Herbal Poppets And Sachets

Traditionally, empowered herbs were used to fill either sachets or featureless dolls called poppets. They were made for love, protection, prosperity, fertility, healing and success and could contain either a single herb or a mixture, depending on the purpose.

Poppets, which are used mainly in love or healing or occasionally in protective magick, are generally kept in a safe place, such as a drawer, rather than carried around. So, for a love spell, two poppets would be tied together and placed in a drawer in a bedroom or left out on the window ledge in the moonlight, especially around the time of the full moon. For fertility, a miniature poppet might be placed in a tiny woven cradle on the window ledge from the new to the full moon. It would then be wrapped in silk until the end of the moon cycle and kept in an enclosed space, for example, a large painted egg made of pottery or wood. The would-be father would make the cradle and the mother would sew and fill the doll.

Some practitioners attach hair from the person to be healed or the object of the love spell to the poppet, but I consider that this is an intrusion of privacy. Instead, I would suggest that if you wish to add extra power, you make your featureless dolls in an appropriate colour.

Herbal sachets are particularly versatile; small ones can be carried around in a bag, pocket or pinned to undergarments, and large ones can be hung over a bed or near the door or in a drawer at work. Traditionally, sachets of empowered herbs were tied with three, six or nine knots of ribbon or twine, these being magical numbers. If you do this, choose ribbon of a colour appropriate to the need - or more than one colour if you wish to add a secondary colour meaning. The number of knots depends on the intensity of the need as knots are a powerful way of concentrating energies. You can, of course, buy ready-made drawstring purses in different colours, which make instant excellent herb pouches, but making herbal sachets is very straightforward.

Rather than giving you set formulae for herb poppets and sachets, I have listed a wide range of herbs so that you can mix and match them to your own special needs. I have also given the planetary associations, so that you can, for example, make a Venus sachet by using all her herbs, excellent for healing a broken heart, encouraging the growth of trust, increasing loving energies around you and at the same time strengthening the heart, chest and lungs. Practitioners tend to mingle two or three different herbs to increase the strength of the sachet and you can add a few drops of essential oil for extra fragrance and power.

The key is to experiment and be inventive. Keep a note in your healing journal or Book of Shadows of combinations that are especially effective, together with the rough proportions you used. For example, if you were creating a sachet for someone who had suffered a loss in love or a bereavement, you would make a love sachet that emphasised gentleness, using two parts Chamomile flowers to one part rosemary. The Chamomile is for gentle love, affection and tolerance, and the rosemary would encourage fond and happy memories. Note that some books give other planetary associations, as these do vary under different systems.

The associations for healing and magick are the same whether you use incense, essential oil or the herbal form of a substance. These are just different ways of releasing the energies. Incense, for example, is the best choice if you want an instant response; oil gives a slower but more enduring fragrance; and if your healing spell needs to take effect over days or weeks, then herbs in a sachet would be best. The sachet would act as amulet of protection, but because it was empowered it would also be a talisman, attracting health, abundance or love, according to its composition.

The divisions between healing work and other magical purposes are very slight since every positive ritual automatically releases healing energies. For this reason, I have listed the emotional and psychic as well as the physical healing properties of each herb.

Herbal Magic Spells
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