9 February 2011
I posted today an experimental video entitled “Lore of the Bee Priestess”, by Nancy Macko, so it’s apropos to reflect on the goddess culture of the honeybee as it is a potent archetype that exists across wisdom traditions, cultures & histories. Thus, it is absolutely riveting and captivating to meditate on why this esoteric perspective lives on today. Today as in many times in the past, there is a tremendous push to articulate the masculine. Neither is right, nor wrong. We need, and are, both. We are yin and yang and interconnected.
As such, the “Our Story” icon on our website is derived from a 7th century archaic Greek period of art gold plaque whose winged bee depiction dates further back.
In fact, Apollo acknowledges in the Homeric Hym that gift of prophecy came to him from three bee maidens. There is the Bhramari Devi, the Hindu Bee Goddess. The Sumerian Bee Goddess. The Melissae Bee Goddess of Greece.
The Homeric Hymn to Apollo honors his gift of prophecy coming from three bee maidens. The Kalahari Desert’s San people tell of a bee that carried a mantis across a river. The exhausted bee left the mantis on a floating flower but planted a seed in the mantis’s body before it died. The seed grew to become the first human.
“Bees, like all insects that spin cocoons or weave webs, serve as images of the miraculous interconnectedness of life. The intricate cellular structure that secretes the golden essence of life is an image of the network of invisible nature that relates all things to each other in an ordered harmonious pattern. Perhaps this is the meaning of the tale in which the infant Zeus is fed on honey in Crete, and why honey was the nectar of the gods. Furthermore, the busy bee, following the impulsion of its nature to pollinate the flowers and gather their nectar to be transformend into honey, was an example of the continual activity required of human beings to gather the crops and transform them into food. “ The above, I quote from, and am leaving you with an amazing site to dive into:
I hope you suss by now that these blogs are meant as pointers; to share a few ideas that will get you, if you haven’t already been – which you probably have! – percolating.
In closing, six mythologically born bee goddess facts. And, god facts. Six, being the side of the honeycomb cell:
1. It was said that dryads (wood nymphs) perished with the trees, and so this particular dryad’s life was saved by Rhoecus, who ordered his men to prop up a dying oak. The dryad told Rhoecus that she would grant him one request. He boldly requested her love. She told him that she would send a bee as her messenger to tell him when she was ready to embrace him. However, Rhoecus forgot about the bee’s significance and brushed it away when it did appear. This ignorance was then punished by the dryad, who blinded Rhoecus.
2. Honey, as well as mead, has been called the nectar of the gods. The bee’s act of converting nectar into honey was thought by the gods to be a selfless deed – hard work on the bee’s part, with the only aim of providing the gods with food. As well as the numerous references to being the food of the gods, honey also appears in the story of Glaucus, son of Minos, who was found to be dead inside a cask of the sweet liquid. Glaucus was eventually brought back to life by Polyidus, who was ordered to do so by Minos. Fiolnir (Fjolnir) was a Swedish king from Norse myth who drowned in mead.
3. Thriae. The sisters, Melaina (meaning “the Black”), Kleodora (meaning “Famed for her Gift”), and Daphnis (meaning “Laurel”), were said to have taught Apollo their gift of being able to see into the future, a gift which Apollo later taught Hermes. They dwelt on Mount Parnassos. The sisters have been called goddesses, nymphs, and bee-women. However, they are always strongly linked to bees and the belief that bees are wise, social creatures which are capable of things men are not.
4. Ra. His tears. In Egyptian myth, the golden stripes of the bee led to it being linked it to the sun and, therefore, with Re. Honey was a symbol of resurrection in ancient Egypt and was said to have been found in jars in the tomb of the famous Tutankhamen. Although most stories agree that bees were born from Re’s tears, there are some variations of the story. For example, some claim that he cries honey, which turned to bees, others say that his tears fell on the ground, from which bees sprang, and others claim that bees flowed from his eyes. Bees were also strongly linked to the goddess, Neith, whose temple was known as “the house of the bee”.
5. Aphrodite. Bees have strong associations with nature in Greek mythology and so are also associated with deities such as Artemis and Demeter. Indeed, the bee was more closely related to goddesses rather than gods, due to the fact that bees are ruled over by a queen, rather than a king. The hexagonal shape of the honey-comb (as well as Aphrodite’s shrine) is thought to be the symbol of cosmic harmony.
6. Algonquians judged it was not right that the hard-working bees should have no weapons with which to defend their honey, and so gave them their sting. He also gave the sting to hornets and wasps, after they appealed, saying that they, as cousins of the bee, should be afforded the same rights. In Algonquian mythology, Wesakechak was believed to be the one who caused the great flood, mentioned in many myths and religious tales. Wesakechak’s name has numerous variations in spelling.
Good night, now.
Yours in discovery,