Sorry for waking up an old thread..... This was an interesting read....
For me, I am mostly focused on learning Amazonian curanderismo - especially Shipibo practices. This tradition is thousands of years old (at least 4000 years, which is the oldest known artifact depicting Ayahuasca ceremony). In this practice, no one teaches you what to do. There are no books, and my current maestra (teacher) doesnt even speak a language I can speak (she only speaks Shipibo, and a tiny tiny bit of Spanish - my Spanish is better then hers, but I dont speak Shipibo at all!). In this tradition, it is all about learning from the spirits. The teacher is there to introduce you to some of the spirits, and to keep you safe while you are learning.
Every shaman/witch in the tradition I am learning has a unique and eclectic practice. My practice is incredibly eclectic - but hardly any of it comes from books. Books just dont exist that teach what I am learning - this is an oral tradition, and most of it isnt even oral, but telepathic/spiritual maybe.....
It is confusing to me to hear that eclectic witches are not traditional, because to me, the eclectic ones are the most traditional. It is hard for me to picture a village witch saying "I dont care what your spirit guides tell you, or what new inspirations you have - this way is the only right way for every person on this path"...... If every witch just did what their teacher told them, then how did the tradition get started in the first place? How will it grow?
Some of the best regarded healers in my tradition never even had a teacher - they just go into the jungle for 2-3 years by themselves, and when they return they are healers. Some experience a traumatic experience and afterwards they are healers. These are considered the most powerful and traditional medicine people of all in this tradition - the ones who had no teacher besides the spirits. The eclectic ones who use what works, and dont care about the source, but only care about what helps them and their community the most.
Evolution never happens without change. Dont lock yourself in the past - it is extremely limiting! Stay true to your tradition and your guides, but be open minded enough to recognize good changes and evolution when you see it!
I think it may be important, perhaps, to realize the difference between maintaining the integrity of a tradition and stagnation... a tradition, if it is to survive, must be able to move (whether seen or unseen) within the society it exists; however, to change completely with the whims of modern culture would be to lose the tradition itself.
Edited by Michele, 26 March 2014 - 12:09 PM.