Poppets are popular. I sell a lot of them from my website at The Witch’s Corner. Some, I know for a fact, are going to be used for the intentions for which they were created, others are bought as a novelty item. A wide variety of people purchase my poppets for magickal use, both experienced practitioners and the novice. The most popular poppet question I get is from the novice buying a poppet for the first time for actual magickal use. They have their intentions down pat, they’re running on a good amount of emotional energy, but once they have the dollie, the questions is: “What do I do with it?”
Well, I’ll tell ya’…You can do a lot of things with a poppet and, depending on your intentions, it can be good things, or it can get pretty nitty-gritty.
Since the energy for magick is fueled by emotions, you can start with the obvious. I’ve been asked if it’s okay to hit the poppet– Sweetheart, you can not only hit it, you can stomp on it, burn it, bury it, tie it up, smother it in the substance of your choice, perform bodily functions upon it, stab it with a knife or stick it full of straight pins. You can sew the mouth shut; tape the mouth shut, blindfold it; or stick pins through the eyes. You can scream at it; yell at it; cry at it; you can talk to it; lecture it; stroke it; embrace it; or throw it against the wall.
Whatever the purpose of your poppet is, whether for love, healing, hexing/cursing…remember that it is your emotions, and the strength of those feelings that are going to propel the magick forward.
There is a ritual for ‘breathing a poppet to life’. This is not an absolute demanded requirement, especially for those who are inexperienced in the performance of magickal rituals, but it makes a lot of sense– and it’s really very simple. I posted this ritual in my October 2010 Newsletter, and I’ll re-post it here:
Assemble those items that correspond to the four elements– a bowl of water, a lit candle, an incense of your choice, and a bowl of salt.
1. Cast your circle & call the quarters.
2. Have your altar prepared, the color of your altar cloth, the herbs and stones present all corresponding to your intentions.
3. Upon this altar place the items belonging to the elements.
4. Take a few moments to ground yourself, to gather your energy, to fill your mind and this magical space with your intentions for this poppet.
5. Lay the doll upon the altar.
For the element of Earth:
Take a handful of salt and sprinkle it across the figure, saying, “I infuse you with Earth, that you feel physical touch.”
For the element of Air:
Take the doll in your hands and hold it in the smoke of the incense, turning it, moving it, that it is consumed with the smoke, saying, “I infuse you with Air, that you think.”
For the element of Fire:
Lay the doll upon the altar once more and hold the burning candle above it, saying, “I infuse you with Fire, that your passion be unquenchable and you feel the heat of my fury (or love, hate, desire, etc.)”
For the element of Water:
Dip your right hand into the bowl of water and sprinkle the water upon the poppet as it lay on your altar, saying, “I infuse you with Water, that your emotions be overwhelming.”
6. Leave the poppet lay on the altar. Take a deep breath and slowly lean over it, until you hover above it’s mouth, your own lips almost touching it. Exhale now, allow your breath to escape from your body in one long warm draught of air. And this breath shall enter the poppet and give it life.
7. Open your circle, dismiss the quarters. Do with the poppet what you must, according to your intentions.
Personalize your poppet…This means that you are going to do something to this dollie to imbue it with the energy and essence of the individual that it represents. You can open it up and insert personal effects from your target; this could include– hair, fingernails, a small photo, a signature, a name-paper (their name which you’ve written on a small strip of paper), a kleenex they’ve used, a scrap of material from a piece of their clothing, a piece of jewelry–such as an earring, or a bead from a necklace or bracelet. You can pin a small photo of their face over the face of the poppet; you can tie the poppet up with strip of material taken from a piece of their clothing…The ideas are endless. The more personal the item belonging to the target, the better.
When you’ve performed your rituals, vented your emotions, worked your magick– then what?
What you do with this poppet at the end of it all depends on what this poppet was intended for– love, healing, health, or revenge.
Healing Poppets…You’ve created this poppet with tenderness and the desire for a loved one’s recovery from illness or injury. Treat this poppet with as much love and respect as you would the individual you created it for, because– in essence– it is them. Keep it safe. When all is said and done, their recovery complete– or their passing eased with magickal assistance– dismantle this poppet carefully, lovingly, and burn the items in a bonfire to which you’ve added a handful of sage and rosemary. Scatter the ashes to the winds.
Love Poppets…If you’ve created this poppet to bring romantic love into your life, you’ll want to keep it close, preferably in your bedroom, near your bed. Keep it safe and secure, possibly wrapped in red satin and kept in luxurious circumstances– spoil it, lure it…seduce it. Bring it out on the evening of a full moon, amongst soft candlelight and a glass of wine, to reinstate your intentions. When the poppet has fulfilled it’s duty, destiny has knocked, and a lover has entered your life, hang onto this dolly– you might need it one day.
Personally, I don’t believe in the unrealistic world of ‘happy ever after’ fairytale endings. Mr. Right might seem like the cat’s meow right now, but along the way you may discover that this individual is not quite what you had in mind. Fortunately, if you’ve saved this poppet, you can bring it out of it’s hiding place, dismantle it, take a nice long drive to some secluded area, and bury it– Mr. Right will be taking a nice long drive right out of your life shortly afterwards.
Hexing/Cursing Poppets…Poppets created and worked for the darker aspects of magick should be disposed of carefully, and definitely ‘off’ your property. When retribution has been accomplished, the results are in, and you’ve made your point– dismantle this dolly carefully, leaving not a crumb of ingredients laying about. Take it outside and burn it in a fireproof receptacle that you don’t mind disposing of. When the container and ashes have cooled down, take the whole thing as far away from your home as is reasonable, and bury it .
However, with the dark dollies, there is also an alternative, one I personally find intriguing and useful…If this poppet was created for a target who may be contained temporarily with dark magick, but a target who is not going to be going away permanently– hang onto this poppet. You might find it useful in the future. You will keep this poppet under very careful conditions. Personally, I prefer to bind it before I pack it away– literally– with wide red ribbon. You will keep this poppet in a secure and secret place, knowing that you still hold the cards, knowing that you maintain control and can defend yourself should the need ever arise.