What are the Beliefs?
Many New Age adherents view God with Christian bias but incorporate fairies, angels and nature spirits. Buddhist mediation, aspects of Native American religions and Christian mysticism coexist with crystal healing, neo-pagan goddess worship and psychotherapies. Remote and reinvented beliefs of Tibet, China, Celts and Native American groups are more accessible to manipulate than familiar religions like Christianity, which has negative connotations of imperialism, sexism, racism, and authoritarian regimes. When Christianity is accepted into a New Age framework, it is usually in its historical forms, like Celtic Christianity and early forms of Christian mysticism.
Participation in the New Age is due to a conscious critique of the Christian religion. There is an average of two years between a person’s break with Christianity and exposure to New Age ideas. One reason that people seek New Age groups is that there is a loss and a need for community. The New Age assists with self-development and restores a religious function, providing myths and rituals. The New Age provides a way to think about patriarchal Christianity and Eurocentric attitudes where a Christian god appears less as a universal truth and more as a gendered story about a particular cultural tradition.
The New Age may be classified as a sub-type of a popular religion, which is not founded on authoritative documents or by religious leaders; it can be adopted by any person who rejects authoritative religion. In contrast to established religion, popular religion is simpler, more direct and establishes a more profitable relationship with the divine. New Age beliefs are eclectic and adopted without concern for its compatibility with other beliefs. The ancient practices of the Celts, Essenes, Egyptians and Atlanteans are used to justify a personal belief system. Incompatible beliefs are resolved by asserting integration at a cosmic level of consciousness. Hence, there is a fundamental unity behind apparent diversity.