This summer the bees came to us. A wild swarm settled in our chimney and then descended into the stove in our living room. The whole stove was buzzing and the house was full of the song of countless bees. Of course this did cause a bit of a dilemma, as we obviously didn’t want to harm them but the situation couldn’t remain as it was. A local bee keeper was summoned who shook his head and reassuringly told me, ‘this is NOT good’. He said the only thing to try was gently smoking them out, which meant we had to light a fire during that rarest of weather phenomena, an Irish heat wave! We’d kept bees before in France and I had an empty hive, which I’d taken out. I showed the beekeeper who once again shook his head and said, ‘there’s NO WAY they are just going to go in there!’ So that was that, nothing left to do but wait and see.
After several days of smoking, the situation had not improved, in fact if anything it was getting worse as hundreds of bees were coming out of the stove and dying in the house. I was very disturbed by this but in my dreams, I established a strong psychic connection with the bees.
I find I’m holding my shamanic drum, I hear singing and I play along. Then, looking deep into the drum I see images, first a star, then the bees, they are moving upward in a spiraling vortex. They remind me of molecules, of the breaking down of time and space in the merkaba. Then I begin to pray for the bees to leave the chimney, I receive visions of blazing fire and many ancient bee symbols.
In desperation and with all logical and practical solutions exhausted I decided spiritual methods were our only hope and to this end I resorted to the Irish Bee Charm. I placed my empty hive in a part of the garden behind the house in close proximity to the chimney where the bees had settled. I took my harp and sat by the hive, improvised some music and recited the charm.
Sith co nem. Nem co doman. Doman fo nam, nert hi cach, an forlann, lan do mil, mid co saith. Sam hi ngam.
Peace up to heaven. Heaven down to earth. Earth beneath heaven, strength in each, a cup very full, full of honey. Mead in abundance. Summer in winter.
(the charm can be heard on the CD, Cruit Go Nor, by Ann Heymann)
Not surprisingly, the bees did not all magically emerge from the chimney and enter the hive but they did leave soon after this. I felt a sadness and I was worried they had simply died but I felt I’d done all I could in the circumstances. Many months passed and the bees had faded from my thoughts until the day before we were due a visit from Hurricane Katrina. In preparation, I went around the garden putting away any objects that might fly around and cause damage in the coming high winds. I remembered the hive and decided it too should be packed away. Grabbing the top to lift it, I was simultaneously both shocked and filled with joy, to find myself surrounded by beautiful, wild, black native bees. So it seems, that the charm may have indeed worked after all and there is still magic in the old ways! We don’t take any honey from our precious bees, we just want them to thrive, their presence alone is enough for us.
Later, the bees gifted me a profound spiritual dream-vision.
I find myself in a garden next to a tree. My family, my pets, everyone I love is there. By the tree, a red flower and magic mushrooms are growing by a pool of deep water. From the garden I go into the kitchen of a house. The kitchen is full of bees. They are large, humming noisily, vibrantly active, it’s a very real, immersive experience. Standing, with an infinity of bees flying all around me, I notice one which is bigger than the rest. It’s blue, with raised white spots on its abdomen, like an amanita muscaria mushroom. I think the bees are trapped and go to open the door, to let them back out into the garden, but find that it’s already open.
I then understand that we are the bees and that the blue bee is Shiva, the ONE consciousness hidden in the many. The kitchen is where we are now, this reality, the garden is the spiritual reality from which we come. We enter here and forget where we come from, but the door is always open, the way back to the garden is always there, if we just remember.