A Witch is a person, especially a woman, with the power to affect change by supernatural means ("Witchcraft").
Witchcraft is the practice of magic that encompasses many different activities including 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 are known to practice their power by certain belief systems such as Shamanism, Voodoo, Wicca, or any number of other magical practices from countries and cultures all around the world. While many witches would agree that using ancient ceremonies, rituals and shamanic practices is the best way to attune themselves with the natural rhythms of the Universe in order to obtain guidance and knowledge from a Higher Power; it has been implied that not all witches follow these beliefs, and have the free will to practice their power however they choose.
Since witchcraft is highly dependent on the collaboration with the spirits of the dead, it should be noted that the one and only real power of most witches is their ability to contact and communicate with these spirits, since without their cooperation, a witch cannot perform magic. The only exception of this are those rare witches in the world who are born with "full powers". What this means is that in addition to their power to attract spirits, these witches also exhibit a number of other supernatural abilities that are rooted in psychic phenomena (i.e. mind control, telekinesis and telepathy). Because of this, these witches are not as reliant on the spirits as most other witches are, who must offer them their services in exchange for favors.
Over the centuries the practice of witchcraft has found minimal favor by most mainstream religions. While Christianity, Islam and Judaism are all known to have negative attitudes towards witchcraft, some syncretic religions such as Brazilian Candomblé and Haitian Vodou are both known to have positive views towards witchcraft and are even encouraged to be practiced. Furthermore, while some witches are known to employ demons in their spells, witches who belong to the Catholic or Vodouisan faith often pray to the Catholic saints and/or the Vodouisan loa during their rituals.
The basic powers of every witch include:
- The Sight: The power to see beyond the physical realm and into the spiritual worlds.
- The Sound: The power to hear beyond the physical realm and into the spiritual worlds.
- The Voice: The power to summon a spirit from the spiritual worlds and into the physical realm.
These abilities have only been exhibited by those witches who are said to have been born with "full powers". These powers include:
- Divination: The power to predict future events through prophetic dreams.
- Fire Manipulation: The power to create and control fire with the mind.
- Health Manipulation: The power to increase or decrease the health and wellness of another person with the mind.
- Matter Manipulation: The power to move material objects with the mind.
- Mental Manipulation: The power to control and manipulate the actions, behaviors and thoughts of another person.
- Telepathy: The power to hear the thoughts and read the minds of others.
- Witches who depend on the invocation of spirits must usually offer them their services in order for the spirits to cooperate. What these services are differ from spirit to spirit, as different spirits have different demands. While many of the Vodou spirits accept food and alcoholic beverages as offerings, other spirits, especially demons, are known to have more sinister desires. For example, the Mayfair family owed most of their wealth and success to a malevolent spirit named Lasher who desired to be made flesh and bone. For thirteen generations, Lasher upheld his end of the bargain by blessing the Mayfair witches with wealthiness, healthiness and unnatural beauty until he was finally given a life and body of his own. Once their contract with Lasher was concluded, the Mayfair witches fell on hard times, losing most of the money and property.