Poppet magic is witchcraft that focuses on a small doll known as a poppet, which represents the object on which you are casting your spell. The poppet acts as a conduit that focuses your intent via your spell upon your object. To paraphrase its Wikipedia definition, poppet magic is a type of folk magic known as sympathetic magic in which whatever you do to the poppet will affect the object with which it is correlated. You can use poppet magic on yourself, other people, animals, and things. And here might be a good time for me to bring up the Wiccan threefold concept: the good or evil energy that you send into the universe will return to you threefold. With this in mind, you can make an informed decision on if, and how, you wish to use poppet magic.
The poppet in the photo was purchased by a friend as a “safe travel poppet.” It looks more like an art doll than a regular doll with which kids might play. See the glitter on its face that would be smudged or worn away in the hands of children. Also, it is too symbolic to be a toy. Its fabric resembles a map complete with city names, blue lines for highways, and red dashed lines for roads. What could be more perfect for a safe travel poppet? Around its neck, it wears a charm in the shape of a car It also has a pocket on its back into which you can place an amulet or protective herbs. This is a very common design that distinguishes a real poppet from a mere doll; a poppet is often fashioned to be hollow or have a pocket because it is meant to serve as a vessel both metaphysically for your spell’s intent and literally for herbs and amulets that strengthen your spell. Other types of poppets are extremely primitive-looking, perhaps only a carved root or a bundle of knotted string. With those types, you usually tie your amulets and herbs on top of the poppet.
The poppet with which everyone is most familiar is the voodoo doll with pins stuck in anatomical locations to afflict the unfortunate recipient of the spell with impotence, a broken heart or a literal heart attack, insanity or an actual stroke, a broken ankle, and so forth. This type of poppet magic is as black as it gets – but in terms of creating a spell, it has a direct and powerful symbolism. The pins are like knives that force the harmful intent of the spell caster into the body of the spell’s object via the poppet. You want this kind of straightforward, obvious symbolism when you put together your own spells. For example, if you wish to send healing energy to yourself, someone else, or something else, fashion an appropriately shaped poppet and rub the afflicted body part of the poppet with an oil or potion you have prepared with healing herbs and infused with your will. If you wish to send good luck or financial success to yourself or someone else, tie the appropriate amulet to the poppet with the appropriate colored ribbon. If you intend to neutralize someone’s evil intent, you can do many types of spells with my favorite being to freeze a tiny poppet in an ice cube during the waning moon phase. Poppets are a powerful form of folk magic and worth investigating for any Wiccan interested in witchcraft.