Nik’Talia Jules (they/she)
Graduate Student, Women & Gender Studies, UW-Milwaukee
Namely, indigenous spirituality becomes an object of consumption by Western New Age Spiritualists through a necessary components of romanticizing “ancient” practices which places them in an isolated historical and cultural state for appropriating at will. This leads to decontextualizing of subsequent knowledge on indigenous spiritual acts such as sacred Earth-based crystals healing, contacting/praying to deities deeply connected to stability of the Earth, and meditative grounding through exposure to nature. Oftentimes, these YouTube gurus employ such practices for viewers’ personal issues regarding love, (emotional) health, and especially financial ones that cause an incongruency between the inherent pro-environmentalism of indigeneity and this employment of neoliberal spirituality. In turn, such acts lead thousands of YouTube subscribers and viewers to adopt practices without considering the histories and peoples from which this spirituality originates. As a result, maintaining a culture of cooptation of indigenous spirituality that remains void of environmental responsibility.