A discussion in chat inspired me to write this article.
Harming with a cloth doll.
What it is. Why it is done. What it is and is not.
We have all heard practitioners remark that they like to cause illness or harm to another using a Voodoo doll.
So, let's begin. This is incorrect terminology and this is why:
Voodoo is an initiatory religion that is closed to outsiders. Calling such dolls Voodoo dolls is appropriative unless one belongs to that religion. And, interestingly, Voodoo dolls are used primarily in healings.
So, what do we call these dolls then? Simply, call them what you would call them in your own language and culture. In England, they are referred to as poppets. Here in the states I simply call them cloth dolls. So what is it when you seek to harm or cause illness using a doll? It is called hexwork. This is a form of sympathetic magic. These dolls can be used to harm or to heal.
How to make a doll.
One uses two pieces of cloth, and draws a doll shape on one, cuts it out, then traces this shape onto the other cloth, and cuts this out to get two cloths shaped like dolls relatively close to each other in size. One then sews them together, leaving a side open.
Taglocks, herbs, and other things.
Taglocks can be used to connect these dolls to a target or the individual one is aiming the working at. Often these are made in the likeness of the person.
One can add hair or other personal items belonging to the individual. If these are not had, one can add an image or name petition. One can use cloth that is the favorite color of the person for the doll.
Herbs used will suit your purpose for the working, in the case of causing harm, baneful herbs would be used. Avoid such plants as poison ivy or other plants which can seep into the skin. These herbs can be placed into the doll with stuffing. The doll is then fully sewn on all sides after all herbs and taglocks have been added.
Using the doll (The working).
To harm with a cloth doll one usually uses needles or pins to attack the area where one wishes to cause harm or illness. Gather up all of your anger and ill will for this person and place the pin into the doll. Make sure to place it in a stable position so it will hold. Multiple pins can be used as well for different areas. Do not jab or stab with the pins.
After the pins are placed one can further the working by tearing at the cloth with a pair of scissors. Though this isn't necessary.
When finished, place your doll somewhere safe and secure, and wait for results.
Why is this practice done?
In sympathetic magic using a doll in this way is typically done in revenge workings. This is by no means the only way dolls are used in folk practices. At times they serve as vessels, can be used in bindings. In controlling workings and to bring blessings to individuals.
This form of sympathetic magic is typically used in folk practices. I have used this method here in New England, and it is used in other places as well. It is not a practice traditional to Voodoo, and the doll used should be called by the terminology the individual practitioner uses in their own language and culture.