Okay, so you’ve discovered your fundamental particles of magic, but they’re not much use if you can’t use them for something. You can have raw magic floating about, and there’s certainly plenty of that in the Thaumatology universe, especially near the German Rift. Fae, undead and demons tend to like that kind of thing, though only demons can survive the really hot spots without randomly mutating into a gibbon. Humans who want to make some use of magic need a little talent and some knowledge.
While people tend to divide magicians up according to their specialities, magic doesn’t see people that way. Wizards and witches, for example, are seen as different kinds of practitioners, but the only real difference is a psychological preference for different kinds of spells. Wizards are know for summoning demons and throwing fireballs, witches turn people into newts and make poitions, right? Well, no. Plenty a witch has summoned a demon, even if many prefer spirits. Mostly, the difference between practitioners is their style.
No, the most fundamental thing a magician needs is a way to generate power. What makes a “magician” is the ability to initiate a combined biological/metaphysical process which catalyses a few T-Nulls into thaumic energy. This actually takes physical effort; it’s tiring. Practitioners determined to do something too big have knocked themselves out, or even killed themselves. The process manifests “mystically” as an energy release along the Chakral Median, which roughly follows the spine. The power initiates at the root node, the base of the spine, and travels upward to the crown; that’s roughly where your mind is. I bet you can guess the next bit.
Once you have your power, you need to direct it. “Spells” are a mental process. Magicians learn to use their minds to direct magic. Technically, the complicated words, often in weird languages, the hand movements, the dramatic stances, all that stuff is totally pointless. It’s your will and intent that counts. However, the trappings of a spell help to get the mage’s mind working the right way. Also technically, the ability to generate your own power isn’t required either. If a normal who knows a spell can get a big enough magic field, they can make it work too.
So, if you don’t happen to be a magician, and you want to do magic, you could go live somewhere where the cattle occasionally fly, but that doesn’t sound like a really great idea if you want to live to earn your pension. Luckily there are other ways, you can contact a demon or spirit to give you the power… Okay, so it’s not exactly lucky. We’ll cover demonic pacts and spirit assistants next time.