Psychic magic

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The psychic Rivani and spiritualist Estra wield different styles of psychic magic against hryngars.
This article covers the type of magic. For the spellcasting class, see Psychic.

Psychic magic, also called psionics or mindcraft,1 is one of the three classically considered types of magic (along with arcane and divine magic) that can manifest in the form of spells and spell-like effects. It is unique for its focus on the spellcaster's internal powers—drawing magic through emotion and will rather than through study, birthright, or divine grant—and thus psychic magic is in the occult magic tradition.23


Psychic magic spells are purely mental, eschewing the verbal and most material traits of other magic types, in favor of the powers of emotion and thought.2


On Golarion

On most of Golarion, and particularly in the Inner Sea region, psychic magic is much rarer than arcane or divine magic. However, there are places in the world where psychic magic is more commonly studied or practiced:

In Quantium, the Arcanamirium of Absalom, and northern Garund, non-psychic spellcasters also study psychic magic and attempt to reproduce some of its effects through other means.15

On distant worlds

Within Golarion's solar system, the world of Castrovel has several creatures capable of using psychic powers, ranging from plants to the intelligent races.56 The lashunta in particular pursue oneness through psychic magic.6

On Akiton, the Contemplatives of Ashok wield psychic magic, as do shobhad and ratfolk clans. Brethedans and Liavarans also practice psychic magic.6


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

  1. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 234–235. Paizo Inc., 2008 This book refers to psionics, but the canon-specific details it attributes to psionics are instead attributed to psychic magic in more recent books, and psionics is no longer mentioned.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 4: Psychic Magic” in Occult Adventures, 142. Paizo Inc., 2015
  3. James Case, et al. “The Archivist's Training Manual” in Dark Archive, 9. Paizo Inc., 2022
  4. Paizo referred to xoarians as intellect devourers until the publication of Heavy is the Crown.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 234–235. Paizo Inc., 2008
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Robert Brookes, et al. “Ancient Enlightenment (Psychic)” in Occult Origins, 16. Paizo Inc., 2015
  7. 7.0 7.1 Robert Brookes, et al. “Bound to the Dead (Spiritualist)” in Occult Origins, 18. Paizo Inc., 2015
  8. Robert Brookes, et al. “Legends and Lore (Medium)” in Occult Origins, 10. Paizo Inc., 2015
  9. 9.0 9.1 Robert Brookes, et al. “Psychic Magic” in Occult Origins, 30. Paizo Inc., 2015
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Robert Brookes, et al. “Devilish Trickery (Mesmerist)” in Occult Origins, 12. Paizo Inc., 2015
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 Robert Brookes, et al. “Introduction” in Occult Origins, 5. Paizo Inc., 2015
  12. 12.0 12.1 Robert Brookes, et al. “Into the Void (Kineticist)” in Occult Origins, 6. Paizo Inc., 2015
  13. Robert Brookes, et al. “Hybrid Archetypes” in Occult Origins, 22. Paizo Inc., 2015
  14. Robert Brookes, et al. “Occult Archetypes” in Occult Origins, 20. Paizo Inc., 2015
  15. Robert Brookes, et al. “Occult Spells” in Occult Origins, 28. Paizo Inc., 2015