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Spell Casting
New Spell Casting Infobox
General Information
Effect

Manipulation of the forces of nature through incantations

Users

Witches

Words without blood are nothing but air.
— Tituba to Mary Sibley

Spell Casting is the ability to change and control events through the use of incantations and recitations, as well as rituals and manufacture of particular bewitched objects.

Description

A spell is a magical formula employed to produce a supernatural effect. A spell could consist of a ritual action, a set of words, a verse, or any combination of these. Although the majority of the spells are performed in the native language of the caster, some spells may be spoken in ancient languages (i.e. Latin), for example the consecration which began the Grand Rite. While many spells consist of certain ingredients and ritualistic actions, other spells only require a verbal recitation. A particularly expert witch, who has mastered certain spells, will be able to manifest magical feats without resorting to spells and rituals. It is the case of spells to ignite fire, which can also be triggered by mere anger. Some spells may also involve the summoning of a demon or spirit with the caster pleading for them to do their bidding.

Power

Spells are the medium by which every witch must use in order to achieve a magical effect. Spells vary greatly in their composition and requirements, but are essentially a supernatural method with the power to produce a desired result. What these results are range from modifying one or more aspects of reality to reshaping the very nature of an entire location. It is also known that particularly powerful spells requires the caster to have a considerably high level of experience in order for the spell to be successful.

Blood offerings

Main Article: Sacrifices

Although blood has its own mystical properties, the act of bloodletting itself augments the power of a witch's spell, as was depicted when Mary Sibley used sympathetic magic to curse Increase Mather and when she squeezed a mouse to death in order to create the doll that was intended to harm Anne Hale.

Flying Ointment

Main Article: Potion Brewing

Witches may resort to the use of special potions and oils, applying them on the forehead, the bridge of the nose and the lips, or on other parts of the body, in order to ignite their magic. The use of some herbs, powders and roots is also a supporting practice to spell casting, as for certain rituals the simple recitation of an incantation is not enough.

Known Spells and Rituals

To Fly to the Sabbath

When the unholy hour tolls and a witch must attend her nocturnal observances without alerting the attention of those who deem her sorcery wicked, in the places where mortal men fear to tread, she must employ one of the powers used by the cunning folk to go where they wish without their bodies. To achieve spirit flight, she must apply her magical unguent, or request the assistance of a sister witch to do it in her stead, anointing the sensitive parts of her face, as the lips, the forehead, the eyelids and the bridge of the nose, to ignite her magic. By exciting the depths of her nether regions with an artificial phallus and drawing forth her carnal power, a witch may channel the peak of her lust to send an embodiment of her consciousness to the Sabbath, to participate in the rites of her coven in secret, returning safely to her flesh without traveling the distance in between and arousing suspicion.

  • Incantation: "One, two, three, and four. Raise the devil to our door. Call the Pig, the Wolf, the Ram. Come to the circle, all who can. Make him walk on floor to roof. Drink to him with horn and hoof. One, two, three, and four. The devil is here. Now sleep no more."
  • Used by: Tituba on Mary Sibley.

An Initiation to the Grand Rite

The Ritum Magni consecrates the Earth for the Devil's return, to pave the way for his eventual incarnation. A pure white dove is impaled as a tribute. Thereafter, a blood sacrifice of thirteen innocent souls must be made before Full Hunter's Moon.

  • Incantation: "Cruour innocentia maleficarum pestilentia Walpurgisnacht. Consummatum est. Now it begins."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley

For the Malediction of a Victim

A witch's most maleficent power is that which allows her to harm and kill from afar. By inflicting upon the living creatures which represent her foe, the injuries which she wishes them to bear, a witch may transfer the wounds to her victim, by hiding these sacrifices within an effigy, as a doll, to give as a gift.

  • Incantation: Non-verbal
  • Used by: Mary Sibley
  • Note: Mary sacrifices a handful of living black beetles and a mouse, by squeezing them to death and incorporating their remains in the doll. It seems that the injuries that the sacrifices suffered are then transferred to her victim, Anne Hale, although Mary halted her enchantment before the curse fulfilled its purpose.

Invocation of the Devil

  • Incantation: "Prince of Darkness, Master of all, Father of evil, hear our call."
  • Used by: Mercy Lewis and her acolytes.

Reviving Once-Living Flesh for Necromancy

The corpse's face is torn from the skull, what remains for this working is a mask of skin, which is pulled taut by cords and by a blade anointed by sacrificial blood the following is chanted:

  • Incantation: "Balbin Gab, Gabor Agaba! Arise, I call thee! Colpriziana, offina alta nestra, fuaro menut. Thou art the dead I seek [dead's name] answer my calling."
  • Used by: Tituba

For an Experience of Dream Walking

When a witch is desirous of knowing the unknowable, she must set aside her fears and perform the most dangerous of enchantments, one that would grant her passage into another's soul, where none but the deepest and darkest secrets of a man may be concealed. The most advantageous time to attempt this charm is at night, as sleeping minds are less resistant to the penetrations of the external. If she be assisted by a sister witch with the careful application of the mystical unguent on her forehead, her lips and the bridge of the nose, being accompanied by the spell, shall send her to her astral destination. Be warned, if frequently done, both witch and victim may lose all discernment between reality and imagination.

  • Incantation : "Go now, catch a falling star. Get with child a mandrake root. Travel back where past years are. Through the cloven Devil's hoof. What you seek is in his heart. Know his thoughts through angel's art. As torches ever ready be, Through daylight's gate, Step one, two, three."
  • Used by: Tituba on Mary Sibley to enter John Alden's dreams, by Mary on herself, probably by Mary on Mercy Lewis when she killed Dottie's mother.

Mass Raising of the Undead

Blood is the sacrifice, that when accompanied with this incantation, and shed upon the Earth, will return any decedent human in the vicinity to a semblance of life, ever obedient to the sorcerer's will.

  • Incantation: Neopheyn! Barbas! Aligon! Anaboth! Madicon! Furcas!
  • Used by: Rose Browning

To Free a Familiar from his Earthbound Form

An earth-dwelling beast has little use should its mistress need a servant who can master the skies. Thus, to change a familiar and grant him wings, scatter enchanted dust, as those used in metamorphoses of the flesh, over his skin and use these words to liberate him from his current body.

  • Incantation: "Mutare et notum sumbotis. Forma enim esse ostendit. Corpus anima mens.Lead me to the one I seek"
  • Used by: Tituba and Mary Sibley

The Art of Levitation

a circle of witches kneel around the Mistress witch lying on the ground and they rise her with their fingertips as the litany is repeated.

  • Incantation: "Stiff as a stick, cold as a marble. Light as a spirit, lift yourself. Light as a feather, stiff as a board. Light as a feather, stiff as a board. Light as a feather, stiff as a board."
  • Used by: Mercy Lewis and her coven.

Conjuration to the Master Spider

To seal with a golden cobweb the mouth of those who want to reveal the names of the witches.

  • Incantation: "Master spider, stilted or stifled Spin us a web and heed our call. Master spider, stilted or stifled, spin us a web and heed our call."
  • Used by: Mercy Lewis and her coven.

Incantation of the Earth and Bones

To turn against a man the spirit of the trees and even the very flesh against itself, a witch must draw from her vein a drop of blood into a blessed cup and let it turn the water within as red as itself. This binds her will to the forest and her body to her foe. She must find him where he may be in the depths of the all-seeing flame and induce whatever ills she wishes him to suffer upon herself. He will bear the injuries of her self-inflictions.

  • Incantation: "Terra sunt carnes et ossa. Domini est terra et ossa. Terra sunt carnes et ossa. Domini est terra et ossa. Et nos unum benedictus".
  • Used by: Mary Sibley
  • Note: A rough translation of the Latin script reads: "The earth is flesh and bone, I am Master of earth and bone. We are one." which may denote to the sympathetic magic that Mary invoked to magically bind her body to Increase, as well as to summon and bend the vines of the forest to her will.

The Consummation of the Grand Rite

  • Incantation: "Our Great Rite now is done. Blood-dim dawn now shall come, Powers of Moon and Sun ignite, all flesh trembles at the sight. Thirteen souls fed the hungry Earth, opens the way for our Dark Lord's birth."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley
  • Note: It is not known whether the rhyme was a requirement for the witch to recite upon the conclusion of the Grand Rite or whether it was merely a chant to honour its completion.

To Deceive a Witch's Eyes

The Native American shaman utilized folk magic that clouds a witch's power of Clairvoyance by inducing false visions, masking the ones they seek. A large dreamcatcher fashioned from dried, dead toads is hung and blessed with sage smoke.

  • Incantation: Unknown
  • Used By: Sooleawa
  • Note: It is not known whether the charm is powerful enough to work on its own, as it was later revealed that Petrus was working with the Indians to show Mary the false vision of John Alden's death. It may be that the dreamcatcher merely cloaks against a witch's clairvoyant powers and the vision itself was fabricated by Petrus himself in order to mislead Mary Sibley.

To Activate The Clock of the Doom:

Shed own blood on one of the globes of the instrument, while chanting:

  • Incantation: "Witch blood fall, black earth rise. Hear my call, make me wise. Time foretell for me alone when all mankind, its sins atone".
  • Used by: Mary Sibley

To Seek a Lost Witch

The head of any beast may be used as a representation of the one that is sought. The eyes of the carcass must be gouged from their sockets and placed in a brazier with herbs, then ignited with witchblood. The rhyme below is spoken. Once the blood-born flames subside, an image of the lost witch will appear as visions in smoke.

  • Incantation: "By this firelight, bestow unto us the gift of sight, so we might find our brother/sister [Name of Witch] in the shadows of this night."
  • Used by: Mary and Tituba
  • Note: Mary invoked the representational magic that fueled the binding spell and uses it to silence Corwin by slicing the dead sheep's tongue, forcing Corwin to bite off his own.

Dead Man's Finger

A murdered man may lead a witch to his killer even after death if she harvests his left forefinger while he still lies fresh, removing the fingernail thereafter. Once boiled with salt and dried and impaled upon a steel skewer, whereupon the dead man's hair be made into a candle and impaled just the same, the spell be chanted, if possible, with another witch. The shriveled finger will point to it's killer as a needle on a compass may point North. The witch(s) will receive visions of where the killer dwells. The finger may be removed and brought to his hiding place so that she may discover his identity in plain sight.

  • Incantation: "Now open, lock, to the dead man's knock, fly open, bolt and bar and arrow, find the one who spilled this blood, to him now point your marrow." (twice)
  • Used by : Mary and Tituba

The Water Charm

A witch may extract and capture the magical signature of another if the medium through which the enemy's sorcery travels be water. A living creature must be held under and upon death, a rhyme is spoken. Thereafter, a small vessel that may be carried conveniently is filled to brim. The witch may be warned of her enemy's presence when the water within the vessel boils, whether the foe be in either physical or spectral form.

  • Incantation: "Breathe your last, be empty shell and by your death my words compel. Water, water, drawn from hell, let the boil, your steps foretell. Water, water, drawn from hell, by my words, seal this well."
  • Used by: Anne Hale

The Binding of the Heart

You must take a piece of him and leave a piece of you and offer up something that you love. Anne Hale used Cotton's lock of hair and her best ribbon, then she sacrificed her familiar. Everything should be placed in a white handkerchief and buried.

  • Incantation: "A black rose grow in his heart. Write my name and let it start. Wrap it round with walls of Thorn. Let his mad love for me be born."
  • Used by: Anne Hale

To Bring Back a Soul from the Precipice of Death

A familiar must give all his lifeblood for this working, wherein a witch may use every last drop to imprint an image of her palm upon a dead man's heart. Once the blood mark is blessed with ash, a candle is placed above it. The rhyme below is intoned.

  • Incantation: "Splinter of life, take haste, take hold. Quicken the breath to awaken the soul." (repeated until the corpse wakes up).
  • Used by: Mary and Tituba
  • Note: Mary had to use her own blood to augment the spell, slicing her tongue so that she may give George a "Kiss of Life" by bleeding into his mouth. The Countess' magic was too strong, as the drowning curse would activate everytime Mary resuscitated George.

Conjuration of Fire

To attain provenance over the power of flame, a witch need only tap two wooden sticks against the other whilst speaking the following rhyme. Sparks will fly and catch fire.

  • Incantation: "Like brass to fire, like stick to flame, heed my words, know my name. Faster than light, dark corners seek, lick to flame, my vengeance wreak."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley

To Find a Wayward Witch

A jar is filled with bees until they suffocate, then the content is spilled on an surface where the bees form a spiral (the Coven). There are many witches away from the nest as many bees that fall far from the symbol.

  • Incantation: "Some will be lulled and some will be killed. But some will have all they wish fulfilled."
  • Used by: Countess Von Marburg

To Summon a Spirit from the Underworld

If a witch seeks answers which only a dead man may provide, she must exhume what remains of him, a head, if able, and bring it to her abode and lay it within a circle of candles, scattered thereupon with the very earth that filled his tomb. As these words of power are intoned, she must feast on a morsel of his flesh and kiss his dead lips, and wait for his emergence within the confines of a protective circle drawn from salt. The dead man's ghost will appear in spectral form. The witch may feed the ghost her blood to give him speech if she wishes, or she may leave him as silent as the grave.

  • Incantation: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Every man feeds the conqueror worm. I eat your flesh, so obey, you must. By my command, moist earth turn. Give up your dead, their secrets to tell. [Name], I call you from Hell."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley

Divining for the Dead by Fire

When a witch seeks the dead, she need only utilize the ancient art of pyromancy in order to divine for the remains of that which has long departed. By invoking the sacred witch-fire and reciting the following words of power, the decedent shall make themselves known to her, even if they be nothing but bones.

  • Incantation: "Body without life, eyes without sight, whisper to this flame your place this night."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley

Consecration of an Offering

Sacrifice without love is mere slaughter. Thus, only by killing that which she holds most dear may a witch perform the deadliest and most powerful of magics, such as binding another in love, or incarnating a deity.

  • Incantation:"By my love, you were made, now in love to return. By my love, offered up, in love's fire, ever burn."

The Rite of Passage

For a witch to gain entry into the hallowed halls of her Hive, she must take in and assume a sliver of the wood upon which it is concealed, and say these words, turning widdershins thrice whilst doing so.

  • Incantation:"The Essex Tree is deep and wide, but as unseen as any breath. I'll pay the price to come inside, though it may mean my very death."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley

To unleash the Devil on Earth:

To consecrate a human body so it may host the Devil, witches must gather near the ditch full of hellfire, during one of the three nights illuminated by the Starry Messenger Comet, at the Witching hour (midnight). With a consecrated dagger they must shed their own blood and that of the vassel into a golden goblet, blessing this action with ritual words. Once completed this act, since all the ritual requires is an avowal of complete and total love at the moment of sacrifice, the Witch who began the Grand Rite must speak words of love to the vassel, who as supreme sacrifice must be her own son, and then let him drown in the pitch.

  • Incantation to bless the goblet: Bless the knife that splits one into two. Bless the cup that makes many into one. Now Midnight come! Let the reign of darkness begin!
  • Incantation to consecrate the host: By the eye of the Serpent which blazes overhead, the eye which flies in the sky but once a turning, see we are worthy, see we are ready, and have prepared the pure vessel for you. This is the place of desolation, the dreaming sanctuary of the deathless flame. And from this open Gate of Hell comes the walking horizon of the other God-given flesh.
  • Used by: Mary Sibley, Countess Von Marburg, Tituba, Anne Hale and Sebastian Von Marburg, with Little John as the sacrifice.

To open the Gate of Hell

Once the last breath has left the sacrifice's body, it would become an empty shell and it will be ready to host inside the Devil himself, allowing him to live as a human being.

  • Incantation: Open the Womb of Darkness, not in fear. Open the Gate of Creation, the path between world and time! Let the fire of Lucifer and Hecate's love burn the flesh of this child of serpent and man! Let the flesh receive the new word!
  • Used by: Countess Von Marburg.

A Sacrifice of Love

If a witch be willing to wrest her beloved from Death's hands, she must give her soul in return for his, for there is no greater balance which must be maintained than that of death and life. To accomplish this mystical transference, a transfusion of sorts must be made, where the witch feeds her dead lover's lifeless corpse with all the blood that flows in her veins. These words shall be her last:

  • Incantation:"Let blood to love flow and quicken love's light. My love's life let grow as my soul takes flight."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley

To Bring Life

Of all the rites of the Old Craft, there are none as perilous and as unpredictable as those of resurrection. Therefore, the art of raising the dead is a task which must only be undertaken in the direst of moments. If a witch seeks to circumvent the sacrificial requirement that is needed in all spells whose purpose is in the regeneration of once-living flesh, she must bring the hollow carcass of that which she wishes to revive to a place sacred to the Ancient Ways, as her hive's Stronghold, and appeal to her kindred, for the magic of one witch alone will not suffice. The blood of the coven when charmed with these words of power will invoke the spirit of the Hive Tree itself to encase the corpse within an enchanted chrysalis from whence it will awaken, living, whole and healed.

  • Incantation: "From cloud to sea, from crown to throne. From blood to bough, from skin to bone. Tree of life in which we art, roots that feed from earth's deep heart. Rising branches charged from sky, come now, make her death a lie."
  • Used by: Tituba and the Essex Elders
  • Note: A witch cursed back to life with this spell will be bound to the stronghold whose powers revived her. When Mary was brought back from the dead, the Elders told her that she was "resurrected by the very life force of the primordial tree" and that she would be "forever bound to the realm of its roots", meaning that she can never leave Salem until the day she dies.

To Appear Wretched

To a witch who wants to charm her appearance and assume that of someone just risen from the grave, all that is required is to recite the following incantation enhancing the spell with a feeling of love.

  • Incantation: "By the power of the love I crave, Glamour me one who's crawled from the grave."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley

Sight Restoration Spell

To the one who has suffered the misfortune of being severely blinded, magical arts offers the possibility to steal the sight of another creature. What is required is to steal the eyeballs from a stuffed animal chosen for its visual qualities (like a cat) and combine them with unknown herbs, and cockroaches crushed with a pestle. The mixture thus obtained is to be diluted with alcohol and set on fire in a silver cup. After the witch or cunning one implementing the ritual will have sipped the potion, she will have to breathe life on the stuffed animal. The exact moment when the stuffed animal is awakened, peculiar eyes will appear in the empty eye socket of the witch.

  • Incantation: "Fair trade, Grimalkin. I shall give you back your light, and you shall give me back my sight."
  • Used by: Tituba
  • Note: Grimalkin (also called a greymalkin) is an archaic term for a cat. It's also mentioned in Shakespeare's Macbeth. It is not entirely clear whether what was said by Tituba is an effective spell, or a rhyme used to express her intention.

For Liberation

When a witch finds herself trapped within a prison, whether it be of mystical or mundane in nature, she need only use the potent magic of her blood. A mere drop, and an incantation will suffice should she require a hasty escape.

  • Incantation: "Let my red knock, open this lock, let this blood key, set me free."
  • Used by: Mary Sibley
  • Note: Mary used this spell in an attempt to free herself from the Sentinel's box of horrors, which imprisoned her within her own mind. Although the spell would have worked on other types of prisons, the box seemed to be specifically charmed to prevent escape, even by magical means.

To Draw on the Secret Power

If a witch or a cunning one be willing to draw on the secret power inherent in every creature, they have to soil their hands with the blood of terrestrial animals. Since animals feed on each other, by dissecting their bodies it is possible to obtain the secret power in the form of a glossy black egg concealed within the innards of an animal which has been devoured by another.

  • Incantation: "Nothing from nothing ever yet was born. But all from all may yet be torn. In each resides a secret power. That sleeping yet awaits its hour."
  • Used by: Tituba
  • Note: This egg seems to act as a catalyst that can enhance one's own abilities. When Tituba shattered the egg, she was able to break a spell cast by the devil himself.

The Traitor's Execution

Should a Witch Hive finds a traitor in their midst, they need only invoke the spirit of their Stronghold to punish him for his crimes. By speaking these words of death as one, a great terror will befall on the guilty witch and he will die in agony.

  • Incantation: "Branches of birth on the tree of life, leaves of desire and bark of strife. Roots of the sun, roots of the moon, heed our call, bring this traitor's doom."
  • Note: It seems that this spell is meant to execute anyone the hive deems a traitor, regardless of whether they are truly guilty or not.

To Steal an Unborn Child

If a witch be desperate enough to claim the half-formed offspring of another as her own, she need only gather bastard acacia, black nightshade, fleabane, tannis root and grave earth, and make an elixir out of these. The potion is then to be decanted into a bottle and charmed with an incantation, as a catalyst for the unholy magic that will be brought about. After careful application on the mother's belly, the witch must lie with her victim, womb to womb, so as to facilitate the rite of transference that will occur as the night passes.

  • Incantation: "Archaeus of the womb, Aqueous of the tomb. Golden seed of lunar ghost, Argent egg of furious host. White Moon's dark and Black Moon's light. Waters of Blindness, and Fires of Sight."
  • Used by: Anne Hale

Summoning of Lost Souls

A witch would be able to call any soul out of the shadow by resorting to diabolical arts. To heal the dismembered limbs of a wretched corpse the witch needs to sew its limbs with red thread while reciting the words of the incantation. By doing so, the witch will ensure that the soul is restored in the battered corpse through the intervention of a hapless, attracted to the Hell Gate by the persuasive voice of the soul who is eager to come back to life.

  • Incantation: "By the work of my fingers, the work of my bone. Come Samael, hurry home. Heed my calling, let her hear your voice. That the door will be opened. Leave her no choice."
  • Used by: Tituba


Videos

Trivia

  • As stated by Adam Simon in a live chat on Twitter, the spells used in the show are from actual incantations used by the historical Essex Witches, changed accordingly to meet the needs of the show. He also said that they changed "crucial things because they do not want strange things to happen by accidents". [1]
  • The Necromancy spell used by Tituba in the episode Lies is from the "Grimorium Verum", an actual medieval grimoire. The passage that inspired the writers is:

"Colpriziana Offina Alta Nestera Fuaro Menut. By the virtue of the Holy Resurrection, and the torments of the damned, I conjure and exorcise thee, Spirit of [name] deceased, to answer my liege demands, being obedient unto these sacred ceremonies, on pain of everlasting torment and distress. Berald, Beroald, Balbin, Gab Gabor Agaba (sometimes Aqaba). Arise, arise, I charge and command thee."

  • The "Dead Man's finger" ritual used by Mary and Tituba in the episode Book of Shadows is inspired by the legendary Hand of Glory and the spell is a revisitation of the ritual described in: The second of the Ingoldsby Legends, which describes the making and use of a Hand of Glory. The first lines are:

"Now open, lock to the Dead Man's Knock! Fly, bolt, and bar, and the band! Nor move, nor swerve,Joint, muscle, or nerve, At the spell of the Dead Man's hand! Sleep, all who sleep! Wake, all who wake! But be as the dead for the Dead Man's sake!"

  • In one of the Ask Salem videos, Ashley Madekwe ("Tituba" in the show) talked about real Witchcraft, Wicca and the consequences of using real spells on set, as well as the fact that she wears tourmaline, a lucky stone to counter stress or any "negative influence".
  • The language spoken by the demons and angels is Enochian, a real language created by the occultist John Dee during the Elizabethan era.
  • A spell, performed with clear malevolent intent is generally known as hex or curse, the last especially when referring to a complex ritual often binded to an object to have an effect on the spell's target.
  • Most of the spells in the TV series are chanted in rhyme. In the majority of magical and occult beliefs, rhyming help to get into the right state of consciousness to practice magic. This is the reason why music is used in religious rituals since millennia.
  • According to Countess Von Marburg, all the ritual requires is an avowal of complete and total love at the moment of sacrifice, otherwise it would result in a mere slaughter.

References

  1. Historical inspiration for Salem's spells confirmed by co-creator Adam Simon

See Also

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