“Is that a Voodoo Doll?!”
Is the first reaction I get when people see my poppets. It is a very visceral reaction and I understand why. However many of us may have more of a connection to them than you'd initially think. Read on to find out more about their fascinating history….
Voodoo dolls are commonly described as an effigy into which pins are inserted to dominate, harm and control another person. Although the use of the term Voodoo implies that the practice is linked to Haitian Vodou or Louisiana Voodoo, it is not prominent in either. Our negative associations with these cultures is a direct attempt at negatively stereotyping African traditional spiritual practices. Such practices are found in various forms in the magical traditions of many cultures across the world and are rarely used for nefarious reasons.
Shabti dolls were often found in Ancient Egyptian tombs and were are human in form, made using a variety of materials, including glass, clay, or wax. The shabti acted as a surrogate in case their master’s mummy was damaged, guaranteeing his or her eternal life. Because of this intimate relationship, the deceased was only buried with one or two of these figurines.
In Scottish traditional folk magic, a poppet is a doll made to represent a person, for casting spells on that person or to aid that person through magic, which is where the inspiration for my own work comes from. Poppets were made from what could be locally sources from materials such as a carved roots, grain or corn shafts, a fruit, paper, wax, a potato, clay, branches, or cloth which would be stuffed with herbs with the intent that any actions performed upon the poppet will be transferred to the subject.
I make each one with love and specific intention for my clients, charged using a sound tuning fork and containing crystals and herbs specific to the person's needs.