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The Flower of Life, symbology and meaning

The Flower of Life is an ancient decorative symbol. It is characterized by a particular geometry composed through overlying circles with an exagonal symmetry, which originate an elegant flower with six petals.

Flower of Life

Some findings, pertaining to several and different periods, regard many archaeological sites like temples and churches, as well as artifacts: urns, shields, burial slab.  The most ancient remain dates back to the 645 BC and appears on the ruins of the Assyrian king Assurbanipal’s palace. It is today kept at the Louvre Museum, in Paris.

Ancient specimens are present in Egypt, at the Osiris temple in Abydos, and in the Mount Sinai. In the Chinese Forbidden City there are representations of the Flower of Life, as well as in Japan, India, and other places of East Asia.

The symbol is also present in South America: in Perรน and Mexico.

In Italy the Flower of Life appeared in the 7th century BC. Particularly, it was discovered on an Etruscan urn, at Civitella di Paganico (Gr), Vetulonia and other sites. However, it has a main spread during the Middle Age, when the symbol was painted on several religious buildings. Some examples are the Basilica of San Clemente, in Rome, and the Cathedral of Lodi. The Flower of Life spread along the Via Francigena, probably by the will of some Crusade orders, like the Knights Templar.

 

Volterra (PI), Secondary gate of the Battistero di San Giovanni, to be noted two Flowers of Life on the side of a Templar Cross Pattรฉe

 

Symbology and meaning

The Flower of Life is strictly linked to the symbolic meaning of the Resurrection. It represents the daffodil, which blossoms every year in spring.

Another possible interpretation is that it could indicate the whole creation. It is possible to get the Flower of Life from a particular geometric composition deriving from seven constant diameter circles. The first two circumferences correspond to the symbol of the Vesica Piscis, and respresent the first day of the Genesis.

Adding a further circle you obtain the Tripod of Life. Proceeding in this way, it is possible to realize the Seed of Life, which corresponds to the sixth day of the Creation, in which God generated the whole.

 

Finally, the combination of more Seeds of Life originates a Flower of Life.

There are many mathematical implications of the symbol. From it, the Golden Ratio can be obtained. This Number determines the geometry of the platonic solids.

Samuele Corrente Naso

 

 

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