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Hilda: No. It’s just beginning. You are a witch.
Zelda: With real magical powers and now that your sixteen you can use them. And you wanted something from The Gap.
— Hilda and Zelda to Sabrina in the Pilot.


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.

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.

Psychological Characteristics

Witches can be good or bad, just as with mortals. Several witches have displayed a condescending attitude towards mortals, thinking them inferior creatues. Some even display bigotry towards mortal/witch hybrids.

According to Zelda Spellman, sometimes when a witch really loves someone and can’t stop thinking about them, they literally see the object of their affection in other peoples faces.[1] According to Sabrina Spellman, when a witch perceives extraordinary danger, time may freeze so she can assess the situation and escape.[2]

Physiology

Witches are more or less "human", and their physiology is only subtly different from that of ordinary mortals. When stressed, a witch may manifest warts, but they usually disappear after they have calmed down.[3] Interestingly, when a witch gets rid of their appendix, they’ll be mistake free; by going to Mistake School a witch can nullify these effects and return to normal.[4]

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.[5][6][7]

Half-Witches

Witches can successfully 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 quantities of noxious secondhand smoke).[8]

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. Skilled witches can turn themselves into fire, water, and wind.
    • 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.[9]
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  • Potion Brewing: Witches can brew and concoct potions, liquids that have been magically enhanced to possess supernatural properties. It has been stated and confirmed that even when a witch's magic is neutralized, they can still brew potions for a specific effect.[10][11]
  • 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.[12] When Sabrina conjured a storm and a lightning bolt knocked her unconscious, after she regained consciousness her powers were temporarily gone.[13] Sunspots are also known to cause molecular instability in witches.[14] Zelda 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.[15]
  • Bermuda Triangle: A witch's magic doesn't work in the Bermuda Triangle, however, their every wish comes true. The only stipulation is that a witch can only make one wish at a time and cannot make another wish until their previous wish is fulfilled.
  • Distraction: Preventing a witch from concentrating or giving full attention to their spells, may render them ineffective.[16]
  • 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.[17] Furthermore, a witch's motivation can also influence the potency of there spells, seeing as how Sabrina could not just reverse her Aunt Irma's spell on Aaron just for the sake of breaking it, but Harvey was able to use Sabrina's own magic to break Irna's spell because he was trying to make Sabrina happy.[18]
  • Lava: According to Zelda Spellman, lava is the only substance that can destroy a witch.[19]
  • 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. Some spells cannot be used until a witch achieves a Witch's License.
  • 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 restored. 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.[20]
  • Overexertion: Overuse of a witch's magic can deplete their reserves; the only way to restore their waning powers is an extended period of rest. A witch's finger can suffer jetlag.[21]
  • Witch Hunters: A very small amount of mortals are born with the witch-hunting gene that makes them want to ferret out witches.[22] They can unknowingly sense magic and seem to have an innate distaste for witches. Should a witch inadvertently reveal themselves to a witch-hunter, they are turned into a mouse for a hundred years.

Spells and Rituals

*This list only includes official spells found in tomes of magic and not spells made-up by witches.

  • Silence Spell: A spell to silence another.
    • Requirements: Affix the taste organ of a humped ruminant adjacent to one's dentation.
    • Used by: None.
  • Rabbit Conjuring Spell: This spell allows a witch to pull a rabbit out of a hat.
    • Incantation: Abracadabra!
    • Requirements: A hat and a magicians wand.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this spell while practicing her magic.
  • Sporting Events Spell: A spell to manipulate the outcome of a sporting event (i.e. to win, lose or tie).
    • Requirements: Pump arm three times and point.
    • Used by: None.
  • Spell to Conjure a Rollerblades: This spell allows a witch to conjure rollerblades.
    • Requirements: Old shoe-box and a gift from a quick footed animal.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this spell to make inline skates, however witches have strict copyright laws ever since the seventies when witches "way over did the Gucci," and she could not conjure a brand name rollerblade.[23]
  • 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.
    • Used by: Sabrina unknowingly used this spell when she was babysitting, making the baby she was watching a fully grown man. Zelda and Hilda also used this spell to summon Randy Travis. Sabrina latter used this spell to summon both Eddie Cibrian and Brad Pitt.[23]
  • Full Body Duplication Spell: A spell to create a clone of the witch casting the spell. The clone is however rather dimwitted and can only comfortably say three phrases predetermined by the witch who created them.
    • Incantation: Double Double Toil and Trouble.
    • Requirements: None
    • Used by: Sabrina cast this spell so that she her double could secure her attendance at Harvey's Halloween party while she was forced to attend her family celebration. Hilda also used this spell so that her double could take her place at her family gathering, however Zelda quickly noticed the switch.[24]
  • Reanimation Spell: This is a "gift certificate" to spend half an hour with the deceased of your choice.
    • Requirements: As the gap between the living and the dead is weakest on all hallows eve, a witch can only use it on Halloween; filling in the name of the deceased person the witch wishes to see and putting it through the mail-slot in a reanimation room.
    • Used by: Sabrina was gifted a Reanimation by her aunts Zelda and Hilda, and she used it to speak with her deceased mortal grandmother.[24]
  • Just Desserts Spell: A spell that that guarantees the victim get what’s coming to them.
    • Incantation: Adder's fork and blind worm's sting. Lizard's leg and howlet's wing. For a charm, a powerful trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble. Fair is foul and foul is fair. Hover through fog and filthy air.
    • Requirements: A cauldron to mix unknown ingredients for a potion.
    • Used by: Sabrina and her aunts used this spell to get revenge on Sabrina's math teacher, Mr. Rothwell.
  • Finding Spell: A spell used to find something the caster has lost.
    • Incantation: Finder of lost things, help me find my [enter lost item here].
    • Requirements: None
    • Used by: Sabrina used this spell to find her lost biology notes. The spell summoned a troll named Roland whose job was to find what Sabrina lost.[25]

  • Cupid Summoning Spell: A spell used to summon cupid in order to facilitate his help in manipulating love.
    • Sabrina's First Incantation: Love is beautiful, love is alive. Send me cupid for five ninety five.
    • Sabrina's Second Incantation: Love is beautiful, it's never corrupt. Send me the six dollar cupid unless the rates have gone up.
    • Requirements: None.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this spell to summon cupid and pay him to make a boy named Kirk go on a date with Valerie. Sabrina latter tried to use this spell to have Cupid make Hilda temporarily attracted to Willard Kraft. However Cupid required Hilda to sign a release form to prevent lawsuit due to her not being a minor and Sabrina declined his service.[26]
  • Charlie McCarthy Spell: A spell that allows a witch to make another act like a dummy. While the victim still has their motor skills, the caster has to talk for them.
    • Incantation: Be a dummy, be a fool. switch off your brain but please don’t drool.
    • Requirements: None
    • Used by: Sabrina used this spell to force her aunt Hilda to go on a date with Willard Kraft.[26]
  • 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.
    • Requirements: None.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this spell to neutralize Dante's powers as he was using them recklessly.[27]
  • Boy Brew: A potion that temporarily turns a girl into a boy.
    • Incantation: None.
    • Requirements: Snips, snails, puppy dog tails (synthetic), and eye of newt.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this potion to turn into a guy so that she could get personalized information from Harvey.[28]
  • Time Ball: A spell located in "Brewing and Concocting with Two Hot Tamales." It allows whoever holds it to shift their surroundings into the decade they think of.
    • Incantation: None.
    • Requirements: Onion, garlic cloves, bunch thyme, halibut, sardines, lime juice, and olive oil.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this to go to the 1960's.
  • Aging Potion: For a teenager's outlook on life, take three candies.
    • Caution: May result in the ability to eat an entire box of cereal.
    • Used By: Sabrina used this potion to make Mr. Kraft think like a teenager. However, since Sabrina mixed the potion with caffeine, Mr. Kraft gets more and more immature, turning into a spoiled brat.[29]

  • Sleeping Potion: A magical potion capable of putting individuals to sleep.
    • Requirements: Feather of a fowl, preferably ostrich or emu, two ounces of chlorophyll, a tad of faux animal fur, body hair, the courser the better, and top it off with a little alcohol for flavour.
    • Used by: By Zelda, Hilda, and Sabrina Spellman to escape Diamond Dave's clutches.</ref>[11]
  • Just Desserts: 'with one little bite of this dessert, you'll get the recognition your good work deserves.
  • Prognosis Hypnosis: Shows a person what will happen if they keep doing what they're doing
  • Mum's The Word Spell: A spell which forces someone to only say the word "mum."
    • Incantation: So nothing unkind will be heard, just remember mums the word.
    • Used By: Sabrina used this spell to keep her aunt Hilda from insulting Mr. Kraft.[30]
  • If you can’t say anything nice’ spell: This spell mutes the caster.
    • Incantation: None.
    • Requirements: Pressing one's finger on the page the spell is written on in The Discovery of Magic.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this spell so she would not say anything disrespectful towards Mr.Kraft.
    • Caution: When a witch incants two silence spells under one roof, everything under the roof becomes a silent movie.[30]
  • Doctor Dolittle Spell: TBA

  • Double Time Spell: A spell which helps you get your work done twice as fast.
    • Incantation: Step lively, step quick. Make me move lickety-split.
    • Requirements: None.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this spell so she could get her work done faster, however she sucked the extra time out of Roxie King and Miles Goodman.[31]

  • Elixir of Trust: Whoever serves this tonic will instantly gain the trust of whomever drinks it. This potion shouldn't be poured down the drain; may cause sever damage to septic tank. If boiled, in can turn into a gas and more people could inhale it. If too many people trust the server, the server will become blind faith.
    • Used by: Sabrina used this on Roxie King yo make Roxie always trust her.[32]
    • Antidote: The server have to be completely honest with the person under the effects of the potion. This can makes the server can see again.

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 their genealogy and with a collection of spells and potions. 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.
  • According to Zelda Spellman in The Crucible, the Salem witch trials had nothing to do with real witches.
  • According to Roland in The Equalizer, all witches can spin and sew.
  • The existence of witches does not necessarily seem to be common knowledge to all of the supernatural community, given how in Sabrina Down Under, the merman Barnaby was unaware that witches truly existed.
  • If you steal a hair from a person's left pinkie knuckle and the hair curls, then that person is not a witch.[33]
  • Despite the fact witches seem yo use their pointer fingers interchangeably to cast spells, its been implied that a witch has a single magic pointer finger from which they channel their magic. Thus if anything would happen to that specific finger, then that witch would be rendered powerless.
  • Witches can willingly give up or be stripped of all their magical powers.[34][35][36][37][38] When a witch's magic has been removed, it is almost magnetically attracted to the witch it originated from and will seek them out should it be released into the ether.[37]

References


See also

Sabrina the Teenage Witch Characters
Main Characters Sabrina SpellmanHilda SpellmanZelda SpellmanSalem Saberhagen
Recurring Characters Harvey KinkleJenny Kelley Libby ChesslerValerie BirkheadWillard KraftDreamaJosh BlackhartRoxie KingMorgan CavanaughMiles GoodmanAaron JacobsBrad AlcerroEugene PoolAlbert the Quizmaster
Sabrina's Relatives Amanda WiccanAlly WiccanLydia SpellmanZsa Zsa GoowhiggieDorma SpellmanPeleNicholasVesta SpellmanSusieIrma SpellmanMarigold WiccanMortimer SpellmanEdward SpellmanDiana SpellmanGail KipplingDonald KipplingAunt BeulahDoris WestDoris WestBoydRacineMaw-MawGreat-GrannyMontyJezebelda SpellmanKatrina SpellmanSophia Di Borgheses
Other Characters Mrs. QuickDrellSkippyCassandraMarnieCupidDukeAnnabelle SaberhagenKevin O'ConnorLouisaJuliette JingleheimerGordieRolandGwenAnnie MartozCole HarperJames Hexton
Species DeitiesMerpeopleMortalTrollWitchWitch Hunter
These characters appear in the Sabrina the Teenage Witch sitcom series which aired from 1996-2003.
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