Emergence and background
Hammer (2004) writes that the religious or spiritual influences can be traced back to the romanticism that was a counter-movement to the Enlightenment. Mesmerism, romantic pantheism, spiritism and occultism are phenomena from that epoch that have come to contribute in various ways to this modern spirituality. Sjödin (2002) also highlights the connection to romanticism in the early 19th century. Kärfve (1998) argues that the New Age has even captured or managed ideas that go back to Gnosticism, a movement that was alive at the time of the rise of Christianity.
Common (Healthy, 2007a; Rotstein, 1997; Wikström, 1998) is, however, to place the starting point for the new age until the late 1960s and early 1970s. Various religious and psychological currents were then combined with the utopian and socially critical youth movement that has emerged on the American West Coast, including the struggle for black rights, hippie culture, opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, and a questioning of the ideals that existed for family formation. The era was portrayed in Milos Forman's film "Hair" (Butler, Greenhut, Persky &. Forman, 1979). The title of the song "Age of Aquarius" that opens the film refers to the astrological notion that humanity is on the threshold of the age of Aquarius. Ferguson (1982, referenced in Wikström, 2008) believes that two thousand years of war and darkness will then come to an end and that an equally long period of peace and love awaits.