Magic

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The real world term ‘magic’ is used to translate several senses conveyed in languages of the World of Asdar. Magic broadly includes the power of wizards, mages, priests, sorcerers, and numinists. The powers of some special creatures and of divinities are thought to be magical. Magic is essentially a kind of energy or power outside of what can be conventionally observed. According to magical (or arcane theory), the origin of magical energy or ‘pan’ is the panstream which permeates all life and all matter in the physical universe in which the world of Asdar exists. The meaning of the word magic includes the practice of manipulating the energy of the panstream. Hieratic powers—powers derived from the gods through their priests—are thought to be a kind of cosmic magic, but are not part of the esoteric arts. Energism, also known as psychenergism or psychics, is conventionally not considered to be magic, but metaphysicians explain it as existing on the opposite end of the spectrum of esoteric powers, originating from the base of the spine rather than from the middle of the skull.

General Knowledge of Magic

Knowledge of magic is divided between practitioners and non-practitioners. Experts are in the minority and consist of traditional spellcasters and formally educated spellcasters. Non-experts are the masses of humanity and the humanlike races. Non-experts have a general knowledge of magic. They are well aware of the presence of magic in the world and have seen its expression uncommonly by wizards for spectacular effect in festivals and perhaps in warfare. They can feel and sometimes observe the palpable magic of priests in temples and in sacraments. The common person may even have some nascent inkling of magical ability which she has not brought to full exercise. For the masses, magic is arcane, inscrutable, and a cause of mild fear at least. Spellcasters and priests are seen as the conservators of powers which legend reveals were once widespread and dangerous across the world. In the grey area between formal arcane practice and non-practitioners lies Demotic Magic more commonly called folk magic.

Panstream

The panstream describes the ambient magical energy that penetrates the world of Asdar and its pertinent phenomenology. The panstream is essential for life and for the magical powers of traditional wizards and spellcasters. Modern titancraft also makes use of the panstream through a process and device called panagogia. One proficient in the observation of the panstream is a panseer and panseeing is fundamental to arcane spellcasting. The panstream flows through phenomena of nature, through the seas, the skies, the earth, the forests, the herds of beasts, the souls of humans and humanlikes. The understanding of the panstream is essential to several arts, including arcane spellcasting, numinism, and titancraft.

Vispanifica

The word for vispanifica is a technical term used in magical theory to describe what is considered the most fundamental aspect of magical ability in sentient beings. While all consciousness, including all conscious beings, are regarded as portions of the world soul, the ability to interact consciously with magic is called ‘vispanifica.’ Vispanifica enables a self-aware creature to cast magic in the panstream. Vispanifica is thought to be a tiny connection to the world soul. The magical power of magical creatures differs as they are not necessarily self-aware. Their power is mediated instinctually by magical abilities inherent in their magic bodies. A professional using magic is variously called a wizard, mage, sorcerer, arcanist, or numinist. These are all considered generically within the term spellcaster. Legends include spellcasters among ancient titans, geddamin, humans, and elves, but curiously not among the ancient dwarves.

Zavians and the Zavia Effect

The Zavia effect is the result of unintentional and unconscious practicing of magic, usually ascribed to a non-expert. It is called both unintentional and unconscious because the person neither believes he is casting magic nor intends to cause an effect by any means, magic, conventional, or energist (psychic). A person who induces the Zavia Effect is a Zavian.

Exclusivity from Energism

In modern use, magic is exclusive of the mind powers of energists, sometimes called psychics. The ancient Ithatian philosopher Eiphanas Asgionantiaks Bydanaksi of Sephri proposed that energists drew their power from the earth and did not actually engage in magical powers. His theories were tested extensively in the late twenty fourth century by the Amyrnite magico-philosopher Arfagachadraig of Blamffa who proved in a series of reproducible experiments that energist powers did not draw from the panstream, but not determining whether they originated from the earth.

According to Kalaman thought, arcanism draws magic from the higher chakras without needing to access the lower chakras (jhoti) whereas energism draws on the lowest chakras, starting with the root chakra.

Attunement

Attunement is the process of bringing one's vispanifica into agreement with the magical vibration of a device or another creature. This is necessary to wield control over a device or to have magical communication with certain magical creatures under certain circumstances. Attunement is not a form of spellcasting, but is essential for using magical devices and requires one to use vispanifica. The notable exception is titancraft which does not require vispanifica, but, like the use of a conventional, mechanical device. The employment of true magic differs from titancraft as it requires interaction between one's consciousness and the panstream.

Spellcasting

The practice of engaging magical energies by means of the spoken word or gestures for an intended output is commonly called spellcasting. Spellcasting has a broad scope and applies to both arcane and hieratic magic. The ambiguity arises with the term magic which can mean only arcane spellcasting by some users and both arcane and hieratic magic by other users. spellcasting is a very ancient practice and is attributed to both the oldest gods and the titans. Arcane spellcasters call anyone without the ability to cast magic a gruntling, grunterer, or gruntish. The term is widely considered derogatory and thus is typically reserved for use exclusively among spellcasters. Alternative terms have been proposed but have not gained much currency. Among hieratic spellcasters (priests), the term for non-hieratic persons is profane.

Arcanism

Arcanism is the practice of accessing the power of the world-soul by means of esoteric conventions. It is essential for the practitioner to have vispanifica. For ages, arcane spellcasters have divided their ilk very broadly into the classical wizards who rely on canonized spells thought to correspond to ancient spell matrices and into the demotic spellcasters who rely on instinct and discovery. Most mages apply both techniques to some degree, but usually lean to one side of the spectrum or the other. Arcanism is one of the Esoteric Arts.

Academic vs. Demotic Arcanism

The broadest division within traditional arcanism rests between academic spellcasting and demotic spellcasting. Scholars believe demotic spellcasting is the oldest. Demotic spellcasting or 'folk magic' includes numinism and shamanism. It is thought to be many, many thousands of years old. The rudiments of academic spellcasting can be historically attested to the ancient civilizations of Hœrnect, Sungo, Kalama, and Zephasia.

Magical Pedagogy

The ability to cast spells, that is, to employ magical energy by intentional action, can be taught. The formal instruction of spellcasting or academic magic originated from various schools in ancient times. These schools in all likelihood drew upon previous schools of magic and oral traditions. Titanists speculate that these practices ultimately originate from the ancient wizards of the titans over fifteen thousand years ago.

Academic Magic

Academic magical instruction relies upon formal course work including the study of pensatory notation. Pensatory notation differs from glyphics which is magical writing that encapsulates magical energy and magical structure within itself. Pensatory Notation is like musical notation, that is, a highly technical writing system that encodes the manner of manifesting a particular magical spell. Pensatory notation without a practitioner has no power in itself. Glyphics, in contrast, is used to generate a magical effect after the glyphist has used it and without the glyphist's ongoing effort.

Contrast with Hieratic Powers

Arcane spellcasting is considered different from hieratic spellcasting. Arcane spellcasting is not premised upon the intervention of an outside agency, although it may be used to summon or control another entity.

Schools of Magic

The schools of magic on Asdar differ in teaching method and spellcasting techniques. A school of magic is not an institution, but a practice and following of magic, and typically a school of magic relies upon the logical method of instruction for most or all of its precepts. An institution where spellcasting is taught in conformity with a school of magic is usually a college or guild school. Most schools of magic are based on the premise of academic magic, that someone with the basic aptitude for magic can be formally and rigorously instructed to improve and expand her spellcasting talent. Some schools, such as the Tuadbe School, is not explicitly considered academic.

An expert can identify the school of magic to which a particular spellcaster belongs by noting variations and styles in the gestures and enunciations employed. These typically do not result in any significant difference in the result of the spell, but sometimes can.

List of Schools of Magic

This list shows most known schools of magic, but is not exhaustive.

Schools of Magic Existing and Extinct
Name Place of Origin Founder Century Modern Dispersion Remarks
Amphesian Amphesia Titanica
Gorcorumbese Gorcorumb
Hœrnectian Hœrnect
Kewvachornian Medibgö Kéwbachorn the Magnificent
Kirxionantine Maturn Kirxionantis of Maturn
Mansuvite Vimalia Manshu
Regalian School Jerushabla Selukyal I of Jerushabla Arcane Ambit
Shelekhumbian Shelekhumbia
Sungotine Sungo
Tranchavite School Vimalia Trancha alchemical magic
Trevirite High Pytharnia
Tuadbe Pytharnia
Zephasian Zephasia

To Do: Shagrela'alite School, Disdrirn School (Elven), {Za-Bahunan}, {Chaos School(s)}, Sahidite (Djinn),

Cursus Arcanorum

Cursus Arcanorum is Latin for Course of the Secrets or Secret Knowledge. It is used to translate a "wanderword" that spread throughout the Pallathantic Region in the twenty fifth century. It is based upon an Ebinóëse expression that arose in the Middle Ages. The modern use of the term since the twenty fifth century when the Medibgóëse Schools underwent an academic renaissance indicates a body of academic course work considered essential for any professional spellcaster.

Chaos Magic

Chaos Magic is a free-form spellcasting practice that draws upon chaos-tainted pan energy. It is not widely practiced in the Pallathantic as it is generally unlawful. Chaos magic is known for giving the initiate spellcaster great power at the long-term expense of his mental and physical well-being. Most advanced historic texts on chaos magic have either been destroyed or are held in the restrictive preservation of libraries.

Natural Magic

The term natural magic has reference to magical phenomena found in nature and magical creatures, such as Dragons and gibgibsews. The strength of the panstream (ambient magical energy) can greatly effect these phenomena and creatures. In modern times, the usefulness of the term 'magical creature' has been contested by scholars and researchers as it is known that all living creatures require some amount of magic to exist.

Environmental Magic

As part of the sphere of Natural Magic, environmental magic includes the panstream and magical phenomena found in nature. It also includes what recent studies call 'magical pollution.' Most famously, environmental magic includes magical wastelands and territories affected by chaos magic, such as the Throe Wastes in eastern Throvy.

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See Also

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