The New Age movement is a 'holistic' movement, a diverse collection of people who share not so much one set of beliefs, but rather an optimistic faith in the future, a belief in personal and spiritual growth, and an open-mindedness towards non-traditional forms of spirituality. Whilst the term 'new age' is often misappropriated to mean 'any kind of new spirituality', the roots of most new age beliefs are firmly based in one or more established religions. New Age beliefs are often described as a 'fusion' or 'blend' of some aspects of different established religions. Many New Age sites or entities will have elements of Christianity or, often, Eastern religions and/or earth-based religions. It is very difficult to pin down what is, and what is not "New Age", particularly as the term is sometimes used in a derogatory sense by those opposed to this kind of spirituality. Common themes which underpin just about all New Age topics, however, are the belief in some kind of Supreme Being or Beings, and an emphasis on taking personal responsibility for one's own spirituality rather than relying upon set rituals or belief systems. As a general basis, some things that New Age is "NOT" include paranormal, psychic, extra-terrestrial, interested in the pursuit of one individual "god", prophetic, biblical, or separatist (among other things). Any sect (or cult) which deems itself as "the only way", or which assumes its members to be "chosen" or special above all others is by definition - not - New Age.

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