Witchcraft as sorcery
- In folklore around the world, witches are believed to be masters of the supernatural world. They supposedly conjure and command spirits. They may have special helping spirits called familiars, who take the form of animals, particularly cats, snakes, owls, and dogs. In some tribal societies, a type of spell called sending involves the witch's familiar. In this type of spell, the witch instructs the familiar to carry out such commands as delivering a hex to a victim. Some cultures believe witches have the power to shape-shift into animals. This power to change their shape enables them to travel about secretly. Witches also are said to be able to fly. They may fly under their own power, ride tools such as brooms or rakes, or ride magical animals. Witches supposedly can control the weather. They are sometimes blamed for storms that damage dwellings or crops.
- According to folklore, witches have great knowledge of how to make magical potions and charms. A potion is a drink that causes a desired effect in a person's behavior. A charm is a magical incantation (word or phrase) that helps to bring about a spell.