Claire has worked with crystals and many other aspects of paganism for over 14 years. She has also studied reiki up to master level.
Voodoo dolls are items that are often featured in popular culture and media. They may be part of a television series and films as well as video games and books. Unfortunately it is common that these dolls are misrepresented and even shown as being evil and only for sinister or dark purposes. This misrepresentation may also extend to the linked groups, practice or witchcraft and magic in general. The use of voodoo dolls is commonly associated with hoodoo, root work and voodoo they can be used within any path and have a variety of uses. The use of these types of figures in magic can be found as far back as the ancient cultures of India, Babylonia, Greece and Mesopotamia.
Despite the view held by many people voodoo dolls are no more evil and dark than any other form of magical practice. Magic itself is not good or evil, dark or light and it is the intent of the person casting the spell that determines the outcome of the magic, rather than any of the materials and tools used.
Dolls can be used in many types of spells though they can particularly useful in giving a focus to direct your energy and intent towards. The doll can be a representation of yourself if you are casting a personal spell or they can be made to signify another person if you are casting for them. This form of magic is very versatile and can be used with a specific thing in mind or in a more general way such as for protection or banishing negative energy. Poppets can also be used in healing, binding, prosperity, love and luck spells.
Making Voodoo Dolls
Ideally you should make your own dolls to be used in spells and ritual work. This means that you can craft them exactly your needs and also allows you to infuse them with your intent during the curation process. Poppets do not need to be greatly artistic or complex in order to be effective. As with all magic it is your intent that is the most important aspect of any magical work. Voodoo dolls can be made using a variety of materials including clay, fabric, wool, and sticks or carved from wood or wax. If you do chose to buy dolls that have been made by someone else these can be cleansed to remove their energies and then charged with your own, if you wish. Depending on where you buy from it may also be possible to have a custom poppet created.
When crafting your dolls you may wish to cleanse the materials before starting, but this is not essential. During the creation think about and focus on the person they are representing as well as the intent of your magic. This will fill the doll with your energy and wishes. Dolls do not need to look like the person they represent but you should add some simple or symbolic features. For example: if they are tall give the doll long legs and add hair and eyes in the correct colours. You can also add small items that belong to the person to or inside the doll in order to create a solid connection between them. The colour of your doll could be a favourite of the person’s or a colour corresponding to the spells intent. Other corresponding items such as herbs, crystals and symbols can also be added to the doll. If you are sewing your poppets these items can be placed inside with any stuffing you use. Items can also be glued on or pressed into a material such as clay or wax. Your doll can be decorated if you wish using symbols such as a heart for a love spell or with a horse shoe for a luck spell. Other ideas for linking the poppet to the person are to use a piece of their clothing to make the poppet or to incorporate items they have worn or used. Examples of this include jewellery, badges, hair bobbles or a photograph.
Preparing your Poppet
After making a poppet some people like to bless and name or dedicate them to the specifically intended use. This can be as simple as telling the doll who or what it represents or can be a ritual in itself. You can choose to use a naming chant such as the one below if desired:
‘I have made you and will now give you life
I name you ________ (person’s name)
Their body is your body
Their breath is your breath
Their blood is your blood
Although you were once separate
Now you are together as one’
While reciting the chant infuse the poppet with your energy and wishes. Visualise the connection between the doll and the person that it is being used to represent. If you wish you can psychically breathe life into the voodoo doll by blowing into its mouth.
It is important to keep your voodoo dolls safe at all times. Remember that the doll has been created and connected to a living person and so may have negative or harmful effects if anything unwanted, damaging or destructive was to happen to it.
Care of Poppets once a Spell is Complete
Poppets should be stored safety if they are not being used straight away. It is your responsibility to ensure that nothing unwanted or negative happens to them and that they do not fall into the hand of another person. Not only can this have an unwanted effect on the dolls energy but another person may have a less good intention for the doll or may misunderstand the use of voodoo dolls and react badly or destroy it.
Once you have carried out your spell or ritual you must continue to keep the poppet safe until the magic has manifested. After this has occurred you can sever the link between the poppet and person using a chant such as:
‘what was once one
I now separate
With thanks and love
I sever this link’
One this has been carried out you should take apart the doll and bury it. Another way of disposing of your dolls is to place them in the sea or other running water.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Claire
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on October 11, 2019:
Your intention and energy are more important than your design. Take care to keep your intention clear as being unclear. However it is worth baring in mind that no matter how strong your intention, sometimes things just don't work out how we want. Especially if it involves other people and it can be that this result turns out to be for the best, even though it might not feel like it at the time.
Kyle on October 10, 2019:
Hi, thanks a lot for the help in the above article, it was very helpful. Im new to witchcraft and I’ve been building voodoo dolls but when I come to using it it doesn’t seem to work and I have been following all the steps to making it, would this mean I’m not putting enough intention and energy into making it or am I just not making it right
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on May 24, 2018:
I don't see why not. The most important thing is in your intentions for the doll, rather than what it is made from.