The phrase "Earth Changes" was coined by the American psychic Edgar Cayce to refer to the belief that the world will soon enter on a series of cataclysmic events causing major alterations in human life on the planet.
This includes "natural events" (such as major earthquakes, the melting of the polar ice caps, a pole shift of the planetary axis, major weather events, solar flares and so on) as well as huge changes of the local and global social, economical and political systems.
Cayce himself also made many prophesies of cataclysmic events involving the whole planet. He claimed the polar axis would shift and that many areas that are now land would again become ocean floor, and that Atlantis would rise from the sea. The belief that the California coast would slip into the sea—a common feature of Earth Changes predictions—originated with Cayce's alleged prophecies. In more recent times, self-proclaimed psychic Gordon-Michael Scallion has issued a variety of prophecies centering on the concept of "Earth Changes" and publishes a monthly newsletter, The Earth Changes Report.
Cayce's term has been taken up in certain segments of the New Age movement, often associated with other predictions by people claiming to have psychic abilities. Belief in Earth changes is also found among Native Americans, some of whom refer to the concept as "the Great Purification." These beliefs have occasionally been associated with Christian millennialism and beliefs about UFOs. Some New Age adherents believe that Earth changes will preface a "Golden Age" of spirituality and world peace.
Reception and interpretation
Prophecies of Earth changes have been described as a form of pseudoscience, in which terminology and ideas borrowed from science are used to rationalize non-scriptural apocalyptical thought based on visionary experiences. David Spangler, a leader of the Findhorn Foundation spiritual community, described prophecies of Earth changes as an expression of collective fear and anger, rather than as foretelling of actual future events.
- Barkun, Michael (2006). A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America. University of California Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-520-24812-0.
- Partridge, Christopher Hugh (2003). UFO Religions. Routledge. p. 118. ISBN 0-415-26324-7.
- Hanegraaff, Wouter J. (1998). New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought. SUNY Press. p. 353. ISBN 0-7914-3854-6.
- Larson, Bob (2004). Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. p. 163. ISBN 0-8423-6417-X.
- Lewis, James R.; J. Gordon Melton (1992). Perspectives on the New Age. SUNY Press. p. 12,64,204. ISBN 0-7914-1213-X.
- Hammer, Olav (2004). Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age. BRILL. pp. 243–244. ISBN 90-04-13638-X.
- Sun Bear; Wabun Wind (1992). Black Dawn, Bright Day: Indian Prophecies for the Millennium that Reveal the Fate of the Earth. Simon and Schuster. p. 67. ISBN 0-671-75900-0.
- Smoley, Richard; Jay Kinney (2006). Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions. Quest Books. pp. 292–3. ISBN 0-8356-0844-1.