“The priestesses of historical descendants of (the) ancient bee goddess- Demeter, Rhea, Cybele- were called ‘melissae’, the ancient Latin word for bees.
The Bible mentions a ruler and prophetess of ancient Israel called Deborah, the “Queen Bee”.
Erich Neumann, in ‘The Great Mother’, says the priestesses of the moon goddess were called bees because “it was believed that all honey came from the moon, the hive whose bees were the stars.””
- Layne Redmond
Art: ‘The Bee Goddess’ by Emily Balivet
Mythology of the 🐝
The bee was an emblem of Potnia, the Minoan-Mycenaean "Mistress", also referred to as "The Pure Mother Bee". Her priestesses received the name of "Melissa" ("bee"). In addition, priestesses worshipping Artemis and Demeter were called "Bees".
- Ah-Muzen-Cab - Mayan god of bees.
- Aristaeus and the bees, and their rebirth from an ox hide bougonia
- Austėja – Lithuanian – goddess of bees
- Bhramari – Hindu goddess of bees
- Bubilas – Lithuanian – god of bees
- Colel Cab – Mayan goddess of bees
- Melissa - Ancient Greek/Minoan — goddess of bees.
- Melissus of Crete
- Mellona – Roman goddess of bees
A combination of honey and menstrual blood was once consideredthe universal elixir of life, the "nectar" manufactured byAphrodite and her sacred bees, which kept the very gods alive.
Greek: meter is "mother."
De is the delta, or triangle, a female genital sign known as
"the letter of the vulva" in the Greek sacredalphabet,
as in India it was the Yoni Yantra, or yantra of the vulva.
Corresponding letters-Sanskrit dwr,
Hebrew daleth meant the Door of birth, death, or the sexual
Thus, Demeter was what Asia called "the Doorway of the Mysterious Feminine... the root from which Heaven and Earth sprang."
In Mycenae, one of Demeter's earliest cult centers, tholos tombs with theirtriangular doorways, short vaginal passages and round domes, representedthe womb of the Goddess-from which rebirth might come.Doorways generally were sacred to women. In Sumeria they werepainted red, representing the female "blood of life."
In Egypt, doorways were smeared with real blood for religious ceremonies, a customcopied by the Jews for their Passover rites.The triangle-door-yoni symbolized Demeter's trinity.
Like all the oldest forms of the basic Asiatic Goddess she appeared as Virgin,Mother, and Crone, or Creator, Preserver, Destroyer, like Kali-Cuntiwho was the same yoni-mother.
Demeter's Virgin form was Kore,the Maiden, sometimes called her "daughter," as in the classical myth of the abduction of Kore, which divided the two aspects of the Goddess into two separate individuals. Demeter's Mother form had many names and titles, such as Despoena, "the Mistress"; Daeira,"the Goddess"; the Barley-Mother; the Wise One of Earth and Sea; orPluto, "Abundance." This last name was transferred to the male underworld god said to have taken the Maiden into the earth-wombduring the dark season when fields lay fallow. But this was a late,artificial myth. The original Pluto was female, and her "riches" were poured out on the world from her breasts.
The Crone phase of Demeter, Persephone-the-Destroyer, was identified with the Virgin in late myth, so the Maiden abducted into the underworld was sometimes Kore, sometimes Persephone.
Some ofthe Destroyer's other, earlier names were Melaina, the Black One;Demeter Chthonia, the Subterranean One; or The Avenger (Erinys).Her black-robed, mare-headed idol, her mane entwined with Gorgonsnakes, appeared in one of her oldest cave-shrines, Mavrospelya, theBlack Cave, in Phigalia (southwest Arcadia).
She carried a dolphin and a dove, symbols of womb and yoni. Like the devouring death goddess everywhere, she was once a cannibal. She ate the flesh of Pelops, then restored him to life in her cauldron.
She was as fearsome as every other version of the Crone. The legendary medieval NightMare-an equine Fury who tormented sinners in their sleep- was based on ancient images of Mare-headed Demeter. Her cult was already well established at Mycenae in the 13thcentury B.C. and continued throughout Greece well into the Christianera, a length of time almost equal to the lifespan of Christianityitself.
Her temple at Eleusis, one of the greatest shrines in Greece, became the center of an elaborate mystery-religion. Sophocles wrote, "Thrice happy they of men who looked upon these rites ere they go to Hades's house; for they alone there have true life." Aristides said,"The benefit of the festival is not merely the cheerfulness of the moment and the freedom and respite from all previous troubles, but alsothe possession of happier hopes concerning the end, hopes that ourlife hereafter will be the better, and that we shall not lie in darkness and filth- the fate that is believed to await the uninitiated." Isocrates said: "Demeter ... being graciously minded towards our forefathers because of their services to her, services of which none but the initiated mayhear, gave us the greatest of all gifts, first, those fruits of the earth whichsaved us from living the life of beasts, and secondly, that rite whichmakes happier the hopes of those that participate therein concerningboth the end of life and their whole existence."
Eleusis meant "advent." Its principal rites brought about the advent of the Divine Child or Savior, variously named Brimus,Dionysus,Triptolemus, Iasion, or Eleuthereos, the Liberator. Like the corn, he was born of Demeter-the-earth and laid in a manger orwinnowing basket.
His flesh was eaten by communicants in the form of bread, made from the first or last sheaves. His blood was drunk in the form of wine. Like Jesus, he entered the Earth and rose again. Communicants were supposed to partake of his immortality, and after death they were known as Demetreioi, blessed ones belonging to Demeter.
Revelations were imparted to the initiate through secret "things heard, things tasted, and things seen."
This formula immediately calls to mind the three admonitory monkeys covering ears, mouth, and eyes, supposed to illustrate the maxim, "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil."
Was the "evil': a secret descended from Eleusinian religion? Demeter was worshipped as "the Goddess" by Greek peasants all the way through the Middle Ages, even up to the 19th century at Eleusis where she was entitled "Mistress of Earth and Sea."
In 1801 two Englishmen named Clarke and Cripps caused a riot among the peasants by taking the Goddess's image away to a museum in Cambridge.
Early Christians were much opposed to the Eleusinian rites because of their overt sexuality, even though their goal was "regeneration and forgiveness of sins."
Asterius said, "Is not Eleusis the scene of descent into the darkness, and of the solemn acts of intercourse between the hierophant and the priestess, alone together? Are not the torches extinguished, and does not the large, the numberless assembly of common people believe that their salvation lies in that which is being done by the two in the darkness?"
Fanatic monks destroyed the temple of these sexual mysteries in 396 A.D., but the site remained holy to the Goddess's votaries, and the ceremonies were carried on there and elsewhere.
Rustics never ceased believing that Demeter's spirit was manifest in the final sheaf of the harvest, often called the Demeter, the CornMother, the Old Woman, etc. At harvest festivals it was often dressed in woman's clothing and laid in a manger to make the cattle thrive.
Secret anti-Christian doctrines of medieval Freemasonry also drewsome symbolism from the cults of the ancient Mistress of Earth and Sea, particularly the masonic sacred image of Plenty: "an ear of cornnear a fall of water."
The ultimate Mystery was revealed at Eleusisin "an ear of corn reaped in silence" -a sacred fetish that the Jews called shibboleth.