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[WIP] The Basic Theory of Magic


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(if you have any questions or comments, feel free to PM me. If needed, I can always edit what I have or add what I don't)


The Basic Theory of Magic

and how it works in daily Equestrian life

A perpetual work in progress by Kaitlyn "Kaity Kat" Johnson


This thread will be composed of a preface in the main post, and replies for each main category followed by a bit on so-called "magic sight".


Be warned. This may get to egg-head levels of pedantry. It's also not generally useful. So it's really up to you if you're interested.


Anywho, have fun reading or not.




Magic is a very strange thing. It's fickle in some ways, and it's structured in others. Sometimes, it seems to have a mind of its own.
It is probably one of the most complex things in all Equestria, and the lands beyond.

That said, it can be broken down into a few categories. Each of these categories can be further broken down, and so forth.
There is:

The magic of life, and the earth.

The magic of the sky, weather, and air.

The magic of the mind and the ethereal.

Celestial magic

Matter magic

The magic of chaos

and dark magic.


These categories are present in all things, and all creatures. Some creatures have more access to some categories than other creatures, but there is not a creature alive that doesn't have some magic.

The creatures best known for possessing powerful magic reside in the land known by its inhabitants as Equestria. They are the ponies.


Three main races of ponies exist, each with their own main source of magic.


The earth ponies are the race with the lowest noticeable magic. Their most powerful magic is that of life and the earth. Earth Ponies can use this magic with limited effect, and it happens innately without intention.


The pegasi have more control over their magic. With a little effort, they can use some sky magic to manipulate the weather. Part of their magic is a passive ability to interact with clouds.


Unicorns have the most obvious magic. That of mind and the ethereal. Tho the magic unicorns possess is mostly intentional. It comes in the form of spells cast to manipulate the other forms of magic. Unicorn magic is the only magic to be readily visible when used. Showing as a thin aura of mist that surrounds what it affects. The hue is specific to the pony using it, but not necessarily unique.

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The Magic of Life and the Earth


All life, plants and creatures alike, contains this magic. It is what gives life to all things. The trees, the crops, the animals and even the soil. This is the second most abundant magic after matter magic. It gives things a spark that is otherwise just not there.


Earth Ponies have an innate ability to manipulate this magic without thinking about it. When they till the earth, they imbue the soil with their own life force. In essence, the plants grown there are a part of them. They give of themselves to make it happen. A very spiritually in tune being will be able to feel, in a plant, the spirit of the pony who planted it.


This is an ability specific to Earth Ponies, and difficult for even unicorns to achieve. Aside from Earth Ponies, only Alicorns can do this innately.


This magic is very free-willed and generally has a flowing nature. It responds well to many kinds of stimuli, including sound, vibrations, and light. It is mysterious in many ways, and doesn't like to be contained. It always finds a way to persist.

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The Magic of Sky, Weather, and Air.


Clouds are made of water, right? They are simply clumps of vaporous water.

That's only half true.

Clouds are made of water held together with magic. The magic that holds them together is that of Sky, weather, and air. The magic that holds together clouds, creates rain and snow, and can hold other things in the sky.


Pegasi can control this magic with their wings and hooves. They feel they are controlling the clouds, but don't often realise it is the magic they control.

They have an innate ability to interact with the sky magic as a solid object if so chosen. Standing on clouds like they're solid ground.


Like the Earth Ponies and their magic, this happens without having to think about it. however, they can will it not to happen or manipulate the magic in different ways with intention.

Again, unicorns can cast spells that manipulate Sky magic, but it does not come naturally like it does for pegasi. Alicorns, however, do possess the same innate abilities that pegasi do.



Mind Magic


(I forgot to add a comment for this, so I'm putting it in here. I'm still thinking about how this one works, and I may change it completely, idk)

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Celestial Magic


Celestial Magic, or the magic of the sun, moon, and stars is a very powerful kind of magic that is not accessible to most creatures. It resides in the heavens, above the sky, and into space.

The celestial bodies are made up of celestial magic. Celestial magic can sometimes affect the other magics in some ways. Sometimes is very minor or even unnoticeable. Sometimes, it has effects felt the world over.


Only two ponies are known to possess the ability to manipulate Celestial magic to a significant degree. Both are very powerful alicorns, and can only control one type. The sun for one, the moon for the other.


The sun provides the energy for life magic, and the light necessary for ponies to see.


The moon presides over the night, and guides dreams to their destinations, and it rejuvenates tired magic. The magic of the moon also reflects light from the sun when it's not visible.


The stars hold powerful magic that amplify other magics. They are constantly present, but more visible at night.

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Matter Magic


The basic elements are held together with matter magic. Matter Magic is a very basic kind of magic that just holds things together. It's one of the easiest kinds of magic for a unicorn to manipulate.


Manipulating this magic can levitate objects, push, pull or squish things or, with more difficulty, teleport.

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Chaos Magic


Chaos Magic breaks all the rules. It takes many forms. It can imitate other magics. or it can be an entirely new magic unlike anything else.


It creates things where there weren't any, it alters the way that reality behaves, it even creates dimensions of space-time.


Only one being is known to possess significant amounts of Chaos Magic, and he is himself created by it.


Chaos Magic is believed to be the origin of all other magics and subsequently the origin of everything. The oldest and second most powerful magic.

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Dark Magic


The magic of fear and hatred. Dark Magic is very powerful and hard to control. It consumes those who try to harness it, and all in its path. It is surpassed only by the magic of friendship. Its direct opposite.

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Love Magic


All creatures have love magic. Love magic is given with varying degrees of readiness. Some creatures may feel a longing for love magic. It is an essential part of life. When a creature is starved of love, it can change them. Over long time periods, it can even cause them to physically change as a species. The changelings being a prime example.


Friendship is one of the forms love magic can take. Touted as "the most powerful magic of all". Love magic is the only magic that can consistently dispel dark magic without fail. It is what imbues the elements of harmony, and tree of harmony. As well as the castle of friendship and its map.


Love magic can be imbued upon any other kind of magic except dark magic. The two cannot exist together. They may vie for control of a body, but will never occupy the same space.


In fact, dark magic can be looked at as an absence of love magic, tho it's not the same thing, it is similar.

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Magic Sight


There is only one recorded instance of somepony having the Magic Sight condition.


Thousands of years ago, long before the reign of the sisters, a unicorn was born blind, but developed an alternate sight.

He claimed to be able to see magic.

Not much is known about him except that he couldn't see what most ponies saw, but saw differently. He saw enough to function, and claimed to see some things others could not. He was written off as a madpony, and only mentioned briefly in history.

He could not read or write due to his affliction, so he never wrote about his condition. Most knowledge of it was lost to time.


Nowadays, there's another pony who has the same condition. Tho she's not well known.

What's known about her condition (mostly by her since she doesn't have anyone else doing research or experiments) is still fairly limited, but I'll give a sneak peek into what is true but unknown (after I say what she knows).


As far as Myth knows, she is the only pony alive with this condition.

She does not see light and color like most ponies. Anything that relies on that, she cannot see (like images and words on paper, or painted billboards and such).

Magic doesn't always make the exact shape of what it's in. It's often more fuzzy or holds shapes outside of the thing (like the magic of a lost limb might still be present, for instance).

Magic has qualities hard to describe to regular sighted ponies. but mostly, she settles on relating it to color (although it's vastly different (which she notes))

Her sight can allow her to see many things invisible to others.

Like dreams. She can't tell what ponies are dreaming, but she can see them drifting about, and can even tell when Princess Luna enters one.

She can also see the difference between who's magic she's seeing and what kind of magic it is. Down to the spell being cast (tho she'd have to have seen it before to know what spell it was).

She can see how much matter magic is holding things together, or in other words how dense it is. A pile of mud and a pile old rotten apples (all the life magic faded) would look the same.

Each pony has their own, entirely unique "color" of life magic, tho families have enough similarity for her see.

Also when another pony is important enough to somepony, she can see it in their love/friendship magic.



The things unknown to Myth that are true about Magic Sight are


The capacity for magic sight is rare, very few are born with it. Even those who are may never know it, for it only can be used if the pony is also born blind. It is weaker than regular sight, so if the pony can see light, she won't be able to see magic because she's gotten used to seeing light.and after seeing light, magic sight will never make sense to a pony's mind, and so it will be ignored subconsciously. This makes the ability to actually see and comprehend magic incredibly rare. The pony from olden times was not the first pony to have the condition. In even more ancient times, there were others, but there is no record of them. There have times when more than one had it at the same time. The most at once was four. They were regarded as shamen in their ancient ancient tribe. However this was before recorded history, so there is nopony who knows about this.

Today, there is a chance, however small, that there could be one or two others with this condition.


(btw, yes, that last sentence was an invitaion. If you're interested in making a character with magic sight, just make sure there aren't too many already, and just adhere to what I've written here. Also, I would love to see your characters, so don't forget to PM me a link)


[Edit] Here's my Magic Sight character, Mythic Vision, for reference if you're interested.

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