“Indigo children” have become a popular phenomenon in alternative spiritual and New Age circles, blending millennial concepts and psychic beliefs with child-rearing concerns.
The Skeptical Inquirer magazine (July/August) reports that the phenomenon of children who are said to be the next stage in evolution and possessing a spiritual energy has found a hearing among parents who believe their children are special beings living in troubled times. The concept of the Indigo child was established in the early 1970s in the writings of Nancy Tappe, who claimed that she could intuitively see people’s life mission by their indigo-colored auras (indigo being the color of spiritual energy).
But the movement did not take off until 1999, when Carroll and Jan Tober wrote the book The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived. Since then, the Indigo movement has been featured in books, spiritual workshops and even a feature film. Writer Benjamin Witts notes that new categories have recently been created to designate other types of special and creative children, such as Crystal and Rainbow children. Parents are instructed that they can find out if their children are Indigo by their display of such qualities as independence, creativity and experiencing difficulty with fitting into school life. In Nova Religio (February), a journal on new religious movements, Sarah Whedon notes that Indigo children are viewed as harbingers of a new age where the old institutions of oppression will be overturned.
These children help parents and adults get in touch with their inner child and heal the self by manipulating their auras. But Whedon argues that the movement is rooted in fears over child violence and the excessive medication of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Much of the Indigo children literature deals with children with ADHD and how they have been misunderstood and misdiagnosed: “Instead of being seen as sick, Indigo children are seen as special children who will bring about the New Age.
For those who believe in the Indigo children, the problem has become the solution,” Whedon writes.
(Skeptical Inquirer, P.O. Box 703, Amherst, NY 14226; Nova Religio, Univ. of California Press, 2000 Center St., Ste. 303, Berkeley, CA 94704-1223)