The blue water lily was possibly also a symbol of sexuality – Dr Liz Williamson says that the flower “has a sort of Viagra effect”
In Egypt, two native species of lotus grew, the white lotus (Nymphaea lotus) and the blue lotus (Nymphaea cerulea). A third type, the pink lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) was introduced to the country from Persia during the Late period. All three species were depicted in Egyptian art (the pink lotus showed up in Hellenistic artworks), however the sacred blue lotus was the flower most commonly used and the one depicted in the hieroglyph.
As a symbol of re-birth, 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 lotus in front ofOsiris. The Book of the Dead contains spells for “transforming oneself into a lotus” and thus fulfilling the promise of resurrection.
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