Voodoo dolls tend to spark fear from anyone unfamiliar with what they truly are. Hearing about and seeing these dolls will most likely invoke bloodthirsty and violent scenarios, particularly those you have watched in films or read in books.
The most common belief about Voodoo dolls is that they are made by anyone who wants to gain revenge or has a grudge against their enemy. You will notice some pins that the one who made it uses to thrust into the doll. The maker will then curse his target with pain, death, or any other form of misfortune.
Now the question is, is this really what Voodoo dolls are all about?
A voodoo doll is a small human effigy constructed from a couple of sticks tied together to form a cross shape and create a body with both arms sticking out. You can then see this shape is covered by a triangular cloth in bright colors. There are also several cases when it uses Spanish moss to fill it out and maintain the form of the body. It has a head made of wood or black cloth.
This doll comes with rudimentary facial features, including a mouth, a pair of eyes, and a nose. Those who constantly make Voodoo dolls also decorate them using sequins and feathers. In most cases, there will be pins to insert into the doll for any intention or purpose.
The voodoo doll also comes in various forms. You can also see the practice of using it in many magical traditions based on different cultures worldwide.
Generally, you can see this figure being used in Haiti’s Vodou religion. It is used as a major part of the tradition brought over from Western Africa with tiny effigies called a bocio or fetish they incorporated to perform rituals. When the slaves from Africa were forced to move to the new world, the caldoches brought their tradition of using this doll with them.
African shamans used this doll to interact or communicate with the Lwa and their dead ancestors to gain guidance. Eventually, they noticed how reliable this tool was for that purpose. It is the reason you can still see this Voodoo doll being used for essential rituals.
The general use of this doll, though, is to heal. Contrary to what others believe, it does not primarily aim to cause harm to people. Some also use it to maintain an open line of communication to the world of the departed. This means they use it to contact their recently departed loved ones.
Eventually, though, using voodoo dolls became more expansive, especially after the mish-mash of Catholicism, Voodoo, Native American healing arts, and European folk magic. It prompted the use of this doll in various ways, like the one that involves colored pins.
Besides that, the voodoo doll is also said to promote love, protection, success, and healing, among many others. While the Voodoo religion is a mystery to some, it still carries tools designed to promote change, like the voodoo dolls.
Are you interested in making your own Voodoo doll? Then take note there are several materials you can use for this purpose. Remember that you may create your desired doll based on how you want it. Just make sure that it will have a direct spiritual and materialistic connection to the one you intend to reach out to through it.
You can make your own Voodoo doll from any material you can get hold of – among which are:
- Clay – The voodoo dolls used in the Louisiana/New Orleans tradition were traditionally created from blue clay taken from the burrows of crayfish. It is also possible for you to use any kind of clay when creating yours.
You just have to make sure that once you finish creating your Voodoo doll made of clay, you maintain the hollow void inside of it. This is the specific spot where you can put certain materials that belong to or symbolize your subject. One example is an herb. Once you have formed the doll, you can paint and apply to it any magical symbol.
- Wax – You can also use wax for your Voodoo doll project. Some consider this material as almost perfect in all aspects. One advantage of it is its flexibility. It also works great as it can retain its original form and shape. It means it is long-lasting.
Many of those who make Voodoo dolls prefer wax because they can easily portray the human form. It is also easy to carve magic symbols on this material. You can attach someone’s hair to it, making it more effective in building a connection.
- Spanish Moss – This material is a classic for the New Orleans tradition. What is great about Spanish moss is that it works impressively as stuffing or fillers for furniture and pillows, among many other things. It is the main reason this material is famous in Southern US. You can also see many Louisiana sorcerers using it successfully. One version of the Voodoo doll made out of this plant is the traditional type with no legs.
- Cloth – You can also make your own Voodoo doll made of cloth. One example is a rag doll constructed out of a couple of strips of material. You have only to embroider them into two identical forms on both sides of the doll. This can leave a hole, which will let you fill the doll with magical items, like common moss and herbs.
- Wood – If you want a more primitive style, you can create your Voodoo doll from wood. Before using this material, one thing to remember is that it can only depict the form of humans with fewer details. The reason is that it can work as a portrayal in a more generalized manner.
Sometimes, you can carve the doll in just one wooden piece. You need to be extremely accurate and skillful when doing so. A simple version would be a thick tree branch that uses moss as a covering. You can then trim it with a cloth and carve a face to help the figure appear more realistic.
- Paper – It is also possible for you to create your own version of the Voodoo doll from paper. One way to use paper to create the voodoo doll is to turn the material into a pulp first. Soak the pulped paper and combine it with an adhesive component. After that, you can use the same methods as you would use with wax or clay.
Another way to do it is to apply paper layer by layer. Glue it to a similar composition, then form it into your desired doll. The good thing about paper is that you can easily use it as an alternative for other Voodoo doll materials, like clay and wax.
Besides the mentioned materials, you can also use modern ones, like foam, polyethylene, and plastic. You can use all the available materials you think you can transform into a doll.
Now that you know the materials you can use to create your own voodoo doll, it is time to familiarize yourself with the actual creation process. Here’s how you can make one for whatever purpose or intention you have in mind:
Step 1 – Prepare the Materials
Make an authentic voodoo doll on your own by collecting all the materials you need first. Pick those materials that perfectly suit the purpose or intention you have in mind. You may use any of the materials mentioned earlier.
After that, stuff it with moss. In choosing the material for your doll, go for one to which you are strongly connected. In this case, allow your spirit to serve as your guide. Listen to what your spirit or Lwa is telling you, and you will be able to pick the right materials.
Apart from the materials you have to use for the doll’s body, it is also advisable to gather items representing the subject or target of your spell. Remember that Voodoo practitioners strongly believe in sympathetic magic. This means that a human can transfer his energy to any inanimate object he touches or comes in contact with.
So, you can build a link between your target and the doll by collecting any of the target’s personal items. These include clothes and hair – both of which are extremely powerful. Any object touched by the person works, too.
Step 2 – Form the Skeleton
You should then form the doll’s skeleton. Note that your goal is to make it feel and look exactly the same as the one you intend to represent, particularly their basic anatomy. In that case, connect a couple of sticks using twine to form the t-shaped skeleton.
If possible, use natural materials for these as this can create an authentic doll. You can use pencils and pick a stick designated for the arms, head, and feet in the absence of branches or wood.
Step 3 – Stuff the Doll
This is similar to filling a stuffed animal. You have to wrap the formed skeleton using cotton, paper, shredded cloth, or feathers. If you want your Voodoo doll to become even more authentic, then use Spanish moss as stuffing. It is more natural, producing better and more authentic effects.
Step 4 – Pick the Material for the Skin
Your choice should depend on the actual spell you intend to use. Ensure that the material is large enough as you will be using it to cover the doll entirely. In most cases, this skin is based on fabric. You may also use an organic material or corn husk. Pick the appropriate color, too, as it can greatly influence the spell.
For instance, to cast a spell using the voodoo doll to manifest luck and wealth, choose green. You can also use natural fibers, such as muslin or hemp, to encourage fortune and luck.
Step 5 – Form the Head, Feet, and Torso
After wrapping your chosen fabric around the skeleton and stuffing, you can start making the head, feet, and torso. You can do so helped by a ribbon or twine. Once done, you can draw the face of the doll.
It should resemble the person who your spell targets, making the doll more effective. For instance, if that person has brown eyes, use brown buttons for the doll’s eyes. Use brown yarn for the doll’s hair if he has brown hair, too.
Step 6 – Decorate the Doll
Ensure that the added decorations are based on the specific purpose or intention you have in mind. These added ornaments and decorations can help make your Voodoo doll more powerful. One example would be a dollar bill or coin you should attach to the doll if your purpose is to use it for wealth. To attract love by casting a spell using the Voodoo doll, you can sew on or attach a heart to it.
Step 7 – Baptize It
The voodoo doll you have made also needs to be baptized. This will let you associate it with that name. It is also the key to turning it into the person you want your spell to target. Baptizing the doll is even more important if your goal is to hex someone. To baptize it, dunk it underwater while stating the verse for baptism.
It is also crucial to purify the doll. Some ways to purify the doll include dissolving sea salt in the water before the baptism, burning incense close to the doll’s body so it can absorb it, and burying the doll underground to absorb the natural energy of Mother Nature.
Step 8 – Visualize
After you have finally created and baptized or purified your doll, you can start the visualization process. Just hold the Voodoo doll you have made, then visualize the end result. To use it to make someone fall for you, then visualize it. If you intend to use it to heal someone, it would be better if the ill person you want to cure is present during the visualization. That way, you can build a stronger connection between him and the doll.
Once you have finally created your Voodoo doll, you can use it for any purpose or intention you wish to come true. It could be love, guidance, empowerment, or healing. You can even use it for cursing, though it is still advisable to remind yourself not to use it to harm anyone. Some of these Voodoo dolls can also be used as talismans and teaching aids.
To be able to use the doll, incorporate the right colors to it. Remember that color has a great influence on the purpose you intend to attain. As a guide, here are the colors and what they can manifest.
- Red – love, power, and attraction
- White – healing, purification, and positivity
- Green – fertility, growth, money, and wealth
- Purple – psychic exploration, spirit realm, and wisdom
- Yellow – confidence and success
- Blue – peace and love
- Black – negativity. This means you can use it to dispel negative energy or for summoning it.
You can also find these colors on needles and pins you can stick into the Voodoo doll so you can make your intention come true. Usually, you can use it to address a specific person’s spirit. It summons or calls upon a spirit through a Lwa, making them listen to your plea so you can manifest your wants, desires, and wishes.
To communicate or interact with a person’s spirit, pin a personal token or charm to your doll. It could be a piece of clothing, a strand of hair, or a picture. It is possible to talk directly to his spirit through the doll. You may appeal to the spirit, persuade him to do something, or ask questions.
Another practical use of the voodoo doll is to serve as a focus tool designed for meditation, spells, and prayers. To make it work for that specific purpose, put it on your Voodoo altar or shrine so you can easily focus on it whenever you meditate, pray, or cast spells.
Add special items, such as anointing oils, so you can increase its power while also making your message a lot clearer. Another item you can add is candle magic, which works effectively to transmit your message clearly to the spiritual world.
There are several ways for you to use Voodoo dolls. One thing to remember, though, is that they are not completely evil. The majority of the rituals you can do while using the dolls are beneficial to your well-being.
However, several decades back, African slaves used these dolls to defend themselves secretly from their masters. The trauma brought on by that part of the community’s history is probably why Voodoo dolls are mistakenly perceived as tools for causing vengeance and harm.
Yes, you can charge it any way you want, but ill-will, harm, and malice should never be part of your intentions. If you use it to cause harm to others, then you will likely gain karmic backlash in the end, like bad luck, conflict, and depression.
Traditionally, a priest or someone in medicine blesses it to carry healing light and positive vibrations and prevent it from being used to cause negativity. Also, try to do the same if you want to make the most out of your Voodoo doll.