My first dirt doll was made with dirt, powdered bird poop, and the urine and other bodily remnants of my enemies. I stand by that recipe, given to me by elders, as one of the best.
At the risk of someone out there remembering where they met me, I’ll tell the story. At the tender age of 5, I was being picked on by some of the kids in the day care. Two were particularly troublesome. They would chase me around the yard, until I tripped and fell, and then laugh and call me a crybaby for crying. I decided to have my revenge.
Realizing they were stupid and gullible, I convinced them that I was playing a game of making soup for them. I dug two small holes in the ground, and made a show of putting in some leaves, some bird poop that I ground between two stones, and stirring and humming like a good mommy. I said, “Oh dear! I need water for the soup.” They volunteered and peed in the holes. Then I needed eyelashes. Then I needed a little hair. Then I needed some fingernails…
So I stirred and hummed, and added some dirt until I made a nice mud. They got bored and left. I made two little boy dolls from that mud and left it to dry. The next day I introduced them to their counterparts. Those two boys did everything I said until I left that day care.
Since then, my recipe has become a bit more refined, and my sculpting skills a bit better.
These recipes can be used to make dolls for humans as well as fetishes. If you’re in the diaspora, and you have sacred local places, you can use the dirt or dust from them to make a fetish for a local deity or spirit.
You will need:
- 1 cup of dirt
- 2 cups of plain white wheat flour
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar or citric acid
- 1 tablespoon clarified animal fat or palm oil
- 1 cup of sea water, or water that has been dedicated to Olokun or another Mother
- some personal effects from the person or things sacred to the spirit
- items to make a heart, brain, and other relevant organs for the doll
- Mix the dirt, flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a bowl, and then add the water. You may need to add more flour or water to make it more or less dough-ey. Knead until you have a dough you can shape well enough.
- Take a reasonable amount of the dough to make a doll.
- Light some incense for Eshu or your Gatekeeper.
- With a knife or some other pointed tool, mark the ball of dough with a symbol of Eshu or your Gate Keeper.
- Ask that Eshu connect the doll to the being to whom the personal effects or materials belong, and pass both through the smoke.
- Knead in the personal effects or materials.
- Pass the ball through the smoke again.
- Shape the doll into the appropriate form.
- Insert the heart, and then the brain, and then the other organs, passing each through the smoke, and speak words such as, “This is the heart of (Name),” before putting them in.
- Touch up the appearance of the doll, giving it eyes, a nose, a mouth, etc.
- Then pass the doll through the smoke again, saying, “This is (Name).”
- If the doll is for a spirit or deity you love, then give some love to the doll. If the doll is made to punish a person, then perform an appropriate punishment on the doll (in miniature scale of course).
- Then pass it through the smoke again. You may also wish to pass it through the smoke of incense of other deities, as appropriate.
- Thank Eshu and the deities for what they have done for you.
- Bake the doll or let it dry in the air to harden it.
If the person you have made the doll for has done something so terrible as to deserve death, and there is no way for them to redeem themselves, bury the doll in the cemetery or in a crossroads. Make sure to give Eshu and other appropriate Orishas or spirits, as well as the victims’ Ancestors good offerings for this. Do not look back at where you buried them for at least the rest of the night.
If the doll is to be kept as a fetish, then dress it nicely, and keep it well. Remember that it is a living being.
With fetishes, you can be creative and add essential oils, herbs, and other things the spirit will like.
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