Melissa

Melissa – Goddess of the Bees by Cat Hawkins 2012
Prismacolor, fine liners, acrylic paint.

melissabychaoticat.jpg

Melissa is a given name for a female child. The name comes from the Greek word μέλισσα (melissa), "honey bee", which in turn comes from μέλι (meli), "honey". The Greek Goddess Aphrodite was also known as Melissa, The Queen Bee, and her priestesses were known as the Melissae.

"to all the gods, honey... to the mistress of the labyrinth honey"  (from an inscription found at Knossus).

There is a wealth of information about the connections between bees and ancient myths, legends and history.  This excellent link will give you a good overview of the Bee Goddess throughout the ages. http://www.templeoftheola.org/bee-goddess.html

Melissa is also the name given to the essential oil extracted from Lemon balm.  Lemon balm is a herb that grows profusely and is a member of the mint family.  It gives off a sweet aroma of lemons, and was added to wine in the Middle Ages.  The wine was then drunk for all manner of health problems or to simple raise the spirits.

Bees are sacred to Venus, they are the symbol of the Goddess and the Sacred Feminine. Venus is the ultimate feminine energy. Venus rules Fridays, the month of April, beauty, harmony and nectar of life. She is the Goddess of Love. She represents joy, rapture, art, music, food, indulgence, attraction, desire. In Greek mythology Venus is Aphrodite from whose name comes the word "aphrodisiac," that which induces desire. From Venus' name comes the word "venereal," which literally means "of lust."

"...if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years to live"   Albert Einstein

It is estimated that one third of the human food supply is down to insect pollination, most of which is done by the honeybee. Bees are being affected by Colony Collapse disorder, which is when a hive suddenly lose all it's worker bees. The hive suffers and dies. The bee population in the United Kingdom dropped by around 30% between 2007 and 2008. Pesticides are also killing our bees. Seeds sown with pesticide results in contaminated nectar.  
After six weeks, colonies exposed to the pesticide were lighter than the others, suggesting that workers had brought back less food to the hive. But the most dramatic effect was on queen production. The naturally-fed hives produced around 14 queens each - those exposed to the pesticide, just two (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17535769)

Bee's are truly important to human life. As a feminine symbol, they conjure up images of millions of dedicated Melissae, working for Gaia, Mother Earth, keeping it alive. Their pollination brings us fruit, flowers, plants.. the world would be very different without bees. The queen bee gives life to all the other bees. Far from being in control, she is their main life source. She will populate the hive. A good queen bee can lay 2000 eggs per day in the spring.

Symbols held within the image are as follows.

The symbol in the centre is the symbol of the sacral chakra. The sacral chakra is located below the navel in the area of the womb. It is the centre for creativity, for emotions, feelings, sexuality, manifestation, balance, honouring relationships and learning to let go. It is coloured orange, and it's element is water. Water is mutable, flowing, and feminine. Honey is one of the foods connected to helping cleanse and open up the sacral chakra.

The mandala features the Flower of Life pattern.  This geometrical shape composed of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles, is considered to be one of the key shapes in sacred geometry, containing ancient, religious and spiritual value symbolising the fundamental forms of time and space.  There are many spiritual beliefs associated with the Flower of Life.  The Platonic Solids are geometrical forms which are said to act as a template from with all life springs.  The Metatron's Cube is said to contain the geometry of all five of the platonic solids

The basic symmetry of the Flower of life is like a snowflake, radiating outward from the centre.  Life originally evolved in water, and water also connects us back to the sacral chakra and it's element.  All life on Earth require water as the essential compound of life.
We also see a mandala.  Mandalas have been sacred to many different cultures since time began.  Mandala, in Sanskrit, means 'that which encircles'.  Every flower the bees visit is a mandala, the hive itself in a central point which they encircle.

On Melissa's chest, a blue downward facing triangle signifying the element of water.
Two bees either side representing balance, with the Goddess/Queen Bee making the third.  The number 3 is an active number, productive and symbolises the union of two, creating a third.

Arms outstretched, she is open.  She gives to her workers, they give to her.  They live in mutual respect of one another.

Saving the planets Bees should be a top priority for all of us.  Buy local honey and help support your local hives.  Think about planting wildflowers and lots of bee attracting plants in your garden.  Here you can find a Top 10 list of how you can help to save our bees.  Donate to and support your local bee charities..  You can't go far wrong with buying natural products from our wonderful bees!

This image is now available for sale on T shirts through my Spreadshirt shop. 

Every sale of this design raises £2 for The British Beekeepers Association.  Spreadshirt ships all over the world, delivers excellent customer service and every T shirt comes with a 30 day money back guarantee! 

Between the 28th - 30th January 2013 there is FREE SHIPPING on all purchases.  Just use code : FREELOVE at the checkout!  ♥

To keep up to date with offers, products and news, come and like my Facebook page!

To find out more about helping preserve our bees, follow some of these links!

British Beekeepers Association
Help save Bees
Save our Bees
Vanishing of the Bees
Bees for development
Bumble Bee Conservation
Bees Abroad 

Blessed Bee xx

© Cat Hawkins 2012