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A palisman (plural: palismen) is a sentient magical totem that sits at the top of a magic staff. They are usually made in the shape of an animal of some kind. A palisman contains a magical essence and harbors various magical properties, including the ability to switch between wooden and living forms at will.

Palismen can bond to witches, humans, demons, and grimwalker as a loyal companion, a powerful tool for channeling and amplifying their user's magic, and a method of flying transportation when in their wooden staff form. A palisman can also allow an individual with no innate magical ability, such as a human, to use magic, as the palisman has magic essence of its own that its bonded partner can utilize.

The only palismen with known names are Owlbert, Stringbean, the Bat Queen, Hawksley, Frewin, Ghost, Clover, Flapjack (deceased), Emmiline, Maya, and Waffle.



O Titan, Where Art Thou - 1492

A chunk of palistrom wood.

Palismen are carved from the wood of the ancient Palistrom tree. Traditionally, witches in their teens carve their own palisman and staff from palistrom wood, at school or with parental supervision as part of their education.[1]

Palismen are typically carved in the shape of an animal or living creature, but, alternatively, they can be carved into an egg shape, in which case the palisman itself will develop inside the egg over time and eventually hatch from it once it has established a proper bond with its owner, as was the case with Stringbean, Luz Noceda's palisman.[2]

Bonding with an owner[]

A newly-carved palisman will not become animate until their owner is able to establish a proper connection with them by expressing their truest and deepest wish to them, which will then cause the palisman to come to life and become bonded. Depending on the person, this ambition ranges to an attainable dream, such as a future occupation, or a deep, personal desire. Sometimes, it might take a while for the person to figure out what their truest wish actually is.[2]

Forest of Palismans 2

Countless stray palismen.

While a witch and their palisman are joined by a relationship of affection and mutual respect, a palisman can forfeit its connection and loyalty to its owner and run away if they are mistreated or injured, or if the relationship is harmful to them. A witch can also choose to abandon their palisman if the staff suffers irreparable damage or loss.[3] Although a palisman can return to their witch if the witch proves that they can be trusted again, or if the lost/damaged staff is repaired or replaced.

However, a palisman could instead form a new connection with a different individual.[4]

Since palistrom trees have become an increasingly rare resource and the ones that are left are heavily guarded, Hexside School of Magic and Demonics arranged to hold a Palisman Adoption Day, wherein the Bat Queen brought in stray palismen she had taken into her care for a chance to be bonded with a new owner.[4] During this process, a young witch will step forward and speak their greatest ambition, and if a palisman is compatible with the emotion of that ambition, they will come forward to meet their new partner. If the individual doesn't know what they truly want, the palismen will sense the lack of conviction and none of them will come forward.[4]

Characteristics and abilities[]

Agony of a Witch - 1266

Lillith's staff being used in battle.

Their nature as both living creatures and objects is an interesting case, as while having the ability to turn into an object and can be damaged or cracked, they do have souls.[5] In this sense, they have the properties of a living creature but can also function as an object. Furthermore, the Bat Queen, despite her being a palisman, has had offspring of her own and lives as a well-recognized and prestigious demon. This implies that palismen are capable of living just like every other creature on the Boiling Isles, although this may simply be a consequence of the Bat Queen's unique origin as the palisman of an ancient giant.[3]

While palismen can cease to function if damaged beyond repair, it's hinted that palismen have incredibly long lifespans and are capable of living for thousands of years, as is evident by the existence of the Bat Queen. It is unknown if they are effectively immortal in the sense that they don't age.

Palismen are loyal to the individuals they are bonded to. Through their connection with their owners, they are able to communicate, as well as channel their magic. They house their own magical essence within their bodies, which is a glowing green substance, and can act as a separate source of magic for witches or biped demons to utilize outside of their own inner magic, which stems from the sac of magic bile connected to their heart.[6][1] Palismen are capable of employing the magic stored within them as well as the magic present within the individual utilizing them.[7]

The Owl House S01E01 - A Lying Witch and a Warden 228

A palisman staff in flight, Owlbert in this case.

Any given palisman can connect to their staff via a unique interlock that mates to its own staff only and can disconnect from it at will.[3] While the staff can occasionally manifest as a separate piece, the staff is actually part of the palismen itself and they can manifest and vanish the staff in order to transform between staff form and back.[4][8] A witch can summon their staff by command, or conjure them from thin air when needed, whether a palisman is present on it or not.[2] All staffs can also be used to fly, making them a witch's main source of transportation.[9] While in flight, a palismen that resembles a winged creature may flap their wings.

A palisman's magical essence is what makes them animate. When a palisman is cracked, it leaks this essence, which appears as a vibrant green serum. This raw form of magic can be absorbed by others, although the process also results in absorbing the palisman's soul.[5] Palisman essence absorbed by a human is highly reactive and can have damaging effects; Emperor Belos had to regularly intake palismen essence as an aliment to pain caused by glyphs carved on his arm, which led to severe body degradation over time before he deformed entirely into a sludge-like substance.[10]

Thanks to Them - 4275

Flapjack sacrificing himself by transferring his essence in order to save Hunter's life.

However, a palisman can also willingly transfer its essence to a person in order to heal them from fatal injuries, which will also grant the person in question the unique magical abilities of the palisman. However, in the process, the palisman will disintegrate and thus die.[2][11]

Known palismen[]



S01E05 Covention - Coven System

Cat using a broomstick during the Covention.

  • The palismen and their double function as staffs combine both the familiars and flying broomsticks of conventional witch folklore, as well as the more general idea of "magical staffs" that appear in mainstream fantasy genre.
    • Despite this, flying broomsticks appear to coexist in the Demon Realm, presumably as an alternative to palisman travel.[15]
  • The Bat Queen was once a palisman for a giant's grand staff. She was discarded when the staff was broken and now lives in the forest, providing sanctuary for other abandoned palismen. At the suggestion of Eda, in the wake of dwindling resources to carve new palismen, the Bat Queen has begun taking those under her care to Hexside School of Magic and Demonics for Palisman Adoption Days.
  • Witches have been shown to be capable of understanding their palismen as seen in "Escape of the Palisman". This appears to happen when a witch and their palisman have formed a mutual emotional bond, as seen in "Eclipse Lake".
  • In "Agony of a Witch", Belos can be seen cracking open a palisman, and it is shown that the inside said palisman contains a green serum, its magical essence. "Hunting Palismen" showed that Belos needs this essence to maintain his form due to his unstable glyph spell.
    • In "Hollow Mind", it is revealed that Belos also absorbed the souls of the palismen through the essence.
    • In "Clouds on the Horizon", the Collector implies that while absorbing the palismen souls temporarily relieves Belos' suffering, it tends to aggravate his condition as it makes it increasingly difficult for him to maintain his human form.
  • In "Eda's Requiem", it is revealed that all witch staffs can fly, even if the palisman is not a flying animal.
  • According to Hunter in "Hunting Palismen", palismen were made using a technique that required wild magic. However, Dell Clawthorne was allowed to continue making palismen, despite the rule of Emperor Belos. This implies that Dell probably didn't use wild magic to create his palismen, since Belos specifically forbade the use of wild magic.
  • In "Escape of the Palisman", the Bat Queen reveals that she is thousands of years old, meaning that palismen have been used by witches and demons for thousands of years.
  • While almost all staffs used in the series are palismen, an artificial form of staff has been wielded by Belos and Hunter. These staves are mechanical in design and can cast artificial magic, thereby granting them a wide range of spells.[4]
    • The Celestial Staff seen in "Witches Before Wizards" similarly lacks a palisman, instead having an aqua-blue crystal where one would be. It is worth noting, however, that the Celestial Staff was an illusion created by Adegast and may not reflect any kind of real staff that can be crafted and used.
  • In the Bat Queen's case, some Palismen can learn how to speak English over the course of several years.


  • Talisman: The name derives from that of enchanted objects believed to bring their bearers good fortune or enhance magical abilities.
  • Pal: A colloquial term for friend.


Concept art[]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Terrace, Dana (September 2, 2020). "HOOTY HOOTY! I'm Dana Terrace, creator and EP of The Owl House! ASK ME ANYTHING... If you're brave enough.". Reddit. "A palisman is our world's equivalent of a "witch's familiar". They act as familiars and double as magical staffs that house their own source of power outside of a witch's bile sac. They're not all powerful but they can do some cool stuff. Typically a witch will carve their palismen from a special type of wood in their teens. This can either be done at school or with parental supervision. That is... If that precious resource is still around..."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mikki Crisostomo, Madeleine Hernandez, Zach Marcus, John Bailey Owen (writers) and Amelia Lorenz, Bridget Underwood (directors) (January 21, 2023). "For the Future". The Owl House. Season 3. Episode 2. Disney Channel.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dana Terrace, Rachel Vine, John Bailey Owen (writers) and Aminder Dhaliwal (director) (March 20, 2020). "Escape of the Palisman". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 10. Disney Channel.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Dana Terrace (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (July 17, 2021). "Hunting Palismen". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 6. Disney Channel.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Madeleine Hernandez, John Bailey Owen (writers) and Amelia Lorenz (director) (April 23, 2022). "Hollow Mind". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 16. Disney Channel.
  6. Dana Terrace (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (July 17, 2021). "Hunting Palismen". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 6. Disney Channel.
  7. Dana Terrace (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (August 7, 2021). "Eclipse Lake". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 9. Disney Channel.
  8. Zach Marcus (writer) and Amelia Lorenz (director) (May 14, 2022). "O Titan, Where Art Thou". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 19. Disney Channel.
  9. Dana Terrace (writer) and Amelia Lorenz (director) (July 24, 2021). "Eda's Requiem". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 7. Disney Channel.
  10. Cissy Jones (June 4, 2022). "PostHoot Season 2 Finale (11:21)". Instagram.
  11. Emmy Cicierega, Mikki Crisostomo, Madeleine Hernandez, Zach Marcus, John Bailey Owen (writers) and Amelia Lorenz, Bosook "Bo" Coburn (directors) (October 15, 2022). "Thanks to Them". The Owl House. Season 3. Episode 1. Disney Channel.
  12. Hoot Hut's Official Unofficial Q&A and Rat Eating Soiree. MomoconTV. Twitch (May 26, 2024). Archived from the original on May 28, 2024. Retrieved on May 26, 2024.
  13. Terrace, Dana [@DanaTerrace] (April 8, 2023). "For those asking the name.💙 #TOHSPOILERS TOH SPOILERS" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. Terrace, Dana (October 14, 2023). Dana Terrace Twitch (1:34:21). Twitch. Archived from the original on November 13, 2023. Retrieved on October 15, 2023.
  15. Dana Terrace, Rachel Vine, Charley Feldman (writers) and Stu Livingston, Aminder Dhaliwal (directors) (February 7, 2020). "Covention". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 5. Disney Channel.