Summary: An introduction to and overview of the three core beliefs of New Agers
Surveying the Landscape
1. Its Out There
See if you can guess who this fairly well know Australia is – this is the intro to her autobiography… I spent most of my teenage years going to mass every Sunday with my parents and attending a catholic girls high school. It was pleasant to think that all I had to do was be good and obey the ten commandments and I would go to heaven. When I was 13 I had a favourite nun – sister Geraldine who taught at my high school. She was tough and cool and didn’t take crap from the school heavies. She told me one lunchtime that she had never had a boyfriend in her life that she had always loved God and that he had always loved her back and she always felt happy and good about herself. I was in high school hell at the time and in her words I saw freedom form the depressing nightmare my life had become so I decided to become a nun.
However the more I read the Bible and went to church the less I enjoyed it all and the less I believed it. I started to look for alternatives and to an angry 13 year old girl who didn’t want to be a Catholic any more the most obvious answer was Satanism. I explored this for a short while but found it depressing with its banal, perverse and cruel obsessions. Then I found boys and religion was out the window at least for a while.
Late in my teens I began to explore spirituality again and found my way into the new age movement. I got swept up by the positive thinking brigade. If anything bad happened in my life I would focus in on the positive and attempt to think only happy constructive thoughts. Consequently I felt frustrated and let down when I wasn’t able to avoid unpleasant experiences and it became quite a struggle to stay positive all the time. My wholesome interest in the New Age mutated into scepticism.
From here I began to explore neo paganism and became interested and intrigued by its strong connection with the land, being environmentally responsible and finding divinity in nature. I started to feel drawn to that mysterious and exotic word ‘witchcraft’. I felt very attracted to the fact that Wicca acknowledges many different gods and goddesses. But most importantly that they exist within the individual and not in the sky out of reach. I began to study natural healing because my witchy ancestors were primarily healers so at 21 I worked in a health food store by day, studied naturopathy at night and sang in a punk band on the weekend.
At 24 I had a call from a guy who wanted me to sing in his band. This band eventually became known as Def FX. It was during my time in the band that I came out of the broom closet and let people know I am a witch.
I have been a committed witch for 13 years now and I am also a journalist, rock singer, television and radio personality.
I am… Fiona Horne – probably Australia’s best know witch today.
Some of you will have seen Fiona Horne on tv, and you will know who she is. I tell you her story because it is typical of the journey so many go on in seeking a new spirituality outside of established religion. And if you read her books you will find a very sincere devotee to the power of Wicca to bring meaning and direction to life. She is an influential person in the Australian spiritual arena today.
Another of her ilk would be Ophrah – not a witch, but described by Christianity Today as one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America today – perhaps even all over the western world where her program is shown. This ex baptist now espouses the view that “one of the biggest mistakes we make is to believe there is only one way. There are many diverse paths leading to God.” She is described as a ‘postmodern priestess – an icon of church free spirituality’. And her tribe is growing. Oprah embodies the values of the new age & people like what she is saying.
Some of you may have picked up a copy of the free magazine, Nova, from around the place and seen the incredible range of alternative spirituality that people are into. From pranic healing to psychic massage to emf balancing techniques to musical heaing, to shamanism the list goes on. There is even a new age vet and for those who want something different there is belly dancing for men to explore your chakra energy. These are all places that ordinary people are seeking to find meaning and purpose in life. And some would say they are finding it in these practices and experiences.