Patterns are metaphorical vessels of Quintessence, and as such, constitute all known reality, acting as "lego bricks" to Prime's "building blocks".
A Pattern, according to common knowledge and metaphorical allegories within the Traditions, is formed when threads of the Tapestry, also called "Spheres", intersect, bringing context into the realm of possibility and acting as variables, functions and instances. Patterns are usually composed of numerous smaller Patterns; for example, the Pattern of a human body contains individual Patterns for its internal organs, limbs and overall appearance. As a result, every Pattern is unique, and because they are constantly in flux through the eternal stream of Quintessence, they are not static.
Avatars are Patterns that have maintained a connection to the Tellurian. They bind to human Patterns and usually remain dormant (because of this, an unawakened person is called a Sleeper). Their dreams are what the human Pattern bound to it experiences, believes and hopes, and the Avatar's dreams likewise unconsciously attune to all other dormant Avatars' dreams to form the Consensus, the current great Pattern of reality. If an Avatar Awakens, the resulting mage can perceive the Tapestry as well as the Tellurian through his connection with the Avatar within. He has, however, only a limited and filtered perspective, referred to a paradigm. Only by Ascending can he perceive the whole Pattern of both the Tellurian and the Tapestry.
The common world is comprised of Patterns made out of Matter, Forces and Life; Spirit comprises the ephemeral aspects that are mostly imperceptible to Sleeping humans, and Mind constituting all thought-forms. Each Pattern contains a spark of Prime, the original Quintessence that animates the whole Pattern. Other strands of the Tapestry, manifested as the other three Spheres of Time, Correspondence and Entropy, govern how and in what relation these Patterns interact.
- , p. 48-49