This article examines the essence of the New Age movement: its reservations about the Judaic-Christian heritage, its pantheistic/monistic orientation, its individualism, its search for the mystical experience, its skepticism of modern science and technology, its openness to androgyny, its ecumenicalism, and its prediction of a new dispensation. The article traces the New Age predecessors and influences: gnosticism, the Catholic potpourri, romanticism, the writings of C.G. Jung, and Theosophy. It speculates that the movement's influence - given its individualism, skepticism of structure and organization, and hostility toward modern methodology - will be implicit and indirect. Finally, it notes the ambivalence of the core ideology, lending itself to both "progressive" and "non-progressive" interpretation.