Okay so you guys probably know I've been posting all over the different Charmed wikis asking various questions regadding certain theoretical concepts. While the series did an awesome job incorporating different ideas and mythologies from different cultures, it still never established a solid foundation on it's own basic mythology such as exactly how magic operates, how witches inherit powers, etc. For my own reasons, I've been doing tons of research into Harry Potter, thankfully for me its so popular, and I've read articles and essays regarding the biology and heritability of magic. I'm a very analytical person, so I tend to over-think, but hey one day that'll come in handy. Well after going through the different episodes and charmed works I think I might have come up with something, mostly regarding the witches and their magic. Let me know what you guys think.
- Note I'm no biologist here and I'm definately not going to be coining off biological terminology either, but using common sense and very little I know of biology and genetics, I may be able to come up with something.
In the first place, genes do not grant a person abilities or powers, just because your parent was good at something doesn't mean you will be, is there a possibility? Yes. But mostly not genetic. Genes are the proteins in your bodies that make up our fundamental characteristics. So in the Charmedverse, the genetics responsible for witches inheriting are merely the instructions to create the necessary components to achieve their magical powers. While trying uncover the mystery, in the most simplest way I can without prior training or knowledge of biology and genetics, I compared this show with other shows like Heroes and X-Men where genetics and abilities were primary centers or foundations. Well after much research, I noticed that witches and mutants have very similar attributes.
It's been noted than the gene(s) responsible for creating witches is dominant as many witches have produced offspring with mortals (non magical humans) have all been magical. Well then I looked to Harry Potter to help me understand this, in which case I learned, this system was very flawed. I understand it's magic and technically it doesn't have to follow logic, but really? The Charmed Ones are still magical, and considerably powerful after all those generations of mortals in the bloodlines? I don't think so. Magic is mostly likely a polygenic and incomplete dominant trait, which explains why it survived so many generations. The magical phenotype most likely consisted of 5 genes (10 alleles) all responsible for the same effects, and in order to be a witch, one needs atleast 3 or more dominant alleles (AaBbCcddee) to even have any magical abilities. In the case of Billie Jenkins, her maternal grandmother was a witch, who had probably come from a long line of witches mating with mortals. Helen was simply a carrier but in order for Billie and Christy to have magic, their father also would have been a carrier (which he most likely was because the to call a lost witch worked on him). Of course there were other forces at play regarding Billie and Christy so their genetics may have been genetically influenced just like other witches such as the Charmed Ones or even a mortal-born witch like Melinda Warren who's DNA was altered by recieving her magical power.
Energy Source/Mystical Spring/Magical Power
Well there's always the question of where they get their magical energy from. Well the show claims it comes from their blood, but I'm sure after all the magic they would have used, the energy present in the blood would have run out. The show never explicitly stated, but only the comics mentioned that witches inherited a portion of The All, the spiritual energy responsible for the creation of witches. But what does this mean? Well I tried and tried to figure out how one "inherits" energy, and there's no logical explanation that can explain how that power is inherited. Well of course that wasn't good enough for me. Then I thought of how, the Charmed Novels, which although not considered canon, provides a more probable solution. The genetics responsible for creating witches creates an internal "mystical" organ, which stores their magical energy (which considering the amount of magic they use presumable infinite source or enough beyond scientific comprehension). This organ has a constant flow of magical energy which also funnels the energy needed to access their powers, basic and active. This organ is also connected to the soul, as witches have been shown possessing their magical abilites while as spirits.
All witches share the baseline traits of Spellcasting, Potion Making, and Scrying, which means theres a basic genetic marker present in all witches that causes the same "mutations". Then there's the other genetic traits that react with a witch's personality, emotions, desires, inhibitions, inner selves which manifests itself in a seperate genetic, similar to mutants. Often times a person's powers remain dormant until psychologically triggered, or can be exhibited as early as being in the womb.
Power Stealing/Power Binding/Power Stripping/Power Switching
Something that's always bothered me, was the idea of their powers and what not being stolen, which considering the nature of their magic, shouldn't be possible. The only plausible one to me is power binding, in which the magical organ is temporarily deactivated, or in the case of stripping, absorbing or releasing the magical energy stored within the witch. The only way i can see someone steal another's powers is but to merely copy it, or rather they're genetic coding.
The residue magical essence of a witch is known to present in the blood, which is why when mortals are injected with their blood, it causes so many physical disruptions as their physiology isn't designed to hold the mystical energy present within just one drop of blood. It's possible that the metaphoric sense of blood being the definition of the individual is made literal as those who steal their blood can access their powers. My theory is that the blood merely creates a psychic link, which allows the person to draw on the other's magic to fuel their powers.
What makes a witch powerful? How is power determined? 1. Aptitude 2. Amount of power can access. The power of witches is stored in their magic organ, but how much can they access at once, most notably when casting spells? Or how their active powers grow stronger?
- Aptitude: Grams is shown to be an exceptionally proficient witch, which combined with her vast knowledge, made her a lethal threat. Wyatt possessed various powers, but you can give a man a car but that doesn't mean he knows how to drive. Wyatt from birth, conception rather, possessed an instinctual aptitude, that combined with his dual magical heritages both angel and witch, gave him great advantage.
- Access: The Organ that contains a witches power, probably initially starts at a limit of how much power that can be accessed. It's likely that witches can only access certain amounts of magical energy at a time for each spell. As witches train and practice and naturally grow, their brains (source of their functions) can learn to channel more energy. Or each witch has a set pattern in which their magic flow which expands as a witch trains or naturally ultimately coming to a set pattern where its impossible for a witch to grow except in knowledge. This is often why witches join covens to increase the overall power they can't access on their own to achieve a certain effect. The Power of Three is considered powerful because of three innately powerful witches combining their magic together.
By this time it got confusing, based on how what I originally interpreted as magical power and I thought, if witches are constantly using their powers and casting spells and making potions, the power they use leave them each time they do something, so how can the energy that's already left them get stronger. Unless the Organ functions as a heart, pumping blood, and instead generates it 's own magical energy with each time getting stronger, though that really didn't fit.
- Bloodlines: The Warrens are known to be very powerful witches, which mostly probably is not a genetic attribute considering that it's highly unlikely and illogical that their magical energy transfers from one host to another during conception. Though it's possible that some bloodlines carry a trait that allows one to have a greater mastery or influence over their power.
Again note this is just theory, obvsiously they never said most of this, but this is mostly based on inference from the series. Feedback is appreciated!