The witch was a humanoid being with magical abilities. They inhabited multiple worlds.
Witches were humanoid beings but distinct from humans biologically and culturally. Like humans, witches had dæmons, which always settled in the form of birds. Witches aged much more slowly than humans, and were known to live for more than a thousand years. In Lyra's world, only female witches existed. In this world, witches bore the children of human men, who were witches if female and human if male. There were other worlds in which there were male witches.
Witches were able to feel cold, but it did not cause them harm. They were also able to feel tingling and silky sensations on their skin when exposed to starlight and moonlight respectively.
Witches were capable of using branches of cloud-pine to fly.
While true invisibility was impossible, witches were able to enter a fiercely-held modest state of mind which allowed them to go unnoticed. With the correct degree of intensity, a witch would be able to pass through a crowded room or walk beside a single person unnoticed.
Witches did not have possessions, and their only means of exchange was mutual aid.
Witches divided themselves into communities known as clans. Each clan had its own territory with definite but irregular borders which varied from season to season based on the growth of plants and the migration of animals.
- Keitele clan
- Lake Enara clan
- Lake Ladoga clan
- Lake Lubana clan
- Lake Visha clan
- Lake Umolese clan
- Micokojärvi clan
- Nania clan
- Taymyr clan
- Tikshozero clan
Witches took part in a coming-of-age ritual, wherein they travelled to a barren land in the North where their dæmons could not go, much like the land of the dead. The completion of this ritual allowed them to separate from their dæmons over long distances.
- Serafina Pekkala, queen of the Lake Enara clan
- Ruta Skadi, queen of the Lake Lubana clan
- Juta Kamainen, former queen of the Lake Visha clan
- Sara Leiro, queen of the Keitele clan
- Reina Miti, queen of the Tikshozero clan
- Katya Sirkka, queen of the Mickojarvi clan
- Tanja Lentana, queen of the Lake Umolese clan
- Yelena Pazhets
- Ieva Kasku
- Lena Feldt
- Tortured witch
- Northern Lights
- Northern Lights - The Graphic Novel
- The Golden Compass (film)
- The Golden Compass (video game)
- The Subtle Knife
- The Amber Spyglass
- Lyra's Oxford
- La Belle Sauvage
- Peril of the Pole
- The Secret Commonwealth (Mentioned only)
|Witch clans||Lake Enara clan • Keitele clan • Lake Ladoga clan • Lake Lubana clan • Micokojärvi clan • Nania clan • Onega clan • Taymyr clan • Tikshozero clan • Lake Umolese clan • Lake Visha clan|
|Clan queens||Ieva Kasku • Julia Ojaland • Juta Kamainen • Katya Sirkka • Paula Pyhäjärow • Reina Miti • Ruta Skadi • Sara Leiro • Serafina Pekkala • Tanja Lentana • Tilda Vasara|
|Other witches||Lena Feldt • Medea • Yelena Pazhets • Tortured witch • Unidentified witch|
|Important||Yambe-Akka • Cloud-pine • Holding spell|
|Humanoid||Angels • Dæmons • Deaths • Gallivespians • Ghosts • Humans • Mermaids • Witches • Zombi|
|Other||Cliff-ghasts • Harpies • Mulefa • Panserbjørne • Spectres|