Are children Arcane Connections to their parents ?

The topic is quite obvious.

I'm thinking here specifically about children of Magi (even more specifically, children of Magi who themselves have the Gift or some sort of magical powers).

Could they be considered as an Arcane Connection to their parents ? How long would last such a Connection ?

Indeed not, is there a way to proceed as with familiars, meaning an enchantment so that one becomes an Arcane Connection to the other ?

Of course, you always have the possibility to take a lock of hair of your child and make it a permanent Arcane Connection.

Context: my Maga has had a male child with his husband and former apprentice, who afterwards became an infernalist and the apprentice of the bad guy in our Saga. She is now seeking ways to protect her child. First things that comes in mind is being able to locate him, read his thoughts, see through his eyes, ... Therefore is an Arcane Connection needed.


Bloodlines are certainly a strong mafgical feature of all supernatural literature, includen current ars canon.

A child I would assume to be a x3 connection to his parents until puberty. Then the bonus would drop to x2 and to x1 when the child reaches maturity at 16. From the top of my head :slight_smile:


Well, hair and blood are only Arcane connections for years, not indefinitely. (p84) I would have a hard time believing that children are more of an Arcane Connection than ones own blood and hair, so I would think that the mother doesn't have an Arcane Connection to the child just based on the parental relationship. Note, that works both ways, the father doesn't have an automatic Arcane Connection to the child either.

She does have a Sympathetic Connection to the child, and probably also knows the birth name and has enough details to cast the nativity horoscope. If the child is living at the covenant, fixing a permenant Arcane connection is probably overkill, just cut off a lock of hair every year and keep it in the sanctum.

In canon, yes, I think. It is one of the mysteries you learn in the base book from the house of Fae, the "Bloodline" target, page 93, Ars Magica. So you probably don't have access to that target yet, but can get it with some effort. Maybe a year or two. The house of Fae is the "easiest" house to join (of the Mystery houses) and the one with the lowest "cost" (a faerie warping point, ohh!). Your storyteller will probably add to that because you are showing up late to the party.....

'Flesh of your flesh, blood of your blood.'

In my sagas, absolutely a parent and child share an arcane connection with each other.

Flesh of your flesh. Blood of your blood.

Family ties are extremely important in ancient and medeaval culture, and even in many places today.

It seems I overlooked the Sympathetic Connection table :blush:

Great idea, thanx! I was just about to make a deal with an evil faerie witch, maybe I could ask that in return :smiling_imp:


Important connection culturally and emotionally is not what forms an Arcane Connection. The description of Arcane connection is "Mystically, the Arcane Connection is still part of the target, thus making the spell possible" page 84 in the main rulebook. Do you consider the child as more of a part of the mother than her hair and blood? Poetically, maybe. Culturally, maybe. By the description of how conception works as given on page 36 and 37 of Arts and Academe?

Arcane connections are not a measure of how connected the two things are within our societal vies, but how much the two items are still the same thing. My daughter is more important to me than my foot, if I had to choose which I wanted to save, I would save my daughter. That doesn't make my daughter more a part of me than my foot.

But, YMMV, and hey, you can do what you like in games you run.

Meh, right back atcha. (Pro tip: It's good to actually read the rules before dismissing another's argument. There's a diff between "ymmv" vs. freeform, or vs. just plain wrong.) :wink:

The rules contradict you.

Sorry, not true, not even close. You're completely misreading both that one passage and entire section of the Rules.

The introductory paragraph (page 84), which is not the definition, explains that it is mystically still a part of the target, not that it ever had to be physically a part.*

More, if you bothered to read further than the first paragraph, you'd find it specifically goes on to give the formal, technical definition, stating...

"Something, the connection, is an Arcane Connection to something else, the target, if the connection was very closely associated with the target, often by being a part of it."

Thus being "a part of" is only one possibility, and not the defining aspect.

Some specific examples in the Table are "tool or item of clothing", and these are not, and certainly never have been, "the same thing" as the person who used them, nor a part of them. Favorite tools and items of clothing are, indeed and exactly, "culturally and emotionally" connected.

The last paragraph reinforces this even further, stating that if AC's are not carefully stored, "they become links to different people or places" - and, again, there is no way those AC's were "part of" the new connections.

To claim that a child is less associated than a tool or clothing with either their blood father, or even an adopted father, not to mention their mother, is to ignore both the latter paragraphs and the given examples.

(How long that connection lasts once separated is indeed arguable, but to deny the AC in the first place is unsupportable.)

(* Also, even by your own flawed reading, it worries me, unless you believe babies come from storks, that you don't believe a child was ever "part of" their parents, esp the mother.) :wink:

("His" husband? "Her" husband, right?)

So the question the SG/Troupe must ask is: "How closely 'associated' is this child with his mother?" If it's purely a blood relationship, that the child never knew the mother, then that's far less associated than if the child had been raised by the mother in a close, loving relationship and had only recently been stolen away.

And this is where "ymmv" comes into play, whether you see that association as equivalent to a turd (duration of days), or equal to blood (duration of years), or whatever. :wink:

That's the 20th century talking. From the 13th century perspective, your daughter is just as much a part of you as your foot. The medeaval culture defines their worldview and magic is strongly based in the medeaval world view. So, the culture is highly relevant to their view of magic.

"Flesh of my flesh" is not a poetic statement but a literal one. Your child is flesh made from your flesh, blood made from your blood. A child is formed from the matter of your body, just like your hair, skin, and blood... and just like those things, they are a mystical connection to you. Moreso, because unlike dead hair, shed skin or spilled blood the child is a living thing composed of the matter of your body.

In my sagas, I would say the emotional connection of a "loving relationship" is not relevant. A child who is your flesh and blood (literally, the child is made from your flesh and your blood) is just as much a connection to you (and you to it) as is the flesh and blood of your living body. Even if you have never met this child, even if you never knew the child existed, the chlid is still your living flesh and blood and the connection is undeniable.

In my sagas, of course...

The connection is undeniable, certainly - I thought I had made my agreement with that position fairly clear.

But by the rules no unfixed connection is permanent. (Except magically created ones - familiars, talismans, etc.). Even a body part only lasts "decades", the max. So unless you're houseruling a new category, "for life", the best you can hope for is that by the time the child reaches adulthood (or so), the connection has faded and been replaced by others.

Now, I'm not saying that houserule is a bad thing - on the contrary, there is a lot to support that position imo. But it is what it is, and that's not RAW. 8)

(And by the rules as I read them, a close emotional and proximal relationship is going to last longer after separation than that of a child abandoned at birth, which would tend to lapse faster.)

If you do believe in bloodlines, that's traditional in many stories and cultures, but it opens some scary doors as great-great-grandchildren then become potential connections to important relatives and for finding the final resting place of mystic figures, etc etc. Which is a classic trope, and can make a great story, just not one suggested anywhere on page 84.

Bloodline is a connection (target) in the base book (P. 93, Ars Magica). It's canon. Join the House, get bloodline added to your "arcane connection list". Pretty clean. No "belief" needed.

Another Point:
The Baptisme and anemig of the child give it the selfbeen, before is near to a part of the mother. I'd say taht is tru adn literally. Bloodline and familiar conections work enerally in Sypathetic conections, onñy some Mysteries or breacktrough can make it range or arcane conections.

I quite like Xavi's off the cuff numbers, and agree that it's an important connection to consider. Certainly the wealth of family curses and indeed the existence of the Bloodline target strongly suggest that the mysical connection is very real. I'd go one further though, and suggest that the useful (for unaugmented Hermetic Magic) Arcane connection should exist only between parent and child, but that further relatives (ie. Grandchilden) should count as Sympathetic Connections. Dead relatives move down the scale one, unless there's some compelling reason (The bones of the founder of a magical lineage should probably remain pretty potent indefinitely, for instance).

Just to point out that "bloodline" target is part of canon,. not only as a mystery cult (merinitas), but as part of several non hermetic traditions.

It ias also part of how magic was seen at that time. Hell, it is part of how I see magic today :stuck_out_tongue:, one of the most basic elements of mystical relations.


I did not mean to claim that the relationship had to be physical. I did mean to claim that the relationship was not caused by the culture or the emotional feelings of those involved. Ars Magica plays with an objective reality, unlike a game like Unknown Armies or old WoD Mage. This objective reality is based on the educated medieval understanding of physical reality but it is still objective, not based on cultural or social considerations. In that objective reality, the peasant can say “Blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh” all he likes, but in reality some of the mommy sperma and daddy sperma joined together and coagulated inside the mother and that mommy sperma and daddy sperma is no longer something that can make up blood or flesh of the parents, it is only useful for reproduction. Whether that mother or father is an arcane connection to the child or the child is an arcane connection to the father or mother is independent of what people think regarding how associated mother and child are.

A person using an ax to cut wood is partaking in the Platonic form of a woodcutter, and thus both the ax and the person is part of the particular woodcutter . That is what forms the Arcane Connection, at least that is how I see it. YMMV. However, what should not be open to debate is that the Arcane Connection is not caused by the collective belief of the populace, that is not how things work in Ars Magica.

This is pretty important, because it shows that something should only be considered an Arcane Connection to a single thing and that becoming linked to something new would break the connection to something old. Thus, the hair which is collected to provide Arcane Connectiosn to all those people becomes an Arcane Connection to the hair collection rather than to the individuals.

Both of my previous posts compare the child to someone’s own blood and hair in terms of an Arcane Connection and state that the child would not be a greater level of Arcane Connection than the mothers own hair and blood. How does that translate into me arguing that the arcane connection never existed?

As for Arcane connections being formed by things which are associated with the person, I would argue that you are taking “associated” too broadly. The examples I can remember in canon are either the clothing and tools of an individual or documents such as a town charter or library index. Both of these are different categories of association than a mother and her child. I have already explained how I consider the forming of Arcane Connections in one case, the situation of town charters is definitional, what is the town is defined by the charter, so they are the same thing. Both work well in defining a single specific individual object. The association of a mother to her child fails because it can be a one to many relationship. The original poster wanted an Arcane Connection that would allow her to cast The Inexorable Search to find her child it he or she was stolen. If a mother had three or four children, and she was an arcane connection to each of them, how would the Inexorable Search know which kid to find? Allowing a mother to be an Arcane Connection to her child for more than a couple of years (one to wean the child, one to become pregnant with the next) is problematic in terms of mechanics.

Dunno about you, but I have a MUCH stronger connection/attachment to my children than to a lock of my hair. Or one of my legs, for that matter. Or both.


Oddly enough, I'm aware that bloodlines exist. I was referring to the "belief" that a bloodline is, in and of itself, an AC, and no special House abilities are needed if one has such an AC to work with.

("selfbeen"? That's not translating at all - could you rephrase that, pls?)

"Mythic Paradigm" was tossed out editions ago, yes, for better or worse.

The concept that an axe is "part" of a woodcutter and clothing is "part" of a... (fill in the blank, whatever social role) is workable, but again I don't think it's supported by the rules. Platonic Forms are mentioned in the rules only with regard to Targets and Form-Arts, never in the Arcane Connection section.

Further, Platonic Forms are not based on "associations" (a word that is used and emphasized), but on a hardwired understanding of "what should be". If a woodcutter's favorite tool is a non-standard axe, that's defying the PF, not fitting it. And, as you point out, PF's are not defined by perception or belief, but by a larger Truth.

It's workable, it could as easily have been how the Rules would have gone (and perhaps might even be tighter in definition), but I don't believe that's how they do read, nor were intended to.

This problem is not exclusive to mother/child connections. It's not hard to think of other examples - is a favorite chair an AC to the old man who sits in it every day, or to the house it has been in for generations? Is a hammer an AC to the crafstman who made the tool, the craftsman who now cherishes it, or the tree that wood came from? And so on. Do those, then, also fail? For a more parallel analogy, if a doll is the favorite toy of two twins, and they often share it together, neither particularly dominating its use/possession, which is it an AC to? If a family sleeps in a single bed, to whom is the bed an AC? The best answer I've seen is that the target must simply be specified (if known!) at the time of casting, or chance plays a part in the final Target. And only a single AC can and must be defined when "fixed", as opposed to any and every possible "association" that one might think of later.

(Imo, the precaution about new associations (not new Platonic Forms) forming is one regarding isolation, that an active association is possible to create over time to replace one that is now long absent, not that multiple active associations are strictly impossible.)

These are all important questions for a serious SG to ask, and to answer for themselves. In the end, there are some answers that work better for some Troupes, some that are better supported by the text in the book, and some that cannot be both. The goal is for a ruling that is both clear and consistent, so that the Players involved know (within reason) what to expect and how things work.

Sorry, i mean that the baptisme marks the difference beetween the child part of the mother and the child like independent been like it sugests in RoP: Faery.
And another thing with your argument.
Suppose taht My Magi casts a spell in a beehive to rego Animal to collect parts of insects. The product is for the spell one simple amount of parts in his hand. If my Magi fix that Arcane Conection, that shouldn't work but all the scorpions, usefull to Rego and intelelgo spells for example if i want know where they are and things like that; but no to one simple scorpion. ¿Nor? But if i take all parts like individual it is more job, but that works to those scorpion ¿Not?

Doesn't Baptism and Confirmation for that matter work similar to the bjoner rite that changes your true name?