The poppy flower tattoo symbolizes fruitfulness, fertility, oblivion, idleness. Also, the poppy, is a symbol of soldiers fallen during the last two world wars.
In art this is an emblem of Greek gods of a sleep (Hypnos) and dreams (Morpheus) and an allegory of Night – the symbolism based on the properties of the opium poppy which grew as a wild flower in Greece and on East Mediterranean and was used for grassy tinctures since the most ancient times. The poppy was also connected with the Ancient Greek goddess of agriculture Demeter (Ceres in the Roman mythology) and her daughter Persephone (Proserpine) – as a symbol of nature’s winter dream. Christians borrowed some aspects of this tradition, having made the red poppy an emblem of self-sacrifice of the Christ and «deadly dream». The poppy fields of Flanders on which took place bloody battles of both world wars, gave a new sharpness to this ancient symbol
Because of it color the poppy was connected with different “bloody” legends. So, in France there was celebrated a day of the termination of military operations – The Day of the poppy. An english poet Mckre wrote, that “in fields of Flanders between crosses red poppies blossom in numbers …” – After the battle at Nördlingen (1634г.) – one of the most bloody in Thirty-year war in Germany – next day the whole battle-field was covered with a lot of scarlet poppies. It has generated a myth as if the Earth has returned the died soldiers. They said that at Waterloo the Earth was red from poppies too.
The poppy has a great value in magic. However more often it was used the self-seeding poppy blossoming with white flowers. It is considered a strong remedy in love magic. The seeds have to be collected with own hand, in the evening, or the night of the growing moon, and it is obligatory to collect them in a palm of the right hand. According to the legends, for love attraction it is necessary to carry some seeds of a poppy in a pocket. The poppy is a ward from various evil spirits and protects from sorcerers, witches and evil eye. The poppy also protected people and cattle from snakes: on the eve of annual holidays it was spread in the house and fumigated, it was put on a window in order snakes not to creep in the house; it was spread around the cow in order not to be bitten by snake.
People tried to look in the future with the poppy’s help, for example, it was necessary to take a dry box with seeds, to do a small aperture and to remove the seeds, then to write a question on a small piece of yellow paper, to combine it and to place into the box. To put it near the bed and in the morning it is possible to learn the answer to a question from the prophetical dream. And if on the midnight of Christmas to stay at the crossroads of two roads with a mortar with poppy in it, and to strike three times with a pestle, then in the distributed deaf sounds it is possible to learn about the events of the coming year. Such custom of a guessing existed in Germany.
The poppy was also considered an unhappy flower.
In language of flowers a poppy tattoo means «to find a consolation in dream», and also oblivion, eternal dream.
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