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Magic is the use of supernatural forces or agents to forecast or control natural events. It is an additional force of nature that is present on the Boiling Isles.


Magic, once invoked, has the ability to manipulate other natural forces. A spell, the most basic unit of magic, is an invocation that accomplishes a specific change. A spell can be simple or complex, depending on the degree of change the spell caster is attempting to accomplish.

Magic is not known to be present in the Human Realm; other natural forces exist, such as gravitation and electromagnetism, but magic is the only force that appears to be controllable through will alone.

Magic on the Boiling Isles is manipulated through a system of rituals. These rituals restrain and provide order and direction to what would ordinarily be a chaotic force. Witches invoke magic through the use of gestures, incantations, enchanted objects, potions, and elixirs. Witches require extensive education and training in order to master the system, allowing them to use magic effectively and safely. This training is accomplished at institutions such as Hexside and Glandus High. Students start training in magic at the kindergarten level and continue to develop their skills across the educational spectrum. As witches pursue their educations, they are guided down academic tracks leading to eventual coven membership and magic specialization.

Known magic sources

Bile sacs

The most common source of magic used on the Boiling Isles, witches and biped demons can cast spells through a sac of magic bile attached to their hearts. Each bile sac contains different spell phlegms that can be mixed together to create different spells, and thanks to this natural magic reservoir, witches can cast a variety of spells just by drawing a spell circle. Because bile sacs contain magic, Lilith Clawthorne has demonstrated that she can continue to use magic in the Human Realm, which has no natural magic.[1] It is suggested, however, that this wasn't always the case, and it is implied that ancient witches did not use bile sacs for magic.

Glyph magic

Eda has made reference to "wild magic" witches used in ancient times, suggesting the existence of a magic system utilized by witches in the past without bile sacs. This archaic magic appears to rely on runes called glyphs that invoke magic when drawn. Luz Noceda, Eda's human apprentice, does not have a magic bile sac and so does not carry a reservoir of magical power within her. As a result, she has to access the magic in the environment directly through the use of hidden glyphs in the environment. These glyphs briefly appear in the spell circles of other witches, but have long become invisible to them. Luz's presence and training on the Boiling Isles provides a link between wild magic and current magic.

Currently, there are four confirmed glyphs: Light, ice, plant, and fire. While it is implied that these are the only four glyphs in existence, there are infinitely many ways to combine the existing glyphs to create more complex spells. However, complex spells require the glyphs to be arranged in specific patterns; attempting to overlap glyphs can cause undesired results. Unlike bile sacs, glyphs do not contain their own magic; rather, they command the natural magic on the Boiling Isles, rendering them useless in any realm with no magic. Glyph magic is usable by anyone on the Boiling Isles. According to Lilith, the glyphs are like words which command the environment's magic to cast spells; overlapping glyphs is like overlapping words and drawing glyphs with random parts together is like using random letters to come up with a word: it just makes a jumbled mess.

Some glyphs consume the paper they are drawn on, and have harmful effects if drawn or tattooed onto a living being due to glyphs requiring energy to cast spells. This is seen when Philip Wittebane tries to give himself magic by carving them into his arm, but ends up damaging part of his body in the process.

Staffs and wands

Besides glyphs and bile sacs, witches can also use specific tools to aid in spellcasting. Palismen, and by extension, the staffs they turn into, contain their own magic source that is separate from the magic of a witch's bile sac.[2] Therefore, powerless witches like Hunter or humans like Luz can cast spells using staffs. For younger witches, training wands can be used in casting more complex spells and, like staffs, can be used by powerless witches or humans.

Artificial magic

A relatively unknown source of magic used by Emperor Belos and Hunter, artificial magic relies more on advanced scientific technology over natural sources. It is notably effective against the magic-blocking wool, suggesting that artificial magic is a separate force from natural magic. Artificial magic is primarily red and allows its user to perform powerful spells without the need of spell circles. However, in Hunter's case, artificial magic can only be channeled via technology-enhanced equipment, such as his staff; disarming Hunter of his staff will leave him unable to cast any spells.

Known magic users

Bile Sacs

Glyph Magic

Artificial Magic

Known spells



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