Redfield, James (1950– )
James Redfield, the author of the post-New Age spiritual
classic The Celestine Prophecy, was born on March 19, 1950,
in rural Alabama. He grew up near Birmingham, Alabama, and
attended Auburn University, where he majored in sociology.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he continued at Auburn
and received a master’s degree in counseling. In 1974 he began
work as a therapist for abused adolescents. During his college
years and subsequent period as a counselor, he became a student
of Eastern religions and the human potentials movement.
He increasingly turned to theories of psychic phenomena and
intuition as resources to assist his clients.
In 1989, Redfield quit his job to write and to synthesize his
interests. The results of his initial effort, which included a trip
to the New Age sacred sites in Sedona, Arizona, were completed
in 1991 as his first book, The Celestine Prophecy. He selfpublished
the book in 1992 and within a year over 100,000 copies
had been printed. Eventually Warner Books bought the
rights to the title and in 1994 brought out the first hardback
edition. The book soon became number one on the New York
Times nonfiction best-seller list. It remained on the list for three
years, was translated into several languages, and was soon
joined by its sequel, The Tenth Insight (1996).
The Celestine Prophecy appeared as it became evident that the
vision of a New Age that had so transformed the metaphysical
community through the 1980s had died. Many who had identified
themselves with the New Age sought new understanding
of what had been occurring. Redfield’s book appeared to provide
that new direction. The Celestine Prophecy described nine insights
that Redfield felt were emerging in prominence among
those who chose to be aware of them. The insights suggested
that since the 1960s people had become more attuned to their
intuitive self and the coincidences that filled their life. As a result
of the attunement to these insights, a new vision of the
transformation of human consciousness would emerge in the
next century. The Tenth Insight explored the results of working
with these insights.
People not only read The Celestine Prophecy, but study groups
formed to work with the insights. For these people, Redfield
authored ‘‘experiential guides’’ for both The Celestine Prophecy
and The Tenth Insight. He began a newsletter, The Celestine Journal,
in 1994 that in 1998 became a monthly Internet newsletter
on his website at More recently
he continued to develop his perspectives in additional books,
The Celestine Vision (1997) and The Secret of Shambhala (1999).
He has been aided in his endeavors by his wife, Salle Merrill
Redfield, who has authored several related books and who lectures
with Redfield on their speaking tours around the world.
Beyond supplying material for study of the nine insights, Redfield
has done little toward organizing any movement out of the
response to his writings. However, some readers of his works
have formed the New Civilization Network, a loose association
operating primarily through the Internet.
Redfield, James. The Celestine Prophecy. New York Warner
Books, 1994.
———. The Celestine Vision Living the New Spiritual Awareness.
New York Warner Books, 1997.
———. The Secret of Shambhala Search for the Eleventh Insight.
New York Warner Books, 1999.
———. The Tenth Insight. New York Warner Books, 1996.