Magic is a relatively common phenomenon in Soulshard such that the majority of the population is aware of its existence; however, cultural norms and social traditions result in a great deal of variety with regard to the actual practice of magic. On one end of the spectrum are the spellcasters of the Six Cities Confederacy, who are the most knowledgeable and open-minded about spellcasting; on the other, are the Tharged Hordesmen, who view it as much a curse as a tool.

According to the College of Thaumaturgy of the University of Sheinar, there exists an astral plane with a sea of mana. It is understood that spellcasters, regardless of their tradition or belief, connect to this astral sea and weave threads of mana to affect the physical plane. It is also understood that there are other planes of existence, divine and infernal, which can be touched by the most powerful of spellcasters; however, the only known instances of such powerful magic was during the height of the reign of the High Lords of Dobrai. It is believed that the only true barriers to accessing the mana is psychological, and each tradition is simply a means of breakiing through psychological barriers. Of course, some are more in tune with the nature of magic than others, and, not all have the natural talent of spellcasting.

Research into the nature of divine power is limited by social pressure and, in the case of the theocracy of Iesadhe, heresy laws. Regardless, there are a few scholars who have proposed the heretical idea that divine magic is no different from arcane magic and that clerics simply believe that they are receiving their powers from a divine source. In other words, religion is nothing more than a means of breaking through the psychological barrier.

The rare phenomenon of psionic power is believed to be the penultimate expression of breaking through psychological barriers.

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