Question: I have seen many other sites dealing with voodoo dolls and their uses my question is this is there anything a voodoo doll can't do aside from bringing a loved one back from the dead?
Answer: Well, if we look at Voodoo dolls for what they are supposed to do, which is to function as focusing tools in ritual and meditation, and to act as conduits for connecting with divine and supernatural energies, then I would say that their limitations pretty much reflect our limitations. If you can imagine it, then you can make a voodoo doll to help make it manifest.
Let me explain.
In order to understand how Voodoo dolls work, or how people work Voodoo dolls, it is necessary to understand the basic principles of image magick. Magick itself is a conceptual system that emphasizes the human ability to manipulate and predict the natural world (including events, objects, people, and physical phenomena) through mystical, paranormal or supernatural means. Magick is employed in a variety of ways, such as the use of ritual symbols, magic words, wands, herbs, dance, dolls and trance, among other things. One goal of these activities is to evoke or invoke spirits to assist with the matter at hand.
There are many more principles of magick, but it is a type of magick referred to as image magick that is most applicable to the use of dolls in magick and ritual. Image magick is a type of magick based on two major principles: 1) the Law of Similarity or like attracts like and 2) the Law of Contagion.
In the first scenario, the Law of Similarity is when a doll is created in the likeness of a person and according to this law, whatever is done to the doll will affect the person for whom it resembles. So, if you would want a person to heal from a stomach ache, you could create a doll in the image of the person and fill the doll with healing herbs known to alleviate nausea such as peppermint, and other healing herbs of a spiritual nature such as hyssop and Balm of Gilead. If you are the pin sticking sort of doll worker, you could stick a pin on the stomach region as a means of targeting the specific area to be healed. You could also use a pin to attach a written petition or photo of the individual, for example.
According to the Law of Contagion, once things are in contact with each other, they will continue to have an effect on each other long after they are separated. Believers contend that when a personal effect, such as a fingernail, hair, or a piece of clothing, is attached to a doll, the personal effect acts as a link from the spiritual world to the physical world. Thus, the contact made between doll and personal effect allows whatever is done to the doll to happen to the person by virtue of contagion. Here is an excellent, and quite clever, example of a spell from the Voodoo Doll Spellbook that illustrates the Law of Contagion:
Disease Doll to Make a Person Sick
This doll baby spell comes from the New Orleans hoodoo tradition. It was reported in Harry Middleton Hyatt’s Hoodoo-Conjure-Witchcraft-Rootwork as a means of transferring disease from one person to another. It is seemingly very easy to create and deploy. First, you will have to make a doll baby that you intentionally adorn with bright colors and lots of ribbons. Then, take one of the ribbons and tie a knot in it for each time you have had a particular illness or disease you want to get rid of. Next, take that pretty doll baby and drop it where someone will see it and likely pick it up (I am assuming this is why the doll baby is to be made so pretty). It is said that whoever picks up that doll baby will “catch” the disease or illness, by virtue of the principle of contagious magic, thereby leaving you well.
Keywords: Voodoo doll, contagious magic, image magic, law of similarity, law of contagion
Doll Baby Conjure