Following the entry for Magic, Magecraft is the ability to reproduce what can be scientifically realized regardless of time and funds. The limits of Magecraft have changed with time, as science evolved and sorceries from before became technically possible through science. However, modern Magecraft remains far inferior from that of the past, so much that someone like Medea, who comes from the Age of Gods when Magecraft was much more powerful, would seem like a sorcerer to the eyes of a modern magus, even though what she can do is not really Magic.
Magecraft that interfere with people’s mind do not need material compensation, but instead will take a toll on the user’s mind.
Thaumaturgy is the general term used to refer to the several modern schools of Magecraft such as Astrology, Kabbalah, Alchemy, and Shinsendou. Divergences can be found among different schools, but the fundamental basis is “to convert Prana inside the user’s body to transform the external world”. The practitioner acts in accord with the system that each school operates under to execute a pre-built program. That “program” is a set of universal rules that interfere with nature once they are enforced. The power that enforces those rules is the prana of the magus and the command to do it is made through his circuits. The greater the interference, the greater will be the amount of prana consumed.
Being originally magic, Thaumaturgy draws upon a predetermined power from the Root. However, because that amount of power is fixed, the more people draw from it at the same time, the more Magecraft’s capacities become mundane. In short, the greater is the collective number of magi, the weaker their individual power. Each school engraves their system of Thaumaturgical Theory into the world and uses the rules of that system to operate their spells. The efficiency of a system depends on how disseminated it is, as in the more people believe or use it. It is not uncommon for a system to not work properly when used outside its place of origin. In that regard, the teachings and holy words of the Church is the Thaumaturgical Theory with greatest number of believers and effective area.
The main aim of the Magi’s academia is to turn the impossible possible. If something cannot be achieved with modern Thaumaturgy, the magi research and develop their arts just for the sake of changing that. Powerful sorceries like High Thaumaturgy and Greater Rituals are ultimately challenges in order to reach the goal called Magic. After a certain point of development, differences between power and even between Magic and Thaumaturgy start to lose their importance in practical terms. Battles between two great Magi will not be decided by their power, but by who possesses the system whose rules has the fewer tears. It is not the power behind them, but the concepts they work under.
The activation of magecraft from an established school requires following a strict set of protocol, one step of which is spellcasting. When compared to the application process of a document, the act of application, acceptance, review, and issuance, spellcasting is the application step of magecraft. It is mostly a convention when utilizing magecraft with a broad foundation, but it has potent self-suggestive powers for those who practice their own style of magecraft. As the Magic Circuits that shape magecraft already exist inside a magus' body, incantations are the "personal adage" that help the magi transform themselves, a method to efficiently activate and mobilize the Magic Circuits.
'Spellcasting' (呪文詠唱, Jumon eishō?) is not a method used to speak to the World, but to oneself. Different magi will utilize different incantations even for the same spell due to their distinct natures. Spells that speak to the World, classified as Grand Spells or Grand Rituals, and not to the individual are impossible for an individual to use under normal circumstances.
'Equivalent Exchange' (等価交換, Tōka Kōkan?) – The primary rule of Thaumaturgy. In order to create something, another object must be given as a price. It may also involve modification to an existing object. The base of all Thaumaturgy is the use of prana to produce something that either already exists or can exist. That which falls into the Phantasm category, something made out entirely of images and might even not exist naturally anymore, will be eventually wiped out by the world for being in conflict with this rule.
Shirou Emiya is able to bypass this rule to some extent when it comes to his Projections, since everything that he Traces is actually being pulled out of his own internal world by the power of his Reality Marble.
'Reenactment' (再現, Saigen?) – The basis behind Thaumaturgical Theory is to reenact the miracles, the supernatural phenomena.
'Thaumaturgical Theory' (魔術理論, Majutsu Riron?) – Thaumaturgical Theories or also 'Foundation' (基盤, Kiban?) are 'Greater Rituals' (大魔術式, Dai Majutsu Shiki?) that "engrave" a Thaumaturgical System (魔術系統, Majutsu Keitō?) upon the World ─ a body of preestablished rules, fomented per the faith of the populace; arbitrated and regulated by the Thaumaturgical School to which they belong. Commands dictated by Mages are submitted through their magical circuits to the System, which processes said commands and executes functions ("Programs").
If it is believed that the subject of a mystery "exists," the World permits its existence. Definite affirmation of said belief is not required. For example, even though the majority of modern humans reject the existence of ghosts, modern science cannot outright demonstrate that they do not exist, and, thus, within the unconscious, there lurks the vague suspicion that "they might indeed exist." This sort of "suspicion" falls under the category of "faith." "Ignorance" is the force that opposes "faith." If the existence of ghosts is itself utterly unknown, faith cannot foment.
In any case, if faith in a mystery is widely disseminated, a relevant Thaumaturgical Theory gains robustness. For a Theory weak in faith, "the power that engraves" is similarly infirm, and in other nations where its mystery is wholly unknown, implementation of descendant magecraft fails. The Thaumaturgical Theory of the Church, in form of its Holy Sacraments, is the most widespread and well stabilized in the world.
Known Thaumaturgical SchoolsEdit
- Curses aren’t taught at the Mage's Association and they are far behind the schools of the Middle East on that subject.
- The Supreme Ultimate (太極図, Taikyoku?) is a philosophy originated in ancient China, a graphical representation of the Yin-Yang theory. Those who practice Western magecraft are incompatible with Chinese philosophies.
- Alchemy – A school that focuses its studies around the flow of matter, most alchemists research on conversion of matter, but those of Atlas delve in the conversion of phenomena.
- Kabbalah (カバラ, Kabara?), the Hebrew word for '"tradition", is a major Thaumaturgical School from Europe developed by Solomon ibn Gabirol. Solomon created golems as his specialty. Aoko Aozaki uses one of its ancient branches, the Notarikon. Other branches include the Temurah and Gematria, the latter which was the basis for the Numerology of Michael Roa Valdamjong.
'Resistance' (抗魔力, Kōmaryoku?), a power inherent of anyone with Magic Circuits, the capacity to resist spells which aim to control the target by the spiritual medium (those among the lines of sleep, paralysis and coercion). By circulating prana inside his Circuits, one can reject outside prana that tries to invade his self. Therefore, it is possible to disrupt a spell before it can complete itself. A very efficient form of defense, it makes it difficult to affect even lesser magi. Also, those who are not Magi but still possess Magic Circuits may unconsciously protect themselves like this. Because of it, most magi use spells capable of physical interference rather than just spiritual ones.
However, what is being rejected is the prana, not the spell itself. A spell that has already been completed and is manifesting its effects cannot be cancelled like this. Caster, however, is an exception. She can disrupt even completed spells due to her absurd amount of prana and because the structure of modern Magecraft’s spells are far inferior to those of her time.
Breathing and WalkingEdit
Breathing and Walking (呼吸・歩法, Kokyuu・Hohō?) is a key concept in Magecraft and Martial Arts. Though mainly affects one’s physical fitness, it also play a role in the strength of nature interference. The absorption of outer energy (breath of life) to connect your inner world to the outer world. The acts of inspiring, expiring and everything in between are part of a process that allows one to take in or release the gods. The Magi use incanted spells to cause a specific phenomenon to occur, but those whose breathing, movement, body and very existence can cause nature interference are beyond that. An example would be the Shinto practice of banishing evil spirits and other unnatural forces by just clapping. However, this particular skill is something that takes a lifetime to learn.
Not valued by Western magi, but among the teachings of the east, the techniques of breathing and walking are high-level secrets that can’t just be imitated or easily learned. Therefore, Eastern schools always search for at least one individual capable of mastering them in a generation.
Sometimes however, there are those who are simply born with the “proper way of breathing and walking”. As a result, their own body acts as one pure, natural Circuit. Those humans can reproduce greater mysteries than the magi without knowing anything about Thaumaturgy. When found while still on their childhood, they are treated as holy children or prodigies and usually take in by those who follow the supernatural path. Still, there are cases of those who grow up without learning about their true nature.
Souichirou Kuzuki's martial arts training gave him some proficiency in this skill, although it is nothing near the level of Magecraft. Shirou Emiya's daily Magecraft training involves breathing exercises and during the fight with Gilgamesh he tried to bring his breathing pace down to normal conditions.
A magus normally has the capacity to manipulate at least one of them. However, there are cases of those who can manipulate Elements that are completely different from any of the ones specified above. Within the Mage’s Association, individuals like these tend to either very selective houses or not be part of the Association at all. Cases of magus who possesses more than one Elemental Affinity, and even affinity to Compound Elements, are also known. Usually said individuals try to master spells that make use of more than one Element at the same time (ex: “liquid manipulation” through the use of Water and Wind Elements). Those capable of manipulating all the five Elements receive the title of Average One and are very valued by the Mage’s Association. Methods to change one’s Elemental Affinity exist, but they are very painful and dangerous.
The set of Elements that, according to the teachings of Magecraft schools, are the basic substances that shapes the world: Fire, Water, Earth, Wind and Void (Ether) or Water, Fire, Earth, Wood and Metal. Fire is called normal and Wind is said to be noble.
'Origin' (起源, 'Kigen'?) is the orientation at the time that an event occurred. It is the starting point that defines one's existence and directs one's actions throughout life. It is the driving force from the inside of Akasha that managed to stream out of the Source and take material form. The form it can take at times is that of a human being, and all humans match their actions to be in harmony with the driving force that originated them from the moment they enter into the world. These actions are more along the lines of an inherent compulsion that could be called a person's instinct rather than a conscious decision. If a person becomes awakened to their Origin, it becomes nearly impossible to stray from their Origin if it's even possible in the first place. It becomes an impulsive behavior one would follow as though it were an absolute order. Souren Araya is capable of awakening one to their Origin, however he must receive consent from the person beforehand. He claims that death and Origins are related, and his various experiments on death are used to further his knowledge on them.
Under the system of Magecraft, Origins are used to describe precise details about a magus, while Elemental Affinity indicates one’s general alignment. Magi with an Origin that is strongly expressed outwardly are sometimes removed from the normal alignments and there are times that the origin itself becomes the alignment. Most of those magi exhibit their talents as extreme specialists, allowing them to potentially reach higher grounds than normal magi. Even those without an Elemental Affinity are sometimes still capable of casting spells simply by following their Origin. It's possible for them to overcome great obstacles such as a lack of Circuts or a lack of talent for Magecraft altogether. Shirou Emiya's origin is "Sword" and his alignment as a Magus is also "Sword". He is unable to use magic of the five great elements with precision because he doesn't have any of them as an alignment, but it does allow for the manifestation of "Unlimited Blade Works." Origins by characters:
- Souren Araya: Stillness (静止, Seishi?).
- Cornelius Alba: Refutation (反証, Hanshō?).
- Kiritsugu Emiya: “Severing” and “Binding” (【切断】【結合】, Setsudan Ketsugō?)
- Shirou Emiya, Archer (EXTRA): Sword (剣, Ken?) (may have been changed from his Origin at his time of birth).
- Tomoe Enjou: Worthlessness (無価値, Mu kachi?).
- Azaka Kokutou: Taboo (禁忌, Kinki?).
- Mikiya Kokutou: Unknown, described as "one that will never hurt others, more so than anyone else."
- Shiki Ryougi: Void (虚無, Kyomu?)
- Satsuki Kurogiri: Nostalgia (望郷, ?).
- Lio Shirazumi: Consumption (食べる, Taberu?).
Various colors are associated with certain beings.
- 'Blue' (青, Ao?) - Color of those under Shinto. Judging by Kiri Nanaya's ability, there are those in the Demon Hunter Organization who follow its beliefs. Jougan are also this color. While Shiki Tohno's eyes turn blue when he uses Death Perception due to his eyes originally being Jougan, Shiki Ryougi's are also depicted with blue eyes. It is likely that not only Jougan, but the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception are things that came from the Gods.
- 'Silver' (銀, Gin?) - Color of those under Shinto. They have yet to appear in any kind of form, but according to Nanaya Kiri there are a few of them in the Demon Hunter Organisation.
- 'Gold' (金, Kin?) - Color representative of the demonic. Arcueid Brunestud's eyes turns into this color. Also, Nero's eyes were depicted as golden.
- 'Red' (赤, Aka?) - Color representative of the demonic. Judging by Nanaya Kiri's ability, those who fall under the classification of 'demon' will likely be inclined towards this color. Similar beings are also likely to possess this color: Arcueid, vampire Satsuki, the fully-inverted Akiha, Roa (SHIKI), Len, White Len, Ciel (Roa), Kouma, vampire Sion. In Zepia's case... well, it's fine either way. Even if it's caused by overflowing blood.
Inversion Impulse (反転衝動, hanten shoudou?) is a state of being where one's mind is overpowered by other factors of their body. With the case of half-breed humans with Oni blood, it is that their non-human blood, their instincts, overpower their human blood, their reason. Arcueid Brunestud can possibly fall into such a state from not eating. As her form of taking in nutrition is different from that of humans, her appetite is more akin to lust, and she rarely falls into it because she does not place much priority on it.
Noble Colors System is a special classification system of the Mage's Association used to grade special abilities such as Sorcery Traits. By the way, the term "Noble Colors" is used to refer to special and innate things where the workings of the magic circuit are close to the movements of a celestial body (normally they're closer to the movements of the crust), and is innate and special. In practice, however, it relates mostly with Mystic Eyes. Powerful eyes shine Gold, while those with powers that reaches the realm of gods have a multi-colored glow, such as the case of Jewel and Rainbow. Shiki Tohno's eyes are also a Noble Color.
Known Mystic Eyes Noble Colors by characters:
'Sorcery Trait' (魔術特性, Majutsu Tokusei?) is a Thaumaturgy "special feature". The general term given to special abilities that are somewhat related to Magecraft. To a lineage of magi, their Sorcery Trait is a treasure as valuable as (or even more than) their Magic Crest. Although clan inherent Sorcery Traits are the more common kind, those that are unique and innate of a single individual are not unheard of. Mystic Eyes are considered a Sorcery Trait.
Known Sorcery Traits by characters and clans:
- Edelfelt clan: Ore Scales (aka Sisters) – The capacity of effectively having two heirs to succeed their lineage and Thaumaturgical Crest.
- Einzbern clan: Holy Grail, Wish-Granting – Spellcasting without possessing the knowledge of the spell itself; to skip the thaumaturgical process altogether and recreate miracles just through the use of prana. Still bound to the limitations of the Magic Circuits.
- Fraga clan: Gods Holder (aka Tradition Carrier) – A special quality found in the old blood of this family, remains of a mystery of the Age of Gods in the form of a virus. Not an hereditary trait carried in the genes, but rather a pathogen that has been transmitted throughout the generations. Allows the recreation and use of the Noble Phantasm Fragarach.
- Kirei Kotomine: A nameless Sorcery Trait used for opening wounds that makes him fit for spiritual surgery.
- Sakura Matou: Imaginary Numbers.