The Blue Lotus was very much revered in Ancient Egypt for it's beauty, potency and symbolism. In the ancient Temples of Egypt, there is hardly a monument to be found that doesn’t prominently display the Blue Lotus flower. It’s seen everywhere on pillars, thrones, stone altars, papyrus scrolls, and on the ceremonial headdresses of pharaohs. When they opened Tutankhamun’s tomb, even King Tut’s mummy was covered in what has become known as the Sacred Lily of the Nile. The Lotus Flower, known as Nymphaea Caerulea or the Blue Water Lily, symbolized creation and rebirth as it emerged from its primordial waters to bloom once a year for only 3 days. The plant was associated with the sun-god Ra as the bringer of light and the embodiment of the “perfection of wisdom.” (Source - Secrets of the Ancient Sacred Blue Lotus, by Kathy J. Forti)
The flower also plays a role in Buddhism, where it represents the victory of the soul over the senses, intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge. We also see the Lotus Flower used as a symbol for the 7th Chakra also known as the Crown Chakra. This is tied back to the metaphor of the Lotus rising from darkness to Light, as in becoming Enlightened which is the ultimate goal of the spiritual seeker.
I was very much driven to paint the Blue Lotus for all the reasons above, for it's symbolic nature and it's beauty. The Art of painting Mandala's is very meditative and cathartic in itself. You can sit with any completed Mandala in open eyed meditation and become very calm and peaceful which helps relieve stress and anxiety.
I am intrigued that I was called to paint this Mandala just prior to this time of global uncertainty with the spreading of a virus named the "Corona" Virus. Corona translates as Crown. It truly does feel like our lives are being turned upside down and dare I say outside in. We are all being asked to go "inside" to stay "Home". This just may be the catalyst for many to discover their inside world and may pose many questions about the meaning of life. We tend to ask these questions in times of great crisis and being faced with the impermanence of life itself.
Could the "Corona" virus be our Awakening?
This year of 2020 - (think 2020 vision) has certainly been an intense eye opener! We started the year with terrible bush fires that decimated our lands, many animals and many homes. Another symbolic meanings of the Lotus is that of "Purification".
Fires, while terrifying are also used in many traditions and cultures to purify and cleanse. Illness too is a source of purification. It is a way for the body to rid itself of built up toxins. Death of the physical body is the ultimate cleanse as we surrender to the will of the Divine and leave this earthly plane and return to spirit via the Light. Many who have had near death experiences describe this light as the brightest blinding light they have ever witnessed.
The Lotus is also a symbol of death and rebirth....out of the darkness and into the light.
We may feel we are in dark times now and no-one really knows what is up ahead. But, I have a feeling we could be experiencing a deep Awakening on a global scale. If the Lotus is any sign for us, then perhaps we can feel comforted in knowing that there is most definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Keep looking toward the Sun. Out of the muddy waters we rise just like the Lotus, cleansed and purified and ready for a brand new life.
Namaste (we are one)
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