Witches are a supernatural species, a subgroup of humans that can affect change by magical means. A witch can be either a female or a male, as they connect themselves with the elements and forces of nature in order to practice sorcery.
Humans who practice magical powers are called "witches." The origin of witchcraft remains a mystery, however it is known that witches have existed for many centuries, passing down their knowledge and skills through generations in family lines. Contrary to popular belief, witches do not receive their powers from demons, nor do they worship the Devil. Instead, witches consider themselves the Servants of Nature, as they make it their job to maintain balance within the world.
Magic (or witchcraft) is the power to affect change by supernatural means. Magic can often be split into benevolent and malevolent, though depending on the situation can also be neutral. Magic is a practiced technique that connects a person to the elements and forces of nature in order to practice witchcraft.
Bright Magic (or White Magic) is a form of sorcery that draws on benevolent energy, and may be used for positive purposes that deliberately causes help in some way (e.g. to cure or protect, to improve or restore, or for the benefit of others rather than for the profit of oneself.) In popular usage, the term "bright magic" is often used to describe any form of magic that obeys the Wiccan Rede.
Dark Magic (or Black Magic) is a form of sorcery that draws on malevolent energy, and may be used for negative purposes that deliberately causes harm in some way (e.g. to cause destruction or misfortune, to injure or kill, or for the profit of oneself rather than for the benefit of others.) In popular usage, the term "dark magic" is often used to describe any form of magic that disobeys the Wiccan Rede.
The Laws of MagicEdit
According to the Laws of Magic, black magic is said to have the least limitations, while white magic is said to have the most. This is namely due to the fact that bright magic is intimately tied to the Wiccan Rede and cannot be used for anything that defies the fundamental laws of nature, whereas dark magic is not tied to the Wiccan Rede and can be used for almost anything the witch desires whether it flouts the natural laws or not. According to Bonnie McCullough, black magic and white magic are equivalent in power, meaning that neither bright magic nor dark magic is less or more powerful than the other. However, the fact that black magic is able to accomplish more than white magic is the main reason why so many witches (including Bonnie McCullough) are drawn to the Dark Arts. Nevertheless, black magic is both addictive and corruptive, and, according to Bonnie McCullough, once a person opens themselves to the Darkness, it's almost impossible to close themselves from it. Bonnie once explained to Elena Gilbert how some of the brightest Wiccans in history have become some the darkest witches known-to-man after they started to dabble in the Dark Arts.
The Law of ImmortalityEdit
Bright Magic cannot be used to achieve immortality. According to a powerful Wiccan named Benjamin Ravenwood, white magic can never be used to flout the natural law that all living creatures must die and that any spell used to achieve immortality (whether for oneself or others) is an affront to the Grand Design and can only be accomplished with black magic. Benjamin Ravenwood also confirmed that all vampires, especially the Old Ones, are creatures of dark magic.
The Law of MurderEdit
Bright Magic cannot be used to achieve murder. According to Bonnie McCullough, one of the most fundamental laws of the Wiccan Rede is to "harm none." Therefore, any spell used to inflict harm onto another living creature cannot be accomplished with white magic. However, Bonnie once performed a protection ritual with white magic that almost killed Damon Salvatore after he attacked her. This implies that while White Magic cannot be used to harm the living, it can be used to harm the non-living, which, in the case of vampires, includes the undead.
The Law of ResurrectionEdit
Bright Magic cannot be used to achieve resurrection. According to Benjamin Ravenwood, white magic cannot be used to bring back the dead for the same reason white magic cannot be used for immortality. Benjamin Ravenwood explained to Elena Gilbert that the dead are supposed to remain dead and that resurrection spells cannot be accomplished with white magic. This causes Elena to doubt whether or not the Guardians were benevolent angels like they claimed to be, or if they were malevolent demons working for the Devil.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Channeling - The act of invoking extra forms of energy by focusing on external forces.
- Divination - The act of divining future, past, and present events based off extrasensory perception.
- Astrology - The practice of divination through observation of the Moon, Sun, and other celestial bodies in the belief that their positions affect human behavior.
- Cartomancy - The practice of divination through the use of tarot cards.
- Clairvoyance - The practice of divination through the perception of emotions, objects, people, or physical phenomena.
- Intuition - The practice of divination through the use of instinctive knowledge.
- Mediumship - The practice of divination through the communication of spirits.
- Palmistry - The practice of divination based off the features indicated on the human palm.
- Premonitions - The practice of divination through the observation and study of dreams.
- Psychometry - The practice of divination through contact with or proximity to a certain object or person.
- Rune Reading - The practice of divination based off the positions and symbols of runic stones.
- Tassomancy - The practice of divination based off the positions and symbols of tea leaves.
- Spell Casting - The act of changing and/or controlling events through the use of charms, hexes, rituals, etc.
- Elemental Control - The power to manipulate the four elements Nature: earth, water, air and fire.
- Witches Brew - The act of brewing and concocting magical potions that contain mystical properties.
- 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.
- Grimoire - A family journal is documented with magical recipes, rituals, and spells.
- Talisman - An object that is used to magnify a witch's power.
The Rede (or the Wiccan Rede) is a spiritual belief system based around the observance of Mother Nature and reverence of Higher Powers. The main goal of all Wiccans is to honor the design of nature and to maintain stability within the world. The Wiccan Rede is intimately tied to one's spiritual relationship with the divine, and the idea that all things (e.g. animals, humans, life, etc.) are considered sacred, as they are all different aspects of nature. Contemporary Wiccans would also agree that using ancient ceremonies, rituals and shamanic practices is the best way to attune themselves with the natural rhythms of the universe in their efforts to obtain guidance and knowledge from the Gods.
Wicca is a religion whose adherents are alternatively called Wiccans. By contrast, traditional witchcraft is not a religion, but a universal magical practice that transcends any religious belief or lack thereof. While Wiccans generally acknowledge and revere a pantheon of gods and goddesses, traditional witches may belong to any religion or none, they may believe in a God or gods or they may be atheists. According to Bonnie McCullough, Wicca is an earth-centered, polytheistic religion, where the adherents are extremely conscious of their one "law" called the Wiccan Rede which advises them to "Harm None."
Witchcraft (Television Series)Edit
Witchcraft is a practice of magic that encompasses many different types of activities including astrology, divination, spell casting, and spirit communication. It includes the practices of many cultures, nations and religions as well as many books and writings from ancient times. Depending upon the individual, some witches practice their power by certain belief systems, such as Hoodoo, Voodoo, Wicca, or any number of other magical practices from countries and cultures all around the world. Although the majority of traditional witches are commonly portrayed as being kind and selfless humans who use their powers to maintain balance within the world; in the case of Greta and Maddox, it has been proven that some witches are independent thinkers who may go against the Wiccan Rede by practicing their powers for dark and sinister deeds.
- According to Benjamin Ravenwood, only four witches in the history of time have managed to achieve immortality. While it remains unknown exactly how these witches gained their immortality, Benjamin claims that they used black magic, as no other magic can be used to achieve such an abomination.
- After the death of Elena Gilbert, Bonnie McCullough contemplated on whether or not she could resurrect Elena with black magic without becoming a victim of the Darkness. According to Bonnie McCullough, once a person opens the door to the Darkness, it's almost impossible to close it. However, Damon and Stefan Salvatore (who had learned a lot about witchcraft over the centuries) explained to Bonnie that one dark spell wasn't enough to turn her evil.
- Contrary to the television series, witchcraft is both hereditary and non-hereditary. This was proven with Bonnie McCullough (who is descended from a long line of powerful Druids), Elena Gilbert and Meredith Sulez (both of whom are descended from ordinary humans). While Bonnie has blossomed into one of the most powerful witches of her generation, Elena and Meredith have also been known to perform spells of their own. However, as they are both inexperienced with witchcraft, Elena and Meredith will only resort to witchcraft in extreme cases of emergency as witchcraft is known to be very dangerous to those who do not fully understand it.
- The only way for a human to resurrect the dead is through black magic. This was proven after Benjamin Ravenwood confirmed that the only power capable of resurrection was dark magic. However, the Guardians (who created the Wiccan Rede) have proven that these rules can be broken as they used white magic to resurrect Elena Gilbert, Mr. Tanner, Sue Carson and Vickie Bennett. However, it is unknown if the Guardians are the only beings capable of breaking these rules as they created them, or if especially powerful Wiccans can break them as well.
- While white magic is intimately tied to the Wiccan Rede and cannot be used for anything that violates the Grand Design, the Guardians (who created the Wiccan Rede) can break these rules and use white magic to achieve anything they desire. However, this is extremely rare and according to the Principal Guardian, Mylea, the Guardians have only broken the Rede twice in the entire history of time and will only do so it extreme cases of emergency.