How Do Vodoo Dolls Actually Work?

What comes to your mind when you hear ‘voodoo doll‘? It must be the Hollywood reenactment of witch doctors, painful pins and black magic. However, after a deeper exploration into the practice, you would find a diverse and rich spiritual practice. Voodoo dolls are actually not instruments of evil or black magic. Rather, they are instruments of intent.

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Voodoo magic is practiced all over the globe. However, it originates from Ancient Africa. Here, the religion hasn’t received any foreign influence so there are many years of indigenous heritage and tradition backing it up. The word voodoo refers to the spirit of God. Practitioners of voodoo believe in the distant and ever present God. They also speak with the spirits, referred to as the Loa.

These are the dead ancestors, who are also messengers of the creator. They have a notable influence in the affairs of the living especially in matters of money, love, happiness, family, revenge and justice. One representation of the voodoo practice is the voodoo doll. The African Shamans use dolls to communicate with the Loa, the dead ancestors, asking for guidance. The doll has proven to be a reliable tool and many years later it’s still used for important rituals.

After the new world expeditions of Christopher Columbus about the new world, the voodoo practice has changed considerably. Many African slaves were transported to America and the religions started mixing. Now, voodoo has become a mixture of European folk magic, Catholicism and also Native American healing arts. As a result, voodoo dolls are used in various ways, different than they were used previously.

Black Voodoo Doll 5" Tall
Black Voodoo Doll 5″ Tall

How Is A Voodoo Doll Used?
They come in different types and can be used for various purposes. For instance, they are often used for empowerment, healing, guidance, cursing or fertility. They are also handcrafted into talismans or used as teaching aids for children. The color of the doll will determine the intended purpose. For instance:
• White – “They are used for purification, healing, and positivity”
• Red  – “They are used for power, attraction, and love ”
• Yellow – “To foster confidence and success”
• Blue – “To bring peace and love”
• Purple – “To contact the spirit realm, ask for wisdom and also psychic exploration”
• Black – “It can be used to summon negative energy or to dispel it”
• Green – “They are used to foster growth, fertility, money and wealth”

These distinct colors are also found on the needles and pins used on the voodoo dolls. When they are stuck on the dolls, they emphasize the intention. The dolls are usually meant to address the spirit of one person in particular. You can use the doll to summon someone’s spirit through Loa, allowing it to hear your plea, manifest your wishes, wants and desires.

If you want to communicate with the spirit of someone, you should pin an intimate token or charm belonging to that person to the doll. The charm or token can be a piece of clothing, picture or lock of hair. Once that’s done, you should talk directly to the spirit through the doll, ask questions, appeal to the person’s spirit or persuade it to do anything.

Anna Riva Incense Powder Voodoo
Anna Riva Incense Powder Voodoo

The doll is a focus tool for meditation, spells and prayers, during which it is placed on a pedestal. To make the message clearer and increase the power of the doll, you should add anointing oil and other special items. You can additionally use candle magic to send a message to the spirit world. For healing intentions, herbs such as cedar chips, patchouli root and rose petals also come in handy.

During the slave era, slaves often used voodoo dolls as self-defense mechanism against slave owners. That’s where the misconception that voodoo magic is used for ill intent must have come from. Currently, many voodoo dolls are sold commercially for revenge purposes. They can be charged depending on the preference of the user but it’s never a good idea to use them for ill-will or malice or any other negative intent.

Keep in mind that using voodoo dolls for negative energy can result in karmic backlash such as bad luck, conflicts and depression. Originally, the dolls are blessed by a priest or medicine person allowing them to carry healing and other positive vibrations to avoid any negative effects.

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