Glossary of Key Terms
Astrology The belief that the orientation of the planets at the time of one's birth, and the location of that birth predicts the individual's future and personality. Belief in astrology is common amongst New Agers, but definitely not limited to them.
Aura is believed to be an energy field radiated by the body. Invisible to most people, it can be detected by some as a shimmering, multi-colored field surrounding the body. Those skilled in detecting and interpreting auras can diagnose an individual's state of mind, and their spiritual and physical health.
Avatar. One who "descends" into human form from above, never having gone through reincarnation. Such a one is considered a manifestation of divinity and seeks to reveal divine truths especially important to a particular age.
Channeling A method similar to that used by Spiritists in which a spirit of a long
dead individual is conjured up. The term is often confused with contact
with the spiritual plane, which is termed taking dictations. Chanelers
usually try to make contact with a single, spiritually evolved being.
That being's consciousness is channeled through the medium and relays
guidance and information to the group, through the use of the medium's
voice. Channeling has existed since the 1850's and many groups consider
themselves independent of the New Age movement. One of the challenges
of involvement with the New Age movement is the knowing the difference
between true spiritual contact and the lower contact with the disembodied
spirits. The latter is able to mimic the higher realms and give false
messages leading individuals and groups down the false path of the lower
Divination The use of various techniques to foretell the future, including I Ching, Pendulum movements, Scrying, Tarot Cards.
Ecological Responsibility: A belief in the importance of uniting to preserve the health of the
earth, which is often looked upon as Gaia, (Mother Earth) a living entity.
Holistic Health This is a collection of healing techniques which have diverged from the traditional medical model. It attempts to cure disorders in mind, body and spirit and to promote wholeness and balance in the individual. Examples are acupuncture, crystal healing, homeopathy, iridology, massage, various meditation methods, polarity therapy, psychic healing, therapeutic touch, reflexology, etc.
Human Potential Movement (a.k.a. Emotional Growth Movement) This is a collection of therapeutic
methods involving both individualized and group working, using both
mental and physical techniques. The goal is to help individuals to advance
New Age Music A gentle, melodic, inspirational music form involving the human voice, harp, lute, flute, etc. It is used as an aid in healing, massage therapy and general relaxation.
New Age practioners
Personal Transformation A profoundly intense mystical experience will lead to the acceptance
and use of New Age beliefs and practices. Guided imagery, hypnosis,
meditation, and (sometimes) the use of hallucinogenic drugs are useful
to bring about and enhance this transformation. Believers hope to develop
new potentials within themselves: the ability to heal oneself and others,
psychic powers, a new understanding of the workings of the universe,
etc. Later, when sufficient numbers of people have achieved these powers,
a major spiritual, physical, psychological and cultural planet-wide
transformation is expected.
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