There are multiple professions/social positions in The Witcher series that employ magic (Witchers, Mages, Druids etc). However, they are referred to by multiple different names by different persons, some of which appear to be ambiguous/used by different people to refer to different things (e.g. witch, magician, wizard).

What are the different types of magic user in The Witcher, and what are the different names they are known by? Is there a consistency to these names? Are they region/class specific?

  • 1
    So, you're asking about what, really? You did list these types and some alternate callings, and want to know what exactly?
    – Mithoron
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 21:17
  • @Mithoron there are more than those I've listed, and it's not clear at times which terms refer to which 'type' of person, I'd like a list of which terms are used to refer to each archetype.
    – Kitsune
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 21:26
  • And with what limits? Like all intelligent magical creatures might me called "magic users".
    – Mithoron
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 21:56
  • @Mithoron humans who use magic.
    – Kitsune
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 22:03
  • And no elves, like Aen Saevherne? I've a feeling, you'd want them, so think carefully and edit the question to be clear and precise.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


The world of Witcher is not a D&D, in most cases, the different names are just indeed names - the same person might be called "witch" by an angry crowd or "enchantress" by her potential clients. So there is no real difference between wizards, mages, enchanters, witches - other than the name. They all undergo education (in one way or another) that helps them to control the primal chaos and taking the power from the elements. There is not much information about Druids, but it seems that their magic works in a similar fashion, however, they are obviously more "eco-friendly"1 and refuse to take power in such quantities as wizards.

“You focus yourself quickly. Let me remind you: control the flow of the force. You can only emit as much as you draw. If you release even a tiny bit more, you do so at the cost of your constitution. An effort like that could render you unconscious and, in extreme circumstances, could even kill you. If, on the other hand, you release everything you draw, you forfeit all possibility of repeating it, and you will have to draw it again and, as you know, it’s not easy to do and it is painful.”

Witchers know only very basic magic which they call "signs" - they can push things, create a small fire or a force field etc - it is all they might need in a fight with a monster. Their magical power comes from special elixirs which they take before the fight.

“The so-called Sign of Aard, Ciri, is a very simple spell belonging to the family of psychokinetic magic which is based on thrusting energy in the required direction. The force of the thrust depends on how the will of the person throwing it is focused and on the expelled force. It can be considerable. The witchers adapted the spell, making use of the fact that it does not require knowledge of a magical formula—concentration and the gesture are enough. That’s why they called it a Sign.

When Geralt tried to use the Sign without elixirs, he was surprised that it worked:

Geralt put his fingers together and struck the burning pile with the Aard Sign. He did not expect any great effect, since he had been forced to make do without his witcher elixirs for several weeks. But he succeeded nonetheless. The pile of branches exploded and fell apart, showering sparks around.

It is rare, but priests also can sometimes use magic, but its source of it is a bit confusing to wizards - but it seems that it is somehow different and indeed connected to some real gods (like Lady of the Lake or Melitele).

Finally, there are psions, oracles and other one-trick-ponies that have some sort of inherited magical power:

‘I’ve got pure aitch-es-pee, which means first category psi, without the gift of pee-kay. To be precise: I can hear other people’s thoughts and speak remotely with a sorcerer, elf or other psionic. And I can give orders using thought. I mean: make someone do what I want them to. I can also do pre-cog, but only when I’m under.’
‘Please enter in the proceedings that the witness, Joanna Selborne, is a psionic, with the gift of hypersensory perception. She is a telepath and tele-empath, able to carry out precognition under hypnosis, but without the ability of psychokinesis. The witness is admonished that the use of magic and extrasensory powers in this chamber is strictly prohibited.

1 - While the only druid we know from the name is Mousesack, there are others mentioned: one group of druids demands from a king to regulate the fishing industry (and it is refused, because "the ocean is so big so humans can never harm it"), second group with the help of driads puts a more effective ban on de-barking oaks, which causes a small revolution in the tanning industry, smartly used by a certain doppelganger. But are druids really eco-hippies? We don't really know.

  • As far as I remember, the only druid appearing in canon is Mousesack, very briefly, and I don't recall him being particularly "eco-friendly". Druids = treehuggers is a D&D construction. The druids in Witcher universe might as well be more similar to "real world druids" - that is the ancient priests on the British Isles. We do know that he practised magic however. Sapkowski borrows stuff from all over the place, so there's no telling if his druids are the D&D variety, or something similar to historical ones, or something else entirely.
    – Amarth
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 17:35
  • 1
    @Amarth No, there are other druids mentioned in the books and they ARE quite eco-focused: one group demands from the king to regulate fishing, other group puts a ban on a taking bark from the tree for the tanning industry.
    – Yasskier
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 18:26
  • There's also all this Ciri related stuff with Aen Saevherne, spacetime travel, Sources etc.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 23:48

Yasskier gives a good basis that I would like to continue on with.

A lot of these names seems to be synonyms of the same thing. Some like Witch, Mage, Sorceress and Enchantress seem to be largely for a similar group of magic users whilst professions go deeper into specific theorems and areas of magid and both differ in different levels of society and education. Though I feel that these therms most commonly refer to people that studied magic at academies like Aretuza or Ban Ard specifically whilst witch might be more rudimentary and locally. But in the common tongue probably mostly refer to the same thing.

Like here in Blood of Elves when Ciri asks if Triss is a witch:

‘Are you a witch?’

‘Guessed again. Although I prefer to be called an enchantress. To avoid getting it wrong you can call me by my name, Triss. Just Triss.

But there are also other notable magic users that whilst more or less do similar things, but in a more specialised and targeted field.

  • Witchers are monster hunters that use a rudimentary form of magic in the form of witcher signs, which from Yennefer as mentioned in Yasskiers answer is a very rudimentary and basic form of magic.
  • Druids are more focussed on nature and the things living in it,

Vilgefortz on Duids

‘Druids from the Kovir Circle,’ said the sorcerer a moment later, ‘found me in a gutter in Lan Exeter. They took me in and raised me. To be a druid, of course. Do you know What a druid is? It’s a kind of mutant, a wanderer, Who travels the world and bows to sacred oaks. ’

  • Priests consider it a gift from their deity.
  • Astrologers use magic based on astronomy and which is based on a persons date of birth and other person based elements like hair and feces.
  • A source is someone born with latent magical abilities, but have little control over it and act like some sort of magical transmitter.

‘A Source,’ she explained coldly, ‘has no control over their skills, no command over them. They are a medium, something like a transmitter. Unknowingly they get in touch with energy, unknowingly they convert it. And when they try to control it, when they strain trying to form the Signs perhaps, nothing comes of it. And nothing Will come of it, not just after hundreds of attempts but after thousands. It is one characteristic of a Source. Then, one day, a moment comes when the Source does not exert itself, does not strain, is daydreaming or thinking about cabbage and sausages, playing dice, enjoying themselves in bed with a partner, picking their nose . . . and suddenly something happens. A house might goes up in flames. Or sometimes, half a town goes up.’

  • Oracles, Far-seers, soothsayers are magic users that profess over futures and give advice, though these seem to commonly be sources as referenced above and don't have a lot of control.

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