The One Power and the True Source
Only a tiny proportion of the population, about two to three percent, actually have the ability, once taught, to touch and draw on the One Power, and many of those cannot utilise its power in any effective manner.

2 or 3%, at last we have a firm figure.

But since the Age of Legends no one has had great strength in all five.

The question arises why? Is this part of the divergence from the pattern that required three ta'veren at once ?

Though some men had great dexterity in the weaving, in general women outstripped men in this regard.

I wonder does this mean that there are some delicate tasks that women can do that men can't ? That would alter the norm that anything that can be done by one man can be done by one woman and vice versa.

...drawing more than he or she can handle, or drawing on it too often. Such mishandling of this power usually exacts a terrible price on the body and mind.

They never seem to mention the mind.

Some women die within the year, some survive as long as five years

If a woman draws too much saidar, or draws saidar too often, she can be burned out or overloaded, losing her ability to channel, or at worst killing herself. If she weaves powers she cannot adequately control, she may cause her own death and damage those around her.

The Dark One in the last moments of the battle..

Gentling: He can still sense the power but is unable to touch saidin in any way. ditto Stilling.

The woman who is burned out can neither channel nor sense the Power.

Given that, I wonder can it be Healed by Nynaeve's process.

..angreal and sa'angreal, artifacts made during the Age of Legends and perhaps earlier.

Earlier than the Age of Legends ? Well, this has implications for the theories that our age was directly pre-AoL.

It is the precision of the circles which makes them so powerful.

Would the Strike at SG have been much more successful with a circle? Also, I can't think of a single instance of a circle gaining benefit from precision. In the cases of the Chosen's plan, and the defence of Salidar the circles were needed for strength. Mat's Healing is less clear, but it seems that again strength was the reason for the circle, not precision.

Linking can be learned by any woman who can channel.

Leading a circle however, depends on both strength and skill, which are not the same thing.

The greater the combination of strength and skill, the larger the circle that a woman, or man, can lead.

Control can be passed voluntarily, and in the cases of some mixed-gender circles must be passed in order to weave flows.

If a man is added to the link of 13 women, then can expand the circle to include 13 more women, or a total of 26 women and 1 man.
2 men can take the circle to include 34 women.
3 men with up to 42 women.
4 men with up to 50 women.
5 men with up to 58 women.
6 men with up to 66 women.
This last, the circle of seventy-two is the largest possible.
The number of men in a circle is limited only by the fact that with the exceptions of the linking of one man and one woman or of two men and one woman, or two men and two women, there must always be at least one more woman in the circle than the number of men.

Yet another version.

It is believed that each separately is more powerful than any other known sa'angreal, and that used together they would enable a man and woman to channel enough of the Power to break the world beyond rebuilding.

Does this tally with the earlier statement that humans cannot break the Pattern? Or does this statement merely refer to a 'nuclear war' type of situation.

A smaller circle with a closer balance can be stronger than a larger, unbalanced circle.

The most powerful circle potentially, depending on the strengths and skills of those linked, would be one containing thirty-five men and thirty-seven women, achieving the maximum possible size of seventy-two as well as the greatest possible balance of male and female.

Some tasks were best accomplished by one man and one woman, despite its limited strength,

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Page last updated 27th July, '98.