(I am not taking credit for this list, I liked it, but it was not alphaitized, which bothered me, so I alphabatized it) soothingvioletlight: Artistic Witch: A witch usually covered in paint from head to toe. They draw, paint, dance, sing, and sew their way through their practice. They enchant their tablet pens and paintbrushes, use storm water for their watercolors, and strike real emotion into their audience.
Astro Witch: A witch who works with aliens. Usually very paranoid individuals, they adore star gazing, always know when the next astronomical event is, and love the documentary TV Show ‘ancient aliens’. They are usually adept at astral travel, astrology and sun magick.
Atheist Witch: A witch who does not use deities in their craft.
Blood Witch: Another branch of Chaos magick, these witches primarily use blood in their rituals. They have a high pain tolerance, care little about what others think or say, and are very set in their ways. Many of them have a history of abuse and self harm. Some do it to prove how strong they are or devotion to their deities. Nonetheless, nice people once you get to know them. Perhaps a bit misunderstood.
Catholic Witch: Catholic witch who usually uses saints and the holy trinity in their practice.
Celtic Witch: A witch that mixes their witchcraft with Druidry. They worship the traditional deities of the Celtic people.
Ceremonial Witch: A combination of ceremonial magic and witchcraft. They focus on rituals and formal casting of magic. With robes and altars and everything. Also called Ritualistic Witchcraft or Traditional Witchcraft.
Chaos Witch: A witch who uses baneful magick in their craft. They will sometimes use demons, storm magick, blood magick, and cursing in their practice. They fear nothing. Commonly mislabeled ‘black’ or ‘dark’ witch. Which is not correct. Tsk tsk.
Christian Witch: A witch that holds Christian beliefs and worships the Holy Trinity. They often use the Bible in their work.
Cottage Witch: A Witch who focuses on hearth magick. Much like the Kitchen witch, but with less emphasis on the cooking. They are the homemakers, the ones who decorate the house for the holidays. Usually empaths who are very sensitive to the people around them. Crystalline Witch: A branch of Green witchery, these witches primarily work with stones, gems, crystals, and rocks. They LOVE geology, spend a lot of time hiking and collecting crystals. Usually very organized individuals that are in tune with the earth. They always know when the next local rock and mineral show is. Usually broke because they are always buying new rocks. So many rocks. Fucking rocks everywhere omg. Demonic Witch: These witches work with Demons. They differ from Exorcists in that they actually summon them and get them to go their bidding, rather than casting them out. Can usually hold a grudge a hella long time. Not people to mess with. Stubborn and bull headed. Draconic Witch: These witches are fearsome. They are knowledgable in all the species of dragons, their personalities and their migration patterns. They usually will have one or more dragon companion from their local area. They are skilled in astral projecting, storm magick and cursing. They love to collect things such as books and crystals. Eclectic Witch: The Boho witch. She uses a combination or mix of whatever paths suit her best. Typically specializes in 2-4 different sects of the craft. She often will wear a mix-match of clothing, but enjoys long flowing things. She tends to be very random and eccentric, but is friendly nonetheless. Energy Witch: Witches that perform all of their magic internally. Their magic is one of pure energy, using circles cast in their heads and their imaginations to bring their will to life. Are usually shy and keep to themselves. They enjoy divination and astral projection. Also called Intrinsic Witches. Exorcist: A branch of Spirit Worker. They are usually hereditary, clairvoyant and raised Christian or Catholic or Judaic. They learn their craft as it is passed down from their family members. They practice the archaic tradition of exorcism, aka banishment of dark or foul entities. Very somber individuals, who try their best to be optimistic. Fae Witch: These witches are educated on all types of faeries, but usually prefer to work with a certain species or one they are familiar with. They are usually very playful and mischievous individuals, mimicking the creatures they work with. They are very attracted to shiny things and are easily offended. Green Witch: The woodland witches, these earthy individuals protect plants and love to garden. They usually are adept at spirit communication, hearing and responding to the needs of their many leaf-bearing friends. They thrive in natural environments such as forests, lakes, rivers and gardens. Green witches enjoy sunlight, growing plants and collecting rocks. They focus on holistic medicine and are learned healers. They are very familiar with their local region, having memorized all the species of plants, trees, insects, wildlife and flowers. They truly love the earth.
Hedge Witch: A witch that lives between two worlds. They easily cross over into Elsewhere, the astral realm, and do so with ease. Often skilled at working with magickal creatures and familiars, they are very creative and artistic individuals. They are also very adept at psychometry, spirit communication, energy work, and time travel. Also called Astral Witches. Hellenic Witch: A witch that observes the traditional Hellenic Greek gods and goddesses. Hereditary Witch: Someone who is born into a witch family and brought up learning about witchcraft, or folk magic. They take great pride in certain traditional magic passed down through the generations. Judaic Witch: Jewish witch who practices one of the many sects of Judaism. They are proud of their heritage and many enjoy casting their spells in Hebrew. Kemetic Witch: A witch that practices traditional Egyptian magick and acknowledges and worships Egyptian deities. Kitchen Witch: This type of witch uses easily obtained items and weaves magick into every aspect of their life. They are particularly fond of cooking, arts and crafts, sewing, cleaning, gardening and baking. They are skilled in potions, herbology, and subtle magick. Kreature Witch: Another branch of Green witchery, mixed with spirit working and hedgecraft, these witches primarily work with Magickal and Astral creatures and spirits. They are very friendly people, and get along with all kinds of physical, and not so physical creatures. They collect fossils and bones and skulls and know the names and personalities of each spirit attached to them. Lunar Witch: A witch who primarily draws their power from the moon. They adore her and are usually adept at making moon water and knowing exactly what phase of the moon it is at any given time. They do not fear the dark, do much of their magick after the sun goes down, and have the ability to speak with the Lady Luna herself. These witches also may choose (or be chosen by) one of the moons of another planet, such as Miranda or Europa., and will work with that particular celestial body. Melodic Witch: A branch of Artistic that primarily uses song and musical instruments in their practice. They are very busy people, constantly practicing whatever instrument has currently caught their fancy. They easily make friends with Sirens and Lorelai in their common love of song, and attract Fae and Nymphs alike with the sounds of their voices. Necromancer: A branch of Chaos magick, these witches take spirit working a step further, and are adept at communicating and controlling the dead. Necromancers usually have a familiar ‘wraith’ that acts much like an astral or spirit guide. Some can even raise the dead for a period of time to converse with them. Nordic Witch: Witches who worship the deities of the Norse people. Nymphatic Witch: These cutie pies are usually Hellenistic in their choice of deities, and are well versed in all the species of Nymphs, what they like, and where they live. They usually work with the ones that live in their local area and mirror them in their personalities. They hate wearing clothes, but when they do they prefer pastel colors. They are very whimsical, pleasant people to be around. Omni Witch: A bookworm and a know it all, this type of witch studies and practices all the fields of magick. They are innately curious about everything, and love to learn. They are talkative and eager to share the massive amount of knowledge they have absorbed. Oracle: Branch of Spirit worker. Witches who primarily focus their practice on divination. Tarot, runes, pendulums, spirit boards, scrying, crystal gazing, aeromancy, stichomancy, sea gazing, animal gazing, bird watching, lynchomancy, ceromancy, astrology, numerology, amathomancy, dream interpretation, shufflemancy, tea leaf reading, people watching, palm reading, face reading. You name it, they probably know how to do it. Usually clairvoyant and have a number of other psychic abilities. Otherkin Witch: A witch who is Otherkin. They relate to an inhuman or an animal in either personality or spirit, or believe they are a reincarnation of such. They behaviors and choice in deities and certain practices in their craft will usually reflect their kind of Kin. An example would be that a Felinekin might like using catnip in their rituals, and might call on Bastet, Sekhmet or Freya in their magick. Pop Culture Witch: A branch of Urban witchcraft. Witches that craft their spells based on popular music, movies, books and poetry. They are artistic and very educated and love to laugh. They can also curse the hell out of you. It’s not all Disney movies, folks. Practical Witch: A branch of kitchen witch, they are adept at spellwork, and use their magick for everyday, mundane things. They adore the use of sigils and put them everywhere. Very down to earth individuals, who enjoy experimenting with ways to use magick to may their daily life easier and more enjoyable. Satanic Witch: Witches who work with Lucifer. Usually very kind, nonjudgmental people. Sea Witch: These witches hone their craft near a body of water, and center their practice around it. Some sea witches will work with fresh water, such as rivers or lakes (in which case they will usually call themselves ‘river’ or ‘lake’ witches), some with the ocean. Sea witches without immediate access to a body of water are called ‘land-locked’. They often form connections with fish of all kinds, know their local areas very well, are good at predicting the weather, and are friendly with the nymphs, fae and dragons of their region. They enjoy collecting sand and seashells and are adept at storm and sun magic. Secular Witch: A witch who does not involve religion in their craft. Shadow Worker: A combination of energy and hedge magick, the shadow worker tames and summons Shadows of their own past and personality. They regret nothing, are very in tune with their emotions, and spend a lot of time meditating. They are not afraid to confront their mistakes, because accepting the flawed pieces of their personality gives them power. Solitary Witch: A witch who works in isolation. Usually very independent and stubborn, they take orders from no one. Spirit Worker: A Witch who communes with the dead spirits of humans, animals, and others entities. Some can even communicate with the spirits of trees, rocks, and man-made items. They are usually very outspoken, opinionated people. They use spirit boards and pendulums, among many other tools. They enjoy taking strolls in graveyards and having casual chats with the dead. Also called Mediums. Star Witch: Not to be confused with a Space witch, who works with all of the cosmos, primarily aliens and astrology. Star witches draw their power from constellations, stars, and the sun. They love star gazing, have star charts hanging on the walls of their room, and never miss a meteor shower. Very chipper individuals who always want to go to the planetarium rather than out to see a movie or to the park. They may also work with planets as well as stars. Stitch Witch: A brand of Kitchen and Cottage witchery that holds magickal fabric work in high regard. They focus primarily on knot and stitch magick. Very scatter-brained individuals. Their room are always in disarray, fabric and thread everywhere. Usually fond of cosplay. LOVE making Halloween costumes for their family and friends. Storm Witch: This breed of witch is both terrifying and thrilling. They have a great sense of humor, and are usually very cryptic. They give zero fucks what people think of them and march to the beat of their own drum. They whistle up the winds and summon lightning. These witches are usually very adept at cursing and fear nothing. They like horror movies, cloudy weather, and casting emotionally charged spells. They are empathic individuals and always feel things to the extreme, there is no middle ground with them. Its black or white. Subtle Witch: a witch who cannot be openly witchy due to their family, friends or environment. Sun Witch: A witch who draws their power more from the sun, than the moon as most witches tend to do. Adept at fire magic and are usually very spirited individuals. They use candles often in their practice, and love to throw barbecues and bonfires with their many friends. They enjoy sunbathing. Their magick comes in giant bursts and they will often use a lot of energy at once. Swamp Witch: A witch who works in the rivers and bayous of the world. They are adept at spirit communication and are versed in the traditions of their area. They enjoy wandering around their swamps, meeting familiars and befriending creepy crawlies. Their craft is usually a mix of traditional southern witchcraft and Hoodoo. They are very warm, hospitable individuals, but you should NEVER cross a Swamp witch. They are not afraid to curse your ass. These witches favor the healing powers of mud, enjoy mixing potions, reading next to a roaring fire and being with their family. Tech Witch: A branch of Urban witchcraft, they work with html and other computer codes, have virtual altars to their deities, use old circuit boards as wards, old keypads from cell phones and laptops as spirit boards, and old broken electronic screens for scrying. They typically keep their grimoires as blogs. Very intelligent witches who are always on tumblr. Theatrical Witch: Branch of Artistic witch. A player. They act and perform in plays to honor their deities, spend countless hours perfecting their lines and adore being dramatic. Very charismatic people who take pride in their work. Persistent. Never take no for an answer. Urban Witch: City witches who graffiti sigils on abandoned buildings, grow herbs in pots in their apartments and are very technologically savvy. Technomagic is their jam, usually rocking enchanted headphones, weaving spells from their favorite songs and using their cell phones as scrying mirrors. Vampiric Witch: A witch that either works with or is a vampire. They feed off the energy or emotions of others and use it to power their magick. They tend to be kind of clingy, but they are loyal as fuck and treasure their few friends. They have many secrets, and usually a dark past. They enjoy using blood in magick and are adept at healing and cursing. They are kind of vain, love gothic clothing, jewelry and expensive things. Wiccan Witch: Started in England by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s in order to preserve the “old ways”, these cuties use rituals and invoke the power of the goddess for their craft. Some believe in the rule of three, wiccan rede, the triple goddess, and so on. Winter Witch: Witches who reside in the colder climates of the world. They cast snowstorms, collect hail and make poppets from snow. Blizzards are their best friends. They love cold weather, and usually draw their power from the snow and clouds, rather than the sun or the moon, as neither are usually very visible during storms. Despite their chilly disposition, they are warm and friendly once you get to know them. Witch of the Dance: Branch of Artistic Witch. They use dance in their practice, and are very physically sound. They may practice one on many kinds of dance, or even martial art. And they do so skillfully. They are usually very quiet people, but not at all shy or unsure of themselves. They would rather express their thoughts through movement and body language than actually speaking. Witch of the Waste: Desert witches who work with sand and limited supplies. Hardy herbs are their best friends and they often use a lot of bone magic. They have an extensive fossil and skull collection and are constantly pouring over old field guilds for their local area. They can whip up sandstorms in the blink of an eye, and befriend scorpions, snakes, and coyotes alike. They are an enduring species of witch, weathering everything the world has to throw at them. Few things dampen their spirits.
“There was an effortlessness to the way they depicted magic that made it feel exotic and very familiar at the same time. It was a big influence on me. The fairy Godmother starts to work with the wand. No pixie dust is flowing from it, so she has to slap it against her palm in order to get the magic flowing. This mundane aspect of it being clogged intersecting with something as fanciful as a magic wand is wonderful to me.” -Brad Bird
I understand that Harry forgetting the mirror that allowed him to contact Sirius was tragic and another reminder of how unreasonable Harry was in sneaking off to the Ministry. But why, after Harry speaks to Sirius and Lupin following the events of Snape’s Worst memory, did Sirius not remind Harry that he’d provided Harry with a means of direct contact that DIDN’T involve an extremely risky break in to Umbridge’s office?
Now You See me is the wildest movie like four people just dropped everything and vanished off the face of the earth in order to plan and execute several dangerous and highly illegal crimes all in order to join a magic trick club that for all they know may or may not exist
It may be extremely easy to just put magic into a story you’re creating, or explain away things with the excuse of “magic.” But if that is how magic is handled in your world, readers are going to find major plot holes in your story. Magic needs rules and guidelines, even in stories where it’s not in the foreground. Without rules, magic could be the solution to all, or you end overpowering a character because he has no restrictions on how he can use his magic.
But where do you start when setting ground rules for how and when magic can be used? My goal in this post is to give you some ideas while you map out your world of magic.
Who can learn magic? Is magic a thing that all people can learn, or certain people who have a knack for it? Is magic something that can be learned at all? Perhaps it’s only readily available for those who are born with it, such as the wizards in Harry Potter. Or magic is contained in things, such as charms, amulets, or unicorn horns. People may have to learn how to access the magic contained in these items, but they are solely reliant on items in order to use magic. Perhaps magic can only be learned by certain races.
How is magic learned? In Harry Potter, wizards go to school for seven years to learn how to use magic. Other books wizards have apprentices they train. Can magic be self-taught? How does a person access magic? Through emotion, thoughts, something else? Perhaps learning magic requires a large sacrifice.
Does the magic need to be channeled? Once again, using the example of Harry Potter, wizards need wands in order to use magic. Other common themes involve wizards using staffs in order to use magic. But there are stories where wizards don’t need an item to channel the magic, such as the wizards in the anime/manga series Fairy Tail. Perhaps magic does need an item to be channeled through, but it doesn’t have to be the traditional wand or staff.
How often can a person use magic? Does magic use up a person’s energy, and therefore a person’s magic is limited to how much energy they have? Perhaps they have a different “energy”, such as mana, that restricts how much magic they can use? Maybe you want to go the Once Upon a Time route and magic isn’t used in excess because it comes with a price. Perhaps how magic is used is why people don’t use it so often. Maybe magic is used very often.
Does magic need incantations? Harry Potter uses incantations, whether is it is verbal or non-verbal. There does not seem to be an incantations in the magic that the Witch uses in the Chronicles of Narnia. Incantations are used quite often in the Septimus Heap series. And there no incantations in Lord of the Rings. Or maybe incantations are reserved for the more powerful, older spells. Perhaps incantations make a spell more stable.
Can magic be invoked by using items? Potions is one of the common ways this is used. But sometimes certain spells can only be invoked by using ingredients, like in the show Charmed or the movie Practical Magic. Perhaps it’s only used occasionally, such as some spells performed in the show Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Maybe items are used in only certain branches, such as Divination in Harry Potter.
What cannot be done by magic? With the Genie’s magic in Disney’s Aladdin, he could not make someone come back from the dead, fall in love, or grant more wishes. Food cannot be created out of thin air according to the rules of magic in Harry Potter. Actual love in Harry Potter can’t be created, but enchantments that cause the victim to have an obsessive type of love does exist. Perhaps the dead can be raised, as evidenced by stories with necromancy, but it can’t actually bring back the person completely. Something’s missing. Perhaps only skeletons can be brought back, or the person comes back in a zombie like state. Perhaps you would go so far as to say that magic cannot create permanent things out of nothing.
Does magic have categories/a way it is organized? Potions, Divination, Transifiguration, Charms, etc. Or light, dark, chaos, order, water, fire, etc. Or human magic, dragon magic, unicorn magic, elf magic, etc. And it doesn’t have to have only one way of organization. It can have several levels, just like when science organizes living organisms.
So these are few things to consider when creating magic. The nature of your magic may not necessarily fit into all of these questions, and that’s fine. But don’t be afraid to have long explanations for your magic. You probably won’t fit it all in your story - in fact, you’ll want to be careful how you incorporate magic rules as you don’t want to infodump on your readers - but having the rules there will help you create your story and give you some answers to the why questions that might come up, such as, “why don’t they just magic themselves out?”