Love magick has always played an important part in witchcraft, with love spells being some of the oldest spells known to humankind. Love spells have a varied and sometimes sordid history in folk magick, ranging from different forms of divination to determine the identity and fidelity of your lover to dominating the will of the one you desire and manipulating them into coming to you and loving you. There are myriad folk spells to keep a lover faithful, to attract a lover to you, to renew passion and protect the marriage bed, many of which are practiced today.
A common form of love divination in the British Isles was to throw sticks into a well and see how they float to determine the fidelity of your lover. Apples were used to divine the name of a lover by peeling the skin and letting it drop to the floor. The letter that the skin forms is the first initial of the name of the person you’re meant to be with. Another form of apple divination for love is to cut an apple into nine pieces, go into a dark room with a mirror at midnight and begin eating the pieces one by one. Throw the ninth piece over your shoulder, and the face of your lover is supposed to appear in the mirror. In Britain on Samhain night, couples throw hazelnuts into the fire to divine the future of their relationship. If the nuts burn together the couple is destined to stay together, if the nuts exploded or break apart it is an omen that the couple will break up. Similar divination techniques can be found around the world.
Some of the most common folk spells for love include the use of an effigy or poppet. The use of these dolls in their various forms have a place in many cultures throughout history, from Greece to the British Isles to Haiti and beyond. Poppets work through sympathetic magic. If you have a personal tag such as hair, skin, nails, bodily fluids, or something that belongs to the person like a shirt, or a photograph of just the person you want to come around or love you, you can create a poppet that represents them and a poppet that represents you and bind them together to bring yourself and that person together in relationship. Without a personal tag it is much more difficult, but it can still be done if you have enough personal information about the person to correctly name the poppet. Poppets can be created for a vast array of intentions. You can even create a poppet for self love.
Self Love Poppet
First you’ll need to decide what materials you want to use. You can create your poppet with cloth, wood, wax, or clay, but however you create it, you’ll need to ensure that it is shaped like a person (head, torso, arms and legs). As you do this working, keep your intention focused on self-love. Name the poppet after you, aloud, and keep repeating it by telling the poppet “you are – (whatever your name is).’
If you’re using cloth, two pieces of fabric shaped like a person should be pinned together with the right sides in and then sewn along the edges by hand. Don’t sew the poppet all the way shut, leave an opening at the head that you can fit some fingers into for ease when stuffing. You can make your poppet from a piece of clothing that belonged to you, or any other kind of fabric. Feel free to incorporate color magic here by choosing colors you love and associate with love.
Once you’ve sewed around the edges and left an opening, pull the fabric right-side out, and stuff the arms and legs with fiberfill, which you can get it from any craft store, as fully as you can. Then fill the torso with herbs such as rose, thyme, lavender, jasmine, and angelica, along with some of your own hair or nail clippings, and any stones you would like to include such as rose quartz. Make sure you’ve received permission from these spirits before doing so (just ask them if they’re willing to lend their energies to your working). Once the poppet is plumply filled, sew the head shut with an overcast stitch and personalize the outside of the poppet as much as you can. You can draw a face on it, give it hair, dress it in clothes, etc. The more effort you put in, the more potent the working.
Keep the poppet somewhere comfortable and out of sight to others, perhaps in a little created space that would make you feel safe if you were that size, and allow it to do its work.
An alternative to hand-creating a poppet is to use a pink figure candle, which is a candle that is shaped like a person, but it will require an intense and focused energy from you while preparing it to be just as potent. You simply name the candle after yourself, saying “you are _name_ over and over) as you anoint it with oils and herbs such as olive oil, roses, lavender, thyme, and concentrate on what love feels like to you as you light it and allow it to burn down.
Featured image via pixabay.
Originally published in Witch Way Magazine.