"The Italians call them Strega. The Yoruba of West Africa call them Aje, meaning 'mother'. Where my mother was from, they called them Häxa. And here, we call them Witch. Over the centuries vampires have fought them and fought beside them, bedded them and burned them. Whether adversary or ally they have been a force to be reckoned with."
Witches are humans who are endowed with the magical arts of sorcery, but those who view it as a religion are Wiccans. Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. They have existed for many centuries, passing down their knowledge and skills through generations of family lines.
Through the harnessing of spiritual energy, witches were practitioners of magic revolving around the influence of the moon and the evocation of beings from spirit world. While well versed in the supernatural and metaphysical arts, they were also keen in the arts of alchemy, chemistry, acrobatics, medicine, anatomical health, and what could be assumed, various sciences of many sorts, to temper and refine their body and soul in the process of handling the powerful forms of magic that they would come to wield.
Depending upon the individual, some witches practice their power by certain belief systems, such as Hoodoo, Voodoo, Wicca, or any number of other magical practices from countries and cultures all around the world. Probably the most obvious characteristic of a witch was the ability to cast a spell, "spell" being the word used to signify the means employed to carry out a magical action. A spell could consist of a set of words, a formula or verse, or a ritual action, or any combination of these.
Spells traditionally were cast by many methods, such as by the inscription of runes or sigils on an object to give it magical powers: by the immolation or binding of a wax or clay image (poppet) of a person to affect him or her magically, by the recitation of incantations, by the performance of physical rituals, by the employment of magical herbs as amulets or potions, by gazing at mirrors, swords or other specula (scrying) for purposes of divination, and by many other means.
Witches were also said to gain power from the use of their hair due to hair having amazing properties in witchcraft. Since hair was associated with strength, virility, and psychic protection the abundance of hair only created that much more power for the witch. Indeed, a witch's power is bound to her hair to the point where even shaking it would double the amount of mystical power of the witch.
Contrary to popular belief, not all witches receive their magic from demons, nor do they worship the devil. Some witches, such as Wiccans, receive their power from nature and may practice witchcraft however they see fit. Instead, it is revealed that the witches worship the goddess known as Hecate, whom is considered the goddess of witchcraft, and a majority recieve their powers from her.