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 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.
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.
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.
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.