I’m going to level with you – this is not the first time I’ve written about poppets. On my own blog, I dedicated a post to this glorious, old art, and then I got a bit more obsessed, which led me to spending about two weeks just…making poppets. I think the main thing that attracts me to poppet magic is its diversity. While there is a common confusion between poppets and the ‘Voodoo Doll’, poppets are not exclusively for dark magic. They can, and often are, used for good – and for manifestation magic.
What’s the Difference?
The word ‘Poppet’ is an old-English word used to describe a doll or even a small child. The idea is that it is a small representation of human form, so in the form of a purpose-made doll, or as a term of endearment for children. Other words for poppets include ‘muppet,’ ‘pippy,’ and ‘puppet,’ and these generally encompass this form of magic which has been practiced in many cultures dating back even to ancient times. The term ‘Voodoo Doll’ refers to practice-specific poppet magic within the Voodoo culture, rather than being an overarching term for this form of magical working. On the Bad Witch blog, you can read about a 40,000 year old German poppet called The Lion Man.
Old English Poppets
Focusing on where I live, poppets can be found in numerous historical contexts. While, of course, poppets were used in dark-magic by way of driving nails into them, or by casting misfortune upon them, poppets were also used in a positive way to manifest healing and good fortune. An example of this positive magic would be making a representation of yourself and focusing on a part of the body that is injured, with the intention to make it whole or healed.
To this day, that is how I prefer to use poppets. My own poppets are less scary and more doll-like. I like to think most of my poppets go to loving homes where they are treated like royalty.
Creating a Poppet
For those of you who are crafty, you may already be familiar with poppet-making. The wonderful thing about them is that these effigies can be made out of just about any material. Some people like to carve them from wood, some sew them from scrap fabrics, and they can be found crafted cleverly from corn husks and natural materials. I personally hand-sew mine to infuse the full magic of intention into them. A hand-stitched poppet (or any handmade item) will always have more of your own magic within it.
Tell your poppet who they are and add a taglock from the person they are representing. For example, you could place a lock of hair, some nail clippings, or baby teeth into the poppet before sewing it closed, or you could wrap a beloved piece of the person’s jewellery around them. When I say to tell the poppet, I mean it. Whisper to it – tell it its name,how old it is, and why it is serving this purpose. Tell it every day and pause each time you pass it to remind yourself. Once your poppet knows who it is, it’s time to put it to use.
Positive Uses for Poppets
- To bring financial abundance to the taglocked person, place piles of coins around the poppet. Each day you can add more coins to grow wealth.
- To bring good health to your loved one, make offerings of healing herbs and crystals to your poppet. For example, if your loved one is experiencing reproductive issues, give it tumbled rose quartz and garnet, or a string of crystals to promote healing.
- To bring confidence and show someone how loved they are, spoil your poppet with affection. Hold it, hug it and whisper sweet nothings into its ear. Gift it with flowers and sweets and offer affirmations of positivity.
In the same way we are taught by 20th century pop culture that ‘Voodoo Dolls’ are for sticking pins into to bring pain to corresponding areas of the body, we can apply magic to poppets to increase health, wealth and self-love. Open your mind to poppet magic, because, as with any form of manifestation, it’s all about your intentions.
About the Author: One Boss Witch is run by Kirsten, who works in the film and television industry by day, is completing a PhD in diversity, and blogs, makes, casts and reads for customers and clients by night and weekend. She is originally Australian but lives in West Yorkshire in the UK. She is currently dogless but is immediately obsessed with any canine acquaintance she might come across.