Some folks will look at this post and the accompanying photo and only think about Voodoo and what they perceive to be the “black arts.” So, first off, I want to mention that Voodoo is an art within the Craft and it is a legitimate one at that. The term Voodoo is actually from the French “Vous deux,” which means “Two of you.” That is to say it refers to the fact that there is a physical aspect to the self and a spiritual aspect to the self, and the fact that the spiritual aspect is by far more expansive than is the physical aspect.
And now that we have that cleared up, let us go on to the lesson on Poppets. Poppets, like Voodoo dolls, are a form of representational magic. They are usually hand-made, but some can be created out of things that are purchased, or purchased outright from a store or online. Whichever way you decide to manifest a Poppet or Voodoo doll, the trick is to make it your own with adaptations here and there. This is why so many folks choose to create their own Poppet(s), because then in the very creation they are already adapting the Poppet and making it their own. I personally have a number of Poppets, some bought, some hand-made, and also created out of a variety of substances.
This is a photo of just a few of the Poppets that I have in my possession. The one on the far left I hand-made from a pattern that I conjured up in my mind. The one to the right of that is created out of a glove. Thank you to my dear friend, Dawn, for coming up with that little trick! The next one to that is made of clay, the one next to that is made of magnetic hematite crystal, and the smallest one is actually made of silicone.
Each Poppet is designed for some form of healing. So, for example, if I am doing long distance healing on a person, one of the things that I may incorporate is a Poppet that would represent that person who is far away. I then channel the energies into the Poppet while I am doing the healing, then send that healing in an energy “package” from the Poppet to the recipient. Not only does the Poppet represent the person, but it also acts as a conduit of information, both in recieving information of healing from me and in transferring information to me from the person for whom the healing is being done. That means that, while I may be working on healing their body, I may also receive information regarding their soul journey, their past lives that are contributing to their blockages at this time, whatever emotional turmoil or struggle they may be going through etcetera. That way I can help them to heal on a multitude of levels, which are all interconnected anyway.
I should mention that sometimes a Poppet is not available to a person. That is alright. You can also use a teddy bear or some such thing instead of a Poppet. For the moment that you are using it, that teddy bear becomes your Poppet. You can also make your hand or your thigh or whatever become the Poppet when in a fix. Again, remember that this is representational magic, so if the object represents the person you are sending healing to, then, for all intents and purposes, for the duration of the healing, that object IS that person.
When we look at representational magic, we also have to acknowledge that anything that can be used for good and for healing can also be used to send chaos and harm. It is up to the one using the Poppet as to what is being sent. Personally, I would never use a Poppet to send harm to anyone. For me, the Poppet is a Sacred Object. It has a consciousness in and of itself which only momentarily “steps out of the elevator to make room for another passenger” for the duration of the healing. Then, once that healing energy is sent off to the person, that Poppet is cleared once again and the consciousness of the Poppet can step back in to occupy its own space once again.
The first Poppet that I ever had was made by my aunt on my father’s side. I was very young…about 10 years old…and I was absolutely fascinated by it. She ended up giving it to me just before I left her place to go home. My mother had no idea that I had it. I saw nothing wrong with having it and was very careful, sensing the sacredness of it, to take very good care of it. I called it “Gingerbread Man” because, frankly, it looked like a gingerbread man cookie, only bigger. I made a little bed for him in my sock drawer and would take him out and talk to him on a daily basis. I could sense his consciousness and he was always an energy that helped me to feel safe and cared for. Then, about 2 years later, I came home from school and found that Gingerbread Man was missing. I felt such incredible distress. I asked my mother if she had seen it and she said that she found it when she was putting laundry away and took it to the firepit and burned it. I was DEVASTATED. She explained that the aunt who gave me the Poppet was reputed to practice dark magic and that she was not going to have her influence me in any negative way. It was a number of years later that the full impact of this became conscious to me.
My family was divided. On my father’s side was the Gypsy sorcery and on my mother’s side was the Druidic magical practices. But neither side could see that they were actually the same. All sorts of misconceptions were made and followed regarding the “other” path on both sides. I may have been brought to the family to present a more middle of the road perspective, but most of them would not want to see that anyway. So I decided that I would simply BE the middle of the road when it came to my own magical practices. This is why I do not exclusively call myself a “Light Worker,” because I have seen first hand what kind of radical actions can be carried out with that type of belief system. I also do not identify as a Dark Witch, because that can also lead to all sorts of radical stuff. I prefer to simply be a “magical being.” And yes, in my Shamanic practice, sometimes I will use a Poppet. Most often I don’t even need to. But when I do, I find that it is a very useful friend to have. It serves somewhat like a jumper cable between myself and the person I am healing who is not in the same room as myself. Let’s face it, if we can make something we are doing even easier for all involved, then why would we not?