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Like Talents, Affinities is a collective name for certain general abilities belonging to those who can channel. Unlike most weaves, Affinities are innate and cannot be learned. An affinity refers to a person's strength with a given element of the One Power. These Five Powers are Air, Water, Fire, Earth, and Spirit.
Males weaving saidin tend to have affinities for Fire, Earth or Spirit; whereas females weaving saidar tend to have affinities in Water, Air and Spirit. Therefore, Earth and Fire are typically perceived as masculine, and Water and Air as feminine, with Spirit perceived as a gender neutral power.
This does not, however, mean that a channeler is limited to these gender clasifications. For instance, while captive among the Seanchan, Egwene al'Vere was noted to have an affinity for finding metals, which is rare among damane. This shows that Egwene has an affinity for Earth, she demonstrated again her affinity later in her rediscovery of making cuendillar and to heal the pattern damaged by Balefire with the crystals of the Flame of Tar Valon. The Asha'man Naeff instead showed an affinity for Air, a rarity for a man.