Cunning Ones
General Information




You're no more witch than I was. We are the cunning ones.
— Petrus to Tituba

A cunning one[1] is a person with the knowledge and power to affect change by supernatural means without resorting to Witchcraft. A cunning person can be either female or male, as they connect themselves with the elements and forces of nature in order to practice magic.


Someone with enough cunning craft to counter ours
and obscure their faces from our vision.
— Mary Sibley

People versed in secret knowledge and forms of positive magic are considered cunning and powerful, hence the historical name of cunning folk widespread in English-speaking areas. Contrary to witches, who obtain their power from demonic forces and practice Maleficium, cunning people do not receive their powers from demons, nor do they worship the Devil. While every person appears to have a connection to the supernatural forces of the universe, cunning people must rely upon natural sources of power from which to draw upon in order to perform effective spells and other feats of magic. The knowledge of herbs and roots virtues, as well as the use of talismans, psalms and prayers are additional resources to the practice of the by defaul called Natural Magic, which also includes remedies and cures for common ailments.

Throughout the Salem series

To Be Added

Notable Cunning persons

A list of cunning people skilled in the practice of the magic that is not linked to Maleficium or other satanic teachings, but mostly inclined to prophecy. The most powerful cunning ones appeared so far are also Seers.

Character Description Status
Petrus was a cunning man and a very powerful Seer, respected by the witches of Salem. Driven by personal agenda, he worked with both witches and Native Americans Dead
Tituba S03 Official Photoshoot
After having swallowed Petrus' eyes, Tituba got the power of vision. In the words of Petrus she is no more witch than he was but is now one of the cunning ones. Alive
Unidentified magic practitioners
Dollie Trask Image
Dollie Trask
One of Mercy Lewis' followers, showed decent magical abilities during rituals practiced with her companions under the guidance of Mercy. Dead
Normal salem0109-1012 (1)
Mercy's acolytes
The gang of outcast showed some magical feats, showing an affinity for magic, although driven by the thrill of transgression rather than witchlike intent. Dead

Memorable Quotes

Christpher Berry: A cunning man, which is an actual thing from early Middle Ages up to 18th century. They were who you'd come to if you wanted a love spell, let's say. Or if you want to combat a witch, or find a witch you would consult a cunning person to help you identify them.
-- Secrets of Salem: The Seer


  • Cunning people are alternatively called magicians, white witches or wizards, but the term "cunning folks" or "cunning ones" is used academically and also by today's practitioners of various forms of contemporary witchcraft. Cunning person and Cunning ones are the term used in the show, both on screen and on behind the scenes videos.
  • Whilst everyone has the ability to cast spells and perform other feats of magic, witches are known to have more knowledge and understanding of the supernatural forces that permeates the universe. Thus, witches are able to perform much more powerful works of sorcery than the average person. Despite they are not witches, cunning ones are shown to be very powerful and skilled at magic, especially the practice of Divination.
  • It is not known if cunning ones resort to personal emotions to fuel their power, similar to witches that use pain and lust for Witchcraft. A matter of fact is what they have similar skills to those of witches and that they are able to cast spells.
  • In historical reality, cunning folks were rural healers, folk magicians or "white witches", which provided services of midwifery, fortune-telling, healing spells for the cattle or common ailments, as well as love spells, curses and hexes.


  1. Secrets of Salem: The Seer

See Also

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