Common poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is one of the easiest flowers to learn to recognise. Few flowers are this brightly red. You may recall from last week’s post about rosebay willowherb that I had found a poppy growing by the front gate. It turns out to be a whole colony of poppies growing along the front wall and as the first poppy dies, others are popping up all over the place in front of our house. It’s hard to explain how happy and elated this makes me feel. It’s a true blessing since poppy is associated with my tutelary deity, Hekate.
Common poppy has many aliases: corn poppy, field poppy, red poppy, corn rose, wild poppy and flanders poppy.
Papaver rhoeas is an annual that flowers in the summer, between June and September in the UK. The hairy stem grows to about 70 cm and holds a large, single flower between 5 to 10 cm across. The four overlapping petals are bright red and usually display a black spot at the base. Each flower lasts only for about a day but a single plant can produce up to 400 flowers if the weather is warm.
The seed pod is a 1-2 cm long, ovoid and hairless capsule.
Health Benefits of Rosebay Willowherb
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Please consult your GP or a licensed herbal practitioner before you commence any type of herbal treatment.
Not to be confused with opium poppy, common poppy does contain the alkaloid called rhoeadine which is a mild sedative, but much milder than opium and not addictive.
According to Culpeper’s wild poppy seeds and petals can be made into ‘a syrup to stay catarrhs and defluxations of rheums from the head into the stomach and lungs, which causes a continual cough, the forerunner of consumption.’
It is the flower petals and seeds that are used medicinally. Historically, one of the primary uses has been used for pain relief. You can more read about the health benefits of common poppy HERE.
Common Poppy Tarot, Angel & Chakra Correspondences
Culpeper’s has the Moon as the planetary correspondence for wild poppy. However, since red poppies have been associated with the dead and were often given as offerings to the dead in ancient Greece and Rome, I feel that Pluto – magickally speaking – might be a better correspondence.
The red colour of the poppy heals and energises and regenerates a depleted root chakra. The four petals are a symbol of the stability of this chakra.
The corresponding Tarot card would be Death (Scorpio, ruled by Pluto).
The Archangelic ruler of Pluto is Azrael. Because of the strong connection with fallen war heroes here in the UK, I also feel a correspondence with Camael, ruler of Mars (the warrior angel), is in order. Incidentally, in ancient Astrology, Mars is the ruler of Scorpio.
Magickal Uses for Common Poppy
The seeds can be used for spells to improve sleep, as well as in fertility spells.
The seeds can also be used to cause confusion when you need to buy more time. If you find yourself in a legal bind, you can use poppy seeds, mixed with black mustard seeds to confuse the court and ensure that you walk free (source: Herbal Riot)
Poppy seeds can also be used for baking ritual cakes where underworld deities are invoked. The ones you buy in the shop are most likely from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum).
As a devotee to Hekate, poppy will always be one of my favourite flowers for the altar. Although, I must admit I would rather leave them where they have started growing now to keep the feeling that Hekate has blessed our home!
Unicorn Blissings ✨🦄✨
Lisa (aka Kallista)