Bees hold diverse symbolic significance to many cultures across the world often embodying themes of community and connections to the spiritual realms. In ancient Egypt bees symbolised royalty and the soul, in Hinduism they represent organised and harmonious community life and in some Native American cultures they are viewed as symbols of hard work and cooperation.
In European cultures bees were sacred animals for both their product, honey, which was widely used to produce mead (honey wine) and their purpose as pollinators of important crops and fruit orchards. Bees connected the people to nature, nourishment and the divine, representing body and spirit living in harmony.
In Celtic mythology, bees are often associated with the Otherworld and symbolise wisdom, transformation, and community. Bees were believed to bridge the spiritual realm and the physical world, carrying messages between them. The Celtic goddess Brigid, associated with healing, poetry, and smithcraft, is sometimes linked with bees as well. The idea of bees as messengers and their role in pollination aligns with Celtic beliefs in the interconnectedness of nature and the divine.
In Norse mythology, bees are associated with the goddess Freya, who is a Vanir goddess of nature and is also considered the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, bees were seen as sacred to her. The connection between Freya and bees underscores the importance of these insects in Norse mythology as symbols of love, prosperity, and the natural world.
In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of agriculture, fertility, and the harvest. While bees are not directly associated with Demeter as they are with some other deities, they do play a role in the broader context of her domain. Bees contribute to pollination, which is crucial for the growth of crops and the abundance of harvests. The pollination process aligns with Demeter’s role in promoting fertility and ensuring bountiful yields from the earth.
I believe Brigid, Freya and Demeter in their association with Bees teaches us the lesson of how we can nurture our food crops in synch with the natural world, not against it as we see today with the overuse of pesticides on vast deserts of mono crops in industrial food production. Bees are an excellent example of inter species cooperation and symbiotic survival. Through the process of pollination, they nurture other species in order to preserve their own, and play an integral role on the continuation of life on this planet. The aim of our own lives should be the same, to live in harmony with the natural world and have respect for all other forms of life on our planet, so all can thrive and grow.
To Bee I ask, help me live in harmony with the world around me for a future of abundance.
A3, A4, A5 Altar Card, A6 Mediation Card