Poppy – Papaver (various)
Planetary ruler: Moon
Magical properties: Love, sleep, money, luck, fertility, rebirth, grief, abundance.
The poppy is an annual plant and they are unmistakable at this time of year with their bright red flowers, although the cultivated varieties come in various other colours. They produce a huge amount of seeds which can be used in fertility, love, luck and money magic.
Poppies were a traditional offering to the Goddess Demeter along with corn. In the classical myth Demeter's daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades and taken away to the Underworld. Demeter sought her all over the length and breadth of the land, refusing to stop and rest. At last, she felt so exhausted that she sat down and rested for 9 days and nights. The Gods made poppies grow all around her feet and their soporific perfume sent her into a much-needed sleep.
In the ancient world, it was believed that the quality of corn would improve with poppies growing amongst it in the fields. The poppies are an emblem of Demeter, goddess of the harvest and Persephone the seed corn of the earth which grows in the spring and returns to the Underworld at the harvest.
Poppy seeds can be added to food to induce love and to help conceive a child.
Decorate your Lughnasadh loaf with poppy seeds to celebrate the harvest, if it's a hot sunny day you could leave it to rise outside to infuse it with the Suns energy.
Decorate your Lughnasadh altar with poppies to celebrate the harvest.
Sources: A KitchenWitch's World of Magical Herbs and Plants - Rachel Patterson Herbcraft - Anna Franklin & Susan Lavender