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Biographical information

Other name(s):

The Sky


Paracausal Force


Leviathan (Traveler)
Humanity (Ghost, Guardians)
Fallen (Splicer Gauntlet, House of Light)
Cabal (Traveler Cage, Red Legion)
Hive (Lucent Brood)


"The Light lives in all places, in all things. You can block it, even try to trap it, but the Light will find its way."
The Speaker

The Light, also known as the Sky,[1] is a paracausal force[2] that is associated with the Traveler. It is the direct and opposing counterpart of the Darkness.


"The Gardener is hard to bother; she is constantly amidst her weeds, kneeling in the tangent dust, gloves covered in a mix of distant soils and metallic saps. She is listening to the music of the insects amidst the flowers, the unguent as it begins to drip from the ferns, the slight scratch of the Worm beneath, and not to you, and certainly not to your cries for help."
Mk. 44 Stand Asides Lore Tab

Like the Darkness, the Light is a paracausal force that has existed since before the dawn of time and space. It is fundamentally driven to increase the complexity and diversity of entities within the universe, in particular encouraging the growth of new forms of life.

The Light emanates from the Traveler, although it is not the exclusive producer of Light.[3] All living beings and places possess some amount of Light. This is possibly what many refer to as a soul. Indeed, Light is itself the creative spark of life.[4] Ulan-Tan hypothesized that all Light is connected—a fact later confirmed by Guardians upon discovering members of the Hive siphoning Light through a piece of the Traveler.[5] The Light has a strong, antithetical aversion to the Hive race, who are apt to feed on it, at times even sacrificing bits of it to their deities.[6]

Guardians are among the few beings capable of wielding the Light, both as an offensive and defensive force.[7] Their lives are linked intrinsically to the Light in a way quite different from the Light other beings possess. It is the Traveler who first indirectly bestowed this Light-based power upon the Guardians, through its creation of the Ghosts from its innate Light. Each Ghost intuitively seeks out an appropriate dead body, which it then resurrects and permanently bonds with.[8]

Orbs of Light may also be found, which give power to a Guardian's Super, their ultimate use of the Light.[9] Light, as used by the Guardians, comes in three different varieties; these are the elemental damage modifiers, and are used in both a Guardian's chosen subclass and in certain weapons. It is possible for Light to be corrupted, as the shard of the Traveler within the European Dead Zone is corrupting an area of the surrounding forest. In addition, the Light Dominus Ghaul wielded was corrupted due to him taking Light from the Traveler, which was an act of Darkness.

Like the Darkness, the Light appears to be intelligent in some sense. However, whereas the Darkness seems all too willing to communicate with its wielders in their own languages, the Light appears to be more aloof and cryptic, communicating in symbolic visions and signs, if at all. Likewise, whereas the Darkness appears to be associated with memory (as exemplified by Deepsight), the Light appears to be associated with forgetting, as Lightbearers lose all memory of their past life upon being resurrected and gifted the Light.

Relation to Complexity and Diversity[edit]

According to the Lore Book Unveiling, the Light is associated with the "growth and preservation of complexity". In contrast, the Darkness is portrayed as being associated with simplification and the reduction of diversity.

Relation to the Physical Universe[edit]

As hypothesized by Osiris, the Light seems to be connected to the physical universe, whereas the Darkness appears to be more strongly related to thought, emotion and consciousness more broadly. This dichotomy can be seen in the nature of the elemental manifestations of Light and Darkness: Arc, Solar and Void all grant control over physical forces (electricity, heat and gravity, respectively), whereas Strand allows one to manipulate the psychic "threads" connecting all conscious beings, and Stasis may be seen as embodying the abstract concepts of will and control. This emphasis on physicality versus consciousness may also explain why resurrection via the Light wipes away memories, as well as why the Darkness seems more acutely concerned by the pain and suffering of conscious beings than the Light: both memory and pain are within the realm of conscious experience, and therefore outside of the Light's domain of interest.



"Once upon a time,* a gardener and a winnower lived** together in a garden.***
* It was once before a time, because time had not yet begun.
** We did not live. We existed as principles of ontological dynamics that emerged from mathematical structures, as bodiless and inevitable as the primes.
*** It was the field of possibility that prefigured existence.
Unveiling: Gardener and Winnower

According to the Lore Book "Unveiling," both the Light and the Darkness have existed since before the start of time, and thus before the universe came into existence. Being unbound by the laws of causality, neither the Light or Darkness can be said to have a beginning. Rather, they are emergent properties of even more fundamental "mathematical structures" that in turn underlay reality itself. [10]

In the allegorical story recounted in the Lore Book, the Darkness and Light occupied themselves by engaging one another in a game, analogous to a vastly more complex version of the "Game of Life" devised by Earth mathematician John Conway. This game would consistently arrive at an end-state dominated by a single, self-perpetuating pattern, which subsumed all others in the game. The Darkness found this to be a pleasing outcome, but the Light felt the pattern to be boring, and desired that the game endlessly produce novel patterns instead. In order to promote this novelty, the Light transformed itself into a new "rule" within the game; the Darkness did the same, to counteract the Light's efforts. These new rules were "set aside" from the other rules of the game, so that they could not be limited or influenced by them, but could manipulate the other rules to bring about their intended outcomes.

While the story above is laden with metaphor and open to interpretation, it appears to suggest that the universe is the "game" which the Light and Darkness played in the garden, that the rules of the game are the laws of physics as they are commonly understood, and that the "new rules" that the Light and Darkness became are the basis of paracausality.

The Witness[edit]

According to the creature known as Ahsa, the Traveler was discovered by an ancient humanoid species billions of years ago, when they found it dormant and half-buried on their homeworld. The Traveler subsequently awakened, terraforming the planet and uplifting the species into a golden age that lasted for millions of years. In the course of their relationship with the Traveler, the civilization came to a deep understanding of the Light, and after having seen both its beneficial and destructive aspects came to view it as a fundamentally chaotic and capricious force, equally capable of bringing life or death with no ultimate justification for either.

Later, after discovering the Darkness through the entity known as Veil, the civilization attempted to use the Traveler's Light and the Veil's Darkness to reshape the universe into an eternal, perfected form they called the "Final Shape". When the Traveler rejected their attempt and fled into the depths of space, the species used the Darkness to merge themselves into a single, unfathomably powerful Darkness-wielding entity, which became known as the Witness.

The Witness then left its homeworld behind in pursuit of the Traveler, seeking to unite it with the Veil by force and bring about the Final Shape. Although the Witness itself is a wielder of the Darkness, several devices of the Black Fleet emit or otherwise interact with the Light, such as the Radial Mast and Suppressors. These artifacts presumably are a product of the eons-long experience of the Witness' people with the Light.


Billions of years ago, the Traveler visited the Lubraeans and uplifted their civilization using the Light.

Rise of the Hive[edit]

One of the earliest recorded mentions of the Light known to the Guardians comes from the Books of Sorrow, a collection of ancient Hive texts chronicling the origin of the Hive and their history of interstellar conquest. In these accounts, the Light is referred to as "The Sky," and is described as being associated with a philosophy that upholds collaboration and gentleness with the goal of creating a thriving, harmonious society and universe. Its counterpart, "The Deep," is also described, being associated with a philosophy of competition and survival-of-the-fittest. Several disciples of the Light, including the Leviathan and the Traveler, also feature in these texts.

Before the rise of the Hive, the Traveler had visited several civilizations and bestowed the blessings of the Light. These civilizations included the Ammonite and the Harmony, both of which were later exterminated by the Hive.

The Eliksni[edit]

At an unknown time in the past, the Traveler came to Riis, the homeworld of the Eliksni and uplifted their civilization using the Light.

The Golden Age[edit]

When the Traveler came to the Sol System, it used the Light to terraform several planets and moons to render them suitable for human habitation.

The Collapse[edit]

When the Black Fleet pursued the Traveler to the Sol System, a cataclysmic battle ensued in which the Traveler used the Light to push back the Darkness, at the cost of rendering itself largely inert. Fragments of the Traveler were thrown far from the site of the battle, with one of the largest landing in Europe. The corrupted Light emanating from this shard interacted with the surrounding landscape, creating the European Dead Zone.

While it battled the Darkness on Earth, the Traveler also extended a ray of Light to protect the distant colony ship Yang Liwei from the Black Fleet. This ray pushed back the Fleet's Darkness, but could not repel it entirely; the energy of the resulting struggle was so great that a kugelblitz formed, which swallowed the Yang Liwei and its crew.

City Age[edit]

After its sacrificial last stand, the Traveler created the Ghosts, small machines infused with Light, to seek out long-dead individuals and resurrect them as warriors with Light-based abilities. These warriors, first called Risen and later known as Guardians, can manifest weapons and defenses made of Arc, Solar or Void Light, and can return from death with the assistance of their Ghost.

During the events of Destiny 2, the Cabal Red Legion invaded the Solar System and attacked the Last City. Forces under Dominus Ghaul successfully captured the Traveler, and placed a cage around it, thus cutting all Guardians and Ghosts off from the Light. At least one Guardian subsequently managed to reclaim their Light from a corrupted Shard of the Traveler in the European Dead Zone. Meanwhile, Ghaul attempted to repeatedly gain the Traveler's favor so as to grant his Red Legion the ability to wield the Light. However, the Traveler refused, and Ghaul resorted to outright stealing the Light by siphoning it from the Traveler via its cage. Light was only restored to all Guardians after the Traveler broke free of its cage and destroyed once and for all a power-hungry Ghaul.

Traveler's Awakening[edit]

In Forsaken, it is revealed that the Traveler had been "speaking" to the Guardians through visions of crowns, roses, silver trees, and torches turning into bonfires since its awakening. Ikora Rey tells the Guardians to follow these visions, which leads them to Io. The remnant Light on Io then granted the Guardians new powers.

The Nature of the Light[edit]

In addition to being a paracausal force, the Light is also synonymous with a certain existential philosophy, as detailed in several Lore entries. The way of the Light emphasizes cooperation between intelligent beings, with the goal of creating "a gentle world" where all entities may harmoniously coexist. Its antithesis is the philosophy of the Darkness, which claims that "existence is the struggle to exist" and that all intelligent life must compete to survive at the expense of other beings. The philosophy of the Light is also referenced in the Marasenna as "the way of the bomb," meaning that it encourages a complex world with many interrelated parts that rely on each other to achieve greater goals. In contrast, the philosophy of the Darkness is described as "the way of the sword", which seeks to reduce everything in the universe to a final, simplified, self-same state.

Powers originating from the Light embody a theme of "Creation", contrasting powers from the Darkness that have the theme of "Consciousness".[11]


The Traveler created the Ghosts to seek out and revive fallen warriors as Lightbearers with the intent of protecting Humanity.[12]

Speaker's Understanding[edit]

The Speaker

The Speaker described the Light as being present in all places and all things.

Toland's Understanding[edit]

Toland, the Shattered describes Lightbearers as gifted and armed with the "secret physics of a lost age," capable of tearing reality apart, presumably referring to the Light.

Minor positions[edit]

Ulan-Tan, a renowned Warlock, viewed the Traveler and its Light as a necessary symmetry to the Darkness to maintain a cosmic balance, and hypothesized that all Light was connected across space and time.[13]


According to the Lore Book Unveiling, the Light has existed since before the beginning of the universe (insofar as such a statement has any meaning), and is the counterpart to the Darkness. In the Lore Book, the Light and Darkness are referred to by the names "Gardener" and "Winnower" respectively; notably, the Traveler has also been given the title of "Gardener," presumably alluding to the connection between the Light and the Traveler.

Aspects and Manifestations[edit]


Arc is an elemental manifestation of the Light which grants the wielder control over electricity.


Solar is an elemental manifestation of the Light which allows the wielder to harness the power of fire and heat.


Void is an elemental manifestation of the Light which allows the wielder to manipulate spacetime to generate black holes and other space-warping phenomena.


The Light can be used by the Traveler to terraform entire worlds, making them more habitable to life-forms and causing new flora and fauna to spontaneously appear on their surface.


Ghosts use the Light to resurrect their Guardians if they are killed. If their connection to the Light emanating from the Traveler is severed, they lose the ability to resurrect their Guardians.



Guardians are the most prolific wielders of the Light, with humanity being the current chosen of the Traveler.


The Eliksni appear to have understood and utilized the Light to some degree during their golden age; Prime Servitors have been said to be sources of Light,[14] and Splicer Gauntlets are designed to utilize trace amounts of Light present in their environment.[15] When Skolas died at the hands of the Guardians, Variks wondered if their own Eliksni heroes were bestowed with Light.[16]

Later a new Fallen House called the House of Light would rise under the Kellship of Mithrax, Kell of Light. He believed that Humanity deserved the Traveler over the Eliksni and proclaim that he will become Kell to the "Mind-Open Fallen" who are willing to fight for "The Great Machine" together with Humanity.[17] On the other hand Eramis, Kell of Darkness founded the House of Salvation to force the Traveler to feel the pain it caused her people during the Whirlwind through the use of Darkness. She viewed the Light as only being able to last so long, while Darkness can reign forever.


Dominus Ghaul traveled to the Solar System with his Red Legion with the goal of claiming the Traveler and its Light for himself. By attacking the City, Ghaul sought to show the Traveler the error of its ways in choosing Humanity over the Cabal and aimed to establish a new order of Cabal Lightbearers.[18][19][20]

Ghaul eventually took his warship to the center of the Traveler Cage device to drain the Light by force.[21] He successfully stole some of the Traveler's Light and managed to become a Lightbearer. After his death at the hands of the Guardian, he used a version of Radiance and was resurrected as a massive ethereal figure. In response, the Traveler awoke from its slumber, destroying its cage and Ghaul himself. Its reawakening sent a massive shockwave of Light across the universe and restored the Light to the Guardians and their Ghosts.[22][23]


The Hive have great hatred for the Light, and regard it as both a source of nourishment and a cause of pain. To them, the eternal struggle between Light and Darkness is not only a war, it is a crusade; all Light must be devoured so Darkness can reclaim the universe. They have even attempted to drain the Traveler's Light through a ritual involving a fragment of the Traveler, which they kept within the Chamber of Night.

Following her resurrection by the Ghost Immaru, Savathûn and her Lucent Brood embraced the Light and used Hive Ghosts to create Hive Lightbearers, with Knights acting as Sentinel Titans, Wizards acting as Stormcaller Warlocks, and Acolytes as Gunslinger Hunters.


As a result of having originated in the time before the Light and Darkness inserted themselves into the fabric of reality, the Vex are generally unable to understand or simulate paracausal phenomena such as the Light. For instance, while they can determine the destructive outcome of a Nova Bomb, they are unable to predict how and whether a Guardian will use their powers.

Despite their near-total level of control over reality within the Vault of Glass, the Vex could not foresee the creation of the Aegis by Kabr, the Legionless, who pierced a wound in the Vault to let the Light in.[24]

When Saint-14 entered the Vex network, they spent years tuning a Mind to the frequencies his Light. Eventually Agioktis, Martyr Mindis would hunt down the Titan out of desperation to stop his rampage. While Saint successfully destroyed the Mind, it succeeded in draining his Light and leaving him helpless for the Vex to finish off.[25] Out of respect, the Vex laid Saint-14's body to rest in a tomb as a memorial to the grief he gave them. The great respect the Vex have for Saint-14 is symbolised in the naming of Hagios and Agioktis as both mean Saint in Greek. Though they are not worshipers of the Light, they showed admiration for its mightiest of Lightbearers.[26]

The Awoken[edit]

In Forsaken, it is revealed the Awoken are the descendants of the crew and passengers of the colony ship Yang Liwei, which was transported to a pocket universe when the Traveler's Light and the Black Fleet's Darkness created a kugelblitz that engulfed the ship. Those aboard the ship were reborn within the new universe as Awoken, containing traces of both Light and Darkness within themselves.

Other Races[edit]

At some point, the Traveler became a patron of the Ammonites, who built an advanced spacefaring civilization with paracausal technology that spanned all of Fundament's fifty-two moons.[27][28] The Traveler's disciple, the Leviathan who lived in Fundament's ocean layer and kept the Worms at bay, was revered by the Ammonites almost as much as the Traveler.[29]

The Ammonites worshipped a song originating from the Traveler, which they dubbed the "Song of Life". The Hive attempted to sing the song in reverse, which in turn killed the Choir and lead to the creation of the Deathsong.[30]

The Harmony also benefited from the patronage of the Traveler who realigned the orbits of their homeworld and nine other planets around a Black Hole. From polar jets of the the Black Hole, they race built the Gift Mast, a hollow construct that radiated pure silver Light and allowed the Harmony to thrive.[31]


Year One[edit]

During Year One of Destiny, Light was a value present on all level 20 armor of Rare, Legendary, and Exotic rarity. In order to increase a character's level beyond 20, the player had to obtain armor with more and more Light, which would give them a Light level between 21 and 34 depending on the Light value of the gear. The highest attainable Light level in Year One (after the release of the House of Wolves expansion) was level 34, which required four armor pieces (one for each armor slot available at the time) with 36 Light each, which came to a total of 144 Light.

Light level determined the player's strength and what activities the player could participate in. To participate in an activity effectively, players had to have a Light level that matched or exceeded the activity's recommended Light level, or the higher-level enemy units would be able to both inflict significantly more damage on the player and resist more of the player's attacks. If the player was as little as four levels below an enemy, the player's damage output would be reduced to the point that the enemy would be "immune" to the player's attacks; the player would actually still be damaging the enemy, but the amount of damage being inflicted would be so small as to render killing the enemy within a reasonable amount of time an extremely difficult, if not impossible, feat.

Year Two[edit]

The Taken King changed the way Light was determined and used by players. Light is now a weighted average of the Attack and Defense values of all of the player's currently equipped gear; weapons count more heavily in the calculation than armor. Under this new system, Light reflects the player's strength and what activities the player is prepared for, but operates on a less severe penalty curve than Year One Light levels; whereas a Light deficit of four would make the player harmless to an enemy in Year One, in Year Two it takes a much higher Light deficit to noticeably impair the player's combat effectiveness. The Attack and Defense values of all Year One gear is capped at 170, meaning a player must equip Year Two gear in order to reach a higher level of Light.

Certain thresholds of Light must be attained in order to unlock or be able to complete some activities: Light 240 unlocks the Daily Heroic Story, Light 260 unlocks the Vanguard Heroic Strikes playlist, and Light 280 unlocks the Nightfall. The Raid King's Fall is available immediately, but it is recommended to achieve a Light level of 290 before attempting. The highest attainable Light level in Year Two was 335.

Year Three[edit]

The Light mechanic remained the same as Year Two with the transition to Rise of Iron, but the limit was raised. Light 300 unlocks the Daily Heroic Story, and Light 320 unlocks the SIVA Crisis Heroic Strikes playlist and the Nightfall. The Raid Wrath of the Machine will have a recommended Light level of 360 on normal difficulty, and 385 on heroic difficulty. The highest attainable Light level in Year Three was 400.

Year Four[edit]

The Light mechanic from Year Two of Destiny was carried over to Destiny 2, but was renamed Power. Everyone starts at 750 Power, and can raise their natural Power up to a maximum of 970 with the introduction of the Season of Dawn, then augment it further by leveling up the seasonal artifact. However, soft caps make reaching 970 power with gear difficult. While all engrams will raise a player's average Power level until they reach Power level 900, and Prime Engrams, Exotic Engrams, and powerful rewards will take them to 960, only pinnacle rewards will be able to level a player from 960 to 970. There are only a few sources of pinnacle rewards, each of which can only be acquired once per week, and those are:

Most content in Destiny 2 currently has a recommended Power level of 750, effectively meaning they have no Power requirement. The exceptions are content coming with and following Shadowkeep, such as its campaign, Nightmare Hunts, the Pit of Heresy, the Garden of Salvation, and the Sundial. Additionally, Nightfalls can impose a Power handicap through the Five of Swords (purchasable from Xur), and Ordeals, Nightmare Hunts, and the Sundial all have multiple difficulties, ranging from 750 Power to 980 Power (among other differences).

Year Five[edit]


  • According to Asher Mir, Light can still possess the properties of real light as in being both a particle and a wave.[32]

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: VIII: Leviathan
  2. ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Hunter
  3. ^ Transcript of the official English version of the cards
  4. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Thorn 2
  5. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Chamber of Night
  6. ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Hive
  7. ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Guardians
  8. ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghosts
  9. ^ YouTube - TTL Plays! Destiny Alpha: The Devil's Lair
  10. ^\#book-unveiling
  11. ^ Destiny 2 Showcase 2022
  12. ^ Bungie (2014/6/12), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghosts
  13. ^ Bungie (2015-5-13), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Darkness
  14. ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Wolves of Mars
  15. ^
  16. ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Skolas Defeated
  17. ^ Bungie (2019/3/5), Destiny 2: Joker's Wild, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description: Queenbreakers' Bow
  18. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Adieu
  19. ^ YouTube - Destiny 2 – "Gameplay Premiere Livestream (US)"
  20. '^ Engadget - Destiny 2' tackles the original's biggest problem: storytelling
  21. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard 1 AU
  22. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard Chosen
  23. ^ Cosmos Shell
  24. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Relic: The Aegis
  25. ^ Bungie (2017/5/12), Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Perfect Paradox
  26. ^ Bungie (2017/5/12), Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Legends Lost
  27. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XIV: 52 and One
  28. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XVI: The Sword Logic
  29. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XVIII: Leviathan Rises
  30. ^ Bungie (2019./10/01), Destiny 2: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Song of Life
  31. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XLV: I'd shut them all in cells.
  32. ^ Applied Physics