A thought that I occasionally kick around in our polarized tradition---exactly when does a group or style of working become a different tradition? At what point, are so many changes made that a system of working simply ceases to be what it started out as and becomes something completely different? At what point in time does the teachings and beliefs of a group become so different that it is no longer recognized by its parent tradition?
Given that every group (coven, lodge, Order, etc.) has an egregore which taps into an energetic current, and the keys of tapping into the energies that the egregore guards are encoded in the rituals and procedures used by a group, sooner or later enourgh changes to the rituals and teachings would prevent a group from tapping into a current and force it switch to another current---in essence, enourgh changes creates a new system.
This set of questions is very close to the surface of my thoughts today. The workings and beliefs of the system that I work have been declared "dead-ends" by another group, and they have changed their code-keys. Are we different traditions yet? They are going back to a style that pre-dates the system that I work (and have been for years). At a certain point, the two styles became different systems---and despite this other group's efforts to drag us all back into that style, the rituals of my tradition still have power; they still have a purpose.
At certain point, the egregores of the two styles started to obey different rules. From my viewpoint, there are two traditions sharing the same name, but who are on completely different paths. And it has been this way for years---I wonder if I am the only one that sees this?