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  1. #1

    What is the difference between Magic and Sorcery?

    So... Does anyone know the difference between Sorcery and Magic?
    My coworker asked me and I didn't think there was a difference but he thinks there is so I was wondering if anyone had a reasonable answer to the question.

  2. #2
    Bloodsail Admiral select20's Avatar
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    I always thought Sorcery was a form of magic use. Wizardry also being another for of magic use.
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  3. #3
    I would consider sorcery a branch of magic. Magic is just magic in general.
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    Merely a Setback Adam Jensen's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it depend on which fantasy universe you are talking about? These fine details often change from one series to another.

  5. #5
    Take Harry Potter for example a sorcerer is more of a person who uses dark magic to inflict pain/harm on things magic is more of the general scope of it all

  6. #6
    Immortal mistuhbull's Avatar
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    Magic is the latent energy within our planet/religion/trees/space/universe that can be tapped by those with the proper inclination and willpower to do the impossible and alter reality.

    Sorcery is a form of utilizing magic. Its type will vary between fictions, but in general (see also D&D) Sorcerers wield magic through sheer natural ability. Casting spells comes as naturally to them as throwing a ball or driving a car. This is in contrast to Wizards who can only perform their spells after years of laborious training and research.

    Sorcerers can also be "evil" wizards. On the good side you have Mages and Wizards and on the Bad Side you have Sorcerers and Warlocks
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    The Insane Ielenia's Avatar
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    Hmmm. To me, a 'Sorcerer' was always someone with innate magical abilities. He was born able to weave and cast magic spells, while wizards learned the ability through studies. It's something I acquired playing too much DnD.
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  8. #8
    You're not going to get an answer you're looking for. There are TOO many books, series and people with their own definitions both.

    And you're just silly for asking that question :P

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Olala View Post
    You're not going to get an answer you're looking for. There are TOO many books, series and people with their own definitions both.

    And you're just silly for asking that question :P
    Well, that's true. But generally speaking, most fiction/nonfiction sources go with the "everyone uses magic, but there are different ways of tapping into it". Sorcery is more about raw power, usually channeled through some focal point, like a magical object. Wizardry doesn't rely on magical objects as much, but there is more emphasis on learning, research, and understanding of the "nuance" of magic.

    Witches/Warlocks are usually people who bargained for their power. Druids and Shamans borrow theirs. Voodoo is basically primal Sorcery. And then you get crazy stuff like Technomages and whatnot....once you start going down that road, you're real deep in fiction.

  10. #10
    Legendary! Wikiy's Avatar
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    In contemporary life, magic is usually used for anything that people can't immediately explain but know can be explained, such as trickery (as in card tricks). Sorcery means real magic in a fictional setting, as in lightning bolts or anything of the sort.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by orissa View Post
    Wouldn't it depend on which fantasy universe you are talking about? These fine details often change from one series to another.
    This is the correct answer.

    In D&D for example, magic is a broad term that refers to anything that's supernatural that isn't strictly divine. Sorcery would be the magic woven by a sorcerer. Sorcerers cast their spells from a natural ability that they were born with, usually due to having a magical non-humanoid ancestor such as a dragon or demon. By contrast, wizards are more like scientists. They treat magic as a complicated force that is to be understood and learned through years of study, practice and experimentation. Clerics and druids differ from both wizards and sorcerers in that they are neither born with power, nor do ,they study to learn it. To them magic is a gift. Clerics receive spells from their god, often from praying in a specific way or at a specific time that's sacred to their religion. Druids are similar to clerics, but they receive their spells from nature.

  12. #12
    Personally, I think magic is a general term, and sorcery, wizardry, and alchemy (and others) are specific fields of magic. I consider sorcery more evil, and wizardry more good.
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  13. #13
    to me magic is a power. a sorcerer is ones that uses that power. like electricity and a motor. although, i always understood sorcerers to have more of an evil connotation to them. more equivalent to a sorcerer would be a wizard or magician, again all about connotation

  14. #14
    Sorcery comes from the Latin word sortiarius, which would refer to one who influences fate and fortune.

    Whereas the word magic comes from the greek word Magike, which would refer to any members of a particular wise and priestly persuasion. And the persian word Magush meaning "to have (or be able to have) power.

    EDIT: So magic would be a matter of learning and understand the hidden powers of the natural world, whereas Sorcery would be a matter of using them for the better or worse of yourself and others.
    Last edited by Gheld; 2012-08-09 at 08:43 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Gheld View Post
    Sorcery comes from the Latin word sortiarius, which would refer to one who influences fate and fortune.

    Whereas the word magic comes from the greek word Magike, which would refer to any members of a particular wise and priestly persuasion. And the persian word Magush meaning "to have (or be able to have) power.

    EDIT: So magic would be a matter of learning and understand the hidden powers of the natural world, whereas Sorcery would be a matter of using them for the better or worse of yourself and others.
    This is the best way of putting it

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ielenia View Post
    Hmmm. To me, a 'Sorcerer' was always someone with innate magical abilities. He was born able to weave and cast magic spells, while wizards learned the ability through studies. It's something I acquired playing too much DnD.
    Yeah, this is the D&D definition. Which is why it's an insult to call a Wizard a Sorcerer (or worse, call them a Warlock, which means they got their power from demons).

    But it all depends on where the definition comes from, they mean all different things in different fiction.

  17. #17
    Titan Grimbold21's Avatar
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    The series Merlin makes use of both the terms in a way that they're portrayed as being the same thing.

  18. #18
    Scarab Lord Arkenaw's Avatar
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    Depends on the author or universe.


  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by mistuhbull View Post
    Sorcery is a form of utilizing magic. Its type will vary between fictions, but in general (see also D&D) Sorcerers wield magic through sheer natural ability. Casting spells comes as naturally to them as throwing a ball or driving a car. This is in contrast to Wizards who can only perform their spells after years of laborious training and research.

    Sorcerers can also be "evil" wizards. On the good side you have Mages and Wizards and on the Bad Side you have Sorcerers and Warlocks
    A few small corrections here, first, magic is a tool. Good and evil play no part in the equation as that is based on the person. You're as likely to find an evil wizard or sorcerer as find a good Mage or witch doctor(distinct from witches/warlocks) the prime difference also doesn't lay in the natural ability of the caster, rather the methods of channeling the magicks of the world. Here is a small list,

    Witches and warlocks: channel magic through intense emotions
    Sorcerers and sorceress': channel magic through magically purified elements
    Wizards: channel raw magic through study and collected knowledge into a usable energy
    Mages: channel magic at cost of personal energy
    Shaman: channel magic through ceremonial prayer
    Druids: channel magic through attunement with nature
    Witch-doctors: channel magic through blood sacrifice and pain(good sacrifice through themselves and through those who harm good people, evil ones only sacrifice the blood and pain of others, very rarely themselves)
    Conjuror: channel magic through a spirit companion trapped in a physical device

  20. #20
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    I think there can be magic without someone channeling it but not sorcery.

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