Willows interest in the basics (such as charms, glamours and levitation) eventually turns into a desire to move to the next level (where spells involving conjuration, primal forces and transmutation can be found). Willow wants to learn this higher level, despite the fact that her basic spells are only being successful about fifty percent of the time.
Willow – Starting to “step up” her spells (a way to “fix” her problems!)
Fortunately, Willow soon meets a “like-minded” witch at a campus coven: Tara. It is through Tara that Willow starts to learn more about witchcraft, for example: Tara offers Willow a crystal as a gift (which Willow refuses), but leading to Willow suggesting that they can “try out some spells together with it”. Despite their growing friendship, Willow still casts spells without Tara’s assistance – particularly when its needed to help the scoobie gang.
Undaunted by Spikes abduction/demands for a Love Spell, Willow continues with her studies of witchcraft – learning to summon the four elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth) and also spends time with Amy (at a witches coven); where they both help to cast protection spells. Later, Willow impresses Buffy, with her ability to levitate a yellow pencil (whilst explaining to Buffy that its all about “emotional control”).
Willow – always keen to learn more about The Craft!
All of this helps to contribute to Willows growing reputation of being a witch, and is cemented when Anya (an ex vengeance demon, later Xander’s girlfriend), requests Willows assistance in a spell to help her regain her necklace (the source of her vengeance powers). Keen to shake some of her nerdy image, Willow is glad to offer assistance (although Willow does not know that Anya has her own secret agenda). The spell gets out of hand, with Willow seeing glimpses of an evil world, eventually causing her to abort the spell and tell Anya that “this is a little blacker than I like my arts”.
Despite the warning from Giles (regarding the use of magic), Willow soon feels the need to play with an anti-love spell, to help quash the growing attraction between herself and Xander. Willow gathers the necessary ingredients (from the local magic shop), then proceeds to mix the spell, whilst waiting for Xander to arrive. Upon arriving, Xander becomes concerned that Willow could even consider casting such a spell – especially after his own love spell (cast by Amy) went wrong.
Willow – with a Spell that many Witches LOVE to dabble with!
However, such concerns are beyond Spike (initially a bad vampire), who interrupts Willows anti-love spell and abducts her to cast his own love spell. Even though neither spell eventually gets cast, Spikes abduction of Willow helps to illustrate the fact that Willow is starting to become known as a witch (around Sunnydale).
Willow then decides she wants to learn more about witchcraft, approaching its study as if its just another part of being at school. She starts to read books on witchcraft, and experiments with several “simpler spells”: a couple of pagan blessings, some glamour to mask a spot and some levitation to float a feather.
Willow – with her new found Love of Witchcraft
Willow does not attempt to hide any of this, as she tells Buffy about her new found interest: “I’m a witch”. Willows growing eagerness towards witchcraft is first noticed by Giles, when he becomes concerned about her use of mystical forces, advising her that “these forces are not something that one plays around with Willow”, although he does not specifically stop her from learning about them.
When it comes to the “Early Days” of Willows character – these are my favourite seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Best seasons to watch for “Early Willow” – the “Gypsy Witch” – Buffy Seasons One and Two.
I feel that “Early Willow” is typical of the school friends, that many of us had – at a similar age. She’s your “best friend“, but you don’t really know why – nor, did she have to “earn it”. I had such a friend (as well) – her name was Hazel! I/You seemed to “connect” with Hazel/Willow easily – and everything seemed so much simpler (perhaps because we were yet to learn: the word “romance”). Now, just like Hazel, Willow had a range of interests to – with many of them being quite Nerdy! Hazel was to collecting Lego, as Willow was to learning Computers. And yet, here do my childhood memories differ: for Willow has an interesting twist to her character (that Hazel did not). On the one hand, Willow can be easily lead (such as when Principal Snyder suggests that she changes a students mark). Yet, on the other hand, does “Early Willow” appear to be quite strong – when she takes over the Computer Class (after Miss Calendar dies). How many of us, would have been capable of “stepping in” like that – whilst still being at school? How many of us could do it today? Before you answer – consider: the last time you walked to town (or to the mall). Did you find yourself looking at the floor? Because if you did, then perhaps there’s more Hazel “in you” – than there was in “Early Willow“. As a passing thought – it was Willow who found Miss Calendar’s files/notes on “paganism and magic”. Yet, to a Witch, perhaps it is fairer to say that The Craft found her (through the Paths of Fate). Especially as Willow – eventually chants, the Gypsy Spell (to re-curse Angel’s Soul).
With the intervention of fate, Buffy experiences some “Déjà Vu” – and discovers a computer disk that Miss Calendar had dropped (just before she died). Indeed, the Paths of Fate had gone to work – as the disc just-so-happens to contain a spell/curse that can restore Angel’s soul (and make him good again).
Early Willow – her First Spell – with Candles and Runes
It is here that Willow starts to venture deeper into witchcraft, as Willow undertakes the task of learning the “Restoration Spell”, even though Giles has warned her that “channelling such magic’s through yourself may open a door that you are unable to close again”. The spell involves reading several incantations (in both English and Latin), together with several candles, runes, incense and a “spirit orb” (which helps to transfer Angel’s soul). Willow eventually succeeds in casting the spell – and hence restores Angel’s soul (who is himself subject to a cruel Twist of Fate).
Willow starts to learn more about the divine, when Miss Calendar tells Willow that her “rose quartz necklace has healing powers”. Unfortunately, Angel (Buffy’s vampire boyfriend) reverts to his former evil ways and kills Miss Calendar. As a result, Willow is asked (by the school principal) to take over the responsibility of teaching her lessons.
Early Willow – Pencilled a Path with her new found interest!
Whilst going through Miss Calendar’s lesson plans, Willow discovers Miss Calendar’s files on “paganism and magic”, together with some related internet links. Willow is unable to resist starting to read them – and later tells Giles that she finds the files “really interesting”. Willow then has one of her first dabbles in witchcraft, when she makes some scapulars (i.e. protection charms) using sulphur, to help protect the scoobie gang from a couple of ghosts (that are haunting their school). Willow’s reading does not stop there, and she continues to read Miss Calendar’s files for educational (and fun) purposes.