The Affinity Sphere
Regardless of how you define what you do, there’s one Sphere that inevitably means more to you than any other one: the affinity Sphere, your initial field of study and connection. This reflects your “first kiss” within the world of possibilities. Maybe, as a kid, you felt obsessed about the mysteries of biological life; your affinity Sphere would be Life, because life became your original link to a greater reality. Perhaps you gambled or otherwise threw yourself on the mercies of Lady Luck; your affinity Sphere would be Entropy, your “first love” among mystic principles. A mage whose inquires begin with candles or weather patterns would find an affinity for Forces, and one with an innate sense that “time keeps on slippin’” would gravitate toward Time.
The affinity often manifests during the Awakening, perhaps through a display of wild talent connected to that Sphere; a girl whose Avatar Awakens during a house fire – perhaps by causing that fire – would most likely find herself affiliated with Forces, whereas one whose Awakening saved her from drowning might feel closest to the principles of the Life Sphere. There’s no hard and fast rule about such things, but as the saying goes, “like follows like.” A person with some strong connection to a certain aspect of Creation will often find and nurture an affinity Sphere. That same idea holds true for groups as well as individuals. Various mystic and Technocratic factions align themselves with certain principles based on their affinity for a given Sphere, and although those groups do not insist that all of their initiates share the same affinity Sphere, each group values certain ideals and teachings based around their most cherished principles.
The Verbenae, for example, explore the carnal Arts of Life, and the New World Order delves into the possibilities of one’s Mind. Ecstatic mages may be the only ones unmoored enough to truly understand Time, and Templars marshal the Forces at their God’s command. If you’d like to understand a group, look at the sorts of magick it prefers. By studying someone else’s affinity Sphere, you can learn plenty about the things they revere and respect.
_ ~ Mage – 20th Anniversary Edition, page 63:_