Material to create your Voodoo Doll
There are no real accepted rules on how to create a “real” Voodoo doll. You can make any doll you want, and however you want, by keeping in mind that the doll will have direct materialistic and spiritual connection to the person.
People have made Voodoo dolls from any materials they could get their hands on in various places and periods, such as clay, wood, wax, corn leaves, human bones, various fabrics, feathers, plant roots, etc.
You can use any materials at your disposal. Let’s have a look at some in more detail.
New Orleans Voodoo dolls were mostly made out of blue clay, which was dug out of burrows of crayfish. You can use any clay you want to create your dolls. When finishing working on a doll, a hollow void is kept inside, where materials can be put into that hold symbolism or belong to the person such as herbs for example. After that the doll is brought into a proper form, painted and applied with magical symbols.
A classic material for New Orleans Voodoo dolls. This plant resembles a human beard hanging from the branches of trees, and is an excellent material for stuffing pillows, furniture, etc. This is why Spanish Moss is common in southern United States, and has been used successfully by Louisiana sorcerers. A “traditional” Voodoo doll without legs is made out of this plant.
A material which is perfect in almost all aspects. It is flexible and capable to last in its original shape for a long time. Wax is especially preferred for its ease of human portrayal, ease of carving magic symbols and the possibility to attach human hair to the doll.
Rag dolls were used in New Orleans Voodoo and were made from two strips of material. These two strips are then embroidered into two identical forms on the left and right side of the doll, leaving a hole to fill the doll with magic herbs, objects or ordinary moss.
The most primitive doll can be made out of wood, but such dolls will only depict a human form in a very generalized way (without the small details). Sometimes a single doll is carved from a single piece of wood, which requires a certain skill and accuracy. One of the simplest versions of dolls which were popular in early stages of Voodoo in Louisiana was a thick tree branch or stump covered in moss, trimmed with a cloth and a face which made the doll look somewhat realistic.
The roots of a mandrake, which often look very similar to a human figure, can be used for Voodoo magic without any additional work. With sufficient skill, you can carve a figure of a human from potatoes, celery or the like.
Those who are familiar with the papier-mache technique don’t need explanation how a Voodoo doll can be made out of paper. The two basic ways to do so is to either turn the paper into pulp, soak it and mix it with an adhesive composition (then it can be used as clay or wax), or apply layer by layer, gluing the paper to the same composition. It is easy to turn paper into a substitute for other materials.
Voodoo dolls out of bones are mainly used for black magic.
Dolls can be made out of plastic, polyethylene, foam, or even from 3d printers using the latest technology
Color Symbolism in Voodoo Dolls
The choice of clothing for Voodoo dolls is not made out of decorative or aesthetic reasons.
If the material of the doll clothing doesn’t have any special meaning, you should at least pay careful attention to the color of the clothing.
Colors and their meanings
♦ Yellow: success, understanding, attractiveness, confidence.
♦ White: peace, security, cleanliness, health, honesty, sincerity, protection from rumors.
♦ Red: power, energy, love, health, passion.
♦ Purple: spirituality, physical and spiritual healing, strength, wisdom, contact with spirits, psychic sense, resistance to black magic.
♦ Green: money, wealth, abundance, prosperity, fertility, luck, health, generosity, rebirth.
♦ Blue: love, the color of Marie Laveau.
♦ Indigo: sacred color, removing evil.
♦ Pink: love, affection, honor, dedication, unity, kindness, happiness, luck, friendship, morality.
♦ Black: transfiguration, removal of bad habits, grief, strife, poverty, confusion, bad luck. Fully black colored dolls are used in black magic.
♦ Brown: doubt, indecision, uncertainty.
♦ Gray: termination, a stalemate situation.
♦ Orange: success, support, rapid adaptation.
Symbolism of Gris-gris Materials & Objects
In addition to filling gris-gris bags with herbs and stones, the bags can be filled with a variety of objects and materials which hold different meanings.
- Nail: protection from negative effects
- Rainwater or river water: protection from negative effects
- Soil from cemetery: protection, good luck in gambling
- Gold, gold coins: money
- Illustration of “$”: good luck in gambling
- Keys: love
- Horse chestnut: male potency, success in business, getting a job
- Black cat’s bone: attract fortune, luck in gambling (the bone can be replaced with a chicken’s leg, dyed in black)
- Cross: blessing and spiritual protection
- Piece of red brick: home protection, attraction of money, success in business
- Magnet: attract fortune, gifts, attention from people
- Copper medals: health
- Coins: money
- Arrow’s head: love, spiritual protection
- Ammonia: cleansing, protection from adverse effects
- Dice: good luck in gambling
- Sugar, candy: attract love, success in relationships, attract money into business, profit
- Wedding ring: love
- Holy water: spiritual protection
- Silver: money
- Salt: spiritual cleansing, blessing, removal of bad luck
- Wedding flowers: love
- Neck chain: spiritual protection
- Four leaf clover: good luck in gambling
Symbolism of Gris-gris Stones & Minerals
In order to use the stones and minerals in your gris-gris bags, you will have to crush them into dust and mix them with dried herbs.
The minerals have several meanings that all fall into one of the following: love, success, spiritual protection and health.
- Agate: health (white agate), luck in gambling (dark colored agate)
- Amber: love, luck, luck in gambling
- Amethyst: health, spiritual protection
- Aquamarine: love
- Avanturine: good luck
- Colorless Quartz: protection, happiness, peace, health
- Flint: protection from hazards, health
- Fossil wood: health
- Gold: success, wealth, money
- Hematite: health
- Jade: spiritual protection, health
- Jasper: protection from negative effects
- Lapis: spiritual protection, health, love
- Malachite: love
- Moonstone: protection from the dangers of love
- Obsidian: protection
- Opal: love
- Pearls: protection, success, luck in gambling, love
- Pyrite: good luck in gambling, easy money
- Red coral: protection from negative effects, love
- Rose quartz: love
- Rubin: protection from negative effects
- Sapphire: health
- Sodalite: health
- Tiger eye: protection from dangers
- Topaz: spiritual protection, health
- Turquoise: protection from negative effects, health
Symbolism of Gris-gris Herbs & Plants
Herbs and plants are used as fillers of gris-gris bags in Voodoo.
Each herb or plant has its own unique qualities and symbolism, and must be taken into careful consideration when preparing the bags.
- Alfalfa: good luck in gambling and business, protection from bankruptcy or other money problems
- Alkanna: attracting fortune
- Aloe: protection against negative influences
- Anise: spiritual protection against bad luck, brings good luck, increases physical capabilities
- Basil: love, protection, happiness, peace
- Bay leaf: spiritual protection, health, success, strengthening the spiritual gift of wisdom, clarity of mind, banishment of evil spirits, victory over enemies
- Birch leaves: protection against negative influences
- Black pepper: prevention of unwanted visits, revenge
- Cactus: protection (trauma) and curse (needles)
- Cedrus needles: protection, purification, blessing, health, source of strength
- Catnip: love, attraction of men (for women)
- Cayenne pepper: curse, expulsion of enemies
- Cinnamon: health, success in business and gambling, love
- Clover: love
- Daisy: good luck in business and gambling, protection, neutralization of negative influences
- Dandelion: fulfillment of desires
- Dianthus: health, luck in gambling
- Dill: love, riddance of love and relationship curses, revival of sexual attraction, success in litigation, recovery
- Eucalyptus: protection from bad luck, riddance of bad habits
- Garlic: protection from evil
- Ginger: protection from negative influences
- Ginseng: protection from negative influences
- Holly: home protection, good luck
- Hypericum: love
- Irish moss: good luck in business and gambling
- Ivy: spiritual protection
- Jasmine: love
- Juniper: love, protection, cleansing, healing, success in sexual relationships
- Lavender: love, peace
- Licorice: control over someone, dominance
- Magnolia: protection, husband loyalty
- Mandrake root: love
- Mimosa: spiritual protection
- Mint: protection from enemies, expulsion of negative influences, increased physical capabilities, expulsion of of evil spirits
- Mistletoe: protection from enemies
- Mustard seeds: protection from enemies, love, recovery of potency, good luck
- Myrrh: cleansing, spiritual protection
- Nutmeg: love, success, luck in gambling
- Oak leaves: success, luck in gambling, expulsion of evil spirits
- Onions: protection from evil
- Orange peel: good luck
- Parsley: love, fertility
- Patchouli: attraction of love and money
- Pine needles: good luck in gambling
- Raspberry leaves: good luck, partner loyalty
- Rose: love, luck, protection from negativity
- Rosemary: expulsion of evil spirits, family well-being
- Sage: purification, wisdom, happiness
- Sweet pepper: good luck in gambling and luck in business, removes stress
- Thyme: peace, tranquility, preservation of wealth, riddance of nightmares
- Vanilla: love
- Yarrow: courage