Understanding the Tarot Symbolism of the Lotus Blossom
In tarot reading, the lotus blossom is traditionally associated with the High Priestess tarot card. In the High Priestess tarot card, lotus blossoms are pictured above the pillars that flank the robed priestess on each side. Symbolically, the lotus blossom refers to the High Priestess' ability to bridge the gap into the unconscious realm. A lotus blossom is a dimorphic organism. It grows with it’s roots immersed in dark water, yet blossoms in the light and air above. This is symbolic of the Priestess' ability to transverse both realms. Beneath the surface of the water the roots of a blossom run deep. It is here where rests the soul or sense of self. From the depths of the unconscious the roots extend upward until they connect to the visible or conscious light. The Lotus is a symbol of divine birth into the world. Thus, the High Priestess reminds us the birth of our souls begins within the unconscious. This is the part of our selves that connects to divine creation and universal knowledge.
The High Priestess is also often associated to the Egyptian Goddess Isis. Isis was the great mother archetype for the Egyptians. Like the High Priestess, Isis was believed to have knowledge of all the great mysterious of the world. It's clear why the lotus blossom held great significance for the Egyptians. For them the Lotus was a symbol of birth and rebirth. In their creation myth, the sun emerged from the blossom of a giant lotus.
The Lotus is also one of the most widely recognized symbols in Indian culture. It serves as a symbol for creation, purity and realization. Its stem is symbolic of the rope or umbilical card that ties man to his roots, while its blossom represents all that he is capable of. Its petals open at dawn and then close at sunset. This is perceived as a symbol of the sun blooming out of the eternal cosmos.
The Lotus is also a fundamental symbol to Buddhist religion and philosophy. The dirty waters from which it grows are symbolic of man’s ignorance or unawareness. As the stem grows out of the cloudy waters, it symbolizes man’s capacity for lifting himself out of ignorance, denial and obliviousness. For the Buddhists, the Lotus blossom is a symbol for enlightenment and purity.
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