The 1970s was an era filled with mass movements, such as environmental progression and the sexual revolution. One of these legendary movements is known as The New Age Movement. The New Age was a religious and spiritual movement that developed in the Western nations that highlighted and emphasized the importance of self-discovery, modern philosophies, self-help psychology, and teachings from various religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism.
Traditional practices such as meditation, yoga, and a strong belief in astrology were integrated into the movement as tools to assist personal transformation. The movement also stood for the sick and psychologically wounded, particularly those who had been unable to find help though traditional medicine. Believers in the New Age promoted spiritual healing, aligning themselves with the Holistic Health movement, which advocated alternative and natural healing practices such as massage, natural food diets, chiropractic, and acupuncture.
Two transformative tools, channeling and the use of crystals, were identified with the New Age movement as it peaked in the 1980s. Many New Agers allegedly discovered psychic abilities and became known as channels. They claimed to establish contact with various extraterrestrial entities who spoke through them on a wide range of spiritual, philosophical, and psychological topics. One channeler, Frank Alpert, proposed the use of crystals as healing-transformative tools. He suggested that the ancient civilization had lived off the power of crystals. They were thought to be great reservoirs of energy and distinct healing that could be released for personal benefit. In the 1980s they were among the most popular items at New Age stores and conventions; however, critics were quick to point out the unscientific nature of the movement’s claims for crystals.
The New Age movement proved to be one of the West’s most significant religious phenomena of the 20th century; though it fell due to its wide acceptance of unscientific concepts, including crystals and channeling.