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Do-it-yourself projects and plans for anyone who can swing a hammer.

Combining Intuition and Skill to Create Healing Dolls

a variety of healing dolls

I love gardening. I love arting just as much. When the two of them are allowed to dance together, magic happens.

An online friend recently shared one of her passions with me (and a group of fellow online doll makers)—making healing dolls. Crystal was kind enough to share her process with our small group and has given her blessing for my sharing her wisdom with this wider audience. As far as we’re concerned, Mother Earth and her inhabitants always benefit from abundant healing energy floating around.

Not only am I able to combine my garden and arting passions in this project, but I also have the added opportunity of infusing my energy work—a triple pleasure! I use sweetgrass and sage from my garden along with my sewing skills and weave healing energy into every stitch to create tiny bundles of support for others desiring help. What could be better?

If you’ve never made a doll before or don’t really sew, do not stop reading. The following instructions are wide-open (and meant to be) so you can use your own particular talents and skills to create unique dolls. If you decide that you’d rather ask someone else to create the doll, I’ll be happy to help. You can visit my website to see more about our made-to-order healing dolls.

My friend Crystal learned early in life to follow her feelings when creating. Crystal’s Cherokee memaw (and other beloved elders) have imbued in her vast amounts of wisdom about plants, healing, and tradition throughout her life. Crystal draws on all of this when making her dolls. One of her mentors, Nora Whiteowl, teaches that all you need are positive intentions and healing prayers put into the doll as you work.

stick healing doll

Crystal’s Doll-Making Pointers

Most important when creating your doll:

To have positive healing intentions flowing from you into the doll as you create it.

To use cleansed materials (Crystal smudges and purifies according to her Native American traditions).

Keep it simple and follow your intuitive voice as to what is included in the doll.

Specifics to take into account:

The finished doll should measure 3-1/2 to 4 inches tall, small enough to hold in your hand.

Create it from anything you are called to use when considering who or what it will be used for.

Feel free to include dried healing herbs or plants.

Putting a tiny medicine bag (which includes a quartz point or chip to amplify the healing) behind the face may be beneficial.

General guidance:

As you create, sew, and stuff the doll, continue sending positive healing intentions into it. If you use prayer, feel free to include positive prayers for healing—on both physical and mental levels. You want to basically create the doll in positive intentions for health on all levels.

As you seal the doll (sewing it closed), imagine that you are sealing in the healing medicine—free to be released later to the intended receiver.

Healing dolls can be carried with the person needing the healing but often work best sitting near them as they sleep.

If you don’t sew, don’t worry. Healing dolls can be crafted by combining two sticks and adding a head of bundled herbs (see photo above). Remember, it’s all in the intention. Imagine healing energies flowing from the universe through you and into the doll. Creating a doll for yourself, a loved one, or anyone needing an extra boost can be invigorating.

Dolls need not be complex, as you can see from the collection in the first photo. Crystal tells us, “I think the most important thing about creating these is not to copy mine; you are creating her, not me. You create the doll the way you see her. As you create your healing doll, you are putting your healing energy into her. We, as women, are great healers and all have that power within.”

Remember, intention is very important. You want positive energies and hopeful prayers going into the doll. Some of us view this kind of creating as a sacred act. While fashioning each piece of the doll can be a separate act of intention and can be purified and sacred unto itself, setting a strongly positive intention about the outcome can be enough for beginners.

As I stated earlier, I use sweetgrass from my garden when making my healing dolls. The photo below shows some of my sweetgrass drying in the sun on the altars of the four directions in my Sacred Fire Circle. When harvesting sweetgrass, I thank the grass, the wisdom keepers, and Spirit for sharing this sacred gift with me. It means a lot to me to be able to set it out in the sun around my Fire Circle as I feel it boosts the healing power.

Including pieces that you have grown or harvested with care and intention can help add to the medicine of your doll. Even if you’re not a gardener, or if you want to help a child create their own doll, you can include medicinal plants in your doll. The simple stick doll, pictured above, has two types of plantain flowers and red clover in the head.

I want to send a special thank you to Crystal for sharing with us! What a special treasure you are gifting to others. Thanks also to Christine for sharing a photo of the healing doll she just completed. May these instructions help us all to bring more healing and positivity to the universe!

drying sweetgrass sacred fire circle

Photos by Christine, Crystal, and Blythe Pelham

Blythe Pelham is an artist that aims to enable others to find their grounding through energy work. She is in the midst of writing a cookbook and will occasionally share bits in her blogging here. She writes, gardens and cooks in Ohio. Find her online at Humings and Being Blythe.

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