Wednesday, 1 June 2011

English field poppies - perchance to dream ......


  Field Poppy - Corn Poppy - Common Poppy - call them what you will, they are a fragile herb of faery enchantment.  When I was but a faery-sprig, growing up as best I could in the 'modern-after-war-world' of anti-magic - I hardly ever saw them.
   Now it's quite startling to look down the lane which runs up from the stream and see crimson riots along the edges of the wheat fields .

  So what has changed?  Crop spraying has changed - just a little but it's making a difference. The farmers are beginning to leave the edges of the fields unpoisoned for wildlife. And farmers? May I say that wildlife appreciates it! How about a whole meadow here and there?

  Now the magics once more gather the poppy seeds for cooking, and stroke the white latex milk from the still green pepper-pot heads to use in dreaming, just as the ancestors did thousands of years ago. We might even give a dose of fresh scarlet petal tea for an elf with a sneeze or a cough. This flower is a gift to us from the dawning of awareness.

Illustration by Nellie Benson 1901 from 'A Flower Book'
Dumpy Books for Children

   Poppy is under the sway of Saturn, she is sacred to Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld and Innocence,  to Hypnos, God of Sleep and to Morpheus, God of Dreams.

Do you remember this?    The famous scene from MGM's 'Wizard of Oz' where Dorothy falls asleep in the poppy field sent by the Wicked Witch of the North to stop them reaching the Emerald City. Now that WAS magic. Refresh those memories and watch the scene on this link.

May the unblighted field margins grow ever larger, live long and even propser!

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