I also did some research on them which I posted about in my article on my Linda's Blog entitled A Little Research Into The History Of The Goddess Doll, Spirit Doll, and Healing Doll.
What I discovered was that "goddess dolls" or spirit, healing, mixed media art dolls have also been associated with voodoo dolls, pagan rituals, and witchcraft. But, they all relate to "the goddess" and "goddess traditions."
Some "goddess dolls" have been used for good purposes and some used, well, not for good purposes. They have been seen in various cultures all over the world, and in various religions - in various different forms and mediums. It seems that they are as old as time itself and traditional in almost every culture.
Some of the "goddess dolls and spirit dolls" that I have seen are either faceless (which is fine with me) or have cloth faces, clay faces, have sun or moon faces, even beaded faces. Some of the face shapes are round or oval, some are square, and some are triangles. Some of the faces are made of clay, some of cloth and some are even made of beads.
Whatever the face is the dolls are meant to share your hopes, dreams, and listen to your fears. They provide comfort and solace in your time of need. They provide you with the strength you need to face the challengers in your life and empower you to succeed. To release your own "inner goddess." They are lovingly made and given out of heartfelt love from one human being to another. They offer nothing more than love, compassion, understanding, and peace.
In creating the goddess or spirit doll into a physical form you are allowing the spirit to work with you, help you, guide you, and bond with you.
If you would like to make a faceless spirit doll, like the one shown in the picture to the left, Silver RavenWolf, who has written over 21 books on witchcraft, Wicca, angels and magick has a How To Make A Spirit Doll — The Journey of Magickal Design tutorial on her Silver RavenWolf blog.
Silver RavenWolf used the same pattern with a little variation to create three goddess dolls: Mama Magick, Mama Fortune and Mama Transformation. Both Mama Magick and Mama Fortune - Mama Transformation is faceless.
According to Silver RavenWolf, "Mama Transformation has no face, as the face of transformation belongs to her eventual owner."
If you would like to see and read more of Silver RavenWolf's spirit tutorial please click here.
Crafting a Magical Life: Manifesting Your Heart's Desire Through Creative Projects by Carol Holaday published in 2009 by Findhorn Press, Scotland is a book about magic, creativity, and finding your own creative process through the powers of your mind.
According to Carol, "Whatever it is you want to create first begins with your thought. By investing your energy in your creation, you are giving life to your creation through a huge concentration of power born of that desire."
Also, according to Carol, "Goddess dolls were created primarily for magical purposes, to honor the energy of the Goddess and to serve as a repository for that energy."
In Chapter 11 Carol talks about her own Goddess doll adventures and provides instructions and a template for creating your own goddess doll, like the one shown in the picture to the left.
If you would like to read more about Carol's goddess doll adventures and her book please click here.
When talking about goddess dolls and spirit dolls you inevitably end up talking about poppets or voodoo dolls, as they are commonly known. So, what exactly is a poppet?
The following is what Wikipedia.com has to say about Poppets: "In folk-magic and witchcraft, a poppet, also known as Poppits, Moppets, Mommets and Pippies is a doll made to represent a person, for casting spells on that person or to aid that person through magic. They are occasionally found lodged in chimneys. These dolls may be fashioned from such materials as a carved root, grain or corn shafts, a fruit, paper, wax, a potato, clay, branches, or cloth stuffed with herbs with "the intent that any actions performed upon the effigy will be transferred to the subject based on sympathetic magic. It was from these European dolls that the myth of Voodoo dolls arose. Poppets are also used as kitchen witch figures."
According to The Information Please Girls' Almanac By Alice Siegel - Page 147, "Poppets were hand made by New Englanders in the mid 19th Century. They were made of rags and hog bristles and stuffed with hair. They were owned by two eccentric women in Salem, MA who were later accused of being witches. Their dolls were used against them when they were tried and hung as witches."
Searching a little more on this subject I found the following on the Poppet - Salem Witch Trials article by Jone Johnson Lewis - Women's History Expert. A poppit or puppet was, "Cloth or rags knotted to resemble a person, and believed to represent an individual that a witch wanted to torment. Actions taken on the poppet, such as putting pins in it or setting it on fire or casting it into a river, were supposed to have effects on the person the poppet represented. "Poppet" was also used in general for knotted cloths representing human figures used by children for dolls in play."
"In the Salem witch trials, possession of poppets was considered evidence of witchcraft."
Well, according to Patti Wigington, who is a Paganism/Wicca expert, "A poppet is simply a doll. Although TV shows and movies typically show poppets as the stereotypical "voodoo doll," poppets have been around for a long time. "
In her Poppets 101 - Introduction to Poppet Magic article she also stated, "Remember, the poppet is a useful magical tool, and can be used in a variety of workings. Be sure to check out Sample Poppets for ideas on how to use one. Use it for healing, to banish harmful people from your life, to bring abundance your way -- the choices are practically limitless."
So, of course, I was intrigued as to how poppets could be beneficial. According to Patti they can be used to get a job you've applied for, to protect your family, to heal a sick person, and to bring love into your life - all good things.
Like Goddess dolls and spirit dolls Poppets can be made out of cloth, clay, wood, wax - just about any material. They can have faces or be "faceless."
So, I went looking for Poppets being used in a good way. I found a reference to a Poppet with a picture of a pilgrim girl and her "Poppet" doll, which had a drawn face. The picture was under the Colonial Games section on Page 14 of a .PDF from Sp.rpcs.org (Roland Park Country School - Private School in Baltimore, Maryland) about the Colonial Era - 1600-1776.
The caption was, "Children had very few playthings. Sometimes their fathers carved toys from wood or their mothers made corn husk or apple dolls, called poppets." Surely, Pilgrim parents wouldn't give their children poppets to play with if they were evil. Would they?
If you would like to see or read this .PDF please click here.
If you would like to learn how to make a poppet for healing please click here.
I also found the following Meet The Moppets section of the Art Dolls, Spirit Dolls - A Personal Journey Into Art & Magic article by Silvia Hartmann where she talks about a moppet she made.
I also found a Make A JuJu, Moppet, Poppet or Magic Doll Step By Step how-to on the Magic, Spells and potions website showing you how to make the moppet in the picture to the right.
If you would like to see and read that how-to please click here.
In my search for information on Poppets I also found out that a kitchen witch is a poppet or homemade doll resembling a witch or crone that is displayed in a kitchen as good luck in warding off evil spirits. It's considered good luck to give a family member or friend a kitchen witch. Ah, ha! Another good use of a poppet.
Years ago I used to hang a little kitchen witch with an old crone face who was riding a broom in my kitchen for good luck. I'm not sure what happened to her. She's probably in a box somewhere.
According to Wikipedia.com there is a debate as to where kitchen witches originated from. Some think Norway, some say Germany, others say Tudor England, where concrete evidence is, "the will of one John Crudgington, of Newton, Worfield, Shropshire, dated 1599, divides...his belongings amongst his wife and three children, "except the cubbard in the halle the witche in the kytchyn which I gyve and bequeathe to Roger my sonne."
Today the kitchen witch is usually thought of as bringing good fortune to the kitchen and all the activities of the kitchen and food preparation. With the kitchen witch doing her job evil spirits will not enter.
I found a How-To Make a Kitchen Witch post on the Book Of Mirrors blog by Witchfire showing how to make the faceless kitchen witch shown in the picture above and to the left. The kitchen witch was purchased by the blog author and is being used as a model in the How-To Make a Kitchen Witch post.
If you would like to read more of Witchfire's post please click here.
I also found a faceless Enchanting Corn Husk Kitchen Witch tutorial to make the faceless corn husk witch shown in the picture to the right by Liss on the Budget101.com website.
Jude Lally is an artist, teacher, and writer. Her beautiful needle felted art dolls include beautiful "faceless" spiritual and goddess dolls (like the picture of Goddess Brighid shown in the picture to the left), as well as folk art dolls.
All of her beautiful art dolls are created as a reminder of and a way of integrating ancient spirituality with today's modern life.
According to Jude, "Doll making is an ancient tradition. Shaping the Divine feminine into a familiar form. My dolls are inspired by women on the threshold. One with a foot in this world and a foot in the otherworld. They are often faceless, which allows you to project your own story or maybe they hint at their origins. They are familiar with ancestors and spirits and the ways of magic."
"These dolls are made entirely from wool by a technique called needle felting in which I use a single barbed to mould a 3d shape in wool by thousands of repetitive hand actions by the needle."
Here's what Jude had to say about her folk art dolls, like those shown in the picture to the right.
"These folk art dolls were born of the threshold – not quite of this world or the other. Their pins remind us of the knots we weave around ourself, the magic we spin without even realizing! They are a focus for our intentions, wither they be to attract or shield – gathering what we need, protecting ourselves against unwanted energies, and helping us reflect it back to its source."
You can visit her Celtic Soul Craft - Ancient Wisdom For Modern Lives website here and see pictures of her beautiful art dolls in her Doll Gallery page here.