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I know how crazy it sounds... but magic is real. It's all around us. You just have to be willing to see it. You just have to be willing to believe.
Henry Mills to the people of New York City src

Magic is a metaphysical and supernatural force featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It first appears in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.

Use of Magic

Use of Magic is the ability to harness magic to cast spells; however, the use of dark magic has corrupting effects on the user. Powerful magical practitioners like Cora, ReginaRumplestiltskin, Jafar and Zelena become corrupted by their powers and in turn, their magic turned tainted as well. Not all magical practitioners are corrupted, however, such as fairies, but they are exceptions because they cannot use magic in negative ways, instead of choosing to not do so. ("The Price of Magic")

Magic can be used to override the usual laws of nature, physics, and reality, but it always comes with a price. It is inherently neutral and cannot itself be split into Good or Evil, but can be used for either purpose. Since magic use is powered by emotion, the strength of the spell depends on the feelings of the caster focused into the output of magic. Negative emotions are generally used to power spells while positive emotions are used to maintain control of spells.("The Miller's Daughter")

However magic can be split into Light and Dark, forms of magic that are powered by positive or negative emotions, thus a manifestation of the wielder's will. However positive emotions do not equal goodness as a mage's attempt to protect one's loved one can result in a person's death. ("Kansas")

Laws of Magic

The Laws of Magic define the limits of magical abilities. There are three restrictions even the most powerful magic is said to be unable to break: bring back the dead, force someone to fall in love and change the past. However, these laws can and have been broken and changed by powerful spells. One of them is the Spell of the Three Genies, the combined power of three genies who have themselves overridden fate, even makes the caster immune to the price of magic. ("And They Lived...")

Another case of law-breaking magic is the Time Travel Spell that was, in one case, enacted by gathering symbols of wisdom, courage, love and innocence. ("Kansas")

The Black Fairy said that when the Final Battle was won, she would have unchecked power and be able to change the laws of magic. ("The Final Battle Part 2")

Dr. Frankenstein attempted to use science to override the laws of magic and bring back his brother with a heart that had been strengthened against lightning surges by magic. Unfortunately, the end result was a violent, amnesiac shell of the former person Gerhardt had been. In one instance of a proper resurrection, Maleficent is revived after combining the blood of those who greatly wronged her with her ashes. In this case however, Maleficent was undead, allowing for a restoration to human form that did not break the laws. However, Maleficent later explains that she would turn back to ashes if she left Storybrooke, since there was no magic beyond the town border. ("In the Name of the Brother", "Unforgiven", "Mother")

Another exception to the laws is that the Dark One is able to be resurrected from the vault if they kill themselves with the dagger. However, the price of this magic is another's life. Also, the blood of a person that has died and come back to life can be used in conjunction with a portal to the underworld to summon one or more dead people from the Underworld. However, their stay would only be temporary, unless a living soul takes their place thanks to the Mark of Charon, or if they are somehow able to take the heart of a living soul. The Author can also bring people back to life from the Underworld, due to magic being unpredictable in that realm. ("Quiet Minds", "Broken Heart", "Swan Song", "The Brothers Jones", "Firebird")

Another exception to the law - and the only instance of a true resurrection without any price - is when the god Zeus, ruler of Mount Olympus, resurrected Killian Jones after he had passed on from the Underworld, and was sent back to Storybrooke fully alive again. ("Last Rites")

When the Evil Queen wished that Emma's wish, to have never been the Savior, be granted, due to the laws of magic preventing someone from changing the past, an alternate reality was created from the wish and Emma was sent there with false memories. In this alternate reality, the Evil Queen was defeated and banished by King David and Queen Snow before she could cast the Dark Curse, and Emma grew up as a defenseless princess. ("Wish You Were Here")

Price of Magic

The Price of Magic is the inevitable expense for using or casting magic. Often stated as a warning that "magic always comes with a price", but sometimes, the price is not foreseeable. Rumplestiltskin's curse has the heaviest penalty for gaining his Dark One powers. While the magic allows him to accumulate masses of power, it not only binds his loyalty to a dagger, but also corrupts and injures him both physically and emotionally. ("Desperate Souls", "Skin Deep", "The Apprentice", "Heart of Gold")

Other prices include the Evil Queen's sacrifice of her father's life to unleash the Dark Curse upon the Enchanted Forest. In doing so, she creates a void in her soul that can never be filled. At another time, Regina's attempt to outsmart and get rid of Emma by putting her under a Sleeping Curse backfires, as Mr. Gold predicted, when Henry is afflicted with the curse instead. Even Mr. Gold himself, who knows all too well there's always a price to pay, brought magic to Storybrooke, which returned his powers, but the cost forces a barrier around town to form, preventing him from leaving to find his son with his Enchanted Forest memories intact. ("The Thing You Love Most", "A Land Without Magic", "We Are Both")

Whenever someone doesn't pay the price of healing someone on the brink of death with magic, the formerly afflicted person may be hunted down by Furies, who are sent to take them to the Underworld. For example: when Emma, as the Dark One, saved Robin Hood's life as a favor to Regina, the price of saving Robin's life is for someone to die and it was Regina who was supposed to pay the price. However, since the God of the Underworld, Hades, died, things have changed down in the Underworld and it seems like the Furies doesn't collect any unpaid price of magic anymore. As Emma clearly healed Ashley Boyd who was on the brink of death and Emma was not hunted by any Fury. ("The Price", "Last Rites", "The Other Shoe")

Negative Connotations of Magic

Despite its many capabilities and usefulness, as well as its existence everywhere, many individuals have expressed fear and hatred of it. Either because they know of its danger or they are aware of the price of magic.

This includes Greg and Tamara, who were from the Land Without Magic because according to them, it doesn't belong to this world and is unholy. In Arendelle, another place where magic is uncommon, the presence of magic was feared by practitioners calling them "monsters". Despite Oz being ruled by a "Wizard" at the time, Zelena's adoptive father viewed magic as "wicked". In DunBroch, witches are looked down upon as well. ("Second Star to the Right", "The Snow Queen", "It's Not Easy Being Green", "The Bear King")

Physical Description

Magic itself often manifests as a puff of smoke or sparkling dust, which can vary in colors, depending on the practitioner. Purple seems to be the most common color for the smoke manifestation of magic in general. The color varies according to the wielder and/or the form of magic: for instance, most of the time a person sticks to one color no matter their location (although there are certain instances where, due to unknown reason, their magic color is different). Furthermore, the Dark Curse typically manifests as a very large black cloudy storm in shades of purple and green.

Each person's magic is said to be unique, like snowflakes, so magic can change forms but never be destroyed. ("Rocky Road")

Magic Colors by User

User Smoke Color Color of Other Manifestation
Aladdin Saffron[1] (as a Genie) Pure White[2] (as a Savior)
Amara Wine[3] Dark Magenta[4]
Dark Gray[5]
Anastasia Crimson[6]
The Apprentice Ash Gray[7]
Black Fairy Black[8]
Dark Purple[9]
Pale Yellow[10] (as a good fairy)
Blue Fairy Light Blue[11]
Cora Indigo[12]
Cruella De Vil Lime Green[13]
Cyrus Tangerine[14] (as a Genie)
Dr. Facilier Black[15]
The Dragon Blood Red[16]
Drizella Indigo[17]
Elsa Ice Blue[18]
Emma Swan Pure White[19] (as a Savior)
Dark Gray[20] (as a Dark One) Lemon[21] (as a Dark One)
Ash Gray[22] (as a Dark One)
Light Gray[23]
Evil Queen/Regina Mills Indigo[24]
Dark Gray[25] Green[26]
Pure White[27] (using light magic)
Magenta[28] Red[29]
Evil Queen (Serum) Indigo[30]
Fairy Godmother Golden Brown[31]
Genie of Agrabah Bluish Black[32]
Gideon Amber[33]
Purple[34] (in the Dream World)
Dark Gray[35]
Glinda Cloud[36]
Hades Blue[37]
Hook Red[38] (as a Dark One)
Ingrid Ice Blue[39]
Jafar Dark Gray[40] Amber[41]
Brown[42] Gold[43]
Lily Page Dark Purple[44]
Maleficent Charcoal[45] Violet[46]
Gray Violet[47]
Merlin Purple[48]
Blue[49]
Nimue Dark Purple[50] (as a Dark One)
Nova Pink[51]
Peter Pan Dark Red[52] Orange[53]
Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold Dark Purple[54] (as a Dark One)
Maroon[55] (as a Dark One) Blood Orange[56] (as a Dark One)
Dark Pink[57] (as a Dark One)
Black[58] (as a Dark One)
Dark Red[59] (as a Dark One) Pure White[60]
(alternate universe as the Light One)
Purple[61] (as a Dark One)
Gray[62] (as a Dark One)
Dark Blue[63] (as a Dark One) Orchid[64] (as a Dark One)
Indigo[65] (as a Dark One)
Magenta[66] (as a Dark One)
Rumplestiltskin (Wish Realm) Dark Red[67] (as a Dark One)
Silvermist Powder Blue[68]
Tiger Lily Orange[69]
Tinker Bell Green[70]
Ursula (Deity) Cyan[71]
Will Scarlet Orange[72] (as a Genie)
Witch Turquoise[73]
Zelena Emerald Green[74]
Zoso Dark Cyan[75] (as a Dark One)


Types of Magic

Magical Abilities

For more spells and detailed information on each of them, see List of Generic Uses of Magic.

Some of the most common magical abilities include:

Age Manipulation
609AnotherNunBitesTheDust
For more information, see the Age Manipulation article.


Conjuration
416ThenGiveThemThis
Conjuration is the ability to create something out of thin air. This ability first appears in the fourth episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners
Notes
  • When an object is conjured,it is often accompanied by a cloud of smoke, such as when Rumplestiltskin creates Cinderella's Glass Slippers in "The Price of Gold", when Zelena conjures a rag in "It's Not Easy Being Green", or when Emma produces a piece of paper in "Best Laid Plans". However, it is also possible to conjure without smoke, such as when Mr. Gold creates a necklace for Lacey in "Lacey".
  • It is also possible to make an object vanish into thin air, like when Regina makes Henry's stick of dynamite disappear, or when Mr. Gold rips out Keith's tongue and allows it to disappear completely.
  • Conjuration can also be used to create a copy of something else, like when Emma conjures a copy of a page from Henry's storybook. However, an experienced practitioner of witchcraft, can tell if it's a forgery. ("Best Laid Plans")
  • Conjuration includes but is not limited to Witchcraft, Divine Magic, Fairy Magic, Belief, Genie Magic and Potioncraft.
    • It is also possible to create something out of thin air by using the Enchanted Quill.
Energy Blast
405WorkingTogether
Energy Blast is the ability to create magical blasts to harm the enemies and the objects in the most effective way. This ability first appears in the fourth episode of the fourth season.
Known Practitioners
Notes
Healing Spells
502EmmaHealsRobin
For more information, see the Healing Spells article.


Heart-ripping
107HeartInHand
Heart-ripping is the ability to rip someone's heart out in order to control and kill the victim. This ability first appears in the seventh episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners
Notes
Immobilization
401EveryRoom
For more information, see the Magical Immobilization article.


Immortality
219ArrowFindsTarget
For more information, see the Immortality article.


Protection Spells
209Barrier
For more information, see the Protection Spells article.


Pyrokinesis
308ToBreakIt
Pyrokinesis is the ability to create and control fire. This ability first appears in the second episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners
Notes
  • Practitioners of magic are able to use fireballs without conjuring them: They can also pull fire out of a source such as a fireplace and shape it into a ball, like when Regina pulls fire from Maleficent's fireplace during their duel, and when Emma sets the Magic Wardrobe on fire and Cora pulls the fire into her hand and launched it at Emma. ("The Thing You Love Most", "Lady of the Lake")
  • Pyrokinesis seems to be one of the more basic forms of witchcraft. When Regina teaches Emma magic and when Cora instructs the Red Queen, they both start by teaching them how to create fire. When Rumplestiltskin gives Regina lessons, pyrokinesis is one of the first things that he teaches her. ("Dark Hollow", "Heart of the Matter", "Kansas")
  • Two sorcerers are able to combine their fireballs to create a bigger and more powerful fireball, like when Cora and Regina combined their fireballs to break the Protection Spell cast on Mr. Gold's shop. ("The Miller's Daughter")
  • Zelena has displayed the ability to conjure different colored fireballs, more specifically green fireballs, which stayed green from "Our Decay" onward.
  • Pyrokinesis includes but is not limited to Witchcraft and Fairy Magic.
Shapeshifting
422ShesDangerous
Shapeshifting is the ability to change the appearance of oneself and others. This ability first appears in the second episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners
Notes
  • What the werewolves like Red Riding Hood/Ruby, Anita, Adair, Adalyn and Granny use; what dragons like the Dragon, Maleficent and Lily use; and what the Siren and the Shadow use to shapeshift is not Witchcraft or anything like that, but a special ability.
  • Shapeshifting includes but is not limited to Witchcraft, Fairy Magic and Potioncraft.
Telekinesis
517YouGetToSpend
Telekinesis is the ability to move objects and people without physical interaction. This ability first appears in the first episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners
Notes
  • Practitioners of this ability usually use it to choke or strangle their victims, by applying force to their throat. While this use is mostly used to simply grip and squeeze the neck without touching it, it has also been used to lift a victim off the ground by the neck. The Evil Queen, Zelena, Rumplestiltskin, The Black Fairy, Jafar, The Snow Queen, Gideon and Emma Swan have all been seen using this technique. ("Where Bluebirds Fly")
  • Telekinesis includes but is not limited to Witchcraft, Divine Magic, Genie Magic and Fairy Magic.
Teleportation
420ReginaTeleports
For more information, see the Teleportation article.


Transformation
216Gold2

Transformation is the ability to change an object's form or appearance. This ability first appears in the fourth episode of the first season.

Known Practitioners
Notes
  • A rare form of transformation is alchemy, which involves transforming plant matter into gold. Rumplestiltskin, Cora and Merlin are the only people known to have this skill. ("That Still Small Voice" et al., "The Miller's Daughter", "Nimue")
  • Transformation includes but is not limited to Witchcraft and Belief.
World-crossing
301Portal2
World-crossing is the ability to cross worlds. This ability first appears in the eleventh episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners
Notes


Trivia

On-Screen Notes

Props Notes


You are ready to use your own

magical ability. You must be able to
concentrate. You must be able to
focus intensity and visualize the
magic. What you want to happen
must be perfectly clear in your mind.

In performing a magical act, you will build up a massive
cone of energy with your powers at intention, then when
that energy is at its zenith, you will send it out to work
for you and effect physical changes in the material
realm.

I feel the need to remind you of the [two illegible words]
principle: whatever energy or intention is sent out,
whether it be ill or good, it will be returned to you in
kind, three-fold. If you send out positive energies you will
will get positive energies in return. It's akin to [illegible word]
a rock into a pool of water. Energy positive [two illegible words]
send out has the potential [three illegible words] and [two illegible words]
this way, your life will [illegible word] expand and [illegible word].
("Her Handsome Hero")

  • The "cone of energy" is a reference to the cone of power, a method of raising energy in ritual magic. Traditionally, this is done by a group, although it can also be done without the assistance of other people. As energy is raised, a cone forms above the wielder(s). When the magic reaches its apex, that energy is sent out en masse, directed towards whatever magical purpose is being worked on.[80]
  • The principle of magic energies being returned to the wielder three-fold, is a reference to the Rule of Three, a tenet held by people in some magical traditions, primarily Wiccans. It states that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times.,[81]
Spelle for the Removal of Errant Hairs
on Any Parte of the body.

Stand ye in front of a large looking glass.

Looke fulle at the part of your body whereabouts
the folicles [sic] are to be diminished. Thereafter fashion
a concoction of clove spice, macerated rose-hips
and milk whey.

Mix the ingredients together full well and apply
to the glass that reflects the portion of the body to
be acted on.

Say the incantation follicles be damned, get thee
gone by wave of my hand.

[faded word] wave your right hand in a deosil motion in
a front of thine likeness and
paste into a pannie[obscured]

This mixtur[obscured]
when the moon[obscured]
("Changelings")

Appearances

Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

References

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