Meanings of the Lotus Blossom

Written by k.c. morgan
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Meanings of the Lotus Blossom
White lotus blossom in full bloom (white water lily image by leprechaun from

Lotus blossoms are popular in Eastern culture and Western art. The distinct blossoms are popular among tattoo artists as well as mythology believers. Lotus flowers grow out of muddy water on long, flexible stalks, anywhere from 8 to 12 inches (20-30cm) in diameter, and stay open only three days. Every part of the lotus plant is edible. In Western floral mythology, lotus blossoms symbolise estranged love. In Eastern philosophies, lotus blossoms have a much deeper meaning.

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Chinese Mythology

In Chinese mythologies, the lotus blossom is an object of perfect beauty. To Buddhists, the blossom signifies faithfulness and enlightenment. Many Chinese people believe that seeing a lotus blossom growing naturally is a life-altering event. The pink lotus flower blossom is one of the symbols of Buddha, which each of the eight petals of flower symbolising the Buddhist path. The lotus flower in full bloom represents true spiritual enlightenment to Buddhists. Lotus blossoms are popular in Chinese homes, where the flowers are grown in private ponds. It is popular in Asian art and often depicted in spiritual texts and imagery.

Meanings of the Lotus Blossom
Pink lotus flower in bloom (lotus image by M3Dia Solution from

Egyptian Mythology

In Egyptian mythology, it's the blue lotus blossom which holds the most meaning. The blooming cycle of the lotus flower--which opens with the dawn and closes at night--symbolises life and death. The lotus flower itself symbolises cleanliness and purity, resurrection and life.

In ancient Egyptian culture, lotus blossoms were used in imagery and ceremonials. Lotus flower wreaths were worn in funeral rituals, and lotus flowers are held by gods and goddesses pictured on the walls of ancient tombs. Blue lotus blossoms held strong divine connections in Egyptian mythology, often used to symbolise various gods and goddesses. The flower plays a strong role in Egyptian creation myth, where a god emerges from a giant blue lotus blossom.

Indian Mythology

The lotus blossom is a common image in Indian mythology, where all primary deities are depicted holding the flowers in their hands. White lotuses represent purity, blue blossoms symbolise goodness and red lotus flowers mean enlightenment. A thousand-petal lotus is used to symbolise the mouth of the Universe in Indian mythology. The lotus flower is sacred among Indians.

The lotus blossom also plays a large role in the Indian creation myth. In the story, the god Vishnu sprouts a large lotus from his navel, from which other deities emerge. The various gods and goddesses continue to be depicted as sitting on large lotus blossoms in Indian art.

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