is so broad. In traditional religions, there is a set way to practice your beliefs, and often restrictions on what is acceptable. With this generation being one of the most diverse generations ever, you could see why they would turn from tradition. NAS also allows you to create your own set of beliefs and your own way to practice. It is something that you can shape to fit you. Which is why I think this is very appealing to a lot of people. 

There are a few things that are big in practicing NAS though. Many people believe strongly in star signs, and believe that they strongly define some characteristics of your personality and life. Some people follow this more closely than others. Yoga and meditation are a big practices among many people as well.  This allows people to just relax and focus on good thoughts. Another big aspect is healing crystals. Many people see crystals and stones as a way to connect deeper with the Earth. They are also a great tool for meditation and grounding. A lot of people like to use crystals for these reasons and focus their “energy” on them. Some crystals are even believed to have special properties. Something that is big, even among adults, is essential oils. These do essentially the same thing as crystals and are believed to have special healing properties. A lot of these ideas tie in at least a little bit with science as well, which is very interesting. Some people even merge their practices with other religions or beliefs. It is really all about finding what works for you. A lot of NAS simply surrounds feel-goodism. No, I’m not joking. This just means that people can do whatever feels good, as long as they are not hurting anyone else. It is all about positivity for the most part. Some people even practice positive affirmations like a Christian would practice bible verses. Veganism and sustainability is also a common lifestyle choice for practicers of NAS. Most people choose these choices because they help the Earth and allow them to not negatively affect as much of the world.

New Age Spirituality is really just the belief that everyone is unique, and everyone needs to find their own path towards spiritual nourishment. It is simply about the spreading of positivity and bettering yourself for yourself. It is a very interesting concept that can be fun to get into. I can definitely see why so many young people are turning to it rather than sticking to religions that they may see as restrictive or that may carry histories of negativity.