Almost all witches dabble in a variety of magical practices. Apprentices are usually provided with a working knowledge of all colleges of magic as part of their basic studies. Witches join a specific College to focus their study on a particular method of spellcasting, but belonging to a College does not prevent a witch from delving into other fields of study. It is also not uncommon for witches to change Colleges over the course of their lifetimes, and many witches hold ranks in multiple fields.
The Colleges of High Magic consist of the original five Arcane Colleges. Purists contend that the Colleges of High Magic are the only true fields of study, and that the Colleges of Expanded Studies are merely specializations within the core colleges.
The Great Seal of the Arcane
Until the addition of the College of Divinities, the Pentagram served as the Great Seal for all witches. After the addition of the College of Divinities, a crescent moon was added to the top of the pentagram as part of the seal. When the College of Witchery was adopted, the entire seal was placed inside an oval (representing the World Egg). With the addition of the College of Psionics, the seal received another makeover with the addition of an eye to the center of the pentagram. Notably, the Seal was not changed when the College of Technomancy was introduced, nor has any push come from that College to request a change.
Though often found in jewelry or adorning the cover of a grimoire, the Great Seal’s primary purpose is as a ward and to identify safe houses for witches. The true seal, when etched or traced upon a surface by a witch, is invisible to Mundanes. When a witch sees the Great Seal on the door of a business, she knows it is a “witch-friendly” establishment and she can find understanding assistance inside. When found on the side of a residence or the door of a private home, it indicates a witch willing to open her door to a fellow witch in need.
The Colleges of Magic by Julie Ann Dawson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.