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Spiritual Realm

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Spiritual Realm
Related to Realmatic Theory
Universe Cosmere
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In Realmatic Theory, the Spiritual Realm is the realm of existence in the cosmere that contains the essence or soul of things. On 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 sentients, 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] In general, future sight has been said to be dangerous in the cosmere.[12] Any time someone sees the future, it will have ripples against someone else's ability to see the future.[13] Future sight can be used to gain knowledge of where and when the user needs to be somewhere,[14] and what they need to do.[15][16] This ability is not perfect, and can sometimes tell a user where they are suppose to be without them knowing why they need to be there.[15] Future sight can also alert to user of the presence of certain objects.[17]

Shards: 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 Electrum: In Allomancy, burning electrum will reveal possible futures of the Allomancer up to several seconds, by casting electrum shadows of oneself.[20] While burning electrum the Allomancer's future will not be revealed to enemy Allomancers burning atium. Instead, it will cause the Allomancer's observed atium shadow to split, preventing the enemy Allomancer from predicting one's actions.[21]

Allomantic Gold: In Allomancy, 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]

Allomantic Malatium: In Allomancy, flaring malatium allows an Allomancer to see not just a malatium shadow of a person, but seems to give them 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]

Allomantic Atium: In Allomancy, burning atium allows the Allomancer to see a few seconds into the future, by producing atium shadows of everything in sight. These shadows perform future actions. Burning atium expands the Allomancer's mind to be able to accept and process all of the information, even allowing the Allomancer to dodge incoming attacks from behind. If another Allomancer burning atium is encountered, the atium shadows will split, since each seeing into the other's future means that they can both make different decisions that affect both Allomancers' outcomes. An Allomancer's atium shadow will also split when burning electrum. Burning duralumin with atium will allow Allomancers to see the ultimate effects of their actions, allowing them to peer into the Spiritual Realm.[25]

by Madison Coyne
Renarin seeing the future

Voidbinding: Using Voidbinding, the Voidbinder gains the ability to see the future.[26] When seeing the future, the Voidbinder sees it as stained-glass images. The ability is shown to be imperfect, as the events Renarin foresaw during the Battle of Thaylen Field did not come to pass.[27]

Regal Forms of Power: By staying out in the Everstorm, singers are capable of bonding with a Voidspren, which has the effect of 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]

Riino: 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.[31]

Returned: The Returned are resurrected humans on Nalthis. Endowment gives some people a glimpse into the Spiritual Realm, which lets them see a possible future. She then offers a chance to Return and change the events of the vision.[32][33])[34]

Moelach: Moelach is the source of the Death Rattles, visions of the future experienced by people on Roshar during their final moments of life.[35][36] Those experiencing the visions will often speak aloud in their final moments to communicate what they are seeing.[37] The visions are typically cryptic utterances.[38]

Wulfden: Wulfden the Fourth uses some form of magical foresight.[39] Using this, he was able to inform Fjon of Hrathen's location. The source and extent of his powers are unknown, though it appears to be related to Dominion.[40] His ability to see into the future have parallels to other temporal abilities in the cosmere.[19]

Aviar: Aviars create a bond with a person and grant a specific power based of the type of Aviar bonded.[41] One type of Aviar bestows the ability to a person 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.[41] The Aviar must form a Connection with each person to share the talent, although this bond is not as strong as similar bonds on other planets.[42] The Aviar also see the visions.[41]

Hoid: Hoid has access to an ability that allows him to make use of the Spiritual attribute of Fortune,[15], which grants him a limited amount foresight.[14] Hoid's Fortune ability gives him an innate knowledge of where and when he needs to be.[14] While this ability may grant him knowledge of what he is to do,[15][16] usually Hoid does not know why his ability has brought him to a specific place.[15] 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.[43]

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.[44]


  1. a b The Emperor's Soul - Day 12 Summary: The Emperor's Soul/Day_12#
  2. Shadows of Self Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
  3. Arcanum Unbounded - The Selish System Summary: Arcanum Unbounded/The_Selish_System#
  4. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  5. a b The Way of Kings chapter 75 Summary: 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. Salt Lake City signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-16#
  13. Skyward Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-10#
  14. a b c Alloy of Law release party
    Arcanum - 2011-11-07#
  15. a b c d e Arcanum Unbounded Fort Collins signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  16. a b Calamity San Antonio signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-26#
  17. Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-30#
  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 Summary: The Alloy of Law/Ars Arcanum#
  21. The Hero of Ages chapter 3 Summary: The Hero of Ages/Chapter_3#
  22. The Final Empire chapter 37 Summary: The Final Empire/Chapter_37#
  23. Alloy of Law London signing
    Arcanum - 2011-11-19#
  24. Mistborn: Secret History part 1 chapter 1 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_1_Chapter_1#
  25. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-08-01#
  26. Oathbringer Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-21#
  27. Oathbringer chapter 118 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_118#
  28. Oathbringer chapter I-6 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_I-6#
  29. Salt Lake City signing 2012
    Arcanum - 2012-11-06#
  30. Words of Radiance chapter 23 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_23#
  31. Oathbringer chapter 97 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_97#
  32. Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A
    Arcanum - 2009-07-08#
  33. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-21#
  34. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
  35. Words of Radiance interlude I-14 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-14#
  36. Oathbringer chapter 103 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_103#
  37. The Way of Kings chapter 71 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_71#
  38. Words of Radiance chapter 82 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_82#
  39. Annotation for Elantris chapter 62-1 Cite: Annotation/Elantris/62-1#
  40. A Memory of Light Milford Signing
    Arcanum - 2013-02-16#
  41. a b c Sixth of the Dusk Summary: Sixth of the Dusk/CHAPTERLESS#
  42. Skyward release party
    Arcanum - 2018-11-06#
  43. Words of Radiance San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-04#
  44. Shadows of Self Boston signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-14#
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