The journey of the Sun god Ra, detail from the inner coffin of Nespawershefyt, Third Intermediate Period, 990-969 BC (plastered and painted wood) 21st Dynasty (c.1069-945 BC), Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge.
In some versions of the Egyptian creation story, the sun god was born from a blue lotus that emerged from the primeval waters. The flower itself could be identified with the great goddess who gave birth to the sun. The blue lotus came to be a general symbol of rebirth. It was also the emblem of the god Nefertem.
The sweetly scented blue lotus (nymphea caerulea) grows in still water. It’s flower buds only rise above the water and open their petals when the sun is shining. This lotus is pollinated by beetles, which links it to Khepri, the beetle god of dawn. The image of the first sunrise as a lotus emerging from the dark waters and opening to reveal its golden stamens seems to be an ancient one.
From the fourteenth century BCE on, the newly risen sun could be pictured as a naked child sitting inside the lotus and holding one finger to his lips. In hymns intended to be sung at dawn, the sun god Ra is “the child of gold who issues from the lotus.” Ra was thought to age during the course of the day, so the infant god became an old man by sunset.
Egyptian Mythology; A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch