Disciplines are academic groupings based on areas of aptitude within Brakebills College. Professor Sunderland describes them as follows: "everybody at Brakebills has an aptitude for magic, but there are individual variations--people tend to have an affinity for some specific strain."

Despite the fact that affinities are innate Professor Sunderland says "[it] has to do with where you were born, and where the moon was, and what the weather was like, and what kind of person you are, plus all kinds of technical stuff that's not worth getting into". [1] At the end of a Brakebills student's second year, various "inductive" tests are performed by the student to determine which of the Discipline Groups they should be sorted into.

Discipline GroupsEdit

  • Physical: Magical ability to manipulate matter.
  • Natural : Aptitude for manipulation of natural elements.
  • Illusion: Magical ability to create and manipulate vivid illusions.
  • Knowledge: Alleged magical abilities held by scholars of magic.
  • Healing: Aptitude for magical healing.
  • Psychic: Magical abilities concerning psychic energies.

List of disciplinesEdit


Discipline Practitioner Group
Astral Projection Chelsea Psychic
Camouflage Magic Plum Purchas Illusion
Cryomancy Janet Pluchinsky Physical
Herbalism Unknown Natural
Interdimensional Travel Penny Independent
Metallurgy Pearl Sunderland Physical
Metamagic Fiberpunk Knowledge
Minor Mending Quentin Coldwater Physical
Mirror Magic Darcy Illusion
Phosphoromancy Alice Quinn Physical
Endocronology Georgia[citation needed] Healing
Portal Creation Josh Hoberman Physical


Discipline Practitioner Group
Traveling Penny AdiyodiVictoria Psychic
Meta-Composition Julia Wicker Knowledge
Phosphoromancy Alice Quinn Physical
Premonition Unknown Psychic
Vanishing Unknown Physical/Psychic
Herbalism Josh Hoberman



Individual Fields of MagicEdit

  • Horomancy: Also known as clock magic, it's an obscure discipline that deals with the creation of magical clocks for various effects. Horomancy functions as a sort of magical programming, which the starting point and most obvious effect is manipulation of time, but further study may lead to weather, optics, probabilities and field effects. Stoppard's discipline was this, and he describes it as the "best of both worlds" when it comes to magic and computers. He showed versatility when he used a clock device to create a force field, shaped like a bubble, around him and the rest of the thief squad [3]. Jane Chatwin was also very gifted in this discipline, but only used it for temporal manipulation, through the use of a pocketwatch given her by the Dwarves of Fillory. [4]
  • Probability Magic: Just as Horomancy allows you to manipulate probabilities, the study is also a discipline of its own. Lionel was an expert in this kind of magic. The discipline deals with altering probability fields, which themselves are inherently invisible, but their secondary effects are observed as chance occurrences that are highly unlikely in normal situations. An example of such is Lionel's effect over it in a cards deck, where a card tossed on the side might land on its edge and balance there, or spin on one corner.[5]
  • Sense Magic: This fields of magic is used by talent scouts of Brakebills, and possibly the other magical institutions, to locate acts of magic being performed by potential students. It is typically cast upon globes, allowing for international recruitment, and isn't very reliable for discerning an exact location, but directs the scouts to a magician's general vicinity.[6]

TV DifferencesEdit

In the TV series, students are tested upon acceptance to the school and allowed to move into a Discipline specific house at the end of the first year. Once their Discipline is determined students have the opportunity to congregate in a Discipline-specific location with other members of their Discipline.

References Edit

  1. Grossman, L. (2009). Disciplines. In The Magicians (p. 111). New York, NY: Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-452-29629-9.
  2. The Magicians 3.09: All That Josh
  3. The Magician's Land, Chapter 13
  4. The Magician's Land, Chapter 15
  5. The Magician's Land, Chapter 1
  6. Unauthorized Magic

Start a Discussion Discussions about Discipline

  • Disciplines

    31 messages
    • Pretty much Telekinesis works by converting potential energy into kinetic energy.
    • Again in the last 4-5 comments are my views, if I was writing the series not to alter the canonically of the series.