Powerful juju doesn't have to be complicated, but it does need to be a physical act undertaken with commitment and sincerity. You must commit to your magickal works if you want them to have any chance of succeeding.
I find powerful juju in the morning mist when I water my plants, flowers, and trees. I find powerful juju in the prism colors of bubbles I blow in my morning ritual space. Nature, trees, water, bubbles. I think we can all clearly see why those spaces would hold powerful juju. However, there is another space where I find super powerful juju, and that space belongs to dolls.
Dolls. Not everyone is akin to having dolls do magickal work for them. Some people are terrified of dolls, but for those of us who are not, making a doll into a powerful ally can be one the most rewarding magickal experiences one can have.
Dolls have been used as powerful forms of magick since humans first crafted images into clay. Dolls can be made from porcelain, fabric, or clay. They can be hand-stitched or made in a factory. They can be old dolls, antique dolls, or new dolls. They can represent protection, revenge, or love.
I didn't grow up playing with dolls. In fact, I found the act slightly abhorrent. I just didn't get it; carrying around a doll and playing with it seemed ridiculous to me. However, I did love stuffed animals, plushy toys you could hug and cuddle. Now that made sense to me. But dolls, and especially Barbie dolls, well, I just never connected to them as a child. Once as an adult I was taking a walk and I passed a window that was filled with naked Barbie dolls sitting on the sill. Now that I could relate to! That’s what I used to do with barbie dolls: just stand them around in places, naked! "I myself am strange and unusual," a quote from one of my favorite movies, Beetlejuice.
It wasn't that I couldn't relate to dolls, it's just that I didn't want to "play" with them. To me, they had another type of use: utility. Where this knowledge came from, I have no idea. It was something I was born with. What I did like to do is collect dolls, especially Black dolls. As we now say, "representation matters."
My oldest doll is a Black baby doll, which my mother gave to me when I was a child. For years she lived in a shoe box. I just toted her around from place to place, and somewhere along the way, her head came off!
I was sad when I saw her head disconnected from her body. I was overjoyed when I found a "Doll Hospital," near my home. Naturally, I took her in to see if she could be repaired. She was in bad shape. She had a disconnected head, and her clothes were super tattered. (As of this date that doll is 58 years old; she has been around quite a while!)
But something happened while she was at the Doll Hospital. First, she got misplaced. Hush, you say! She did. She went missing in the Doll Hospital. Next, someone tried to buy her. Thankfully the owner schooled me to never sell her—apparently, she is quite valuable. Also, because I had simply kept her in a shoe box for years and years, somehow, she had never deteriorated, which highly added to her value! I was very happy when her restoration was complete and I was able to pick her up, head re-attached and wearing brand new clothes.
Thus, from her, my little sweet Black baby doll, more and more Black dolls began to show up in my life. Sometimes they would come as gifts. Other times the doll would choose me. One might call my name at a Festival or an Event, created by an artist, just waiting for a new home.
Your special doll might be found in a bin in a secondhand store, or on display in a vintage, antique shop. It seems for those of us who work with dolls, they arrive in our lives at their own time and speed, ready and willing to become a part of our magickal family. Some dolls may just grace a table or a cabinet, looking pretty or giving us comfort through their presence. Other dolls, especially ones you may find yourself drawn to, to use for magick, may be intimidating to you, yet you can't help yourself from entering a relationship with it. Some dolls may freak others out, while to you they become an ally or a friend. Such is the case with a doll that recently became part of my doll family. I found her at an Oddities Expo. She looks as if she has been through a terrible life, her face bloodied and her mouth stitched, but to me, she just needed a good home and some love. Also, her maker was the sweetest woman, who also had her daughter working with her at the booth, so I knew it wasn't as if this doll had been abandoned, left in a spooky place to be found by some stranger. No. It was exactly the opposite. She had simply been made that way.
If you choose to work powerful juju with a doll for protection, I suggest spending some time first with your doll. Cleanse it with Florida water. Talk to it sweetly. Let the doll know you value their presence and their ability to become an ally. Build a relationship with it, before you magickally set its intention to be an ally of protection.
Once you've built your relationship, dress the doll with items that send the message that it is a protector. You could add bugs to your doll. You could sprinkle it with black salt or the graveyard dust of an ancestor. You could buy it new clothes, then smoke the clothes in a protective incense such as Dragon's Blood or Frankincense or Palo Santo.
Then, when you’re ready for your doll to go to work for you, set the doll out under the Full Moon, or on your altar for a night. Tell the doll of your intention, that it be an ally of protection for you.
Once its night of initiation is over, set the doll in the place you've chosen for it to be to your watcher, and most importantly continue to communicate with it on a frequent basis. You'll find that over time you may add or change things on your doll, in accordance with the seasons or feelings you may have regarding the work the doll is doing for you.
Najah Lightfoot is a multi-award-winning author. She is the author of the bestselling Good Juju: Mojos, Rites & Practices for the Magical Soul. She is a regular contributor to the Llewellyn annuals and a contributor to ...