Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Theory of Magic


Chariot's crowdfunder now stands only about £92 short of its first stretch goal, with 15 days to go. Please tell your friends about the game, share my posts and contribute if you like my writing. 

Anyway, after all that painful family history and difficult words about rape, it's business as usual, as today, we have another excerpt from the magic rules of Chariot. Tomorrow, some explanation on how this goes together, but today, the structure of a magic system based upon a theosophical Atlantis. People knowledgeable in Western occultism will probably recognise bits. That's not a bad thing. 


Although each of the cultures approaches magic very differently on a superficial scale, the theory of magic is constant for all. Magic in Atlantis and Lemuria recognises five elemental forces, that we call Essences: Vayu, the Essence of Perception and Air; Apas, the Essence of Water and Life; Prithivi, the Essence of Earth and Matter; Tejas, the Essence of Fire and Energy; and Akâsha, the Quintessence of Spirit.

Each Essence is connected to an element and a natural force or phenomenon that it affects. And each Essence has tied to it two active Techniques. Each pair of Techniques has two opposites:

Clairvoyance and Projection govern Vayu;
Nurturing and Withering govern Apas;
Precipitation and Destruction govern Prithivi;
Harnessing and Unleashing govern Tejas;
and Vril and Qlippoth are the Techniques of Akâsha.

While any magician has the capacity within them to affect any Essence, not everyone knows how to use all of the Techniques, and before you, the magician, learn either of the two Techniques of Akâsha, you must grasp all eight of the other Techniques.

Vayu, essence of Perception and Air (Swords)

Symbol: Blue circle

Affects: Air, Perceptions

Techniques: Clairvoyance or Projection

If you want to create or influence the air or the wind, or if you want to influence what people see or hear, or if you want to send messages, use Vayu.

Clairvoyance is the art of seeing beyond seeing, of hearing beyond hearing, of reading minds and feelings and knowing beyond knowing. The Clairvoyant peers into the astral. The clairvoyant sees the past and the future, but also the present.

Projection is the art of casting one's soul out beyond one's body, of entering the Astral Plane, and of communicating by force of thought alone, but it's also the art of sending messages, and fooling perceptions with visions and illusions.

Vayu is connected to the Suit of Swords, and to affect Vayu or use its Techniques, you must spend points from Swords.

Apas, essence of Water and Life (Cups)


Symbol: Silver crescent

Affects: Water, Life

Techniques: Nurturing or Withering

If you want to influence water or rain, or to affect a living thing of any order, use Apas.

Nurturing is the art of making things grow, or heal, and the art of altering and mending bodies. Nurturing can transform the shape of a willing subject. Nurturing always works to its subject's benefit.

Withering is the art of harming living things, shrinking them, afflicting them, causing pain and disease. Withering can transform the shape of an unwilling subject. Withering never works to its subject's benefit.

Apas is connected to the Suit of Cups, and to affect Apas or use its Techniques, you must spend points from Cups.

Prithivi, essence of Earth and Matter (Pentacles)


Symbol: Yellow square

Affects: Earth, Matter

Techniques: Precipitation or Dissolution

If you want to influence earth and stone, or to affect inanimate objects of any kind, use Prithivi.

Precipitation is the art of building up, creating or moving gross matter, either by creating it or by taking it from somewhere else. To teleport inanimate objects, you use Precipitation.

Dissolution is the art of destroying or weakening inanimate matter.

Prithivi is connected to the Suit of Pentacles, and to affect Prithivi or use its Techniques, you must spend points from Pentacles.

Tejas, essence of Fire and Energy (Wands)


Symbol: Red triangle

Affects: Fire, Energy

Techniques: Harnessing or Unleashing

If you want to influence fire or heat, or to affect energies of any kind, use Tejas.

Harnessing is the art of creating and channelling energy in a contained and subtle way to supply power, light, and heat, and the art of calming and reducing energies. Use Harnessing when you wish to use energy for clean and benevolent purposes, and when you wish to move things without physical effort.

Unleashing is the art of creating and channelling raw force in an uncontrolled, sudden fashion. It is the art of increasing energies. Use Unleashing when you wish to use energy for acts of violence and destruction.

Tejas is connected to the Suit of Wands, and to affect Tejas or use its Techniques, you must spend points from Wands.

Akâsha, quintessence of Spirit


Symbol: Black or purple egg

Affects: Spirit

Techniques: Vril or Qlippoth

If you wish to access or influence the Akâsha itself, or to affect living souls, use Akâsha.

Vril is the art of creating and restoring life force. Use Vril when you wish to create new sentient life.

Qlippoth is the art of destroying life force. Use Qlippoth to destroy a soul forever, leaving nothing but a soulless shell.

Akâsha is not connected to any specific Suit, and to affect Akâsha or use its Techniques, you must spend points from your Suits, although you may choose which Suits you tap into.

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