By Madame X 2006
Being an eclectic spiritualist implies that many spiritual paths are studied, understood and harnessed. It is only natural that some paths speak more deeply to us than others, but the root of eclecticism is in drawing from each doctrine those particular elements that speak our own particular brand of Truth.
Being an eclecticist can bring us closer to those who we want to commune with, by better relating to their center of faith and their comfort level, meeting them at their personal level of understanding. Spirituality, like politics, is one of those things that we cannot easily convince someone of , it often takes years of study to understand and accept simple truths. While open minded philosophers often enjoy deep conversations on the subject, most common people do not. In fact they are often quite closed off to any ideas that diverge from their personal ideologies and will immediately discredit us as charlatans or, worst yet, be horrified by our methods and ideas. Eclecticism assists in building bridges between diverging beliefs and forming new friendships and alliances based on understanding. It also allows for a better spiritual communion between partners, or any in relationships where a spiritual bond or communion is essential.
While many of us may feel that energy based healing is a recognized and recommendable method, there are others who believe only in legitimate doctors and their medications, or in the healing power of Jesus and Mary, this to name just a few. The healing process has much to do with the chemical processes of the body, but it has also much to do with faith. The seeker must believe in the healer and in the healing method in order for any healing to take place. The seeker must allow the healer in, let them do their work, and believe wholeheartedly that the healing process is possible.
Eclecticism facilitates a spiritual connection with those who we are trying to heal, by using the seekers own beliefs as a focus. It then becomes possible, for instance, for a Reiki practitioner to help a devout Christian, and for a Shamanic healer to help a rigid scientist. The eclectic healer must learn how to use the seekers’ belief system and level of understanding as tools and focal points for the session. Of course these focal points must not conflict with the actual work, instead they should strengthen it, adding a new layer or dimension to the session. Certain tool substitutions can also be made to put the seeker at ease while the intention/consecration of the tool remains the same, i.e.: a pentacle for a Christmas star, sea water for holy water, a talking stick or wand for a crucifix, smudging sage for frankincense or for a soft scented candle…etc. Along with simple substitutions, variant connotations of the same tools can be expressed where the intent of each remains the same or is reinforced i.e.: a lit candle that expresses our inner fire can be presented as a symbol of the light of God, a tray of salt that expresses the earth’s protection can be expressed as a positively charged mineral that attracts negative ions in the room’s atmosphere…etc. It is important to maintain the focus consistent throughout the session where the seeker understands and is receptive to each tool, each prayer, and each visualization. Should the session involve different aspects from different belief systems (i.e.: a crucifix, a pentagram, a Buddha, and an inverted pentacle) the healer is now evoking a system different from eclecticism that borders more so on Chaos magic.
A more detailed example of subtle yet effective substitution technique is a simple energetic banishing. The basic visualization begins with a small pinprick of bright light that grows at an accelerated rate and explodes into a ball of protective light that envelops the seeker, banishing negative influences. A simple modification focusing or Christian beliefs can be by replacing the visualization of the pinprick of light with a tiny cross of sunlight that represents the power of Jesus or God. The banishing stays the same, the focus has simply taken a slightly different form that can make a great deal of difference for the seeker.
Yet another example would be when recommending herbals or tonics. It is interesting to know that many herbs have an old magical or midwives’ name, a scientific name and a more Christian alias. A healer versed in herb lore may find it advantageous to know not only these name correspondences, but also the vitamin, nutritional and amino acid content of their favourite recommendations and their interactions with the chemical body. Honey is coincidentally loaded with vitamin B and lemon tea hydrates with vitamin C, the perfect scientific formula to ward off the common cold.
Such Eclectic Healing techniques can help us connect with those who are difficult to reach at first glance and those that we may desire to help but that we already know would be appalled with our methods. We certainly cannot expect everyone to accept our Truth, but we can certainly learn ways to present it in a light that they are more receptive to.