The magic of Maroon comes to humans in many ways.
The Cincture, an agreement first forged in the early days after the rebellion against the First Folk, regulates the overt expression of a mage's power within the Old City and later, the provinces. Any mage who has undergone mandatory training at the Academ receives the plain hempen belt of the Cincture, signifying her agreement to be bound by its authority and laws. Unbelted mages are forbidden from using their craft in any public capacity in Vindulan.
What is it like to be a Belted mage? The answer lies in the Academ, where men and women who can sense the wind are trained. Trained is a misnomer, though. There are no classes, as such, for each person studying at the Academ must come to their understanding in their own way and time. The works of past Consiliars, High Deacons, and other women and men of talent are gathered in the library there, available for transcription and study, but they are merely guides. Officials in the service of the Academ visit on a volunteer, rotating basis to give lectures and demonstrations. The only class as such is the basic safety course that all Belted mages must undergo; until a mage is cleared of this primary requirement and takes the hempen belt of the novice, no further access is granted to the resources within.
The division of the Cincture into Red, Yellow, and White belts is a distinction of talents, but not of raw skill--more of a difference in style. Three great schools of thought emerged in the decades after the Awakening, and the talents of each school manifested in different ways. Diffierent students are receptive to different techniques, and as students learn and study, they usually find themselves gaining traction with one of the three. For the majority of Belted mages, a single Belt is a lifetime achievement, carrying her through her service to Vindulan without need for broader study. Each Belt is form of certification, granted only by demonstration of basic forms at several tiers of performance, followed by a thesis both academic and practical. Some mages have attained twin belts, and most rare is the individual who has earned the woven braid of Junction.
The Church of the Three adheres to the tenets of the Cincture, and as part of ordination, a clerk of the Aspects must earn the plain hempen belt of the novice. Several Aspects of the Arcane have taken the White in furtherance of their journeys, and Boddigan, the first Aspect of War, famously took the Red after the Beacon had lost Hilgarden, taking command of the Beacon under order of the Council.