Magical Poppy by Eva Rose
Taken from Eva Rose's Flower Magic Branch Class Workbook..
Once again, I am going with what I have - while I am quite drawn to Iris, and Jasmine is a lovely scent, the Poppy is what I have available currently. Also, since our lawn is “natural”, we sprinkle wild flower seeds throughout the lawn (or at least, the previous owners did so and we plan on continuing that this year). The wild lawn mixes here almost always have poppies in them (side note: it is incredibly popular in Switzerland to have natural spaces all over the place - wild flowers grow everywhere, even in cities). Poppies are also seen in almost all farmer’s fields of grain as well. In August, it is so beautiful to see golden fields of grain sprinkled with bright red spots from the poppies.
In researching the folklore associated with poppy, there are some interesting superstitions: Pick a poppy and you may be struck by lightning or wake up covered in warts! Ugh!
In love divination, if you hold a petal in your left palm and strike it with your right palm you will know if the object of your affection returns your emotion: if it makes a sound, then they do, if it is silent, then there is no love from them. To me, this seems like it really depends on how hard you clap your hands!
Poppy, of course, has been long associated with opium, but that is just one type of poppy - the other varieties also have sedative properties, but in much smaller amounts. These can be used safely in your home apothecary. I look forward to trying some myself later this year. Once recipe I found (The Handmade Apothecary) recommends combining dried flowers or seed heads with chamomile and linden blossoms (lime) for a good bedtime tea. Add a bit of magical energy to it, and I think it would be a wonderful way to have sweet dreams!
In Entering Hekate’s Garden, Brannen states that Poppy is sacred to both Demeter and Persephone as well as Hekate. This is interesting, since my March Goddess (for the Arc of the Goddess course) is Persephone. She also states that the elements corresponding to Poppy are not only water but fire as well. When I was preparing the bagels below, and meditating on Poppy, I definitely got the sense of Fire. This made me second guess myself, as I knew Poppy was associated with Water. It was nice to later reaffirm my intuition by reading Brannen later. She also has an interesting Deathwalking oil and ritual that features Poppy, but it is one area that I am not in the mood to look into at this time.
Magically, I associate poppy seeds with money and abundance - things I also associate with bread. One of the most magical forms of bread for me is sourdough - creating a starter takes not only the local yeast into itself, but also the magical energy of your house as well. Therefore, I decided to make sourdough bagels topped with poppy seeds. Since bagels are round, they are kind of like coins as well (more money connotations).
With each step, I focused on the energy of abundance. While the bagels were at the boiling stage, I held the poppy seeds in my hand to charge them with my intent, and visualizing wealth and abundance coming to us as I sprinkled them on the wet bagel, chanting various things such as “wealth and abundance come to me, poppy seed set us free!”. As the bagels bake and rise, visualize the energy of the poppy baking into the bagel itself.
The recipe itself (without the poppy seeds and magic) was given to me right at the first lockdown of 2020. I was complaining to my fellow sock knitters that I couldn’t find any yeast on the shelves of any of the stores. So one of them gave me this recipe. I kept the starter alive for a bit over a year, but then last summer, during the chaos of the move to a new house, the starter died. I spent the past 2 months trying to get a starter going again, and finally did! This is the first baking done with the starter from my new house. I actually find it appropriate that I had to make a new starter, as the old one probably carried too much negative energy from the last place we lived.
Abundance Sourdough Bagels:
150g starter (I used 70g and it worked though)
250g warm water
24g sugar (I used 12g)
500g bread flour
1-2 Teaspoons poppy seeds
-Whisk starter, water, and sugar together with a fork. Add flour and salt. Use stand mixer or hands to form a stiff dough. Cover with damp towel and rest for 45 mins.
-After resting, work the dough into a ball. Let bulk rise for 8-10 hours, covered with a damp towel, until the dough is doubled.
-Turn dough out onto unfloured surface, flatten into a rectangle, and divide into 8 pieces. -Roll each piece into a ball, then let rest for 10 minutes. Start boiling water in a medium pan, dissolve honey in it. Preheat oven to 425 (220C)
-Poke a hole in each ball of dough, and gently work it until the hole is as big as a walnut. -Cover shaped dough and let rise for 15-20 mins until slightly puffy.
-Boil bagels for 30 seconds per side (I did 2-3 at a time) and put on sheet pan. Immediately sprinkle poppy seeds on top while still wet.
-After all are boiled, bake for 20-25 minutes.
Photo of poppy flower by Eduardo Goody on Unsplash