World of Darkness: Tenebris Raptis

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PostSubject: Paradigm    Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:32 pm

A paradigm is the way in which a mage understands magic and incorporates it into her broader interpretation of reality.

While all mages are willworkers, bringing about effects by imposing their will on the Tapestry, it is hubris to imagine that an Awakened mage may simply think of something and have it occur. The power of the Consensus must be overcome, and one mage's mind is rarely enough to break the rules of modern belief (certainly not without invoking Paradox). Instead, each mage comes to an understanding of magic through the rituals and trappings of a particular style of magic, which focuses their will and resonates through the Tapestry, tapping into beliefs still held by a significant proportion of Sleepers.

The Traditions of the Council of Nine reflect the common, broad traditions of magic from around the world, while the Crafts represent more esoteric, rare or forgotten paradigms. The Conventions, by contrast, all subscribe to the global Technocratic paradigm of enlightened science.

While the basics of the paradigms of members of a Tradition may be the same - members of the Order of Hermes performing hermetic magic, Sons of Ether employing scientific devices - there are usually many personal variations on paradigms that may be used within each. For example, one Verbena witch may use blood sacrifices and ritual dances at midnight to enact her magic, while another may make potions from special herbs and rare ingredients which much be imbibed as part of her spell casting. As mages grow in understanding and Arete, they integrate more skills, techniques and possibilities into their paradigms, enabling them to learn from others of their Tradition and, in some cases, from members of other Traditions as well.
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