1. Become a DoA Archivist!
    Volunteers Needed!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. The Mod team regrets to inform the community that Mirodoll is now banned from Den of Angels. Please view the following thread:
    Mirodoll Banned from DoA
    Dismiss Notice

What superstitions or beliefs do you have about your ABJD...

Apr 18, 2008

    1. Ok, so there was a topic posted a bit of go about superstitions about dolls in general. And it was locked for being too general and thus considered off topic...

      But some people in the discussion posted specifically about their beliefs and its application specifically in regards to their ABJD... Which, these specific posts were essentially on topic, though the thread itself wasn't.

      >>So I'd like to redirect that thread and discussion specifically toward ABJD. Unfortunately, references to non-ABJD may make the thread off topic. So please only take into consideration your beliefs and relation to your ABJD or ABJD in general, rather than other dolls or dolls in general.

      What superstitions, practices or beliefs do you know of, have for or apply to ABJD specifically?

      Someone mentioned placing herbs and a stone in their ABJD's headcap to ward off possession of malignant spirits.

      I've spoken to one girl who uses her ABJD as part of her shrine and places offerings before them.

      The OP, Mikan, mentioned being warned against taking her ABJD out during the time of Hungry Ghosts for fear they would be possessed due to their detailed resemblance to people.

      Some of the superstitions reflected why I refrain from naming any of my dolls or future ABJD after deity. Because they do make ideal vessels and I'd rather enjoy my Alice without worrying about ticking off or offending ancestors.

      There area also those who believe ABJD either have a soul or can be imbued with one, and that they are capable of emotions such as love, hatred and resentment. This is actually the central concept of a Korean Horror movie about ABJD called "The Doll Master". (Watch it if you get the chance).
      From what I understand, this is also a central concept with the Volk's dolls and ceremonies and the idea of "adoption" rather than purchase.

      Another mentioned the belief that, due to dolls such as ABJD having prominant Yin energy, that they should be put to bed first, so that they don't keep you up. Which brings another interesting thought, do you put your dolls to bed? Why? I put Alice to bed, but until now I haven't really considered why I do it.

      What tradition, routine, practices, superstitions or beliefs do you have that effect or reflect how you handle, create or use your ABJD?

      Do you feel your doll is an individual all its own or one that you developed and created on your own. Do you think your ABJD has a soul or is it just a doll?

      Also, is your ABJD something you would consider a family heirloom? I'm particularly interested in what those who do believe the doll has a soul or is possessed by an entity feel about the idea of passing their doll on later in life.
       
    2. I'm not a very spiritual person, so I don't really have any superstitions, much less those that apply to BJDs. BUT, I do find them interesting. I like ghost stories and parapsychology, so I love to read/watch documentaries about haunted dolls and other objects...things that move on their own, cry, speak, etc. without any explanation. I won't discount a supernatural explanation, because I believe that this world is full of mysteries we haven't unlocked yet.

      And since I was a child, I've felt that my toys, dolls, etc. each take on a soul that's more a reflection of my own vitality rather than a true soul of their very own. It's the same with my BJD. She seems so alive, because she is alive in my mind. I imagine her talking, moving, and acting like a real person.

      Some of the things that've been done with BJDs, though, I consider to be pure silliness. Any sort of doll worship, or claiming that a doll is "posessed" or "harassed" by demons or ghosts without any evidence (I mean, sure, if you have a video of it walking across the room unaided, or several witnesses, that's great...otherwise who would believe you???) seem like more of a cry for attention than a genuine superstition or paranormal event ^^;;

      I really think it's going to be hard to keep this thread on topic...BJDs are such a small part of the rich doll culture...
       
    3. It's such a shame the other topic was closed as I was really enjoying it, I didn't feel it was particuarly OT. Such a shame :(

      Anyway, I don't have any direct superstitions but I do hope that my dolls could become hierlooms. I often joke with my hubby if we're watching Flog it! or something, that when I'm dead and gone our little boy will be Ebaying off my dollfies in the future! I'd be devastated!

      I don't think that evil would come into my dolls, they're very pure and gentle. Sharmin might be abit mischivious occassionally, but Viyol is so placid that she calms her.
       
    4. I'm really disappointed that the other thread was deleted; I found it to be fascinating, even though it encompassed dolldom as a whole, and not just ABJDs. Also, the disclaimer: these are merely my OPINIONS.

      ON SOULS
      Good art always has a 'soul' to it, and ABJDs are no different. First, the definition of a soul.

      –noun
      1.the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

      The 'souls' contained within a doll are to me grossly simplified versions of the souls that human beings seem to possess. (This isn't the doll's fault, mind you; I think it's lucky they have a 'soul' at all.) They are simple and lacking a group consciousness, all highly individualized depending on the ball-jointed doll's aura and experience in its existance (I hestitate to say 'life'.) Some molds may have a different feel than others. Also, doll that has been locked in a cabinet for years might have a very different feeling to its 'soul' than a doll who is taken out constantly to be played with.

      ... I'm just going to stop putting the quotation marks around the word soul now. Understand I use the concept loosely and to interpret an artistic feeling us as ABJD-collectors and hobbyists all clearly recognize. ... Otherwise we wouldn't enjoy this hobby.

      There are two things about the definition of a soul that I'd like to address, though. One, the fact that in most of the dictionaries I've checked (admittedly, only four) 'humans' are part of the definition -- that only humans can have souls. I believe that only humans can have complex souls -- but am also a strong believer that animals of all kinds have, at the very least, simple souls, too. So does art, even more simple than that of animals. So I suppose the theoretical line-up of souls would be thus:

      humans -> animals -> plant & other organic life -> art (ABJDs)

      The second part of my opinion I'd like to express is the part of the above definition that reads "seperable in existance from the body". I personally think that ABJD's souls cannot leave their bodies -- since, in essence, that is all they are (although the love of the creator who poured the mold and strung the doll and painted the face-up is inside of the doll, too). So in short, I believe that, were heaven to exist, dolls probably would not go to it as seperate entities. (Perhaps they'd join the masses of deceased plants and lesser animals whose consciousness joins together, maybe?? So theoretically, if we believe that ABJDs have souls, and that there is a 'heaven' of some ilk, then our dolls COULD go to heaven. Just not as I would prefer them to.)

      Forgive me for drawing upon Catholic school-bred ideals. @_@ I can't seem to get rid of them entirely, no matter how hard I try...

      So, question set one.... what I want to know from you. Please be polite and respectful if you choose to reply to these with your own opinions, no bashing. XD!

      1.) Do ABJDs have souls?

      2.) Do the souls 'feel' different depending on the mold & maker of the doll?

      3.) Assuming there is a heaven, would a doll soul be just as worthy as any other soul to join it?

      4.) If you don't agree that a doll's soul is 'less than' a human being's soul, why?

      ON MY PERSONAL LIFE WITH ABJDs

      I put my doll, Nachi (a Dollzone Shoyo head on a Doll in Mind Odelia body) to bed every night. I don't have much of a ritual for it, but I do tuck her in under my shirt and sometimes arrange her wig a bit. I also like to take her outside at least once a week to 'freshen up' her soul and reinvigorate the doll. (This may just be an entirely mental thing for me. I've always been an avid pet owner, and that may contribute to the fact that I take Nachi out often. o-O)

      I am always respectful to her. I never call her names, use curse words directed at her, or blatantly expose her nude form without cause. I treat her gently for the most part, as I would a small person, because I feel like the artist who made her at least deserves that.

      I believe that a doll is what you make it, but to the same extent, it depends on its 'life' thus far. If you're a doll's ninth owner, your doll probably already has a very strong personality to it. If you're the first owner of the ball-jointed doll, then you can probably influence the doll's soul more easily -- a doll who hasn't been around the block before might have a more malleable personality.

      I know that my dolls will be a family heirloom someday (if I ever choose to have a family), and I know that the 'soul' contained within will continue to exist as it always has.

      ~Apologies if I creeped anyone out, or offended them.~​
       
    5. Um...I would say that I believe my dolls have souls, but I don't find it necessary to think that deep about them, in terms of actually comparing them to human souls or wonder if they'll end up in heaven, things like that.

      So I guess I'll just resort to that I believe my dolls have their own characters and personalities? And I agree with Malignant Librarian that this personality is specific to each sculpt or even, to each doll...so that my dolls will not be able to go through sculpt replacement or even replacement with the same sculpt, since part of their trait is depending on the particular phyical identity that they came in.

      That said, I firmly believe that if I don't get around to spoiling them enough, they might strangle me in my sleep someday *laughs*.
       
    6. 1.) Do ABJDs have souls?


      I think they have the potential to develop one... But I don't know if I feel all do to begin with..

      2.) Do the souls 'feel' different depending on the mold & maker of the doll?
      I'm not sure, so far I've only ever handled Alice in person.

      3.) Assuming there is a heaven, would a doll soul be just as worthy as any other soul to join it?

      I'm not really sure how to answer this. As, even though I believe in an afterlife, I don't particularly believe in one universal afterlife. So I'm not so sure what I'd expect to become of a doll's soul after physical destruction or decay.

      4.) If you don't agree that a doll's soul is 'less than' a human being's soul, why?
      I'm not sure... I think it depends. My cat Freya, is very much a concious entity to me. She seems driven, snotty and very intelligent. And responds in kind to commands and easily makes it known what she wants in a very unfeline manner. (however, I also relate this to her name-sake)

      My other cat Kodak, on the other hand, seems little more than a lovable pet. Not all that bright or concious of the world outside her limited existance.

      I suppose I perceive the ABJD similarly. Some seem very vacant and less than comparable to humans, like Kodak. Others I'd perceive as having very human-like souls. Like that of what I perceive in Alice or Freya.
       
    7. There is only one real superstitious thing that I do for completed dolls (does not include heads or eye-less heads in particular, and that is that if I am in the middle of a project, and the doll is laying down, I feel that I should 'cover them up' for the night. Normally my dolls all stand up, or sit, all the time, but if one is laying down, particularly if they are naked, it just seems right to cover them.
       
    8. What tradition, routine, practices, superstitions or beliefs do you have that effect or reflect how you handle, create or use your ABJD?
      I don't have any traditions, practices, or superstitions about my doll, but I do have routines and beliefs.

      Routine - I like to put my boy Octavius to bed every night; he's put into pj's with a pillow under his head and blanket over him with a stuffed animal ((one just his size of course)) and everything. I also take him out of bed, dress him, and sit him comfortably in his chair every morning before I go out to do anything. This connects to my beliefs, of course...

      Belief - I believe that Octavius has a soul and a mind of his own, just like many others here do. I feel feelings comming off of him when he's angry or sad or frustrated or happy, ect. I can hear him in my mind, the things that he says he likes and doesnt like. Its nice really because he's like a little person. Of course, other people think this is simply 'bull' and think Im crazy, but I dont mind haha​

      Do you feel your doll is an individual all its own or one that you developed and created on your own. Do you think your ABJD has a soul or is it just a doll?
      Octavius was originally going to be a developed character of my own, but when I actually got him he turned out to have a mind of his own about just who he was and should be, and honestly Im not going to go and change him xD As seen before, I believe that they have souls-- they start out as a simple free-lance soul that, once we receive the right "body" for them, can come to life as their own being. I know, I can be a little creepy lol

      Also, is your ABJD something you would consider a family heirloom? (I'm particularly interested in what those who do believe the doll has a soul or is possessed by an entity feel about the idea of passing their doll on later in life)
      If I intended on having children or knew anyone in my life that would want 50+ dolls, i STILL wouldn't leave them in someone else's hands. They'll definitely ether become a musem collection ((PFFFFT Like that'll ever happen. Itd be nice, though)) or be burried with me ((screw that cremation shat)) with the threat that Id come back and haunt anyone who went against that wish! And people would believe me too, because everyone that I know often tells me that Im a creepy person lol
       
    9. Alright, this might be really putting myself out there, but I'm going to take the risk of being teased anyway.

      I read a lot of occult books, and I practice a lot of the things in them. There has always been things written about spirits of different entities possessing or being ritually drawn into objects. These objects have two popular forms: statues and dolls.

      This is basically the reason why I bought my BJD. He is being specifically customized to symbolize a particular entity.

      So this might put a new spin on what everyone in the thread here is posting about dolls having souls, but it is another way to look at it. Actually, before the other thread got locked, there was someone on there that posted something similar to what I'm saying. It's a little embarrassing for me to say all this, but... well there you have it.
       
    10. It's not so much a superstition, what I have. But I definitely believe in dolls having souls. For various reasons.
      As a child, I always thought my toys had their own life to them, especially ones I particularly loved. I'm not sure why, but I know other people have felt the same. I think manifestation of our own feelings of affection and love towards them contributes to the "development" of a doll's soul - which is why it's especially sad to see an abandoned doll or one that's been mistreated as opposed to one brand-new or just 'born'. I think the way they are threated influences the amount of 'life' they possess. The more treasured they are, the more life they have to them.

      That's not to say I don't think doll's don't have souls from the beginning, because I definitely think that. But I think a contributing factor to the strength of their life and soul depends on how they're treated and our own feeling towards them - a strong connection and love for a doll, for instance, as a sort of 'calling' for the spirit to leap into vibrancy.

      I'm probably earning a reputation as a "crazy doll lady" with all these kinds of posts I'm making regarding life and dolls, but I do mean what I say and I hope I'm not judged for it.

      And though it is easier to shape the way a doll's personality is when you are the first owner, I also think you can't have every say in it. I'm sure more than one of you have bought a doll with personality or look in mind for them, only to have for them turn into something completely different once they arrive - I think the doll's individuality plays into that a lot.
      And though I think an instance of negative feelings or possession by some evil entity is possible, I don't think it likely at all in this hobby. ABJDs are pretty well-loved by whoever buys them and they're usually made and sculpted with care. Unless someone completely neglects and mistreats their doll I don't think something like that could happen.

      1.) Do ABJDs have souls?

      Yes, I believe so. I think anything really could possess a 'soul', but BJDs specifically, because they're.. Well, they're special, aren't they? There's something about them. Each one has so much vivid personality and life. No two are the same. They can express emotions and provide comfort. I think BJDs have souls and personalities and little minds inside those resin heads. I am a very spiritual person in that sense, believing strongly in the power of the human mind and emotions, and in souls and spirits. "Impossible," some may say, regarding my opinion of them. But I stand by my opinion that each doll has a little soul inside their bodies. No, they can't move on their own and they don't breathe or have beating hearts. But I don't think those are the limits of life.

      2.) Do the souls 'feel' different depending on the mold & maker of the doll?

      I think the sculpt of a doll can influence some of the emotions they express best, but no, I don't think a maker or sculpt really changes who a doll is. For example, I don't think all Hounds have the same sort of personality or feel and I don't think all Dollshe's have the same personality or feel. I see something different in every doll and each one is unique depending on their past experiences, the way they're treated, the affection they receive.. Things like that.

      3.) Assuming there is a heaven, would a doll soul be just as worthy as any other soul to join it?

      You could ask the same question about animals, couldn't you? And some people do. But no, I don't think that's even a question. Of course I think they're just as worthy, why not? A dog has a soul, and people believe in their pets meeting them in heaven. Well, I think a beloved doll can be there as well. And I like to think that after I pass my pets, my family members, and my dolls will be there for me. And without the limitations of the living world, who's to say in wherever we go when we die they can't talk and move for themselves?

      4.) If you don't agree that a doll's soul is 'less than' a human being's soul, why?

      All souls are equal to me, be it animal, human, doll or otherwise. I don't feel like any soul is greater than any other. Some may call me crazy for this but that's how I feel. A soul feels and thinks and lives, a soul is a personality, and I don't think anyone or anything's soul is worth less or more.
       
    11. I had this same experience with my cat Meowzers. He was not Just A Cat. He was highly intelligent and I know for a fact that he understood most of what we said. If you want to talk about the complexity of the soul, his was just as complex as any humans. My other cats, though, never felt nearly as "awake" as he did, though I think some of his awareness rubbed off on Zuki.

      In terms of dolls...I don't know. I don't believe they have souls, no. But I think they have an energy all their own, like anything that has been given a lot of time and devotion by someone. I think inanimate objects are able to absorb the mental/spiritual energy we direct at them and collect it over time. This isn't anything super natural: energy is a very real phenomenon, and it CAN be passed along, as evident with electricity.

      Heat is energy, and things can absorb heat; electricity can be stored under the right conditions; so who's to say that the energy we put off and the feelings we emit can't be transfered?

      That's why I'm very careful to treat things with respect. Well, obviously you should treat your things with respect anyways, since it's a form of respect for yourself, but also I really don't want to "store" my negative feelings in the things I own, or in other peoples things. Animal and human shaped things in particular, since we already imbue them with a lot of life-like aspects. I don't have my own doll yet, but whenever I handle other peoples I treat them with as much respect as I would if they were another person because it makes me feel better to know I'm not being overtly rude to someone else's doll, even if they're not there to see me be so.

      In terms of OTHER superstitions: Well, this one is mostly a personal thing, but I no longer talk about exactly how much money I have saved for my doll, nor will I tell someone when I'm going to buy it when I do.

      Why? Because every time I've had the money and the doll was almost at hand, something came up that either took the money or took the doll out of my grasp. WHY? I don't understand! But it's gotta be some form of karma. It's only with BJD,too. I don't get it.

      Also, will NOT name my doll after any sort of Diety, whether I believe in them or not. *shrugs* Just a superstition.
       
    12. Thanks to everyone who replied to the questions in my post thus far, it's been really interesting to read your thoughts.
       
    13. I'm not superstitious so not, i don't think, or ever thought, that Kieran could be possessed by a spirit or anthing like that. I'm also not religious so i don't believe in heaven or soul for that matter, not in the way religious people do. Imo everything in the world is connected, everything is energy. Said that...

      I just posted in another thread saying that i looked at Kieran on his 1st day and he looked sad. It took a couple of day before i could 'feel' as if he was smiling. Kieran is a character i created over 3 years ago and only now i got him a physical body, so he wasn't created for this mold in particular. This doll is 2nd hand as well, so whatever the previous owner believed/did to him was still with him when i opened that box. Little by little I notice his changes and i wasn't the only one. Everyone who knew my character said that the doll looked more and more like Kieran... even physically. I didn't do anything to him, he is exactly the same as he was on his 1st day... same wig, same clothes, same eyes, same face up. Somehow tho, he HAS changed.

      Many bjd owners say they notice when their dolls are happy or sad, i'm no different, and it's not related to my own feelings, it's completelly random.... it's Kieran's feelings. So maybe he does have his own energy and he is linked to life like everything else is despite him being man-made.

      2.) Do the souls 'feel' different depending on the mold & maker of the doll?

      I don't think so. I think Kieran would be himself whatever his mold was. He was never meant to be a 2nd hand DZ Yuu... but now i can't see any other mold as being him. I believe Kieran's 'soul' would make any mold change to express who he is.

      What tradition, routine, practices, superstitions or beliefs do you have that effect or reflect how you handle, create or use your ABJD?

      I do put Kieran to bed everyday. He sleeps on his box... on his cushions, i don't box him in obviously. But before going to bed, i always cuddle with him a little bit, stroke his wig, fix it here and there, check his joints to see if they are not bending the wrong way, etc. Then, if i am actually going to sleep, i kiss his head and put him down on his cushions. In the morning i wake up and again, kiss his head and take him with me everywhere.
      I'm sure he looks tired in the morning. His hair is all messy and i fix it as i have breakfast.
      When i leave home and he has to stay, i put him on my bed and kiss him goodbye.

      I don't know why i do all that. I don't think about it, i just do it.
       
    14. I don't think I'm superstitious, but I *am* religious. At least, I'm trying to be, or starting to be, either. I'm largely a sceptic for supernatural matters, especially involving dolls. So I'll basically make everyone here hate me, because I'm kind of a cynic in the doll world, too.
      1.) Do ABJDs have souls?
      They are *fictional*. They are just as real to me as any other fictional character. They have a value, yes. They have a presence and a meaning, yes. A soul, no. That's going too far. The doll and the character may conspire to even give it some likes and dislikes- like kicking off a certain pair of shoes because it doesn't like it or preferring lots of black clothing. But it's nothing without the owner. It's you and your feelings that make it 'real', like the Velveteen Rabbit- it needs to be loved and taken care for. Personified, basically, which isn't hard for a doll- kids do it all the time. (Just mentioning the Velveteen Rabbit makes me tear up, OK? Sorry.) Dolls are still inanimate objects, but because they are human in form it's easy to get attached and to project. Humans are WONDERFUL in that they can do that but I don't believe a doll... has a soul. It's an inanimate object. It doesn't live. It doesn't have a soul. It's our observing it that makes it anything more than a heap of dressed up resin.

      2.) Do the souls 'feel' different depending on the mold & maker of the doll?
      Yes. It's mostly a visual experience, taking in a doll, it's part of the doll's nature.

      3.) Assuming there is a heaven, would a doll soul be just as worthy as any other soul to join it?

      ... Like I said, dolls don't have souls. If they did, of course, things would be different.
       
    15. I haven't had my dolls long enough to really think about this kind of thing in depth. They certainly have personalities, but I tend to anthropomorphise most things anyway. I guess it's a quirk, or maybe it has some deep-seated psychological explination... I'm not really savvy to that kind of thing.

      Anyways, the point I was getting to involves India, my Leekeworld Honey mod who arrived less than a week ago. She's a severely damaged doll (stained, horribly yellowed, sanded and modded in many ways), and she's been given a creative animal faceup to hide her flaws and give her another chance at being relatively normal. She's adorable, and from the moment I saw her I knew I had to bring her home.

      She arrived last monday and when I opened her box, I nearly cried. She just seemed so broken, so forlorn... like she expected me to reject her for how she looked, for how her head didn't match her body and how damaged she is. Like she expected me to be disgusted and turn around and sell her all over again.

      I don't actually know too much of her history. I don't know how many owners she's been through, I don't know why or how she was originially modded. I'd never even met her before and she instantly just gave me this impression, all this emotion...

      It really does make you wonder how much is psychological and how much, if any of it, is the doll itself...
       
    16. I think that doll owners tend to be people who anthropomorphise things. It's a GOOD thing. If we didn't anthropomorphise things like say, kittens, we wouldn't have housecats for anything other than keeping vermin out of the grain. If we didn't at one time in history look into the eyes of our newly born child and think 'cute!' we might never have learned to embrace. A baby doesn't look like a typical human and neither does a doll. Nevertheless, infants certainly have personalities in some form or another even if it's just us projecting. So can a doll.

      I confess I've read enough children's lit to find the death/loss of an anthropomorphised object one of the saddest things in the world. Like I said, Velveteen Rabbit? A mistreated doll yanks that heartstring in me really, really hard.
       
    17. Awww Kataanos, such a heartbreaking story of your doll. :( If I had felt that come from a doll, I`d be devastated. Poor thing... I would have shown it great love and done my best to make it feel pretty and loved again and never sold it. :)


      - I believe dolls have souls. Inside those changeable eyes that follow me everywhere is a spirit that is in need of love and attention, so I give them lots of hugs and kisses and talk to them. And in addition the doll have its on personality, that makes it one of a kind. I like it that no doll is the same, possessed by a different personality or spirit.

      If a doll didnt have those two things, I dont think I would have been into this hobby.
       
    18. I've sewn her two dresses already, and I've given her this tiny little bluebird pendant I used to wear as a child...

      She's settling in just fine. :)
       
    19. It's kind of the mark of a packrat to give personalities to things, and never throw them away...I always had a hell of a time selling toys at yard sales, because I could feel their hurt at my betrayal. My doll doesn't speak to me as much as my other belongings--even my backpack has a sarcastic voice--but I know he's aware, on some astral doll plane. It's partially his sculpt; a DollZone Yi, he has a calm Mona Lisa smile that looks sad, happy, whatever. He's very expressive. Simply because he's like that, I would have a difficult time selling or boxing him away...I would have to put something over his face so I wouldn't have to deal with 'seeing' his sadness. Dunno if I have any superstitions, persay, or if they're just 'normal' doll-owner schitzophrenia, but the faces of dolls, BJDs in particular, seems to give them souls. There was a belief in several Native American cultures that putting faces on dolls would invite souls into them, and the spirits would feel any pain the doll felt; sometimes I feel bad for the spirit that's moved into Ghost.
       
    20. In my opinion they don't have a soul, a spirit may be, and those two things not the same. I don't like to buy second hand dolls - or any other things, I can feel this energy from them and it makes me uncomfortable. Now I'm thinking about one doll who has a owner for this moment and if I will buy this dollie will get a ritual before I ll let her stay in my house.