|“||You see, I am an advisor to witches. They call me a Whitelighter.||”|
Whitelighters are magical creatures that are attributed by the Elders, a group of senior powerful witches, to new witches in need of protection and guidance. The Whitelighters only stay with them as long as they are needed. They possess multiple powers in order to do their jobs, such as teleportation through orbing, healing and memory erasure. According to Tessa Flores-Cohen, Whitelighters derive their powers from a singular source, and are thus connected — Tessa claimed she felt Harry Greenwood be stripped of his powers as a result of this connection and later used their connection to ascertain his location.
The process of becoming a Whitelighter is seemingly not difficult, but at a great cost. If during life, a human is worthy of the attention of the Elders, these witches will reward them in death by granting them powers and eternal life, in exchange for their servitude and undying loyalty. For this reason, Whitelighters are technically dead. By creating a Whitelighter, an evil version known as a Darklighter is seemingly created as a consequence, thus Whitelighters are rare and only created once every century. The first Whitelighter to be made was Helen McGaintry in 1693.
In The Source Awakens, it is revealed that, in retirement, Whitelighters are able to go to a vault containing a fountain with a potion that will restore their lost memories. The complete process of retirement for Whitelighters is currently unknown.
In Safe Space, it is revealed that all Whitelighters died around three weeks after the Elders were completely massacred. Harry survived because he was no longer tied to them when it happened. However, the death of his fellow Whitelighters has reduced Harry to being the last of his kind. Also, according to Harry, when Whitelighters die, they are returned to the grave of their original self.
In Deconstructing Harry, Harry found a page in the Book of Elders that detailed Whitelighters, and that they were created at great cost. He later accidentally used a Password Spell to reveal a hidden safe that contained documents from the Tulipe Institute, and travelled there to talk to the patient they described. The patient, Helen McGaintry, is in a catatonic state, but violently attacked Harry when he mentioned the Elders. When Harry explained he was not an Elder, Helen calmed down and healed the cut she had placed on his cheek, revealing that she is a Whitelighter. Harry's investigation through Helen's personal belongings led him to discover that she is actually the first Whitelighter, and that she has a 'sister', who is much more violent than she is - her Darklighter; the 'great cost' for creating Whitelighters.
Powers and Abilities
- Active Powers
- Orbing: Whitelighters can teleport through a process known as orbing. They can also take others with them. According to Harry Greenwood, teleporting other people can massively deplete their magical energy. Whitelighters also cannot orb between realities, as seen when Harry was not able to orb with Macy Vaughn out of the Heaven's Vice reality.
- Healing: Whitelighters have the power to restore an individual to full health and prestine condition as long as the wound is not magically protected. Jada, a half-Whitelighter, couldn't heal a magical arrow wound on herself, so this is presumably true for all Whitelighters.
- Memory Erasure: Whitelighters can erase the memories of others to protect the secret of magic from the mortal world.
- Conjuration: Whitelighters can materialize imaginary objects.
- Telekinesis: Whitelighters have Telekinetic abilities and can move objects with their mind.
- Passive Powers
- Immortality: Whitelighters are unaging and have a potentially limitless lifespan.
- Sensing: Whitelighters have the power to determine the location and status of other beings by concentrating on them. This power won’t work if the initial connection has been severed by another being, or if the charges have lost their powers.
- Remote Hearing: Whitelighters have the power to hear their name being spoken by their charges, regardless of distance. They also know where the charge speaking their name is and can teleport directly to that location.
- Emotional Imbalance: Like witches, their powers are tied to their emotions. If the Whitelighter has internal problems, then this can block his/her powers (or powers are beginning work wrong). For example, Harry couldn't use his powers properly for a long time, because he was tormented by the consequences of torture in Tartarus. This is why Whitelighters have their memories erased, to prevent distractions in their duties as Whitelighters.
- Darklighter Poison: Darklighter poison has a severe effect on Whitelighters when healing someone afflicted with it. The poison greatly depletes their magical strength leaving them unable to orb or heal properly for a time.
- Magic: Whitelighters are susceptible to the effects of magic, and can be killed by wounds that caused by powerful magical means, as witnessed when Tessa was mortally wounded by Fiona Callahan with a powerful electrokinetic blast. Whitelighters also can be at risk of having their powers stripped by the Elders through the use of a spell.
- Pixie Dust: Whitelighter can be zombified by any pixie.
- There are many differences between Whitelighters from the original series and the reboot:
- In the original series, Whitelighters traveled in a series of blue and white lights or 'orbs' that usually rose either upward or downward in the direction that they were going. The new type of Whitelighters teleport in a similar fashion as the wizards of Harry Potter do via Disapparition, however, it is still referred to as 'orbing'.
- Whitelighters in the reboot series can reveal themselves to their charges. In the original, the Charmed Ones' Whitelighter, Leo Wyatt, hid his abilities and his purpose from the girls until Phoebe accidentally walked in on him levitating to replace a lightbulb. This could, however, have been a plot point as fans of the original show may have been able to figure Harry out quickly, meaning keeping his nature secret from the Charmed Ones was pointless.
- Unlike in the original series, Whitelighters do not keep any memory from their life as humans, so they would have no distraction from doing their jobs properly.
- In the original series, Whitelighters could only heal human beings (humans and witches alike) and other Whitelighters. However, in this series, they can also heal other beings, as Harry was able to heal a Satyr.
- The Whitelighters in the original show aged at a normal human rate if they were stripped of their powers, referred to as having their wings clipped. In the rebooted version, they age rapidly to their true age if they had lived a long time. In the original series, this happens to Cupids that were stripped of their powers.
- Unlike the original series, Whitelighters live on Earth rather than the Upper Regions.
- Whitelighters in this series are seemingly much easier to kill than in the original series, where Whitelighters can heal themselves from most wounds unless they were inflicted by Darklighter Poisoned Arrows or higher beings. The new incarnation of Whitelighters, however, seemingly do not possess regenerative capabilities (or, if they do, it is much weaker than it was in the original series). However, unlike their original counterparts, Whitelighters in the reboot can come back to life after being killed, unless they were killed by a powerful magical attack.
- Unlike their original counterparts, Whitelighters in the reboot are bound to the Elders that created them, and all but two, that weren't connected to the Elders, died out after the all of Elders were killed.
- In the reboot, Whitelighters are only a half of what they were as humans. The other half is separated from them and becomes a Darklighter. Darklighters share the physical apparance of the Whitelighters they were created from, however their personality is mostly the opposite.
- Since Whitelighters are immortal beings devoted to serving the Elders — the council of senior witches who employed them — there is little likelihood that they are angels in this rebooted version.
- When a Whitelighter is stripped of their powers in the reboot, it is referred to as having their light extinguished. The same phrase also refers to Whitelighters when they die.