The myths and the belief system in Ancient Egypt were an integral part of the daily life and developed simply from watching the forces of nature and their correlation to human life. The source and the center of life in the Sahara desert region of the upper and lower kingdoms of Egypt was, of course, the Nile. That is why the Nile and the life it brings with it produced so many myths for the Egyptians.
Nymphaea caerulea, also known as the Blue Egyptian water lily or sacred blue lily was a common water lily and an integral part of the Nile's ecosystem. For the Egyptians, it was one of the most magnificent images, so it doesn't come as a surprise that it became one of the most revered and sacred symbols in their culture.
The sacred blue lotus is one of the most common symbols in the Egyptian art. It can be found in ancient temples and tombs of the ancient kingdom. Most of the times the blue lotus can be found in scenes of celebrations, dances, religious ceremonies, religious festivals and spiritual and sacred contexts. For the ancient Egyptians, the beautiful blue lotus holds deep meaning and symbolism.
The Blue lotus rising during the day from the Nile along with the Sun. Its blue sky color with its sun-like glowing deep yellow center, symbolized the sun traveling in the sky during the day. It's sweet scent welcomed the morning and symbolized life and it's sinking during the night time marked darkness death and the afterlife. That is why it is a symbol of creation, life, sun and rebirth.
One of the ancient creation myths tells the creation story of the Sun god Ra. In all of these ancient creation myths there is an infinite lifeless, endless sea and darkness known as "NU" which covered everything; and in that distant past known as the "Zep Tepi" - the first cause/occasion and the first thing that rose from these waters was a pyramid-shaped mound that was called "Benben". From that mound the first thing that came to existence was the Sun as the Sun god-Ra who rose from a giant lotus flower which rose from that mound out of the endless ocean, giving light and life to the cosmos.
These myths derived directly from the flooding of the Nile. The mounds of soil that were left after the receding of the water and the beautiful Lotus were the source of inspiration for these ancient myths. Since the Egyptian religion dealt with the afterlife the lotus became a symbol of rebirth and life and can be found in ancient tombs, and scenes of the passage to the next life.
The Book of the Dead, Papyrus of Hunefer - a spell of being transformed into a lotus:
"I am this pure Lotus which went forth from the sunshine, which is at the nose of Re; I have descended that I may seek it for Horus, for I am the pure one who issued from the marsh"
The image that accompanied this prayer was that of the deceased head emerging from a lotus flower with this prayer, where he asks to become a lotus flower so that he will gain eternal life...
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