The Awakening is the name given to the return of Magic in 2011, the Year of Chaos. The event signifies the beginning of the Sixth World of the Mayan Calender, a turning point to a new era of magic, drastically different from the Fifth World that preceded it. In a broader sense the Awakening describes the rise of the world mana level and the transformations of nature and humanity associated with it. And in that sense is considered to be ongoing by some scholars. Finally the term Awakening is also used to refer to the emergence of magical talent in any specific individual.[I 1] Anyone who begins to show magical talent is said to have been Awakened, and those who can/do use magic actively are said to be Awakened.
Tipping point versus process
While most attribute the Awakening to a single date based on the Mayan solar calendar, the Awakening actually happened more gradually over the period of several years, even decades. For example, one consequence of the Awakening, Goblinization, did not occur until a decade had passed. The Century Ferret, probably the first awakened species, was discovered a decade before 2011.
Arguably a very catastrophic event for most of the people in the world. For some, it brought great opportunities, for others it caused great strife.
Variations on this theme of awakening are used to describe people who are not full magicians. The terms "groggies" and "sleepies" have been used as derogatory ways to describe aspected magicians.
- The usage of "awakening" to describe the emergence of magical talent seems to have died out in the transition to the 4th edition of Shadowrun.