Lotus Flower Designs in Jewellery
The lotus flower design in jewellery is popular with jewelry designers and jewellery wearers alike. What does the lotus flower symbolize? Why do so many people identify with this flower? Let’s take a closer look at this complex and meaningful bloom that takes its symbolic roots from Eastern culture and religion but that also has a variety of other associations in has also found a strong foothold in modern jewelry design today.
When examined closely, the life cycle of the lotus is a metaphor, an allegory by which humans can elevate themselves. This idea is drawn upon by many Asian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Shintoism. The lotus is born at the muddy bottom of a pond. The plant pushes its stalk up through the mud and murky water to the surface where a beautiful blossom eventually blooms. In much the same way, these religions suggest elevating one’s self above the muddy thoughts and actions of one’s daily life in order to become a better person. The process by which they suggest people accomplish this varies, but all aim for the same result.
The Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi famously said, “I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained.”
Cultural References to the Lotus Flower
The lotus flower appears in a number of mythologies and stories from around the world.
In Greek mythology, the Odyssey mentions an island of Lotus-Eaters who live off of lotus flowers and fruit. In the story, this has a narcotic effect on everyone who eats them and the term Lotus-eater now relates to a person in a state of peaceful apathy. The white lotus was associated with modesty and innocence.
In Egyptian mythology the Blue Lotus is associated with celebration as well as the ritual for passage into the afterlife. It was also associated with the Sun God Atun (or Ra, depending on which cannon of gods is being referenced) which would mean that the lotus itself in some way represented life, both creation and existence.
In Sri Lanka, Sanskrit scripts (a long-dead language) speak of the lotus flower and consider it symbolic of virtue, discipline, and purity.
In Indian and Asian poetry the image of the lotus is used to symbolize the divine feminine–the ideal female traits, as well as being used a a metaphor for the female anatomy.
The lotus flower symbolizes different things to different people. It is this diversity that makes it an enduring and popular choice in jewellery design.