New Age Movement

The New Age Movement (NAM) is the term used to refer to the general trend towards Eastern, Esoteric and Occult religious paradigms starting in the early 1960’s.  The Christian community by and large was first introduced to the NAM as a "movement" by Constance Cumbey’s Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow (1983) which presented the NAM as a somewhat monolithic and conspiratorial entity.   Most recognize now that the NAM is far more diverse and decentralized than Cumbey presented it.  It is a loose and eclectic network, rather than a goal-driven organization.

From a sociological point of view, the NAM could probably be viewed as a reaction against the sterile materialism of secular society, as well as against lifeless dogmatism found in many organized religions.  It is the uncritical acceptance of the supernatural and diverse spiritual possibilities that are perhaps the only common thread in the groups associated with the “New Age”.   Philosophically, they are decidedly postmodern, valuing the subjective experience as the measure of what is “true” as opposed to creeds, written revelations, or inherited traditions.   Most NAM groups believe that we ourselves are God, or part of God (or Goddess). (See "Self-Deification). They view our time on earth as a progressive journey towards our understanding our divinity, which, when accepted corporately by humankind, will result in the emergence of a "New Age" of global peace, tranquility and universal brotherhood. (Sometimes referred to as the Age of Aquarius).

Following are some common elements or beliefs in many New Age groups.  Not all elements are applicable to all groups. 

Reincarnation and Karma
UFO’s or Extraterrestrials
Nature Worship (Gaia)
Spiritism
Trance Channeling
Special Powers ascribed to crystals or pyramids
Universalism
Astrology
Ascended Masters
Psychic Powers