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This is an old revision of MagicalTraditions made by BaxilDragon on 2010-04-27 19:16:23.

 

Magical Traditions in TTU


Mage classification: School >> Tradition >> Working Group

A "Tradition" describes a large group of mages united by shared ideology and/or teachings. It does not mean that all mages of that tradition practice together or are geographically united -- just that they have similar ideas about magic and work from the same source material.

The levels of classification of magical ideology are, from broadest to narrowest: School >> Tradition >> Working Group (circle, coven, order, etc.). To use an analogy with spirituality, a school is like a religion (Christianity); a tradition is like a denomination (Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Baptist); a working group is like a single church. Of course, someone may consider themselves to be part of a school (or tradition) without having any more specific affiliation; all three levels are meaningful on their own.


Magical Traditions


There are a number of magical traditions that exist in our Earth that also are prominent in TTU -- Wicca, shamanism, druidry, hermeticism, thelema, etc. There are also a large number of new traditions that exploded from these roots -- or from seemingly out of nowhere -- after magic started demonstrably working in TheChanges.

The details of these traditions are as yet largely undefined, and TTU writers are encouraged to pitch in and create a broad range of magical organizations! We'll document them here along with links to the organizations' descriptive pages.

Hermeticism


Parent School: Directivism

Beliefs: Magic is a predictable force that can be measured and controlled. Hermetics believe that magic is a scientific force that needs to be studied to be understood. Theirs is the magic of precise ritual, complex formulae, and academic principles. Hermetics do not share the personalized relationship with magic that other traditions are known for, instead preferring a detachment, seeing magic more as a tool. While other traditions refer to the art of magic, hermetics prefer the term the craft of magic. To them, magic is not black or white, good or evil, magic is; it is the user that makes it what it is.

Most hermetics believe that they draw their power form the four elements; earth, air, water, and fire, instead of some inner source or some extraterrestrial influence. Hermetics are also known for their expertise in astrology and alchemy. Hermetic study has increased recently after the discovery of the Libra Veneficus Magica, a tome, purportedly, written by John Dee; a 16th century mathematician, astrologer, and occultist; covering the finer details of hermeticism and alchemy. (It’s interesting to note, John Dee is reported to have been born July 13th, 1527; a Wednesday)

Advantages: Capable of producing outstanding affects through their magic, hermetics could be a powerful force to reckon with if it where not for the immense amount of study and dedication required to perform even the simplest effect. Hermetics are also capable of bringing forth the embodiments of the force they believe power magic, called elementals. The study of astrology also lends well to fortune telling, while alchemy is often employed to make magic “potions”, liquid containers for beneficial (or detrimental) effects.

Disadvantages: As the saying goes: With great power comes great reasonability. While capable of creating truly awesome effects, hermetics run the greatest risk of magic failure or, even worse, magical back-fire; resulting in often catastrophic outcomes. The mortality rate for hermetics that step out of the range of their capabilities is extremely high. Like directivists, hermetics tend to be elitist, making joining their ranks and learning their art difficult at best.


Working Groups


The majority of covens/orders/circles/etc. are formed as a local branch of a specific tradition -- they will work (more or less tightly) within that organization; recruit and teach students under the name brand and philosophy of that tradition; have some level of contact with other groups in that tradition (or at least will be friendly toward visiting tradition members); and share in the benefits of the discoveries other tradition members make.

However, mages being the individualistic sorts they are, often a working group will simply assemble -- and remain coherent -- without regard to school or tradition. This most often happens when the mages have reasons to work together that have nothing to do with magical ideology (friendship, politics, pre-Changes collaboration, or being the only mages in an isolated area). Or a mage may join an established group with an opposing tradition for similar reasons.

This is why TTU characters' descriptions have separate spaces for group and tradition -- group affiliation is no guarantee of anything. The "Magical Tradition" field measures that character's individual approach to magic, even if their working group does it differently.

Due to the differing philosophies of how spell energy is gathered and used, mages cannot participate at their full strength in rituals or group spells from an opposing school (unless those rituals are designed with compatibility in mind -- effects are interchangeable, but the method of getting there isn't). Multi-tradition working groups will either learn to account for this, or else just put up with it.



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