History

 

Called a "lotus" known as a Nymphaea caerulea, which is known today as a water lily. This Blue Lotus was the most important cultivated (ritual) plant of ancient Egypt. You could see these water lilies growing wild in ponds, and were very popular in the Nile. The blue lotus flower was also artificially planted in built bodies of water. The blue lotus became very popular for its enchanting beauty and I would guess for also its psychoactive effects. This water lily was a very popular flower used in ceremonies having to do with death and birth. The great pharaoh Ramses II (1290-1223 B.C.E.) was made almost completely of white and blue lotus leaves.

These water lilies were also prescribed to treat certain medical issues. Blue lotus has been used to treat the liver, remedy constipation, regulate the urine, and also counter-act poisons. Both the petals and bulbs were used both externally and internally, the latter being primarily in the form of enemas. These are a couple reasons why this beautiful plant has been praised for some of its sacred healing properties. Disappointingly, the blue lotus flower has almost completely disappeared from the Nile region.

In Egypt the blue lotus had quite a relationship with the afterlife and rebirth. In many graves and tombs the blue lotus has been discovered as being used as decorations. The blue lotus flower was known to Egyptians as the union between Upper and Lower Egypt. From the Water's of Chaos, this is what the blue lotus meant in a spiritual/ritual sense:

 

In the beginning were the waters of chaos... Darkness covered the waters until... the Primeval Water Lily rose from the abyss. Slowly the blue water lily opened its petals to reveal a young god sitting in its golden heart. A sweet perfume drifted across the waters and light streamed from the body of this Divine Child to banish universal darkness. This child was the Creator, the Sun God, the source of all life.

So the Primeval Water Lily closed its petals at the end of each day... Chaos reigned through the night until the god within the water lily returned...

...the Creator...knew that he was alone. This solitude became unbearable and he longed for other beings to share the new world with him. The thoughts of the Creator became the gods and everything else which exists. When his thoughts had shaped them, his tongue gave them life by naming them. Thoughts and words were the power behind creation.

-The Waters of Chaos, Ancient Society

 

In relevance, the Egyptians saw the blue water lily open up each morning, with the blue petals imitating the sky and its yellow center representing the sun. Each afternoon the petals would close, to get ready for the next day. Therefore, the blue lotus flower was linked with the rising and setting of the sun. In another sense, the blue lotus flower also stands for the enlightened and reawakening of the consciousness of the deceased. There's a story of the battle between Horus and Seth, where the blue lotus flower appears as a symbol of the divine, all seeing eye. When Seth tracks down the resting of Horus beneath a tree, he rips both eyes from him and buries them in the sand. Later, the buried eyes transform into blue lotus flowers.

So what was the relevance of the blue lotus and the Gods? There was a portrait head of Tutankhamen that was discovered with his head emerging from blue lotus flowers. The blue lotus flower was also a symbol of the God Osiris. This was the God of the mystery cult, and was also the lord of beer and wine. The water lily was also associated with the sun God Ra as the bringer of light. As you will find in many pictures and portraits, the blue lotus flower will be portrayed together with yellow mandrake fruits and red poppy capsules. You will see them in scenes that have very artistic and shamanic visionary environments. These blue lotus flowers did have a lot of presence as an ornamental element on the capitals of columns in ancient Egypt and so on.