Magic has been around for centuries. Every type of Magic comes from The One Magic, the original source of all types of Magic. Magic was once oppressed and feared, but gradually became an everyday phenomenon.
Magic is the physical embodiment of the spirit. When the physical spirit of an organism connects with the spiritual flow of nature, the spirit forms Magic as a product of the connection. Though Magic goes beyond reason, it is still born of reason and it takes an enormous amount of concentration and mental ability to use it. One's magical powers are also tied to one's life force. Only ten percent of the world's population is able to use Magic, which is noted to keep a balance between ordinary people and those with Magic. According to Zeref, ones strength of feelings places an important part in Magic.
All kinds of Magic are used in Earth Land and formerly in Edolas, and they can be used for many purposes such as offense, defense, support, and healing, as well as other, more practical purposes. Magic is used by exerting Magic Power as a wide variety of spells or by focusing it into an external source. However, some items and weapons such as Edolas Items use Lacrima to power them. In order to learn Magic, you must train your intellect and spirit. However, it should be noted that the stronger the Magic, the more it tends on selecting its wielder; if the Mage's mind is frail, the Magic will take over and destroy them.
To utilize Magic, a Mage must use the Magic Power (魔力 Maryoku) in their body, which is composed of Ethernano (エーテルナノ Ēterunano), the source of Magic Power for all Mages. Every Mage has a container of Ethernano inside their body that determines the limits of their Magic Power. In the case that it becomes empty, Ethernano will come from the atmosphere and enter the Mage's body and, after a while, their Magic Power shall return to normal. However, recent studies have identified another, unused, part of a Mage's Magic container that contains a large amount of dormant power: the Second Origin (二番原 Sekando Orijin). If a Mage somehow manages to unlock their Second Origin, they will then receive an enormous boost in Magic Power, or they can wait until the right moment to unleash the Magic Power of their Second Origin in order to gain an advantage in the battle. It has been later revealed by Ultear that a Mage can access the magical strength they will possess in the future via her Arc of Time: Third Origin (第三魔法源 Sādo Orijin); however, after the power fades, the receiver will never be able to use Magic again.
Some powerful Mages (or certain other magical beings) are able to pass on Magics, often the most rare, to other Mages for them to utilize. Doing this leaves a mark in the form of a tattoo on the Mage's body that seems to fade away if they don't have access to the Magic that was given to them. Only four cases of this are currently known:
- Mavis Vermillion thrice has momentarily allowed Cana Alberona to borrow Fairy Glitter. The mark left was a tattoo on Cana's right forearm.
- The Celestial Spirit King transferred Aquarius' Water Magic to Lucy Heartfilia. The mark appears across her collar bone and is the same one Aquarius has in the same spot.
- Silver Fullbuster transferred his Ice Devil Slayer Magic to Gray Fullbuster. The mark appears on his right arm. Unlike the other cases, the Magic seems to be permanent, and he is able to make the mark appear or disappear using his own free will.
- Natsu Dragneel managed to gather the residual Magic that the deceased Fire Dragon King Igneel left within him to use a one-time ability known as Fire Dragon King Mode. This manifested itself in the form of a Dragon-shaped tattoo on his right bicep.
It was also stated by Bluenote Stinger that it is possible to take over another Mage's Magic, even after he's dead. This was never shown as the Dark Mage was stopped before he can initiate the process.
Every Magic has its own set of rules that must never be broken, known as a taboo. Different taboos that are broken have different effects on the user's body. One of them can lead to death or sickness.
- Caster Magic: (キャスターマジック Kyasutā Majikku) is Magic that is expelled from the body as opposed to Magic done through the use of a weapon or outside source.
- Holder Magic: (ホルダーマジック Horudā Majikku) is Magic that requires a Mage to use an external source to produce the Magic. It usually requires the use of Magic Power, though there are some exceptions such as Edolas Items that are powered by Lacrima.
- Ancient Spell: (古代魔法 Enshento Superu), as its name implies, is Magic from ancient times. It includes all forms of Lost Magic, Nirvana, Memory-Make, Ars Magia as well as all of the Black Arts.
- Lost Magic: (失われた魔法 Rosuto Majikku) is a type of Magic that has been obliterated from the history of the world due to their immense power and the sheer gravity of their side effects on the users. However, users of such Magic still exist, though the Magic itself is believed to be extremely rare.
Manga to Anime Differences
- Early in the anime, nearly all Magic spells are accompanied by Magic Seals. These seals usually appear only during the activation of the spell, but some stayed during the duration of it. However, as the series progressed, these circles are noticeably absent, or at least, less frequent.
- According to an interview with Hiro, he describes magic as a way of accomplishing real world tasks, or to do things that are normally restricted in real-life, Ex. Being able to walk through walls.