Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
By: Lisa M Hayes
I was doing my thing, scrolling TikTok, and a video came across my page that forced me to pause. A beautiful white woman was chanting in some foreign – read made up – light language. She rhythmically moved her hands and “pushed energy” out to her viewers. I sat there, watching it, noticing my discomfort, but at first, I wasn’t sure why.
This type of video has been showing up in my social media feeds much more frequently lately, and something about them makes me cringe. It kind of surprised me because I am a Reiki practitioner, and at first glance, this looked like long-distance Reiki. It should have felt familiar, even comforting. It did not.
At a closer look, the source of my discomfort was pretty obvious.
When I finally clicked on her profile and looked at some of her posts, phrases like “pure blood”, “ascension consciousness”, and “chosen” were peppered throughout her content. This super-white, super-model-looking woman was channeling a “Starseed language of the enlightened” for only those who were pure enough to be blessed by her gift.
Anyone who doesn’t recognize it isn’t paying attention:
Hitler might be proud.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of new-age spirituality merging with the alt-right. Even though these two ideologies are seemingly diametrically opposed, for anyone who’s been around the new-age block for more than a minute, it is not surprising. On the one hand, new-age spirituality is focused on self-improvement, personal growth, and spiritual enlightenment. On the other hand, the alt-right is an extreme right-wing political movement that promotes white supremacy and xenophobia.
Those two things are not the same, yet there is a connection. Ideologies like QAnon have merged these two camps for more people than we want to believe. COVID and COVID-related conspiracies became a blood bond for two very different camps.
Despite their differences, there are some similarities between new-age spirituality and the alt-right. Both movements emphasize individualism and self-reliance. They also both reject mainstream society and its values. The alt-right rejects mainstream culture because it believes it is too liberal and politically correct; new-age spirituality rejects mainstream society because it is too materialistic and shallow. Both tend to hold a hard fast belief they know secrets or possess secret knowledge that makes them better or more intelligent than others. Both tend to harbor suspicion of mainstream culture because the mainstream cannot be trusted.
**Side note: Hitler was an occultist. He built loyalty in his organization by selling conspiracy theories. He studied and leaned heavily on astrology.
By I digress…
The merging of these two ideologies can be seen in the rise of “alt-spirituality” or “neo-paganism.” This movement combines elements of traditional paganism with far-right politics. It emphasizes traditional gender roles, racial purity, and nationalism. It also promotes a return to nature and traditional values such as honor, loyalty, and courage.
When you look at the people promoting these ideologies, most of them are going to be mayonnaise white, not just the alt-right political conservatives, but also the crunchy moms and new-age influencers —
which might be our first clue something has gone off the rails.
If the room is way too mayo-white, we might want to wonder why.
I am not going to leave you a list of personal development gurus and best-selling new-age authors that have said some super suspect racist, alt-right shit BECAUSE that list would be long AND it would piss a lot of people off. Most people who will read this post have books by some of those authors and gurus in their libraries.
I have had conversations with a lot of people about public and racist statements from some of the spiritual teachers many of us have followed for years. Often people ask me if I am willing to discard all the brilliant work those people have done over a few low-key to openly racist statements.
The answer is yes. I am willing to walk away from the body of work of a guru who harbors alt-right ideas. We can’t keep pretending we don’t see it because it’s inconvenient. Just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not true.
The merging of new-age spirituality and the alt-right has been met with criticism from both sides. Many people in the spiritual community believe that mixing politics with spirituality is dangerous and misguided. Similarly, many people in the alt-right reject new-age spirituality because they view it as too soft or feminine. However, we can see how traditional Christianity has become a tool for alt-right political manipulation. The blueprint for the new-age to Nazi pipeline is exactly the same.
We have to start examining our spirituality because many of us are camping out on a slippery alt-right slope.
We have to stop assuming the roots of our spirituality aren’t based in patriarchal systems of white supremacy just because we aren’t Christian.
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