House of the Lotus

    Before there were two things, there was the Nun, the infinite, dark, formless, hidden ocean of possibility and potentiality, the shapeless void.  Within the sea of infinite potential, awareness could happen; thus, awareness did.

    The Creator discerned that there was Itself and Not-Itself, and then there were two things.  It drew up earth from the waters, summoned helpers from the deeps, and there on the primeval mound, the cosmos was born: there, the sacred blue lotus opened for the first time, at the First Time, and in its heart was sunrise.

    Thus, the infinite nothing became two things, and two things became millions; thus was the cosmos born.

Egyptian religion lasted more than three thousand years in the Nile Valley, from prehistory through to several centuries into the common era.  After formal temple service ceased, there appear to have still been priests pursuing portions of the old ways in secret, and even if this is not the case, the legacy of Egyptian practice left a lasting mark on the mythology of Western occultism.

The House of the Lotus is my attempt to provide a resource for a generally accessible Egyptian reconstructionist paganism.  Reconstructionist religions attempt to revitalise the ancient practices of a specific culture and bring them forward to the modern day.  The practice of Egyptian reconstruction is made more complicated by the fact that Egyptian religion was tightly intertwined with the procedures of the Egyptian state, which fell to Persian conquest some five hundred years before the common era.  It is also made fiddly by the presence of tons of research materials, many of them quite cryptic, which require interpretation and assimilating, dating to various points from the thousands of years of Egyptian history.  To the extent that I focus on a particular period, my focus is on the time of Ramesseside kings of the Nineteenth Dynasty, who not only date to the New Kingdom and thus have the most information from multiple sources, but who presided over the restoration of the classic religion after the rupture of the Amarna period and thus were more specific than their predecessors in many subjects of religion.

The sacred lotus is a recurring motif in Egyptian art, and a popular scent in the highly developed Egyptian art of perfume.  (Tutankhamun had in his tomb an image of himself emerging from the lotus.)  It appears at the moment of creation, spreading its sky-blue and purple-shaded petals to reveal the brilliant gold of the sun; the ordinary lotuses (N. caerulea) emerged from the waters of the Nile around dawn, opened their flowers, and then closed again at dusk.  The lotus appears as a symbol of life, of eroticism, of transformation, and of rebirth.