American Wizarding Culture
American witches and wizards, just like American muggles, are vastly different from their international counterparts in many ways. In this guide, we'll tell you all about their culture - from the fashion and behavior of magical Americans to their interactions with muggles, you'll be an expert on the American wizarding community in no time!
Basic InformationBlood Status
- Due to the fact that the American wizarding culture is much more integrated with muggles, purebloods are nearly non-existent in the United States. The majority of families are heavily mixed between muggle and magical bloodlines, with the average person having one muggle parent and one magical parent. All magical families do exist, but still usually have muggle blood somewhere down the line.
Due to the mixture of bloodlines, squibs and muggle-born children are far more common in the United States than anywhere else in the world. It is believed that 1 out of every 25 children born to two magical parents will be a squib.
- Much like their British counterparts, Americans have continued the use of owls for standard mail delivery, though they usually choose to ship larger packages through the United States Postal Service for convenience.
The Wizarding Wireless does exist in the United States, but it is not nearly as popular as the WNN, or Wizarding News Network, located across the nation at channel 42.1, a network accessible only through magical televisions. Local magical television networks exist as well, but the WNN remains the most commonly watched and is the favored network for national and international magical news. Regular television shows including sitcoms and game shows can be viewed on the SPARK! Network located at 13.7. For more information on wizarding television, consult the "Pop Culture" section below.
Newspapers and Magazines similar to the Daily Prophet and Witch Weekly are also in circulation - the USA Today newspaper has a branch secret from muggles that publishes a three times weekly issue under the name WSA Today, (or, "Wizarding States of America") for general news, and Witch Weekly America is also published once per week. In addition, there are also a number of tabloids including the Wizarding World News which seems to have as legitimate information as the Quibbler magazine.
Due to the vast size of the country and modern magical innovations, the most common method of communication is a form of scrying. Most magical homes have a scrying glass - a mirror-like glass inside a frame that hangs on the wall - but others might have globes, dishes, and other similar objects. The glass is activated by pointing the wand at it and announcing the name and/or address of the person you wish to contact, and the scrying device on the other person's end will glow a bright blue color. A witch or wizard need only touch a glowing device to "answer" the request, and because of this many protective charms have been put on personal scrying devices to prevent unauthorized witches and wizards from accessing one another's incoming "calls."
- Magical Americans use the same currency as muggles, being the paper bills and cent coins, but pure gold, silver, and bronze - known as "old coin" and often found in the form of galleons, sickles, and knuts - is also accepted in some magical establishments. Most witches and wizards, however, store their old coin currency in the bank or exchange them for muggle money.
Gringott's banks do exist in the United States, but are found mostly in larger cities because they primarily deal with old coin due to Gringott's being centered in the United Kingdom where it is still in full circulation. Instead most witches and wizards choose to use their local, more commonly found, branches of the National Wizarding Bank, or NWB.
It should be noted that despite the use of muggle currency, debit and ATM cards are not in common use unless the witch or wizard holds a muggle bank account. ATM cards from the NWB were in circulation for a very short time before the discovery that the magic used to protect the cards would fry the muggle machines. Many witches and wizards do use checks, but cash is preferred by most.
- As with most Americans, magical or not, English is the most commonly spoken and accepted language. The spells cast still use the Latin format found in Europe and the United Kingdom, however, so many families choose to teach their children some Latin so that they may fully understand the spells they are attempting to cast.
- The religious choices of American witches and wizards vary wildly, with the most common beliefs being Christian and Jewish. The beliefs of the wizarding community seem to vary along the same level as muggles. That said, higher populations of wizards seem to come from the Native American and Nordic populations of the country due to their more ancient beliefs, but that is perhaps pure speculation from magical historians.
- Apparation remains the number one mode of transportation in the United States, with students being able to learn apparation at age fifteen - the magical community's way of preventing teenagers from using unauthorized magic while driving muggle vehicles, something that was happening entirely too often for the comfort of magical parents and government workers across the country. Those under the age of 18 are allowed a probational apparation license that allows them to travel only short distances within their own state, or the state in which they are currently located in the cases of school and travel.
Brooms are widely used, though not usually favored to apparating and more common in smaller towns or for quick commutes to the store. Much like in the United Kingdom, other flying muggle objects have been outlawed due to the risk they pose if seen, such as flying carpets.
The Floo Network does exist, but was established in the old days when the country was still a fledgling nation. It's usage has slowly been dying out and modern days have seen connections being closed down across the country. The only remaining homes on the network are those of the old wizarding families, predominately on the east coast and in New England. As of recent years there has been a strong government motion to disable the network altogether, but key politicians of the Cloaking Party have continued to stifle the movement.
For more information on the American Bureau of Magical Affairs, please see this page.
- As American wizards are closely involved with muggles, their magical system closely resembles its muggle counterpart, as the magical government exists solely as a secret branch to the muggle government, known as the Bureau of Magical Affairs. The leading government official is the Secretary of Magic, a position currently filled by Solange Mullaney, and each department has a leading Vice Secretary that is a member of the Secretary of Magic's cabinet. The Secretary of Magic is appointed by the President of the United States, and in the event that the President is unaware of the magical community - which is fairly often - he will be given a list of candidates to interview and select from.
- Much like the muggles, American wizards have a two-party political system. The party of the current Secretary of Magic and his or her cabinet heavily affects which bills are put into motion and which decrees become laws.
The Cloaking Party believes that wizards should be kept as secret as possible and that muggles should not find out about magic. They largely believe that muggles will abuse or enslave magical folk for their powers and that things would become chaotic and unmanagable, if not resulting in violence from both sides. Some extremists in the party promote separation from muggles entirely and may send their children to private magical institutions for primary school rather than muggle elementary schools.
The Revealing Party believes that wizards should be fully integrated into muggle society and promotes a peaceful existance with their non-magical counterparts. Despite international laws that prevent wizards from fully revealing themselves to muggles, the revealing party often lobbies for the ability to inform muggles of certain aspects of magical life. They believe that it's imperitive that wizards are familiar with muggle culture and are the driving force behind present day wizard culture in the United States, where magical folks are encouraged to attend muggle primary school and regularly interact with muggles in their "native" environment.
- Between wizarding families there is nearly an even split between children who are sent to a magical day care - or sometimes even a muggle day care - and those who remain at home with their mothers. Wizards tend to carry a much "older" style of ideals, causing many witches to be homemakers or stay-at-home mothers, but far fewer than in the United Kingdom.
- Marshgrass Primary - Talahassee, Florida
- Secretary's School of Magic - Washington, D.C.
Once they are old enough to attend Elementary school, most young witches and wizards attend local muggle schools. A number of magical primary schools do exist in areas with more than the usual number of witches and wizards, so some families choose to relocate so that their children can attend them instead of muggle schools. This behavior primarily comes from parents who are in support of the Cloaking Party, but sometimes comes hand in hand with long-running magical families wishing to keep their family tree free of muggle blood. Like with muggles, many parents choose to home school their children as well.
Magical elementary schools teach most of the usual subjects, including Math and Reading, but have some variations. Social Studies often enlightens students to the basics of the magical government, and Physical Education often lets students have a go at riding toy brooms.
Known magical elementary schools include...
- At age 11 or 12, or whenever magical students finish the equivalent to the muggle 5th Grade, they are sent off to a secondary school not unlike Hogwarts. Several hundred of these exist around the United States, including both publicly funded schools and private schools. Public schools tend to focus on only magical basics, while private schools may have a specialty or focus that they teach students, similar to a magnet school. These schools prepare students with all they need to know to exist on their own as adults in the wizarding world.
- Beaumont-Spindletop Boarding Academy - Beaumont, Texas (Private, Semi-Expensive, Semi-Exclusive)
- Kapu Heiau School - Kamalino, Hawaii (Public, Inexpensive, Semi Exclusive)
- Kalistone School for Wizards - Kalispell, Montana (Public, Very Cheap, Not Exclusive)
- Salem Witches Institute - Salem, Massachusetts (Private, Very Expensive, Very Exclusive)
Known secondary schools include...
- Unique to the magical community of the United States, many young witches and wizards choose to enroll in muggle College after graduating from their respective magical institutions. It's considered highly fashionable to study amongst muggles - similar to how muggles study overseas - so that they can explore the culture firsthand and get a feel for how muggles behave. Interestingly, this behavior is supported by both parties, though for vastly different reasons. As with muggles, not all witches and wizards enroll in post-secondary education and some go straight to work or training for a career afterwards - or just bum around at home, of course, as young adults often do.
- New York Institute of Magical Theatrics - New York City, New York (Highly expensive and selective)
- Redwood Apothecary School - Eureka, California (Highly expensive and selective)
- American Wizarding Academy - Washington, D.C. (Highly expensive, deals with magical politics)
For those that choose to attend a magical institution for their post-secondary education, the option is available, but there are only about a dozen schools nationwide, most of which specializing in a certain course of study. They are primarily attended by "old blood" families who discourage any type of muggle interaction, despite the fact that these families are dwindling in existence and most younger generations want to get out and explore the muggle world.
Some examples include...
- Approximately 80% of all wizarding males ages 25 and older are employed.
- Approximately 60% of all wizarding females ages 25 and older are employed.
- The Bureau of Magical Affairs employs 60% of all working witches and wizards.
- Magical shops are scattered amongst muggle areas, few "Diagon Alley" type areas exist.
- Employees of the professional athlete and fine arts industries are paid less than their muggle counterparts.
- Employees of the political and government industries are paid about equally with their muggle counterparts.
- Employees of the medicine/healing and apothecary industries are paid more than their muggle counterparts.
- Wizarding Television exists on off-number networks, usually to a decimal such as 3.7 or 48.2, and can only be picked up with a special television set. Some experimental television antenna sets have been tested to allow networks to be picked up on a regular television, but the sets usually fry after a short period of time due to the magical interference.
- "Mama Louisa's Cauldron" - Cooking Show, Food Today Network
- "Charmed and Dangerous" - Soap Opera, SPARK! Network
- "That's My Dragon" - Sitcom, SPARK! Network
- "MuggleWatch" - News Show, Wizarding News Network
- "Painting With Bob Ross" - Art Show, Magical Family. No one is quite sure why this is being shown on Magical TV.
- "I'm Always Right" - Political Show, Wizarding News Network
- "Amortentia" - Soap Opera, Magical Family
- "Law and Order: Wizarding World" - Crime Show, SPARK! Network
- "This Old Castle" - Home Improvement Show, Magical Homes & Gardens Network
- "Magical Malady Madness" - Educational(?) Show, Discovering Magic
- "123 Wizard St." - Children's Show, Wizarding Family
- Russel Fairthought, author of the Xander Banes novels.
- Frannie Jackmingle, author of a number of romance novels.
- Elda Plumfellow, children's book author.
- Palmet Digore, author of thriller/"Stephen King" type novels.
- Chester Swalllows, author of the Mugglepocolypse series.
- Miriam Webbing, author of the Miracles in Magic nonfiction series.
Magical Television Shows seem to have no special qualities to them aside from the fact that they are focused on topics that the magical community finds interesting. Such shows include...
- Muggle fashion is much more popular in the United States than it is in the United Kingdom and Europe, though young witches and wizards usually try to accent muggle clothing with a hint of magical style - examples include throwing a cloak over a muggle outfit, or wearing shortened tunic-style robes over a pair of blue jeans. This is a fairly new movement in fashion, however, and many older witches and wizards highly disapprove of the attire.
That said, magical fashion has not changed much in the United States from the United Kingdom and Europe, as robes and cloaks are a fairly universal thing.
- Magical folks in the United States tend to have the same hobbies as their worldwide comrades, including...
- Collecting Chocolate Frog cards
- Using magic to create smaller (toy) animated versions of larger real-life things, like brooms
- Playing Wizard Chess
- Playing Gobstones
- Collecting sports cards, such as Quidditch, Quodpot, and Muggle Sports
- Muggle Watching (Particularly at Shopping Malls)
- Broom Racing is extremely popular, and leagues do exist for professional racing. More commonly, children and young adults enjoy racing one another for fun in areas secluded from muggles. A yearly cross-country race is held from Carova, North Carolina to San Francisco, California on the day of the Summer Solstice. Special referees travel on faster brooms than the competitors and switch off every few hours to prevent cheating.
Quodpot is a game similar to Quidditch that involves only one ball, an exploding quaffle referred to as the "Quod." Amongst most witches and wizards it is far more popular than Quidditch, but is not played as often at private schools as it is at public schools. Much like football there is both an American Quodpot League and a National Quodpot League, which often compete against one another.
Quidditch is treated similar to sailing among muggles, in that it is extremely popular amongst higher class types. It is the sport of choice of Salem Witches Institute and a number of other private schools, and a official teams do exist as members of the North American Quidditch League. The American teams, however, rarely go to the World Cup.