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Nelumbo nuciferaNelumbo nucifera
Sacred Lotus
In magick, the lotus is generally associated with goddesses of beauty and prosperity, such as Lakshmi. This flower is also connected to resurrection or reincarnation because of the way its seeds can lie dormant for centuries and then grow into a plant in the right conditions. The oldest recorded germination is from 1300 year-old seeds that were found in a dry lakebed in China. The ancient Egyptians believed that the world arose from a lotus that grew from the belly of Nu.   In the East, the lotus symbolizes spiritual enlightenment, fertility, and sexual purity.  In West European magick, the lotus is involved in consecration and sex magick, and the flowers are associated with nymphs. Top

Other Uses. This plant is also good to eat and the root is often used in Chinese cooking. Native Americans ate the seeds (of yellow lotus, but the same applies to sacred lotus, which is in the same family), which taste like chestnuts. They harvested the roots in fall, and after steeping them in water to remove bitterness, roasted them; they taste like sweet potatoes and are easily peeled, sliced, dried, and stored, making them an excellent winter food. The seeds can be popped (like popcorn) or ground into powder and used like flour. Pioneers ate the unfurled leaves and flower buds. Petals can be added to salads, and the stamens are often used to flavor tea. Top

Lotus SeedsThe Plant. The first leaves will float on the water, but the true leaves will be held above the water in a sort of funnel shape. The pink to cream-colored flowers are hermaphroditic and are pollinated by insects and beetles. , which are 4-8 inches wide and smell like apples, open in the morning and close in the afternoon. They appear July-September. This plant gets up to 3 ft high and 1.5 ft wide. The seeds can remain viable for decades, but the plant usually spreads by rhizomes once it is established (it can spread as much as 60 ft a year). If it doesn't get enough heat and light, the leaves will be droopy and yellow and there will be no flowers. It likes shallow, still water like ponds and lake margins, but you can try growing it in a water container.

Nelumbo seedpodHow to grow Sacred Lotus: Carefully file through the seed coat and soak in warm water (you can use a thermos), changing the water for fresh warm water twice a day until it shows germination, which should be in 3-4 weeks at 77F/25C. Sow in pots 1/2 in deep and place them in water. Allow the water ro just barely cover the pot and raise the water level as the plant grows. This magick herb likes full sun and rich soil in water up to 20 in/.6 m deep, although it can grow in water up to to 6 ft/1.8 m deep. It is hardy in zones 4-10 and will grow as far north as Ontario and as far south as south Florida. When moving rhizomes (in spring), be careful not to damage the growing tip, and don't let the crown freeze solid. Cut the plant off at the soil line after the first frost and then either store at the very bottom of your pond or in its pot in a dark, cool location (garage, basement) where it can be kept moist and not freeze. Put the pot back in the pond in the spring when water temps are in the fifties F. If it has already started growing, put it in the pond only after water temps are in the 70s F. This plant likes lots of fertilizer. General growing info.  

Nelumbo Nucifera
Sacred Lotus
8 seeds $3.50

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Fertility Charms
Sex Magick
Venus Herb

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