Mythology of bees honey
Since time began, honey and bees have been part of the great myths of
humanity and have always been extraordinarily potent symbols.
The birth of bees:
According to the ancient Greeks, all of Nature's phenomena had divine origins. Bees were a source of great fascination, and their mysterious origins inspired the legend of AristŠus: AristŠus, the son of the god Apollo, had a beehive. But he wanted to seduce Eurydice, Orpheus' wife, who died from a snake bite because she had refused AristŠus' advances. In revenge, Orpheus destroyed AristŠus' hive. To appease the wrath of the gods, AristŠus sacrified four bulls and four heifers. From their entrails, new swarms suddenly appeared, so AristŠus was able to rebuild his hive and teach beekeeping to men. . This legend is told by Virgil, the great Latin poet, in his famous ''Georgics''. Like the ancient Greeks, he believed that bees were born spontaneously from animal corpses.
In the texts of ancient Egypt, bees were born from the tears of RÔ, the Sun God. When the tears fell onto the soil, they were transformed into bees that built honeycombs and produced honey.
As the workers of the hive, bees are symbol of an industrious and prosperous community governed by the queen bee. They have therefore symbolized all that is royal and imperial , in France and in ancient Egypt (associated with RÔ, the Sun God).Three hundred gold bees were discovered in the tomb of Childeric I (on the year 481), which showed that the hive was the model of an absolute menarchy. Napoleon I used bees as a motif on all his carpets, as well as on his coronation robes.
|As organizers of the universe between earth and sky, bees symbolize all vital principles, and embody the soul . In the Greek religion, the bee was sometimes identified with Demeter, the goddess of the earth and crops, who represented the soul sent to hell. The bee also symbolizes the soul that flies away from the body in the Siberian, Central Asian, and South American Indian traditions.|
eloquence , speech, and intelligence
. In Hebrew, the
word for bee, Dbure, has its origins in the word Dbr, speech. They settled on
the mouth of the child, Plato, "
announcing the sweetness of his
" (Pliny) and also settled also on the lips of Saint
Ambrose, the patron-saint of beekeepers. According to Virgil, they have a grain
of divine intelligence and the famous Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, was
called "the bee of Delphi". In some texts from India, the bee
represents the spirit becoming intoxicated with the pollen of knowledge.
Because of its honey and its sting, the bee is considered to be an emblem of Christ : it represents his mildness and mercy on one side and his justice on the other.
A basic foodstuff, but which can also be a drink - like milk with which it is often associated -, honey is a symbol of richness and sweetness in all traditions. In the sacred texts of East and West, milk and honey flow like a stream through the promised land. The Celtic traditions celebrate mead as an immortal beverage. In Greek mythology, in which honey is the drink of the gods of Olympus, it is the symbol of knowledge, learning and wisdom , it is a food reserved for the elect, the iniated, and to exceptional people in this world and the next. Greek tradition claims that Pythagoras ate nothing but honey throughout his entire life.
|All the great prophets refer to honey in the Scriptures. Speech is honey, it represents softness, justice, virtue and divine goodness. The Koran uses holy terms to talk of bees and honey :"Honey is the first blessing that God gave the earth". Virgil calls honey the celestial gift of the dew, dew itself being a symbol of initiation. Honey even designates supreme bliss and the state of Nirvana. Symbol of all sweetness, the honey of knowledge creates the happiness of mankind.|
|The perfection of honey makes it a major element in many religions rituals. For the Egyptians, honey was the tears of the god RÔ and was a part of all the religious offerings in pharaonic Egypt. In Islam, according to the Prophet, it restores sight, preserves health and resuscitates the dead. For the American Indians, it plays a great part in ceremonies and the rites of initiation and purification. A source of inspiration, honey gave Pindar the gift of poetry and Pythagoras the gift of science.|
|In modern psychoanalytical thinking, honey symbolizes the "higher self" , the ultimate consequence of work on one's inner self. As the result of the transmutation of ephemeral pollen into a delicious food of immortality, honey symbolizes the transformation by initiation, the conversion of the soul, and the complete integration of the person.|
Bernard Michaud S.A.
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