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These plants, funghi and insect illustrations
are part of my botanical oracle deck

Papaver somniferum | Opium poppy

Updated: Jun 4

Papaver somniferum, commonly known as opium poppy, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Papaveraceae family. It is native to the Eastern Mediterranean region and is widely cultivated for its medicinal and ornamental properties.

Botanical Information:

  • The plant can grow up to 1.5 meters tall and has deeply lobed, blue-green leaves.

  • The flowers are large and showy, with petals ranging in color from white to pink to purple.

  • The plant is grown primarily for its latex, which contains opiates used for pain relief.


Medicinal Uses

Opium poppies have a long history of medicinal use. The sap from the unripe seeds has been used to produce opium, which is a powerful pain reliever. Opium is also used to treat coughs, diarrhea, and vomiting. However, opium is addictive and can be dangerous if not used carefully.


Magickal Properties

Opium poppies are associated with dreams, sleep, and psychic abilities. They are also associated with the following magical properties:

  • Dreams: Opium poppies are associated with dreams and are often used in spells to induce lucid dreaming or to dream of the future.

  • Sleep: Opium poppies are associated with sleep and are often used in spells to promote restful sleep and to relieve insomnia.

  • Psychic Abilities: Opium poppies are also associated with psychic abilities and are often used in spells to enhance intuition and divination.


Elemental Correspondences

  • Water: Opium poppies are associated with the element of water because of their milky sap and their connection to the unconscious mind and dreams.


Planetary and Astrological Correspondences

  • Moon: Opium poppies are associated with the moon because of their association with the unconscious mind and dreams.

  • Cancer: Opium poppies are also associated with Cancer, the astrological sign associated with nurturing, compassion, and sensitivity.


Associated Deitites and Traditions

  • Hypnos: Opium poppies are associated with Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep.

  • Morpheus: Opium poppies are also associated with Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.

  • In some contemporary pagan and new age practices, opium poppy is used in rituals for sleep, dreamwork, and psychic abilities. It is also sometimes used in rituals related to death and transformation.


Uses in Rituals, Spellwork and Magic

Opium poppies can be used in a variety of rituals, spellwork, and magic. They can be used to induce lucid dreaming or to dream of the future, to promote restful sleep and to relieve insomnia, to enhance intuition and divination, and to connect with the unconscious mind.


Examples of Use

  • To induce lucid dreaming, add opium poppy seeds to a dream pillow or carry an opium poppy bulb.

  • To promote restful sleep, add opium poppy flowers to a sleep bath.

  • To enhance intuition and divination, add opium poppy infused oil to a divination ritual or use opium poppy seeds in a scrying bowl.

  • To connect with the unconscious mind, meditate with opium poppy fragrance or burn opium poppy incense.




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