Yarn Dollies as Poppets

Sunday, June 26, 2011

 Usually when one thinks of a poppet it automatically conjures, pun intended, images like the one to the left; a skeletal looking "voodoo" doll with pins sticking out of it everywhere.  However, poppets have a much longer history of use in sympathetic magic. 

It is said that in ancient Egypt, around 1110 BCE, that the enemies of Ramses III burnt wax poppets to bring about his death.  In England, Caroline of Brunswick is believed to have constructed similar wax images of King George IVand passed her time stabbing them with pins.

In ancient Greece, a poppet was called a Kolossoi.  These were used primarily to restrain or bind.   However, these were not limited to binding or restraining a mortal person, as we would typically use a poppet today.  They were, also, commonly used to bind a particular deity for private or public defense or to restrain a ghost or hostile energy.  When used to bind a mortal enemy, a male and female poppet was used if the enemy was unknown and three were used if it was an opposing army. 

So what is a poppet?  Simply put it is a doll, or a tool constructed in the human image.  They are constructed with the purpose of representing someone or something else.  They become the embodiment of that person or thing, so it is believed that anything done to the poppet will also be done to the original.  These poppets can be constructed of wax, clay, wood, corn sheaths or any other material, but are most commonly made of some sort of fabric.  They can be stuffed with any material that suits your purpose; stones, cotton, rice, seeds, the clothes of the target, ect. 

How can poppets be used? When it comes to the uses for your poppet the limit really is your own imagination.  Poppets can be used for healing, harming, banishing, binding, bringing prosperity, ridding yourself of an unwanted person, protection, ect.  And, like the Greeks, your poppet magic does not have to be limited to magic tragetting a human directly.  Below we are going to look at how to use a yarn dollie to banish the negativity from a bad situation or experience.  Over the next few weeks we will discuss, in more specifics, different ways to use poppets.

How to construct a simple Yarn Dollie:


Yarn in appropriate color.  This will depend on your purpose.  For instance, you might choose blue if the work will be to heal, green if it is to bring prosperity, ect.  OR you might choose a color that you believe gives the doll a stronger connection the to target.


A Square of Cardboard.  This should be cut to the size that you want your yarn dollie to be.  Its size is up to you.  If it is something you wish to carry on you it might need to be small.  It really depends on your purpose. 

Personal Concern. This can be added during construction or afterwards.  Hair is and excellent personal concern when using yarn dollies because it can be worked into the construction.  However, you can use anything you have available.  Just stick it inside.  Though, you will need to keep the size of your personal concern in mind when you are deciding on the size of your dollie. 


1. Wrap the yarn around the cardboard once and tie off at the top.

2. Continue to wrap yarn.  You will need at least 100 wraps.  Keep in mind that the more loops you make the thicker your yarn dollie will be.

3. On the last loop, tie the yarn onto the previous loop to secure it.

4. Slide another piece of yarn between the loops and the cardboard.  Slide the yarn to the top and tie off, tying all the loops together. 

5. Slide the strings off of the cardboard, and tie a piece of yarn where you want to neck to be.

6.  Pull out a few strings on each side for the arms.  Then, tie a piece of yarn around where you would like the waist to be.

7. Tie a piece of yarn around each arm where you would like the wrists to be and trim the ends.

8.  If you are making a *male* poppet, seperate the remaining strings into two legs and tie a piece of yarn on each ankle.  Then, trim the ends.  If you are making a *female* poppet, simply trim the ends to make her "skirt."

 9.  Now you may add whatever personal concern you have chosen, if you have not done so already.  And your poppet is ready to get to work.

Banishing Negativity from an Experience or Situation using a Yarn Dollie:

Materials needed in addition to those required for dollie construction:

Small Pieces of Parchment Paper

Spell Pen.  This is a pen you use only for spell crafting.

Banishing Oil

Ritual Bath - for cleansing and empowerment

First, you will need to construct your yarn dollie, as above.  I, personally, would use black yarn as this work is for banishing, but you can choose a yarn that works for you.  Remember your personal concern.  You must tell the dollie who it will be working for.

During the construction process, you might want to name your dollie.  I find that talking to them, both during construction and during the working, as if they *ARE* people helps to build their mojo.  In this case, since the dollie does not represent an actual person itself, but a thing or idea instead, you can give it a generic name, such as Bad Bob.  Anything that *you* can connect with the thing you wish to banish, but something that helps you give it a personality and some *life*, if that makes sense.  For the sake of this post, we *will* call this one Bad Bob.

Next, you want to dress Bad Bob with a banishing oil. Personally, I would annoint his head, wrists, feet, and heart, but you can do this in whatever manner suits you.  Then, you are going to take your parchment pieces and a spell pen.  On each piece of parchment you are going to write the negativity that arose from this experience or situation which you wish to banish.  Examples can include; self-doubt, fear of group situations, resentment, undeserved guilt, anger, ect. Dress each of piece of parchment with banishing oil.  I would do so in a five-faced die pattern, one dot at each corner and one in the center.  Remember to keep talking to Bad Bob.  Tel him what you are doing and why.  Let him know that *you* are in charge of the situation, and that he works for *you.*

After you have written down each negativity that you wish to banish, place them inside Bad Bob.  Tell Bad Bob what you are getting rid of each time you place a piece inside him. Then, burn then entire thing, banishing the unhealthy hold that Bad Bob had on your life and all the negativity that he brought with him.

Next, you will want to have a cleansing and empowering ritual bath.  If you do not already have one Lucky Mojo sells excellent ones.  I would recommend Van Van bath products, to open the way to positive growth from this point on. 

Finally, after your bath, make an offering and say thanks for the positive things that came from the situation or experience.  Every situation and experience comes with both negative and positive.  Sometimes we let the negative take center stage and overlook the wonderful positives that are there patiently waiting to be acknowledged.  You can make your offering to deity, to the universe, to yourself even.  But it should be a celebration and a time of thanksgiving.  Name each positive.  Be specific, not general, so that you may fully appreciate them.  Examples could include: Wonderful friends I made, the realization that I am stronger than I thought, the strength to speak up for others, the knowledge required to avoid similar situations in the future, the motivation to take control of my life, etc...

And now you have successful worked with poppet magic! Blessed crafting!


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