Materia is crystallized Mana. Metaphysically, Materia calls upon the wisdom of the Lifestream in order to manipulate nature itself. This manifests as the phenomenon of magic for most Materia, although other Materia pieces enhance the user's abilities. Unless one is descended from the Elias or a trainied Aura Guardian, Materia is the only way normal humans can use magic. When explaining how Materia is created to Ash, , Timothy being applied to the powers from Materia, but could offer no better explanation.
Materia is able to occur naturally at "Mana Springs," places where the Lifestream leaks through the surface of The Planet and condenses, such as on Pern Island. However, this is a rare occurrence, taking centuries for the Mana to crystallize into Materia, and in Timothy explains that most Materia seen in use is artificially produced. It is never stated if natural Materia has any appreciable difference in usage and power from artificial Materia, but the Green Materia, White Materia, Black Materia, but Timothy explains natural Materia appears to be stronger than artificial Materia.
- List of Materia