This post is also available in: French
In Egypt you can find three kinds of lotus:
- The white Lotus : nymphea lotus often featured in Ancient Egyptian art. Scientificlly it is more a waterlily than a lotus.
- The Pink Lotus : Nelumbo Nucifera, introduced to the country during the Persian period (517 BC). So it is recent. And by modern standard the only true lotus.
- The Blue Lotus: nymphea caerulea: The most sacred of the three.
Now very rare but very important as you will discover now.
Why was it so sacred ?
Observing the flower: in the evening the lotus closes its bloom and dips below the surface of the water only to reemerge and bloom again in the coming morning. For the Ancient Egyptians: it is a symbol of rebirth : The creator god emerged from the chaotic waters of Nun, he creates an order and in the process creates Egypt. So it is a symbol of resurrection and much more than that.
According my research, the lotus was taken as a symbol, the memory of a very important event for the Egyptians: the victory over big floods… Their survival in those very dramatic events: this flower dips below the surface of the water and the next morning reemerge. Do not forget that the blue is also the color of invisibility and subterranean world for that the bodies of Osiris, Isis, Ptah are depicted in blue…It means that they stay under the earth.The blue lotus was said to arise from the depths of the primevol waters of the cosmic womb of creation: the NUN. The Egyptian population came back to the womb of Mother Earth in order to survive during very big floods. But blue lotus was not only a symbol:
Alike the honey the blue lotus seeds were very important food to survive in the underground facilities during the flood. Also because the lotus seeds can sustain themselves for many years (500 to 1000 years) and so are used for re-germination. Those seeds contain substantial amount of protein (about 20%) so it is known for its nutritious value too.
The blue lotus was equivalent to the breath of life for the ancient egyptians. It is the symbol of the victory of life and beauty…Look at the egyptian artwork such as the head of Tut rising from a lotus blossom ( as in the picture above) and the statues of Buddha often seen seated on lotus flowers. There is a quotation from Buddha in 536 BC: « Water surrounds the lotus flower but does not wet its petals »
Then there are the medicinal properties :
- lotus was used by the ancient egyptians as a true herbal to treat liver disease infusing the bloom in wine
- Consumption of lotus seeds helps in clearing and dissipation of heat.
- It’s nutritious power is known to be health restorative therefore a sexual stimulant.It is also an antispasmodic, relaxing the nervous system. The mummy of Azru a priestess of Khonsu the moon god, was found to contain the substances of blue lotus seeds.
But to this day, one of the most sacred plants is used as an intoxicant and a psychoactive drug and that is a complete corruption of what was the teaching of the Ancient Egyptians.
Actually,the spiritual gift of this blue lotus is hidden not in its drug but in its scent. Its fragrance is so refined , subtle and special that it was known that only trained persons were able to smell it. Trained persons or very spiritual beings. When you are able to smell it it gave to you an incredible focus on everything.
For years I trained to smell the scent of the blue lotus and I can say that what is amazing is that this so light scent became for me very strong, very powerful and I can feel it now, at several meters away, it is just amazing, and I can confirm the focus that gives this perfume. (I tried with very pure concentrate that is found only in Egypt, from highly specialized perfumeries)
Text & photos & collage by Gigal
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This post is also available in: French