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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 due to the person continuously reliving a moment that made them seethe with anger or other intense emotions in the past while using happier memories to control their snger. Powerful magical practitioners like the Black Fairy, 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. But if they do choose to do so, their pure and light fairy magic becomes corrupted and the user themself becomes dark. ("The Price of Magic," "The Black Fairy")

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.

Changing the Past

Love Manipulation

  • The Curse of the Empty-Hearted is used to make someone love you. However, the effect is only an illusion, because the user only thinks they love them, and with enough desperation for love, the person might just believe it. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")
  • Due to the Dark Curse giving people new personalities, lives and memories, the people affected by it might only believe they love someone.


Main article: Resurrection

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 don'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. However, The Dragon stated that Storybrooke's magic was destroyed when Henry used the Dark Grail on the Olympian Crystal. ("Rocky Road," "An Untold Story")

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)
Blind Witch (The Eighth Witch) Soft Pink[11]
Blue Fairy Light Blue[12]
Cora Indigo[13]
Cruella De Vil Lime Green[14]
Cyrus Tangerine[15] (as a Genie)
Dr. Facilier Black[16]
The Dragon Blood Red[17]
Drizella Indigo[18]
Elsa Ice Blue[19]
Emma Swan Pure White[20] (as a Savior)
Dark Gray[21] (as a Dark One) Lemon[22] (as a Dark One)
Ash Gray[23] (as a Dark One)
Light Gray[24]
Evil Queen/Regina Mills Indigo[25]
Dark Gray[26] Green[27]
Pure White[28] (using light magic)
Magenta[29] Red[30]
Evil Queen (Serum) Indigo[31]
Fairy Godmother (The Price of Gold) Golden Brown[32]
Genie of Agrabah Bluish Black[33]
Gideon Amber[34]
Purple[35] (in the Dream World)
Dark Gray[36]
Glinda Cloud[37]
Gothel/Eloise Gardener Ash Gray[38]
Hades Blue[39]
Hook Red[40] (as a Dark One)
Ingrid Ice Blue[41]
Jafar Dark Gray[42] Amber[43]
Brown[44] Gold[45]
Lily Page Dark Purple[46]
Madame Leota Blue[47]
Maleficent Charcoal[48] Violet[49]
Gray Violet[50]
Merlin Purple[51]
Nimue Dark Purple[53] (as a Dark One)
Nova Pink[54]
Peter Pan Dark Red[55] Orange[56]
Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold Dark Purple[57] (as a Dark One)
Maroon[58] (as a Dark One) Blood Orange[59] (as a Dark One)
Dark Pink[60] (as a Dark One)
Black[61] (as a Dark One)
Dark Red[62] (as a Dark One) Pure White[63]
(alternate universe as the Light One)
Purple[64] (as a Dark One)
Gray[65] (as a Dark One)
Dark Blue[66] (as a Dark One) Orchid[67] (as a Dark One)
Indigo[68] (as a Dark One)
Magenta[69] (as a Dark One)
Rumplestiltskin (Wish Realm) Dark Red[70] (as a Dark One)
Silvermist Powder Blue[71]
Tiger Lily Orange[72]
Tinker Bell Green[73]
Ursula (Deity) Cyan[74]
Will Scarlet Orange[75] (as a Genie)
Witch Turquoise[76]
Zelena Emerald Green[77]
Zoso Dark Cyan[78] (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
For further information, see Age Manipulation.
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
  • 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" or when Regina creates an Apollo bar in an attempt to bribe Devin in "Good Form".
  • 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, magical items are more difficult to replicate, meaning an experienced practitioner of magic can tell if it's a forgery, as Mr. Gold noticed the page lacked the magical properties specific to the original, it being used as a prison for the Author and emanating a glow from its picture of a door Gold saw earlier after being shown an image of the real page on a cellphone. ("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 Author's Pen.
Energy Blast
Energy Blast is the ability to create magical blasts to harm or kill enemies and damage or destroy objects in an effective way. This ability first appears in the eighteenth episode of the third season.
Known Practitioners
  • Energy Blasts include but are not limited to Witchcraft and Fairy Magic.
  • These discharges usually take the form of streams or waves and can either can concussive or incendiary effects on contact, allowing them to repel, damage or burn their target, being powerful enough to blast walls apart. ("Breaking Glass", "The Snow Queen"
Healing Spells
For further information, see Healing Spells.
  • While powerful enough to heal not only minor injuries, but also fatal injuries and even amputations, damage caused by magic or enchanted items are far more difficult to heal, requiring particularly powerful practitioners to subvert and, previously, the need to trade lives in exchange for saving another, before Hades was killed and his reign over the Underworld and the rules of death was over. ("The Doctor", "The Price"
  • Healing Spells include but are not limited to Witchcraft and Fairy Magic.
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
  • The process of extracting the heart, while allowing the practitioner to harmlessly reach through their victims chest to grab their heart, is notably painful for the victim in question.
  • Heart-Ripping includes but is not limited to Witchcraft, Fairy Magic and Divine Magic.
For further information, see Magical Immobilization.
For further information, see Immortality.
Locator Spells
For further information, see Locator Spells.
  • Locator Spells include but are not limited to Witchcraft.
Mirror Enchantments
For further information, see Mirror Enchantments.
For further information, see Phytokinesis.
  • Phytokinesis includes but is not limited to Witchcraft.
  • Tree Nymphs also have this ability, seperately from Witchcraft.
Protection Spells
For further information, see Protection Spells.
Pyrokinesis is the ability to create and control fire. This ability first appears in the second episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners
  • 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 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
  • 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 is the ability to move and otherwise interact with objects, including people, without physical contact. This ability first appears in the first episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners
  • 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 their necks without touching them, it has also been used to lift victims 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")
  • This ability, in addition to being strong enough to launch people, through the air, it is also capable of affecting even larger and heavier objects with enough concentration from the practitioner, as Regina was able to cause a controlled, localized earthquake in Storybrooke’s courthouse, as well as to lift and throw a boulder. ("Witch Hunt")
  • Aside from simply being able to levitate or move objects, but also damage them, such as when Regina broke a nearby mirror without looking at it, touching it or even making gestures due to being overwhelmed with emotion, and breaking the necks of her own Blackguard soldiers, as well as to control objects with varying degrees of precision and accuracy, as Regina levitated various items out of an unconscious Belle's purse without physically looking at where exactly they were inside it, while Mr. Gold caused a garden hose to wrap itself around Hook and hold him against a fence like a tentacle and Amara caused several of Jafar's resurrected soldiers to drop their weapons and them stab themselves with their daggers in unison. ("Manhattan", "Ariel", "A Tale of Two Sisters", "Smash The Mirror - Part 2", "And They Lived...")
  • On occasion, some practitioners are seemingly able to use this ability to temporarily bolster certain physical attributes, allowing them the reflexes to catch arrows with their bare hands, as Regina, Pan, Emma and various others have demonstrated, or the strength to lift full grown adults into the air with one hand, as Cora had done to Archie Hopper while disguised as Regina. ("We Are Both", "The Cricket Game")
  • Telekinesis includes but is not limited to Witchcraft, Divine Magic, Genie Magic and Fairy Magic.
Teleportation is the ability to transport oneself and others, as well as objects, without traversing physical space.
For further information, see Teleportation.
  • Teleportation includes but is not limited to Witchcraft, Fairy Magic and Divine Magic.
  • This ability can be used at range, allowing practitioners to potentially summon objects or people they know the location of into their midst or conversely send them to locations they are familiar with without physical contact or close proximity if they are proficient enough with using it. ("Heart of Gold")
  • While various practitioners engulf themselves or other objects and individuals they which to transport in smoke, fire or other elements while teleporting, some practitioners like Rumplestiltskin, Peter Pan, Zozo and Ingrid are shown to be able to do so without the smoke, instead causing themselves or their subject to simple appear or vanish, occasionally in a brief haze, a method that is considerably quicker yet is often used to cover short distances. ("The Crocodile")
  • The usual limit for how far a practitioner can teleport themselves or other objects is a few miles, though it is possible for powerful enough practitioners to exceed that distance to reach across oceans and continents, as Rumplestiltskin once transported Anna back to Arendelle from the Enchanted Forest. ("The Apprentice")
  • Lacking the location of the object or individual being teleported or their destination can risk damaging them by only transporting parts of them to a designated area, as Regina explains when asked to teleport a drowning Emma back onto the Jolly Roger, something she claimed ran the risk of only returning her leg to the ship. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")
  • Particularly powerful practitioners, such as Dark Ones, are able to transport themselves or objects as long as they can imagine their destination, even if they haven't physically been there, as Emma Swan was guided to the Will-o'-the-wisps and the Hill of Stones by a hallucination of Rumplestiltskin describing her destination. ("The Dark Swan")

Transformation is the ability to change the form or outward appearance of objects, including people. This ability first appears in the fourth episode of the first season.

Known Practitioners
World-Crossing is the ability to cross worlds. This ability first appears in the eleventh episode of the first season.
Known Practitioners


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

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.[83]
  • 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.,[84]
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]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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  79. Nguyen, Hanh (Matrch 8, 2015). Oh Baby! Once Upon a Time Star and Bosses Weigh In on Maleficent's Big Loss. TV Guide. “"It's so much fun to play somebody who has time on her side in that she's immortal," Bauer van Straten says. "She doesn't have to rush for her revenge. Killing someone in this realm, this isn't a John Wayne sort of revenge. This is like, 'I will take my time and I will watch how things develop and I will figure out how to keep the pain happening as long as possible.'”
  80. File:122Title.png
  81. Once Upon a Time - Behind the Magic, London, Titan Books, October 2013, p. 128
  82. File:517SpellBook.png
  83. The Cone of Power. ThoughtCo. Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  84. The Rule of Three. ThoughtCo. Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
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