[Let’s study Mage: the Ascension] Part 3.8 Traditions: Verbena

Life is Magic. From the miracle of childbirth to the power of adrenaline and the mysteries of our DNA, the very fact that we are alive is the greatest of all mysteries. The Verbena know this, and have worked with the magic of life as their focus for centuries, and continue their work even until now.

They are among the oldest practicioners of magic, with means ancient and arcane, a magic of intuition and blood over formula and rote. As such the Verbena tend to have a very strong female presence, with roots in Wicca and Druidic practices in their traditions.

This makes them very challenged in this day and age of modern comfort and medicine. The world turns all too readily to synthetic chemical solutions to address anything from a simple cold to fancy new diseases that seem to happen every year. The Verbena are not too easily replaced however, and have proven to be the hardiest of all the Traditions in the face of prosecution.


The Verbena mage has incredible command over the Sphere of Life. This grants them the ability to heal wounds and cure disease, as well as to take on physical characteristics of other people and animals. Shape-shifting is a typical of most Verbena. More modern Verbena might find new means to take advantage of subtle changes, like copying fingerprints to get through security, for example.


The Verbena are a Tradition steeped in history and with methods that have all but been eradicated by modern life. Few people believe in the old ways anymore, and while they still have several enclaves where they can practice their craft, they are also experiencing difficulty with those who would exploit the old ways to make a quick profit.


The recent trend of defying “Big Pharma” and “GMO” foods is one that the Verbena can take advantage of. The trend of celebrity chefs advocating naturally sourced foods that are locally grown is a great springboard for the Verbena to advocate their magics and philosophy of leaving nature to do it’s job rather than manipulating it for mass production.

Sample Characters

Agricultural Consultant – Sutainability is not a buzzword, but a lifestyle. In the age of mass-production, it is the consumer that suffers the most from all the cumulative shortcuts taken by manufacturers. Your job is to open the eyes of farmers to alternatives that are profitable, sustainable, and retain the genetic diversity of local crops. You think in terms of two ecosystems, that of the planet, and that of the economy. It’s a tough job, and few people would imagine you being a “witch” but your approach to magic is a patient one, much like a gardener cultivating his plants to grow at their most beautiful.

Camp Counselor – Kids these days could learn a thing or two from being out of doors. In an age where they’re perptually stuck with their eyes glued to the glow of a mobile device or a TV, you’re here to open their awareness to the wonder of nature. You’re a tricky one, using a combination of discipline and encouragement to whip these kids into real people, ones who are aware of their presence in the world, not lost in some sort of fantasy world.

Cultural Activist – Globalization has it’s fair share of benefits, but the eradication of unique cultures is one of it’s greatest sins. You fight for the right of people to retain their cultural identity in the constant pressure of popular media to homogenize everything. You’re more than aware that diversity is the key to survival, and that magic gets weaker with every culture lost to consumerism. Your methods are harsh, and people think that your cause is lost, but you’re not about to give up the fight.

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