Period of enlightenment: The phenomenon of new age spirituality

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New age spirituality has had a lasting effect on young people and pop culture.

Ella Litchfield

The pink scorpio moon flies high in the sky as many young people get ready for a cycle of new cleansing. Muhan Basnet prepares her crystals, smudge sticks as well as herself to be cleansed and begin a new moon cycle which means strong emotions. 

Basnet, freshman at PV, feels as though this is an important year in her life to have discovered a more spiritual side to her beliefs. “I discovered a lot about cleansing, meditation and crystals over quarantine. This summer was a huge period of time which allowed for self- reflection and my spiritual practices are an extension of that. I think a lot of people can benefit from these beliefs and discover more about themselves.” 

Basnet is not alone in these practices as a lot of young people explore religion during troubling times such as the pandemic. The Washington post, a daily newspaper located in Washington D.C., reported the increase in people which practice a deepened religious faith since the summer of 2020. 

The author, Michelle Boorstein, expresses the information she collected from a poll over who further involved themselves in their faith during the start of COVID-19. “Forty-seven percent of Americans said their faith hasn’t been affected by the virus, while 26 percent say ‘I am not a religious person and this hasn’t changed.’ The results suggest not many Americans are newly finding religion during the pandemic.” Learning of newly developed religions can reassure the public to know that few good things emerged from the life-altering virus. 

Social media played a large role in connecting people during a time when  isolation was required for health safety. This connection also facilitated growth for new age spirituality. Young people had an opportunity on TikTok, a social media app where users can post 15-60 second videos, to explore information on everything from crystals to manifestation which all connects back to the inner self and purpose. 

Manifestation convinced many to research more spiritual beliefs and this is defined by Miriam-Webster.com as an occult phenomenon. More specifically as explained by Evon Davis in “The Power of Manifestation,” this is a theory which creates, “the expansion of one’s consciousness into the greater realm of possibilities.” 

Manifesting theorizes that a projection of one’s emotion and willingness to achieve a material thing or goal will bring said goal into one’s life. Basnet explains, “This promise of achievement by trusting myself and having confidence in my own actions to meet my purpose made me connected to a more spiritual and grounded version of myself.” 

However, these beliefs decline in others who do not believe in a spiritual or divine purpose but still understand the appeal. Kat Goumas, senior at PV, leans away from this new age religion because she does not connect to it. “I enjoy learning about what goes into spirituality and what some of my classmates believe and while it is interesting I do not align with their thinking. Quarantine gave me time to fulfill other interests and hobbies but I didn’t fall into the spirituality which grew on TikTok.”  Goumas explains how she strayed away from this belief system. 

This community of spiritual gurus formed positive mindsets of many people through their videos. Inspiring content gave moments of hope during difficult times and bettered the self-perception of young people. History collects these new ideas and will take this growth down as a period of enlightenment and further inspire new generations into similar thinking.