Magic, also referred as the Craft  and the Occult, is the supernatural energy that originated from the All and can alter the fabric of reality and defy the laws of nature. Being a mere act of manipulating reality, magic is amoral though its users can be split into either the Good, Evil and Neutral categories. Magic is both a genetic heredity and a studied technique that enables a person to brew potions, cast spells, scry and possess powers. Magic is capable of changing and controlling 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, there are many other magical beings that exist such as demons, warlocks and whitelighters.
Humans who were 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 from which to draw upon in order to use 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 is 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, there are some individuals who remain dormant until quite late in life, usually either in their late teens or their early-twenty years like Billie.
On the night the Charmed Ones discovered their Book of Shadows, Phoebe mentioned that she read in the book something 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 works of magic (for example, invoking their powers). In fact, 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 her own unique witchcraft power.
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 had successfully 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.
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 ability to perform spells is referred to as Spell Casting. Witches can invent and cast spells that do whatever they wish it 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 feature among other beings like warlocks and some demons.
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.
Magic can also manifest in the form of an active power; a unique ability that preforms a specific function and is one of quickest ways of performing magic without resorting to spells. These powers are a biological part of the witch that pre-dominantly 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.
A curse is a magical enchantment designed to produce negative effects, often placed on a particular object or aimed at a certain individual.
Enchanting is a type of magic used to enchant an object or an individual to either behave abnormally or to manifest magical powers that it should not have.
Regardless of how powerful a witch is, he or she is 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 where 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
Any being that is magical in nature 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 while.
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
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 has agreed on, to prevent magic from being exposed at any cost.
Mortals are capable of becoming magical through various means. They can become demons through various forms of demonic 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 would ultimately die unless the powers are withdrawn out of them.
History of Magic
This chronology indicates broad eras in the magical history of the Charmed universe and how magic developed over the centuries.
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 fell into decline since modern day. After Charlotte Warren died, her coven raised Melinda Warren in the art of magic so it's presumed she has this ability.
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. 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.
All together, 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.
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 loose heat until they reach an absolute zero. However, this is clearly 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.