The term witch can apply to male or female practitioners of magic, although historically it is primarily applied to women. In The Craft, all known witches seen in the film are female, perhaps implying that female witches are more common than males.
Society and Culture Edit
Witches usually try to live by the rules of magic and nature, such as the Rule of Threefold which dictates that whatever they do eventually comes back to them times three. In addition to practising magic, they may worship or call upon gods or spirits. In the film, the witches primarily worship Manon, a supreme deity said to personify the universe and nature itself, although in a deleted scene Sarah Bailey prays to a "goddess of healing" to help remove Bonnie's scars, and whilst invoking Manon, Sarah also makes mention of a "Mother", which could possibly be referring to 'Mother Nature' - a divine personification of nature, though this isn't made entirely clear. Some aspects of their spiritual and cultural practices resemble neo-pagan, New Age and Wiccan religions, though it's possible that witches will draw their beliefs and customs from their own individual cultural background, depending on where they live and how they raised. Contrary to popular belief, witches do not worship - or even necessarily believe in - the Judeo-Christian Devil, nor do they draw their powers from the Devil.
It would seem that anyone with the will and potential to learn the Craft is allowed to become a witch, although witches capable of working true magic are seemingly quite rare. Witches can perform their craft alone or form a group called a coven with other witches to perform spells and rituals. Witches can take it upon themselves to learn the ways of magic via research, practice and trial-and-error; they can also be mentored by and older and more experienced witch. Some experienced witches, such as Lirio, open up occult stores to provide supplies, research materials and expert knowledge to other witches or anyone interested in witchcraft.
Types of witches Edit
There are a few different types of witches, who vary in the exact nature and scope of their magical abilities.
Common Witch Edit
A common witch (also known as a practical witch or spiritual witch) is any person who has obtained their power through practice and training. These witches are known to have dedicated years of their lives to the Mystic Arts only to have manifested a small sum of supernatural power. While it usually requires several years for a normal person to develop any real power, it is possible for someone to manifest immediate power with the help of another witch who is willing to share their own powers through an Initiation Ceremony. This ceremony allows the individual(s) to mirror the powers of the other witch(es) who are initiated into their coven almost immediately after the ritual is complete. This was proven after Bonnie, Nancy Downs and Rochelle had been studying and practicing witchcraft for several months or possibly even years prior to the arrival of Sarah Bailey, but had yet to experience any real power of their own. After the discovery that Sarah was a practicing witch, the three young women initiated Sarah into their coven, which caused all three of the girls to manifest powers identical to those as Sarah Bailey.
Note: Common witches earned their name due to the fact that these witches are the most commonly found in the witchcraft community. While Sarah Bailey was initially mistaken as a common witch by Bonnie and the other girls, it should be noted that there is a significant difference between common witches and natural witches. First and foremost, a common witch is someone who develops their power after several years of practice, whereas a natural witch is someone who manifests their power from natural development, which usually occurs around the time of puberty. Natural witches are also noted for being significantly more powerful than common witches in spite of their experience or lack thereof.
Contract Witch Edit
A contract witch is any person who has obtained their power through the invocation of a Divine Spirit, such as Manon. These witches are known to have summoned the Divine and surrendered themselves to their influence and power. Whilst every man, woman and child has the potential to become a contract witch, the individual must at least have a small sum of supernatural knowledge and power in order to perform the Invocation Ritual. Meaning that before someone can become a contract witch, they must first become a common witch. Furthermore, not only is it possible for natural witches to also become contract witches, but it also appears as if these individuals in particular become even more powerful than common witches who invoke the Divine. This was proven after Sarah Bailey successfully invoked the same God as Nancy Downs, but seemed to easily overpower Nancy in spite of the fact that Sarah was given the same amount power as Manon had given to Nancy.
Note: Contract witches earned their name due to the fact that these witches are said to enter a contact with the Divine which usually instates that the witch can use their power however they desire, so long as it does not intentionally cause harm to another person or themselves. If the witch violates their contact and uses their power for sinister purposes, the God(s) can enlist the service of another witch to bind them of their powers and prevent them from doing any further damage. Nevertheless, it is because of their connection to the Higher Powers of the Universe that Contract witches are believed to be the most powerful of all witches in the world.
Natural Witch Edit
- Main article: Natural witch
A natural witch is any person 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 energies that are found within the Universe. These witches appear to be a rare, and yet natural, occurrence in the world. Some natural witches, such as Sarah Bailey, are born [[Sarah's mother|from one]] or two parents with connections to witchcraft, it has been implied that some natural witches are born from entirely normal parents, and are simply the first witches to evolve into their family. Nevertheless, while natural witches are inherently powerful, they, too, can invoke the spirit of a Supreme Being and increase their power even further.