As Sacred Beekeeper/priestess and facilitator at the College of the Melissae/ The Centre for Sacred Beekeeping, it has been a complete joy to create and offer the Bee Priestess journey for students enrolled there. This offering was co written with my beekeeping sister Nao Sims and includes a shamanic component for those interested in working shamanically with their guides and with the bees. The collage was founded in 2012 by Laura Ferguson and continues to grow each year.
What the Collage of the Melissae is about: Through collective envisioning and inspiration from ancient beekeeping practices world-wide our faculty and students are creating an authentic and relevant spiritual beekeeping practice. Creating a Six-Fold Path of Sacred Beekeeping in the hopes of creating a new, holistic approach to beekeeping practices in order to restore balance within apiculture and bring the Sacred back into Apiculture. Studies are delivered via Online learning platforms, videos, radio and documents. Faculty and student body represent an international Hive of Sacred Beekeepers, inspiring and learning the language of the Honeybee.
2015 Course Offerings at the school:
Beekeeping Basics; Finding Your Style (Laura Bee Ferguson)
Overview of modern beekeeping practices, study of bee biology, lifecycle, biosphere, disease and treatment. Explore many methods of beekeeping. Strengthen observation skills and develop personal, informed beekeeping style. Work with a team. Develop an understanding of local environmental and legislative activity in support of bees. Map your landscape; inner and outer. Students will be asked to bee aware of the Sacred within their experiences.
Apis Arts (Taught collectively: Pati Tozer, Tanisha Lopes & Brooke Nuckles-Gentekos)
Exploration of arts and crafts related to Sacred Beekeeping, both practical and spiritual. During monthly Apis Arts instruction, students will be encouraged to engage their creative with arts and crafts lessons to help them better approach and integrate beekeeping. Each College of the Melissae Apis Arts lesson will include a make-it take it arts & craft project, insights and lessons, resources, and inspiration.
Priestess Journey (Instructors; Nikiah Seeds and Nao Sims)
An introduction to connecting deeply with your personal guides and the consciousness of your hive. Students will learn about historical shamanic and priestess cultures, and how they relate to modern day beekeeping. Students will learn how connecting shamanically or through grounding with your hive can make us more sensitive and observant beekeepers, as well as learning directly from the bees how to heal ourselves. Students will have the chance to discover what ways of connecting work best for them and how to journey shamanically to connect to their own Power Animals. Students will learn how to journey or connect with hive consciousness and work with their individual hives in this way. We will also focus on honing the five senses as a deeper way of connecting. This course will not make students shamans, but rather by learning ancient shamanic techniques, it offers a framework, spiritual practice, and language for your work with the bees.
Symbol Study (Instructors; Krista Holland & Laura Bee) This course will take students deep into the symbols, practices and myths connected to the honeybee. Through the study of the stories, ancient artifacts and other remnants left by the Mediterranean Cult of the Melissae, Sacred Bee Priestesses and other cultures the world over, we will gain a deeper understanding of the mystical relationship between humans and the honeybee. Learn about the connection between the Bee Priestesses, the Ancient Mother Goddess cultures and the wide spread use of frame drum by women in ceremonial rituals throughout the Mediterranean and beyond. Explore how ancient cultures revered the honey bee through their cultural myths, artwork, ceremonies and legends and how we, as modern day allies of the honeybee, might adapt and apply these ideals to our own lives. Students will also learn powerful yogic meditations, breathwork, and visualization practices related to the myth of the bee from ancient India.
Bee Culture & History (Instructor: Laura Bee) Laura Bee will offer essays and explorations into world bee culture and history. Additional readings will be delivered during this course. Student’s will be asked to delve deeper into symbols, mythologies and cultures presented through documented journey-work, additional research and/or art and medicine creation.
Living and working on theunceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.