The world of New Age spirituality can be a confusing and overwhelming place. With so many different practices, beliefs, and gurus to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of information. But fear not, dear reader – I am here to guide you through this mystical realm with my helpful (and slightly satirical) insights.
First things first: let’s define what we mean by “New Age spirituality”. Essentially, it is a broad umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of spiritual beliefs and practices that emerged in the Western world during the 20th century. These beliefs are often based on Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, but are also influenced by indigenous traditions, environmentalism, feminism, and other social movements.
One of the most popular New Age practices is meditation. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “meditation? That’s just sitting still and breathing for a while. How hard could it be?” Well my friend, let me tell you – there is much more to meditation than meets the eye (or should I say third eye?). For starters, there are countless different types of meditation techniques out there – mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, chakra meditation…the list goes on.
And then there’s the issue of finding the perfect mantra or focus point for your practice. Should you choose an ancient Sanskrit phrase like “Om” or “So Hum”, or something more modern like “I am love” or “I release all negativity”? And don’t even get me started on deciding whether to meditate in complete silence or with calming music playing in the background.
Of course, once you’ve finally settled on your preferred method of meditation (which may take years), it’s time to actually start practicing. This means carving out some quiet time each day to sit down and focus your mind – easier said than done when our lives are filled with distractions like smartphones buzzing incessantly and coworkers interrupting our thoughts.
But fear not, dear reader – there are plenty of products out there to help you on your meditation journey. From fancy cushioned mats to essential oil diffusers to noise-cancelling headphones, the market is flooded with items designed to create the perfect atmosphere for inner peace. Because clearly, nothing says “spiritual enlightenment” like shelling out hundreds of dollars for a trendy meditation accessory.
Moving on from meditation, let’s talk about another popular New Age practice: crystals. Yes, you read that right – rocks and minerals are apparently capable of healing our bodies and minds in ways that modern medicine could only dream of.
The basic idea behind crystal healing is that each type of crystal or gemstone has its own unique energy frequency that can interact with our own energy fields (or chakras) in order to balance them out and promote physical and emotional well-being. For example, amethyst is said to help soothe anxiety and aid in spiritual development, while rose quartz promotes love and compassion.
Now I know what some skeptics may be thinking – “but wait a minute…crystals are just pretty rocks! How could they possibly have any effect on me?” And honestly? I’m not entirely sure myself. But hey, if it makes people feel better and doesn’t harm anyone else in the process…who am I to judge?
Of course, as with any trend or movement, there are always those who take things a bit too far. Case in point: “crystal grids”. Essentially these are elaborate arrangements of different crystals laid out in specific geometric patterns with the intention of manifesting certain goals or intentions.
For example, one might create a crystal grid for attracting abundance by placing citrine (a stone associated with wealth) at the center surrounded by other stones like aventurine (for good luck) and pyrite (for manifestation). And while this may sound harmless enough, some crystal grid enthusiasts take things to a whole new level by creating intricate designs that can take hours (or even days) to complete. Because clearly, nothing says “enlightenment” like spending all your free time arranging rocks on the floor.
Moving on from crystals, let’s talk about another New Age trend: astrology. Now I’ll admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for astrology – there’s something undeniably fun and intriguing about reading your horoscope or getting your birth chart done. But at the same time, it’s important to remember that astrology is not exactly a science.
Yes, there are certainly some correlations between astrological signs and certain personality traits or life events. But ultimately, our lives are shaped by far more than just the position of the stars at the moment of our birth. And while it may be tempting to use astrology as an excuse for why we act a certain way (“oh sorry I can’t help being so stubborn…I’m just such a Taurus!”), it’s important to remember that we still have agency in shaping our own destinies.
That being said, I do think there is value in using astrology as a tool for self-reflection and introspection. By examining our natal charts or reading up on our sign’s strengths and weaknesses, we can gain insight into areas where we may need to work on ourselves or where we may naturally thrive.
Of course, as with any spiritual practice or belief system, there are always those who take things too far. Case in point: “astrology memes”. Yes my friends – apparently astrologers have now taken over social media with their endless stream of zodiac-themed jokes and relatable content.
And while some of these memes are admittedly pretty funny (who doesn’t love seeing their sign accurately represented in meme form?), others seem to perpetuate harmful stereotypes about certain signs (looking at you Scorpio). Plus, there’s always the risk of people taking these memes too seriously and using them as an excuse for their behavior (“sorry I can’t help being so flaky…I’m just such a Gemini!”).
Overall, I think it’s important to approach New Age spirituality (and any belief system or practice) with a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking. Yes, there are certainly aspects of these practices that can be helpful and even transformative. But at the same time, we must remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to spiritual growth.
So go ahead – meditate with your crystals while consulting your birth chart if that’s what makes you feel good. Just don’t forget to stay grounded in reality and question everything along the way. After all, isn’t questioning our beliefs and assumptions part of what true enlightenment is all about?