Paige Matthews magically conjures doves after performing a spell.

"Mortals don't know it exists, but magic infuses all their hopes and dreams."
Cronyn talking about the nature of magic[src]

Magic, also referred to as the Craft[1] and the Occult[2], is the supernatural energy that originated from the All and can alter the fabric of reality and defy the laws of nature. As a mere act of manipulating reality, magic is amoral though its users can be split into the Good, Evil and Neutral categories. Magic is a genetic heredity and a studied technique that enables a person to brew potions, cast spells, scry, and possess powers. Magic can change and control the natural world (including events, objects, people, and physical phenomena). One who is born with and practices magic is usually called a "witch". However, aside from witches, many other magical beings exist such as demons, warlocks, and Whitelighters.

Humans who are born without magical powers but follow the Wiccan Rede are called "practitioners".  Wiccan practitioners are mortals with a natural affinity to magic. However, a witch practitioner must rely upon external sources of power to make use of the three basic witch powers.

Magic is passed on by genes and may prove to skip one generation, as seen in the case of Billie Jenkins: although her grandmother was a witch, both her parents were perfectly normal human beings who did not possess any special powers at all. Their destined supernatural powers are present in their blood, and if a mortal comes into contact with it, he or she can gain those powers as well, but this will drive them insane as their body and mentality are not equipped to deal with them.

Whilst the ability to perform magic almost always reveals itself in early childhood, and in some special cases even from the womb, some individuals remain dormant until quite late in life, usually either in their late teens or their early-twenty years like Billie.


Three Essentials of Magic[]

On the night the Charmed Ones discovered their Book of Shadows, Phoebe mentioned that she read something in the book about there being Three Essentials of Magic: timing, feeling, and the phases of the moon.

That means that midnight on a full moon is the most powerful time for witches, especially to perform great magic works (for example, invoking their powers). Witches who gather together with their powers united are at their strongest. The Charmed Ones' powers are linked to the essentials, as that was the night Phoebe cast the spell that granted each sister their unique witchcraft power.

Using Magic []

The Source Vanquished

Phoebe and her sisters vanquishing The Source.

A good deal of studying and training is required to be able to perform magic effectively and correctly. While an active power is undoubtedly most desirable, witches who have an affinity for - and had thoroughly trained themselves in - the basic skills of inventing spells and brewing potions tend to be more feared and respected than other witches. This is so as these traits will almost always guarantee victory in battle over someone who relies only on their active powers. The feat of mastering all the aspects of magic is not an easy one, and only witches of the highest level and sharpest intellect have accomplished this. Notable examples are Penny, Phoebe and Piper, the latter two of which were said to be naturally gifted: Phoebe excelled in spell-writing because of her remarkable innate creativity, and Piper is the best potion-brewer out of all four sisters due to her intense passion in the culinary arts. It was her devotion to the craft that made Penny a master of multiple Wiccan skills, able to invent spells in limited time, brew potions enthusiastically, and employ her power of Telekinesis to great effect.



Phoebe casting a spell.

Main article: Spell

A spell is a spoken verse (mostly one or more rhyming couplets) that produces a magical effect based on its composition. The act of, as well as the ability to perform spells is referred to as Spell Casting. Witches can invent and cast spells that do whatever they wish them to do, and other than an active power, spell-casting is the quickest way to utilize magic. The more powerful and creative the witch, the quicker he or she would be able to conjure up a spell to either destroy their opponents in combat or to change or create whatever they wish. They also tend to be the only ones able to cast non-verbal spells. This ability is also a feature among other beings like warlocks and some demons.


Piper making exploding potion

Piper brewing a potion to replicate her power.

Main article: Potion

A potion is a magical substance (usually a liquid but can come in other forms) that produces a certain effect. Potions can fulfill a vast variety of magical purposes, from vanquishing a specific demon to transforming one object into another. Potions could work by being ingested or thrown as a projectile. Like Spell Casting, the ability to make working potions is exclusive to witches and other magical beings.

Active Powers[]


Prue using her power of telekinesis.

Main article: Power

Magic can also manifest in the form of an active power; a unique ability that performs a specific function and is one of the quickest ways of performing magic without resorting to spells. These powers are a biological part of the witch that predominantly resides in the blood. An active power can manifest itself in several ways: in the onset of puberty, as a reflex when a magical being is in direst need, or just when the person is ready to receive the power. Powers are possessed by many magical beings and separate powers are recognizable by their moral alignment.


Main article: Curse

A curse is a magical enchantment designed to produce negative effects, often placed on a particular object or aimed at a certain individual.


Main article: Enchantment

Enchanting is a type of magic used to enchant an object or an individual to either behave abnormally or to manifest magical powers for a specific purpose.


Regardless of how powerful a witch is, he or she is by no means without limitations. For example, some witches cannot cast certain spells or brew certain potions as they lack the vast amounts of magic required for the spell or potion to be effective. Even if they do have the power to perform the magic correctly, it could still fail—a notable instance would be when Belthazor managed to withstand a summoning spell cast by Prue and Phoebe. The truest and most memorable example would be when Prue, the oldest and strongest of the four Charmed Ones, was tragically killed in a fight with the demon assassin Shax, which proves more than anything that even the most powerful witch ever to walk the earth is neither invincible, nor invulnerable, nor without limitations.

Magic and Spirits[]

Main article: Spirit

The sisters summon Grams's spirit.

Many magical beings can see the spirits of mortals or magical beings who have died and can use magic to summon them from Up There back to earth in non-corporeal form. However, they can only stay for a short time.

While some spirits could gain a corporeal form when they are summoned to earth, it does not mean that they are alive again, and are compelled to return to the afterlife after their purpose for being summoned is fulfilled. If the spirit is a witch or another magical being, he or she will retain his or her original active powers. Also, they usually develop other powers after their deaths.

Magic and Mortals[]

Main article: The Cleaners

To prevent the outside world from learning about the existence of magic, beings called the Cleaners are there as safeguards, rewriting history, erasing minds, and the like to prevent exposure. This is such a high-importance issue that both Good and Evil have agreed on, to prevent magic from being exposed to humans at any cost.

However, there have been many mortals who knew about the existence of magic, and who agreed to keep it a secret from the rest of the world. These mortals are known as Secret Keepers. Mortals are capable of becoming magical through various means. They can become demons through various forms of conversion and can be imbued with powers through spells, power granting or by injecting the blood from a magical being in their bodies. However, it is extremely dangerous for mortals to acquire supernatural powers because they are not meant to have them. They will become confused, then frightened, paranoid, violent, and demonic, and (in the case of demonic powers at least) would ultimately die unless the powers are withdrawn out of them.

History of Magic[]

Main article: Timeline

This chronology indicates broad eras in the magical history of the Charmed universe and how magic developed over the centuries.

Natural Magic[]

When used in certain ways with the correct intent, certain herbs and objects can be used to harness and direct energy and hence use magic, even without innate magic. This type of magic was used more prominently during the 1600s and has fallen into decline since the modern day. After Charlotte Warren died, her coven raised Melinda Warren in the art of magic so it is presumed she has this knowledge.

Prue, Piper and Phoebe Halliwell took this knowledge back with them to the present after saving their family line and it's believed passed this knowledge down to the next generations. It's believed that Piper and Phoebe taught this knowledge to their half-sister Paige Matthews as well: When demons attempted to abduct Wyatt Halliwell, Piper told Paige to align the manor with apples and sage for protection.

  • The Besom: Also known as a common sweeping broom. When one sweeps from east to west (the path the sun travels) one can "charge" the besom. If sweeping is continued the evil and anything associated with it will be swept from one's path, as if by a gust of wind. A charged besom can even be used to fly with, hence the modern-day stereotype of witches riding on broomsticks.
  • The Poppet: A poppet doll is one of the few natural magical objects that has survived into the modern era. If made from leaves it can represent the power of women, helping to focus the female witches' magic. If made of Wax it can be a useful assistance in various spells such as the "Awakening" spell and the "To Lose A Love Forever" spell, again, focusing magic.
  • The Conical Hat: This simply serves to keep the witch focused and centered. Nevertheless, it is a powerful focusing tool.
  • Days of Power: Some days, such as Halloween, increase magical potency like a witch's powers and natural magic.

The Protective Circle[]

The Protective Circle replicates the effects of a force field and seems to be the olden-day equivalent of the Crystal Cage, however, this seems to be weaker. Instead of being composed of only pyrite crystals, the circle has many, natural requisites, these are:

Apples and Laurel Leaves
Cut an apple in half and you reveal the pentagram that they hold at their core made of their pips, this can be a symbol for good or evil and magic in general. If you press a laurel leaf into its center, you block the path of evil. The minimum amount is four to complete the circle, placed at four roughly equidistant corners.
Lavendar & Rosemary
Both are good protection herbs, scatter these around the space in a ring to strengthen the force field.
Carved Pumpkins
Although it is unknown whether or not these were used in the circle in "All Halliwell's Eve", it is known that Pumpkins with the shape of a five-pointed star cut out will turn away evil spirits and sometimes even demons. Which is why it would be a good idea to include them in one.

Altogether, these ingredients would create a powerful circular forcefield of blue energy around the creators. The field repelled the riders and the horses but was powerless against bullets.

Enchanted Doorway[]

When Eva brought the Charmed Ones to where her coven was hiding in, she told them that the doorway they had within the room would have told her if they were evil or not. The doorway was aligned with several unknown flowers and possibly magical herbs. However, it was later revealed that it was in fact the Elders who opened the gateway that sent the sisters to the past, and they were the ones that opened it again to return them to the present.

Magic and Science[]

Magic often breaks the laws of science in the process:

  • For example: one of Piper's powers is to slow down molecules until they completely stop, and according to the usual laws of science, doing so would cause the molecules to lose heat until they reach an absolute zero. However, this is not the case here, since the people or objects she immobilizes do not gradually turn into ice statues (except for that one instance where she was turned into an evil warlock), but merely look as though they are frozen.
  • Another example: time-traveling back into the past or the future is deemed to be impossible by current physics. However, time-traveling forward and backward could be accomplished by magic, provided that the user is a powerful supernatural being.