Poppets are a very old form of magic and one of the easiest kinds of spells to personalize and adjust to your own tastes. A poppet is essentially a doll or figure made to represent the being or person that the spell is being cast upon. They can be made of any material available but cloth dolls, wax figures, and paper dolls are most common. Many people have reservations when it comes to poppets because of their association with Voodoo and Hoodoo. While the public fear of these practices is largely unwarranted and fueled by a general fear of minorities with power, these kinds of spells can be found in nearly every magical practice. Poppets need not be a source of fear or negativity in your magic!

Before beginning any poppet spell, you need to identify what or who you’re casting the spell on, what the purpose of your intention is, and what materials you will be using. You can vary the subject and the purpose to match a number of combinations and situations.


Creating the poppet:

How you make the poppet is up to you, I suggest starting with identifying what materials you have available to you and the researching doll making methods with that material. You can use anything from felt to corn husks to action figures so be creative with your search.

To get you started, here are a few resources on poppet making

When you make your poppet, you will need to incorporate something that ties the spell to your target. Traditionally, this would be a taglock (a taglock is something that ties a person to a spell such as a lock of their hair, toenail clippings, a toothpick they chewed on, etc.) but you can also use more representational items such as distinctive physical features, symbols associated with this person, or even a slip of paper with their name on it rolled up and placed inside the poppet.

Once your poppet is made, set it in the center of your altar, hold your hands above it and call to mind an image of your target (or, if you’re not a visual person call to mind the sound of their voice, the way their energy feels, or how they smell). When you have the image of them in your mind recite the incantation over the poppet 7 times. Begin by whispering softly to the poppet and gradually raise your voice with each repetition until you are speaking quite loudly. Fill in the blanks with the name of your original target.

“I name you ______! ______ is who you are and who you shall be evermore.”

The poppet is now a magical representation of the person you wish to bind. In order to bind them, think of what you want to bind them from doing. If you want to stop them from gossiping or speaking to you, tying a strip of cloth around the poppets head to silence it works quite nicely. If they’re casting spells against you tying their hands works well. If you want them to stay away from you, placing the poppet in a box in an out of the way place (or a dumpster off your property if you want it to be irreversible) will do the trick. You can even create a container that has specially designed sigils painted on it to bind them from very specific actions if you like. 

While you bind the poppet, it can help to speak to the poppet about what you want them to stop doing. This can be freeform but if you prefer a structured spell I suggest using the following format.

“[targets name], I bind you from [action that you’re binding them from]”

Repeat this three times, either with variations on what you’re binding them from doing or with the same one all three times if you are very clear on the result you want.

Poppets make excellent and incredibly versatile magical tools but they do have limitations. The most problematic limitation is that you must know who you are binding and why. Without these details, your binding spell will be directionless and invariably fail. The other major limitation is that your target needs to be able to be physically represented in some way. This means that they’re perfect for use against people, humanoid spirits, even animals if need be, but they’re functionally useless against beings that don’t have a definable form (as is the case with many spirits), concepts like bad dreams, and they can be quite tricky when dealing with groups of people or spirits.