Although magicians are technically humans, they aren't exactly vanilla mortals. Many consider mages to be a subspecies of homosapien, some consider them not human at all! -Tom
Should I be feeling concerned Tom? -Nova
Now, the thing about us awakened mages is that you can't define us without first understanding the mechanics surrounding us.
We hold that the universe we know is entirely false and fabricated, that everything you see is not real but merely a creation from the collective consciousness of mankind. That belief is the force that shape the world around us and that all that exist does because we believe in it.
Now, it may seem like magical thinking, after all believing you'll win the lottery won't make you actually win it. But that's where we go further; We don't simply believe, we will it. Since the universe is the collective mind of everyone, we push our own beliefs and desires onto that matrix.
The universe bends to our will because we are louder than the passive, unconscious mass, which are called the sleepers. This is why mages have used staves and wands, not because they had power but because we ascribed powers to them, they channel our beliefs into concrete forms.
Now, you're probably thinking; "Why can't I do it?" The answer is simple yet complicated. Even if you are aware of the workings of the universe, you haven't awakened, your spirit has yet to use that spark that makes you consciously feel the tides of the universe.
How do you awaken exactly? There's no real answer, everyone is different but there are common things. All of us, have felt that there was something wrong with the world, we've known that there was something there, just out of our reach. We've never let others put into the mold, even if it seemed like so. We never stopped dreaming.
This is who we are, those that transcend the current nature of the universe and claim it as our own. It's not easy and certainly not safe. There are rules to do it.
1. As you change the world, you change yourself and vice-versa.
2. Everything you do comes back to you, it warps your being, your aura and your power.
3. As strong as you might be, you cannot defeat everyone, a thousand mind will always be more powerful than a single one, regardless of the quality of that one. If you're too blatant, the universe will backlash and kick your ass.
4. As you awaken, you begin to step away from the world, you become out of sync. We call this the veil. You become something that is overlooked like it's not really there.
5. What you believe is not important, the belief is a tool, not an end.
Since beliefs play a central role in our being, the world of mages has organized itself into different covens and tradition liked by a common paradigm of how the world works. I will list a few just to show the diversity.
-Hermetic orders (Golden dawn anyone?)
-New age cults and pagan religions, (Wicca, NeoDruidism and etc)
-Shamans and native cultures. (Voodoo, Cherokee medicine men, Siberian shaman)
-Religious cults and miracle workers.
and there are even non-mystical covens like the technomancers and proudly self-proclaimed Mad-scientists.
She forgot to add Reality Hackers! I am offended!