Come one, come all,
any gender, any age
drop what you’re doing
make a bee line to the stage.
We float like a butterfly
and sting like a bee,
We come here to testify
and to set y’all free.
We’re gonna tell ya
’bout the birds and the bees
and an ancient bed-time story
’bout some Sacred Mysteries.
The Year of the Earth Pig
brings wealth, abundance,
and a bountiful harvest.
But it also brings caution:
There is danger of surrendering
to the pleasures of life
and forgetting to plan for the future.
We are approaching a time of reckoning.
It is time to control insatiable appetites.
Our future is in our own hands
and we must act as midwives to our future selves.
The 31st Hexagram of the I-Ching is Shyun, The Wooing
When the Joyful Lake
sits upon the sturdy Mountain,
one is A-scending
and the other is De-scending.
The Lake nourishes the mountain,
while it is the mountain that causes
the rain to fill the lake.
Wooing is the idea of seeking win/win solutions
where all parties benefit by coming together.
Upon fulfillment of the conditions implied in Wooing
there will be success.
The 31st card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot is The Midwife
The image is a golden-haired goddess
giving birth to the earth.
In one hand she holds a sheaf of barley
and in the other a platter
on which lies a honeycomb and a pomegranate.
Beside her are three winged nymphs,
each balancing a vessel on her head.
In the background,
a beehive is suspended as if from a cloud.
This card represents
the cycle of birth, death and re-birth.
The midwife knows that every woman,
in the midst of labor,
approaches the gates of death,
which are also the source of life.
The womb is a dark cave
from which new life emerges,
just as the earth is the tomb
to which all must return.
There are about 20,000 species of bees all of whom are descended from a single species that existed 130 million years ago. They are found on every continent except Antarctica.
Beekeeping is the second oldest profession.
Bees have 5 eyes, 2 of which are hexagonal.
Bees do not have knees.
The buzz of a bee comes from its wings beating 200 times per second.
Honey Bees know the world is round and can calculate angles.
An average honey bee colony contains 50,000 bees and one Queen. Most of the bees are female workers. Male drones exist only to impregnate the queen.
Honey bees communicate with each other by dancing.
Young honey bees are taught how to make honey by their elders.
Honeybees are responsible for pollinating 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the U.S.
The perfect hexagon that forms the honey comb holds the most amount of honey with the least amount of wax.
Honey doesn’t spoil and can be used as a preservative.
While raiding Egypt’s pyramids, archaeologists found pots of 3,000 year old honey that was perfectly edible.
The honey-wine known as Mead is the oldest fermented beverage.
In Norse mythology, the Mead of Poetry is a mythical beverage that makes whoever drinks it so wise that they could answer any question on any subject.
There is a cloud over the north pole of Saturn in the shape of a perfect hexagram.
There is a bee species called Apis Saturnii. Saturn Bees build their hives in the shape of a ring.
Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture;
its astronomical symbol is a harvest sickle.
Saturn has 62 moons, which is 31 times 2.
For thousands of years bees have been revered and deified and many ancient cultures had Bee Goddesses.
In Egypt, the temple of The Mother Goddess Neith was called ‘The House of the Bee.’
The Minoan Supreme Goddess, Potnia, was referred to as “The Pure Mother Bee”.
Cybele and Mellona from ancient Rome.
Austeja from Lithuania.
Brahmari Devi from India.
Beyla and Freya from Norway.
Colel Cab from South America.
Early Christians portrayed bees on tombstones as an emblem of resurrection.
In Celtic mythology, bees are symbols of the soul and its ability to pass between worlds.
The Egyptian sun god, Ra, created bees from his tears as messengers of the gods.
In the Egyptian Book of Am-Tuat, the voice of the soul is compared to the buzzing of bees.
In Irish Folklore bees are ‘the little musicians of the world.’
In many parts of the world bees are thought to be able to grant the gifts of poetry, eloquence and song to mankind.
To the Greeks they were the ‘birds of the muses’.The temple of Artemis, the Goddess of the Love, was built in the shape of a bee hive.
The Temple of the Oracle at Delphi was said to have been constructed by bees and the High Priestess of Delphi was known as “the Delphic Bee.”
Melissa was a Greek nymph who discovered the honeycomb and made honey into mead.
Priestesses of the Goddesses Demeter andPersephone were known as Melissae, the bees Persephone was also known as Melitodes, or “the honeyed one.”
As twin fertility goddesses Demeter and Persephone brought life to plants and crops, just as bees do.
The myth of Persephone’s return to Demeter is a story about Earth on the verge of annihilation.
For two thousand years, in Ancient Greece,
the town of Eleusis was the most important
religious center of the pagan world.
According to tradition and related
in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter,
the Goddess of agriculture stopped
to rest at Eleusis on her quest for her daughter,
Persephone, who was kidnapped by Pluto,
Lord of the Underworld.
After the joyful reunion of the goddess
with the missing Persephone,
Demeter instructed the leaders of Eleusis
to build a temple in her honor,
known as The Telestrion,
and in how to perform her rites
which became known through history
as the Eleusinian Mystery Boogies.
HYMN TO DEMETER
Demeter, divine mother of all,
giver of prosperity and wealth,
you nourish the grains of the earth,
Oh, great nurse and midwife,
you delight in peace and in fruitful labor.
Present at sowing, heaping, and threshing,
Oh, spirit of the unripe fruit,
you dwell in the sacred valley of Boogie.
You give sustenance to mortals;
you were the first to yoke the ploughing ox,
the first to send up from below a rich
and lovely harvest for mortals.
You are growth and blooming,
torch-bearing and pure,
you delight in the summer’s yield.
From beneath the earth you appear, gentle to all,
the variety of flowers reflect your myriad faces
and your sacred blooms.
HYMN TO PERSEPHONE
Persephone, blessed daughter of Demeter,
come and accept this gracious sacrifice.
Radiant and luminous, playmate of the Seasons,
revered and almighty, maiden rich in fruits,
only-beloved of mortals, in Spring you take your joy
in the meadow of the breezes,
you show your holy figure in branches
teeming with grass-green fruits.
Hearken, O blessed goddess,
send forth the fruits of the earth
as you blossom in peace,
and in gentle-handed health
bring a blessed life and a splendid old age
to she who is sailing to your realm, O queen.
Listen to the story of Demeter,
Our Lady of the Harvest
and of her daughter Persephone,
kidnapped by Pluto,
Lord of the Earthen Deep.
Persephone was frolicking
among the flowers of the meadows;
when Pluto brought forth a narcissus,
which was an awe for all to see.
Persephone was amazed and stretched out her hands
to take the marvelous bauble.
But the earth gaped open
and Pluto burst forth and seized her for a bride.
Begging for pity and fighting,
the shrill cry of a Banshee.
The peaks of the mountains
and the depths of the sea
resounded with her cries
until her mother heard her.
So bitter bitter was the pain
that seized Demeter’s heart,
that she threw over her shoulders
a great black cloak,
the mantle of death.
Holy Demeter flew swift as a bird
over land and sea for 30 days
seeking her daughter in vain.
When dawn arrived on the 31st day
she flew to Helius, the Sun,
Watchman of the Gods.
Standing in front of him,
“Helius, you must help me,
if ever I warmed your heart and soul.
My beautiful daughter has been kidnapped
but I do not know by whom.
“But you who see everything with your divine rays,
you must tell me the truth, who has taken Persephone?”
“Lady Demeter, you will know the truth
since I pity for how you suffer.
Zeus, the god of all gods, is to blame
for he gave his blessing to Pluto,
to take her for his wife.”
Hearing this, Demeter’s grief became anguish
and her heart swelled with wrath.
Angered with Zeus,
she stayed away from the assembly of the gods
and went in disguise to dwell with mortals.
Thus Demeter wandered
until she found herself at Eleusis.
She sat broken-hearted at the well,
where the women of town drew water.
Sitting there she looked like a woman
long since a crone
that no human would recognize.
The daughters of the Matron of Eleusis,
saw her there and said to her,
“Who are you, old woman?
Why do you stay by the well
instead of approaching the town
where the people will welcome you
in word and deed?”
Lady Demeter answered,
“Dear children, bless you,
I will tell you. My name is Despair
and I am a wretched thing.
My dear daughter was taken from me
and I have no heart for joy.
Pity me, girls, and tell me,
to whose house should I go to find work,
doing the sort of tasks old women do,
to nurse a new-born child,
or to keep the house and make the lord’s bed?”
One of the daughters answered her, “Old Crone,
We will go and tell our mother, Melissa, of you.
he has borne a son late in life.
If you nurse him and raise him then all women
when they see you will envy you,
so many will be the gifts she will pay you.”
The maidens then filled their vessels
and carried them home.
Quickly they told their mother
what they had seen and heard
and she bade them go to the old woman
and offer her a handsome wage.
The maidens rushed back to the well.
They found the forlorn goddess
and led her with her heavy heart
to their mothers house.
There they met lady Melissa,
holding her new offspring,
her son, in her lap.
She rose and begged the goddess
to be seated on her own glittering chair.
But Demeter instead sat on a low plain stool,
drew her veil over her face
and sat in silence, grieving.
Melissa offered her a cup filled with mead
but she refused it.
She asked instead for barley and water to drink,
mixed with tender leaves of mint.
Melissa made the potion
and gave it to the goddess as she asked.
And great Demeter received the potion
as the precedent to the Sacred Mystery Boogie.
It seems a yoke of misfortune encircles your neck.
Now, since you have come here,
what’s mine shall be yours also.
Nurse this child of mine, named Triptolemus,
whom the gods granted to me late in life.
If you nurse him and he reaches young manhood,
many will be the gifts I shall pay you.
Demeter answered her,
“May the Goddesses bless you.
I shall gently rear your child
as you have bidden me.
Have no fear for his safety,
for he’ll suckle the milk from no wicked nurse,
nor will he taste of witches root
for I know the power of great herbs.”
So saying, she lifted him in her ageless hands
and held him to her fragrant breast
and his mother rested content.
Thus Demeter nursed Triptolemus
who flourished and grew like a god,
for he fed not on mother’s milk but on ambrosia.
Demeter anointed him
and inspired him with her sweet breath
and at night she would bury him
in the powers of the fire in the hearth.
The goddess would have made him
immortal in this manner
had it not been for the folly of his mother.
One night, watching from the chamber,
she spied the goddess at her magic
and, deranged by what she saw
she cried out,
“That woman, a guest in my house,
is burying my child in a fire
and leaves me to mourn
and bear the pain of grief.”
She wailed in anguish
and the Goddess heard her
and became enraged with her folly.
Demeter grabbed the child from the fire
and threw him to the ground.
So furious was her heart that she said,
“Mortals are fools!
They lack the sense to foresee their fate
as it comes upon them, good or ill.
You, because your head is witless,
have caused this irreversible mistake.
I would have made this son ageless for all time,
but now he will never escape
the spirits that bring his death.”
As she spoke, the goddess was transformed,
as if a wind had blown off her old age
and left but her gorgeous beauty;
her robes exhaled sweet perfumes,
her skin radiated the aura of the gods
and golden hair covered her shoulders.
“I am Demeter, the source of life and joy
for mortals and immortals alike.
This is what you must do.
Have your people build me a temple
and I myself shall teach you my rites
so that you shall perform them
and conciliate my wrath.”
Then she turned and walked out.
Melissa conveyed the goddess’ commands
to the people of Eleusis
who obeyed her and built a temple as she bid them.
But golden-haired Demeter only sat there
in the temple wasting away
with longing for her daughter.
Then she made a deadly year
for all of humankind, withering the soil,
and the earth would not send up seeds
because Demeter kept them hidden.
In vain, the oxen pulled the plowshare
through the fields, and all the barley
fell to the earth where it wasted.
And she would have destroyed
the whole race of mortals by famines
had not Zeus perceived this.
Zeus sent out the gods and goddesses
and one by one they went to Demeter
and called upon her and gave her many splendid gifts
and let her choose as much honor
as she might want among the immortals.
But no-one could change her mind.
She said she would never again
let the earth bear fruit
unless she saw her beautiful daughter
with her own eyes.
Finally, Zeus sent Henry,
messenger of the gods,
to the throne of Pluto
to let him lead holy Persephone
out of the sunless earth and into the light.
Hermes obeyed and rushed
through the hollows of the earth.
He found the Lord of the Dead
with his awesome wife.
“Lord of Death, Zeus commanded me
to lead glorious Persephone home
so that her mother will stop her wrath.
She is going to destroy the race of mortals
by keeping the seeds hidden underground. “
The Lord of the Dead raised his eyebrows.
He gave this command to
the Queen of Miracles, his stolen bride:
“Go, Persephone, to your mother,
have a kindly spirit in your breast
and be not despondent.
I will not make so bad a husband for you.
When you are back above the ground,
you will rule over all the plants that grow.
Yours will be the greatest honor
and anyone who fails to make sacrifice
to you and does not perform your rites
will learn the consequences.
But, before you go, eat this pomegranate seed
as a token of my love.”
Persephone rejoiced and,
after accepting his offering
she quickly jumped up
from her throne in glee
and set off with Hermes
in his golden chariot.
Quickly they made their journey
over the mountain tops,
to where Demeter was waiting.
When she saw her daughter
she ran to her like a deer
racing through a mountain wood.
And Persephone, when she saw
her mother’s beautiful eyes,
leapt from the chariot
and covered her mother with embraces.
While Demeter was still caressing her child,
she thought with horror — a trap —
and trembling with fear she asked,
“My child, when you were below the earth,
did you eat anything?
Tell me the truth and don’t hide anything from me,
because if you didn’t accept his hospitality
you may flee the halls of loathsome Pluto
and dwell with me here forever.
But if you did ingest of of Pluto’s fruit,
your soul will be married to a mortal body,
and you will have to make the journey
back to the depths of the earth
to live for a third part of the year
and stay here with me for only two of the three.
When the earth abounds
with all the flagrant blossoms
that come with Spring,
then only from the sunless West
out of the dark night you will rise
and appear as a great miracle
to the gods and all of humankind.”
Persephone answered her,
“I will tell you as it happened, Mother.
Before I left that dark land,
Pluto forced upon me
the seed of a pomegranate
and, wretched though it makes me,
I did eat of that honeyed fruit.”
Thus they were in harmony with each other
and for the whole day they comforted one another
and their embraces finally softened their grief.
Formerly, this plain on which they stood
was the richest of fields that give life,
but at this time it was barren and leafless.
And the barley was hidden
in the earth by Demeter’s plan.
Zeus, watching over their sweet embrace said,
and rejoin the race of gods.
I promise you whatever honors
you may want from the immortals.
Your sweet daughter,
Persephone, must spend a third of the year
in the dark where the sun goes down
but you will have her by your side again
for the other two-thirds.
So grieve no more but once again
give the earth’s harvest to the mortals,
that they may honor you
with their praise and blessings.”
As soon as he finished speaking,
Demeter made fruit spring up from the land
and the whole wide world
became heavy with flowers and leaves.
Then she went forth to the young prince,
Triptolemus, and showed him
the performance of her Mystery Boogie rites.
Whoever among mortals
has seen these Sacred Mystery Boogies is blessed
and shall no longer fear death, nor the Underworld,
for they will know that death is not an end
but just another beginning.
The Eleusinian Mystery Boogies consisted of two parts;
the ‘Lesser Boogie’, held in Athens in the Spring,
where the initiates would purify themselves
and declare their allegiance
to the ‘Greater Boogie’, held in the Fall.
Much about the exact nature
of the Mystery Boogies remains unknown
because all who joined were forbidden
from posting anything about it to social media
but we do know a central part
of the Greater Boogie involved drinking
a sacramental barley mint beverage called ‘kykeon’.
It is thought that the kykeon was
based on an herbal potion created by midwives
that was used both, as an inducement to labor,
and to terminate a pregnancy.
This modified potion, associated with the facilitation
of both birth and death,
produced a strong psychedelic experience
helping with the transformation of the initiates.
After drinking the ‘kykeon’,
the initiates entered the underground Telestrion,
where the secret part of the ritual took place.
Historians believe that this part of the rite
was a symbolic re-enactment
of the death and rebirth of Persephone.
Whatever happened in the Telestrion,
those who entered in would come out
the next morning radically changed.
People from all over the world,
and from all social stations,
including, men, women, peasants,
leaders and slaves,
made the Pilgrimage to Eleusis
to participate in the rites and be transformed.
Without knowing the details of the rites themselves
we have some written evidence of their effects.
SONG OF SONGS
“What the initiate experienced was astonishing, and inaccessible to rational cognition.”
“The Sacred Mystery Boogies were a shrine to the whole of the earth and of all divine things.”
”Those who have been purified and initiated shall dwell with the Goddesses and Gods.”
“The Mystery Boogie is both the most awesome and the most luminous of visions.”
“Bitterness is sacrificed to the gods and the sufferings and trials of life are transformed into something greater.”
“The Mystery Boogies hold the whole human race together.”
”Because of those sacred promises given in the Mystery Boogies, we hold it firmly for an undoubted truth that our soul is incorruptible and immortal.”
“Nothing is higher than these Mystery Boogies; they have not only shown us how to live joyfully but they have taught us how to die with a better hope”.
“Blessed are they who, having seen these rites, undertake the way beneath the Earth. They know the end of life, as well as its divinely granted beginning.”
For two thousand years, in Ancient Greece, the town of Eleusis was the most important religious center of the pagan world.
The Mystery Boogies were banned by the Christian Emperor, Theodosius, in the 4th Century CE.
The Great Mother and Daughter Goddesses were forsaken: their stories and symbols appropriated, reformed and retold as the myth of a resurrected man.
The Hymns to Persephone and Demeter were adapted from The Orphic Hymns by Apostolos N. Athanassakis (Translator), Benjamin M. Wolkow (Translator)
The Sacred Bee by Hilda M. Ransome
The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries by R. Gordon Wasson (Author), Albert Hofmann (Author), Carl A. P. Ruck (Author), Huston Smith (Preface), Peter Webster (Afterword)