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Conjuring magic is not an intellectual endeavor. It's emotion. You must ask yourself, "Why am I doing this? Who am I protecting?" Feel it.
Mr. Gold to Emma src

Witchcraft is a type of Magic 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.


Witchcraft is a form of magic that mostly humans can use. But unlike Fairy Magic or Divine Magic, Witchcraft is strongly tied to emotions and learning. All practitioners are born with this power and some may even use magic right after their birth, like Zelena, while others need a proper teacher to push them to use it like Cora, Regina, Jafar and the Red Queen. But even people like Zelena, Drizella and Anastasia need to be taught in order to control it fully. ("The Miller's Daughter", "The Serpent", "We Are Both", "Heart of the Matter", "It's Not Easy Being Green", "Wake Up Call", "The Eighth Witch")

Depends on the practitioner, learning magic can sometimes last for years, as the Evil Queen's study approximately lasted for twenty years.[1] But some people like Dark Ones or Merlin did not to need to learn it or any teacher as it was the Holy Grail what granted them to use magic. ("Nimue")

Sometimes, the person can have a trouble with using magic because they are in a different land for the first time. This is what happened to Regina Mills after Mr. Gold brought magic to Storybrooke after 28 years. Because according to him, magic is unpredictable in the Land Without Magic. But Regina later used her mother's spell book by smelling of the written words to get the magic flowing again. Underworld is also another place where magic is said to be unpredictable, but this time, Regina's inability to use magic was because she was blocking herself emotionally. ("Broken", "We Are Both", "Devil's Due", "Our Decay")

Some people like the Dragon or Anastasia can use magic even in the Land Without Magic. However, the reasons for it have yet to be explored. ("Selfless, Brave and True", "An Untold Story", "The Eighth Witch")

It is not known why practitioners sometimes use incantations to use Witchcraft but most of the time, they just simply use it without words. ("Nothing to Fear", "Dirty Little Secrets" et al.)

The use of Witchcraft is not an intellectual endeavor, but is tied to strong emotions like love and anger. One way to channel these emotions into magic is to think about and relive a moment that made you angry in the past. Another way is to think about your loved ones and how you want to protect them, and feel it. Just like Ice Magic, people can also lose control of their powers by having emotions like fear or extreme anger, which include but are not limited to thermokinetically hot a bottle of milk, push people off, light the lights on and off and shatter a mirror. But they can overcome this by controlling it with the help of someone they trust. ("The Miller's Daughter", "It's Not Easy Being Green", "A Tale of Two Sisters", "The Snow Queen", "Smash the Mirror", "The Eighth Witch")

It is not known if there is a "magic gene", nor is it known that that can pass down. Cora, who could use magic, has two daughters who also can use magic. The same thing also goes to Mr. Gold and his son, Gideon. However, Emma, Jafar, Drizella and Anastasia have no known family member who can use magic, yet they use it.

When used, Witchcraft often gives away a pink or violet glow and at times will manifest as a puff of smoke, which can vary in colors, depending on the practitioner.

Known Practitioners


On-Screen Notes

  • Sometimes, when using witchcraft, some incantations are used:
    • When Jafar's summons a dragon, he casts a spell, Ego vocare te dolor. Ego vocare te damnum. Ego vocare te faciam scelus, which is Latin for "I call you pain. I call you loss. I call do (will do) crime.[2] ("Bad Blood")
    • When Cyrus uses a Locator Spell to activate the enchantment, he uses the spell locus mirabilis, which is Latin for "wonderful place".[3] ("Nothing to Fear")
    • To light up the Jabberwocky's prison, Jafar casts a spell, fiat lux, which is Latin for "let there be light".[4] ("Nothing to Fear")
    • When Jafar uses Lizard's eyes to view the last person her eyes saw after death, he casts a spell: De visu intueri. Visione revelare, which is Latin for "Look out of sight. Reveal vision."[5] ("Dirty Little Secrets")
    • The incantations Jafar uses to take control over the Genie Lamps are:
      • Incipio.Tres genies in utres. Ego te coniungere. Da mihi virtutem! Which is Latin for "Begin. Three genies in bottles. Give me power!"[6] [Note that there is no word for "genie" in Latin, so this word is plain English.]
      • When that doesn't work, he tries Magicae res tres. Vult totam!, which means "Three magic things. He wants all!"[7] Unfortunately, that doesn't work either. ("Heart of the Matter")


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. Regina was 18 years old when she met Snow White who was 10 at the time, that means Regina is 8 years older Snow White. And Emma Swan, who was roughly 28 years old, said that she and her mother are about the same age. So that puts Regina roughly 38 at the time. ("The Stable Boy", "The Heart of the Truest Believer", "Regina Rising")
  8. File:103WereSeparated.png
  9. File:107IsSnowWhite3.png
  10. File:310TurnThePage.png
  11. File:422SnowCharmingStorybook.png
  12. File:505RumplestiltskinStorybook.png

Start a Discussion Discussions about Witchcraft

  • Did Fiona have magic before she became a fairy?

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    • But the show also implicated that it’s impossible for human to become a fairy. So the fact that Fiona was able to become a fairy is either...
    • Celticank88 wrote: But the show also implicated that it’s impossible for human to become a fairy. So the fact that Fiona was able to becom...