To reflect emotions and/or memories back on the victim to the point of death or incapacitation
Psychic Reflection is the ability to reflect emotions and/or memories back onto a person or onto another being. It is a highly evolved form of Empathy and was revealed to be extremely potent. Phoebe Halliwell developed this power in 2008 when her empathic power grew to include the ability to project the emotions and/or memories she channels.
- Prue: "I don't buy it. Her power can't kill."
- Leo: "Well, it can now. It's been ten years. All your powers have grown."
- — Leo explaining that Phoebe's power can now kill.[src]
To use this power, the user must first channel the emotions of another being; the emotions could be that of either an enemy, or a victim, or even a mixture of both. Once this is done, the user can then turn the emotions around and project it back through the hands in the form of a white crackling energy bolts.
Using these bolts of energy, the user can flood the enemy's mind with emotions and/or memories, force them to relive related memories, before finally overloading their brain. These bolts can severely incapacitate — if not vanquish — even magical beings thought impossible to be vanquished.
- "I used his own rage to kill him. Flooded his mind with his reflected emotions. Overloaded his brain with the memories of the women he hurt. What he was feeling when he attacked them. The fear they felt."
- —Phoebe discovers her power.[src]
When Phoebe from 1999 time traveled to 2009, she received a premonition in which she saw herself killing Cal Greene with this power for murdering her friend. At the time, she did not know what the power was or how she killed him. However, in early 2008, Phoebe realised exactly how she had developed this power: it was born from her rage after finding her friend, Elise Rothman, beaten nearly to death (Paige was fortunately there to heal Elise). She had used her power to overload his brain, causing it to flood with his own emotions including what he felt when he attacked his victims, as well as with the images and feelings (fear) of his former victims. Phoebe did not kill Cal in the current time line, as she knew that that would lead to her being burnt as a witch and beginning a witch hunt.
In 2008, Phoebe used this power to channel all of Neena's emotions, brought them to the surface and forced her to experience all her deepest feelings at once. This caused Neena extreme mental pain until she was knocked unconscious. The emotions also proved too much for Phoebe to handle and she collapsed, but still remained conscious. She later decided she would only use this power when it was absolutely necessary.
Phoebe doesn't use this power for a while, until the fight against Emily Fisk-Navarro, a Witch Hunter, and her warlock partner, Izax. Phoebe tapped into Emily's emotions, touched her fear and then turned it around to project it back into Emily's mind. Phoebe was careful to filter the strength of the images that flooded Emily's mind, as she didn't want to kill her, just teach her a lesson, that if she did not stop hunting witches the only person she was going to hurt was herself.
The next time Phoebe used this power, she used it to project images from her own mind into another person's: Believing that Paige was just as evil as Athena, Medusa attempted to kill her, though Phoebe prevented this by filling Medusa's mind with images of some of Paige's most heroic deeds, as well as some of the Charmed Ones' greatest battles, and all the innocents they’d protected—both during their time with Paige, and the early days with Prue. Phoebe also showed her images of all four sisters working together to fight evil.
- "Get out of my head!"
- —Prue to Phoebe.[src]
Phoebe was forced to used this power on her sister Prue Halliwell, who was attempting to stab her with the Ancient Athame. Phoebe forced Prue to relive several memories, which caused Prue to fall to her knees in pain clutching her head. After breaking free of her power, Prue accused Phoebe of trying to kill her. However, Phoebe explained that she knew Prue could handle the mental assault and that her true intentions were to help Prue remember who she was.
- "I feel you in my head, Phoebe!"
- —Prue to Phoebe.[src]
A couple of days later, Phoebe used this power to help a possessed Prue fight off Heremus control. This time, Phoebe combined the power with a spell connected via their Power of Three connection to show Prue memories of the three of them growing up together.
- "Phoebe is still using her empathy to help Paige with her memories."
- —Piper talking to Prue.[src]
Throughout the following months, Phoebe was shown using her power in new and creative ways. She and Amelia Desmots combined their empathic and medium powers to help an amnesiac Paige recover her fractured memories. Though the process is slow, they are confident she will eventually be back to her old self.
Effects and Limits
The purpose of this power is to inflict pain or cause the instant death of an enemy, however, channeling too much emotions to do so can sometimes have an effect on the user; for example, channeling all of Neena's emotions at once caused Phoebe Halliwell to collapse but still remain conscious. Phoebe has since learned how to filter the strength of her power and can simply use it to project emotions and images without harming individuals.
Phoebe can currently only attack one opponent at a time, and needs to be near her opponent, as using her power involves holding her hands with her palms spread at each temple of her enemy's head, usually while standing behind them. However, she offsets this limitation by sneaking up on her opponents.
When both emotions and memories are missing in a being, this power will be rendered useless. Phoebe first revealed this while in The Nexus of the All fighting Rennek's soldiers. She flew up behind one of the soldiers and tried to use her power on him, but found he had no memories or emotions to turn back on him. At the time, she was unaware the soldiers were made out of sand, plants and water.
A witch blessed/cursed with the power of Empathy can use her natural power of Astral Projection to project emotions into another being. Prue was the only known being to have ever used Empathy and Astral Projection in this manner.
She used them to destroyed a till then thought-unstoppable demon named Vinceres by projecting herself into his body and forcing him to feel all the emotions that she had been experiencing. The emotional baggage overwhelmed Vinceres and literally tore him apart; vanquishing him.
It's presumed that Phoebe used an more advanced version of this ability on Prue in issue #20 of season 10 to override Heremus influence and reflect her own memories unto Prue. However, the last time she and her sister projected into Prue's mind they needed physical contact with her, so this could possibly be an advancement of Phoebe's range.
List of beings who use(d) Psychic Reflection
- Original power
- Through spell, potion, power stealing, etc.
The "Electro-Mental Ignition" Theory
This power was originally believed to be an ability which fans named Electro-Mental Ignition. Fans believed that Phoebe overloaded a victim's brain with visions of the worst moments in their life. This theory was based on Phoebe's own reasoning about her power advancement, as well as the fact that her sisters' power advancements were also directly related to their primary power.
Notes and Trivia
- Psychic Reflection is often referred to as Pathokinesis, Advanced Empathy, Empathic Manipulation or Empathic Overload.
- Phoebe is the only known magical being in the Charmed universe to possess Psychic Reflection.
- So far, Phoebe has only used this power on mortals, witches and being produced by magic, but never on demons. However, it was shown what this power could possible do to demons when Prue channeled her powers into Vinceres.
- Phoebe's power was revealed to be truly potent. While she could not vanquish Neena with her power, she was still able to incapacitate her long enough for her and her sisters to recite a spell. However, using this power caused Phoebe to collapse, overwhelmed by the emotion, but unlike Neena, she managed to stay conscious.
- Besides their own emotions, this power can make a killer feel the pain of his victims. Furies have been known to do something similar.
- When Phoebe uses this power on a killer, she can not only force the killer to feel their existing emotions, but she can also force them to relive the emotions they felt when they were attacking their victims and make them feel the fear their victims felt.
- Phoebe revealed that she can induce memories and possibly mental images based on the emotion she's manipulating.
- Phoebe can channel and project multiple emotions at once or a single emotion, such as rage or fear.
- Phoebe has also been shown displaying this power in an advert and on a Charmed Comic cover. The first was a promotional advert for the comics and the second was on the actually comic where she gained the power.