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Academics covers research through academic channels such as reading journals or scanning Google scholar and thus encompasses much of the canon version of Occult . It is used when converting Spells, Boons, and Rituals into a different tradition and can be hugely useful for an eclectic mage. It is also used when a character has access to an Occult Library or Guide to discover spells, rituals, and boons that others have created and using your philosophy to twist their technique into something you can use.
Occult: is the secret knowledge of the world and an understanding of how that world really works along with being the Ability that fuels the Magic Talent. Occult is to be used for intimate knowledge of secrets gleaned from the world personally or whispered at night by ancient guides granted by the Divine Parent. Does your character know about the “real” skull and bones secret society or how the observer effect and uncertainty principles twist and warp the skein of fate? Who is the demigod having an affair with Aphrodite now? At character creation it cannot be higher than 3 without a player’s explanation usually involving a divine Guide as most characters who just had a visitation having one dot in Occult.
Using tradition’s focus and philosophy to enact change within that tradition’s parameters using that tradition’s tools usually in a passionate and emotional manner (the mystic’s path) or in a cool rational manner (the hermetic or technological path). Advanced practitioners can develop eclectic tastes or even invent their own new Tradition as discussed in the Purviews and Traditions post.
Science: Using the scientific method to test and experiment and come up with new ideas in order to effect reality in a rational but imaginative manner. Also, knowledge of scientific professions, lab practices, and scientific information and theories. Useful for testing, developing, and learning new Spells and Rituals.
Investigation: which covers researching the accidentally and purposefully hidden lore along with using people as information resources that aren’t teachers openly giving information.