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Thoughts FromThe Four Gates

  • Writer's pictureKai

Poppet magic

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

I was asked about poppet magic a while ago, and I’ll admit to having put this off a little bit. I mean… I’ll cut a pattern, and slip stitch something, and it works just fine, but fiber crafts aren’t exactly my strength. My poppets never look pretty, and I’m hardly good enough at some of the physical bits to teach it. I’ll instead refer you all to a couple different places. Here is a guide for hand sewn poppets, and here is one for crochet poppets. If you crochet, you might get a lot out of everything on that second one as well. I’m not exactly an expert, but it looks good.

With that all done, let’s talk the magickal end of that. I’ve noticed that the places, even magically oriented that give the physical instructions for making something like this sometimes don’t really detail the process of breathing life into them.

Why would we use a poppet anyway?

Poppets are actually, even with my problems making them, one of my favorite methods of working on someone. It’s flexible and allows for quick and easy manipulation of the exact shape of the spell. It’s easy to shift symbolism slightly, although the way I make them it’s best to stick with something that lines up with the materials inside. Poppets allow us an almost physical manipulation of someone, in a way that very little other magick does. A poppet is also something that can become a taglock of someone as well, and act as a way to carry other spells to them.

How do we make it?

The sewing or other fiber craft of the thing I’ll leave for the links above, as I’m really not all that good at it. What we need to look at for the magickal part is components. Herb wise, you can choose any number of things, in the same way as you would for any other spell. Stones and other small objects can also of course be used. The only thing I’ll mention here is the heart. For me, the heart of a poppet is vital. I’ll put the targets name, often a sigil of the target, although I usually don’t do Words of Power with this, along with a particularly powerful symbolic object or taglock. The heart of a poppet is all about the target, and goes exactly where you’d think it does. After that, I’ll fill the poppet with herbs that we want for our general goal. Note here that already we can work with the different body parts of the poppet, putting different things in symbolically important places. I don’t find it useful or required for every bit of the poppet to have symbolic herbs for filling, normal batting or cotton balls or whatever works just fine for most of it, and is way easier.

Also note that poppets don’t HAVE to be made with fabric. Because I suck at fabric stuff, I’ll often make poppets out of things like candle wax, and then work them that way. It’s a bit different process, and I’ll do a whole post on it at some point soon.

How do we make it work?

At it’s core, a poppet is mostly a semi-created or empowered taglock. A proper poppet becomes a representation of the person you’re working on. In some ways, it BECOMES the person you’re working on. The key for this is that you need to make that happen. For me, a poppet becomes the person with a pretty simple ritual. This is something that I absolutely do in a circle, partially to add to the psychodrama of the process. I usually treat this as a baptism, a bit of holy water or oil used to baptise the poppet in the name of the person. I do this after everything else, leaving the heart for the ritual itself.

Something like this:

  1. Cast circle like usual for you

  2. Gather your finished poppet, and the heart. Say something like “I conjure and abjure you, o creature of cloth, and bestow on you your Name.” (Place heart in poppet and seal with a few stitches) “Be thou now and forever a link to N. Be now and forever named N. Be now and forever N.”

  3. Sprinkle a few drops of water, holy water or moon water if you have it. Say: “By the power I claim as your creator, I baptise thee N.”

  4. Reground and find your center. If in the unlikely chance you’re doing a poppet without a current goal, you can close circle here.

  5. Then annoint your poppet with a bit of an oil that matches your intention, instructing and commanding your poppet in the same way, for your intention.

  6. Close circle as usual

Now what?

This aligns your poppet with your target, where it can be applied to any number of spells or little things directed at the target. Poppet magic works best when applied in a very physical symbolic way. Once the poppet is made, it’s actually VERY easy to use. A final note here. You can use premade this like stuffed animals, and actually get an even better link if the poppet has a symbolic importance to the target or goal for you. A stuffy that a partner you’re trying to get back gave you for example, is wonderful for reconciliation work.

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