When people think differently from the norm there is always a bit of hesitation for them to open up and share their feelings, but Ahwatukee Foothills resident Teena Booth has taken a leap of faith and is reaching out to people in Phoenix and across the nation who share her New Age beliefs.
Booth has written a book called Unfinished Evolution: How a New Age Revival Can Change Your Life and Save the World, and she has launched a Web site for New Age believers to gather and communicate, called newagepride.org.
Booth came to Ahwatukee Foothills from California 10 years ago, and while she now feels comfortable and at home, she has had reservations about openly sharing her New Age beliefs with friends and neighbors.
“It’s funny because the person you live next door to could be New Age and you wouldn’t know it,” Booth said.
Since writing her book she has found that there are many New Age believers around her.
“I knew a woman for years that I played baseball with, and I recently told her about my book and she told me she was into the same thing,” Booth said. “I’m starting to go to meet-up groups to find more people like me.”
According to Booth, part of the problem New Age believers have in identifying each other has to do with the fact that they do not call themselves New Age believers.
“It’s an alternative spirituality, and most people these days would call themselves spiritual but not religious,” she said. “Back in the ‘80s they would have called it New Age.”
Due to a negative connotation in the mainstream in the ‘80s, however, New Age believers stopped labeling themselves.
“Usually when anything new comes along the status quo or mainstream attacks it,” Booth said. “People became embarrassed because of the way New Age was portrayed.”
When people stopped calling themselves New Age, they lost a way of identifying themselves to others.
“It’s kind of silly when Newsweek just came out with a poll that said 30 percent of people say they are spiritual but not religious,” Booth said. “It’s important to find people like you to ease that spiritual isolation.”
After several years of what she calls spiritual isolation, Booth decided to take the bold step of writing a book and creating a Web site to unite New Age believers.
“We need to get out in the world and work together to impact things for the better,” she said. “It’s an alternative way to look at things, and I really feel that New Age philosophy can help turn things around if more people connect.”
Booth will make an appearance at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. to talk about her book and the need for a New Age revival. For more information on the book, visit www.newagepride.org.