Sunday, December 26, 2010

What's the buzz

It's the day after Xmas. Our first significant snow of the season is looming. The world is cool and hushed, awaiting the winds which will soon pile inches of white against my doors and windows. It seems only natural that I should wish to discuss a very special subject – bumble bees.

Why not? Any day now, stores will be full of heart shaped candy boxes, leprechauns and Easter bunnies. If they can do love sick, fuzzy dwarfs, I can do bees.

I'm scared to death of them. Bees, not dwarfs. Well, dwarfs too, but that's off the topic. Having been stung on the gluteus maximus at an early age, I learned to respect them. (I also learned a karmatic lesson: the bee's ass got mine while mine got his. I sat on him as he rested on the back seat of my dad's Chevy.) Despite this initial, painful encounter, bees were also part of the first magical act I ever witnessed.

As I've gotten older...and older... I've come to see the bee as a symbol of industry, prosperity, community, and harmonious organization. The bee stands for healing and wisdom in many ancient societies.

Now, to change the subject – but not really. Decades ago, my grandfather drew a symbol for me, at my request. (He never did art professionally, but was quite talented at drawing plants and animals.) He drew a 2 leaf plant, roots sunk into the soil, and leaves stretching upward towards the moon. It later became the symbol of our coven. I see power in that sign, a simple gift from one generation to the next, and a statement of the basic goal of our Path: Grow. Acknowledge your roots even as you reach for the moon.

Me, in front of our coven flag
 One day, not that long ago, a student decided to tattoo our symbol on her wrist. I had no objections. The result was rather stylized, but nicely done – as tattoos go. (Body art – not really my thing.) Earlier this year, while sitting down to an innocent cup of tea, I noticed that the coven symbol was – gone. Something else was now on her wrist, a design that was part of a larger, newer tattoo of a woman with bees.

“Where's the coven symbol?” I asked, mouth agape.

“Oh – I didn't care for it. I had it covered over. It's OK. I know it's there.”

I was speechless.

Do MAGIC much? You take an important symbol, incorporate it into your own flesh, then eradicate it with a design of your own .. and that's OK??

I was hurt – insulted – appalled. How could anyone not see the significance of that action? I mean, geez....

That was when I decided to amend my personal symbol (which had also been the coven symbol) to be inclusive of the old and the new. I took the existing sign, combined with the bee hive image, and had artist Robin Ator execute the graphic.

Behold my new, personal symbol:

Please do not ink this onto your butts, use it as an advertising logo, or otherwise abscond with it. I paid $$$ for this image.

Meanwhile, our coven symbol continues on. I did special meditations about it and have seen to it that its energy has not diminished. Those of you who belong to the Tuatha De Danann tradition can still use the coven symbol in any respectful manner.

Ya want art? Buy a canvas!

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