I wonder out loud here... and what follows is not borne out of anger, malice, or negative intent.
I am being to think I, perosnally, am "tradition-less." I come from a Nothern European Christian background. However, my experience has shown that Christian traditions are almost universally not apostolic in nature. Whatever mystic traditions that were once there, have been bent to the will of political forces through the centuries.
Further, I feel completely disconnected to my Northern European heritage.
My point is, I feel as if I'm at a severe disadvantage by not having tradition and culture to supposrt my evolving spirituality.
The disadvantage, I suppose, could be overcome, but at what cost....?
Christianity is not a true European tradition my good friend, but a middle Eastern cult used by powerful political figures to bring unity, much like a sheep dog herd's all the sheep into one easy to control bunch. The concepts of Christianity are the ways of subjection to the church and government heads or masters, one may call it little more than slavery. These masters enforce the rule of their religion by force and lunacy follows. This religion came from the same place which spawned Islam, which we can see is a tyrannical religion of slavery and death. European tradition is far from lost, many practise European traditions to this day, Wicca is one of many. I do not suggest that any take it upon them selves to learn matters of spirituality directly from the great spirit, if you have know one to guild you then how will you know who and what you are learning? Spirit? if no Elder is there to guild you then how do you know what spirit you are dealing with? Many will say --follow your heart, this is no more than a sentimental saying, it carries no true wisdom at all and can not be supported by evidence. In fact the opposite is quite true--The heart seeks its own, even unto the grave. You have a good mind and patients, these are great attributes to any which study matters of spirituality. Use them.
A spiritual elder is trained in the ancient ways of the people and his or her words and actions are carefully guarded by the elders. A spiritual person is not self-appointed, but is given this distinction by close observation of their actions over a long period of time. The Great Mystery anoints the person with the Spirit. And, it is Spirit who instructs and directs the person in his or her walk on the Good Red Road. This Road or path in life is not easy. It is filled with personal sacrifice and self-denial of creature comforts. Problems come in waves and there is much danger from worldly temptation. The Good Red Road is not really red. It is the many colors of all races. It is the spiritual path.
Oh yes, and many attempt to avoid their calling and their destiny. I have learned much by watching children play, you will see the talent in them if you watch closely. Elders have used this method for centuries to define the calling of the youth. You will see healers, counselors, helpers, and warriors in the actions of the children as they play. Grand Father does anoint those who will walk the Spirit path, but they will be under the scrutiny of the Elders. If the calling is true then they will know and they will encourage the trait, if not then they will help the youth find their path, their destiny. It seems as though this modern society tells strange stories to its youth, the legends of my people encourage youths to be a person of good standing in the tribal community, good hunters and warriors for the cause of good, but the modern stories seem to tell the kids that it is better to be a sad yet beautiful monster(vampire) than a good family man. I see many that choose a spirit path for them selves to obtain a dark mysterious demeanor as a movie character, rather than the ability to help people. I'm sorry if I confused you with my post, but there are many components in this issue of a calling.
I have to agree with you that this modern culture does tell it’s children VERY strange and pointless stories. That is a sad truth.
So what do you make of a young 4-7 year old. Who writes down his prayers and burns them, knowing that the smoke will carry them up to creator?
I would have to say that I witnessed an act of faith, and faith can be very powerful. as you know there are many ceremonies which include smoke as a means of carrying prayers, others use feathers and some use a combination of both. there may be many beliefs which discourage such acts and so I would have to say that this all depends on the faith of the individual. Prayer is an act of faith by which we put our belief into action, by this act we begin a series of event to take place, identifying the object of our will, positive focus, manipulation of forces in order to bring about the object of our will. We pray the way we have been taught at first and then we begin to pray according to learned behaviors and or we use prayer as an extension of our own unique personality and character. Even though we may pray in the ways of traditional ceremony we still interact with the forces individually and uniquely.