FLOWER ESSENCE PROFILE
LOTUS OR WATER LILY
By Sharon Callahan

     The pure white lotus flower, the only plant to fruit and flower simultaneously, emerges from the depths of the muddy swamp and symbolizes the manifestation of the universal Buddha Nature or Christ Consciousness inherent equally in all life.

Identification

     Growing from the mud at the bottom of ponds and streams, the exquisite Lotus flower rises above the water and is usually white or pink with 15 or more oval, spreading petals, and a peculiar, flat seedcase at its center.

Botanical History

     The lotus is an Asian water lily known for the delicate beauty of its water flowers. It possesses an amazing ability to flourish in a variety of environments ranging from clear ponds to muddy marshes. It is also known for its exceptionally hearty seed pods, which often plant themselves far from its source, bringing the beauty of the lotus blossoms everywhere.

     Most seeds remain quiescent during a cold or dry season and germinate only with the coming of favorable growing conditions. Seeds that require special treatment to germinate, even when presented with adequate water and oxygen and favorable temperatures, are said to exhibit dormancy. Seeds with thick or waxy coats, which inhibit the entry of water and oxygen, may remain in a prolonged quiescent state. Seeds of the Indian lotus can germinate 200 years after they are shed. Most seeds, however, lose the ability to germinate within several years of shedding. Following the return of the rains, primitive peoples witnessed the rise of the undefiled water lily from the bottom of dried-up watercourses and considered the living blooms symbols of immortality and resurrection. The ancient Egyptians from the 4th dynasty greatly valued the sacred lotus, N. totus, in religious ceremonies and funerals.

     Lotuses are 5 species of water lilies, three in the genus Nymphaea and two in Nelumbo; both genera are members of the water-lily family, Nymphaeaceae. Lotus is also the name of a genus in the pea family, Leguminosae, which contains such plants as the bird's-foot trefoil, Lotus corniculatus. Nymphaea lotus, the Egyptian white lotus, is believed to be the original sacred lotus of ancient Egypt. It and the Egyptian blue lotus, N. caerulea, were often pictured in ancient Egyptian art.

     The white lotus is a shallow-water, night-blooming plant with a creeping rootstock (rhizome) that sends up long-stalked, nearly circular, dark green leathery leaves, which float on the surface. The flowers, up to 25 cm (10 in) across, remain open until midday. The blue lotus is a smaller, less showy day-blooming plant.

     The East Indian lotus, N. nucifera, found in southern Asia, was introduced into Egypt about 2,500 years ago but is no longer found in the Nile region. Its flowers are considered sacred by the Buddhists of India, Tibet, and China. The lotus, Nymphaea lotus, bears many-seeded, berrylike fruit and leathery, floating leaves that may reach 50 cm (20 in) across. The cup-shaped flowers of the lotus were often represented in ancient Egyptian art and architecture.

     Lakshmi (luhk'-shmee), wife of the Hindu god Vishnu, and one of the incarnations of the Mother-Goddess, or Devi, is the goddess of fortune and prosperity as well as the epitome of feminine beauty. According to Hindu legend she was born radiant and fully grown from the churning of the sea. Lakshmi is portrayed as sitting on a lotus, her traditional symbol.

As an Essence for Animals

     The Lotus flower has for thousands of years symbolized spiritual enlightenment. Indeed, this flower essence's purpose is to accelerate spiritual evolvement and enhance healing on every level within the system. The Lotus in Eastern Culture bears a similar symbolism to the Rose in Christianity. In Buddhism and Hinduism many of the deities are pictured sitting upon a lotus or holding a lotus blossom, the symbol of enlightenment. Christ is known as the Rose of Sharon. Rose of Sharon blooms in arid desert conditions just as the lotus rises and blooms in all its magnificence from the muddy depths of the rivers.

     This action of the Lotus flower is true of animals as well as human beings. At Anaflora we add Lotus essence to many of our special formulas for animals because as well as stimulating spiritual evolvement it acts as a "booster" to other flower essences intensifying and spiritualizing their effects. Lotus essence acts on all levels encouraging a gentle unfolding of the highest potential within the animal.

     Lotus offers one of the highest vibrations of any flower. Animals, even those who have been badly abused or neglected, rise easily to the highest vibration presented to them. By offering an animal essence of Lotus she can rise above the oppression and fear of her past becoming fearlessly present in the moment at hand.

     As well as assisting an animal to overcome past abuse and trauma it is an excellent choice at the time of an animals death. Given directly by mouth or simply anointing the animals crown (top of the head) and heart (center of chest) chakras Lotus eases the spirit out of the body and assists it forward towards its highest potential in the realm of Spirit.

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