This month’s witchcraft is about making poppets.
A poppet is a figure representing a person or animal and is used in spells. Poppets date back to Babylonia and Mesopotamia, and can be made from clay, cloth, wax, fruit, sticks, dolls or other materials. The magic works on the principles of similarity and associated contact – a witch will effect change through use of the icon.
Like other ritual tools, once made, the poppet needs to be consecrated, named and dedicated to the work in hand. It can be infused with your personal energy and intentions by breathing life into the figure. Once created and magically charged, whatever action is performed upon the poppet will cause a similar effect on the person it represents. That’s why the more like the poppet is made to resemble the individual it represents, the better.
Poppets can also be made in the likeness of a god or goddess. Corn dollies are poppets, as are voodoo dolls and the Brigid dolls placed in beds on Imbolc.
In my practice, I’ve made poppets to represent myself and the characteristics I wished to embody, and I’ve made poppets to be used in binding rituals as a way to defend myself – wrapping them in red ribbon and burying them to keep the person from harming me, themselves or others.
Poppets and binding can also combine to hold a spirit – for example, binding the powers of the Goddess Diana into a poppet and giving it to a pregnant woman for protection during childbirth.
The money poppet in the accompanying photo was made by a witch as part of a money spell. In addition to the images of money imprinted on the fabric, it is stuffed with herbs and objects meant to attract money. It sits on her altar and she’s gotten through some incredibly difficult financial times.
Research can help you identify the materials that will best mesh with your desired outcome.
If the poppet is not burned or buried as part of your ritual, keep it safe. It can be stored with some salt or other appropriate gems or herbs – all wrapped in white cloth. When it is no longer desired, it can be undone in the same order it was made or it can be left in the woods with an offering from which you walk away without looking back.
And merry meet again.