Mental Health Prayer Poetry & Bees

I love including bee symbols in my co-creations. Bees are rich in symbology and, to me, have always represented the sun and happiness. These tiny creatures are vital to our survival, keeping our ecosystem balanced. They are regarded as a positive omen in nearly all indigenous cultures.

I have re-designed one of my most popular chaplets, the St Dymphna Celtic Mental Health Prayer Beads / Chaplet with Green Aventurine, which has always included a bee. I found some lovely 18k gold-plated bee beads included in the new version.

I use the Bee on this chaplet for the Ancestor/Angel bead. This bead is used to acknowledge your guardians, ancestors, or spirit helpers, say hello to them, and acknowledge their presence in your life.

I chose a bee as a reminder that we are never truly alone in our struggles; there are a host of unseen guardians around us that await our request for help and guidance. Not the least of which are Our Lady and St. Dymphna, the patron saint of depression, anxiety, and mental illness. The bee is also a rich symbol in Celtic spirituality.

The new version of the St. Dymphna strand chaplet will also include a prayer in the form of a poem by Antonio Machado. I find this poem deeply hopeful and a reminder that there is more for us than we can imagine with our minds.

The symbolism of Bees as included in the story that accompanies the St. Dymphna Mental Health Chaplet:

There are many interpretations of the bee symbol’s meaning.  It’s worth searching for yourself, but I will cover the meanings I appreciate the most and meditate on when including a bee symbol in my creation.

The bee has long been a symbol of Our Lady.

The ancient Druids saw the bee as a symbol of the sun (the Goddess), great wisdom, community, and celebration. The yellow color of the bee’s stripes is also a symbol of the sun and the energy from which life grows.

They regarded bees as spirit messengers between the two worlds and could bring back messages from the gods.   In Ireland and Scotland, there are traditions of treating bees as family members. There are many stories of people telling bees about all the happenings in their lives, births, weddings, and deaths, in hopes they were family members come back to visit. 

In the western isles of Scotland, where some of my family come from, people thought that bees carried ancient knowledge.

Many indigenous cultures in North America associate bees with honesty and community service.   

Bees and honey are also mentioned quite a bit in the bible, and early Christian writers associated bees with the gentle character of Jesus Christ.

Some keywords for the meaning and symbolism of bees:  Love, Life, Order, Growth, Wisdom, Beauty, Family, Delight, Mystery, Sweetness, Provision, Nurturing, Community, Organization, Productivity, Communication

A Bee Prayer in the form of a Poem

Last Night As I Was Sleeping by Antonio Machado.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—blessed illusion!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—blessed illusion!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—blessed illusion!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—blessed illusion!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

Note: I think the author is expressing a part of himself that doubts true joy / mercy / solace when he says “blessed illusion” but the poem expresses the truth beyond this doubt. 

Saints associated with Bees

St. Ambrose – patron saint of bees, beekeepers, and candle makers

St. Abigail – patron saint of honeybees and beekeepers

St. Valentine – patron saint of beekeepers

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

cover image: Photo by Dmitry Grigoriev on Unsplash

Published by Julienne Givot

Ordained Minister, Maui Wedding Officiant, Maker of Free-range Prayer Beads, Community Radio DJ, Artist. Web Designer

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