Psionic Abilities is an umbrella term which refers to the category of abilities which enable a being to be aware of, or influence external objects without interaction from known physical means.
Psionic abilities generally fall into two realms:
- Mind-to-mind: in which a being attempts to "read" or influence the thoughts or actions of another being. An example would be telepathy.
- Mind-to-environment: in which a being attempts to influence the environment around them. An example would be telekinesis.
Passivity or Activity
Mind-to-mind abilities are further categorized into passive or active abilities.
Passive abilities are those in which the being with the ability can only sense, and cannot influence. An example would be passive empathy, as displayed by Deanna Troi, the counselor aboard the USS Enterprise-D. Deanna could read the emotions of other individuals and species, but had no control or influence of those emotions.
Active abilities are those in which the being with the ability can both sense and influence. An example would be when Shinzon and the Reman Viceroy projected scenes of rape into Deanna's mind in Star Trek Nemesis.
It is important to keep in mind that a given species or being may have any variety of active or passive abilities. Betazoids, for example, have active telepathic abilities with members of their species as mentioned above, but only passive telepathic abilities with members of other species.
Types of Psionics
The following are a comprehensive list of psionic abilities.
Passive or Active Abilities
- Empathy: The ability to sense the emotions of another being. When used passively, this ability simply allows the reader to feel the other person's emotions. If a reader has an active empathic ability, then can then force another party to feel a certain emotion. Generally, empathic abilities are quite non-specific, and any type of reading across species may be difficult depending on how different the two species are, but most readers are able to discern intentions and emotions. As an example, a reader could sense when someone is being dishonest.
- Telepathy: The ability to sense the thoughts of another being. When used passively, this ability simply allows the reader to mentally "hear" another person's thoughts. If a reader has an active telepathic ability, they can then force another party to have certain thoughts, which in turn can affect the other party's actions. For a telepathic discussion to occur, either both parties would have to have telepathic abilities, to allow them both to read each other's thoughts, or at least one person involved would have to have an active ability, to allow the other party to have the thoughts of the reader "inserted" into their head.
- Mediumistic automatism: The ability to perceive messages, or the expressions of such a message, from entities which do not exist in living forms. (i.e.- ghosts, spirits, dead individuals.) The act of perceiving expressions is sometimes called "channeling."
- Precognition: The ability to perceive information about future events before they occur. The act of perceiving this information is sometimes called "divination."
- Retrocognition: Sometimes called "psychometry," is the ability to perceive information about past events or conditions of an object or area.
- Clairvoyance: The ability to perceive distant objects, persons, events, or types of energy not normally perceptible. The term does not specifically relate to telepathy or empathy, though a clairvoyant person may have those abilities as well.
- Typically, clairvoyance manifests itself "visually" in the mind's eye of the being exercising this ability. However, auditory or kinesthetic impressions can be a further ability of a clairvoyant.
- Telekinesis: Sometimes called "psychokinesis," is the ability to influence the behavior of matter. This term refers specifically to the ability to move matter, without the ability to influence mental though-processes of others.
- Psychoprojectivity: A variant of active telepathy, this is the ability to manipulate another being's mental state, including their visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or olfactory senses. An example, as displayed by the Reman Viceroy of Praetor Shinzon in 2379 (immediately preceding the Battle of the Bassen Rift), would be the psychoprojective telepathic rape of Counselor Troi.