Understanding the (True) Meaning of the Lotus Flower

When we first see one, it is not necessarily obvious how powerful the messages carried by the lotus flower are.

This plant is magnificent, of course, and is a decoration of choice. Its colors are bright and striking and the symmetry of its petals gives it a delicate appearance.

Behind such beauty, however, lies a complex meaning that the wisest men have reflected on for thousands of years.

In fact, the hidden lessons that we will discover together have changed more than one life... and could well change yours.

Without further ado, let's try to learn more about this oh-so-special plant.

Contents :

A few words of botany

Egyptian polytheism the flower of the sun

The meaning of the lotus flower in the Bible

The lucky lotus: sacred flower of the Buddha

An emblematic plant of India and Hinduism

The meaning of the lotus ancient Persian culture

A plant recognized by Taoism

Yoga, lotus flower and meditation

The meaning of the lotus flower according to its color

The lotus flower: magical powers?

Lucky charms featured in this article

Large greenhouse of a botanical garden filled with tropical plants.

A few words of botany

When we talk about the lotus flower, we are first and foremost talking about a plant. (Logic, you might say!)

More precisely, it is a herbaceous plant which grows with its feet in water and which has a perennial character.

For botanists, lotuses are part of the Nelumbonaceae family (which you can learn more about here ). From this family come dozens of different species, all with their own particularities.

We can for example cite the Nelumbo nucifera (or sacred lotus) or the Nelumbo lutea (the American lotus).

When we look at the lotus as a large family of plants, we come to the observation that it has thrived around the world: from the Americas to Japan, via India and even Egypt, there are dozens of different peoples who were confronted with its beauty.

Some recent scientific research has highlighted in this plant a sort of ability to regulate its temperature depending on that of its environment, which could explain its great dispersion.

Even more interesting, resins and fossilized organic substances found during excavations indicate that lotus flowers survived the last great period of glaciation which began nearly 2 million years ago.

In other words, our lucky lotus would be the direct descendant of more than prehistoric plants.

Wall of an ancient temple covered with Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Egyptian polytheism and the flower of the sun

The Egyptian civilization was one of the greatest of all time.

Ahead of their time by several thousand years, its citizens demonstrated advanced scientific and spiritual knowledge through architectural feats (we can think of the Great Pyramids), medical feats (Egyptian doctors were renowned throughout the ancient world). ) and philosophical (several schools of influence emerged in Egypt).

In short, anyone who has ever been interested in the case of ancient Egypt will have noticed that a plant occupied a rather special place there: we are talking here about the lucky lotus flower.

The main interpretation given to it by the Egyptians stems from its ability to return each day when the sun reappears in the early morning.

More than a simple message of renewal, the priests of the Nile kingdoms saw it as an expression of the creative power specific to Aten Ra, the god of the sun.

A mysterious and mystical figure, this famous Aten Ra is one of the most emblematic characters of Egyptian esotericism and, even today, unleashes the passions of initiatory societies.

Another theory would be that the lotus flower is linked to the Nun, a concept designating a kind of great infinite ocean, one of primordial chaos. By disappearing each night to return the next day, the lotus would thus emerge from this Nun to bring us part of its essence.

These two hypotheses in any case open up incredible avenues of reflection as well as doors to one of the most hermetic cultures in the history of humanity.

Open Bible on an altar.

The meaning of the lotus flower in the Bible

From a Christian perspective, there are several ways to view the meaning of the lotus flower.

Already, if we establish a parallel with the water lily (symbolically, the two plants share a lot in common), another is established with the figure of the Virgin Mary.

According to biblical beliefs, water lilies are associated with purity, innocence and holiness. Church doctrine further describes the presence of white water lilies (and therefore potentially white lotuses) as signs announcing the imminent coming of the Virgin.

There is another point of view besides this one.

In fact, the Bible tells us very little about the lotus flower. The only moment is found in the book of Job:

“He lies down under the lotuses, In the midst of reeds and marshes; The lotuses cover it with their shade, The willows of the stream surround it.… Even if the river overflows, it does not flee: Let the Jordan rush into its mouth, it remains calm…” - Job 40 21- 23

The “he” that this passage describes is in fact… the behemoth!

These words are also spoken by God who addresses Job after the latter accuses him of having wronged him unjustly.

In response, the Lord tried to make him understand that He alone is capable of determining what is good and enforcing unfailing justice.

To illustrate his point, he asked Job if he could control the behemoth, the beast being real and threatening, but yet hidden from his eyes and inaccessible to a man.

In this sense, the lotus flower here represents the illusory and the tendency of human beings to dwell on beauty, not always seeking to see what is hidden behind it.

Two statues of the Buddha and a Buddhist thangka from Asia

The precepts of the Buddha

by Buddhist jewelry and lucky charms


The lucky lotus: sacred flower of the Buddha

Anyone who searches for the meaning of the lotus flower will sooner or later stumble upon the footsteps of the Buddha.

No religion gives such a place to the lotus as Buddhism for which it represents its “prophet”. (It's not entirely fair to call the Buddha a prophet, but you get the idea).

There are many proofs for what we say, and here are some of them:

  • It is said that shortly before his birth, the Buddha's mother had a dream in which she saw a white elephant walking on a giant lotus. Sages have long described this dream as a prophecy announcing the coming of the Buddha.
  • Legend has it that after attaining enlightenment, lotus flowers grew where the Buddha's footsteps left traces in the ground.
  • It is also common to see the Buddha seated on a giant lotus flower, which then represents his spiritual purity, elevation and almost ethereal lightness.
  • One of the greatest texts of Buddhism bears the evocative name “ Lotus Sutra of Wonderful Law (Saddharma-pundarika-sutra). This work puts on paper the most important teachings of the Buddha, especially those describing how to lead one's life well, all in an allegorical style.

You will have understood: our flower is found almost everywhere on paintings, sculptures and representations of Buddhist inspiration.

The art and culture resulting from Buddhism are truly exceptional, and you will find a small summary of it in this collection bringing together symbols and ritual objects linked to this doctrine.

Offerings (candles, flowers and petals) prepared for a Hindu ceremony.

An emblematic plant of India and Hinduism

Buddhism and Hinduism are two closely related philosophical movements.

If the lucky lotus occupies such a large place in the first, the second does not leave it aside either!

In general, our plant will thus be a symbol of beauty, fertility and prosperity which will be used to decorate the temples and altars of the gods to which Hindus wish to pay homage.

However, some deities are more linked to the lotus than others... and here are the main ones:

  • Lakshmi : Goddess Lakshmi rules prosperity and material abundance. She is often depicted sitting in the middle of a large lotus flower.
  • Brahma : Supreme God and creator, Brahma is also linked to the lucky lotus. We can notably cite a mythological passage in which it emerges from a lotus which grew at the top of the spear of Vishnu, the master of destruction in Hindu tradition.
  • Vishnu : Vishnu, indeed, is the one who destroys. Far from being an evil character, he actually symbolizes the destruction necessary for the arrival of the new. Our flower which shuts itself away every evening only to be reborn the following morning was therefore quite naturally linked to it.

Some gurus also like to see the lotus flower as an emblem of the cycle of reincarnations, and more particularly of liberation from this hellish cycle (known in India as moksha).

Indeed, to achieve this, human beings must stand straight and perfectly vertical (like the stem of our plant) without letting themselves be affected by any material consideration whatsoever (represented in our case by mud).

The teachings of Hinduism are resolutely full of wisdom…

Perhaps you will be able to capture some of them through these few lucky objects linked to this religion.

Interior of a Persian palace decorated with engravings, arabesques and paintings.

The meaning of the lotus for ancient Persian culture

The lotus was a very important flower to the Persians, an ancient people who once ruled much of the Middle East. They saw it as a symbol of purity and femininity.

Known in the Persian language under the name “naheed”, many myths describe how the lotus awakens what lies dormant in the hearts of men and makes them stand up for great causes.

The Zoroastrian religion (one of the first monotheistic religions, which developed in Persia several millennia ago) grants the lotus flower the mystical meaning of water.

Concretely, our flower symbolized the mysterious powers that lie dormant in the depths (of water, of the universe or even of human beings) and which sometimes rise to the surface...

In any case, Iranian art (Iran is the direct descendant of the Persian Empire) is certainly marked by the symbol of the lucky lotus flower. The architecture of temples and palaces, for example, gives it pride of place.

In Persian culture, the language of flowers is actually a deeply studied subject and, as such, the lotus is often combined with other plant species to combine their messages/effects.

Here are some floral associations:

  • The lily : A flower of purity, the lily adds a sense of even greater elevation.
  • The peony : An expression of feminine beauty, the peony offers the lotus a sense of female creation.
  • The orchid : Passion flower par excellence, the orchid potentiates the spiritual messages of the lotur flower
  • Papyrus : Symbol of life because it grows on the banks of the Nile, a bouquet of papyrus and lotus defines births.
  • The tulip : When in bloom, tulips symbolize hope for a better tomorrow.
  • Hibiscus : hibiscus embodies the delicacy and freshness of renewal

Chinese bas-relief showing Taoist monks cultivating lotus flowers.

A plant recognized by Taoism

Taoism is this philosophical doctrine of Chinese origin in which the teachings are based on the concept of Tao or, in French, “Way”.

Practitioners of Taoism believe that everything in the world is defined by a kind of same energy and the same movement, a kind of great higher consciousness that guides everything that exists in the same direction.

It is thus all human beings who are animated by the same essence, but also trees, animals… and flowers!

It is obvious that given this belief, nature holds a central place in Taoist philosophy and that many of its elements have been given particular spiritual meanings.

The one that interests us today, the lotus flower, is for its part linked to the notions of harmony, balance and accuracy. Here we can see a reminder of what we talked about earlier when describing the majestic symmetry of our flower...

More interestingly, in the Chinese language, the words "lotus" and "harmony" are pronounced in an almost similar way.

The symbolic significance of this simple fact is really (and really) of major importance and reveals messages of eternity and longevity.

Several energy medicine stones, a soothing singing bowl and incense conducive to meditation

Calm down, relax

thanks to meditation and its tools


Yoga, lotus flower and meditation

If you practice yoga or meditation, or have ever practiced any of these doctrines, you must have heard the word lotus several times.

One of the main yoga positions is called the “ lotus pose ”. Nothing could be more evocative.

Basically, the lotus position is done seated, legs crossed and feet placed on the thighs. It is therefore normally necessary that their plants look towards the sky, and that your back is as straight as possible.

An often forgotten point is the position of the head, which should be aligned, with the chin slightly tucked in.

The position of the hands will then consist of certain mudras (don't worry if you don't know what they are, we'll talk about them in a few moments).

If you still can't imagine the lotus position, here is another description that might help you visualize it.

However, this simple position is not enough.

Yoga teaches us that we must also work on our breathing (which must be slow and deep), on our alignment (physical but also spiritual) and our mind (which must be as peaceful and clear as possible)..

The famous mudras that we have mentioned consist of particular finger positions and are supposed to bring us certain types of energy.

There are hundreds of them, all having their benefits and their particularities, but here we are only going to focus on the one related to our subject. (Logic !)

The “ Padma Mudra ” is in fact described as the position of the lotus in bloom.

To form it, simply bring your two hands together, palms apart and making sure your fingers are as far apart as possible. Be careful, however, the edges of your two hands must remain glued together.

Thus, your fingers will form the petals of the lotus flower, while the palms of your hands will resemble its bulb.

It is said in Indian tradition that this specific mudra “inspires kindness, love and benevolence” by acting particularly on the heart chakra.

Some yoga practitioners also see it as a symbol of openness and self-realization, the petals of the lucky lotus (which will therefore correspond here to your fingers) opening to the world in a movement of gratitude.

Ribbons of all colors.

The meaning of the lotus flower according to its color

As we said at the beginning of this article, the lotus is not so much a particular plant as a large and quite varied family that we can find in the four corners of the world.

Botanists have noted hundreds of different variations in shape, size... and color!

It is precisely this last characteristic that will interest us because, more than the others, it can profoundly affect the meaning of the lotus flower.

So here is each main color:

  • White : White flowers are undoubtedly the most widespread. Beauty, grace, innocence, purity, spirituality... The messages that this color carries are numerous and all agree quite well with those of the lotus.
  • Pink : Pink (or rather pink-red) is the color of lovers, but not only that. A pink lotus flower will represent the personal journey that every human being goes through one day to grow. When the plant is young and its bud has not yet bloomed, it will, for example, symbolize new beginnings.
  • Yellow : Yellow is a color closely linked to the divine and sacred. The flowers which are adorned with golden reflections will therefore be all designed to adorn your temples and altars, whatever your religion.
  • Purple : Purple lotus flowers are among the rarest and most prized. This can be explained in particular by their meaning. Purple is a shade linked to magic, esotericism and mystical practices in general. Some therefore say of these flowers that they contain greater powers than others.
  • Blue : Also very rare, blue lotuses are appreciated by researchers, the curious and the wise. This color actually expresses ideas of knowledge, and especially the quest that leads to it.

Colors all have deep meaning. If you want to discover them from another angle, here for example is a post from the cognifit blog about colors according to psychology.

Woman with a peaceful face surrounded by a supernatural blue veil.

The lotus flower: magical powers?

With everything we have seen, a question arises: does the lucky lotus have real magical powers?

The traditions that answer this question are numerous and some, rather mystical, can quickly move away from reality. We are therefore only going to talk about the most significant ones here.

Here are the ones we decided to highlight:

  • The Egyptians were able to use its seeds in certain resurrection rituals, as shown by the spells contained in the famous “Book of the Dead of the Ancient Egyptians”.
  • Archaeologists have found remains of lotus flowers that were used as offerings in temples in Asia several thousand years ago.
  • It is common in India to use it to open certain chakras (notably that of the heart), and this in a practical way much more than simply symbolic...
  • Practices linked to witchcraft in Europe have long been able to see the abilities of the lotus to awaken fertility and sensuality. Many charms exist on this subject.
  • Most traditional medicines around the world include the lotus flower in their remedies. Chinese medicine is probably the best example and will provide you with many example recipes.

To learn more about this last point, here is a fairly comprehensive article extolling the various virtues of the lotus for our health.

In short, all this may seem far-fetched and will not please some skeptics. You should still know that this knowledge is not based on anything.

The different parts of the lotus do indeed possess certain interesting chemical characteristics, particularly in the fields of pharmacy and medicine, which the most serious scientific studies have been able to highlight...

Between the sacred and the profane, there is sometimes only one step.

Lucky charms featured in this article

Fine Lotus Bracelet

Fine Lotus Bracelet

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Blooming Lotus Flower Necklace

Blooming Lotus Flower Necklace

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Lotus Flower Pendant

Lotus Flower Pendant

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.