All About The Voodoo Doll (use, origin, messages)

Nowadays, there are a lot of preconceived ideas about the voodoo doll.

Some see them as tools of misfortune which only serve to cause negative effects in others (illnesses, accidents or worse)... but, these kinds of little magical figurines were originally designed to do good and are actually closer to lucky charms!

Some think that the voodoo doll works with evil and demonic forces... but, they rather express the power that lies dormant deep within the practitioner and the immense power of intention!

Some people think that they are just vulgar relics of past practices (in this case, voodoo)... but many people still use them today!

In short, together we will discover everything you need to know about the voodoo doll.

Contents :

What is a voodoo doll?

What can these strange figurines be used for?

At the origins: African religions

Voodoo doll, colonization and slavery

So, what is voodoo?

The place of the voodoo doll in modern culture

Precautions for using the voodoo doll

Small voodoo doll with needles stuck inside during a magical ritual.

What is a voodoo doll?

Voodoo is a form of spirituality that has been particularly criticized for several decades now. In fact, this religion is almost mocked and the elements that compose it are often turned into grotesque and ridiculous.

This is also the case for the voodoo doll, whose reality is undoubtedly very different from the image you may have of it.

Primarily used where Voodoo is present (i.e. the Caribbean region, Haiti, Brazil, and the Southeastern United States), our dolls will often be vaguely human in shape, such as n any figure that a child could play with.

The most common models are simply made of burlap or, like this doll for example, pieces of wood and twigs.

With such a “common” appearance, what can make voodoo dolls different from other figurines?

Well in fact, and we will talk about it a little later in this article, rituals are practiced, spells incanted and prayers recited at the time of the creation of these effigies.

Through their link with sacred powers and an age-old tradition (we will also talk about this here), voodoo priests know how to catalyze great powers which are then found in the dolls they make.

So, for your voodoo doll to be effective, it must first of all be made in the right way. Her appearance will ultimately have little importance.

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What can these strange figurines be used for?

Without too many surprises, voodoo dolls are used… as part of voodoo magic.

We've all heard legends about zombies rendered servile by a sorcerer with a figurine of them, or people struck down by illnesses after the voodoo doll made for their great misfortune was driven in with nails.

Yet the dolls' powers run much deeper than that. This is what we will try to show you here through a few examples.

A psychic energy catalyst

In their purest expression, voodoo dolls are simply used as an energy “container”. A bit like a spell using a person as a magical container, it is here on a doll that the magician will cast spells.

Like many magical tools, voodoo dolls can indeed accumulate certain forces which give them a certain form of life, or at least existence on a symbolic level.

It is precisely for this reason that a voodoo doll should always be treated with the greatest respect: they contain within them a certain amount of life which must be respected.

A great concentration tool

Such a figurine is also a great way to concentrate and focus. When we know the importance of focus during a magic ritual, this function takes on its full meaning.

Whether it is meditation, prayers or simply relaxation, the simple fact of being able to focus your attention on a specific element of your environment can help you access certain second states, certain mystical states.

There is no doubt that with an object as heavy with meaning as a voodoo doll, this consideration can only be true!

A link with the sacred and the voodoo loas

The priests and priestesses of the Voodoo religion consider themselves to be servants of spirits (some speak of divinities but this is not entirely the case) which they call loas.

This is also the reason why voodoo ceremonies are so marked by offerings and gifts: most practitioners are simply trying to attract the favors of these famous loas.

With this in mind, a doll can serve as a gift, yes, but also as an allegory of one of these spirits and thus become a central element of ceremonies. It is also not uncommon for a voodoo ritual to use it to indirectly invoke supernatural forces.

An allegory of reality

This consideration is undoubtedly less spiritual than the others but, in fact, a voodoo doll is a kind of mental representation of an element ( here, of a person) which is very real.

Following this reasoning, the use of such a figurine could well allow mental unblocking, to heal certain traumas or, more broadly, to see more clearly about sometimes very complicated human relationships.

Traditional African masks in the middle of a magical charms market.

At the origins: African religions

Vodou has its roots in an ancient kingdom in West Africa then known as the Kingdom of Dahomey (which today covers parts of Nigeria, Togo and Benin.

More precisely, it seems that the primitive religion we are talking about is the fruit of the meeting between the Yoruba, Fon and Ewe peoples (three peoples of the region) who, by mixing their beliefs, arrived at what we know today..

Already at the time, we were dealing with a sort of syncretism!

Then called " vodoun ", in allusion to a rather similar local language word which meant "spirit", voodoo (or rather its ancestor) was then far from what Hollywood films can show us today.

Like most traditional spiritualities, primitive voodoo consisted of a more or less codified set of rites and ceremonies aimed mainly at attracting the favor of divinities and warding off misfortunes from the group or individuals.

Here in particular is a list of some points which will give you a clearer vision of how it was practiced:

  • Transmission was necessarily oral, with a large place given to priest-storytellers thanks to whom knowledge was transmitted between generations.
  • The clan (or extended family) being at the center of social organization, it was at the spiritual level and certain spirits were seen as the protectors of particular families.
  • In this same “family” perspective, elders were extremely respected, some being venerated at the same rank as sacred spirits.
  • Magic was a reality, but the distinction between white and black magic was not as sharp as in other cultures, with the two sometimes mixing together.
  • The voodoo sorcerer was a priest, yes, but also a doctor, a teacher and sometimes even a diplomat.

As for the subject of our article (the doll)… well it seems that the ancient Africans did not really use them.

Indeed, as we will now see together, this practice arises from the encounter of this traditional African spirituality with other very different ones...

Bronze statue of an emancipated African slave.

Voodoo doll, colonization and slavery

We have just said it: most of the roots of voodoo are indeed in Africa, and more precisely in West Africa.

Why then do we associate this spirituality with America and the Caribbean?

The reason is simply: voodoo is a syncretism (that is to say a mixture of beliefs) combining African roots, a good part of the Catholic religion and even certain native influences from the region.

More particularly, it seems that slavery was the main determining element in the emergence of voodoo.

Indeed, this historical period led to the grouping on the same territory of individuals with sometimes very different origins and religions.

Thus, African slaves initially gathered around what they had in common: the religion of their ancestors.

Later, Christian, and more particularly Catholic, influences were felt by the massive arrival of European immigrants (sometimes very poor) who came to seek a better life on the other side of America.

They therefore brought Catholicism to them, but also certain superstitious practices... such as for example the use of magical effigies supposed to bless or, on the contrary, curse the people they represented.

The link with our voodoo doll is quite obvious here…

In short, the voodoo faith developed wherever slaves were found. One link in particular is considered if by the home, at least the heart of this religion: the island of Haiti.

Indeed, the history of the island is closely linked to that of voodoo. Legend even has it that it was the appearance of a loa (remember, these are the spirits of voodoo) which was the trigger for the revolution and the emancipation of Haiti.

Later, a second center appeared in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. There, a woman named Marie Laveau officiated in the 9th century as a voodoo priestess.

Her powers were so respected, so feared that she was quickly nicknamed "the queen of voodoo", and thereby made her city a sort of second capital of religion.

In summary, the voodoo doll is a cultural object of “European” form but whose powers and rituals surrounding it are rather native to Africa.

Rabbit feet, a voodoo doll and a loa (lwa) amulet

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So, what is voodoo?

We now know its origins, its history and the spiritual soil from which it was born... but what do we really know about voodoo?

There are spells, curses, magic rituals... but voodoo worship is much more than that!

To satisfy your curiosity, we will now provide you with some more precise information on this spirituality.

A debated etymological meaning

First of all, you should know that the word voodoo refers to the concept of “divinity”. There are two main interpretations on this subject: one says that voodoo thus recognizes the existence of a unique and supreme God, while the other rather finds a link with the spirits which are directly venerated by practitioners.

Among marabouts and sorcerers also, this type of theological debate can take place.

Bondye, the creator

No matter which viewpoint they adopt, all voodoo practitioners agree on the existence of Bondye, a higher being at the basis of all creation.

While most monotheistic religions offer us a direct and unique relationship with God, Voodoo speaks rather of an inexplicable, elusive and paradoxical being.

They will thus prefer to deal with loas, these spiritual forces which are much more understandable to the human mind.

Interestingly, it seems that the name "Bondye" derives directly from the French expression "Bon Dieu" which the French colonists used to speak of God.

The basis of voodoo: connecting several worlds

Voodoo is firmly anchored in the belief that several worlds exist.

Comparable to spheres of consciousness, there would thus be entities living on planes to which we do not have access.

Through very specific rites and ceremonies, the priests would be able to open communication channels with some of these planes to communicate with the spirits who live there.

As you can probably understand, the voodoo doll is not always useless in such a perspective...

The zombie question

Maybe you didn't know it, but the concept of zombie comes directly from voodoo spirituality.

What you need to know, however, is the extent to which Hollywood films have given you a distorted image of it.

Far from being a condition contagious by biting, zombification actually consists of a magical process during which a sorcerer bewitches a person while they are alive so as to be able to take control of their body after their death.

This may seem quite far-fetched, but it seems that there are hallucinogenic preparations of which certain voodoo magicians are aware with astonishing effects to say the least...

Most of the time, however, the figure of the zombie will be seen more as an allegory of enslavement and total mental submission to a master (whoever he may be).

Clap used for filming Hollywood films.

The place of the voodoo doll in modern culture

For many, the word “voodoo” evokes black magic, a kind of dark esotericism from which nothing good can come. After reading this article, you should have formed your own opinion on the matter.

Yes, voodoo is much more than a simple mixture of zombies, needles stuck in rag dolls, spells and incantations. It is a form of religion in its own right, with its history, its rites and its priests.

This reality, however, has not stopped Hollywood and the film industry from making this faith a veritable cliché. (If we think about it carefully, this is not reserved for voodoo!).

In short, the image of our magic doll that you see in the films will undoubtedly be false... or at least incomplete.

While it will almost always only be used for evil, hurting and cursing on screen, a voodoo doll can be used for good.

Often purchased in dark shops and from individuals who are more than dubious in the context of fiction, the voodoo dolls that you can acquire (as on our site for example) will rather be on healthy platforms which are simply interested in the mysteries of our world.

While images of blood, violence and even death may be associated with our dolls, there is much more healing, healing and life that they will express if you use them correctly.

In short, if you want to confront the reality of voodoo and its dolls, the best solution would undoubtedly be to visit the places where this religion is practiced, namely mainly Haiti and New Orleans.

However, this type of trip can be very expensive…

Fortunately for you, it is possible to learn more about this type of little-known spirituality thanks to the work of real specialists, like us for example but also like so many others.

“Stop” sign, symbol of precautions to take regarding voodoo.

Precautions for using the voodoo doll

Our world is made up of more or less subtle energies which can be incarnated in different forms. Some are negative and others positive. Magic as we know it is based on working with these forces.

If almost all people on earth have practiced it in one way or another, this is undoubtedly proof of a certain reality.

If they have also warned us all about some of its forms and the dangers surrounding it, this cannot be a coincidence.

Throughout history, magic and witchcraft have been considered extremely dangerous and, even if these practices are fascinating, the presence of competent masters and a long and thorough initiation are two necessities to respect.

It is not for nothing that most schools (from black magic to white magic, including all types and colors) recommend a gradual and more than cautious approach.

Assuming that voodoo magic is real, it's a safe bet that demons and evil are too. Be careful therefore regarding the forms (sometimes excessively sneaky) that malicious entities could take.

So keep in mind that using voodoo dolls represents a certain risk, at least if you do not use them correctly.

After all, there is no smoke without fire... and if voodoo has such a bad press, it is undoubtedly because the practices surrounding it can turn out to be (very) dangerous if practiced by the wrong people, in bad contexts and to fulfill bad desires.

Lucky charm featured in this article

Small Haitian voodoo doll

Small Haitian voodoo doll

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.