Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Honeybee Appreciation

I was digging through some old emails, revisiting for keeping or purging, when I came across this piece about honeybees that I wrote in May of 2007 after engaging in a ceremony at the New Moon following my having read about a suggested "honeybee appreciation ceremony" to honor all the honeybees that have been dying due to what's being called Colony Collapse Disorder. Since I recently had a dream about honeybees it feels relevant to bring this essay out for re-view and to share with you here.

Yesterday [May 2, 2007, New Moon/Lunar Beltane] I returned to the "Cove" as we locals call it, the beach I walked on on Tuesday [May 1, 2007] that had all the dead honeybees all over the sand at the water line. As I suspected, most sign of bees from the day before were gone, but I did find perhaps a dozen or so remaining bee bodies in the sand.

I went to the end and remote part of the beach, setting up a space for ceremony and prayer in appreciation of the honeybees. I smudged with white sage and offered it to the four directions and to the circular spiral of life. Then I sat on a log, feet firmly in the sand, and began the meditation on appreciation. I went very quickly and easily into a space of appreciation as I was surrounded by so many elements that I have deep appreciation for - the sand in between my toes, the sound of the waves, the wind blowing through the eucalyptus trees nearby, breathing in the ocean laced air, the song of the seagulls, my life, this beautiful planet we live on, etc. Then I focused this appreciation on the honeybee and saw various images of them - pollinating/making love to the flowers; the heavy load of pollen on their tiny legs as they travel from flower to flower; the sweet nectar of life they produce; the perfect geometry of their comb, their home; even thought about the times I've been stung and how amazing it is that the honeybee is willing to give its life to protect the hive. This last thought brought unexpected deep tears of gratitude welling up in my eyes. Then I gave the powerful breath of appreciation to the honeybees.

Next I pondered further on the fact of honeybees giving their lives to protect the hive. I had a deep sense that this element, this fact, is key to what is happening with the massive death of honeybees. I cannot explain it any further than this. It is a knowing, a deep down knowing, and perhaps now that I've had this epiphany and brought it to consciousness more information will surface.

I also took the opportunity and did personal ritual to release/burn energies, ways of being, that no longer serve me, and to ask for, plant the seeds, of new energies and ways of being that will benefit me.

Then I pulled a tarot card on behalf of the honeybee from a new deck I recently acquired called The Tarot of Transformation. I pulled the One of Disks. The accompanying book says of this card:

1 of Disks: Birth into Form 

"The meaning of the 1 of Disks becomes clear if you remember that disks represent the material world and that 1 is the number of beginnings. The 1 of Disks is, therefore, about new beginnings in the concrete world of daily life, and the egg is a perfect symbol for it. The egg includes both the seed of the new form and the nourishment that supports its development.

"The Minor Arcana do not work with the number 0, but if there were a 0 of Disks, it would represent the empty space that makes room for new forms. If there is no room for something to manifest in our lives, it is much more difficult. So 0 is the prerequisite to 1, and in a sense this card is about both.

"Just as it is useful to have the clear awareness that allows us to watch a thought arise (1 of Swords), it is useful to make ready a space in our lives so we can meet new relationship, roles, environments, artifacts, or anything that manifests on the physical plane. We can then examine how this new form fits with the space and determine whether it adds or detracts. We give this too little attention in our culture, busy as we are cramming more and more into cluttered lives and cluttered landscapes. By refining our awareness, we can better discriminate which forms are supportive and nurturing, and which are not.

"When you draw or are drawn to this card, it indicates the beginning of a new pattern in your life, or the need to clear the space for one. This is a good time to deep-clean your house, let go of things you no longer need, and take stock of current relationships and activities. New beginnings are important, and your readiness sets the stage for them to thrive."

With this reading it dawned on me that perhaps the massive death of honeybees, the giving of their lives to protect the "hive", is creating an empty space for a new form to develop. Now to wait and see what this new form is...

And for giggles, here is information on Bee Medicine I looked up online:

Bee Medicine 

MEANING: Hard Work, Community, Communication

"Bee People are learning to be diligent, industrious and to work cooperatively within their own community. Bee may have come to you regarding the community of your family, co-workers or humanity.

"Bee serves a very important purpose for the environment as a whole by pollinating flowering plants; therefore they are called pollinators, which means they transfer pollen from the stamen of a flower to the tip of the flower. Their treat is the nectar within the plant. Their role is vital to the environment. There are some types of bees that may be solitary, although most bees live in various sorts of communities (families). The most advanced colonies are found among the honeybees and stingless bees.

"When Bee medicine grabs your attention it is reminding you to work within your community or family and to do your part. Bee is a hard-worker and each Bee is dependent on the next to support the entire hive community. Bee is mostly concerned with the needs of her intricate hive family. The bee community runs easily and effortlessly due to the perfected communication between all of its members by way of the 'waggle dance' or 'dance language.' Bee will communicate what she has found in the flowering plants to other bees in order to recruit worker bees of the hive to forage in the same area.

"Bee's message is about communication, working hard and doing your part to aid the community in which you are a part. There is reward for such hard work, which is enjoying the fruits of your labor . . . Nectar!"

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