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Witches are supernatural beings who are born with the power to affect change by magical means (Witchcraft). Witches are very long-lived and seem to reside primarily in the supernatural realm. To keep their society secret, witches avoid reveling their powers to mortals.

Characteristics

Witches are more or less "human", and their physiology is only subtly different from that of ordinary mortals.

Life Span

Witches seem to naturally age at a far slower rate than normal humans and thus they have a much longer life expectancy than mortals. For example, both Hild and Zelda are over six centuries old, but only biologically appear to be in their late twenties to early thirties.

Spells or potions can also be used to manipulate a witch's physical age.[1][2][3]

Half-Witches

Witches can breed with other species. The most prominent example being the offspring of a witch and a mortal. These hybrids possess the same magical powers their witchly heritage offers, but, due to being half-mortal, their powers don't manifest until their 16th birthday (whether or not this is the case with other witch hybrids is unknown); in reference to raw power, human/witch hybrids seem to be just as powerful as full-witches, however, due to receiving their powers later in life, they tend to be far less experienced in using their powers. These hybrids are somewhat resistant to certain magical afflictions common to witches, but can still be affected by mystical maladies to an extant. According to Sabrina Spellman, half-mortal and half-witch hybrids can potentially live for centuries, but as they're half-mortal, they still suffer from some of the effects of human mortality (i.e. common colds or the consequences of breathing in high quantites of noxious secondhand smoke).[4]

History

The origin of witchcraft remains unknown; however, it is believed that witches have existed since the beginning of humanity, passing down their knowledge and skills through generations of family lines. Contrary to popular belief, witches don't receive their magic from demons, nor do they worship the devil.

Powers and Abilities

Depending on their level of skill, witches possess a number of magical abilities. By joining together, witches can increase their magical strength. Among their many supernatural talents are:

  • Spell Casting: Witches can cast spells, invoking some sort of magical effect such as:
    • Charms: Spells that alter an object's inherent qualities (i.e. its behavior and capabilities). For example, a spell to levitate an object or change its color can be considered a charm.
    • Transfiguration: Spells of this nature alter an object's form or appearance.
    • Conjuration: Spells that magically create objects out of nothingness. Such spells can also be used to conjure the elements (e.g. a storm, fire, water, etc.).
    • Hexes and Jinxes: Spells such as these affect an object or person in a negative manner; jinxes are amusing, almost playful, spells whose effects are irritating and only cause minor inconvenience to the target, while hexes cause major inconvenience to the target.
    • Curses: Truly malevolent acts of magic, whose intent is to affect the target in a strongly negative manner.
  • Molecular Transference: A magical form of transportation, through which a witch can disappear from one location and reappear in another. Similarly, a witch can magically transport an object or even other beings from one place to another.
  • Levitation: Witches can defy gravity and float a few feet in the air. Sabrina Spellman was known to float a few feet when she slept.[5]
  • Potion Brewing: Witches can brew and concoct potions, liquids that have been magically enhanced to possess supernatural properties.
  • Longevity: Witches are extremely long-lived, aging at an especially slow rate; while Zelda and Hilda Spellman appear to be young women, many episodes confirm they're actually hundreds of years old. Most likely their delay in aging doesn't occur until a witch reaches adulthood.

Weaknesses

  • Astrological and Atmospheric Phenomenon: Certain atmospheric and even astrological phenomena can impose limitations or unusual side-effects on a witch's magic. For example, due to not being accustomed to the atmospheric conditions, Sabrina's powers were temporarily knocked-out by the high altitude when she traveled up a beanstalk to save her then boyfriend Harvey Kinkle.[6] Sunspots are also known to cause molecular instability in witches.[7] Zelda also claimed that if Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune were to align in the ninth parallel of the seventh quadrant, witches would lose all their powers for the duration of the astrological event.[8]
  • Distraction: Preventing a witch from concentrating or giving full attention to their spells, may render them ineffective.[9]
  • Emotions: A witch’s emotional state can influence their magical abilities and their powers can fluctuate accordingly. According to Zelda Spellman, strong emotions such as stress can "short" a witch's finger and thus prevent them from properly accessing their powers.[10]
  • Lava: According to Zelda Spellman, lava is the only substance that can destroy a witch.[11]
  • Laws and Regulations: Witches are also limited by spells and officiated laws imposed by the Witches Council. These spells, most likely cast as a collective, seem to alter or regulate the way witchcraft is accessed or practiced. Breaking the decrees set forth by the Witches Council can result in punishments ranging from banishment to minor fines.
  • Magic: Witches are still susceptible to the powers of magic. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as the Star of Orion. Witches can seal their spells, preventing other witches from tampering with or altering their spells. Despite this, a witch may still impose other spells to circumvent their will. Failure to regularly exercise their witchcraft can cause a witch's magic to become pent up and manifest itself spontaneously regardless of a witch's intent.
  • Mystical Ailments: Witches can suffer from several cases of magical illnesses or afflictions that can be mystically debilitating to their craft or well-being. Normally after an accurate diagnosis of their condition, a witch can be properly treated, and return to full-power and vigor.
  • Physical Impediments: A witch cannot perform certain acts of magic should their hands be incapacitated in any way. Depending on how a witch works their craft, should their pointer finger(s) be broken, sprained, or removed said witch would be rendered powerless until their finger was healed. Despite this, a witch can still brew potions to achieve a multitude of effects.
  • Plastic #7: Number seven plastic repeals a witch's magic. When Sabrina broke her biosphere for school, her magic had no effect when she tried to fix it as her project was made out of number seven plastic.[12]
  • Witch Hunters: A very small amount of mortals are born with the witch-hunting gene that makes them want to ferret out witches.[13] They can unknowingly sense magic and seem to have an innate distaste for witches. Should a witch inadvertently reveal themself to a witch-hunter, they are turned into a mouse for a hundred years.

Spells and Rituals

  • Passion Spell: If a witch wants something enough and says it three times, it might just happen.
    • Incantation: Say the thing desired three times.
    • Requirements: Extremely powerful desire.
    • Reverse Spell: To reverse the spell, a witch needs to say their passion spell backwards.
  • Power Outage Spell: Temporarily disables a witch's powers for the duration of the spell.
    • Incantation: "You haven't been nice, you haven't been cordial, so for the next five minutes, you're gonna be mortal"
  • Mums the Word Spell: Forces the victim to say nothing but the word "mum".
    • Incantation: "So nothing unkind will be heard, just remember mums the word!".

Tools

There are several items that a witch can use to fully control and hone their skills in witchcraft.

  • Book of Magic: Most witches seem to own a spell book, a family tome detailing the genealogy or a collection of spells and potions within one magic family. Sabrina's spell book, The Discovery of Magic, was enchanted with photos and images of relatives, specialists and other magic users that assisted in her understanding of witchcraft.
  • Cauldrons: A large metal pot that is commonly used to hold the ingredients for elixirs and potions.
  • Crystal Ball: A glass ball used by witches to remotely view other places or events.
  • Laptop: A portable potion brewing system containing the most common and useful ingredients used in witchcraft. Zelda Spellman called it an expensive but valuable investment.
  • Toaster: A 20th Century device magically enchanted to receive messages and correspondence between Earth ("the mortal realm") and the Other Realm.
  • Vacuum: A 20th Century replacement to the broomstick; used as an alternative to self-levitation.

Notable Witches

Main article: Witches

Trivia

  • Sabrina continues the tradition of a supernatural Other-Realm started by the 1960s-70s supernatural sitcom, Bewitched, as well as the tradition of female witches having given names that end in "a."
  • Unlike the comics, animated adaptations and televised movie, male witches are not referred to as "warlocks" in the series, possibly due to public connotations the word has with black magic and devil worship. The word "witch" is thus used as gender neutral in the Sabrina's universe.
  • Some witches display bigotry against mortals.
  • If you steal a hair from a person's left pinkie knuckle and the hair curls, then that person is not a witch.[14]
  • Witches have the ability to give up all their magic willingly.[15]

References