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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, conflicts with the Magic Side (魔術
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.
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.
The phases are closely linked to magic, with the use of magic producing 'sparks' (火花 Hibana?), the same kind resulting from phase collisions and affecting the world, as recoil. Magic involving unified theories, such as Hermeticism, gathers the phases together, making them collide more and producing even more 'sparks'. If the phases were destroyed, a magicless world would be left behind.
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.
- 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.
Mana is incompatible with the AIM fields that espers produce, as a result, whenever an esper performs magic they will become 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Rituals and Ceremonies
Magical ceremonies can be compared to something of a performance, to the point originally magicians would prepare a stage at a temple or an altar. Using the Idol Theory, if one performs a mythological scene, one obtains a similar power.
Symbolism and magic circles
- Main article: Magic Circle
Chants and songs
Incantation chanting is one of many aspects that represents magical behavior. It can be as simple as doing something similar to reciting a contract's contents or reenacting a mythological scene. Unnecessary elements were gradually removed and abbreviated, resulting into word-only spells. But while chants are a popular way to activate magic, one can use magic without chanting: instruments such as the sistrum and the Calabrian tambourine can be used to compensate for your voice.
Instruments and tools
- 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. 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.
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 movements
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.
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.
Magic can be divided into two primary categories: imitative or infection-based, as classified by the scholar Frazer. 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.
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. However, magic users often use magic that is inherently part of their culture, like Kanzaki 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.
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.
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.
Difference with esper abilities
The difference between espers and magicians is that an esper normally only has one ability, while magicians can create many supernatural phenomena. But magicians have to take effort and time, while espers can use them anytime.[Notes 1] Furthermore, espers must flexible with their abilities because of their inherent limit - e.g. a fire-producing esper could use fire to create smoke and rob their opponent of oxygen - while magicians don't have this restriction. They could create any number of spells besides fire magic.
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.
Magicians and Magic Users
- 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.
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; 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 is 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 Users
- Tsukuyomi Komoe: Has magical knowledge which allows her to perform a magic healing ritual.
- Kamijou Touya: Once accidentally cast Angel Fall.
- Accelerator: Has magical knowledge which allows him to perform a magical song and a limited magic detection through Feng Shui.
- Kuroyoru Umidori: Can activate magic to exploit the negative side effect and shift it.
- Misaka Mikoto: Unintentionally through the use of the Anti-Art Attachment.
- Sakibasu Yuri: Made use of Stativarius Ainsel's spells while using her Carbon Search ability to mitigate the effects of the rejection reaction.
- George Close: Acquired usage of magic through R&C Occultics, but he was unable to control the magical fire, leading to his demise.
- Neoka Norito: Obtained usage of magic through R&C Occultics, having been notified of its existence and the rising trend by his automatic investment algorithm, and successfully wielded a sanctifying vocalization adaptation, which he misidentified as the 'Minimum Collision Theory'.
- Note that, as magic uses symbolism to work, a magician could theoretically bypass this limitation by symbolizing themselves as espers.
- A common factor that has remained since the beginning of the Toaru franchise, is the secrecy of magic. No matter what incidents occur, magic will be covered up or kept hidden. The closest this has come to being overturned is the end of British Halloween, though people were unable to come to the conclusion of magic, and the appearance of Misha Kreutzev during World War III, which was covered up as a Russian superweapon.
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 02 Chapter 1 Part 8
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 3 Part 11
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 3 Part 13
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 19 Epilogue
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 4 Part 5
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 09 Chapter 2 Part 9
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 04 Chapter 4
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 14 Chapter 3 Part 6
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Radio Drama Chapter 2
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 01 Chapter 2 Part 2
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 04 Chapter 2 Part 5
- Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Necessarius Special Admission Test Chapter 8 Part 5
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 01 Chapter 2 Part 1
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 14 Chapter 1 Part 1
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 01 Chapter 2
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 04 Chapter 3 Part 2
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 22 Chapter 11 Part 1
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 02 Chapter 4 Part 3
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 03 Chapter 5 Part 11
- Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index SS
- Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 17 Chapter 2 Part 13
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS3 Chapter 8
- Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 02 Between the Lines 1
- Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 01 Chapter 3 Part 12
- Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 01 Chapter 4 Part 2
- Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 01 Chapter 4 Part 3