Bee Maidens

Queen Bee, Q. Cassetti, 2010. pen and inkIt really is Spring. The daffodils (at least the ones that have not been eaten by the deer) ar 4" tall and the little clusters of snowdrops are up and blooming. There are some lovely spongey masses of moss dotting the side yard with long thick tendrils that once Chad the Lawnmover man starts his annual clipping will go by the wayside. I love touring the spaces--no leaves to obscure the view--so as to better figure out which limbs go away, which view is obscured, the raspberries that are beautiful and pink canes that bite you all summer can go away. Once much of this stuff is cleared out, then the lawnmower landscape changer can do its job and we begin to tame this wilderness. Kitty says the Turkey vultures are back. I have seen bluebirds and jays along with heard the hammering of the woodpeckers. Soon there will be peepers, the happy little singers in the night time. Everything seems possible today.

I meet with the team from the Hangar today about the posters and some ideas I have for them to polish up their image a teensy bit...and how I can help them get there. I hope if there is time today, I will have a chance to hammer a bit more on my friend's project as I would really like to lift that off the ground. And, free myself up from the land of the I can read and draw more about the bees.

From Andrew Gough's Arcadia website article The Bee: Bewildered: The title Melissaios - or Bee-man, has a feminine counterpart in Mediterranean cultures called Melissa, of which Hilda Ransome informs us; “The title Melissa, the Bee, is a very ancient one; it constantly occurs in Greek Myths, meaning sometimes a priestess, sometimes a nymph.” This is an important observation, for the tradition of dancing Bee goddesses appears to have been preserved in a form of Bee maidens known as Melissa’s – or nymphs, and Greek deities such as Rhea and Demeter were widely known to have held the title. Additionally, the Greeks frequently referred to ‘Bee-Souls’ and bestowed the title of ‘Melissa’ on unborn souls. The 3rd century Greek philosopher and mathematician Porphyry of Tyre believed that souls arrived on earth in the form of Bees, having descended from the moon goddess Artemis, and that they were lured to terrestrial life by the promise of earthly delights, such as honey. Ironically, honey was also a symbol of death and was frequently used as an offering to the gods. The dualistic quality of honey is no coincidence, as the nectar and its maker – the Bee, appear to represent the very cycle of existence. One could say that as the Bee returns to its hive, so the Melissa returns to its god in the afterlife; the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning.

Love this stuff. Uncovered a bunch of intereresting things on bee skep, their history, their shape. So more to share with you. Walk in the sunlight today.