Types of Magic


You might think that Fantasy magic (movies/RPGs) and real-world magic have nothing in common, but there is some overlap, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Fantasy magic can be best divided into ‘styles’ rather than types, and they are Harry Potter’s wand-waving, Skyrim’s fireball-flinging, and Gandalf’s vague hand gestures.  In the real world, however, magic can be divided into types.  The three broad classifications are Natural, Ceremonial, Psychic warfare.

Natural magic concerns itself with using minerals, plant and animal products, and is usually further divided into the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  Every plant, mineral or animal is ruled by one of the four elements, and therefore is used in magical workings that fall under that element.  So, as an example, chamomile is ruled by Fire, and can be used in any working involving one of the goals ruled by fire, such as personal power.

Ceremonial magic is more involved and it’s defining feature is it’s reliance on recitation.  The Calling of The Quarters when drawing and charging a magic circle is a good example of this, where you call on the creatures of the Four Elements (yes, they also each rule a direction), to attend your ritual.

Psychic warfare is the use of the mind to attack or defend oneself using magic, such as psychic vampirism, the Evil Eye, and so on.  Then there is Alchemy.

Alchemy is not normally considered magic, but it does have magical applications.  Alchemy can be divided into many sub-categories, but normally it is divided into two broad classifications: physical, and spiritual.  Physical alchemy can be further divided in to sexual, herbal, animal and mineral, with the last being the only one talked about these days.  Of the latter three, herbal alchemy is usually what novices start with, and some stop there.  Animal alchemy uses animal products, and with so many species being decimated, we cannot justify exploring animal alchemy.

There are two distinct methods of plant alchemy and both of them are extremely involved, from timing, to harvesting the plant material, to actually doing the work.

By now, you’ve probably noticed the overlap between Skyrim’s magic and real-world magic, but in case you haven’t I’ll shall summarize. The areas of overlap are psychic warfare and alchemy.  The ‘energy-leach’ and ‘damaging luck’ spells are just aptly named etheric vamparism and the Evil Eye.  There’s more to psychic warfare then just these two, but we will go into those later.

In Peace

N.

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