|“||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 (Magic). 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.
|Whitelighter-Witch||Whitelighter-Witches are the offspring of a witch and a Whitelighter. These hybrids possess the basic powers their Wiccan heritage and may develop the powers and calling of a Whitelighter. These hybrids are also able to develop unique hybrid powers, such as telekinetic orbing, which is the combination of telekinesis and orbing. These hybrids are vulnerable to the poison of Darklighter arrows and susceptible to being called by the Elders and their charges.|
|Demon-Witch||Demon-Witches are the offspring of a witch and a demon. Only one of these hybrids is known to have existed. The Source's Heir was the child of Phoebe Halliwell and Cole Turner, who at the time was possessed by the Source of All Evil. The union between Cole and Phoebe created a massive concentration of power. The unborn child was later stolen by the Seer and its overwhelming power destroyed them both.|
|Phoenix Witches||The Phoenix is a coven of assassin witches who have risen from the ashes from the Salem witch trials. Powerful, agile, and cunning, these witches will stop at nothing to collect whatever bounty they have been hired for. Such witches are born with the birthmark of a phoenix on their bodies as proof of their legion. These witches are neither pure good or evil and possess powers that appear demonic in nature.|
|Darklighter-Witch||Darklighter-Witches are the crossbreed between a witch and a Darklighter, and can inherit powers and abilities from both species. Like their Whitelighter counterparts, a Darklighter-Witch can use the power of Black Telekinetic Orbing to move objects. They can also summon Darklighter Crossbows and arrows like any other Darklighter.|
|Cupid-Witch||Cupid-Witches are the offspring of a witch and a Cupid. These hybrids possess the basic powers of their Wiccan heritage and may inherit the powers of Cupids. Unlike pure Cupids, they do not require a Cupid Ring to activate their powers. The only known half-Cupids are the three daughters of Coop and Phoebe Halliwell, the eldest of which is P.J. Halliwell.|
|Siphoner||Siphoners, or Siphons, are a subsection of witches born without the ability to generate their own magic but do possess a rare power that allows them to siphon magic from other sources and use that magic for their own purposes. They are considered abominations by many witch communities despite the fact that siphoners are born with these abilities and may face harsh treatment by their covens when discovered.|
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. During times of crisis, witches may experience a spike in their power, which manifest in the form of newly-developed abilities.
- Ashwood: Ashwood can prevent a witch from using magic when inside a circle composed of this.
- Colocasia Powder: This powder prevents the use of dark magic.
- 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 a witch from being able to focus and concentrate, which is necessary to effectively cast spells, making it a common herb used in the weakening of a witch in the same manner as someone would use nightshade to weaken a vampire. There are also other herbs that will temporarily mute or suppress the use of magic, though the length of time the herbs are effective are based on the strength of the witch in question.
- Iron: Iron is a known inhibitor of magical ability, impeding access to the ethereal realm. Iron also to act as a "lightning rod" for the magical forces witches employ, sometimes disrupting its effects.
- 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.
- Power Stripping: A witch can relinquish their powers and affinity to all forms of magic using either a spell or a potion. Said powers will then either reside in the ether or be given to another individual. Said witch who loses their power will be rendered completely mortal, unable to cast spells or make magical potions.
- Overexertion: The use of magic requires energy, usually provided by the user. It is also known that the excessive usage of magic can be extremely exhausting, and may place great strain on the user's body, causing them to experience symptoms of fatigue or if taken to the extreme, death. Prudent witches will merely rest until their powers resurfaced, while more reckless witches could search for a new source of power to immediately replenish their strength and energy reserve.
- 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.
- Wands: Magical artifacts that can vary in size and appearance, ranging from a few inches to a large walking staff.
|Merlin||Medieval, dates unknown. Most famous wizard of all time. Sometimes known as the Prince of Enchanters. Part of the Court of King Arthur.||Deceased||Good|
|The Evil Enchantress||A powerful witch who came to the craft late, but learned to use it quickly. She was gifted with the power to conjure the elements and was also skilled at creating potent potions to achieve her goals. Defiant, clever, and independent, she was by far the most powerful witch of the 12th century.||Deceased||Evil|
|Tuatha||A powerful evil witch from the 18th century. She had been entombed into a cave for two hundred years until she was freed by two treasure hunters. The legend said that Tuatha could only be destroyed by the Chosen One, a mortal who is the seventh son of the seventh son. She was vanquished in 1999 by that chosen one; a high school student named Kyle Gwydion.||Deceased||Evil|
|Sea Hag||The Sea Hag is a malevolent magical being known for tempting Mermaids to give up their immortality for the love of a human. She then collects their immortal essence for barter with powerful demons. She possesses a vast array of powerful magic, drawn from the brine of the sea.||Deceased||
|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|
Notes and Trivia
- 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.
- While some witches are known to have familiars, the majority of witches do not.
- Humans can be turned into witches through magical means.
- Witches are genetically compatible with normal humans, and are genetically identical to normal humans. The mysterious property that makes them witches is somehow "dominant" like a gene, and the child of a two witches, or even a witch and a warlock, will almost always be a witch.
- The probability of the offspring of a witch and an ordinary mortal being born witches are reduced to the 50%. Despite having one mortal parent, witches born from such a union are not considered half-human whereas warlocks are.
- 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." They redirect their powers for personal means and may also use their powers to punish the guilty. They typically do not kill witches for their powers, but if they desire so, they use other methods to obtain them. They also do not sell their soul to pure evil.
- Although uncommon, a warlock can become a witch by choosing to walk the path of a virtuous soul and performing an act of pure goodness.
- Although "witch" seems to be a gender-neutral and morally ambiguous term, good witches are often called "wiccans".
- 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.