Ritual Posture: Poppy Woman

Poppy Woman

9.22.08 - Equinox - The figure of Poppy Woman was found in Crete, created by the Minoan civilization circa 1350b.c. She wears a headdress of poppy seedpods, known as "the plant of happiness". Poppy is a source for intoxicants (opium) as well as healing medicine. It is a symbol of fertility, slumber and reincarnation. For the Greeks, poppy is the flower of Demeter, Goddess of agriculture and fertility. This posture, with arms upraised like antennae tuning into the spirit realm, has been found carved on ancient temples throughout the Mediterranean region.

Research indicates that the posture often results in experiences of healing and transformation, as well as death and rebirth (such as by sowing and reaping). In our own group, some common themes included lightning, walking a path between darkness & light, spinning, connection to Mother Earth. Several participants reported sinking into the earth's core (or into the underworld), thence emerging again re-invigorated and full of radiant, healthy energy.

Here is an excerpt from my journey: I am face-to-face with the bear spirit who wraps his arms around me and proceeds to use his claws along my backbone to cut open and totally flay my skin - which he gently hangs up to dry on the cave wall like a coat. I am then instructed to roll around on the cave floor, coating myself with mud. Next I am wrapped in corn leaves like a Tamale. After some time has past, I feel as if I am sprouting and growing into the sunlight. I am a stalk of corn ripe for harvest...

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