The Egyptian Blue Lotus (Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea), although called a lotus, is technically a water lily. Seshen, 𓆸 , is the hieroglyph of the Blue Lotus.
It is a flower that held such a reverence in ancient Egypt as to be carved on the walls and columns throughout the many temples across the ancient land, as well as included into sacred rites and initiations. It was used to make oils and incense for healing and ritual. It was an important symbol representing Upper (southern) Egypt. When the Blue Lotus was showed tied with the papyrus, the symbol of lower (northern) Egypt, it illustrated the unification of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
The Blue Lotus was a sacred and revered plant and symbol that represented the rising sun, resurrection/rebirth, and creation. It was believed that Re, the sun god, emerged from the Lotus that appeared out of the Nun, the primordial waters, at the beginning of time.
The Blue Lotus was deified as the god Nefertem, son of Ptah (creator god of the word) and Sekhmet (goddess of fierce compassion). Nefertem was revered as the Awakened One, likely because the flower itself awakens each morning by opening its petals and exposing its brilliant yellow center with the first light of the sun.
The Blue Lotus once grew along the banks of the River Nile and thrived in the marsh area left from the annual flooding. While the flower has long since stopped growing along the riverbank as modern civilization encroached and the many damns on full length of the river changed the river's conditions, there are those in Egypt who are bringing it back by growing it in ponds in various places around the country.
This image is Nefertem with the Blue Lotus upon his head. (Wikimedia Commons)
"O you two combatants, please tell the noble one, of whatever identity, I am that lotus that rises clean from the earth.
I am received by the one who made my seat: I am the one at the great controlling power’s nose.
I have come from the Isle of Flame, having put Ma’at in it in place of disorder.
I am the one to whom belongs the linen that the uraei guard during the night of the great flood that comes from the great goddess.
I appear as Nefertem, as the lotus at the Sun’s nose when he emerges from the Akhet every day, at the sight of whom the gods become clean.”
- from The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, Second Edition, by James P. Allen
(Image: ©Zahra Indigo - inside the pyramid of Unas)
The seed can only germinate and sprout under the water in the the mud and muck. There comes a point when the seed yearns for something more though all it knows is its tiny form surrounded by the darkness. The yearning becomes so great that it cracks open and sends a root down while a sprout reaches up through the water. The leaves and flower buds then breaks the water's surface. The tight buds begin to loosen to then bloom under the heat of the sun, releasing its brilliant glowing center and fragrance to attract pollinators. The flower then becomes the vessel of the seeds, which sinks to the mud to begin the process once again.
The growth of the Blue Lotus can be a reflection of our connection to our awakening intrinsic nature. It is an apt metaphor for our personal growth and development. Initially, there is an intention (the seed) which germinates within us. With attention intention will crack open, root, sprout, and grow. The intention gains goals and insight (the buds). With time, focus, and action, solutions and realizations bloom (the flowers). As the intention comes to full manifestation as the flower, new ideas or needs may arise (the seed).
When you follow the Blue Lotus' cycle in your life, you will become an Awakened One, like Nefertem, to achieve wholeness & presence in ALL you do.