Wingardium leviosa
Levitation Charm

Wingardium Leviosa[1]
(wing-GAR-dee-um levi-O-sa)[1]



Hand Movement



Makes objects fly[1]


Jarleth Hobart (1544)[2]

"The Levitation Charm is one of the first spells learnt by any young witch or wizard. With the charm a witch or wizard can make things fly with the flick of a wand. The charm is an excellent test of your magical skills, wand control and above all, patience."
—An excerpt from the entry in Book of Spells on this charm.[src]

The Levitation Charm[3] (Wingardium Leviosa[1]) is a charm used to make objects fly,[1] taught to first years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[1]

There are a number of lesser variations of the Levitation Charm, such as the Hover Charm, the Rocket Charm and the Floating Charm, just to name a few, but the Levitation Charm remains the original and best.[2]


"The Levitation Charm was invented in 1544 by warlock Jarleth Hobart who mistakenly believed that he had at last succeeded in doing what wizardkind had so far failed to do, and learnt to fly."
Miranda Goshawk, Book of Spells.[src]

The Levitation Charm was first developed in the sixteenth century, and warlock Jarleth Hobart is credited with its creation.

On 16 July, 1544, Hobart invited a large crowd of wizards, among which was the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, to witness his "maiden flight" — a public demonstration of his own revolutionary charm on himself. He climbed onto the roof of his local church and, after several speeches and a rousing performance of the national anthem he leapt and, having cast the spell, was left hovering in mid-air. At first, he seemed to have succeeded but, after having spent nearly three minutes watching him hanging in mid-air, the crowd grew impatient to see him move somewhere, and booed him.

In response to the catcalls, Hobart tried to move in midair, and started performing vigorous swimming movements, which produced no effect. Mistakingly believing that his clothes were making him heavier and impeding his movement, Hobart stripped thus making him fall ten feet onto the ground below, as it were the clothes that were holding him up in the air — they had been charmed by the Levitation Charm, not Hobart himself. He fell completely naked on the ground, breaking sixteen bones, and went on the receive a fine for "outrageous silliness" from the Chief Warlock.

Hobart returned home, humiliated, where he realised that his spell could make objects levitate for varying lengths of time, depending on the skill of the spellcaster and on the weight of the object. He also concluded that small animals or even children could be levitated, but that they had no control whatsoever of their movement once airbourne.

He thus made a second announcement, and an even larger crowd gathered to see his second demonstration of the spell (hoping for another laugh at his expense). Hobart's demonstration was, at first, by far more successful than the first one: he showed the onlookers how he could easily levitate objects ranging from small rocks to fallen trees. Hobart decided that, for a finale, we would leviatate the Chief Warlock's hat — what he managed to levitate, however, was the Chief's wig, exposing his bald head to the gathered crowd. The Chief was not amused, and was determined to duel Hobart, but the warlock Levitated the Chief's robes over his head, and ran for it.


"He eventually realised that he had invented a spell that would lift objects into the air and could cause them to hover for varying lengths of time, depending on their weight, and the skill of the spellcaster."
—An excerpt from the entry in Book of Spells.[src]

The Levitation Charm appears to be an improvement on both the Levioso and Locomotor spells and/or the Hover Charm, being able to lift objects high in to the air but also allowing one to magically move them through it as well. It also conveniently defies gravity by lifting objects heavier than a normal person would otherwise be able to carry, as seen when Ron used this on a troll's club, something a first year Hogwarts student would otherwise never be able to do without magic.

Despite its strengths, however, the Levitation Charm has one fatal flaw: it does not work on human beings. Though a human can be levitated using this charm, it is actually their clothing that is being affected. The charm is apparently not strong enough to allow a human to do anything more that float a few feet off the air using this method, and therefore does not allow the true flight afforded to most other objects.

Almost anything can be lifted with this spell, although the object levitated depends on the skill of the caster and the weight of the object[2]

At HogwartsEdit

This is the first spell students learn to cast during their Charms lessons in the first year. They revise it in the second [4] and their third year. [5] The theoretical Charms O.W.L. exam includes a question on the Levitation Charm.


Wingardium is a composite word, based on: English to wing meaning "to fly" (e.g. the plane winged skywards[6]); arduus (meaning "high, tall, lofty, steep, proudly elevated"[7][8]) or arduum (meaning "steep place, the steep"[7][9]); and the common Latin ending -ium. Leviosa probably derives from Latin levo, meaning to "raise, lift up", or levis, meaning light (of weight)[7][10]. Altogether, therefore, the incantation could best be read as "lift up high".

Known uses and practitionersEdit

Ron Weasley: "Wingardium Leviosa!"
Hermione: "You're saying it wrong. It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long."
Hermione Granger condescending to Ronald Weasley regarding the proper way to say the incantation[src]

Hermione Granger used it twice; first in 1991, she was the first student in her charms class to master the spell in the first lesson; whilst doing so she attempted to teach Ron Weasley how to correctly cast the spell, much to his annoyance.[12] Then she cast it again six years later to move Ron from wreckage in a house they were visiting after a dangerous artifact exploded. Lee Jordan used this spell twice in 1996 to levitate nifflers into his professor's office to annoy her; however, eventually another of his teachers got blamed for it. Severus Snape may have used this spell in October 1996 so that he could examine a cursed necklace without touching it, though that might have been a Hover Charm. Ronald Weasley used this spell twice; once in 1991 to defeat a troll which Professor Quirrell had let into the school[12] and again seven years later to levitate a twig in order to press the knot on the tree that was trying to beat him up which would freeze the aforementioned tree. [13]. Lastly, Xenophilius Lovegood used this spell in 1998 to attempt to clear wreckage on his staircase in order to apprehend Harry Potter during the confrontation at his house.[14] The fifth year Charms O.W.L, both written and practical, concerned this spell.

Other practitionersEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

"This charm ought not to be seen as a joke spell. It can be most useful in duels and can lift physical obstacles and can even Levitate small creatures (though this is likely to confuse any poor animal and is certainly not to be encouraged)."
—An excerpt from Book of Spells.[src]
File:Levitation Wonderbook.jpg
  • This spell is Warwick Davis's favourite line.[21]


Notes and referencesEdit

Charms (class)
Wingardium leviosa
Professors: Filius Flitwick
Textbooks: The Standard Book of Spells · Achievements in Charming · Quintessence: A Quest
Charmbook writers and charm developers: Miranda Goshawk · Scarpin · Felix Summerbee · Randolph Keitch · Basil Horton · Mnemone Radford · Elliot Smethwyck · Jarleth Hobart
Charms studied at Hogwarts: Levitation Charm · Fire-Making Charm · Softening Charm · Cleaning Charm · Cheering Charm · Glacius · Summoning Charm · Banishing Charm · Silencing Charm · Mending Charm · Reductor Curse · Colour Change Charm · Growth Charm · Water-Making Spell · Aresto Momentum · Locomotion Charm

The Standard Book of Spells
Books: The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 · The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2 · The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 3 · The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 4 · The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 5 · The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 6
Charms included in the series: Fire-Making Spell · Levitation Charm · Locking Spell · Mending Charm · Softening Charm · Severing Charm · Unlocking Charm · Dancing Feet Spell · Disarming Charm · Engorgement Charm · Freezing Charm · General Counter-Spell · Memory Charm · Tickling Charm · Summoning Charm · Banishing Charm · Substantive Charm
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