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In the sci-fi/fantasy novel I am working on, my magic system currently works based on of a fictional type of energy that is created by stars and expelled throughout the universe, like UV rays and that sort of thing. This energy is known as psychic energy (dumb name, I know. It's a work in progress), and the people of my world who know how to harness it can use it to cast spells and do magic.

I was wondering if this is a cool idea, and if it makes any sense, as the magic system I am trying to develop needs to be at the very least plausible within the fictional parameters I create. The characters absorb this energy naturally through their skin, but can only hold so much without doing rituals/body modification to augment their natural capacity. Does this make sense, and if not, what can I do to change it?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'd say you're fine as is, given this is pretty much how the magic system on my world works. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Dec 1 '16 at 23:22
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know how good of a fit this is for WorldBuilding.SE, but if I were to write an answer to this question it would be "you're using magic, so anything goes. However, you should always follow Sanderson's First Law of Magic. Follow that law, and you're pretty much set. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Dec 1 '16 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ Any kind of magic is a good fit for your world, as long as it is internally consistent. We here can help you refine ideas that might not be internally consistent, but so far you just have a premise for a magic system. Sounds great so far! Keep working on it. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Dec 2 '16 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ The sun emits almost entirely pure energy and I know writers use it as a source to grant Superman miraculous feat including face blindness aura... magic is in the eye of the beholder! $\endgroup$ – user6760 Dec 2 '16 at 8:14
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Have them magically absorb neutrinos.

Fun fact of the day: There are $\sim10^{11}$ neutrinos passing through every square centimeter on Earth every second. And they just go straight through.

Neutrinos - "little neutral ones", if you like - are tiny leptons, uncharged particles with very low masses, if any. They interact with other particles through the weak nuclear force - which is, as you can imagine, weak. Neutrinos coming from the Sun would need to pass through one light-year of lead to have a high probability if interacting with another particle. That's how weakly they interact.

The point of this is that you don't notice neutrinos easily. It's extremely difficult to detect them, even with state-of-the art detectors. I think they would be a perfect energy source for you - and yes, they come from the Sun and other stars, produced in nuclear reactions!

My proposal for your magic system:

  • Normally, people interact with neutrinos much like we do; in other words, they don't.
  • These spells magically make it much more likely for a neutrino to interact with particles in the spell-caster's body, perhaps by temporarily changing the strength of the weak force as pertaining to neutrinos. Magic is your only choice here.
  • Each solar neutrino has an energy of a few hundred keV - let's say about 300 keV. If each neutrino's energy is transferred to the body, then each square centimeter absorbs about $10^{-5}$ Joules per second. If a person's chest has an area of about 2000 square centimeters, then the person can get about one joule of energy in a little under one minute.
  • Let's also assume that these people can "charge up" during their sleep. If they sleep for about 500 minutes every 24 hours - getting in their 8 hours a day and then some - they can get 500 joules of energy. Not bad, especially if they're willing to charge up at other times, too.

There's your psychic energy, at a decent rate - and with a little physics thrown in, too!

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice, I would read that :) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Dec 3 '16 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ As another effect, at their base they could have a structure than channels the neutrinos so he can gain energy faster $\endgroup$ – Mathmagician Sep 23 '17 at 4:41
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Energy somehow being supplied by the sun a usable idea - just look at how successful Superman is.

The things you need to consider are what the logical effects of this are - for example, being generated by stars, a person's magic energy would be replenished much faster during the day. Because it is absorbed through the skin, you'd either have magic users wearing as little clothing as possible in order to maximize skin exposure, or you'd have them wearing special cloth designed to allow absorption of the energy through the cloth. This also means that exploring a cave or a dungeon crawl would be more dangerous because, without exposure to the sun, they wouldn't be able to replenish magic.

You need to spend some time thinking about what other things would be common, and decide if these things are what you want to have in your story or not.

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If you're wanting to really answer the question about magic. I suggest you ask why a Sun would generate magic. That is to say, it would be ideal to have a force in the universe that operates in a consistent manner to make this happen. For instance gravity. For instance a suns mass is directly related to what it burns for fuel.

What you could do is suggest that there is a relation to high mass objects, or fusion reactions, that produces the magical field/force/plasma/rainbows/etc. As a result you have something you can unify through your story and have it used or seen in other phenomena, animals and world events, while also allowing mages to experiment.

If you want it to be unpredictable or mysterious, remember, you can write about it happening but characters not understanding why, they just assume x or y has happened and go about their lives. But because you as an author understand the principle at play, you can weave it throughout the story.

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Astral Energy

Your concept is not dumb at all. In fact, it has been an essential part of all mystical philosophies I've ever heard of, although it's name changes depending on the language of the philosophy.

Many Western philosophies describe this energy as "astral":

as·tral (adjective):
- of, connected with, or resembling the stars
- of or relating to a supposed nonphysical realm of existence to which various psychic and paranormal phenomena are ascribed, and in which the physical human body is said to have a counterpart

Origin:
Early 17th century: from late Latin astralis, from astrum ‘star’

Prana

Vedic mysticism uses the Sanskrit terms "prana" and "kundalini" instead of "astral", and refers to the corresponding subtle body as either the "pranamaya kosha" or simply the "sukshma sharir".

The astral dimension is subtler than the physical dimension, meaning it cannot be sensed by the ordinary physical senses, and is often refered to as the astral plane. In this plane, humans are said to have astral bodies made of astral energy. People are said to be able to interact with the astral plane with their astral body, and even travel therein via astral projection.

One Of Many Planes

The astral or subtle plane is considered part of a much larger cosmology consisting of various numbers of planes, both in western and eastern mysticism. Each plane is composed of it's own unique type of matter and humans are said to have bodies made of this matter in each plane. Meditation and various accompanying techniques, such as yoga, help the disciple/practioner towards enlightenment (termed "moksha" in Sanskrit) by increasing the mind/body coordination between the physical self and waking state consciousness and the subtle bodies.

Transcendental Meditation

I've been researching this area of study a lot since 1990. I've researched and tried many different schools of thought and styles of meditation. However, all failed to fulfill my eagerness for sustainable practical results, until I found Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's meditation techniques and his Vedic Science techniques. I was so impressed with the results I spent the next 13 years studying and practicing them full-time. The form of meditation taught by Maharishi is called Transcendental Meditation and I highly recommend it.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is related to stars in the same way that astrology is related to astronomy: It isn't. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Dec 2 '16 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ I did. And it's nothing more than words. Meteors are often called "shooting stars", but that doesn't mean they have anything to do with stars. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Dec 2 '16 at 1:18
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 Should I eliminate the term astral and use prana instead? $\endgroup$ – Thom Blair III Dec 2 '16 at 1:33
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 I think I got my information about starlight and it's powers from Howard Percival's book Thinking and Destiny. In that PDF, if you search on "starlight", he talks a lot about light from stars and it's power. $\endgroup$ – Thom Blair III Dec 2 '16 at 2:15

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