Has the New Age come and gone?

What happened to the New Age of the ’60s and ’70s?

The so called New Age of Aquarius swept in like a hurricane.

I was quite carried away with the excitement of change.

Maybe that was just a kneejerk reaction, not the real deal.

And it seems like the New Age came and left just like a passing storm.

According to popular opinion, all the time the real New Age of Aquarius was only beginning.

Because the majority view is that astrologically the New Age has another 2,000 years to run its course.

So let’s relax and see it as just a small step into the water bearer sign of Aquarius and not a plunge into the deep end.

Today I want to step back and to look at the big picture.

I’d like to believe that together we can make a difference in the world even if only because the catch phrase and salutation we used then, “Love and Peace”, still has a few thousand years to make its mark.

So what happened in the ’60s and ’70s to sweep me away with change?

In the ’60s The Beatles arrived.

In 1970 Paul McCartney sang ‘Let It Be’.

In ’71 John Lennon sang ‘Imagine’.

His Moon was in Aquarius.

And in ’71 Don McLean released ‘Starry Starry Night’ about painter Vincent Van Gogh.

The adorable Muppets were born in the late ’60s and revolutionised children’s television.

I was one of five who launched Animal Liberation in the late ’70s to address animal cruelty and to promote free range farm products.

Today free range eggs make up 40% of all eggs sold in supermarkets in Australia compared to zero percent 50 years ago.

A win for cruelty to animals.

At the same time I felt like the world was coming to an end.

It didn’t.

I still remember the feeling of those times.

Chances are you probably don’t because most likely you weren’t born yet.

Bob Dylan sang that the ‘Times Are a-Changin’.

It was a time of marijuana and free love.

I wasn’t interested in either.

Yes, I was a long haired bearded hippie then.

At the same time I was a ‘respectable’ advertising copywriter.

(I worked for some of the hottest ad agencies in Melbourne.)

A group of us started a commune on 40 acres which fell flat on its face.

We were unprepared, under funded and undisciplined.

But it was very aquarian.

In the late ’70s I was the first official member of the new Permaculture Association started by two academics from the University of Tasmania.

Today Permaculture is a worldwide phenomenon.

I had plans to create a self-sufficient Permaculture acre and live off the grid.

It never happened.

In 1962 I learned Chakra Yoga and a unique healing relaxation technique from Australia’s first full time yoga teacher.

Margrit Segesman’s interest in breathing and relaxation techniques combined with an interest in the expansion of consciousness were subjects she had discussed with Carl Jung when they met in the 1920s.

He suggested she should take up the study of yoga and yogic philosophy.

After spending time in Indian ashrams, she found her guru at Rishikesh on the Tibetan border and spent about five years living in a cave as an ascetic.

I practiced her form of yoga, chakra balancing and relaxation every day for 50 years.

What, then, does the Aquarian Age stand for?

What does it mean?

Where is it going for the next 2,000 years?

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

That’s very Aquarian too.

Maybe together we can make a difference in the world.

Aquarius is about you too — and your life for the next 2,000 years.

Look for future posts.

Namaste.

Neil.

PS. Visit my author page here for my New Age books including the blockbuster ‘Man Steps Off Planet’.

I Went to Yoga Classes at a Hindu Yoga Ashram in Australia.

I was living alone in a caravan in Central Victoria, Australia.

A group of us went off once a week to a Hindu Ashram in the middle of nowhere for yoga nidra lessons.

And a very memorable time.

I was living in a caravan in Central Victoria.

A friend was a member of the nearby Rocklyn Yoga Ashram.

The ashram was located in a peaceful retreat centre in the heart of the Wombat Forest.

I’d already learned chakra yoga with Australia’s first full time yoga teacher.

Margrit Segesman taught me a form of yoga that I practiced daily for over 50 years.

There were 10 asanas or positions based on balancing the 7 major chakras.

I believe they kept me healthy and physically and mentally well for most of my life.

You should think about learning chakra yoga too.

No matter what your age.

I was 24.

Both yoga and chakra balancing are beneficial in so many ways.

And yoga is relaxing for starters.

Margrit Segesman’s interest in breathing and relaxation techniques branched into an interest in the expansion of consciousness, a subject she had discussed with Carl Jung when they met in the 1920s.

He suggested the study of yoga and yogic philosophy and reading The Science of Breath by Yogi Ramacharaka.

As well as studying philosophy, she developed her own progressive yoga relaxation technique that she later incorporated into her classes.

After spending time in Indian ashrams, she found her guru at Rishikesh on the Tibetan border and spent about five years living in a cave as an ascetic:

“For years I knew nothing else but meditation, raja yoga, hatha yoga, the intense practices of kriya and tantra, [and the] study of cosmology and evolution,” she later wrote.”

When she set up her school, she found Melbournians were keen to embrace yoga which was still considered to be very ‘new and exotic’ for Australia.

However, following a radio interview about her relaxation technique, Margrit was inundated with students and so took the step to full-time teaching.

When she embarked on her voyage from Switzerland in 1954, Margrit planned to travel to Sydney, but mistakenly stepped off the boat in Melbourne instead.

The Gita School of Yoga was Australia’s first full-time yoga school with its own permanent premises, offering classes each week day and night.

I remember having to step carefully along a narrow pebbled path to arrive at the front door – beginning class with a walking meditation.

A class then consisted of limbering, ten basic yoga asanas with many variations, breathing practices and relaxation.

On 22 September 1960 the Gita School of Yoga opened at 21 Alfred Place, Melbourne, which ran alongside St Paul’s Cathedral.

Soon after I was there as one of her early students.

Be well and healthy.

Neil

PS. Click here for the Rocklyn Yoga Ashram’s website.

Discover my new book of my real recent New Age adventures here in ‘Man Steps Off Planet’.