CULT OF ECSTASY is a TRADITION of MAGES from WHITE WOLF's role playing game. Hmmm. Pretty confusing sentence if you've never played MAGE before, so I'll try to explain from a character's point of view.
WHITE WOLF is a gaming company who makes a game called "MAGE: the Ascension". The game involves role playing a normal human, just like you and me, who can use true magic to make things happen in the world that would not have normally happened. The mage has the power to alter or change reality as we know it. The process of realizing that you have this power is called AWAKENING - you awaken to see all the possibilities around you. Those who can't or don't understand are called SLEEPERS - they remain asleep to the possibilities of magic in their lives.
The goal of a MAGE is to ASCEND - to achieve enlightenment. This process involves SEEKINGS where you go through adventures and experiences (hopefully) leading to an EPIPHANY - a realization about the world leading to enlightenment. Sometimes during a SEEKING you may talk to your AVATAR - the holy part of your eternal soul that enables you to do magic. Your AVATAR is your connection to the Gods, to the spirits, to all time.
There are 9 SPHERES of magic, which define the collective effects that the user can have. There are 9 different TRADITIONS of mages, each group having their own viewpoint on the "correct" way to ASCEND. Each of the TRADITIONS favors different FOCI, props used within their PARADIGM, or belief system, to make magic easier. For Cultists typical FOCI are: music, dance, drugs, incense, sex, or things which expand our minds and our perceptions. Each of the 9 TRADITIONS favors one sphere over the others and generally excels in it's use. The sphere favored by Cultists is TIME.
The CULT OF ECSTASY believes in transcending barriers - after all, what is ECSTASY but EX STASIS? When you break out of a pattern and transcend stasis for a new experience, you learn and grow. Typical methods of changing our state of mind are music, drugs, and sexuality. Music can move our hearts to dance our joy, incense and drugs can expand our minds, and sex intimately links two (or more) beings together forever. When used wisely, this is a path to Enlightenment. When abused, it leads to self destruction.
This outlook has lead many to view our TRADITION as nothing more then a bunch of burned out druggies. As in most stereotypes, there is some truth to it. The ones most remembered are the ones who blundered worst. On the whole, Cultists are very responsible. Too much of a good thing can be too much, and decreased sensitivity leads to addiction if the path is pursued. It is also overlooked that where there are incredible highs there are bound to be incredible lows. Being so open, so receptive to things going on around us leads to great joy watching a flower bloom and smelling it's perfume, and great pain at watching people so casually hurt each other. Fortunately, Cultists seem to attract good people who understand our lifestyle and remain our friends. Those stuck in stasis naturally avoid us, as we threaten their safe, secure world. Being a Cultist means sometimes "partying on" when there is nothing left to party about, or when there is nothing we can do to change a situation. It is a rare Cultist who would not be here today without some help from his or her friends.
The CULT OF ECSTASY is a much deeper and more meaningful TRADITION then first glance would show. These pages are devoted to exploring their beliefs.
ROTES are a way of combining or focusing our spheres of magic for a specific effect. It does not limit our magical abilities, it mearly provides us with some routines for typical effects we desire.
Cult of Ecstasy General Rotes by Anders Sandberg
Cult of Ecstasy Time Rotes by Anders Sandberg
The Online Rote Database is searchable for specific rotes or rotes by sphere level
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