True Magic vs. Static Magic

True Magick

True magick changes the flow of reality. There are no inherent limits to what it can accomplish; the only limits are those within the mystick herself. A mage working True Magick can make buildings disappear, create worlds from whole cloth and bring the dead back to life without the need for some Orpheus-like search. True Magick does not require the willworker to perform any specific ritual or gesture in any particular way to alter reality, though many still do. She need not ape the gestures of her teacher and his teacher before him. All she needs is sufficient conscious and Awakened will. With enlightenment, knowledge of reality’s elements (called the nine Spheres by some) and will, her own expectations are the only true limits to her power.

There are two major schools of thought about how the Awakened generate and wield True Magick. Some Traditionalists maintain a transcendent theory of magick, believing that mages have the ability to connect with the Prime, the Pure Ones or some other mystick force. Through the auspices of their Avatars, mages reach into Prime itself and rework reality. Through this connection, they channel the energies of True Magick. Dreamspeaker shamans call this “making hollow bones;” visualizing his bones as hollow, the shaman draws the mystick energies into himself and out again as will.

Other mages believe that True Magick is immanent in all Awakened beings. The infinite power of this Art lies within each of us, embedded in the shard of Prime the Pure Ones lodged in our flesh and spirit. According to this theory, all we need to work True Magick is the faith to truly believe in its existence, the courage to embrace this inner divinity and the will to impose our own paradigm upon reality.

Regardless of an individual mage’s beliefs, he understands that he wields reality-on-command, and that his ability to impose his own reality upon the world sets him apart from all others.

Static Magick

In contrast to True Magick, static or “hedge” magic follows specific patterns, which follow the tenets of accepted reality. This is not to say that static magic conforms to textbook scientific reality – some of its effects are quite miraculous – but it does conform to at least some portion of the collective unconscious. Most scientists would insist that it is impossible to predict the future, yet any number of people visit Tarot care readers and call 1-900-psychic numbers every day. Children playing make-believe mimic static magic in their rituals of protection (“Hop twice on the blue rug, hold my breath and jump into bed without touching the headboard, or the monsters can get me while I sleep!”), perhaps instinctively acknowledging its presence and power.

The hedge wizards, psychics, Gypsies and others who work static magic must conform to strict patterns of behavior to achieve very specific results. They are like dancers at a masked ball, clothed but awkwardly in their Avatars. Although “wearing” their Avatars gives them entry into the Reality Ball, they are unable (or unwilling) to discard their costumes for the Midnight Awakening. Mages believe that vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures have a similar, limited relationship to their own Avatars. Some even suggest that the pallor and fangs of the vampire, and the fur and claws of the werewolves, are external signs of these same rigid Avatar costumes. Donning these metaphysical Avatars grants Kindred and Garou their Disciplines and Gifts, but also limits their powers and perspective.

The specific pattern one uses to create her magic is irrelevant; a Gypsy dance and a voodoo ritual could both have the same effect. Their consistency and belief in their own ritual matters most. Likewise, each specific ritual can only accomplish one specific result. The hedge wizard cannot use the same ritual to clean a house and burn it down.

Such static magic has an upper limit – the farthest boundaries of current static reality. The hedge wizard can dip her hands into the waters of reality and alter its flow, but unlike a True Mage, she cannot change the course of the river itself. The most powerful and determined hedge wizard cannot find an incantation or ritual which will overcome this limit. She is bound by external forces and cannot change the flow of reality.

Ironically, the Awakened cannot use static magic. Even if a mage conducts a “static ritual” alongside a hedge wizard, the mage’s ritual will work by fundamentally reshaping reality. This level of magick is impossible for the static magic worker to truly comprehend, much less attain.

Synopsis: An Awakened Mage sculpts reality to his will (An example of True Magick). A hedge wizard and other supernatural creatures merely bend the laws of reality within its limits (An example of Static Magick).