Witches are human beings who practice witchcraft, a divine art involving the ability to tap into and manipulate the inherent properties in the universe known as magic. The origins of this practice date back thousands of years to Ancient Greece. Most witches use spells to lengthen their life spans for hundreds of years and even seek potential spouses that also practice witchcraft to sire children with a potential for the mystical arts. Because of their long life spans, most witches look down on regular humanity, calling them "mortals" but this is more a derogatory term than a factual one since witches aren't true immortals, like the Greek Gods. Although witches seem to be long-lived, they do age and are not immune to death.
Although witches are native to Earth, most witches and magic-users preside in an alleged mystic realm known the Other Realm. It is possible this domain was created in order to escape persecution on Earth; however, it has often been used as an allegory to represent the magical community in general, which seems to include non-human species such as elves and fairies. Some witches have solely presided in the realm and become ignorant of traditional mortal traits and customs. However, most witches still frequent or preside on Earth, living as regular human beings and siring children with mortals, resulting in children with both characteristics of their parents, known as Half-Witches.
Although most witches inherit their mystic potential through their parents, there are instances where regular human beings have acquired temporary mystical powers through spells or by happenstances with other witches. Contrary to belief, all human beings have some potential to practice magic but are limited on their potential, knowledge and understanding of the mystical arts.
Powers & Abilities
Witches are able to tap into and manipulate mystical energies to alter the perception and reality in localized ares. Amongst their many supernatural skills are:
- Spell Casting: Verbal commands and incantations in a specific order that can cause magic effects such as:
- Transfiguration: The act of altering the form of other individuals, objects and locations
- Conjuration: The act of turning mental images into real objects
- Molecular Transference: The act of teleporting by mentally linking two points in space
- Hexes and Jinxes: The act of invoking psychokinetic forces on a level of probability for positive or negative results
- Memory Manipulation: The act of mentally erasing memories of other individuals
- Telekinesis: The act of mentally moving objects with the mind
- Levitation: The act of telekinesis upon one's self
- Elemental Manipulation: The act of controlling and manipulating the elements of air, earth, fire and water (such as controlling the weather)
- Weather Control: The ability to control and manipulate every aspect of the weather, a latent attribute of manipulating the elements.
- Potions: Brews enhanced by magic energy that cause the same effects as spells when ingested or sprayed.
Witches are limited by several rules inherent in the art of witchcraft. Foremost, the mystical signature of witches seems to be as individual as fingerprints, preventing witches from tampering or altering the spells of other witches. Although Sabrina was not able to alter the spells of her aunts, she could impose other spells to circumvent their will.
Although Sabrina was not experienced enough to pose much of a threat to her aunts, she was still powerful enough to battle witches whose powers were in decline or hampered by health and mental distraction.
Witches are also limited by spells imposed by The Witches Council. These spells seem to alter or regulate the way witchcraft is accessed or practiced through the use of spells and incantations.
It should be noted that there are some spells that witches are unable to perform alone. Some spells, such as time travel or influencing free will require several witches together channeling their energies into common goals. Witches are unable to conjure some spells controlled by mystical beings specializing in such matters. For example, when Sabrina wanted to cast a love spell, she was required to call upon Cupid and pay for him to perform the spell on her behalf.
There are several items that a witch is required to own or possess for full control of the mystical arts. For most to all witches is the spellbook, a family tome detailing the genealogy or list of spells and potions within one magic family. Sabrina's spell book, The Discovery of Magic, was enchanted with photos and images to relatives, specialists and other magic users that assisted her in her understanding of witchcraft. Other useful objects in her collection:
- Vacuum: A 20th Century replacement to the broom used as an alternative to levitation.
- Lab top: A portable potion brewing system containing the most common and useful ingredients used in witchcraft. Zelda Spellman called it an expensive but valuable investment.
- The Cauldron: A pot used to create brews and potions in for spells and incantations for very specific effects.
- Crystal Ball: A glass ball used by witches to focus their latent psychic abilities for viewing very specific events (via precognition or clairvoyance).
- Toaster: A 20th Century device mystically enchanted to receive messages and correspondence between Earth ("the mortal realm") and the Other Realm.
- Sabrina continues the tradition of the Other-Realm started by the 1960s-70s supernatural sitcom, Bewitched, as well as the tradition of witches having names that end in "a."
- Unlike the comics and the animated adaptations, 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.