Although this article is based on canonical information, the actual name of this subject is conjectural.
Control over the earth element is one of the four fundamental bases of magic. It represents the physical emanation of life and the beauty of nature that can be revered and manipulated through sorcery. While shaman and cunning practitioners limit themselves to exploiting the intrinsic properties of herbs and plants for their potions and/or worship Nature as a divine manifestation, witches are also able to manipulate plants' growth and decay as they please. Particularly skillful and powerful witches are able to enchant branches and roots so that they act as extensions of their own hands grabbing their enemies or creating real bark-made prisons. Depending on the intent, the witch may or may not need to recite an incantation or shed blood in sacrifice.
Although not entirely understood, it seems that many in the Essex Hive (particularly the Widdershins) possess a special fondness for the element of earth and seem to use it quite frequently, even after they abandoned their powers given to them by the devil. They began to use some form of earth-related magic that stemmed from the earth and possibly from the universe itself, often working in tandem with one another to do so, with the Essex Elder taking the lead in the pagan rituals.
- Mary Sibley, considered the most powerful witch of the Essex Hive, was able to grow some roots from some drops of her own blood poured into a cup, later used as representations of real roots of Salem woods which grabbed the ankles of Increase Mather as claws of a hag from a fairy tale. (Cat and Mouse) Intended to defeat Countess Von Marburg and save her own child, Mary visited the Essex Stronghold. By consuming a piece of bark and chanting an incantation, she was able to open the enchanted entry made of thick roots that came alive and moved to let her pass through. (Midnight Never Come) A year later, she used a similar spell to the one used on Increase to destroy the Dark Lord's vessel after receiving a power-boost by the mass sacrifice of the entirety of the Essex Hive; Exploiting the bloodshed, she raised and manipulated branches that tore the limbs of the vessel. (The Man Who Was Thursday)
- While studying and refining her newly discovered powers, Anne Hale learned how to grow and wither a plant at an unnatural speed from a seed that she had in the palm of her hand. (Wages of Sin)
- Young John Sibley unleashed a violent earthquake while trying to resist the exorcism practiced on him by Reverend Cotton Mather. (On Earth as in Hell) He later caused another earthquake when Anne Hale locked him inside a secret chamber at her house. (Midnight Never Come)
- Tituba and the surviving elders of the Essex Hive channeled the power of the Tree of Life within their Sacred Stronghold to bring Mary Sibley back to life. By mixing their blood and chanting an incantation, they created a protective chrysalis made of thick roots around the corpse. (The Heart Is A Devil)
- Essex Elder, deceived by Tituba with a false vision, executed a member of their hive by manipulating branches inside the Stronghold to tear the witch apart. (The Commonwealth of Hell)
Spells and Rituals
Incantation of the Earth and Bones
To turn against a man the spirit of the trees and even the very flesh against itself, a witch must draw from her vein a drop of blood into a blessed cup and let it turn the water within as red as itself. This binds her will to the forest and her body to her foe. She must find him where he may be in the depths of the all-seeing flame and induce whatever ills she wishes him to suffer upon herself. He will bear the injuries of her self-inflictions.
- Incantation: "Terra sunt carnes et ossa. Domini est terra et ossa. Terra sunt carnes et ossa. Domini est terra et ossa. Et nos unum benedictus".
- Used by: Mary Sibley
- Note: A rough translation of the Latin script reads: "The earth is flesh and bone, I am Master of earth and bone. We are one." which may denote to the sympathetic magic that Mary invoked to magically bind her body to Increase, as well as to summon and bend the vines of the forest to her will.
The Rite of Passage
For a witch to gain entry into the hallowed halls of her Hive, she must take in and assume a sliver of the wood upon which it is concealed, and say these words, turning widdershins thrice whilst doing so.
- Incantation: "The Essex Tree is deep and wide, but as unseen as any breath. I'll pay the price to come inside, though it may mean my very death."
- Used by: Mary Sibley
To Bring Life
Of all the rites of the Old Craft, there are none as perilous and as unpredictable as those of resurrection. Therefore, the art of raising the dead is a task which must only be undertaken in the direst of moments. If a witch seeks to circumvent the sacrificial requirement that is needed in all spells whose purpose is in the regeneration of once-living flesh, she must bring the hollow carcass of that which she wishes to revive to a place sacred to the Ancient Ways, as her hive's Stronghold, and appeal to her kindred, for the magic of one witch alone will not suffice. The blood of the coven when charmed with these words of power will invoke the spirit of the Hive Tree itself to encase the corpse within an enchanted chrysalis from whence it will awaken, living, whole and healed.
- Incantation: "From cloud to sea, from crown to throne. From blood to bough, from skin to bone. Tree of life in which we art, roots that feed from Earth's deep heart. Rising branches charged from sky, come now, make her death a lie."
- Used by: Tituba and the Essex Elders
- Note: A witch cursed back to life with this spell will be bound to the stronghold whose powers revived her. When Mary was brought back from the dead, the Elders told her that she was "resurrected by the very life force of the primordial tree" and that she would be "forever bound to the realm of its roots", meaning that she can never leave Salem until the day she dies.
The Traitor's Execution
Should a Witch Hive finds a traitor in their midst, they need only invoke the spirit of their Stronghold to punish him for his crimes. By speaking these words of death as one, a great terror will befall on the guilty witch and he will die in agony.
- Incantation: "Branches of birth on the tree of life, leaves of desire and bark of strife. Roots of the sun, roots of the moon, heed our call, bring this traitor's doom."
- Note: It seems that this spell is meant to execute anyone the hive deems a traitor, regardless of whether they are truly guilty or not.
- Noteworthy is the close relationship between the Essex Hive and the mastery over the earth, as this coven of witches ascribes its origin to an Earth-worshipping cult predating their deal with the Devil.
- During the Reckoning ritual, the element of the earth is the first of the four elements to be stripped from a witch by the Dark Lord.