This is some fascinating work IMO. Gough was a guest on C2C AM yesterday, Jan. 30, 2013 and sadly was spooled by George Noory after just 1 hour.
Jan 30-31, 2013,Honey Bees & Ancient Culture / Andrew Gough , Host / George Noory
Here are links to some of Andrew Gough's fascinating research on this topic: it's in 3 parts and I'll post a bit of the first part here:
History is rife with lost knowledge and traditions whose meaning has blurred with the passage of time. I believe the ‘Bee’ is one such tradition, and that its symbolism was important to civilizations of all ages. Inexplicably, the Bee is dying and nobody is quite sure why. Legend asserts that when the Bee dies out, man will shortly follow. We will review the implications of the Bee’s apparent demise in due course, however in this - our first instalment, we will examine the genesis of the Bee’s symbolism in the mist of prehistory.
The Bee in Prehistory
Anatomy of a female Honey Bee
Thanks to fossilisation, Bees over 100 million years old have been discovered in amber, frozen in time, as if immortalised in their own honey. The Greeks called amber Electron, and associated it with the Sun God Elector, who was known as the awakener. Honey, which resembles amber, was also known as an awakener, a regenerative substance that was revered across the ancient world. The resemblance of honey with amber led to the Bees exalted status amongst ancient man and secured its favor over other fossilized insects. Marcus Valerius Martialis, the first century Latin poet renowned for his twelve books of Epigrams, commemorates the symbolism:
"The bee inclos'd, and through the amber shewn,
Seems buried in the juice, which was his own.
So honour'd was a life in labor spent:
Such might he wish to have his monument."
A Bee fossilized in amber over 100 hundred million years old - from Southeast Asia
Bees accompanied Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and during the mythical Golden Age, honey dripped from trees like rain water. In Egypt, Bees symbolized a stable and obedient society, mantras that would later be adopted by Freemasonry – and the United States of America. The Bee’s ability to pollinate was not lost on prehistoric man and contributed to its reputation as a regenerative, transformative and mystical creature. Indeed, paintings from prehistory confirm that the Bee has been revered for tens of thousands of years.
In the Cave of the Spider near Valencia Spain, a 15,000 year old painting depicts a determined looking figure risking his life to extract honey from a precarious cliff-side Beehive. Honey hunting represents one of man’s earliest domestic pursuits and hints at the genesis of the Bee’s adoration in prehistory.
Honey Hunting in Spain – approximately 13,000 BC
Veneration of the Bee continued in Neolithic Spain, as the highly stylised rendering of a dancing Bee below illustrates. The image underscores the quandary with Bee symbolism; that is, most of us would be hard pressed to identify the image and others like it, as a Bee. The tradition of the Bee worship in Spain has been preserved to this day, albeit under the rather macabre guise of Bull fighting. The modern day ‘sport’ is actually an extension of Mithraism, the ancient mystery school whose rites included the ritualistic slaughter of bulls. But we are getting ahead of ourselves, for to understand how bulls are related to Bees we must examine the Bee in prehistory still further.
The Bee is the only insect that communicates through dance, yet this largely forgotten trait is one of the reasons why Bee imagery from antiquity is often lost on the untrained eye. In her authoritative and oft quoted book, The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, Marija Gimbutas examines imagery on artefacts from Old Europe, circa 8000 BC, and concludes that they portray the Bee as a manifestation of the Mother Goddess, as depicted below.
Mother Goddess, thought to have been carved between 24,000–22,000 BC
The Mother Goddess is arguably the oldest deity in the archaeological record and her manifestations are numerous, including likenesses of butterflies, toads, hedgehogs - and dancing Bees. In the ancient world, dancing Bees appear to have been special - the Queen Bee in particular, for she was the Mother Goddess - leader and ruler of the hive, and was often portrayed in the presence of adorning Bee Goddesses and Bee Priestesses.
Dancing Bee Goddesses, from The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe
© Marija Gimbutas
Dancing Bee Goddess, from The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe
© Marija Gimbutas
In addition to dancing Bee symbolism, Gimbutas identified images of Bees as stick men, or schematized figures, with their arms arched over their head like the Dancing Goddess motif so common in Sumerian and Egyptian reliefs.
Bees as stick men, or schematized figures © Marija Gimbutas
Clearly, the Bee was depicted in manners unidentifiable to the casual observer. And to be fair, this is no wonder, for the Bee was often portrayed in a highly stylized fashion anyway, and occasionally its features were distorted due to the unrefined skill of the artist in antiquity, as well as fact that the artist may have been in a shamanic, drug induced trance at the time the image was created. Furthermore, the image of the Bee was often prejudiced by the surface it was created on, i.e. rock wall, statue or mud brick, etc, and the perspective that this afforded.
So let’s look at several more examples, starting with a well known image that few would associate with Bee symbolism; a 10,000 year old Anatolian Mother Goddess wearing a Beehive styled tiara. The Beehive inspired motif was popular in earliest society and confirmed the Goddesses exalted status as a Queen Bee who ‘streams with honey’, a substance of considerable importance, and status, in ancient times.
Rosslyn Chapel - Myths & Mysteries
Also in Anatolia, this time at the Neolithic settlement of Catal Huyuk, rudimentary images of Bees dating to 6540 BC are painted above the head of a Goddess in the form of a halo. Nearby, paintings of Beehive comb cells adorn rock strewn temple walls, recalling the day when such symbolism was widely understood – and important. In Anatolia, Bee veneration continued for thousands of years, as demonstrated by the 18th century BC Hittites, who relied on honey as an important element of their religious rites.......................................
Here are the other 2 parts:
Link to Article
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