|“||No, it could be anyone. Neighbor, coworker, man, woman. That's the problem, Dean - they're human, they're like everyone else.||”|
A Witch is a human with the power to affect change by magical means, called "Witchcraft". A witch can be either female or male, as they connect themselves with supernatural forces in order to practice magic.
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 witches are portrayed as being malevolent men and women who use their powers for dark and sinister deeds, other witches, such as Nora Havelock, have proven that not all witches are satanic, and commonly use white magic to maintain balance within the world.
According to Rowena, there are three recognized types of Witches in the world, classified by where they draw their magic from. These three types are known as the Borrowers, the Naturals, and the Students.
The term "Borrower" is commonly used to define any witch who has obtained their power through demonic forces. These witches are known to have summoned demons and made deals with them in exchange for power. While it is common for these witches to have traded their souls for power, it has been implied that not all Borrowers sell their souls, but rather promise the demon something else of value. According to the witch Rowena, these witches are very common and make up for more than half of the witchcraft community.
- Amanda Burns (deceased)
- Borrower Witch (deceased)
- Elizabeth Higgins (deceased)
- Renee Van Allen (deceased)
- Ruby (formerly, deceased)
The term "Natural" is commonly used to define any witch who has obtained their power from biological development. Not much is known about these witches apart from the fact that they are known to have been born with a natural affinity to the supernatural powers of the universe. According to the witch Rowena, these witches are very rare and make up for less than half of the witchcraft community.
The term "Student" is commonly used to define any witch who has obtained their power through practice and training. While these witches are commonly known to have been taught about witchcraft from other witches, it has been implied that some Students are self-taught. According to the witch Rowena, these witches are less common than Borrowers, but more common than Naturals.
- Charlie (deceased)
- Gary Frankle
- Nora Havelock
- James Frampton
- Spencer Wallis (deceased)
- Trevor (deceased)
Witches who are in this section are unknown as to where they draw their magic from, and cannot be classified as either a Borrower, a Natural or a Student witch as of now in the series.
- Boyd Loughlin (deceased)
- Catriona Loughlin (deceased)
- Charisse (deceased)
- Clea (deceased)
- Clea's Friends (deceased)
- Delta Mendota (unknown)
- Don Harding (deceased)
- Don Stark
- Gideon Loughlin (deceased)
- Katja (deceased)
- Letitia di Albioni (unknown)
- Lia (deceased)
- Jamie Plum (deceased)
- Jennie Plum (deceased)
- Maggie Briggs (deceased)
- Maggie Stark
- Melodie (deceased)
- Mrs. Plum (deceased)
- Nadia (deceased)
- Sonja (deceased)
- Thomasin (deceased)
- Tracy Davis (deceased)
A coven is a community of witches who commonly gather together for celebrations of holidays, ceremonies of worship, practices of witchcraft, and more. According to Clea, all covens must have three witches to form a coven. If two witches are working together in close proximity, it is called a "witches' den" instead. According to Rowena, before she was exiled from the Grand Coven, she and the other members attended a "winter solstice orgy" when she conceived her son, Fergus MacLeod.
All covens must have at least one or two leaders, known as the High Priestess and/or High Priest. These witches are accountable for a number a different responsibilities, such as creating the laws of their coven that every member must abide. According to Rowena, each coven has its own set of laws and punishments created by the leader(s) of that group. While some covens have only a few laws, others, such as the Grand Coven, have many. Rowena explained to Crowley that the other members of her coven, especially Olivette, always envied her power and thus sought to smother her talent. Rowena expressed how after consistently disobeying the rules handed down from the others, she was exiled from the coven and forbidden from further using magic.
- Book Club (disbanded)
- Gary's Coven (disbanded)
- Mega Coven (disbanded)
- Loughlin Family (extinct)
- The Community
- The Grand Coven
- Mega Coven
According to Bobby Singer, the power of a witch is not only dependent on the source of their magic, but also on their knowledge and training in witchcraft. For example, although witches who obtain their power from demons (Borrowers) are generally more powerful than witches who obtain their power from study (Students), if a witch does not have much experience in witchcraft, they can be easily subdued. This was proven after Sam Winchester easily frightened and intimidated a coven of Satanic witches, who did not have much training in witchcraft, and seemed powerless against him. Whereas, years later, the Winchesters met a Student witch named Spencer Wallis, who, because of having years of training, was well-versed in some of the most powerful spells the Winchesters have ever heard of. Furthermore, while some witches, such as Wiccans, have been known to provide laws for themselves and have strict convictions as to how magic should be used, most witches have been shown to have free will over their power, and have demonstrated extraordinary feats without necessarily having to draw from demons. One prominent example of this being Rowena, who was able to control higher beings, cast many dangerously powerful spells, and even resurrect herself.
Powers and Abilities
- Potion Brewing - The act of brewing and concocting magical mixtures to weaken or strengthen one's abilities, magical and otherwise, as well as performing deadly results.
- Spell Casting - The act of changing and controlling events through the use of incantations and more. Witches can use some powers via spells such as:
- Telekinesis - The act of moving and manipulating objects and persons through mental influence.
- Hexing and Cursing - Witches have the ability to hex and curse other mortals.
- Conjuration - The act of creating various objects, such as maggots, blood, needles, razors, or even hearts, through a hex.
- Pyrokinesis - The power to control and manipulate the element of fire.
- Electrokinesis - Don Stark, a powerful witch, was able to stun a Leviathan.
- Longevity - The power to live hundreds, possibly thousands of years while maintaining a youthful, even beautiful appearance.
- Teleportation (limited) - The act of disappearing from one location and instantly reappearing in another location through supernatural means.
- Mind Control - The power to control and manipulate the behavior and thoughts of another living creature.
- Astral projection - The power to project the astral body from outside of the physical body in order to travel from one location to another.
- Power Granting - Rowena was able to grant Oskar immortality; Katja was able to grant Hansel immortality as well.
- Healing - Rowena was able to heal the Darkness' vessel.
- Molecular Combustion - Through a spell, Rowena was able to cause three witches to combust into blood and ash.
- Invulnerability - Powerful witches have displayed invulnerability to normal forms of harm, with one scoffing at the idea of a bullet being used against her.
- Scrying - Using crystals, mirrors, or prisms, witches are able to find whoever they want, although the spell is easier to perform if the witch knows the appearance of, or possesses an object belonging to, the person they seek.
- Portal Creation - Using a ritual from the Demon Tablet, one witch displayed the ability to open a rift to another reality.
- Athames - A ceremonial dagger with a double-edged blade that is commonly used to direct energy.
- Black Grimoire - Spellbook full of powerful druidic magic.
- Book of Shadows - A tome that is used for witchcraft and related dark arts.
- Book of the Damned - Powerful spellbook that can allow the user to create or undo any damnation in existence amongst other things.
- Candles - Block of solid wax with embedded wicks that are commonly lit to amplify a witch's spell.
- Cauldrons - Large metal pots that are commonly used to hold the ingredients for elixirs and potions.
- Crystals, prisms or mirrors - They are necessary to perform scrying spells.
- Herbs - Earthly plants that are commonly used as ingredients for brewing and concocting paranormal potions.
- Stones - Small stones that are occasionally used as ingredients for brewing and concocting paranormal potions.
- Iron - A hard and strong magnetic metal that is able to repress the supernatural power of a witch.
- Witchcatcher - The Witchcatcher is a collar-like tool used to catch a witch, and compel them to obey the user's commands.
- Fire - Katja was killed with fire and Lucifer burned Rowena's body to ensure she could not be resurrected.
- Magic - While most witches have been known to cast protection spells upon themselves, some witches are still susceptible to potions and spells.
- Witch-killing spell - Is one of the spells that can kill a witch.
- Power Sealing - Olivette was able to reduce Rowena's powers with a spell. Reversible through a ritual detailed in the Black Grimoire.
- Mortality - 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.). However, it is known that especially powerful witches can overcome these weaknesses.
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Season 12
- Season 13
- Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (non-canon, mentioned only)
- According to Olivette, the practice of witchcraft was once very common among the human population. However, since the brutal witch trials that occurred during the 17th century, the practice of witchcraft has severely declined. Furthermore, because the Men of Letters destroyed most of their grimoires and kept the others locked away from the public, most humans nowadays either disbelieve in magic or they simply choose not to practice.
- Although witches are not inherently evil, many often become evil (or at least have moments of disregard) as their power can corrupt them. Dean Winchester once compared magic with cocaine, stating that once they get a taste of it, it's surprising what they will do.
- Dean and Sam Winchester have the poorest record against witches. Thus far, only eight witches have been defeated by the Winchester brothers specifically. More often than not, witches are killed by other creatures such as demons or other monsters.
- There are significant differences in power between witches; while newbie witches struggle to defend themselves from human attackers, more experienced witches have been known to overpower some of the most powerful monsters in existence. This was proven when the Book Club was easily intimidated by Sam Winchester who threatened to shoot the women if they didn't stop the hex that was placed on his brother. Whereas, a more experienced witch named Don Stark nonchalantly stunned a leviathan.
- While it is known that Borrowers are condemned to hell upon their death, it is unknown if all witches are damned, or if other witches such as Naturals or Students who practice white magic can enter heaven.
- While some witches are known to have Familiars, the majority of witches do not.
- Whilst anyone can practice magic, witches normally (though exceptions do exist) have greater knowledge and power over harnessing mystical forces. Witches have existed for many centuries, and are found in many races' lore.
- Witches commonly form covens, but this is not a necessity. They are also often social, and meet with other witches.
- Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes implies that being born of a natural witch doesn't necessarily make you one, as Max was a natural witch but Alicia was not. This is also the case with Rowena and Crowley.
- According to Olivette, witch-on-witch murder is anathema to the Grand Coven.