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Appeal Of New Age Pilgrimage: A Close Look At The Amazon And Sedona

2437 words - 10 pages

The presence and function of pilgrimage in both the worlds New Age and Judeo-Christian religious landscape is incredibly important as it often provides individuals with an opportunity to exemplify and extended their spiritual beliefs and understandings and gives them a chance to create a meaningful, life changing and life affirming spiritual experience. New Age Pilgrimage in particular creates a chance for New Age adherents to explore the choices they made through encountering deep spiritual journeys and experiencing sacred energies through a range of different experiences. We will discuss the appeal of New Age pilgrimage with reference to two sites in particular, the vortex experience in Sedona, Arizona in the United States and the Ayahuasca rituals and journeys that occur all over the Amazon Rainforest in South America. These sites are worthy of looking at because they market two completely different spiritual experiences, but upon closer inspection seem to be important and appealing to the New Age community for similar reasons. The sites are similar because pilgrimages to these areas do not pertain to one strict site or one dogma of spiritual understanding; in fact they do the opposite by providing a large landscape in which individuals can create their own pilgrimage experience. Indeed it seems that the two most enticing factors about both these sites is the fact that they both feed and satisfy every individual’s desires and provide individuals with a chance to make sense of and answer the larger questions about life and the world that people struggle to answer. However both these sites also offer something that is unique to their pilgrimage alone, in Sedona that being the accessibility and ease of choice pertaining to practise and act ivies and in the Amazon that being the chance to experience an intense journey into the subconscious and supernatural through the guidance and care of a Shaman. But perhaps what is the most important and key factor in any pilgrimage is that it offers an experience that will help an individual challenge and extended their preconceptions and beliefs and create a life changing experience for those involved.
Perhaps the most important and distinguishing factor about all New Age and alternative spiritualities is the idea that they cater to the individual and have become ‘self spiritualities’ in which the needs and concerns of an individual influence all belief and practise systems. If we perceive that the reasons why individuals are attracted to these spiritualities are because they provide a structure in which their personal desires can be met in a very flexible manner, then, when looking at New Age Pilgrimage we can see that its major appeal runs along the same line. The instance of any type of pilgrimage itself lends its function to the pilgrim having some form of individual experience, however New Age pilgrimages in particular appear to be more popular because they do not prescribe to any one spirituality and...

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