The first lesson of magic is not to dilute your power with unnecessary frivolity and indiscretions. Check yourself: are you ready? Believe it, because there is much history that had to get ordered before magic could exist stably at all. Read up on the Mage Wars at the the Library.
The second lesson of magic is the power of words. There are all sorts of arcana regarding this topic, but it is this power that makes the magic of incantation, which in common use takes the form of a curse. In short, one must establish phonetic and morphic correspondences so that words can become powerful, hence Latin is the language used here as the Church already encoded power in it`s words. This is the very purpose of guilds: the protection of these forms. Correspondences increase the order, and thereby the power, of magic by establishing grounds of common form and purpose. The form of the magic has already been mentioned: it's acoustic properties. If everyone used the lictum spell in absurdly different ways, for example, all of them become powerless. By using these sounds and words in consistent ways, one establishes a language in which other apprentices can use and understand. So the good mage finds their best use through correspondences and establishes the rule for the guild by fiat. That's just the way it works!
The third lesson of magic is the channeling of power. The mage uses his or her intent to direct the power of spells towards the object(s) of interest. The finger can be used, but a wand is safer as an adversary can't direct their power back at you and destroy your finger.
And the fourth lesson is that sugar is the origin of mana. The mage must learn to moderate their consumption in relation to their wisdom, otherwise they will overdose.
So the efficacy of magic is established through these two forms:
- consistency, mentioned above and
- integrity the relationship the magic user establishes to the powers-at-large.
Integrity is a tight balance of righteousness (the purpose for the magic), non-frivolity (or wisdom), and impeccability (dealing with perfect execution of personal will). It is the combination of all of these which allows the mage to accumulate mana greater than the usual amount, so that the spells can be more effective when the time calls for it.
It's a delicate thing, magic, but also powerful when put in the hands of the wise and the righteous.
Move onto chamber #2.