Magic is the art, science and practice of utilizing specific universal energies whose nature is beyond the scope of the technologically-oriented science of all known sentient races.
Only specific individuals with mystical proclivity are able to tap into mystical energies by mental, verbal or physical means. Such individuals are known as witches, human beings with the inborn ability to use mystical energies for a variety of effects. Magic allows witches to override or alter the normal rules of the universe, most often allowing them to make objects appear out of thin air, turn one object or being into another and vanish objects. These magical commands are often referred to as simple spells and charms. In addition, magic also allows witches to influence the course of natural events (for example, Sabrina is able to make Libby trip over her own feet in "When Teens Collide"). These instances of magic are more commonly known as hexes and jinxes.
Types of Magic
Magic is derived from three basic sources: powers gained by tapping the powers of the mind, body and soul (such as telepathy and psychokinesis), powers gained by invoking gods or beings in other dimensions through lengthy spells and incantations (such as transfiguration spells) and powers gained by invoking the ambient forces in the universe (such as for teleportation and time travel). Throughout the series, different forms of magic are seen observed, often categorized by the result which the given spell result. There are several magical results which are used often by most of the witches seen. In cases of these types of magic, there is almost always some physical manifestation of the witch's magic,although other magical commands do not always manifest a physical form of magic.
- Transfiguration or turning something into something else is seen very often and conjuring and vanishing objects and beings out of and into thin air is likely the most used magical command.
- Many witches teleport themselves from one location to another by casting a spell linking two separate areas in space. This spell is known between witches as "Molecular Transference" in Sabrina Gets Her License.
- Hexes and jinxes (as mentioned above) are small bursts of psychokinetic magic that can cause positive (good luck) or negative (bad lucK) results depending on the witch that casts them. Sabrina and her aunts have cast small jinxes and hexes to cause unfortunate things to happen to others. These are never severe and their target almost always deserves to be on the receiving end.
- Other forms of magic are complex spells which require incantations and a great deal of magic.
- Potions are another form of magic used frequently in the show.They are magical mixtures that cause a variety of effects.
- An individual witch's magic appears to physically manifest differently than the magic of others. For example, Sabrina's magic appears as a stream of golden sparks when she transfigures or conjures an object. Similarly, Zelda's magic appears as a stream of violet sparks. Hilda's magic however appears as puffs of white smoke. Many other manifestations of magic have been seen from other witches and they seem to appear in an infinite array of colours and forms.
- It has also been seen that witches can change the way their magic manifests if they choose.Amanda Wiccan's magic usually appears as multi-colored sparkles, however she briefly changed it to appear as explosions of white smoke in Bada-Ping!
- Some magic appears to change slightly as a witch gets older. Sabrina's magic starts as a stream of light yellow-gold sparkles. However, as she gets older, her magic seems to get darker; becoming a deeper, rusty orange-gold. Amanda's magic starts as a stream of sparkles (identical in form to Sabrina and Zelda's), however when she gets older, Amanda's magic is accompanied by a ball of orange light that leads the sparkle stream.
- Some specific spells may manifest magic in a specific way without influence of the witch casting it.
- In addition to the form and colour of a witch's magic, often witches cast their magic in different ways. The most commonly seen in the series is simply pointing with the index finger such as Sabrina , Hilda , Zelda , Amanda , Irma , etc. However Dreama often pulls on her earlobe to use her magic, Dashiell once rubbed his head, Cousin Marigold and Duke are seen simply waving their hands, Vesta and Dante often snap their fingers, James Hexton and Gwen both make a fist, and Diamond Dave will shake his fist and point as if he's rolling dice. These are just a few of the various ways in which certain witches activate their magic.
- Different magic manifestations are accompanied by different magical sounds as well.
Limitations of Magic
Although a witch's magic is vast, allowing them to peform a variety of impressive magical commands, there are still limitations to an individual witch's abilities .For example:
- Love spells are forbidden because it involves human emotions and that is not something witches are permitted to tamper with (although a specialist like Cupid is able to).
- A single witch is unable to turn back time, however collectively witches are able to do things an individual cannot and turning back time is a request that must be taken directly to the Witches Council.
- Life's lessons should not be tampered with using magic. They are instances which must play out. Embarassment is one such lesson, while fear is another emotion that should not be tampered with, it can lead to unforeseen consequences.
- Witches are also warned against using their magic for charitible purposes. As it is difficult to understand what would truly make another happy, charitable magic is discouraged as it too can lead to unforseen and potentially harmful consequences.
- Money and currency is something that cannot be conjured permenantly. Any money that is conjured simply dissolves within a few hours.
- In The True Adventures of Rudy Kazootie, Hilda explains that witches have to honor copyright law and aren't allowed to conjure brand names. This rule occurred after witches in the 70s wore only Gucci clothes, and Sabrina tries to transform a shoe box with a hair of a cat within into a packing with Roller Blades. Instead of this, she gets a packing with the inscripton Roller Blanes. Because of this, even witches have to work for their money, if they want brand name things.
- Witches can restore life to small animals that have died. In the Pilot, Sabrina is seen bringing a frog back to life in her biology class which was a small animal and had a simple life. However, restoring people back to life may be beyond even the boundaries of her powers. In A Halloween Story, however, Sabrina's aunts give her a reanimation voucher as a gift, which allows her to speak with the spirit of any deceased person she wishes for a short while (she wished to speak with her mortal grandmother). In this spell, the spirit of Sabrina's grandmother took on the form she had when she was alive. This seems to be a very rare and special exception though. A witch can redeem the voucher only on Halloween since the boundaries of the dead and the living are closest at that time.
- Witchcraft also seems to be affected or limited by atmospheric and even astrological phenomena. In Sabrina And The Beanstalk, Sabrina's magic is briefly knocked-out by the high altitude even though The Wicked Witch was still able to use magic. (It is possible that this rule effect only effects relatively inexperienced witches like Sabrina.) In Ice Station Sabrina, Zelda worries that the alignment of certain planets will cause the family to lose their powers. One of the biggest astrological events for magic users occurs when Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune are all aligned in the ninth parallel of the seventh quadrant, an event which happens once every millennium. During this event, the ability to perform magic is negated until the event is over. It is unknown if these forces act upon all witches in both realms or just those living in the mortal realm.
- Vampires are immune to witchcraft.
- Magic Removal is an ability to remove their magic and store it in any object. Witches who have temporarily removed their magic are Sabrina Spellman, Hilda Spellman and Zelda Spellman. In these cases, their mystical powers and abilities and transformed into a physical form which they just need to receive it in a different way like touching or drinking it.