Sunday, 6 November 2016
I love these little guys! It is a shame they have had so much bad press - poppets or spirit dolls they have many names but they also have many uses from healing, luck, prosperity or even to represent a deity.
When most people think of a poppet, they automatically think of the Voodoo doll, thanks to this item's negative portrayal in movies and on television. However, the use of dolls in sympathetic magic goes back several millennia.
Back in the days of ancient Egypt, the enemies of Ramses III (he had many) used wax images of the Pharoah, to bring about his death.
Greek poppets called Kolossoi were sometimes used to capture a ghost or even on occasion a deity that was thought to be dangerous or to bind two lovers together.
In Hoodoo fetish dolls are used sometimes to represent an individual but also to possess a spirit.
I like to think of a poppet as a person shaped spell holder and use them for love, luck, protection, prosperity and healing.
Remember that poppets have a long tradition behind them, and that tradition is influenced by the magical practices of a wide range of cultures. Treat your poppets well, and they will do the same for you.
As for design, well it’s really up to you. You can make a simple poppet from twine tied together right up to detailed material poppets with hair and glass eyes and of course anywhere in between. You can even use dollies or Barbie dolls!
I like to use felt when making poppets basically because I am a lazy sewer! With felt you don’t have to hem. And of course felt comes in all sorts of colours so you can correspond the colour of felt used to the intent.
I cut out two felt shapes, sometimes in gingerbread man shape and sometimes in a T shape.
You can sew beads or buttons or just stitches for the eyes and mouth and you can add a heart if you want to.
Next I sew with neat but not fancy stitches around the edges of the figure, again you can use coloured thread to correspond with your intent.
I leave a gap and then stuff the poppet with some off cuts of felt but also herbs and spices; occasionally I will add a crystal too. You can use all sorts of herbs, woods, plants, roots and spices even salt and rice – go with what suits your intent or what feels right for you. Salt, rice and dried pulses are good if your poppet is larger as they fill up the space nicely and also work for purification, protection, negative energy and in the case of rice prosperity too. Charge each item as you add it. Then when your poppet is full sew him up and I like to charge him with my intent again once he is whole.
I like to set the poppet on my altar and recharge him occasionally with my intent.
Some people choose to bury the poppet once he is made, allowing the universe to work the magic, the choice is yours.
Keep them simple or dress them up, the choice is yours but they are an incredibly powerful magical tool to work with.