Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – marvelous error! –
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.
Sweetness, from the source(s):
Judika Illes – Pure Magic:
An ancient culinary, medicinal and magical ingredient, honey is a gift from the bees, ancient allies and sacred creatures of many divine female entities. Bees and their products are among the most primeval reflections of divine feminine power. One legend says that bees are the returning souls of Aphrodite’s priestesses. Honey shares something of the essence of the most beautiful female spirits, those who provide humans with love, beauty, prosperity and good health. Honey is used for healing and for love spells.
Honey is a living, protective substance. One type of honey is not identical to another. It will taste slightly different and radiate slightly different powers, based upon which flowers were used to create it. The nature of the flowers, whatever powers they themselves contain, permeates the resulting honey and exponentially increases its power.
- Lavender honey is a favorite of occult practitioners, as it’s believed to contain a particularly strong reservoir of power. If you were to have but one jar of honey in your cupboard on standby for enchantment, this would be it.
- Manuka honey is favored for physical healing and as an aphrodisiac.
- Orange blossom honey is favored for love spells.
- Rosemary or thyme honey is favored for protective spells.
Stephanie Rose Bird – The Big Book of Soul
Honey: Sweetness of the Goddess and the God
One of the most endearing images of honey in recent memory was the unifying element in the novel The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. In this tale set in South Carolina, three sisters named May, June and August take in a white girl named Lily and her housekeeper Rosaleen. Gradually they allow the two newcomers into their spiritual world, which includes synchronized rituals with a circle of women, celebrating the Black Madonna and freedom from slavery using honey. They ceremoniously pour honey over the head of the Black Madonna who is chained. As the honey drizzles down the statue’s body, the chains loosen. The Black Madonna, like the black people, enjoys the sweetness of freedom.
In an older, nonfiction account, anthropologist Colin Turnbull describes even more intriguing accounts of black folk interacting magically with honey. He shares observations of the honey dance and honey ritual of the Forest People, who are small in stature and reside in the Ituri Forest of the Congo. Turnbull reported that there were special games during honey harvest season. Men would pretend to be honey gatherers, dancing in a long, sensual, curvilinear line. They would look up exaggeratedly as if searching for bees. The women were the honeybees. They would appear, singing in a soft rhythmic buzz, buzz, and buzz chant. The women would tap the men on the head and sparks would literally fly (this was a love and harvest ritual). There was a fire at the hearth of the special woods for the occasion and indigenous leaves moistened so they would smoke rather than flame. The combination of flame and smoke billowed upward. Men would blow their honey whistles, while women clapped their hands and sang, hoping the calls would travel with the smoke, calling the bees to make more honey.
Honey in the Sacred Life of the Diaspora
Caribbean and the Americas: In the Black Atlantic, the honey Orisha is Oshun; in Brazil, Oxun; and in Cuva, Ochun. Oshun is invoked to bring healthy children, easy childbirth, love, sensuality, beauty, refinement, and sweetness. The people of Trinidad and Tobago Islands demonstrate how honey of Oshun is used in blessing, ritual, and ceremony.
- They prepare it with water, brandy, olive oil, and sugar and place it in a calabash as an offering to Oshun during some thanksgiving rites.
- Devotees consume an offering that includes duck, honey, olive oil, sugar, and brandy.
- A libation of honey, lavender, brandy, and olive oil is poured in honor of Oshun, also called Goddess of Water Powers and sometimes referred to as Saint Philomene.
- A honey dressing is rubbed on a bamboo pole to invoke the spirit of Oshun.
- A table is laid with honey, a calabash, candles, grains and flowers to honor Oshun
Raymond Buckland – Buckland’s Book of Saxon Witchcraft
Boil an ounce of ginger with a half-gallon of water for half an hour, then put it into a pan with a pound of white sugar, two ounces of lime juice, four ounces of clean-run honey, the juice of three lemons, and another half-gallon of cold water. When the mixture is just luke-warm, add a large teaspoonful of yeast spread on a piece of toast. Leave for twelve hours and then strain through muslin. After giving it an hour or two to settle, bottle it carefully.
Dissolve four pounds of honey in a gallon of water, and add an ounce of hops, half an ounce of root ginger, and the pared rind of two lemons. Boil this for three-quarters of an hour, pour it into a cask to the brim, and when it is still lukewarm add an ounce of yeast. Leave the mead to ferment, and when this has ended, put in a quarter of an ounce of isinglass and bung the cask tightly. In six months it should be bottled.
Theitic – The Witches’ Almanac
Dawnsio, dawnsio, little bees –
keep to your hives and do not roam.
– from a Witches’s blessing for honey