Magic is the spiritual power to collect all the natural energies that are full in the atmosphere and bring it under the control of one's own body.
It is the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation, ceremony, ritual, the casting of spells or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.
Magic has been practiced in many cultures, and utilizes ways of understanding, experiencing and influencing the world somewhat akin to those offered by religion, though it is sometimes regarded as more focused on achieving results than religious worship. Magic is often viewed with suspicion by the wider community, and is commonly practiced in isolation and secrecy.
Modern Western magicians generally state magic's primary purpose to be personal spiritual growth. Modern perspectives on the theory of magic broadly follow two major views. The first sees magic as a result of a universal sympathy within the universe, where if something is done here a result happens somewhere else. The other view sees magic as a collaboration with spirits who cause the effect.
Division of Magic
The two main divisions of magic shown are Western, which is rooted from European lore, and Eastern, which is rooted from Asian lore. There are also significant differences between Western and Eastern schools in how mages typically apply magic in the field.
Western magic is largely based on real-life Western fantasy myths and lore, with monsters and spiritual entities such as dragons, salamanders, and valkyries. Western magic is commonly invoked through the chanting of Latinite incantations, though incantations in Ancient Greek and Sanskrit have been demonstrated. However, skilled mages have been shown to use magic without incantations, eliminating one of the greatest vulnerabilities of a magic-user.
The Western school of mages emphasizes the mage as a part of a team; the mage casts spells, whilst the partner or allies provide support, protecting the magician. In this way, many of the spells have a focus on two main sections: support powers, such as magic barriers, healing, and precognition, and assault powers, designed to either fire too many attacks to dodge, or to make an extremely powerful attack to break through any magic barriers. Even in this grouping however, many of these spells are designed for sealing, capture, and disarming rather than for outright destruction of the enemy.
In Japan, Western Mages form the Kanto Magic Association.
Eastern magic is largely based on traditional Far-Eastern religion and folk belief. Eastern Mages often exclusively utilize talismans and charms to invoke magic and summon demons, although incantations to activate them are common as well.
Eastern Mage schools emphasize the mage as a lone operative, with many of the spells devised to disrupt and confuse rather than to play a role in direct combat. In addition, the Eastern mage's talismans are highly specific. An assault demon, for example, will last until it is either destroyed, or until no more enemies remain, and then dissipate. In much the same way, a defensive demon will only last until it defends the mage from an assault. Once there are no possible threats, they dissipate. Talisman monsters, such as the assault (zenki) and protective (goki) demons, are an exception; these talisman monsters last until their purpose is accomplished, or until they are destroyed. In the case that no orders are given to talismans, they will take whatever task they are first given, and attempt to complete that. Once that task is completed, they return to paper.
In Japan, Eastern Mages form the Kansai Magic Association.
All Western Mages use an activation keyword or phrase, usually the latter, before chanting a spell. According to Chamo, the keyword unlocks the mage's magical pathways and can considered to be like a focal point. The keyword can be any kind of phrase or even nonsense, as long it feels comfortable and natural to the user. The ceremony for finalizing it is described as long and complex.
Some of the known activation keys are as follows:
- Albireo Imma: Papryus Tarpis Ron Jinkou
- Chao Lingshen: Ras Teil Mai Magicscir Magister
- Evangeline A.K. McDowell: Lic Lac La Lac Lilac
- Konoemon Konoe: Murakumo Rurakumo Yakumotatsu
- Mei Narusegawa: Maple Naple À La Mode
- Nagi Springfield: Man Man Terro Terro
- Masaru Nanjou: Ati Me Peta Babka
- Megumi Natsume: Lapp Chapp La Chapp Lugpool
- Negi Springfield: Ras Tel Ma Scir Magister
- Sabashii Kokuei: Hydra Calla Aster Narcis
- Yue Ayase: Foa Zo Cratica Socratica
- Yuuna Akashi: Seigi, Te Wo. Chikara, Ai Wo
Magical Powers and Spells
Magic Barriers and Augmentions
While not an actual spell, most mages and magical beings use magic to augment their physical abilities and for protection. For example, the ten-year-old Negi Springfield is, with the help of his magic, slightly more physically capable than a normal adult male. Mages can also increase this boost deliberately, for protection or to increase combat abilities, if a combat mage. There are two methods typically known to do this. The first is by essentially invoking a pactio with onesel, giving a timed boost of energy. The second is with a spell called Cantus Bellax. The first method, however, causes physical pain after a few seconds of use, therefore is not recommended.
Most mages have a low-level barrier that protects them against physical blows, letting only a fraction of the force behind them pass through to strike the mage. This barrier is not a perfect defense, as it can be worn down by repeated blows, or can be broken by a spell as a prelude to an attack. In addition, some people are capable of breaking or bypassing barriers altogether. Asuna Kagurazaka (via a Magic Canceller ability) and Chizuru Naba have both been shown capable of getting past barriers, often completely by accident. Though it is likely, especially in Chizuru's case, that this natural barrier is only active if the magic user is aware of any danger.
In addition, a popular form of barrier is an area-effect shield used to prevent mundanes from getting in an area where mages battle or otherwise conduct business in the open. This barrier works to mask sound, to prevent overhearing, and causes a desire of anyone outside the barrier to want to leave the area. This is more of a suggestion than outright mental control, as a person can choose to fight the feeling if they are aware of it. This is demonstrated when Kazumi Asakura tries to visit the World Tree plaza when such a magical barrier was put up; she felt the effects of the barrier, but went on anyways.
- Main article: Magia Erebea
A forbidden technique created by Evangeline A.K. McDowell over a period of ten years, in which the user absorbs offensive magic designed to harm the enemy into his own body, to the point where it fuses with their very soul. The technique feeds on the user's body and soul, but in return the user gains power many times that of any ordinary person.
Magia Erebea has two forms. The first is that the user will completely absorb the magical attack into themselves, thereby gaining its properties. The second form of the technique is that the user can store magical spells within themselves without canceling the previous Magia Erebea. By incanting, they will absorb the magic into themselves, but not merge with it, where they can release it at a later time.
- Main article: Royal Magic
In the old timesthe Royal Magic was called the Magic of the Ancients. After Yue's explanation, provided by her artifact, reasons that the power dates back to the old royal bloodline of the magical world itself and is in a way linked to the basis of the pactio system. Apparently it is a different kind of magic compared to the normal one. Its true power and abilities are to date unknown, but its obviously very strong.
- Main article: Magic Vampirism
Of note is the fact that while Evangeline A.K. McDowell does not have any of the weaknesses of a vampire; she still makes use of vampirism to empower herself. In vampirism, the magical power within the blood is consumed, rather than the blood itself. Thus, Evangeline can keep herself from becoming sick, and allow herself to use stronger magic by drinking the blood of someone with significant magic power. This can also explain why Evangeline is significantly healthier and capable of stronger magic later on in the series.
- Main article: Magic Cancel
Magic Cancel is a rare ability that completely nullifies magic. Certain magic cast or used on a person with this ability has no effect. However, not all types of magic are nullified. Magic that harms the person is stopped, (excluding spells not directly harming but disabling such as a disarm spell) while magic that helps the person is not. It is unclear how one gets this ability, as it is rare. The only person known to have this ability is Asuna Kagurazaka.
Magical Cancel does not explain all events, such as Asuna not being able to protect herself from Fate Averruncus's magically produced monster. A possible explanation for this is that magical spells are stopped by magic neutralization but they do not stop physical attacks, so even if the attacker is a demon, monster or a person powered by magic any attack that is physical like punching, kicking or using a weapon will not be stopped.
- Main article: Shundō
Based around the Chinese concept of Suo Di (縮地, lit. Ground Contraction), the legendary ability of telportation attributed to sennin and xian, Shundō (瞬動, lit. Instant Movement) refers to a non-magical method of rapid movement. So far, multiple different variations of Shundō have been seen: Instant Movement, Hakkyokuken's Vital Step, and Kaede Nagase's self-created version which is specifically called Shukuchi.
- Main article: Pactio
Pactio is a magical contract used by many mages in Negima. The word is based on the Latin word "pactiō", the action of making a "pactum" or "agreement". The word pactio is also fairly often called a "provisional contract." Pactios can be created with any magic user, although not all magic users can create a magica circle. The partner with whom the pactio is formed attain abilities related to their personalities.
The pactio system, which is commonly used among Western Mages, has two components comprising it: The "magister magi" and the "minister magi" (respectfully "magistra magi" and "ministra magi" if female). "Magister" is the original Latin form of "master", and "minister" is Latin for "servant"; "magi" is the genitive form of "magus" or "magician", translating the terms to "master of magic" and "servant of magician". The traditional purpose to this system is to give the magister a kind of support during battle. Normally, the ministra's duty is to protect the magister with physical abilities and his/her artifact, while the magister is given time and space to cast offensive and defensive spells. One might compare the ministra like infantry, while the magister is like the long-range artillery. The magister fighting alongside the ministra with combat spells and physical attacks is another version of this system.
The pactio enables the magician casting the spell, the magister, to transfer some of his or her magic power to the other person involved in the pactio, the ministra, improving the ministra's natural capabilities, by an average of ten times their normal capacity, according to Chamo. Another advantage included in having a pactio is the ability for the ministra to summon a magic artifact. Each magic artifact reflects the ministra summoning it, and as such, the vast majority of magic artifacts will be quite different
When a pactio is established, a card is created as proof of the contract. Copies can be made (the magister keeps hold over the originals), and these cards allow for telepathic communication between the magister and ministra by using the incantation Telepathia. It also allows the magister to summon the ministra at any time.
Known pactios are as follows:
- Albireo Imma: Bibliothecarius Ironicus, a permenant self-pactio, granting the artifact To Fyuron To Biographiconis.
- Asuna Kagurazaka: Bellatrix Sauciata, a provisional contract with Negi Springfield, granting the artifact Ensis Exorcizans.
- Haruna Saotome: Fictrix Comica, a provisional contract with Negi Springfield, granting the artifact Imperium Graphices.
- Hotaru Kobayashi: Ignis-Fugio Arquitenens, a provisional contract with Yuuna Akashi, granting the artifact Radians Lucernae.
- Jack Rakan: Armiger Milliplex, a permenant self-pactio, granting the artifact Ho Heroes Meta Chilion Prosopon.
- Johnathan Kasuga: A provisional contract with Cheryl Sasaki, granting the artifact Telum Fortis.
- Kazumi Asakura: Reportatrix Denudans, a provisional contract with Negi Springfield, granting the artifact Oculus Corvinus.
- Konoka Konoe:: Regina Medicans, a provisional contract with Negi Springfield, granting the artifacts Flabellum Euri and Flabellum Australe.
- Mei Narusegawa: Puella Genista, granting the artifact Favor Purgandi.
- Misora Kasuga: Joculatrix Monachans, a permenant contract with Cocone Fatima Rosa, granting an unnamed artifact.
- Nodoka Miyazaki: Pudica Bibliothecaria, a provisional contract with Negi Springfield, granting the artifact Diarium Ejus.
- R'tahz Tia: Fidelis Lancaerios, a permenant pactio with J'karu Rhome, granting the artifact Gae Bolg.
- Setsuna Sakurazaki: Gladiaria Alata, a provisional contract with Negi Springfield, granting the artifact Sica Shishikushiro.
- Yue Ayase: Philosophastra Illustrans, a provisional contract with Negi Springfield, granting the artifact Orbis Sensualium Pictus.