|“||Men and women who identify as witches are born as such. And their abilities, which we call powers, are part of who they are. Part of their DNA, if you will.||”|
— Penelope Halliwell to her granddaughters.
Witches are supernatural beings who are born with the power to affect change by magical means (Witchcraft). Like mortals, witches can be either good or evil, but only good witches serve as protectors of the innocent.
The origin of witchcraft remains unknown, however, it is known that witches have existed for many centuries passing down their knowledge and skills through generations of family lines. Contrary to popular belief, witches do not receive their powers from demons, nor do they worship the Devil. Instead, some witches consider themselves "the Protectors of the Innocent," as they make it their duty to make the world a safer place.
The Spanish Inquisition
The witch trials of the Inquisition was an era of bloodshed and darkness, for both witches and vampires. In western Europe there was a faction of aggressive vampires, known as ticks, who were not content to hunt from outside human society. Embedding themselves wherever human weakness made it advantageous to their agenda, the state of things in Spain in the Middle Ages provided one such opportunity. One of the architects of this plan, dun Santiago, delighted in a fear-based quality of feeding. He and his devotees devised famous torture devices employed by the Spanish Inquisition, all in the name of turning their victims into human cattle.
Santiago and his followers eventually encountered a complication in their feeding routine when they stumbled across a witch named Antonia Gavilán de Logroño. While most of the so-called magic practitioners condemned during the Inquisition were not witches, just women hand-selected by the vampire priests to be terrorized and fed upon, Antonia had been a necromancer. Even though her actions (e.g. healing the sick or giving comfort to the dying) posed no threat, the vampires decided to dispatch her before she became one. Antonia ultimately formed a bond with her fellow prisoners, expanding the reach of her power, and when she was to be burnt at the stake, she cast a spell that forced all the vampires of the area to walk into the daylight, dying in the process.
During the late 17th century in Salem, Massachusetts, several men and women were persecuted for practicing witchcraft. During this period in Colonial America, many of the Puritans who had settled in the Northeast believed that witches were servants for the Devil. These events became known the Salem Witch Trials, in which numerous people—witches and mortals—were hanged or otherwise killed.
Powers and Abilities
The use of magic is dependent on a witch's skill and strength. A great deal of knowledge must be obtained by the witch in order to practice magic efficiently and safely as it can be deadly in the wrong hands. By joining together, witches can increase their magical strength.
Magical witches born into a blood siblinghood inherit their powers based on seniority: the firstborn usually displays the strongest power in comparison to their younger ones. Paige Matthews was an exception to this rule; she received the power of telekinetic orbing after replacing her oldest sister Prue Halliwell as the Charmed One with the power of telekinesis.
- Spell Casting: The power to cast spells; a "spell" being the word used to signify the means employed to carry out a magical action.
- Potion Brewing: The power to brew and concoct potions, remedies and elixirs that have supernatural properties.
- Channeling: The power to invoke extra forms of energy by focusing on external forces. A witch can only ever channel so much power. Going beyond that limit risks the witch disintegrating from the inside out.
- Individual Powers: It's not unusual for a talented witch to manifest three — four innate gifts once he or she starts to flower. These superhuman powers may be magical in nature and normally vary depending on a witch's own skill, lineage or level. Such powers also seem to grow depending on their character and emotional state, making them more powerful as they age.
- Disbelief: The act of denying or disbelieving in one's potential could cause a witch to inadvertently suppress their magical power.
- Distraction: Denying a witch from concentrating or giving full attention to their spells, may render them ineffective. Since most spells are spoken verbally and take time to take effect, witches are vulnerable to attack before their completion. Additionally, certain spells require items, tools, and/or special events during casting, therefore they can't be invoked on mere whim.
- Emotions: A witch's magic is subject to the influence of their emotional state and may fluctuate according to them when untrained. According to Penelope Halliwell, strong emotions such as worry and anger can fuel a witch's power while emotions such as fear may prevent a witch from properly accessing their powers.
- Herbs: Ingestion of certain herbs can cause a witch to lose consciousness and prevent them from using magic for an undetermined amount of time. The Lobelia flower prevents concentration and the practice of magic and can be used to weaken a witch as one would weaken a vampire with nightshade.
- Iron: Iron tends to act as a "lightning rod" for the magical forces witches employ, sometimes disrupting its effects. Being shackled in iron also blocks a witch's powers.
- Mortality: Despite their mystical attributes, witches are still human and share many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. age, decapitation, disease, heart-failure, suffocation, snapped neck, etc.). However, witches can get around this weakness through the use of magic.
- Magic: Witches are still susceptible to the powers of magic. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as the Amulet of Archangels, Witchcatchers, and Dark Objects. A siphoner can siphon the magic from a witch and prolonged exposure may lead to death.
- Power Binding: A witch's powers can be neutralized by binding spells, however, this can be reversed.
- Magical Renouncing: A witch can renounce their powers and become human.
- Overexertion: The excessive use of magic could lead to disorientation, nose bleeds, unconsciousness, and if taken to the extreme, death.
- Amulets: An object that is used to protect its wearer from harm.
- Athames: A ceremonial dagger with a double-edged blade that is commonly used to direct energy.
- Candles: A block of solid wax with an embedded wick that is commonly lit to to amplify a witch’s spell.
- Cauldrons: A large metal pot that is commonly used to hold the ingredients for elixirs and potions.
- Grimoires: A family journal is documented with magical recipes, rituals, and spells. Grimoires can also be used as a Talisman to represent a witch.
- Herbs: Various flora used as ingredients to be incorporated into spells as binding agents.
- Poppet: A poppet is a human figurine used by witches to represent their victims and establish a magical connection with them.
- Stones: Various minerals and ores used to boost or bind a witch's spell.
- Symbols: Seals drawn or written used as physical representations of spells.
- Talismans: An object that is used to magnify a witch's power and/or represent them supernaturally.
|Melinda Warren||Melinda Warren started the line of Warren witches which, as prophesied by Melinda herself, culminated in the arrival of the three most powerful witches of all time; the Charmed Ones.||Deceased||Good|
- According to Abby Bennett Wilson, all magic is monitored by Nature and has consequential effects. She explained this to her daughter, Bonnie, when she informed her of how she always dreamed of a normal life and how after she defeated an Original Vampire named Mikael. She made the decision to abandon her family in order to live the life she so desperately desired outside of Mystic Falls. As punishment for deserting her lineage, Abby said that it was Nature (not the Spirits) that slowly took away her magic until she was completely powerless. However, it's revealed that the Spirits are in charge of taking away a witch's power.
- According to Sheila Bennett, the Spirits are responsible for creating the laws on magic. One year after her death, when Bonnie performed the Manifestation Spell which allowed the supernatural spirits of Mystic Falls to materialize Sheila confirmed that the Spirits were responsible for creating the rules on witchcraft.
- According to Bonnie Bennett, witches have a spiritual connection to the elements of the Earth and the forces of nature. Since most witches derive their magic from Nature, Bonnie explained how witches can literally feel the essence of life itself.
- According to Melinda Warren, witches draw their power from light.
- In New Orleans, there are nine main witch Covens that form the majority of the witch community there.
- Practitioners of Ancestral Magic can be stripped of additional power supported by The Ancestors if their Coven shuns them, weakening them.
- Also, as it was revealed by Davina Claire if a witch tries to murder the Regent they shall be hanged as punishment.
- Ancestral witches, that have been shunned, can further be punished if they continue to practice magic in New Orleans, as seen with Vincent Griffith.
- Humans can be turned into witches through magical means.
- The offspring of two witches, or even a witch and a warlock, will almost always be witches. Though the probability of the offspring of a witch and a mortal being witches are reduced to the 50%.
- Witches can also successfully breed with certain other supernatural species (e.g. demons, deities, werewolves) and produce supernatural hybrids.
- An evil witch is sometimes confused with a warlock, however they are actually witches who renounce the Wiccan Rede: "And it harm none, do what ye will."
- Various other cultures of witches have been mentioned, though not elaborated upon, such as the following: "Strega" of Italy, "Aje" of the Yoruba people of Nigeria; West Africa, "Häxa" of Sweden, "Gypsy" of Romania, as well as Latvian (of Latvia), Santería (of Morocco), and Obi (or Obeah of Nigeria) witches. Pyromancers, of unknown origins but found mostly in East Asia, are another unique but rare type of fire-breathing witch; however, only a couple dozen remain.