Wizarding Culture of the United States
Much like the United Kingdom has a magical culture all its own, witches and wizards of the United States of America have many similarities to their international counterparts while also having their own unique aspects. Perhaps the most different thing about the United States is that the country’s large size contributes both to the ability of magical persons to interact with those who are not magical themselves, and the fact that many different subcultures exist within America’s many regions.
The most notable thing to remember is that American witches and wizards are very integrated with non-magical folk. Though some pockets of magical activity exist, such as all-magical neighborhoods or apartment bulidings, most witches and wizards exist alongside non-magical people and may even attend school, work, or shop with them on a regular basis. Non-magical people are referred to as ordinary, and mixed families are incredibly common. Because of this, you will find that many Americans find the behaviors of British and European wizards a bit odd, and they may even be a bit baffled by them while vacationing or encountering foreign visitors.
We have tried our best to outline our version of the Magical United States below, which has been based largely around how characters were already interacting with their environment in threads taking place in North America. Feel free to explore, expand on these ideas in your threads, visit the Help Desk if you have a question about how something might work, or even start a discussion about the American wizarding world!
Fast Facts About the United States
Government: The Bureau of Magical Affairs, situated in the nation’s capital in Washington D.C.
Largest / Most Popular School of Magic: Chicago Academy of Wizardry in Chicago, Illinois
Currency: Ordinary US Dollars, though uncommon coins like the silver dollar, half-eagle, and half-dollar are in regular circulation among wizards. The 2000 Sacagawea coin was pushed to mint by a bill created by the Revealing Party to allow for better access to funds between ordinary and magical communities.
Transportation: Many witches and wizards drive normal ordinary cars, while others choose to take magical public transportation. Though public transportation varies from region to region, it can be found in the form of enchanted trolley cars, hidden metro and subway routes, branches of the Magical Railway Association, flight paths offered by SorcerAir, and more. The Chimney Circuit, a variant of England’s Floo Network, is only found in the Northeast and in some small communities in the Midwest, though connections to the circuit are regularly bricked over in modern times due to disuse.
Media & Communication
Owl Post & Scrying
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.
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.”
Television and News Media
The Wizarding Wireless does exist in the United States, but it is not nearly as popular as the many wizarding television stations that exist on off-number networks using a decimal, such as the WNN, or Wizarding News Network, located across the nation at channel 42.1. Regular television shows including sitcoms and game shows can be viewed on the SPARK! Network located at 13.7, and all magical stations can only be picked up using a special television set. Some experimental television antennas 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.
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:
- “Mama Louisa’s Cauldron” – Cooking Show, Food Today Network
- “Charmed and Dangerous” – Soap Opera, SPARK! Network
- “That’s My Dragon” – Sitcom, SPARK! Network
- “OrdinaryWatch” – 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
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 WWToday, (or, “Wizarding World Today”) 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.
American Terms & Phrases
Though slang can vary from region to region in the United States, the following terms and phrases are generally in wide use throughout the country by most witches and wizards.
chimney circuit – a fireplace-based transportation system similar to the Floo Network
Cloaking Party – a political party that believes that witches and wizards should remain separate from non-magical people
“Don’t burn me at the stake!” – a request for someone to stop being overly nosy or judgemental, similar to “don’t have a cow!” or “don’t give me the fifth degree!”
“For Tituba’s sake!” – an expression of exasperation, similar to “For Pete’s sake!”
metro – underground public transportation via train, also called the “L” or “El” in Chicago where most trains are elevated, and the “subway” in New York City.
no-maj – a term used to refer to ordinaries that was popularized in the 1920’s and is today considered something of a slur
ordinary – non-magical, the American equivalent to “muggle”
pharmacy – an apothecary
Revealing Party – a political party that believes that witches and wizards should be integrated into ordinary society
Alexander Honeycutt Atelier
American Bureau of Magical Affairs
Bucket Bros. Traveling Carnival
Chicago Academy of Wizardry
Constellation Plaza Shopping Mall
Goldenwing Hospice & Healing Center
International Broom Racers Circuit
International Magical Railway
Magic Neep Grocery
SorcerAir Magical Airways
Wizarding Expedition Society
Wizarding World News