Precognition, also known as foresight, premonition or the Sight, is the ability to sense or see future events before they occur. Several Night People have this ability, in particular witches, and some humans seemingly have this ability too.
Characteristics and Uses Edit
Precognition usually comes in the form of dreams or premonition (sensing or 'feeling' future events). A few Night People possess the ability to receive actual visions of the future, though this is rarer. Even lost witches can experience precognition, though in their case, it often comes in the form of 'hunches' due to them being untrained and unaware of their power. Predictive dreams are usually symbolic and incoherent, as is typical of dreams - Poppy North had a dream in which she was approached by Ash Redfern before actually meeting him, at first believing him to be James Rasmussen wearing a mask, who handed her a black poppy and told her "Bad magic happens". This was most likely warning her of Ash's later attempt to hand her over to the Night World Elders, he being a 'foe disguised as a friend', and of the way out of this predicament - Poppy, as a lost witch, is allowed to know about the Night World.
Aradia Crowley, the Maiden of the witches, and the human girl Sarah Strange both have far more potent powers of precognition, being able to receive vivid visions of the future, or at least possible futures. In Aradia's case, she retains the ability to receive visions despite having gone blind when she was about a year old, presumably because foresight is not quite the same as seeing the physical world right before you and the visions are projected directly into her mind - she sees them through her 'mind's eye' rather than her actual eyes.
Precognition can be a very useful ability in predicting future events, and either bringing them to pass or avoiding potential dangers. Presumably, foresight has been used to create prophecies, such as the prophecies of the Wild Powers.
Witches are the most notable Night People to be able to use precognition. It is unclear if other Night People naturally possess precognition, though it is implied that made vampires who were originally witches can retain this power. One known human, Sarah Strange, has the power of precognition. Hannah Snow also displays some level of precognition, as she subconsciously and unknowingly writes notes warning herself that she will be "Dead before seventeen" although in her case, she was having regressions to her past lives due to being an Old Soul, who was killed before turning seventeen in every one of her previous incarnations, so it is unclear if this was truly precognition or merely based on inherited memory. Maggie Neely receives a precognitive dream of sorts, as her soulmate Delos Redfern somehow uses their bond to project his consciousness back in time to warn her to flee and shows her a hidden passage out if the Dark Kingdom, though this again may be slightly different to precognition displayed by other characters. It is unknown if all soulmates could potentially do this.
Precognition often goes hand in hand with retrocognition (the ability to see or sense events occurring in the present), presumably because the two powers are very similar.
Presumably, the future is not set in stone and can be subject to change; therefore, precognition may present only possible futures or outcomes. Hence, precognition may not always be entirely accurate. Also, even if a person could predict future events, there is no guarantee these predictions will provide enough insight to either prevent or ensure a particular outcome, or that certain outcomes can even be influenced - even by the Seer themselves - due to various factors, such as time, resources and so on.
Visions and prophecies can be somewhat vague or obscure, particularly if they come in the form of dreams, and some tend to be symbolic rather than literal. Not even the person receiving the visions or premonitions can always fully understand them, particularly if they're untrained. Thus, it can require work to correctly interpret these predictions. Seers also generally cannot control when these visions or premonitions will come and they sometimes can manifest quite randomly. In the case of Sarah Strange, her visions also cause her to have painful migraines, which can be quite debilitating. Those who dream the future must first be asleep to do so, and may not fully remember what occurred.