The new age movement may not have been the same had it not been for Edgar Cayce, also known as “The sleeping prophet", who was around in the 1800/1900’s, and served as a sort of local oracle.
He had displayed so-called supernatural abilities since his youth and teenage years, including the ability to see and communicate with the dead and angels, from whom he claimed to gain his knowledge and information.
He would put himself in a sleep like state where he was able to prophesize as the mouth piece to a higher being. Cayce claimed to be unaware of the diagnoses and advice he gave out to his patients, and said that he never consciously heard what he apparently relayed to them during his sleep-prophesizing.
Eventually he provided free hypnotic consultations locally, although he was concerned about the advice that he was unconsciously providing. Despite wanting to keep a low profile, he became very popular, and was at one point in high demand. His supposed powers naturally began to attract gamblers and merchants, and he was made to produce psychic readings centered on financial gain that left him feeling hollow.
After all, Edgar Cayce was a religious man who believed that he was communicating with angels and God with the intention of helping and healing those in need. He began to turn down generous amounts of money for his readings, in favor of keeping on the righteous path, but ended up becoming known as a sort of mystic, eventually straying away from his previous beliefs to unconsciously relay ideas of reincarnation, and ideas in contrast to his affiliation with the disciples of Christ.
Eventually the cures he presented to heal the ailments of his client came to resemble what many would recognize today as new-age remedies, such as stones and crystals, massage therapy, meditation and relaxation in nature.
Later he began to focus on regression and past lives, astro-planing and clairvoyance. He is the subject of many published articles and books, and many critics of his alleged supernatural powers believe books are the source of his snippets of advice. Check out the links/sources for more information.