Creative power of the Flower of Life

Life and death drama

Both the lily and the pomegranate have something to do with life and death that is: with a seasonal change of light and darkness, the Sun, which is the source and the Moon, which is the reflector. The lily flower has kept its twofold meaning until our days. It is still the flower of death and the most common fragrance in funerals, after possible aromatic incenses, of course. But at the same time the lily, especially the Madonna lily is a symbol of purity, radiance, and innocence, possibly in the way that Leonardo wanted to use it on his Annunciation painting 1 carrying the old tradition of the scene.

Although lilies and multiple “sixes” are taken as a symbol of death, we cannot think of them symbolizing only the sad annihilation side of the fleshy existence of man, but also as a moment of rebirth, resurrection, and initiation. A willful baptism rite, a ritual bath before service in a large basin with a brim that was like the calyx of a lily 2, is a transmutation process where a man becomes a fish by diving deep into the ocean of chaos and then comes back to life as a perfected man of cosmos ready to enter the temple. If this happens, and a human being is fortunate to experience it while alive, he becomes half a fish, and half a man, or just a fisherman. If not physical, the effect of death may spiritually have been total and irreversible so that the initiated human being has lost the false sense of self and retained true selfless servantism and altruism. Just before the Current Era, we can see this kind of allegorical and ideological thinking getting to new heights. In the Christian community in the Current Era, it was already common to speak about the second death or spiritual death of an ego 3 and that meant that common symbols of physical death or afterlife were associated also with psychological and spiritual death and rebirth.

The symbology this major drama scene is rather consistent over the ages and cultures. The play of life (sanskr. lila) is smartly played in a small story of The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily 4 by Goethe. When the fair Lily, accompanied with her ever pleasing harp playing (resembles Väinämöinen), was just about to leave, the green Snake caught the last lines of the song:

What can these many signs avail me?
My Singer’s Death, thy coal black Hand?
This Dog of Onyx, that can never fail me?
And coming at the Lamp’s command?

From human joys removed forever,
With sorrows compassed round I sit:
Is there a Temple at the River?
Is there a Bridge? Alas, not yet!

Once the temple is ready and arisen from the river, the snake was praised, and the ending of the story incorporates the familiar scene of the Hawk and the Sun, or winged sun disk 5, as it is better known 6:

At this instant the Hawk with the mirror soared aloft above the dome; caught the light of the Sun, and reflected it upon the group, which was standing on the Altar. The King, the Queen, and their attendants, in the dusky concave of the Temple, seemed illuminated by a heavenly splendour, and the people fell upon their faces.

2 thoughts on “Creative power of the Flower of Life”

  1. Dear Mr. Manninen,
    first of all good evening and my compliments for your excellent research about the Flower of Life.
    My name is Furio Morroni, I’m an Italian journalist and author and I have been living between Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, Greece and Turkey for the last twenty five years serving as the Middle East Chief correspondent of ANSA, the national Italian News Agency. For the past three years, after my retirement, I have been working on a book on the interpretation of Christian symbols in Cyprus and I have so far identified around 120 of them, especially in the mosaics of the ancient Christian basilicas and the frescoes of the painted Byzantine churches on this island.
    In my book I wrote also about the so-called “Flower of Life”: as you know better than me, there are not so many of them also here in Cyprus. One that is interesting for my book is the one that I saw in a picture that you published in your work: the ivory whorl (Item 6, attached) dating between 1600-1100 BC that is in the Museum of Palaipaphos (Kouklia).
    The reason I’m writing to you is to ask your authorization to use your picture because the Archaeological Department of Cyprus doesn’t have the picture of this object and also because I’m quite sure I will not take a picture better than the one you have already done.
    I would be happy to have your picture published in my book in which already I named you as the researcher that did this very huge study titled “Artifacts of the Flower of Life” (2015). If you agree, of course the picture will be credited on your name together with the link to your very interesting and unique website. (
    Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.
    My best regards,
    Furio Morroni

  2. Very interesting Furio, thank you for contacting!

    And I’m sorry for late reply, I didn’t really get a notice of your comment to my email, or I missed it. If still current, you can use my picture from Kouklia. It was a very exciting find all together, unexpected! Object was in the farmost corner and there was not even lights over there. I had to ask staff to turn lights on to get a good pictures. And actually that picture was taken after my first research study “Artifacts of the Flower of Life” (2015) so it belongs better to “Creative Power of the Flower of Life” (2016) research paper. But if you can cite them together and link to this site with my name, as you mentioned, and if you can still provide me a context where and how it is used, you are free to use it on your book. You can contact me with email: elonmedia (at)

    All the best,

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