82. The Honeybee as Shaman with Ariella Daly

Honeybee as Shaman with Ariella Daly The Earth Keepers Podcast with Amy Dempster from Following HawksIn this final episode for Season 3, The Honeybee as Shaman, I talk with beekeeper Ariella Daly to explore the cultural and historical practices, myths, and beliefs around bees and parallel stories related to the serpent.

Ariella is devoted to natural, bee-centric bee tending and has spent the past decade studying under The Path of Pollen, a shamanic honey bee tradition based in the British isles.

As we wrap up this season, I wanted to explore the symbology behind the bee and the serpent which I encountered again and again on this journey with my ancestors and to explore the ancient idea of honeybee as shaman that can be found in many traditions around the world prior to Christianity.

If you've done any genealogy research into your own family origins, want to know more about how organized religion influenced your ancestor's beliefs, are curious about how plant medicine and shamanic ritual was integrated into early religion, and want some ideas about how you can reconnect with the land in a place and time your ancestors wouldn't recognize, you're going to love this season of The Earth Keepers podcast.

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Here's what we discuss in this episode:

  • What's next for me now that I've reached the end of this journey for now
  • My thoughts about what religious beliefs provide people
  • Who I think might meet me to escort me to the afterlife
  • How my psychopomp process might shift going forward
  • The folk tradition behind bee shamanism throughout ancient Celtic lands
  • Why so few details about the practices of bee shamanism have been handed down over the generations
  • The Melissa or bee priestesses in ancient Greece
  • The Eleusinian Mysteries as an ancient festival of the bee
  • Bees as a symbol of life, death and rebirth
  • The bee connection to goddesses, the divine, and as messengers from the otherworld
  • How ancient prophecy was more about connecting with the truth of a situation vs. making predictions
  • How ancient goddesses came to be associated with bees
  • The Mormon symbol of the bee and hive and where it may have originated
  • The earth as a womb and mother figure
  • Gaia as the original oracle
  • Where Christianity borrowed from Egyptian stories connected to bees
  • How the mythology of beekeeping was co-opted by the industrial world
  • The rebirth of the bee and the serpent in the spring
  • The world famous Oracle of Delphi and how her guidance helped create the idea of democracy
  • The connection between the oracle, the bee and the serpent
  • Entheogenic rituals surrounding the Oracle of Delphi
  • The symbology of the World Tree with the three fates and the goat who produced mead
  • The idea that mead may have always been brewed with psychedelic mushrooms in ancient times
  • The importance of honey and mead to the survival of people for many generations
  • How the bee and the serpent show up in history again and again
  • Brigid: The goddess and the saint who transcended folk medicine to become a celebrated church icon
  • Saint Brigid’s association with the snake and bees 
  • The importance of the figure eight to both bees and serpents and how that symbol can help us in our very polarized modern life
  • What we can find in the liminal spaces in between the dualistic extremes
  • How humans have evolved because of bees
  • Bees as psychopomps and the connection between the Mormon temple rituals
  • How to begin connecting back to your own lineage with the bees

Links and Resources

Transcript for this episode

Ariella's Website

Follow Ariella on Instagram

Ariella's Shift Network classes

Buzz, The Nature & Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson

Current views on hunter-gatherer nutrition and the evolution of the human diet by Elysa Crittenden

The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore by Hilda Ransome

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia

Pixie Mead

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