Matter is one of nine Spheres of magic in Mage: The Ascension. The Solificati occupied the Seat of Matter in the original Council of Nine Mystic Traditions from 1456 to 1470, but it was unoccupied for most of the Tradition's history until Sons of Ether joined in 1904. The Shard Realm of Matter maps physically to Jupiter.
Matter is the Pattern Sphere that purviews all inorganic Patterns that hold Quintessence, in contrast to the energetic Patterns of Forces and the symbiotic Patterns of Life. Representing the base of the physical world, Matter governs the elements from the periodic table in all their physical conditions (or, to mystics, the three elements of Earth, Air and Water). Manipulating Matter is usually a much simpler affair than manipulating other Patterns.
To utilize the Archspheres of Matter, the mage has to understand the relationships between Matter Patterns throughout the Tellurian. The mage has then to understand Matter's nature as solidified Quintessence and learn from its differences to one's own Life Pattern.
Mages with experience in Matter usually appear with exceptional clothing, their personal possessions possessing qualities that show artistic skill. Their features seem hard, their manners blunt. They favor practical results with even the most theoretical applications. Their presence seems vibrant and solidifying at the same time.
Energies associated with Matter tend to be brown or grey in color.
Matter works best when combined with other Spheres. Prime and Matter create solid forms from Quintessence; Correspondence and Matter connect objects across space; Entropy erodes or reinforces Matter; Forces transmutes inert elements into active ones. Life plus Matter bridges the gap between living and dead materials (an essential combination when dealing with vampires) and Spirit plus Matter renders ephemera into matter or matter into ephemera. Time alters the temporal state of Matter, and high-Rank Mind Effects imbue inanimate materials with consciousness.
Below is a short representation of how the Sphere of Matter is interpreted by the various magickal factions within the World of Darkness.
- Akashic Brotherhood: The Akashic Brotherhood practices Matter in the form of alchemy to impress the Five Agents on an object, which forces the Akashic to focus on the process instead of the outcome. During the following process of crafting, most Akashics enter a state of meditative absorption that allows them to influence Matter.
- Celestial Chorus: The Celestial Chorus argues about the meaning of Matter (and of its sister-Sphere, Life) in their doctrine. Some believe that the One loves and cares for physical existence, while others maintain that corporeal reality is an illusion to be overcome. The ones who choose to focus on Matter retort that chains are not evil by the virtue of binding and see Matter as the study of all Creation.
- Cult of Ecstasy: The Cult of Ecstasy speaks of Matter as the "Illusion of Physicality" and associate it with "Hatred" among the Nine Sacred Passions. To manipulate Matter is to enforce your own view of the world on it. Viewing the material world as a side-effect of the illusion of the self, Ecstatics seek to transcend their self to transcend their perceptions of reality, which allows them to manipulate the illusion.
- Dreamspeakers: Dreamspeakers usually do not differentiate between Life and Matter, seeing everything as alive and inhabited by spirits and make no distinction between the earth and the plant seeds that grow from it. Techno-Shamans, however, have a greater focus on Matter, seeing it as a new growing ecology of spirits in need of shamanic mediation.
- Euthanatoi: The Euthanatoi speak of Matter as Pakriti ("Form"). While many have troubles understanding Matter's silent inertia, the Euthanatoi know that everything within Creation exists for a purpose, even base matter. Through understanding the purpose and destiny of a material object, the mage can affect it.
- Order of Hermes: The Order of Hermes speaks of Matter as the Ars Materiae and see it corresponding to the three life-giving elements of Water, Earth, and Air. By practicing this art, the Hermetic seeks to transform physical reality to cleanse it from its flaws and mold the sleeping spark of Divinity within.
- Sons of Ether: The Sons of Ether divide Matter into Etheric Chemistry and Etheric Engineering. By far the most popular Sphere, Matter is seen as limitless in its permutations and infinite in its possible applications. In many cases, Etherites believe that they need to have a link to the perfected Platonic Ideal as a blueprint, shaping the following tool to be as near to perfection as possible.
- Verbena: The Verbena revere Matter during Yule, the longest night within the year. Seeing Matter as a part of the cycle of how Prime passes through Spirit to become Matter, most Verbena associate the Sphere with crafting, infusing life and spirit into dead materials.
- Virtual Adepts: Despite their understanding of physics, most Virtual Adepts have a sort of mental block when it comes to influencing Matter. Those who master it tend to see Matter as slowed down energy and use it mainly to create their Instruments and tools.
- Ahl-i-Batin: The Ahl-i-Batin see Matter connected to Yesod. While not widespread, the Ahl-i-Batin study Matter through the study of alchemy, creating acids and alloys like steel for personal use. In general, they refrain from overtly vulgar applications of the Sphere.
- Kopa Loei: The Kopa Loei call Matter "Mole'aina", the Root of the World. Kopa Loei use Matter to affect the unliving world in the same vein they use Life to affect bodies. "Modern" elements, like glass, metal or plastic, are exempt to Kopa Loei magic except for breaking them into their original, more "pure" elemental forms. 
- Solificati: For the Solificati, Matter is the foundation upon which their whole art is built. Considering it a means to change any non-living element, Solificati learn how the different parts of the world work and when they can be changed into something better. By making the material world more perfect, the Solificatus supports and creates a more magical world that will allow living beings to be transmuted into something better.
- Templars: Following their ousting from the Order of Reason through HIT-Marks, the Templars have taken up the study of Matter, mainly to continue to forge Primium and to understand the tools of their enemy.
- Taftâni: The Taftâni see Matter as Getig ("Material"), the Third Incarnation of Truth. It is, in effect, energy that has been trapped or compromised into solid forms through the influence of druj. As such, they rarely use the Sphere, although they have found use for Matter to enchant their personal possessions to make them more resistant or build their Sanctums.
- Wu Lung: The Wu Lung call Matter Wu Chih and mainly practice it through the use of traditional Chinese alchemy. Masters often use it in conjunction with Forces to utilize the Five Elements to their fullest potential.
Matter, as the Sphere that describes the physical world, has been an all-time favorite of the Technocracy. Exercising material science is, perhaps, one of the most straightforward areas of endeavor. Inert objects always respond to the same treatments in the same ways, after all, and there are nigh-infinite amounts of stuff on which to experiment. Technocrats with a focus on Matter usually study Enlightened Physics, Chemistry, Geology, and similar subjects. Iteration X are the leading experts within the Union for the study of Matter.
Standard Powers Edit
- Matter Perceptions: Allows the mage to see basic information about a Matter Pattern.
- Basic Transmutation: Allows the mage to change one homogenous substance into another without affecting its shape, temperature, or basic state (i.e. lead to gold).
- Alter Form: Allows a mage to change the essential nature of a Mattern Pattern, changing its form or even compressing or expanding certain elements of its material properties (i.e. lead to fog).
- Complex Transformation: Allows the mage to transform Matter Patterns into complex objects composed of multiple independent pieces with different bases or combine homogenous materials to form alloys (i.e lead into a gun).
- Alter Properties: Allows the mage to create substances that transcend the limitations of scientific possibility, conjure materials unknown to Earthly reality, or share the deadly legacies of radioactive matter.
- Alter State: Allows the mage to shift matter through any condition of aggregation.
- Transform Pattern: Allows the mage to transform multiple Patterns into a desired shape or state.
- Create Pattern: Allows the mage to create a form that holds multiple replicating Patterns (i.e. the form of a castle that fills itself with brick Patterns)
- Subjective Reality: Allows the mage to create Matter Patterns that respond to etheric Patterns such as Mind. These Patterns alter their properties according to their pre-programmed responses to certain impulses.
^ Level 1
|Matter Perceptions||Pg. 172|
|Matter Perceptions||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 518|
^ Level 2
|Basic Transmutation||Pg. 172|
|Basic Transmutation||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 518|
^ Level 3
|Alter Form||Pg. 172|
|Alter Form||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 518|
^ Level 4
|Complex Transformation||Pg. 172|
|Complex Transformation||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 519|
^ Level 5
|Alter Properties||Pg. 172|
|Alter Properties||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 519|
^ Level 6
|Alter State||Masters of the Art||Pg. 71|
^ Level 7
|Transform Pattern||Masters of the Art||Pg. 71|
^ Level 8
|Create Pattern||Masters of the Art||Pg. 71|
^ Level 9
|Subjective Reality||Masters of the Art||Pg. 71|
- ↑ Masters of the Art Pg. 75
- ↑ Masters of the Art Pg. 71
- ↑ , p.43
- ↑ , p.55
- ↑ , p.54-55
- ↑ , p.63
- ↑ , p.54
- ↑ , p.54
- ↑ , p.59
- ↑ , p.63
- ↑ , p.59
- ↑ , p.54
- ↑ , p.60
- ↑ , p.34
- ↑ , p.70
- ↑ , p.37
- ↑ , p.100
- ↑ , p.76, 81
- ↑ , p.130
- ↑ , p.50
|Mage: The Ascension Spheres|
|Traditional:||Correspondence · Entropy · Forces · Life · Matter · Mind · Prime · Spirit · Time|
|Variations:||Data · Dimensional Science · Primal Utility · Void Correspondence · Qlippothic Spheres|