Latin for the Awakened

"New" for September 2015: An 8-year-old fragment of an LJ post I never finished! Here you go.

When one reaches realms supernal
and awakens soul æternal
and the world we mortals know is shown to be a Lie;

When one learns Atlantean myst'ries
and is taught the secret hist'ries,
it seems the basic rules of Latin grammar don't apply.

"Lex magicus"! I mean, come on.

The New World of Darkness Mage game is full of Latinity, some of it troubling, some of it okay, and some of it previously unknown that I'm about to inject into the game for your amazement.  Where something doesn't quite work, it must be some mystical Atlantean secret.


The Path names, we note, are mostly Greek words, and so easy to work with; the Romans had a system for that. Here's what the path names mean:

Acanthus (compare Greek acantha) is a Latin word for "thorn." It also means (compare Greek acanthos) "bear's breech," a kind of plant, as seen architecturally at the tops of columns in Corinthian capitals, but that's not necessarily relevant here.

Mastigos is the genitive ("of") form of the Greek word mastix, "scourge" or "whip." I'm guessing if there was any rhyme or reason here, they used the genitive so it would end in -os or -us like all the other paths do. -- Here's a fun tip: pretend you think the word for an individual Mastigos mage is mastigia (Greek mastigias), which means "worthless knave" or "scoundrel" ("someone fit for a whipping").

Moros, another Greek word, is "fate" or "doom," not to be confused, accidentally anyway, with môros, "stupid."

Obrimos is a Greek adjective for "mighty" or "strong." In this form it would mean "strong male person." For amusement, pretend the plural of Obrimos is obria, "baby animals."

Thyrsus -- ah, the thyrsus. The writers at White Wolf are obsessed with this thing, a wand wreathed in ivy with a pine cone at the top, carried by followers of Bacchus. In both versions of the World of Darkness, they keep using it to refer to groups of people into being ecstatic: bands of satyrs, the practitioners of the thaumaturgical Path of the Vine of Dionysus, and now woodsy mages.


Useful Phrases


I am called [name], of the Path of [Path] and of the Order of the [Order], [Master] of [Fate] etc.

Vocor [nomen], viae [viae] et ordinis [ordinis], [Magister] arcani [Fati], etc.

Let's break it down:

I am called: vocor. That's the first-person singular, present indicative passive of voco, vocare, for those of you keeping score at home.

Name: the Latin word for "name" is nomen or perhaps, since it will likely not be your True Name, vocabulum ("what someone or something is called"), but of course you'll actually be inserting your character's name here rather than some Latin word. Unless, as often happens, your character's name IS some Latin word. As often happens, and a good percentage of the time they're even real Latin words. But the thing is, you'll be supplying what goes here, not me. Just to be clear.

of the path of: viae (genitive singular of via), followed by the path name in the genitive.

and of the order of the: et ordinis (genitive singular of ordo), followed by the order name in the genitive.

Let's stop here and look at the paths and orders. The Latin forms are all genitive, the "of" form.



Adamantine Arrow

Sagittae Adamantinae


Mastigis or Mastigos

Guardians of the Veil

Custodum Velae







Silver Ladder

Scalae Argenteae



Free Council

Consilii Libri

* I've made it a Greek genitive plural, "path of the mighty ones."


initiatus / initiata


acolytus / acolyta(*)


discipulus / discipula


adeptus / adepta


magister / magistra

(*) Anyone have a better idea? My dictionary suggests discipulus, which clearly won't work, or tiro, which is too "fresh recruit"-ish for a second-rank mage.

... of the Arcanum of Fate.
... arcani (*) Fati.

(*) You can probably get away with being lazy and leaving out the word arcani and say, e.g., "I'm a master of Time" (magister temporis). — If you're going to list several Arcana together at the same level ("I am Master of the Arcana of Fate and Time"), use the plural arcanorum. -- To be really clever, use the ablative arcano (plural arcanis) with initiatus and the accusative arcanum (plural arcana) after adeptus, because those are really participles of verbs "to initiate (in)" and "to acquire."

Here are the names of the Arcana, also in the genitive.





















Referring to any of these Spheres by themselves (as the subject of a sentence, for instance), you'd say Arcanum and then the word in column 2. The exception is for Prime, which would be the Arcanum Primum (the prime / the first arcanum), as I've used an adjective rather than a noun.


I am called [name], of the Path of Acanthus and of the Order of the Adamantine Arrow, Master of Fate, Adept of Time, Disciple of Mind and Spirit.

Vocor [nomen], viae Acanthi et ordinis Sagittae Adamantinae, Magister [arcani] Fati, Adeptus arcani Temporis, Disciplus arcanorum Mentis et Spiritus.

At the Consilium

And what part of the dragon are you?
Quae pars draconis es?

What? Oh, I'm in the Arrow; that makes me a "talon," I guess.
Quid? hem, nos in ordine Sagittae Adamantinae facimus 'ungulam', ut opinor.

Me, I'm a wing.
Ego, ala draconis sum.

And I'm a breast!
Et ego mamma!

There is no Atlantean order nicknamed "the breasts of the dragon."
Atlantidis ordo cui vocabulum 'mammae draconis' non est.

Also, dragons aren’t mammals, so they don’t have breasts.
Et praeterea dracones non mammalia sunt, ergo non eis mammae.

But chickens aren’t mammals, and they have breasts.
Gallinae quidem non mammalia, sed his mammae.

Yes, I understood your lame joke. But they have a breast, not breasts.
Ego vero id quod per iocum vane dixisti intellexi. Gallinis autem pectus, non mammae.

Look who knows so much about breasts!
Ecce expertus mammarum!


Please don't say "consilii" except as a genitive.
Noli "consilii" dicere nisi genetivo.

If it's not going to be "consilia," I'd rather you said "consiliums."
Si non "consilia," malo ut diceres "consiliums."

At least that's a real plural of this noun in some language.
Hoc saltem pluralis vera est huius nomini aliqua in lingua.

"Lex magicus" is also right out.
Vitandum est et ut diceres "lex magicus."