Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Whitelighters are the "guardian angels" of witches, futures witches, and future whitelighters in the television show Charmed. They watch over their charges and intervene when necessary to help them along their path and keep them safe, and can also be called. They can constantly hear the lives of their charges in their heads, and if one of them calls their Whitelighter's name, he/she can show up at a moment's notice.
Whitelighters are people who were previously somehow connected to the magical world or who were generally good people that have died. They are given the choice to become whitelighters instead of moving on to the afterlife. Their bodies are replicas of their former human bodies, but are composed of orbs. If struck by a power that would usually kill them (for example an energy ball or particle acceleration) their bodies will explode into orbs then reform relatively unharmed; they can, however, be knocked unconscious. Any physical injury is repaired almost instantly.
They have the ability to orb, a kind of magical teleportation. This comes in handy for visiting their many charges around the world, and in special circumstances (as Leo Wyatt stated in Season 1 that it was "against the rules") to orb others with them. They can also orb objects around. Orbing is not an exact science and can be disrupted by magic, sending someone to a place they did not intend to go. Whitelighters can use their ability to sense the people they are trying to find before going anywhere.
Healing is another special ability granted to Whitelighters, and is used when their charges have been injured. As long as there is the faintest breath of life left in a person, they can be healed from any injury, whether the injury is magical in origin or not. However, this power is channelled directly from the Elders. If the Elders do not wish for someone to be healed, a Whitelighter can do nothing about it.
Whitelighters are not allowed to have relationships with witches. It is deemed to be too complicated and dangerous by the Elders. There are several half-whitelighters due to this rule being broken or lifted in special circumstances by the Elders. The three known half-whitelighters (all in the Halliwell family) are Paige Matthews, Wyatt Halliwell, and Chris Halliwell. All three display most of the abilities of Whitelighters. Wyatt is able to heal; Chris and Paige cannot, though Paige apparently can channel Leo's power.
Whitelighters traditionally avoid fighting, except when desperately needed to protect their charges, but are absolutely not allowed to kill. Leo tries to force Chris into a hearing with the Elders after he suspects (correctly) that Chris killed two warriors in Valhalla, and Leo himself brings balance back into the world of magic by doing a "Great Evil" in killing Gideon the Elder.
Among the other powers of Whitelighters are Levitation, Invisibility, and "cloaking" their charges (making others unable to sense them). They also have the ability to speak the language of their charges, whatever it may be (their own sort of Tongues). Leo is also seen "healing" household appliances, lightbulbs, and pipes, and making Phoebe's tea hot again. Whitelighters also have their own language, which sounds to human ears as a series of clicks and clacks.
Whitelighters can pass some of these abilities on to their offspring. Chris and Paige are able to orb and sense others, and can channel the ability to heal through another whitelighter, but cannot levitate, become invisible, heal on their own, or speak any language other than their own. They are, however, still very vulnerable to darklighter arrows.
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