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Terminology
Magic (魔術 Majutsu?) is a term used to refer to supernatural phenomena that cannot be explained or analyzed via any sort of scientific means and reasoning. In the Toaru Majutsu no Index universe, magic is a complex system of arts, disciplines, and traditions that are firmly grounded in laws and knowledge that are wholly unknown and beyond the grasp of human sciences, which sought to manipulate and distort certain aspects of reality.

Also called the occult,[1] conflicts with the magic side, the secret underworld that deals with magic and the occult, are the primary and most recurring plot points of the series.

HistoryEdit

Magic by itself roots from the simple fact that 'those without talent' wanted to be able to do the same things as 'those with talent' - namely Esper and Gemstones.[2]

PrinciplesEdit

In contrast to espers who have only one ability that is decided by birth, magicians can create many supernatural phenomena without restrictions, but they have to take the time and effort. Additionally, all forms of magic are based around a certain ideological premise. This kind of premise can originate from almost anything culturally narrative including religions, belief systems, mythologies, or even folklore and fairy tales.[1]

It should be noted that it is possible to derive magical powers from no particular source but such a method is far too inefficient and complicated for practical purposes. The magician would have to create an entire system of rules and commands from the ground up.[1]

The phases are closely linked to the use of magic, and magic involving unified theories, such as Hermeticism, gathers the phases together, making them collide more and produce more 'sparks' (火花 Hibana?) which affect the world.[3][4][5]

EnergyEdit

The overall concept of magical energy is largely controversial to even magicians themselves. Different denominations and schools of thought have their own theories on the idea of how magical energy precisely works in conjunction with a human's life force, namely the soul. Leivinia Birdway, leader of the Dawn-colored Sunlight, has compared the soul to that of crude oil and therefore must be properly refined into usable magic.[1]

ManaEdit

Main article: Mana

Mana is the energy that allows magicians to use magic. Mana exists in all forms of life, not just magicians, although they are the only ones who use it. It has been explicitly stated one method of creating mana is by processing a person's inner life force. The various schools of magic, for example Nordic and Shinto styles, requires different 'kinds' of mana for casting that other styles might not use.[6]

Mana is incompatible with the AIM fields that espers produce, as a result, whenever an esper performs magic he/she becomes severely injured. This incompatibility largely results from a combination of the human body's inability to host two different power systems at the same time and the different methodology imposed.[7]

Mana can be "inserted" into objects following complicated rituals, which can give birth to "magical items" or "spiritual items" (霊装 Reisō?) that possess magical properties on their own, for example in one opportunity Index references the ritual needed to add power to a holy cross.

Ley linesEdit

Main article: Ley line

There is a 'natural' mana that exists within the earth itself, which some magicians or magical objects, such as the grimoires, draw their power from, in the form of "ley lines". A ley line is a current of power that runs through the earth, using a number alignments using terrain and monuments, among other geographical interests. Ley lines are alterable by destroying and altering the terrain that runs through it, or applying the art of feng shui. However, modification of ley lines is a delicate process, as making a mistake can cause disastrous results. As such, modifications of ley lines are often carried out as big national projects and magicians who use earth for their magic are forced to be careful lest they destroy important magical points.

With modifications, ley lines can be used to strengthening the power that flows through a ley line, or as something akin to pipelines. Ley lines can be described as pipelines and the nodes where they meet up for example, the Avignon and the Vatican, act as reservoirs where other pipes are connected. With this, certain affects can be achieved, such as a spell travelling through the ley line from a node to another node, which will then spread that spell's effect through the ley lines it is connected to. [8]

TelesmaEdit

Main article: Telesma

Telesma is a distinct alternative form of magical energy that is the Angel's equivalent of mana. To most humans in general, it is extremely dangerous and volatile due to the sheer amount of power contained within and can yield large scale effects on the environment such as tsunamis.

Certain magical organizations, especially Golden Dawn-based cabals, specialize in constructing sanctuaries and harnessing large amounts of Telesma to summon angels so that they may use its great power.

Idol TheoryEdit

Main article: Idol Theory

Idol theory is the underlying explanation to how magic works, much like how personal reality explains the roots of esper abilities. This phenomenon refers to how an imitation of a whole or parts of a subject (the source) gains properties and attributes that are inherent to that source. Basically, objects or events contain certain symbolic meanings and powers and thus it is possible to draw on that power by imitating, altering, or magnifying said object or event. A simple cross placed in a church can duplicate the Cross that the Son of God was crucified on, and accordingly will duplicate its sacred, holy power.

Under Idol Theory, the inverse can also occur. Changes upon an idol will also affect the original source. This is shown most prominently with the Great Japanese Coastal Map, an intricate map made by Tadakata Ino, who plotted 47 portals upon the map of Japan, and thus making it actually appear upon the country itself.

CharacteristicsEdit

Rituals and CeremoniesEdit

Symbolism and magic circlesEdit

Main article: Magic Circle

Chants and songsEdit

Instruments and toolsEdit

Main article: Spiritual Item

Any well-practiced magician can easily perform magic simply by channeling magical energy through their bodies, but it is often more convenient to enhance or focus that energy through the use of various tools and instruments. These items are known as "spiritual tools". The physical nature of the tool itself is irrelevant as only the shape and function needs to be preserved. Thus, a simple umbrella can easily proxy as a spear, but the closer the object is to its intended purpose the more effective a spell is and the chance of failure decreases.[1] However, here is also a limit to this replication acceptance. Certain powerful and holy artifacts simply cannot be copied at all in order to yield the desired effect such as the Spear of Longinus or Joseph's Holy Grail due to the discrepancy in power level.[9]

A spiritual tool, in its design, is an object that is intended to further refine the magical power within a human and thus they are in a way, an extension of a magician's body. Caution must be taken so that when a spiritual item is destroyed after its usefulness has passed, the magician does not sever a part of his or her life force along with it.

Dancing and movementsEdit

Magic namesEdit

As stated before, magic exists to fulfill a wish for the user. Accordingly, all magicians possess a magic name in order to set up a goal that they wish to set their desires around summed up as a Latin word (i.e. Fortis, Honos, Regnum, etc.). A magician will dedicate the rest of his or her life by whatever means to achieve those goals that have been carved into his or her soul. A magic name then concludes with a three digit number so as to avoid identical names and is accompanied by a phrase often as a description of who they are and an elaboration of their disposition.[10]

Magic names can also serve a second purpose. Due to tradition, magicians are never supposed divulge their real names. In practice, magic names are used instead and they are only declared to other people as an official declaration of a duel to the death.

TypesEdit

Main article: Idol Theory
Main article: Infection Magic

Magic can be divided into two primary categories: imitative or infection-based, as classified by the scholar Frazer.[11] Imitative magic (which is primarily the category Idol Theory falls into) utilizes the connection between two structurally similar objects to transfer magic power from one entity to the other, and in some cases, vice-versa.

In contrast, infection magic takes two related objects of similar origin and directs magic through one to the other. Body parts (e.g. nails, hair) are typically used as the basis.

StylesEdit

Many of the magic spells etc. is based on a certain set of laws - e.g. Celtic or Norse. But there are no strict division, because one base can be based on another base - e.g. Norse mythology was influenced by Celtic culture.[1] However, magic users often use magic that is inherently part of their culture, like Kaori using her Amakusa spells based from Shinto, Buddhist, and Christian origins.

In the end, religion tends to plays a key role in magic, as cultures and traditions of a certain population are tied to it. For example, Agnese Sanctis once believed that all magic that does not stem from Roman Catholicism is black magic.

Western magicEdit

As the West is dominated by Christianity, most magic users are influenced by it one way or another alongside whatever cultural traditions they've grown up with. This also includes those of pagan or pre-Christian origins. A noticeable reflection of the influence by Christianity is the usage of Latin names by Western magicians.

Eastern magicEdit

Much of Eastern magic is dominated by Buddhism, many religions having been influenced by it throughout history. Shintoism and the Amakusa-Style Remix of Church, for example, have based their teachings in addition to their practice of magic around Buddhist principles.

Known StylesEdit

Difference with esper abilitiesEdit

The difference between espers and magicians is that an esper have normally only one ability, while magicians can create many supernatural phenomenon. But magicians have to take effort and time, while esper can use it anytime.[Notes 1][citation needed] The other thing is that the abilities of the espers depends on the environment - e.g. an esper who produce fire can't produce it without oxygen - while magicians don't have this restriction.[1]

OrganizationsEdit

Magicians often use an organization like magic cabals or denominations to realize their goal found within their magic names.[1]

Due to the immense power held by the Magic Gods, most of them within the true Gremlin, they held almost all of the Magic Side's total power despite being a minority in numbers, prior to their downfall.[12]

Magicians and Magic UsersEdit

Main article: Magician

A Magician (魔術師 Majutsu-shi?) is a person who is trained to use magic and is capable of transferring that knowledge. Magic by itself roots from the simple fact that 'those without talent' wanted to be able to do the same things as 'those with talent', they gave birth to a ceremony and practice called magic.[13]

A normal person will suffer more severe consequences than a magician if they fail, the most important thing about magic is to prepare it properly, if the preparation itself is done correctly even a middle schooler with no magical talent might be able to perform a spell;[14] the opposite stands true as if the preparations are not proper the magic not only will fail, but the backlash from it will fry the brain of the caster. At one point, Index states that people without magic power cannot use magic, such as herself. However, this false as mana exists in all forms of life, as ordinary humans and even espers can cast magic under certain conditions.

List of Non-Magician Magic UsersEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Note that, as magic uses symbolism to work, a magician could theoretically bypass this limitation by symbolizing themselves as espers.

ReferencesEdit

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