Respecting the Past, Embracing the Future
By Tanisha Marie
For my last birthday, I received a copy of the Minoan Bee Pendant, created by Ancient Circles (ancientcircles.com) in silver and amber. I was thrilled, I had admired it for over a decade. I had seen them on Nikiah’s blog (redmoonmusings.com). I had desired my very own, and finally it was in my hands. My copy of a famous pendant belonging to a sacred bee priestess. I felt it tied me into the tradition and history of the Melissae. I felt I’d entered the “Path of Pollen” the sacred lineage Buxton discusses in “The Shamanic Way of the Bee”. I wore it home. Happy Birthday to Me.
Original Gold Minoan Bee Pendant
Circa 1700, BCE
My copy by Ancient Circles
purchased at BeeKind in Sebastopol, CA
Silver and Amber
My elation declined as I grew more and more uncomfortable about the pendant. The first night I slept with it, I had dreams of being buried alive. Little did I know that the Spirit of the Pendant was mightily angry about Her pendant.
I can’t prove that any of the following is true. I can only tell you it is my experience. My teachings clearly lay out the debt we owe to our Ancestors. They clearly explain that you should approach the dead with respect for approval and permission of our plans. I should have stopped to ask if I could have the pendant, if I could wear the pendant. I didn’t. Here are the results of my flippant behavior.
After I had the feeling of suffocation, I removed the pendant. I placed it on my bee altar, then in my dreams, I came to understand my idiocy.
I saw myself as a Bee Priestess, a beloved, revered member of my society. It wasn’t all magical, it was work. There was planting, gardening, meetings, ceremony, work. I had people to care for, teach and answer to. That pendant was made for me, specifically and especially me. It was given to me with great pomp and circumstance. I wore it the rest of my days, and I was buried with it.
I lay in my grave comfortable, resting, sleeping. People visited, brought me the honey I worked for so eagerly all my life. Suddenly, after hundreds of years, I was disturbed. The shovels came, breaking into my sanctuary, the sunlight beat harsh upon me, a shocking pain after so much rest in the dark.
They took my pendant. They removed me from my grave. They cleaned, tagged it, and put it into a museum. Without so much as a “by your leave”. No permission was asked to disturb me, no one came with sacred herbs, sweet offerings, a drum or rattle to contact me, to see what I thought. Then, my sacred and special pendant, my jewel, was copied, manufactured by the hundreds and spread across the world to be the jewel of anyone who could afford it.
I was livid. I had been disrespected. My body, my spirit, my belongings. Now I had her, a priestess. Someone who could hear my pain. And I wasted no time. I spared her no iota of my upset. I expressed myself over weeks. I told her I wanted comfort, restitution.
I should have realized that this jewelry had gravitas. I should have known that having the Sacred mass produced and having people purchasing it idly would anger the Spirit attached to it. Realizing my mistake, and paying for it in a series of nightmares that left me feeling hurt, angry, and despondent (not to mention, grasping my own stupidity) I set about making up for a world of hurt we had caused Her.
Placing the pendant on the altar, I made offerings of honey, milk, water, wine. I prayed for Her spirit to find peace and rest, I prayed for forgiveness for the things we’d done to Her. I lit candles. I made a concerted effort for the next few months. I couldn’t wear my own birthday present without a sense of illness and nausea.
Finally, She was sated. I had a dream wherein I was allowed to wear the pendant during beekeeping and ceremony. I did. Later, I received that it was allowed when I was doing any bee work.
Now that my family is looking for a home, I wear it when looking at houses and filling out paperwork. Bees are fabulous at finding homes. I still feel a charge when I wear the pendant. I know She’s attached to it, tied into it, aware of it.
Let this teach us, Melissae that as we create this program and lineage, we borrow from the people before us. These magics are real, and while they are old, and have even in some cases, been sleeping, they deserve our respect. Let us approach the Traditions we adapt with respect, and let us ask permission, of our spirits, of those we work with, and of those we borrow from.