Written by Algoth’s Grove
“When we strengthen the psyche through the use of our magickal tools, we find a place where magick is so real that we cannot tell the difference between reality and the doll under our pillow.”
From Scotland hailed the Corp Criadhach, in Japan we find Hoko dolls, in African magick influencing Voodoo we have fetish dolls that inhabit ancestors or parts of the spirit of the creator of the doll, including those dolls that were created to cause harm. In modern witchcraft we have something called the poppet or the spirit doll. Across Europe and in Egypt wax dollies were created for both harm and healing. The doll has been found in Native American traditions to assist the young women or young warriors into their spiritual adulthood and sometimes referred to as corn husk dolls. No matter which tradition you look into sympathetic magic was used in conjunction with a doll.
Just as the wand or athame allows your psyche to cast circle easier, so the spirit doll or poppet allows your psyche to transfer your energy into a physical object to create something powerful to assist you in whatever magic you are intending. In Scotland the Corp Criadhach was a wax variant of the person whom the creator of the doll wished to kill. Slowly water was dripped onto the doll to waste away and it is said that when the doll finally vanished the person would be dead. It is customary right across the world to stab the doll with pins to inflict pain or a worse harm, however this is not always the case.
In the creation of a spirit doll today, one special coloured pin is used to wake the doll at the end of creating it. That single stab is like a life bringing action much akin to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. So one of the most important steps of giving life to your spirit doll is the final act of pinning it, giving it an energy and life of its own. More often than not, this life force is an extension of your own.
Your poppet or spirit doll must have a set purpose. It is from this purpose that all the other bits and pieces will come from. For example, a poppet for protection is filled with Bay Leaves, Black Tourmaline, Dragons Blood Resin or oil. The colour of fabric is important to the purpose of the dolly, the stuffing amongst the magickal ingredients can be seeds and cottonwool but it is better to give your doll some weight. Some witches consecrate the poppet before pinning it to life and others never perform the life pin action, however the creation of the poppet is your own, after all, it is your poppet and you are giving it purpose, you are giving it life, therefore whatever works for you to feel that energetic exchange is the most important.
In a time of grief a blue spirit doll kept under the cushion of the grieving person is an excellent way to provide healing through the dreamscape. Below we have added a list of ingredients dependant on your goal for your spirit doll, as well as the motions and the chants for a poppet of protection.
Choosing ingredients for your own poppet
Colours of fabric
There is a pdf download at the bottom of the page with easy to trace and cut out patterns for your poppets.
Black: return to sender, divination, negative work, protection, wisdom, secrets, shadows
Blue: calmness, healing, peace, protection, tranquility
Brown: centering, common sense, earth, friendship, grounding, peace, stability
Gold: attraction, financial increase, health, wealth, prosperity, security, stability, success, God
Green: earth, fertility, growth, healing, independence, prosperity, regeneration, wealth
Lavender: beauty, controlling erratic energy, intellect, knowledge retention
Mauve: intuition, psychic powers, self-trust, self-confidence
Orange: attraction, business projects and proposals, motivation, opportunity, success
Pink: empathy, friendship, harmony, kindness, self-love, sympathy
Purple: respect, loyalty, courage, psychic powers, spirituality
Red: activity, anger, authority, energy, love, lust, passion, strength, romance, vitality
Silver: Goddess, moon, peace, serenity
Teal: balance, decision-making, trust, knowledge, practical matters, stress relief
White: clarity, devotion, harmony, peace, purity, righteousness, spiritual guidance
Yellow: communication, creativity, healing, joy, success
Allspice: (masculine) money, luck, healing
Basil: (masculine) love, banishing, wealth, protection
Bay Leaf: (masculine) protection, psychic powers, healing, purification, strength
Catnip: (feminine) love, beauty, happiness, protection, psychic connection to cats
Cedar: (masculine) healing, purification, money, protection
Celery: (masculine) mental ability, lust, psychic powers
Chamomile: (masculine) money, sleep, love, purification, hex breaking
Chili pepper: (masculine) fidelity, hex breaking, love, lust
Cinnamon: (masculine) spirituality, success, healing, power, lust, protection, love
Cloves: (masculine) protection, banishing, love, money, relief from negative forces
Coridander: (masculine) love, health, healing, induce lust
Cumin: (masculine) protection, fidelity, banishing, protection
Dragon’s Blood: (masculine) love, protection, banishing, potency
Echinacea: (feminine) add strength to spells, offering to spirit
Frankincense: (masculine) protection, banishing, spirituality
Garlic: (masculine) protection, healing, banishing, lust
Ginger: (masculine) love, money, success, power, healing
Lavender: (masculine) love, protection, sleep, chastity, longevity, purification, happiness, peace
Mint: (masculine) money, lust, healing, travel, banishing, protection
Mugwort: (feminine) strength, psychic powers, protection, prophetic dreams, healing
Rose petals: (feminine) love, psychic powers, healing, love, divination, luck, protection
Rosemary: (masculine) protection, love, lust, mental powers, banishing, purification, healing
St. John’s Wort: (masculine) immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection, wishes, healing, purification
Sandalwood: (feminine) protection, wishes, healing, banishing, spirituality
Thyme: (feminine) healing, health, psychic powers, love, purification, courage
Turmeric: (feminine) purification, protection
Valerian: (feminine) love, sleep, purification, protection
Vervain: (feminine) love, protection, purification, peace, money, youth, chastity, sleep, healing
Vetivert: (feminine) love, hex breaking, luck, money, protection
Wormwood: (masculine) psychic powers, protection, love, calling spirits
Creating a protection Poppet
Sewing your poppet by hand whilst chanting or whispering to your poppet is the best part of the magick. This is a brilliant chant to repeat whilst doing your poppet.
“Poppet of protection, poppet of life,
I create you in honour of the light.
Guard my soul, guard my self,
Guard my steps,
And Guard me well.”
Use this pdf or your own drawing of a poppet outline for the pattern. Pin it to the material and cut out two exact pieces of material, all the while chanting. Now sew the two halves until there is a small closing. Now take the ingredients plus your choice of filling, seeds, cottonwool, old cushion stuffing works great. Add them one by one. When adding your crystals, acknowledge the crystals properties and tell it to activate its protection, that, that is its goal. The same with your choice of herb. Acknowledge the spirit within the ingredient.
Now that all your poppets life force has been added sew it almost closed, then take three deep breaths and each time blow your own breathe into the poppet. Envision the poppet breathing in your breathe. See your energy moving into and through every fibre and filling of the poppet. Then sew it closed. Lay the Poppet in front of you and light a candle that can burn through the night. Take your pin with a coloured head specific to the intention of the poppet. Think of a name for your poppet that is appropriate. Now hold the pin above the poppet and repeat this chant:
“You my poppet of protection,
Filled with protective aids from mother earth,
You I have given my breathe, purpose and intention.
Guardian poppet I now give you birth!
<Stick the pin into the heart of the poppet>
This pin is your life beat,
Wake and rise as guardian of me,
_____Name of poppet____ Protect and prevent, guard and defeat,
Your strength comes from me,
Your power is mine,
So mote it be!”
If you wish to ever destroy the poppet, simply remove the pin and bury it in the garden in a real burial.
Here is a video of creating a dolly in another method
Pagan Patterns and Designs – To get a pattern for your Dolly.