In the movie Practical Magic, Sally and Gillian Owens live under the shadow of a centuries old curse cast by their ancestor, Maria. Disappointed in love, Maria casts a spell that she would never fall in love again. Proving, however, that she who practices the Craft on herself has a fool for a client, the curse goes awry and poisons the love life of every Owens woman since. The true love of an Owens woman dies an untimely death.
We don’t know a lot about Sally and Gillian’s parents, except that true to the curse, their father dies – and their mother does as well, when the girls are young … “from a broken heart.” Thus, the girls are sent to live with their eccentric aunts, Frances and Jet, practicing witches, who raise them with equal parts magical training and free-spirited thinking, where they have chocolate cake for breakfast and never have to brush their teeth. The price, however, for this magical childhood is steep, and Sally especially feels keenly the ostracisms of the people of the small town where they live. With the abiding pain of losing her parents and the social isolation caused by her birthright, Sally decides to cast a spell so she could never really fall in love, choosing an impossible combination of traits that no man could have.
Her aunts however, cannot bear to see Sally so unhappy, and cast a spell so she would fall in love. Marrying, Sally has two children – girls, of course – and then true to the curse, her husband dies an untimely death. Sally is forced by circumstances and finances to move back with her aunts, but she warns them, “My girls will not learn magic. I want them to have a normal childhood.”