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Spiritual Realm

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Spiritual Realm
Related to Realmatic Theory
Universe Cosmere
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The Spiritual Realm is the realm of existence in the cosmere that contains the essence or soul of things. In this Realm, the interconnection between objects, people, and ideals are made apparent.[1]

Everything in the cosmere has a Spiritual aspect, a soul, which represents the idealized form or concept upon which their existence is based.[1] Among sentient creatures, this soul is sometimes described as a Spiritweb. Several manifestations of Investiture like gold Feruchemy and Regrowth can restore a damaged object or person into the ideal form as dictated by the soul.

The bulk of a Shard's energy is stored in the Spiritual Realm, with the Selish Shards being notable exceptions.[2][3]

Time and Space in the Spiritual Realm[edit]

An object's connection to its past as well as its future can be observed from the Spiritual Realm, where the passage of time has little meaning.[4] Some beings, like Seers, Moelach, Sak the Aviar, and Shards of Adonalsium can peer into the Spiritual Realm to gain insight into the future, though some Shards are better at it than others.[5][6] It is also possible to see into the past of others via similar means.

Unlike the Physical and the Cognitive Realms, the Spiritual Realm has no distinct locations.[7] This allows Shards, for example, to see what is happening on other worlds beyond their own.[8] And in the Spiritual Realm, all things are one.[9] It is possible for physical beings to exist in the Spiritual Realm, but it is a more unnatural experience than a physical being existing in the Cognitive Realm.[10]

Accessing the Spiritual Realm[edit]

Future sight always draws upon the Spiritual Realm to work.[11] Any time someone sees the future, it will have ripples against someone else's ability to do the same.[12] Future sight can be used to gain knowledge of where and when the user needs to be somewhere, and what they need to do.[13][14][15] This ability is not perfect, and can sometimes tell a user where they are supposed to be without the why.[14] Future sight can also alert to user of the presence of certain objects.[16] In general, it's been said to be a highly dangerous ability.[17]

Shards can perceive the future, although it can be difficult for them. Some are better at it than others, with Cultivation and Preservation in particular being noted as particularly excelling.[5][18] Shardic power can also be utilized by others to perceive the future like they do: examples of this are atium, as well as the visions of the Returned.[19]

Allomantic future sight[edit]

Burning electrum will reveal possible futures of the Allomancer up to several seconds ahead by casting electrum "shadows" of oneself.[20] While burning electrum, the Allomancer's future will not be revealed to enemy Allomancers burning atium. Rather, it will cause the Allomancer's observed atium shadow to split, preventing the enemy Allomancer from predicting one's actions.[21]
Burning gold allows the Allomancer to see a hallucination of who the user could have been, known as a "gold shadow".[20] Touching the gold shadow while burning gold causes unpleasant side effects.[22] Each time an Allomancer burns gold, they see a different image, as it changes depending on their current situation.[23]
Malatium works similarly to gold, albeit showing visions of other people's possible selves rather than the user's. Flaring it seems to give an Allomancer a glimpse into the Spiritual Realm, allowing them to see a vision of a past event in another person's life by seeing their Connection and their past.[24]
Burning atium allows the Allomancer to see a few seconds into the future by producing atium shadows of everything in sight, which perform future actions. It also expands their mind to be able to accept and process all of the information, even allowing them to dodge incoming attacks from behind. If another Allomancer burning atium is encountered, the atium shadows will split for both Allomancers, since each seeing into the other's future means that they can both make different decisions that affect both. The atium shadow will also split when the opponent is burning electrum. Burning duralumin with atium allows Allomancers to see the ultimate effects of their actions, allowing them to peer into the Spiritual Realm.[25]

Odium-derived future sight[edit]

Renarin seeing the future by Madison Coyne
As a result of Glys being corrupted by Sja-anat, Renarin has some ability to see visions of the future; these visions seem to appear similar to stained-glass images. This ability is imperfect, as the events it predicts can fail to occur.[26][27]
Regal Forms of Power
By staying out in the Everstorm, singers are capable of bonding with a voidspren, changing their form, which alters their physical appearance and mental capabilities.[28][29] One Regal form of power is nightform, which allows the user to predict the future.[30]
Moelach is the source of the Death Rattles, visions of the future experienced by some people on Roshar during the final moments of their lives.[31][32] Those experiencing the visions will often speak aloud in their final moments to communicate what they are seeing in the form of cryptic utterances.[33][34]

Other forms of future sight[edit]

by Ben McSweeney
Sak showing Sixth of the Dusk visions of his death
Riino has an ability to predict the future, assisted by some sort of shining globe. Whatever the globe is, it isn't a fabrial, as it doesn't feature a gemstone. While Riino himself mentions that utilizing it requires specific training, the globe can grant visions to the uninitiated. It requires that its surroundings be highly Invested, which is why Riino uses it only during a highstorm.[35]
Occasionally, when a person dies, Endowment grants them a glimpse into the Spiritual Realm, letting them see a possible future. She then offers a chance to Return and change the events of the vision.[36][37][38]
Wulfden the Fourth uses some form of magical foresight.[39] The source and extent of his powers are unknown, though it appears to be related to Dominion.[40] The mechanics of his ability are unknown, but parallel to similar skills in the cosmere.[19]
One type of Aviar allows a person it's bonded with to see visions showing their possible deaths in near future (roughly a minute). These visions manifest in the form of an image of the individual's corpse in the area where a death could happen. The Aviar has control over when they share this ability, and with whom, and can see every vision it shares.[41]
Hoid has access to an ability that allows him to make use of the Spiritual attribute of Fortune,[14], which grants him a limited amount of foresight.[13] Hoid's Fortune ability lets him know where and when he needs to be.[13] While this ability may grant him knowledge of what he is to do,[14][15] usually Hoid does not know why his ability has brought him to a specific place.[14] Hoid's Fortune ability is not infallible; occasionally it directs him to go somewhere, but either nothing notable is happening or he is unable to discover the reason why he has been led there.[42]

Spiritual Damage and Investiture[edit]

A person's Spiritweb can be damaged either through physical or emotional trauma. This creates "cracks" in the soul. It is easier for Shards to Invest in people who are damaged in this way, as Investiture can enter the soul through these "cracks". This is why Allomancers need to undergo Snapping in order to awaken their powers, and is implied to be the reason why Surgebinders tend to have psychological problems.[43]


  • Before The Rithmatist was taken out of the cosmere, chalkling creatures like Shadowblazes and the Forgotten were Spiritual Realm entities that got pulled into the Physical Realm. They were some of the only entities that existed only in the Spiritual Realm, and it is unclear whether any similar entities still exist in the cosmere.[44]


  1. a b The Emperor's Soul - Day 12 #
  2. Shadows of Self Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
  3. Arcanum Unbounded - The Selish System #
  4. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  5. a b The Way of Kings chapter 75 #
  6. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  7. Calamity Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-17#
  8. Calamity San Antonio signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-26#
  9. Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  10. American Fork High School Signing
    Arcanum - 2019-12-12#
  11. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  12. Skyward Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-10#
  13. a b c Alloy of Law release party
    Arcanum - 2011-11-07#
  14. a b c d e Arcanum Unbounded Fort Collins signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  15. a b Calamity San Antonio signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-26#
  16. Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-30#
  17. Salt Lake City signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-16#
  18. Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15#
  19. a b Q&A with Brandon Sanderson
    Arcanum - 2011-01-10#
  20. a b The Alloy of Law Ars Arcanum #
  21. The Hero of Ages chapter 3 #
  22. The Final Empire chapter 37 #
  23. Alloy of Law London signing
    Arcanum - 2011-11-19#
  24. Mistborn: Secret History part 1 chapter 1 #
  25. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-08-01#
  26. Oathbringer chapter 118 #
  27. Oathbringer Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-21#
  28. Oathbringer interlude I-6 #
  29. Salt Lake City signing 2012
    Arcanum - 2012-11-06#
  30. Words of Radiance chapter 23 epigraph#
  31. Words of Radiance interlude I-14 #
  32. Oathbringer chapter 103 epigraph#
  33. Words of Radiance chapter 82 epigraph#
  34. The Way of Kings chapter 71 #
  35. Oathbringer chapter 97 #
  36. Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A
    Arcanum - 2009-07-08#
  37. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-21#
  38. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
  39. Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2006-05-09#
  40. A Memory of Light Milford Signing
    Arcanum - 2013-02-16#
  41. Sixth of the Dusk #
  42. Words of Radiance San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-04#
  43. Shadows of Self Boston signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-14#
  44. Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-18#
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