This article or section contains spoilers for 2021 novel Rafael.
Proceed with caution.
Witches appear to be (usually) humans with magical talent focused through a variety of rituals. The novels contain numerous passing references to witches. The word is sometimes applied to both female and male magic users, and at other times male magic users are called wizards.
- Upon issuance of a warrant, witches now may be executed rather than captured and held for trial because, like vampires, there is no reliable way to confine a witch safely. Some witches can pass through bars, while others can use their powers from within a cell.
- Similar to the relationship between a vampire and its human servant, a witch's powers are magnified if the witch's familiar is nearby.
- A sufficiently powerful witch can curse others. Anita describes this process as not being a ritual, but rather the result of a witch focusing his or her entire magical power on another. One of the characters in The Lunatic Cafe was cursed to become a shapeshifter and shift into a swan.
- The term "witch" is apparently used very generally, to refer to everyone from Wiccans to dark magicians such as the coven Anita meets in The Lunatic Cafe.
- Most witches connect their power and rituals to nature in some way. (The Lunatic Cafe)
- Modern witches are less powerful than ancient witches. Anita notes that contemporary witches can’t turn people into toads. (Serpentine)
- Each wereanimal group should have their own witches and/or wizards, or brujas and/or brujos as wererats call them, but most groups in St. Louis and other places that Anita has visited have been broken badly enough that these days they have none, nor do they even remember that such people should exist, or the rituals they used to perform for the groups. (Rafael)
Types of Witches
"Followers of the Way", a Christian Wiccan group, considered by some to be elitist or even fanatical. Local detective Tammy Reynolds is a member.
They dance to gather power. They can invoke a god through doing so, like Christians can invoke their God when face-to-face with a vampire or demon.
Wereanimal Magic Users
- Werehyenas: All female werehyenas do magic and are monstrously bigger and more powerful than males in the beast form, making them natural leaders of the werehyena groups and individually stronger than most other wereanimals. They've been historically feared and enslaved for it, and these days try to keep a low profile and hide their powers from humans to keep anything like that from happening again. If a group doesn't think a female attack survivor can be trusted, she gets killed before coming to her full powers. Narcissus hasn't wanted full females into his clan to threaten his leadership, and other werehyena groups don't think well of the very visible werehyena presence in St. Louis. (Rafael)
- Wereleopards: Pierette remembers wereleopard wizards. It's unclear whether wereleopard witches also exist or have existed. The Blood Drinker's Clan is broken and diminished by the lack of wizards and rituals, and can never be whole until they find their wizards again. (Rafael)
- Wererats: Dark Crown Clan has at least brujas (existence of wererat brujos is unclear), but not all of their females are brujas, and those who are tend to stick to their seat of power. They have an unbroken line going back thousands of years and have never been conquered, and never forgotten their culture and rituals. (Rafael)
- Werewolves: Some packs have a vargamor, which might be an attempt to preserve the old werewolf rituals without available werewolf magic users. Having a vargamor is considered old-fashioned, though, which indicates that werewolves are losing even that remnant of their old culture. (Speculation based on Rafael)
- Elvira Drew - She and one of her coven begin to kidnap were-animals to steal their skins so that they may be able to shapeshift at will. They mistake a Naga for a were-snake. She appears in The Lunatic Café.
- Lenora Evans - Wife to Dr. Evans, she helped her husband with the victims of the attacks in New Mexico during Obsidian Butterfly. She also advises Anita about her metaphysical connections with Jean-Claude and Richard.
- Marianne - The vargamor of the Oak Tree Clan, and adviser to Anita. She first appeared in Blue Moon, was mentioned in later books, and had a telephone conversation with Anita in Incubus Dreams.
- Shahar - She could control a massive Egyptian cobra. Killed when the Earthmover overrode her control and made the snake attack her. (Circus of the Damned)
- Tammy Reynolds - The first police detective with preternatural abilities beyond psychic gifts and a member of RPIT. Married to Larry Kirkland.
- Todd Bering - A "natural witch" diagnosed with schizophrenia, who summons a demon. (Skin Trade)
- Dulcia - Leader of Kane's old werehyena clan. (Rafael)
- Narcissus - A werehyena born intersex, who has a female beast form. He has trained in their mystical arts. No one who has challenged him has survived. (Rafael)
- Neva - A wererat bruja of the Dark Crown Clan, commanded thousands of rats, tripped Hector with a shouted word and a stamping of a foot, guided Anita's powers to Padma through his connection to Hector, and with her help poured thousands of rats into Padma's hotel room and commanded them to eat Padma alive. (Rafael)