I lay in bed, thinking about things, as I do, and I wondered if there was a new type of magic that I could dream up that had not already been imagined. So, in order to determine what might constitute “new” I had to itemize the existing types of magic. Here they are in no particular order. Note, these are my determinations, I did not consult with other (no doubt numerous) sources. I may have missed some, if so, do be so kind as to correct the error of my waze.
- Skill magic: enhanced skills, for instance blacksmith, fighting, crafting, doctoring, gardening, baking, singing — any skill where a magic is employed to augment or perfect a skill. The magic is only available during the practice of the skill.
- Psychological magic: finding, influence, persuasion, mind reading — where psy-ops or reading of other people or creatures is done. Scrying might be included here.
- Force magic: commanding the power of the Universe against matter or mind. I’d include the concept of Luck magic here too. The concept of being “Lucky” might be attributed to some Universal force. This is an amorphous magic, but can be attributed to power over matter, primarily.
- Deity magic: command of, or the favor of gods and their powers. Here we can’t wield the power directly, or if we do, then the power (generalized magic) was granted by a deity. But generally, we are subjected to a deity’s magic.
- Learned magic: spells, incantations, wands and witches & wizards. This is magic that can be learned from books, tomes or scrolls. Or taught by magicians who already have the knowledge. And knowledge is the key here – the magic is unavailable until the knowledge is acquired.
- Vision magic: dreams or visions that alter the world, I’ll include Time magic here, moving through time. This is the power of a mind or a consciousness to influence the physical world through dreams.
- Creature magic: elves, faeries, leprechauns, dragons, unicorns, Pegasus — magic that exists as part of a creature’s physicality or legacy. This is magic, like deity magic, which humans cannot wield but may have access to through control or influence of the creature.
- Wish magic: genies, mirrors, wells, monkey’s paw. Magic provided through wishing, whether through an agent or through a physical “possessed” or magically imbued object.
- Thing magic: coins, crystal balls, keys, books, swords, shields. When things have been enchanted to contain the magic, and whomever possesses the thing then controls the magic.
- Perception magic: [per Phil Huston] the illusion or appearance of magic (mundane magic) which is meant to fool us into believing (doesn’t all story magic do this? — Phil would say).
- Tech magic: [per Phil Huston] Arthur C. Clarke’s “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
- Nature magic: [per Serendipitious Web Life] Magic derived from Mother Nature, Gaia, Chaos, Eywa (Avatar) and evident in springs (Fountain of Youth), trees (the Ents of LOTR), elementals.
In the end, Magic is power over matter/energy, mind, space or time. Each of the above listed magics represents some form of one of these, or a combination of them.
What other magics might we explore not listed here?
- Hive magic: A blend of Force, Psych and/or Vision magic but can only be exercised when the necessary number of companions or citizens unite as a hivemind.
- Anti magic: The cancellation or annulment of any magic applied by others. The black hole of magic.