Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Crafting with Poppet Magick by Silver Ravenwolf

I was originally just going to write a review of Poppet Magick by Silver Ravenwolf after I was given a copy for my birthday. However, once I started reading it, I was so captivated by the pictures and patterns for magical dolls, that I decided I had to make one and blog about that as well.

My only problem was which one to choose, as the book has so many delightful designs for poppets, spirit dolls and magical animals.

In the end I decided to make the little witchy intent dolly you can see in the photos on this post. Silver describes this technique as a “sandwich doll”, because it is made from three layers of fabric. I chose black felt with a silver web pattern for the outer layers, because felt doesn’t fray. The filler layer is cloth from an old pair of my black leggings, to give a personal connection to myself.

The witch is intended as a protection doll. Being flat, it is designed to put between the pages of your Book of Shadows as a little guardian spirit. Actually, my Book of Shadows is considerably more than one journal these days. It includes numerous notebooks, folders and box files - and takes up an entire shelf. You can see my finished doll on just one volume of my BoS in the photo below and to the left, but I am sure she will be capable of guarding the lot.

As you would expect, Poppet Magick describes techniques for empowering magical dolls as well as making them. The photo at the bottom of this post shows my craft supplies on my altar before being cleansed, blessed and dedicated – always a good thing to do with any objects you are using for spellwork.

To specify the poppet’s purpose, you write your intention or create a sigil on a piece of paper and pop that inside the doll before completing the stitching.

After you have finished making a poppet, you awaken it to magical life. Silver describes three birthing ceremonies you can use for this.

The hands-on crafting comes in between these stages. First I traced the pattern from the back of the book. Then I sandwiched the layers of fabric, pinned my pattern to the top and stitched around the edge, then trimmed close to the stitching to get the perfect shape.

Afterwards I used applique techniques to stitch on the face and add more cobwebs to the hat and dress. I also painted and inked the eyes, nose and mouth.

My witchy guardian is bound to be only the first of many magical dolls I'll create using the patterns in Poppet Magick. I can honestly say it is great practical guide to constructing and embellishing poppets. The instructions are really clear and full of tips on how to get the best artistic results. The book has loads of colour photos to give you an idea of what the finished products could look like and there is a big section of patterns to trace at the back.

I'm no novice to poppet-making - after all, I've written a book on the subject myself, called Pagan Portals - Poppets and Magical Dolls, and I teach workshops - but I was delighted to learn a few more crafting techniques from Silver's book.

Poppet Magick is published by Llewellyn. You can view Poppet Magick on Amazon.

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