“Now, in reality, or in this reality at least, witches appear to cross every culture in history. They're the architects of the supernatural; responsible for everything that goes bump in the night from ghosts to vampires to doppelgangers.”
— Atticus Shane to his occult class in The Five
Witches are a supernatural species of humans that possess magical powers. By connecting themselves with the elements and forces of nature, witches uphold their sacred duty as the Servants of Nature to maintain balance within the world and combat the forces that seek to disrupt the balance.
While the origins of witchcraft remains a mystery, witches have existed for many centuries, passing down their knowledge and skills through generations in family lines.
Magic, or Witchcraft, is the power to effect change by magical means. Magic can often be split into dark and light; though depending on the situation can also be neutral. Magic is a genetic heredity that connects a witch to the elements and forces of nature in order to practice sorcery.
The witchcraft in The Vampire Diaries consists of several types of magic.
: A form of magic that taps into the internal resources of the witch. This type of magic is the most convenient and quickest to use, though a witch's energies are limited and can cause pain and discomfort for over-use. Because of this limitation, witches must learn to draw upon external sources of power to not tax upon their own abilities and therefore can only cast minor spells. As a witch's power grows with training and experience, they are able to perform more powerful feats of magic.
: A form of magic that involves utilizing the energies of the surrounding elements and celestial events. This magic is similar to spirit magic, however channeling usually taps into the power on Earth. Channeling magic can also allow a witch to tap into the power of another witch, however some sort of conduit (e.g. personal item) or connection (e.g. bloodline) is usually required to focus the specific energies.
: A form of magic that calls upon the aid of spirits. It is commonly used amongst the witches in the series as it is considered a major source for witchcraft. Since witches are the servants of nature and their purpose is to maintain the balance, they use the power that the spirits provide by calling out for them.
: A form of magic draws upon malevolent powers and is fueled by the darkest aspects of witches themselves such as negative emotions and tempation. This magic is extremely powerful, seductive, and addictive as it has no boundaries. Despite it's free use, it defies the authority of the Spirits of Nature and though the spirits themselves cannot stop use, witches can be severely punished.
: An unnatural form of magic that involves channeling the souls of dead humans and releases darkness that cannot exist on Earth without corrupting and destroying it. Expression is considered extremely dark, perhaps more so than dark magic. Because of its horrible nature, many witches do not even consider it to be magic.
By tapping into supernatural and elemental forces, witches possess a host of magical abilities. With experience and adequate training in witchcraft, these powers will grow stronger.
: The act of changing and controlling events by magical influence.
: The act of channeling or drawing other forms of energy and power by focusing on celestial events.
: The act of calling, commanding, or summoning an element, object, person, or spirit already in existence.
: The act of controlling and manipulating the elements of air, earth, fire and water and weather.
: The act of controlling and manipulating the minds of humans. (Similar to Compulsion)
: The act of bemusing and rendering someone unconscious.
: The act of creating and inflicting excruciating pain upon another person, especially vampires.
: The act of foreseeing future events and happenings.
: The act of controlling and manipulating the movements of objects and persons.
: The act of brewing and concocting supernatural elixirs and potions that contain mystical properties.
In addition, witches are naturally immune to forms of manipulation such as hypnosis or mind compulsion. However this immunity is ineffective against the magical manipulation of other witches. Some witches can attain longevity, which allows them to temporarily extend their lifespan and maintain their youth. However, longevity is not a common trait amongst witches and is acquired through spells, herbs, and potions. Witches have also been displayed to have some degree of psychic sensitivity.
One of the major sources of power for witches originates from the Earth, which is considered the purest form of magic. Witches are psychically attuned to Nature allowing them to “literally” feel the Earth. In addition, witches can also channel energy from the elements.
Colloquially known as the Spirits of Nature, spirits are highly involved in the activities of witches. Spirits often commune and aid witches in their rituals and spells. Being the conscience of Nature, they establish the sacred laws and guidelines of witchcraft. While many witches are faithful servants of these spirits, some witches defy their laws and are often punished. Spirits can also be channeled as an additional power source in witchcraft.
Witches mostly have a natural distaste for vampires as they are commonly perceived amongst their community as abominations. Vampires have a notorious history (particularly Klaus) of employing the aid of witches to perform various spells for their advantage such as the creation of Lapis Lazuli, which provides vampires with magical protection from daylight. Despite this, many witches have willingly associated themselves with vampires having befriended or serving them.
Though witches and werewolves have very little interaction, they are known to be the oldest of supernatural creatures as both predate the existence of vampires.
Similarly to werewolves, witches are bonded by a code of loyalty to help and protect each other, commonly being regarded as members of an “extended family” (portrayed with many characters making references to one another such as “sister” or “brother”). However, some witches defy this bond and act solely for their own personal gain. Contrary to popular mythology, witches do not form covens and are primarily solitary practitioners, though on occasion they may combine forces to achieve a common goal.
According to Rebekah, if a witch is transformed into a vampire, their magical powers will vanish. As she (and possibly her siblings) would have been a witch if she wasn't turned into a vampire. Witches are the most powerful supernatural creatures in this world.
: A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the condition or feeling of being afraid could cause a witch to temporarily lose their powers.
: Based off the fact that witches are still human, they share many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. age, decapitation, disease, heart-failure, suffocation, etc.)
Overuse Of Magic
: The excessive use of magic could lead to several ailments such as nosebleeds, headaches, fainting and in extreme cases death.