We find here in front of us a single female figure who stands behind a large pot, with a beam of light appearing from it and reaching up into the sky. She walks around, marking a circle in the ground using a long, sharp wand which she holds in her right hand. In her left she holds the handle of a sword which is tidied away by her side. Her outfit is a long blue dress with black details and a waistline belt around which further weaponary hangs. Her hair is long but looks less cared for than in most of the artist's other paintings, suggesting that this woman is not quite the same sweet and innocent type that appears so often in his other artworks. Around the bubbling pot there is also a couple of small creatures lurking about, no doubt attracted by this display of magic as mentioned in the title of the painting. This study is highly complete, with blended tones and all major items finished to a high level.
Some have studied the various elements of this painting in great detail and concluded that actually this composition is a combination of several different influences put together in the same piece. Anglo-Saxon and Persian or Greek influences combine for the woman's hair style and clothing, whilst other influences continue into the design of her weaponary, meaning this is essentially a world entirely from the imagination of the artist and not intended to be an accurate recreation of one particular people. Waterhouse would regularly base his ideas on the work of others, rather than travelling to some of these exotic locations and during this period in British art there were many other artists working in a similar way which would have offered plenty of potential study for this artist.
One element to this work to notice is how outside of the circle we find the strange creatures and bare land, where as inside are flowers and a great sign of health and life. Nature has often been used by artists as a means to symbolise health in this way, with perhaps the best example being the Tree of Life which has been used in many different cults and religions in a symbolic manner. The Tree of Life was also used by Austrian Secessionist, Gustav Klimt in one of his epic murals and this remains amongst his finest creations and an iconic symbol within 20th century art. His work was famous for its use of gold paint as well as his impressive understanding of portraiture, particularly with informal poses which were found throughout his career.