This article by Terri Jean explains much about true NA spirituality and the New Age spirituality. http://www.bluecorncomics.com/newage.htm Part of the article is as follows:
Recently I browsed through the "Native American" section of my favorite local bookstore. To my surprise, there was an entire "Native American Spirituality" sector -- twice the size of the indigenous history section -- that included books on topics such as building your own sweat lodge, animal totems, shamanism, vision quests and tarot cards. I asked the clerk why these items were in the Native American section, rather than the New Age, and she replied "Because they were written by Native Americans or deal with Indian topics." I asked "Since when were tarot cards a Native American topic?" She informed me that tarot cards were part of their religion and when I begged to differ -- she brushed me off, half-promising to look into it and change the book placement if deemed necessary. A week later, there was no change -- except that fact that I no longer have a favorite local bookstore.
When it comes to the concept of Native Americans and their spirituality, mainstream America has a truly misconstrued ideal of Native culture and religious beliefs. People outside of the Native community have taken it upon themselves to self-classify their writings and teachings as Native American or Native-inspired, and believers outside of the Native community happily follow.
What is New Age? The New Age movement gained momentum in the late 1970s and early 80s. It is an eclectic belief system, led by spiritual teachers and gurus (mostly authors and lecturers), focuses on whole-body healing and positive transformation of the spirit and soul. Many concepts and traditions of ancient cultures have been re-introduced to the public, blending one belief with another to form a generic religion that can be applied to nearly everyone. Unfortunately, a search for universal truth and wisdom has produced an epidemic of profit-driven fake and phony "teachers" portraying themselves as spiritual experts. Their authoritative opinions are featured in books, talk shows, articles and documentaries -- with a hungry audience willing to buy it all hook, line and sinker.
A popular aspect of this New Age movement is the inclusion of what is called "Native Spirituality" or "Native American Spirituality." Various beliefs, rituals, ceremonies, and traditions -- gathered from varied tribal communities -- are interwoven with concepts of other doctrines to form a belief system that is often sold via books, workshops, lectures, articles and pay-per-visits. This romanticized "spirituality" is often a poor representation of true Native beliefs, yet consumers purchase the work by the thousands and revel in the information presented, believing it to be true and soul-enriching.
sometimes one needs to listen with the heart just as much as with the ears.