What is the Psychic Awakening?

The Psychic Awakening is big news for all Warhammer 40,000 fans. We’re already five books into this epic saga, but if you’ve been hitting snooze on the psychic alarm clock, we’re here to explain what the Psychic Awakening is and why it’s important for you and your army.

The Background

The Great Rift cut the galaxy in half, but it took some time until the aetheric phenomena that accompanied the Cicatrix Maledictum was fully felt. Now, as the psychic power seeps into realspace, humans across the Imperium are beginning to discover their psychic potential. Simultaneously, the enemies of Humanity are hearing the psychic call to war.

This upheaval has fuelled the internal strife of the various Aeldari factions as the craftworlders, Drukhari and Ynarri have come to blows. The power of the hive mind has grown, and the Tyranids have run rampant over the Baal System as an untold number of Genestealer Cults have also sprung up across the Imperium. Even the T’au Empire, a race with no psykers, have had to confront the horrors of the warp as never before, as the Fifth Sphere Expansion ventures deeper into an inhospitable galaxy.

The biggest threat to the Imperium are the resurgent armies of Chaos. They move openly across realspace, and among them are the Thousand Sons, led by their Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red. He plans to carve out a psychic empire, rebuild the glory of fallen Prospero and usher Mankind into a future as a psychic race.*

In addition to the devastation caused by the forces of Chaos, there are many other ongoing battles that centre around blackstone, also known as noctilith. This psycho-active material enhances or suppresses psychic phenomena and is in great demand by both xenos and Humanity (especially the Adeptus Mechanicus, at the urging of Belisarius Cawl). The full properties of this mysterious substance are only now becoming apparent, and possession of enough blackstone could lead to the galaxy’s salvation. Or its doom…


And that’s not all. There is one other massive threat growing across the entire galaxy – perhaps in response to a growing psychic call, Ork migration is reaching unprecedented numbers. More than that, they’re showing coordination and purpose not seen in many millennia.

Each of the Psychic Awakening books explores a wide variety of war zones and galactic phenomena in great detail, focusing on the different factions.


The Psychic Awakening books act as a codex update for your armies. Over the course of the saga, every Warhammer 40,000 faction will gain access to new rules. So far, we’ve already seen a host of new army-wide abilities, build-your-own sub-faction rules, extra Stratagems, psychic powers** and more. 


The Aeldari, Chaos Space Marines, Tyranids, Thousand Sons, Genestealer Cults, T’au Empire, Astra Militarum and a whole host of Space Marines Chapters have all seen new rules, and more are on the way.

The Future

The next book in the ongoing narrative, The Saga of the Beast, follows the rise of the Ork threat across the galaxy. With Imperial forces already stretched to the limit, the Space Wolves have taken an oath to slay the leader of this massive Waaagh! Of course, the Imperium has a pretty mixed history when it comes to taking out so-called beasts. Can the sons of Fenris manage to stop the green tide before it swallows the Imperium whole?

Whether you love your lore or you’re looking for new ways to field your armies on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium, this an exciting time to be a Warhammer 40,000 fan. If you’ve not already, delve into the Psychic Awakening by picking up the first book, Phoenix Rising and check out the Psychic Awakening site for an interactive map, along with all of the latest news and fiction from this galaxy-spanning saga.

* And Magnus couldn’t have any ulterior motive, could he?
** Well, it IS the Psychic Awakening.

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