The Servants of Nature
|Gender||Male and Female|
|Faction|| Borrowers |
"The Italians call them Strega. The Yoruba of West Africa call them Aje, meaning mother. Where my mother was from, they called them Häxa. And here, we call them Witch. Over the centuries vampires have fought them and fought beside them, bedded them and burned them. Whether adversary or ally they have been a force to be reckoned with."
Witches are human beings who are endowed with the magical arts of sorcery, but those who view it as a religion are Wiccans. Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. Historically, it was believed in early modern Christian Europe that witches were in league with the Devil and used their powers to harm people and property. Particularly since the mid-20th century, "bad" and "good" witchcraft are sometimes distinguished, the latter often with healing. The concept of witchcraft as harmful is normally treated as a cultural ideology, a means of explaining human misfortune by blaming it either on a supernatural entity or a known person in the community. Beliefs in witchcraft, and resulting witch-hunts, both they found in many cultures around the world today especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and historically notably in Early Modern Europe from the 14th to 18th century, where witchcraft came to be seen as a vast diabolical conspiracy against Christianity, and accusations of witchcraft led to large witch-hunts, especially in Germanic Europe.
The "witch-cult hypothesis", a controversial theory that European witchcraft was a suppressed pagan religion, was popular in the 19th and 20th centuries From the mid-20th century, Witchcraft has become the self-designation of a branch of neopaganism, especially in the Wicca tradition following Gerald Gardner, who claimed a religious tradition of Witchcraft with pre-Christian roots.
Witches throughout different movies, TV shows and books can be classified into three different types, depending on how they got their magic.
The Borrowers(contract witches)Edit
The term "Borrower" is commonly used to define any person who has obtained their power through demonic forces. These witches are known to have summoned demons and made deals with them in exchange for power. While it is common for these witches to have traded their souls for power, it has been implied that not all Borrowers sell their souls, but rather promise the demon something else of value. According to the witch Rowena, these witches are very common and make up for more than half of the witchcraft community. They are also called contract witches(because of how a "Contract witch" is any person who has obtained their magic from the Devil. These witches are known to have summoned the Devil and made a deal with him in exchange for power. While it common for these witches to have traded their souls for power, it has been implied that not all witches sell their souls, but rather promise the Devil something else of value. According to Countess Von Marburg, contract witches are very common within the Witchcraft community, possibly even more so than cradle witches. Nevertheless, contract witches are considered inferior to cradle witches and do not come into their power as easily nor as quickly as cradle witches.).
The Naturals(Cradle witches)Edit
The term "Natural" is commonly used to define any person who has obtained their power from biological development. They are known to have been born with a natural affinity to the supernatural powers of the universe, and are able to practice Hereditary Magic, which draws on their internal source of power. According to the witch Rowena, these witches are very rare and make up for less than half of the witchcraft community.Also called a Cradle witch(A "Cradle witch" is any person who has obtained their magic from biological development. Not much is known about these witches apart from the fact that they are known to have been born with an internal source of power and seem to have a natural affinity to the supernatural forces within the universe. While Countess Von Marburg believes that witches who are born are superior to witches who are made, it has not been stated exactly how or why. However, according to Tituba, witches such as Anne Hale, who are born from old and powerful bloodlines, will come into their power easier and faster than witches who are made. Tituba explained to Mary Sibley that in spite of being the most powerful witch in Salem, and with more years of experience in Witchcraft, Anne Hale would still surpass Mary within a matter of weeks.)
The term "Student" is commonly used to define any person who has obtained their power through practice and training. While these witches are commonly known to have been taught about witchcraft from other witches, it has been implied that some Students are self-taught. According to the witch Rowena, these witches are less common than Borrowers, but more common than Naturals.
Types of WitchcraftEdit
A lot of the time witches are connected with a certain religion - though wiccan religions may vary - that is based around performing rituals and spells. In short, anyone (regular humans, even vampires and demons) can cast a spell and produce magic. However, those with experience and devoted understanding towards magic are called witches.
Traditional magic is what many call the basic but most pure form of magic. It is what most witches use - power from the earth/nature and peaceful spirits to generate power. Traditional magic often involve talismans or other elements with mystical energies such as the moon and the sun.
Some witches have the innate gift of magic which is transmitted down through generations, giving them certain powers (although you can also skip a generation). If witchcraft is in their lineage, they have the potential of becoming very strong with enough practice. For example, the Bennett family has a history of strong witches and they are known for their mystical power. Bonnie Bennett has steadily shown signs of strength as time goes on. One could grow to possess magical power that's more powerful than what comes from family lineage, such as in the case of Willow Rosenberg.
The Island of Neverland from the "Peter Pan" stories has its own type of magic that can be used to defy many laws of reality. As shown in the book, the magic of Neverland allows you to conjure anything just by thinking about it, and allows you to fly through the use of fairy dust. Peter Pan is the only character in the story shown to wield Neverland's magic to its full potential, most prominently in the TV series "Once Upon a Time", where a wicked and menacing version of the character has been known to be one of the most powerful and feared witches ever encountered by the series' protagonists.
Black Magic (or Dark Magic) is a form of sorcery that draws on malevolent powers, and may be used for negative purposes (e.g. to cause destruction or misfortune, to injure or kill, or for the profit of oneself rather than for the benefit of others.) In popular usage, the term "dark magic" is often used to describe any form of sorcery that is used negatively.
White Magic (or Light Magic) is any witchcraft that draws on benevolent powers is used for positive purposes (e.g. to protect someone or something selflessly, or even to completely annihilate any evil being.) White Magic is known to have ties to other forms of Magic, such as Traditional Magic or Theurgy. In popular culture, the term "white magic" is used to describe any magic that is used positively.
Ancestral magic directly draws from the power of ancestors who have died. Witches who practice this magic must stay in close to where their ancestors are buried otherwise they are powerless.
Voodoo is an extremely powerful and popular form of sorcery that draws on the patron gods, or Loa, of the Voodoo religion. Popular associations with Voodoo include Voodoo dolls used to link one's essence with a totem, and utilizing Loa symbols, or Veves, to channel the respective Loa's energy. Voodoo Witches can grow powerful enough to earn a name in human history, such as Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.
Travelers are a subculture of witches. It is removed from Traditional magic (the basic kind that uses spirits and nature). Travelers are much like gypsies - as they drift from place to place most of the time. All spells and incantations are performed in a different language outside of English. Travelers are known for their powers in spirit possession - jumping from body to body, and manipulating the body from the inside in various ways to inflict pain or change. It appears as if Traveler Magic is also a form of group magic - in which spells are cast with many people as opposed to just one.
Gypsies move from place to place just like Travellers. They are much more secretive and elusive than the Travellers however. They are often known for curses and hexes (like ones that restores and removes souls). This subculture of witches use both traditional and non-traditional magic to achieve what some may believe are over-the-top tricks and abilities such as glamour/illusion spells, the most advanced can perform shapeshifting, create a mystical thrall, and teleportation to name a few. Gypsies with these abilities are extremely rare - which is what makes someone like Dracula such an anomaly, outside of the fact that vampires cannot have natural magic abilities.
Some witches organize themselves into Circles, groups of six witches with a very strong magic link to one another. This link functions such that a Circle Witch cannot do powerful, if any, feats of magic without another member of the circle present. When all six Circle Witches join together, they can accomplish very formidable spells and Rituals.
Blood Magic utilizes blood with mystical properties as opposed to using Spells and Rituals for magical effects. Blood Magic can range from using your blood to lock someplace that can only be accessed by members of your bloodline, such as Regina Mills, to channeling someone's magical blood to gain more power for a difficult spell, such as Bonnie Bennett channeling the blood of Qetsiyah to lower the veil between the Human World and the Spirit World.
Some witches are powerful enough to control the essence of the dead, especially vampires. Using powerful, draining, and skilled dark magic, they can affect the physical corpse (including vampires) through telekinesis or control/destroy the essence that makes vampires animated. They are also able to affect the minds of vampires, either causing them to have amnesia or influencing them like glamour or compulsion can on humans. It is an extremely powerful form of necromancy that can bring the dead back to life.
Expression magic isn't necessary black magic - but black magic can be a subset of it (as it is not natural magic). Expression magic, essentially, is said to be worse than black magic. It is any magic not bound to the spirits of nature. It can be in and of itself, limitless and can exceed the abilities of any powerful witch. It is extremely easy to lose control with expression magic, and it is extremely easy (more so than black magic) to get addicted to. Using too much of it can ultimately kill the user because it severally opposes the laws of nature. Expression magic requires three mass sacrifices (of a group of specific species. For examples, one sacrifice of vampires, one sacrifice of humans, one sacrifice of witches) for a witch obtain power. The more sacrifices, the more power the witch obtains. If the sacrifices occur at certain locations (creating an expression triangle) - the middle of that triangle will have immense mystical energies a witch can draw from.
Excessive use of this magic, although it is not bound by nature, still has consequences. If the witch isn't strong enough or is unable to contain this amount of power, it can have adverse effects on the body. The power can be too much and can kill them. The power can shift into undesireble forms, much like black magic.
Some magic traditions, such as Brujería - common in Latin American sects, use sacrifices of living beings (such as animals) for rituals that will call upon demonic spirits, drawing power from them or using their spirits to do their bidding. Any magic that calls on demonic energies or beings can is a part of this category. It is actually easier than one might think for a non-witch to access this sort of magic through rituals and other means, perhaps doing traditional magic spells wrong.
Theurgy is a type of magic that draws power from divine sources instead of spiritual ones. Theurgy magical purposes are for one to perfect oneself and achieve spiritual evolution though not all godly beings are exactly benevolent.
A Deity is a divine character of nature, especially that of the Supreme Being who contains extremely powerful magic. Although the existence of the Gods and Goddesses were poorly explained, based off the fact that the majority of witches receive their power from them, it can be assumed that a Deity is an incredibly powerful entity that is capable of obtaining power inconceivable to the human understanding.
In some Native American legends, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires. To be able to transform, legend sometimes requires that the skin-walker wears a pelt of the animal. In most cases, this pelt is not used in modern times because it is an obvious sign of them being skin-walkers.
Witches see Siphoners as abominations of Nature just like vampires. Siphoners are a subsection of witches born without the ability to generate magic, but a rare power allowing them to siphon off from other magical sources.
Many spells are recorded in spellbooks/grimoires. These are often needed for reference, especially for complicated spells with intricate instructions. Many spells require incantations to be recited, most often in an ancient language such as latin.
Talismans are often used to contain a magic spell or a curse. This can be anything, including: stones, jewelry, statues, tattoos, weapons, amulets, etc.
Covens are a collection of Wiccans and witches gather to practice their religion together, some coven participate in religious ceremonies such as drawing down the moon and drums, visualization, chanting, singing, dancing and meditation in order to induce a higher state of mind and have a stronger connection with supernatural entities lurking. the most common number of witches and Wicca in a coven usually thirteen, but the number varies with different covens. covens also serve another important purpose, has been that when a spell is cast by a coven or by more than one person that expands to act faster and be more potant than it would have been if cast by an single witch.
Magic is the influencing of events by supernatural means. Magic can often be split into dark and light, though depending on the situation, can also be neutral. Magic can be studied by anyone and, in rare cases, can be caused by genetic heredity that connects witches to the elements and forces of nature.
- Conjuration: The act of calling, commanding, or summoning an object, person, or spirit already in existence.
- Scrying: The ability to see what is happening in remote places by looking into a reflective surface, like a mirror or a bowl of liquid(often blood).
- Elemental Control: The act of controlling and manipulating the elements of air, earth, fire, water, and weather.
- Channeling: The act of channeling or drawing other forms of energy and power by focusing on celestial events.
- Necromancy: The act of controlling and manipulating the power of death and controlling undead corpses.
- Pain Infliction: The act of creating and inflicting excruciating pain upon another person, especially supernatural beings.
- Mind Control: The act of controlling and manipulating the minds of Humans.
- Mind Stunning: The act of bemusing and rendering someone unconscious.
- Precognition: The act of foreseeing future events and happenings.
- Clairvoyance: The ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the known human senses.
- Telepathy: The ability to read the minds of other people.
- Mediumship: The act of calling, communicating, and invoking the spirits of the dead.
- Glamour: The ability to create an illusion so real that it is to fool any on-looker.
- Invocation:The act of calling the spirits of the dead or divine beings into a circle or into the self.
- Spell Casting: The act of changing and controlling events by magical influence.
- Superhuman Strength: Invoking demons or other spirits, can give witches great strength, making them physically powerful then normal humans.
- Spiritual Sensing: The ability to feel spiritual activity.
- Levitation: The act of floating, flying or rising ones body in the air by supernatural means.
- Telekinesis: The act of controlling and manipulating the movements of objects and persons.
- Healing: The act of curing diseases and restoring the health of living beings.
- Potion Brewing: The act of brewing and concocting supernatural elixirs and potions that contain mystical properties.
- Book of Shadows/Grimoires: Witches document their spells, rituals and recipes in books called grimoires or "Book of Shadows".
- Amulets and Talismans: Witches use material items that can act as an amulet or a talisman.
- Stones & Herbs: Witches use stones and herbs to aid them as they have a magical entity.
- Candles: Witches use candles to draw energy from the flames and also enhance their spells.
- Athame: A blessed, double-edged blade used to draw blood for spells/rituals.
- Casting Stones: Crystal stones similar to amethyst or another kind of quartz stone found by Increase Mather in a secret compartment in Mab's office. They are probably used to practice divination or for casting spells, hence their name. The stones, hidden in a little cloth bag, were hidden along with other witch's paraphernalia.
- Cauldron and cup: A large metal pot that is commonly used to hold various ingredients for elixirs and potions. Actually, any kind of pot used to brew potions and incenses may be considered a cauldron. Tituba and Mary used a copper pan to dry the hand of a fellow deceased witch, Corwin, and thus create a fetish. A similar purpose is that of the cup - or goblet - that is used for collecting liquids and beverages, but also the blood of sacrifices during rituals. An important cup is the one used by Sebastian Von Marburg in the consecration of the vessel, to represent the witches' union and the Earth womb.
- Herbs, roots and powders: Plants and roots have been known for centuries for their medicinal properties and witches use them to brew their potions and perform their rituals. Collected under certain astrological influences, each herb has a certain property crucial to the outcome of the spell (i.e. Valerian root shields the owner from any malevolent spell). Plants named in the show are, for example, Agrimony and Valerian.
- Familiar: A Familiar is a lower demon in the guise of an animal, given by the Devil to witches after their Initiation into Witchcraft so that it assists them as trusted companion, servant and spy to perpetrate misdeeds. Although they are living beings, for the witch can be nothing more than a tool, a constant supply of blood for sacrifices.
- Personal objects: A witch can use any object owned by a person to cast spells or curses. While it is preferable to use body parts like nails or hair, jewelry or clothing can also be used. Magistrate John Hale used different items such as rings, tooth, coins and jewelry to blame Isaac Walton as a witch. According to Reverend Cotton Mather, witches use parts of corpses in their spells and potions. This turned out be true when Mary and Tituba used the severed finger of Alexander Corwin to manufacture a kind of Hand of Glory. Since steal body parts from town graveyard would be problematic, witches steal from dead bodies thrown into mass graves in the crags, as shown by Mercy Lewis when she used a rib to create a knife.
- Poppets and dolls: A poppet is a small figure, made to represent the distant recipient of magical working. Often these would incorporate such things as hair or nail clipping to strengthen the connection with the victim. Poppets may be made of different materials like wax, cloth, porcelain. To create a poppet a doll must first be crafted then baptised in the name of the target with specific rituals and they should be placed in the vicinity of the person who is the target of the spell; for example, it can be hidden in his or her bedroom. Mary Sibley sewed a doll filled with ingredients such as mouse blood, chopped cockroaches and poisonous weeds to cast a hex on Anne Hale. Noteworthy is John Hale's collection of small figurines similar to tribal fetishes, obtained during his travels, and placed on a shelf in the living room of his house.
- Witch Shaft: Witch's shaft is a dark wooden stick used to arouse sexual pleasure to the nether regions of a witch during a ritual of sexual magic, to collect enough energy from lust in order to exploit it in difficult rituals like the one that creates an astral projection. Powerful witches as Countess Von Marburg seem to be able to perform these spells without resorting to this "rudimentary" tool.
- Tarot Cards: A deck of playing cards with the addition of 22 picture cards depicting esoteric iconography created during the Renaissance in Italy and spread throughout Europe, especially in France, where they were used to predict the future. Sebastian Von Marburg is shown with a Tarot deck in Mary Sibley's boudoir during the episode The Beckoning Fair One, although Mary has never been shown to use tarot cards before.
- Clock of the Doom: The Clock of the Doom is a bewitched orrey, a complex instrument that measures and regulates the movement of stars and planets. It was used by Mary Sibley to calculate celestial movements conducive to the steps of the Grand Rite.
- Malum: The Malum was an ancient relic in the shape of a golden apple used to cleanse and consecrate the Earth by spreading a supernatural plague, a key-object to complete the Grand Rite. The Malum is kept in an inlaid box, a kind of Pandora's box used to unleash indescribable horrors.
- Traveler's Mask: The Traveler's Mask is a mysterious artefact in the shape of a mask that allows a witch to teleport to any location she desires, especially the wilderness. It was a peculiar tool of Hale witches.
- Valerian Trinket: Valerian Trinket is a necklace with a pendant filled with valerian root that protects its wearer from the magic of the witches. In witch lore, Valerian is a powerful herb believed to possess the power to protect against black magic and to enhance the power of a particular spell or ritual.
- Water Charm: Water charm is a small horn-shaped glass vial enchanted to act as a magical warning sign. This vial, containing part of the water used as a conduit for a specific spell, is a great system for keeping track of the sign left by a witch's spell.
- Witch Knot: A witch knot is a "Monkey's fist" fashioned knot frequently used in weather magic spells to halt the winds favourable to navigation, thus causing a shutdown of navigation on the high seas, shipwrecks and other similar problems. An example of its use is that employed by an unnamed German witch who, in accordance with John Hale, has delayed Increase Mather's travel by stopping the wind with a bewitched ligature. Knots can also be used in sympathetic magic, using laces and strings to magically tie and choke the victim of the spell. An example is given by Mary Sibley who has remotely tighten Increase Mather's cilice by tightening the laces of her own corset.
All magic from spells must come from somewhere. So no matter how powerful the witch is innately, it is difficult to perform complex and extreme spells without a power source.
All spells expend a certain amount of energy from the caster, which may or may not drain the body in a physical manner. Some powerful spells, if the witch is not strong enough, may harm or kill them (anything from headaches, nosebleeds, unconsciousness, severe exhaustion or fatal sickness). This result might occur if the witch is doing too much magic in a short amount of time without rest.
Spells contain a large margin of error as well. If spells aren't preformed right, they can create undesirable results or not work at all. Concentration is a must.
Simply put, ALL magic has consequences and many witches do not take this concept lightly.
There are many ways to disrupt/avoid a spell as well.
- Breaking/Destroying/Removing a talisman.
- Harming a mystical body involved
- Breaking a mystical sequence
- Casting a counter-spell
- Interrupting spell casting
- Some magics cannot reach all beings due to some discrepancy. For instance a spell might not affect a person because he/she is dead/has no soul/have special abilities of their own.
Some witches can suffer from magic addiction - becoming dependent on using magic and casting spells, all the time. Some might argue that it is the addiction to the power of magic that makes it unhealthy. Such an addition will cause the witch to crave spells that are way outside their means, which may harm themselves or others. Magic addiction often leads the witch to more 'liberal' and dangerous uses of magic, such as black magic.
Fiddling with black magic is not for the inexperienced. This type of magic draws energy from dark powerful forces and almost always have undesirable consequences - especially if handled by a low leveled witch. One such consequence may result in a loss of control - the dark forces might take a mind of its own and will do more destruction than desired if the witch cannot contain the magic.
A powerful witch might lose control of themselves when dealing with black magic. If they use too much dark magic, the dark forces will overcome them - creating an immensely powerful, mystically driven, but dangerous and destructive version of themselves. A witch overcome by dark forces will go on a downhill tirade, losing sight of their usual moral beliefs and aiming only to kill and destroy.
Some witches have dabbled in black magic since they've chosen to start practicing it as Student Witches, or by selling their souls in order to get the magic from dark demons, becoming Borrower Witches. All of a Borrower's magic stems from demonic forces, and though they are able to handle these forces easier, their souls are forever compromised because of it. Due to this principle, all Borrower Witches are Dark Witches by nature.
Salt is a weakness for those affected with Black Magic, reaching to the dark powers controlling the witch (i.e, Demons, who are weakened by salt.) It can block the witch's powers and prevent magic from interfering with anything being protected by it.