Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile (Nymphaea caerulea)
Usage / Preparation
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Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile, Sacred Lotus, Blue Lotus, Lily, Blue Water Lily, Blouwaterlelie, Kaaimanblom, Frog's Pulpit, Paddapreekstoel, Blou Plomb, Izubu.
Enchanting, aquatic, yet not like water. Somewhat like river mud, yet clean. Floral, yet austere. Ornamental and sweet smelling. Its fragrance is almost creamy, with a sharpness hiding within, similar to that of a hyacinth, a loquat and even of a banana. A transcendent, ethereal, softly sweet, and uplifting bouquet.
The Blue Lotus is connected to the expansion of the higher mind. It eases the spirit out of the body and assists it forward towards its highest potential in the realm of Spirit. It offers one of the highest vibrations of any flower. It is the symbol of the victory of the spirit over the senses, of intelligence and wisdom, of knowledge.
As well as stimulating spiritual evolvement it acts as a "booster" to other flower essences by intensifying and spiritualizing their effects. Blue Lotus acts on all levels encouraging a gentle unfolding of the highest potential within the Self. Used as a fragrance in aromatherapy, Blue Lotus is purported to have a "divine" essence, bringing euphoria, heightened awareness and tranquility. It can be used to create a feeling of contentment and good health and for some works as an aphrodisiac. It was the Egyptian symbol for good health, good romance and birth. Blue Lotus is also a component of both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.
Nuciferin, Aporphine, Nurpharine, Nupharidine.
Fossil remains of the Blue Lotus, remarkably similar to today's plant, have been dated to the Jurassic period, and it was widely dispersed before the Ice Age, making it one of the world's first known flowering plants, if not actually the first. This gives an archaeological link to the central role played by the lotus in the creation legends of so many different cultures.
The Blue Lotus flower had a wide variety of uses and meanings to various cultures. They were used for artistic purposes, for symbols, to make bread, to make perfume, for healing and funerary purposes.
The Blue Lotus has had a profound impact on human society, and human civilization, including the Ancient Egyptians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the people of India, the Buddhists, the Greeks and numerous other cultures around the world.
The primary reason for the use of the Blue Lotus as a symbol by the Ancient Egyptians was because it symbolized the origin of life. According to Watterson, they equated the Creator-god with the Blue Lotus, which is believed to have emerged at some point in time from the primeval ocean. Nun-Ra, their primary god, was believed to have first appeared as a beautiful child floating on a great Blue Lotus. As a symbol of rebirth for the Kemet, the Lotus was closely related to the imagery of the funerary and Osirian cult. The Four Sons of Horus were frequently shown standing on a Blue Lotus in front of Osiris. The Book of the Dead contains references to "transforming oneself into a Lotus" and thus fulfilling the promise of resurrection. The Blue Lotus was found scattered over Tutankhamon's body when the Pharaoh's tomb was opened in 1922.
The precise use made by the Kemet of Nymphaea caerulea apart from in funerary rites is still being debated.
In Asia and Africa, the Blue Lotus symbolized immortality in recognition of the plant's ability to survive and resprout after long droughts, and the seed's ability to remain viable for many years.
In China it was regarded as a religious symbol, and a symbol of feminine beauty. Similarly in India, it was compared with the human female form, and in their legends they believe that Brahma, their creator of the universe, sprang from a Lotus-like blossom.
In view of the fact that people are represented sniffing Lotus flowers as early as the time of the pyramid builders, we are faced with a practice that could well date back to the dawn of civilization. At a time when man’s senses had not yet been pampered with products obtained through distillation, not to mention modern artificial preparations, sensitivity to natural scents must have been even more acute. When an Egyptian buried his nose in a Lotus flower, and perhaps kept it there for a while, the effect on him may well have been considerable, and the scent alone may have been sufficient to achieve an alteration of his consciousness.
Contemporary reference to the role of Waterlilies and Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum) in ancient Egyptian healing suggest the possible importance of these plants as adjuncts to shamanistic healing in dynastic Egypt. Although the usual interpretation of the Waterlily and the Mandrake has been that of a part of ritual mourning, it is argued that the dynastic Egyptians had developed a form of shamanistic trance induced by these two plants and used it in medicine as well as in healing rituals. Analysis of the ritual and sacred iconography of dynastic Egypt, as seen on stelae, in magical papyri, and on vessels, indicates that these people possessed a profound knowledge of plant lore and altered states of consciousness. The abundant data indicate that the shamanistic priest, who was highly placed in the stratified society, guided the souls of the living and dead, provided for the transmutation of souls into other bodies and the personification of plants as possessed by human spirits, as well as performing other shamanistic activities.
An aquatic plant of the family Nymphaeace. The Blue Lotus has pointed flowers and floating leaves with smooth edges, leaves broadly rounded, 25-40 cm across, with a notch at the leaf stem. The flowers are 10-15 cm diameter. The flower buds rise to the surface over a period of two to three days, and when ready, open in the morning and close in the early afternoon. The flowers and buds do not rise above the water in the morning, nor do they submerge at night. The flowers have pale bluish-white to sky-blue petals, smoothly changing to a pale yellow in the centre of the flower.
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|The Blue Lily, or Blue Lotus was the most sacred plant of Ancient Egypt. It was frequently depicted in works of art, where it is most often shown in party and other social scenes, and sometimes in scenes of sexual debauchery. The flowers were noted for their delightful perfume, suggestive of the sweat of Ra. "A divine essence, for bringing euphoria, heightened awareness and tranquility". Some people today believe that the Egyptians used this plant as a narcotic both for its healing qualities and as a recreational drug when soaked in wine, though this is a hotly debated topic.|