Witches are supernatural beings who are born with the power to affect change by magical means (Witchcraft).
Witches are more or less "human", and their physiology is only subtly different from that of ordinary mortals.
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.
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.
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 skills are:
- Spell Casting: Witches can cast spells, invoking some sort of magical effect such as:
- Transfiguration: Spells of this nature alter an object's form or appearance.
- Conjuration: Spells that magically create objects out of nothingness.
- Charms: Spells that alter an objects 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.
- Curses: Truly malevolent acts of magic, whose intent is to affect the target in a strongly negative manner.
- Hexes: Spells such as these consistently affect an object in a negative manner; as opposed to a jinx, hexes cause major inconvenience to the target.
- Jinxes: Minor acts of negative-magic; amusing, almost playful, spells whose effects are irritating and only cause minor inconvenience to the target.
- 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.
- 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 extremely 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 and Limitations
Witches are limited by several rules inherent in the art of witchcraft. Foremost, there are some spells that witches are unable to perform alone and require them working as a collective to achieve the desired magical effect (i.e. rewinding time or getting rid of cellulite). Witches are also sometimes unable to cast some spells controlled by divine mystical beings specializing in such matters. For example, when Sabrina wanted to cast a love spell, she was required to call upon Cupid and had to pay him for his services in creating an unnatural sense of love on her behalf.
- 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. Sunspots are also known to cause molecular instability in witches. 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.
- 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.
- Lava: According to Zelda Spellman, lava is the only substance that can destroy a witch.
- 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.
- Mystical Ailments: Witches can suffer from several cases of magical illnesses or afflictions that can be mystically debilitating to their craft. 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.
- Spell Seals: According to Zelda Spellman, witches can seal their spells, preventing other witches from tampering with or altering their spells. For example, Sabrina's cousin Amanda had once locked the spell she cast on several people, which turned them into toys, and even Sabrina's Quizmaster was unable to reverse or break her spell. Although a witch may not necessarily be able to alter the spells of another witch, they could still impose other spells to circumvent their will. Additionally, it seems that when working as a collective witches can do things a single witch cannot, and most likely a group of witches could break the spell of a single, ordinary witch.
- The Star of Orion: A powerful magical artifact that can steal a witch's magic when held. The effects are reversible, seeing as Sabrina's magic was returned.
- Vampires: Vampires are immune to witchcraft.
- Witch Hunters: A very small amount of mortals are born with the witch-hunting gene that makes them want to ferret out witches. 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.
Tools and Equipment
There are several items that a witch can use to fully control and hone their skills in witchcraft. 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. Other useful objects in her collection included:
- Vacuum: A 20th Century replacement to the broomstick; used as an alternative to self-levitation.
- 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.
- The Cauldron: A black pot used to brews potions in for spells and incantations.
- Crystal Ball: A glass ball used by witches to remotely view other places or events.
- Toaster: A 20th Century device mystically enchanted to receive messages and correspondence between Earth ("the mortal realm") and the Other Realm.
List of Known Witches
- Sabrina Spellman (Human/Witch hybrid)
- Hilda Spellman
- Zelda Spellman
- Edward Spellman
- Vesta Spellman
- Sophia Di Borgheses
- Irma Spellman
- Dorma Spellman
- Lydia Spellman
- Jezebelda Spellman
- Katrina Spellman
- Marigold Wiccan
- Amanda Wiccan
- Ally Wiccan
- Mortimer Spellman
- Doris West
- Aunt Beulah
- Zsa Zsa Goowhiggie
- Emperor Larry
- Albert the Quizmaster
- Martha (depowered)
- Dashiell Calzone (Human/Witch hybrid)
- Derek Axelrod
- Salem Saberhagen (currently a witch's familiar)
- Annabelle Saberhagen
- Gail Kippling
- Donald Kippling
- James Hexton
- Judge Samuels
- The Wicked Witch
- 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.
- Witches have the ability to give up all their magic willingly.