Poppet Magick (Book Review)

Poppet Magick is exactly what it sounds like: a comprehensive guide to making and using dolls in magic. Although the topic of poppet magic is likely to conjure up ideas of “voodoo dolls” and other unsavory magic, this book is set up more like a crafting book than a scary tome. It’s not a book about curses. Unlike most Llewellyn books, Poppet Magick is printed on glossy paper with full-color photography. There are step-by-step instructions for crafting several types of dolls and plushies, and patterns are included.

The book covers a brief history of poppets (including a theory on how the association with “voodoo dolls” came about), choosing your materials and crafting your poppet, magical timing, color magic, and other spell items to stuff the poppet with. She also talks about rituals for naming the poppet and birthing it or bringing it to life (and later deactivating or decommissioning it). For some reason the process of making the doll, stuffing it and putting something special inside, then ritually “bringing it to life” reminded me strongly of the Build-a-Bear Workshop. This book even contains ingredients for a poppet that banishes nightmares, which is likely the purpose of teddy bears.

She also covers folk magic staples like the SATOR square, hex signs, and various seals and sigils. Although there is a lot of focus on cloth poppets, she includes information about working with clay and even with found rocks and other unusual substitutes. One of my favorites is her “Bird Seed Love and Good Fortune Spirit Doll” (page 143) which reminded me of treats you can buy your pet bird except that it’s doll-shaped.

There are several projects that would take months to work through and would give you a firm base to start using poppets in your own practice. She has lists of correspondences for making poppets for love, money, protection, success, steady income, truth, removing pain, and more. If you’ve never worked with poppets, this book will get you started. If you’ve been working with poppets for years, this book will reinvigorate your practice with new ideas.

five out of five stars

Poppet Magick: Patterns, Spells & Formulas for Poppets, Spirit Dolls & Magickal Animals

Silver Ravenwolf

Llewellyn Publications, 2018

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