A poppet is made to represent someone during magical workings. You’re working sympathetic magic, so what you do to the poppet happens to your target.
– Madam Josephine
Poppets have been around for ages, since pharaohs ruled Egypt. They’ve been called many things through the years: doll-babies, effigies, dollies, fetishes, and voodoo dolls.
No matter what you call it, a poppet is made to represent someone during magical workings. They can be made out of most anything. Cloth, wax, clay, soap, roots, corn husks, metal, fruit. Even meat!
Whatever the material, it needs to be shaped like a human. Like attracts like. Since you want the connection to be as strong as possible, you can decorate it to look like the person, adding scars or tattoos, or attaching yarn to match the hair color.
But the most important part of creating a poppet is the taglock – a personal item that creates the magical link between the poppet and the target. The strongest taglocks are locks of hair, nail clippings, blood, sweat, semen, or urine. But since people don’t really want to hand over those types of things, a photograph can do the trick. Then you name the poppet to seal the link.
Now all of that Hollywood movie nonsense has you thinking poppets are only for evil. But just like other magic, it’s all about intention. If you want to work a spell of protection on someone, wrap their poppet in bubble wrap. To draw money to someone, tape dollar bills to their poppet. You can do workings of healing, to bring love, and even to lose weight. But, yes, you can also stick pins in the poppet to cause pain.
But remember, messing with sympathetic magic to do harm is bad business. Any ill wishes may be reflected right back at you. Maybe not right away, but magic worked with grave intentions has a habit of coming home.