Premonition is the ability to see and experience events from the past, present, and future. This power is highly desirable, since it often helps a witch evade dangerous situations. It is one of the most helpful defensive powers that a witch can possess.
- Phoebe: "The spell, it didn't work."
- Prue: "How do you know?"
- Phoebe: "When I touched the pot, I had a flash. I saw Jeremy."
- Prue: "You touched the pot and you saw him?"
- Phoebe: "He's on his way here."
- — Phoebe's first premonition via psychometry[src]
Usually, in the early stages of premonition, most users receive their visions by touching either objects or people related to the premonition, making them a form of psychometry. As their power grows, users could receive visions out of the blue, and are able to look into the future, present, or past by will alone. However, if the psychic energy in an area is strong enough, a psychic will receive a vision without touching anything, even if their power has not evolved yet.
On occasions, powerful psychics whose powers have evolved may choose to touch an object or a person to focus their power to get a vision by will. Kyra, a demonic seer, has been known to do this. Initially, Phoebe had to touch an object in order to receive a premonition, however, as she evolved as a witch, she was shown to be able to receive premonitions without touching anything, though she would still touch an object in order to focus her power whenever there was a need for her to receive a premonition on command.
Usually, in the early stages, most users can only see and hear what is taking place. As their power grows, users develop the ability to experience aspects of their premonitions, allowing them to feel the emotions of the victims in their premonitions. Phoebe could sometimes feel the emotions of the victims in her premonitions, for example, she once felt the emotions of an elderly woman being killed. Also, Kyra once asked Phoebe to take her shoes off so she could feel the grass through her.
Calling for Premonitions
Users can train themselves to call for premonitions. Phoebe learned to do this less than a year after gaining this power. She was able to call a vision to her using Piper's plane ticket, allowing her to see Piper missing her plane. Before, this did not always work, as evidenced on multiple occasions.
Also, demonic seers can call premonitions on will alone, every time, and they can always see what future will be if the present situation continues.
Branches of Premonition
Users can see, hear and perceive the future in a Premonition. Phoebe developed this power while she was in her mother's womb. It had been bound during her childhood and adolescent years but was activated again in 1998. While Patty was pregnant with Phoebe, she had two premonitions of the future, which came from unborn Phoebe's power.
When Phoebe received visions of the future, it was usually a few hours or a day ahead, but she had received visions that took years to occur.
Certain beings, such as the Angels of Destiny and the Seer, can receive visions that show immediate changes to the future. For instance, the Seer claimed that she saw nothing in the far future because the Source released the Hollow which swallowed everything.
- Prue: " You saw the past?"
- Piper: " But you only see the future."
- Phoebe: " Not anymore."
- — The sisters.[src]
Users can see and hear the past in a Premonition. Phoebe's premonition power grew to include the ability to see into the past shortly after her powers were unbound. The first time she used it was when she touched a locket that Prue Halliwell gave her and saw 300 years into the past. She saw Melinda Warren curse Matthew Tate into a locket that Prue had opened. As her power grew, she was able to see multiple events in one vision. An example of this was when she touched the Book of Shadows to remember her losses and saw seven different visions of her friends and family members either dying or deceased in one premonition.
Notable Visions of the Past
- In 1999, When touching a picture of herself and her sisters as children, she saw Grams, fighting the Woogyman.
- In 1999, more specifically, on the twentieth anniversary of Patty's death, Phoebe had a vision in which she witnessed Patty's last moment.
- In 2001, she had a vision in which she saw Cole's father being killed in 1888.
- When researching her husband's past in 2009, she touched a newspaper and saw two hundred years into the past. She saw Coop's mother crying while cradling his dead body.
- "I just flashed on Brittany in the coffin. She was old. Way old. Like that demon, Javna, made her before we turned her back."
- —Phoebe telling Piper what she saw.
Users can see and hear the present in a Premonition. This ability is used to discern locations and gain information about objects, beings, or places.
It wasn't long before Phoebe was able to see into the present as well. One notable instance of Clairvoyance was when Phoebe psychically connected with the Succubus and was able to see through her eyes to locate her next victim. Later she was able to speak through the Succubus and helped Prue resist her deadly lure. Another memorable instance was when Phoebe and Piper were attending their friend Brittany's funeral. Phoebe wanted to know how Brittany died, so she impulsively touches the coffin and receives a vision of the present, seeing Brittany looking very old.
Kyra was demonic seer who was very adept at using this ability. She used it to track down Inspector Sheridan in the mental hospital, and hours later, used it to uncover Leo's secret; that he was an Avatar. It's reasonable to assume that she also used it to protect herself by evading attacks.
Sharing Visions and Psychic Echos
- "I know, but it's more like a psychic echo. Phoebe is linked to Bo somehow. Whatever he feels, whatever happens to him happens to her."
- —Leo explaining what was happening to Phoebe.
Two psychics can share visions with each other by holding hands, palm to palm. They can also create Psychic Link with each other, either purposefully or accidentally. The latter was demonstrated by Bo Lightfeather, who accidentally created a psychic bond with Phoebe. With him stuck in a time loop, Phoebe received the same injuries he sustained at the time. She also once developed a psychic link with a Succubus, though it's unclear how she connected. During the connection, Phoebe was able to see and hear what the Succubus was saying and was even able to take control of her actions to give a message to Prue.
- Paige: " So, the Seer told us something about the Avatars?"
- Piper: " Even better. Because of their shared power, she was able to give Phoebe her vision."
- — A conversation about vision sharing.[src]
Phoebe can share her premonitions with, and can receive premonitions from, other psychics. The Seer was able to send Phoebe a premonition from the Underworld. Phoebe was also able to share the vision shared with her by Kyra, with the elder Odin.
As a by-product of Premonition, a user can sense and predict situations before they happen. It's most useful to sense and predict attacks. Kyra was a powerful demonic seer who was also very adept at sensing attacks.
Phoebe Halliwell also has great intuition due to her Premonition power. She is also sensitive to magical shifts in time. When the demon Tempus repeatedly reverse the day, Phoebe senses straight away that the day feels familiar and gradually remembers more and more. She says in her own words that because her power allows her to see different things in different times, she must be more susceptible to the time shift. Another notale use of this power is when Phoebe's lost her powers to a local neighbor. While dodging Zankou's energy balls, Phoebe coached the neighbor on the extent of her powers saying that he should be able to sense the next energy ball.
Astral Premonition is the ability to project one's consciousness into a future or past event, either as a physical astral form, through the body of one's future-self, or through the body/ memory of a past being, such as when Phoebe astralled into a vision of the past when possessed by Mata Hari. This allows the user to experience a vision first-hand. This is a combination of Premonition and Astral Projection and is the closest a Charmed One has gotten to natural Time Travel. The only known user of this power is Phoebe. It allows her to see things in more detail and to stay within the future for a longer period of time.
Purpose of Premonition
While ostensibly the same power, good and evil beings capable of premonition use it for different purposes; evil beings have enough control of their powers to see the future whenever they wish, with particularly powerful entities able to use these glimpses of the future to adjust their plans accordingly, while good beings tend to initially only receive visions when they are being alerted to danger. Although they can learn how to channel their powers intentionally over time to help them see the future on a smaller scale, overuse of this trait can be interpreted as at the very least bending the rules regarding the use of magic for personal gain, with the result that Phoebe was temporarily stripped of her active powers when she was accused of using her visions to find her future husband.
In the case of Phoebe Halliwell in particular, her automatic premonitions have always been based on maintaining the Grand Design, as the Halliwells have always defaulted to act to save any innocents that Phoebe has witnessed in danger in her visions, regardless of the scale of the threat facing them. The only exception to this 'rule' was when Phoebe had a premonition of her current love interest, Miles, getting shot, which gave her the chance to save his life even when she later learned that his death was part of the Grand Design and she had received her premonition by accident due to her emotional connection to him. Due to Miles living when he was meant to die, his survival created a temporal ripple that allowed a future warlock to steal the Book of Shadows and kill Paige and Phoebe, forcing Piper to use the same ripple to travel back to the previous day and tell her past self to delay Phoebe long enough for Miles to die, undoing all subsequent events.
List of beings who use(d) Premonition
- Original power
- Through spell, power granting, etc.
- Despite premonitions being shown in black-and-white in earlier seasons, Phoebe has always been able to see her premonitions in color. This is evident as she was once able to name the color of a car in a black-and-white premonition (Dead Man Dating).
- Advanced users can control and send premonitions to other beings who possess the same power, just like the Seer. These visions can even be sent to someone in a completely different realm.
- Even when her power was stolen, Phoebe was able to plant a premonition on Mitzy Stillman.
- In 2003, Phoebe claimed that her Empathy power could be an advancement of her premonition power, but that was never confirmed. However, it is clear that both powers are connected, with her premonition power she is able to feel other people's emotions in different time frames, with Empathy she is able to feel other people emotions only in the present, however, with her Empathy power she is able to feel both present and past emotions as well as project them.
- Ramus revealed Phoebe's power connection between premonition and Levitation when he informed Piper that his powers, foresight and Hovering (a weaker form of Levitation), were in fact mental abilities.
- Some are capable of creating false premonitions, using other powers. Rex Buckland used Astral Projection to implant a false premonition on Phoebe to send her to the auction house to be a witness to a murder scene, meant to implicate Prue.
- The number of premonitions Phoebe experiences per season gets progessively smaller over the course of the TV series, going from 33 in the first season to only 3 in the final season.
- Every character that has temporarily had this power gained it through Phoebe Halliwell, most often by stealing her power.
- Phoebe is the only known user of this power with black and white visions.
- Melinda Warren is the only known user of premonition to create a prophecy from a vision of the future.