The witch and the bee, a more magickal union there could not be! Witches have enjoyed a long and enchanting relationship with the bee, sharing many rituals, as well as other magickal traits that they have in common. Bees as you know provide us with so many blessings, honey and wax are only the beginning of those blessings. Mead… which I am in love with and brew, is similar to wine, only it’s brewed from the bee’s honey instead of sugar. It is an ancient beverage, and part of many witches brews and libations. Bees are such amazing little creatures, using elaborate dances to communicate locations. Witches have used tantric and shamanistic dance for centuries, either to raise energy for spell work, or to achieve hedge flight into other realms.
Bees are sensitive to electromagnetic fields, which enables them to predict and react to weather changes, and to navigate. Witches as we know, have been known to have their own ways to predict and react to these changes as well. The white noise, (noise that cancels out other sounds) that beehives make, has been thought to have connections to Chaos magick, adding yet another connection to the witch. Bees have a strong connection with electricity in many unique ways. For instance they can sense the Earth’s magnetic field, using this ability to navigate, like the witch who grounds and centers to connect to the Earth. Bees were thought to have special knowledge, and the ability to foretell or see into the future. In Greek mythology the God Apollo was taught how to see into the future by the Thriae: the three pre-Hellenic Bee Goddesses, Melaina, Kleodora and Daphnis.
Bees in history have appeared in Mycenaean tomb decorations, with tombs that were shaped as beehives. Making one speculate that these people believed bees to possibly be psychopomps, or messengers of the dead. Transforming the human soul into bee after their passing.
Deities such as Aphrodite, Cybele, Freya, Odin, Pan, and Thor, have associations with the bee as well.
In folklore it is said that if one dreams of bees, they will therefore be blessed with good omens. Which makes sense when you think of all the positive things bees contribute to our planet. The Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle even retails a charm, promising health, happiness and good fortune, containing three little ceramic bumblebees in a bag. I myself was gifted from a dear friend, a very old magickal spell that came with 5 little golden bees in a bag, which I truly cherish. Then doing the same, gifting this bee spell to another dear witch friend of mine, therefore continuing this delightful tradition.
Folklore tells of the Lincolnshire witch, said to have a bee as her familiar, and another witch from Scotland who was said to shapeshift into the form of a bee, poisoning a foes child. Or the tale from Nova Scotia, whereas a male witch was accused of killing a cow by sending a white bee to land on it, therefore stinging the cow sadly to its death. Omens and folktales have been read into the flight of bees for centuries. It is said that when bees begin to swarm for no apparent reason, it is most likely a sign of a bad omen, and if bees are to swarm into a dead tree, it is the foretelling of a death of one of the family members who resides near the trees location.
Like butterflies, and dragonflies, bees are symbol of the soul, and its ability to fly between the worlds. In is said the voice of the soul is thought to be the buzzing sound of the bee. In Germanic folklore, it is believed that when one is sleeping, they can take leave from their body by transforming into the bee, therefore taking their leave by way of the mouth. Take heed though… for if this shapeshifter within bee form is trapped or killed, then so shall the soul be unable to make it’s return to its body.
Besides the witch, bees also have connections to the fae, due to their winged nature, and frequency to be located in, or around flowers. Bees… like the fae, are thought to be preservers of the natural world, due to of course their vital role in the pollination of so many plants. I myself see another connection to the bee and the fae. This would be the Mars energy, that in my opinion both the bee and the fae share. Bees can sting, bringing forth that fire of Mars, and that firey energy can be used for hexing, cursing, and protection. The fae, are wild, untamed, and often very dark unpredictable creatures, being known for their firey Mars energy as well.
And finally there is an old folktale that I adore, called the “Telling of the Bees.” A very old English folk custom, whereas honeybees are believed to be members of the family, and so are kept up to date with all the families news and doings. As is the tradition, the bees would be informed when someone in the family, especially the bee’s keeper had passed on, but traditionally all family life events such as births, marriages, separations, etc., even news about upcoming visitors to the home, where reported to the bees as a courtesy. It was believed failure in doing so, would swiftly result in the bees flying away and leaving their hive for good, dying, or stopping all their honey making activities.
In both Britain and America, honeybees were on the guest list to both Weddings and Funerals, and if for any reason the bees could not attend these festivities, then food and libations would be left for them at their hive. So witches have long shared their magick, and practices with the bee, even refering to their coven as “The Hive.” One never knows the next magickal path the bee may take, but you can rest assured the bee and the witch will fly it together…. )0(