As the month of September makes its way in we shift into the times of preparation for the last quarter of the calendar. In this 9th month we celebrate the Equinox, and there are so many beutiful ways of honoring this magical time. As a woman who walks the Wiccan path, I enjoy finding activities of a spiritual and, of course, ceremonial nature. Having found another inspiring article by a great pagan author who shares an interesting way of spending this time of renewal and transformation…I share it with you in case you too are looking for another way of cleansing the old and preparing to renew .. to be you!
“We have but three months until the Winter Solstice of 2012, the date of a significant sshift in consciousness for the Earth and its inhabitants. One way to prepare yourself for this heightening of spiritual awareness is to perfom a cleansing. We must banish the old to make way for the new.
A highly successul way to sacrifice one;s inner torments and hindrances is to construct a poppet. As a type of sympathetic magick, poppets are dolls that either represent a person or are effigies of a certain energetic force. The most common example of a poppet is a Voodoo doll. While common thought may have us believe that poppets are exclusively used for harm, these magickal representations can be utilized in an occult or spiritual sense for any intention under the sun. I have constructed poppets for healing, for mending conflict, and for attractin abundance, and even worry dolls to help ease the mind.
The coven I velong to, Opus Aima Obscurae, practices “banishing poppet” magick every year. We begin construction of these dolls in the Autumnal Equinox and conclude on Samhain. As the season is shifting into its death cycle you may choose to harness its energy accordingly.
The dolls are most powerful when you sew and construct them entirely on your own. I like to keep old t-shirts in a bag in the coven temple room, which can later be cut apart and stitched together for the purpose of sachets, poppets, or charms. (before stitching, be sure wash the shirts with salt and apple cider vinegar to remove accumulated energies.)
Once two equal sized “humans: have been snipped from a black shirt (black is generally used for banishing), hand stitch them together while repeating a chant to the doll, such as “you are my anger, you are woe, into your figure my darkness I sew”, or a similar modification depending on your intentions. Once sewn, the head is left entirley open so you may stuff the doll with one’s acute anishing representations.
The most obvious things to put in these poppets are dead leaves, to directly attune it to Autumn and the Dying Tide. I prefer to stuff the little arms and legs with these. The body of the poppet can contain anything that represents what you want to banish. You must also include clippings form your hair and fingernails, as well as a drop of blood, which will successfully bind the doll to you.
Beyond tese basics, here are a sample items you might want to place in the poppet’s body: herbs used for banishing, mathces (for the sulfur to exorcise evil), snakeskin (for shedding the past), dead bugs and fragments of animal bones (death energy), dust from a windowsill or corner of the house, dried-up fallen plant deitrus (to gather up old energies), photographs of people whose influence you wish to banish (to provide a link), deer ticks (to represent energy leeches, astral or otherwise), a penny (for feeling broke or brassic), and pages of wymbols and sigils.
You may choose to burn the poppets on a Mabon fire, though my group uses a Samhain fire, having begun the poppet construcion at the equinox. Solitary practitioners may choose to create a single banishing poppet, as mentioned above. However, you may also create several poppets for different issues or ailments. if working with a group, each member may create individual banishing poppets to be burned in a common Samhain fire, but you may opt to create one enormous Burning-Man- style group poppet to rid the group ifself of unwanted vibrations-be it conflict among members, poverty, misdirection, suspected curses, or anything else.
Because autumnal banishing poppets are rooted in creativity and a deep desire to purge oneself of the unwanted, practioners should feel free to experiment, be artistic, and take to the sky-or, to the flame, as it were. Divinate in those burning embers (pyromancy), mind the fire, and smile as that which you banish is licked and transformed by the Sacred Flame!