Divine magic

From PathfinderWiki
Kyra, cleric of Sarenrae, wields divine magic against skeletons.
See also: Domain

Divine magic is one of three types, or four traditions, of magic, along with arcane, occult/psychic magic and primal magic,1 that manifests in the form of spells and spell-like effects.2 Divine spells are drawn from divine forces3 and are considered generally less dramatic and destructive than arcane spells, with a greater focus on healing and protection and significant variance based on the domains of the deity granting them.43

Nature of divine magic

The power of the divine is steeped in faith, the unseen, and belief in a power source from beyond the Universe.5

Little is known about the source of divine magic, how deities gain the ability to grant spells to their followers, or how deities can influence far-flung planes and creatures.6

On Golarion

Divine magic is one of the two most common magical traditions on Golarion, but is seen as more special or important compared to arcane. Even commoners understand that divine magic is a gift from the gods and those who wield it have the potential to make the impossible happen. However, this means that most priests, who are only capable of minor spellcasting, if any, are often expected to perform miracles of healing and are blamed when they fail to do so.7


See also: Cleric, Druid, Inquisitor, Oracle, Paladin, Ranger, Champion, Sorcerer, Summoner, and Witch

Many people gain the ability to cast divine spells through devotion to a deity, including clerics and champions.8 Oracles are often chosen by divine forces to be vessels of their power;910 witches draw their powers from a patron;1112 sorcerers can be born with ability to conduct divine magic;13 and summoners may gain a connection to the divine through their eidolon.14

Clerics and champions15 are especially tied to their patron deities. Their alignment and actions must closely reflect their deity's faith to avoid drawing their patron's wrath or losing their powers. Clerics can also channel their deity's energy through their bodies and into others'.1617 Every cleric on Golarion must have a patron deity.1819


Most divine spellcasters gain their spells from their divine patron, often preparing them through prayer and meditation.1710313 Summoners and sorcerers cast their divine spells spontaneously, through the link to their eidolon (for summoners) or their natural ability to channel divine magic (for sorcerers).141112

False divine magic

A few deceptive entities use non-divine magic to appear to grant divine magic to their followers. This false divine magic only appears to be granted by a god, but is in fact entirely secular or illusory.20


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Psychic magic is one of three types of magic in Pathfinder First Edition mechanics. Psychic powers are part of the occult magical tradition in Pathfinder Second Edition mechanics.
  2. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Combat” in Core Rulebook, 206. Paizo Inc., 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Magic” in Core Rulebook, 220. Paizo Inc., 2009
  4. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Magic” in Core Rulebook, 218. Paizo Inc., 2009
  5. Logan Bonner, et al. “7: Spells” in Core Rulebook, 299. Paizo Inc., 2019
  6. Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods, 6. Paizo Inc., 2014
  7. Rigby Bendele, et al. “Magic” in Travel Guide, 74. Paizo Inc., 2022
  8. Paladins, inquisitors, druids, and rangers also use divine magic in Pathfinder First Edition. In Pathfinder Second Edition, druids use primal magic spells, paladins become a subclass of champions, sorcerers and summoners can be divine in nature, witch patrons can be divine entities, and rangers and inquisitors are not spellcasters.
  9. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Spellcasters” in Ultimate Magic, 53. Paizo Inc., 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 Paizo Inc., et al. “Chapter 2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 42. Paizo Inc., 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 53. Paizo Inc., 2020
  12. 12.0 12.1 Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 96–100. Paizo Inc., 2020
  13. 13.0 13.1 Logan Bonner, et al. Core Rulebook. Paizo Inc., 2019
  14. 14.0 14.1 Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Secrets of Magic, 51. Paizo Inc., 2020
  15. Plus inquisitors in Pathfinder First Edition.
  16. Paizo Inc., et al. “Chapter 2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 38. Paizo Inc., 2010
  17. 17.0 17.1 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 39. Paizo Inc., 2009
  18. James Jacobs. (August 23, 2011). Comment on "Can there be a cleric with no god in Golarion?", Paizo Messageboards.
  19. James Jacobs. (August 23, 2011). "THE REASON THIS IS THE WAY IT IS IN GOLARION" on Comment on "Can there be a cleric with no god in Golarion?", Paizo Messageboards.
  20. Jason Nelson, et al. “Variant Magic” in Inner Sea Magic, 10. Paizo Inc., 2011