The world and magic of the Arabic magi is very different from that of the Hermetic magi. As mentioned in the Ars Magica rule book, these non-Hermetic magi are more specialized than Hermetic magi and very powerful. In the area of mechanics, Astral magic and its forms are used in the same manner as hermetic magic, as you will see below. Magic theory is very advanced in the Arabic world, but there is no formal organization of magi such as the Order in Europe. Only in Spain, among the Moors, has a core group of Arabic sahireen begun to organize themselves according to the writings of Abu Ma'shar. Most of the research and innovative study occurs at the great observatories in a number of areas created by rulers and sahir to support the Astral arts.
But as Hermetic magi know well, there are limitations to magic and its use. Magic from the heavens remains restricted to those things below the lunar sphere and is subject to the same limitations as the magic practiced by the Hermetic magi. There are also many wizards that hold to no one theory. Some have learned both traditions and use each as needed for their own purposes. Indeed, some say that there are covenants within the Order which secretly teach the works of the great Arabic magi to further their quest for knowledge and power. House Jerbiton and recently a covenant under House Flambeau in Iberia have been accused of allowing the `corrupting' influence of Arabic magic to seep into their studies.
As with Hermetic magic, the sahir have strengths in each of the arts which represent their ability to control and work with each particular area. Magic is as much a part of them as it is a Hermetic magus, every day and every night - as such, it is much more than mere skill and learning. It is a calling as sharp as hunger and as deep as love, requiring much dedication, hard work, study, talent, and time.
Astral magic is another theory of magic and enables the Storyguide to develop new areas of magic and research for the inquisitive mage, whether Hermetic or Arabic. The Storyguide will also have more flexibility in the telling of a story, and perhaps find insight into other fields of non-Hermetic magic to further increase the sense of wonder and mystery in their Sagas.