Poppets ~ How do we really use them?
Poppets and Voodoo Dolls have a long history in witchcraft and Vodou cultures and practices but have unfortunately fallen under scrutiny and become another of Hollywoods’ evil cliché magic tools.
Most people think of sticking pins into a doll and cursing their enemies when they think of voodoo dolls and poppets, when in reality they are rarely used for this purpose at all.
Poppets are mostly used within magick as healing dolls, they can be crafted from cloth, wheat or straw, wax, clay and even meat or cheese! Poppets are named and often imbued with the inflicted persons energy by attaching a strand of their hair, using a piece of cloth from their clothing or infusing their energy on an intentional level into the doll.
Once the poppet has “become the patient”, healing herbs are stuffed into the doll. Herbs chosen for their matching properties to those required for the illness, spiritual or emotional issue to be healed. For example if someone was suffering from Arthritis, you might include some allspice, angelica, clove buds, eucalyptus, juniper and black pepper to the doll as these herbs are used in treating Arthritic symptoms.
Once stuffed with the healing herbs, the doll is sewn back up in ritual and the healing spell cast.
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Should you really wish to use a poppet for other forms of magick, this is of course also possible, though not recommended especially to those who don’t have a full understanding of what they are doing or the energies and intentions they would be putting out into the Universe. Alternative ways to use a poppet other than for healing could be to stuff a doll with some slippery elm powder to stop them from spreading rumours for example, without wishing or causing harm to the person the doll is made to represent.
Once your poppet has been charged and your spell is cast, many people are unsure on the correct way to dispose of the doll. This of course comes down to personal beliefs and practices. You may prefer to keep the doll safe in a box somewhere where it will never be disturbed, though if you intent on using poppets a lot this may become an issue later on when you find yourself hoarding little cloth people!
I personally believe that once a spell has been cast and the intentions released into the Universe to manifest, the items and ingredients remaining no longer have a purpose and are now “empty”. Depending on what you have made your poppet out of and what it contains, you may like to bury it in the ground or throw it into running water such as a stream or river, (be sure it will decompose completely) or simply throw it into the trash.
~ Lyllith Dragonheart
Originally written for Mystic Tribe Magazine, December 2018 edition