Most people have heard of voodoo dolls. In films and TV shows, they’re usually used by the evil character to control someone or inflict pain on someone. In reality, that is not the purpose of a Voodoo doll. They’re often used for healing and are used in a kind of magic called ‘sympathetic magic’
Sympathetic magic works by giving an object an identity (a doll is usually used) the identity of the doll could be yourself or someone you know. When you do something to the doll, it affects the person it represents. For example if I were to make a doll to represent a friend, I may use a picture of the friend, some of their hair or an item which belongs to them and put it in the doll. I may then do something as simple as putting the doll high up on a shelf to raise the mood of the friend who might be going through a tough time.
Spell Dolls have been used for centuries all over the world. The Voodoo doll may be the most famous but since I am not a practitioner of Voodoo, the spell Dolls I make are called poppets. A poppet is the English equivalent of a Voodoo doll.
I like to use different herbs to make a poppet represent something that I’d like to bring into my life. For example if I’ve been feeling a bit unlucky I’ll make a good luck poppet. The poppet will represent me and since the poppet is lucky, I too shall be lucky.
Another purpose for a poppet or spell doll is that of a decoy. This method involves putting lots of personal items in a poppet (preferably hair, finger nails, blood etc) you then burry the poppet outside so that anyone who is trying to put a spell on you will fail because the evil magic will attack the poppet and not you. This is often used when someone feels that they are under attack by a witch or if someone believes they are cursed.
I have an interesting story to go with poppets being used as decoys. My friend told me that someone she knew was a witch and that she believed this witch had been targeting her with black magic. I didn’t know what to think about the situation but some of the things she said made me think she could be right. I suggested she make a decoy poppet and so she did. We then buried it in her front garden.
Around seven days later my friend said that she had begun to feel much happier and her health was improving. Because I’m skeptical by nature (I wish I wasn’t) I thought that maybe it was psychosomatic and that it was a kind of placebo effect. After a hot cup of tea and a nice chat, I got up to leave and as I walked out the front door I noticed something which still baffles me. There in the hedge next to where the poppet was buried was a circle of dead leaves.
My friend and I studied the hedge for ages, trying to work out how it’d happened. There didn’t seem to be a logical explanation. It didn’t look like it’d been burned and even if it had, why would someone do that? Why would only a circle of the hedge have died? We thought that maybe someone sprayed weed killer on it, but why would they? It also had a strange aroma, like the smell of decaying fungi.
We came to the conclusion that the decoy had prevented the evil magic from reaching her and that it had somehow concentrated at that one spot in the hedge.
I do enjoy making poppets for several different reasons and I currently have some poppets in my shop. The poppets I have available are happy little gingerbread characters. There’s a Love Poppet, Good Luck Poppet and a Prosperity Poppet. I would be very happy to make poppets for various other reasons like decoys or spell dolls to improve moods etc but for now my shop only has the three varieties mentioned.
If you found this article interesting and would like to purchase your own poppet, then please check out my shop and adopt a poppet.