Blue in the New Age : new spirituality or old hegemony?
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Karin Stokes
New Age beliefs and practices, once considered anathema to conservative religions, have gradually become inserted into mainstream culture. One of the tenets of the New Age is the privileging of ‘female’ spirituality over men’s, which has helped to create a specific kind of female subjectivity. This privileging of the female is associated with New Age beliefs about colour and colour’s benefit in developing spirituality, but in doing so it also associates with perspectives on traditional and contemporary female social position. Women, whilst attracted to New Age precepts, also find themselves embroiled in the patriarchal order, and New Age teachings assist in the continuing production of this hegemonising imperative. Blue, the colour associated with femininity, is also the colour most necessary to an individual’s spiritual journey, in contrast to red, which is associated with masculinity and earthly pleasures and appetites, and so is of little spiritual benefit. Blue usage permits development of attitudes and a work ethic which produce a passivity similar to that expected of women under patriarchy. Blue’s use by New Age women (and some men) enjoins them to partake of the benefits of mainstream culture via an idealised service ethic and so to benefit through an expansion of inner peace, whilst accepting that karmic debits are to be reaped in the next life.