'HYPNOS was the god or personified spirit (daimon) of sleep. He dwelt in Erebos, the land of eternal darkness beyond the gates of the rising sun, & rose into the sky each night in the train of his mother Nyx (Night). Hypnos was often paired with his twin brother Thanatos (Peaceful Death), & the Oneiroi (Dreams) were his brothers or sons.
Hypnos was depicted as a young man with wings on his shoulders or brow. His attributes included either a horn of sleep-inducing opium, a poppy-stem, a branch dripping water from the river Lethe (Forgetfulness), or an inverted torch.
His Roman equivalent was Somnus or Sopor.'
'Cruel, to tear or mar
The chaliced nenuphar;
Cruel to press The rosebud; cruel to scar
Or stain the flower-star
With mad caress.'
Wrote Aleister Crowley in his poem 'Red Poppy' in 1906.
'In ancient Greece Poppies were considered sacred to Hypnos, the God of sleep. Ancient imagery often depicts Hypnos with Poppy heads in his hands & adorning his head. The doorway to his drowsy realm was also surrounded with Poppies. He brought prophetic dreams & soothed the pain of those suffering from emotional agony. The Romans knew this God as Somnus, a name which still echoes in Poppy's Latin name 'Papaver somniferum' - somnus ferre - bringer of sleep. But Poppy was also associated with Thanatos, or Hades the Lord of Dead & of eternal sleep, for it can also bring death. Such myths reveal Poppy as a plant of the Underworld, associated with both temporal & eternal sleep. Indeed, some archaeological finds at ancient burial sites confirm Poppy's status as a sacred plant that was intimately connected with the rites of passage to the Underworld.'
'In the Mysteries of the Ancients, the poppy was the symbol of regeneration. The somniferous qualities of the plant expressed the idea of quiescence; but the seeds of a new existence which it contained were thought to show that nature, though her powers were suspended, yet possessed the capability of being called into a renewed existence. Thus the poppy planted near a grave symbolized the idea of a resurrection. Hence, it conveyed the same symbolism as the evergreen or sprig of acacia does in the Masonic mysteries.'
- Mackey's Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry
'Opium, from which morphine, heroin, codeine, & papaverine are derived, comes from the milky latex in the unripe seed capsule of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), which is native to Turkey.' - britannica.com
'& the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; & the voice of the bridegroom & of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.'
- Revelations 18:23 (King James Bible)