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Author Topic: The Lotus as a Symbol  (Read 2224 times)

Aster Breo

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The Lotus as a Symbol
« on: November 13, 2014, 03:32:08 am »
I'm looking for info on the symbolism of the lotus, especially the less well known uses.  

I'm aware of the symbolism of the lotus in Asian cultures -- which is fascinating -- but I'd like to learn more about how this symbol might have been used in other cultures or geographic areas.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Oaksworn

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2014, 04:52:46 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;165136
Any suggestions?

 
I rather like the symbology of the lotus myself.  The aspect that comes to mind right now is that the seed can be dormant for quite a long time before it bursts forth to grow.  Once it does, even though it started buried in the muck, it produces a gorgeous flower.

According to Ellen Dugan's Cottage Witchery, pg 13, the lotus pod is also used to symbolize good luck and blessings.

Dorothy Morrison in her Every Day Magic, suggests lotus be combined with cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh and pine to banish destructive entities (pg 65); carrying a piece of lotus root to dispel gloomy thoughts, lift the spirit (pg 128) and clear the mind (pg 218).

That's about all I have close to hand at the moment.  If I come across anything else, I'll be sure to add it in here.
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Tom

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2014, 07:41:19 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;165136
I'm looking for info on the symbolism of the lotus, especially the less well known uses.  

I'm aware of the symbolism of the lotus in Asian cultures -- which is fascinating -- but I'd like to learn more about how this symbol might have been used in other cultures or geographic areas.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

A book I had read earlier this year Seven Flowers: And How They Shaped Our World by Jennifer Potter, included a chapter on Lotuses, which covered more than one species of Lotus, both the one natively found in Egypt and the one native to Asia and what it's meaning has been. The book focuses a lot on European culture and modern culture in the later parts of the chapter, but it does talk about about what the lotus meant in Ancient Egypt as well.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 07:41:48 am by Tom »

Aster Breo

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2014, 08:14:52 am »
Quote from: Oaksworn;165137
That's about all I have close to hand at the moment.  If I come across anything else, I'll be sure to add it in here.

Thanks!  I'll check those books out.
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Aster Breo

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2014, 08:15:35 am »
Quote from: Tom;165142
A book I had read earlier this year Seven Flowers: And How They Shaped Our World by Jennifer Potter, included a chapter on Lotuses, which covered more than one species of Lotus, both the one natively found in Egypt and the one native to Asia and what it's meaning has been. The book focuses a lot on European culture and modern culture in the later parts of the chapter, but it does talk about about what the lotus meant in Ancient Egypt as well.

Thanks!

Does it talk about the lotus in European culture?
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Tom

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2014, 10:04:00 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;165144
Thanks!

Does it talk about the lotus in European culture?
Yup! It also talks about the how the two species gets confused or differ and I think there might be some stuff about the Middle East as well. The other chapters regarding other flowers are pretty interesting as well!

Aster Breo

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2014, 12:06:41 pm »
Quote from: Tom;165149
Yup! It also talks about the how the two species gets confused or differ and I think there might be some stuff about the Middle East as well. The other chapters regarding other flowers are pretty interesting as well!

That sounds like what I'm looking for. That book is going on my Christmas list.  ;-)

Thanks.
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Redfaery

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2014, 02:01:24 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;165136
I'm looking for info on the symbolism of the lotus, especially the less well known uses.  

I'm aware of the symbolism of the lotus in Asian cultures -- which is fascinating -- but I'd like to learn more about how this symbol might have been used in other cultures or geographic areas.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!


Alas, all I can give you is Asian lotus lore, but I might have some tidbits that are less well-known? For example, lotus seeds are commonly used to make prayer beads. The materials used for the beads of a mala are supposed to make certain prayers more effective. Lotus seeds were, I believe, supposed to be an especially auspicious material in general.
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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2014, 07:14:17 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;165136
I'm looking for info on the symbolism of the lotus, especially the less well known uses.  

I'm aware of the symbolism of the lotus in Asian cultures -- which is fascinating -- but I'd like to learn more about how this symbol might have been used in other cultures or geographic areas.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!


I don't know about Lotus specifically, but I do know that water lilies were important for the Maya. Water lilies could purify standing water making them essential for maintaining a healthy water supply. They are frequently depicted in Maya art and Maya lords used to wear water lilies as a symbol of their power and connection to nature.

Darkhawk

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2014, 03:34:07 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;165136
I'm aware of the symbolism of the lotus in Asian cultures -- which is fascinating -- but I'd like to learn more about how this symbol might have been used in other cultures or geographic areas.

Any suggestions?

 
I don't have specific text references for lotus symbolism, but it's my preferred religious symbol.  (Though technically the Egyptian lotus is a water lily, not a lotus.)  One of the Egyptian creation myths has, in the first time, a sky-blue lotus opening to reveal its golden heart (the sun/sungod).  The Egyptian blue lotus is a gorgeous plant.

The blue and white Egyptian lotuses are - the blue blooms in the day, the white at night, so there's that lovely dualism to them.

The lotus was considered an aphrodesiac to the Egyptians (and thus tied in with everything they linked to sex, which includes rebirth as well as the obvious creation aspect); there is some evidence of psychotropic effects, though they're mild (sedative/euphoric, I believe) and the relevant compound is alcohol-soluble and thus the ancient preparations were mixed with wine (also sedative/euphoric, so, well).

The god of the lotus is Nefertem, who I have whimsically described as "the ancient Egyptian god of aromatherapy".  He is portrayed human or lion-headed, generally; like most lion gods he has a fierce/terrible aspect but he is also a healer.

Googling on 'Egyptian lotus' and/or 'Nefertem', 'Nefertum', or 'Nefer-tem' can get a handful of links to peruse.  I can see if I can dig up useful references when I have more brain available.  (Not currently.  Invaded.)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Aster Breo

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Re: The Lotus as a Symbol
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 09:38:32 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;165451

Just a quick thanks to everyone who has replied.  

This has all been very helpful. I have some more research to do. ;-)  I think I need to look into water lilies more generally.
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

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