Creative power of the Flower of Life

Fleur-de-lis as a part of the Tree of Life

When two years back I wrote that the Fleur-de-lis 1 and the Tree of Life should not be mixed with the Flower of Life, I should have been more precise and more careful with my wording. Although those symbols are seemingly different by shape, they seem to be connected by sharing very similar origins in the past. So similar that the Tree of Life can be seen as a more sophisticated and complex form of a sacred flower with all components: roots, stem, branches, leaves, buds, fruits, and seeds. In Appendix A of tThe Assyrian Tree of Life 2, Simo Parpola demonstrates how the simple flower and complex tree ideograms can actually describe the same ideological motif. Note also how the Fleur-de-lis is present on the picture 4.2.5, at the top of the head of the winged genie who is carrying water in a bucket and reaching the Conifer cone from the Tree of Life. In a private discussion, Parpola mentions how the middle knots on the Tree of Life depicts the Fleur-de-lis and by that the innocence and purity of Ishtar in Mesopotamian tradition. Eight and six-petalled rosette symbols are both in balance with the same ideology.

In Jewish tradition, the Tree of Life was symbolized with a six-branched candlestick called the Menorah 3. The seventh center stem of the candle is called shamash (the Sun) and it brings structure to the familiar 6 and 7 divisions mentioned in the previous Part 1.

A relief that is on the Arch of Titus in Rome 4 has a depiction of the Menorah that stands on a hexagonal podium. There is a fascinating association of the Menorah to the oval shaped mandorla/almond symbol (i.e. the Vesica Piscis) which is present in the FOL, as we have learned. Quote from Exodus 25:32-33 5 says:

Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand – three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand.

The burning bush talking to Moses is said to be an almond tree. The miraculous rod of Aaron, which was stored in the Ark of the Covenant in Tabernacle, was said to blossom with flowers of an almond tree. Bitter or sweet almonds were used as omens and signs for Aaron the Patriarch, the brother of Moses, when he directed Israelites in the wilderness. Although a nut of an almond tree is a great fit for the FOL symbol, and it is recognized by Orthodox and Catholic iconography in the oval shaped aureole of Saints, there are other plants of even greater interest.

The most famous and the oldest flower decorations are probably similar to lotuses, lilies, crocuses, and roses. They can be found from Mesopotamian art since 3500 BC, and they were extensively used in Crete and in Egypt around 2000 BC and from that time on. Lilies, although we can’t always be certain of the exact species, are mentioned many times in the Old Testament. The etymology of the lily (the Egyptian water lily hrr.t ssn 6 being the most central) is a good example of a compound root word that has spread to different languages and that has been applied to several general and specific flower species, smells, colors, female names, etc. This multipurpose usage of the word root is very similar to the story of the cane plant shown on Part 1.

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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. (https://floweroflifemystery.wordpress.com/)
    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) gmail.com

    All the best,
    -Marko

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