Inventing Traditions for the New Age: A Case Study of the Earth Energy Tradition:

Jeffery L. MacDonald

In this article I examine the growth of the New Age movement as an example of an invented tradition similar to those of 19th century nationalists. Unlike earlier inventions, the New Age is global in cultural and political perspective especially in its emphases upon borrowing from many cultures and the interconnectedness of humans and the environment. I focus on a case study of the growth of the earth energies movement as an example of a New Age invented tradition. I show this tradition to be a synthesis of orthodox and alternative theories about prehistory and modern New Age practices including the rediscovery of ley lines, the growth of astroarchaeology, Chinese geomancy or feng shui, occult theories of gematria, and dowsing.