Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Introduction to the Melissae: Simon Buxton and the Sacred Trust

Excerpt from The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters

"We moved into the orchard and I closed the gate behind me. This done, I turned to follow the Bee Mistress, and what I witnessed began, I felt, to spin me into a myth. Here and there in the shade-dappled orchard, figures were moving, at work among the hives, figures of women clad in long gowns with either purple or crimson borders. All of them wore the protective black bee veils, thus I could hazard only the dimmest guess at the faces beneath them, although I though I recognized the Melissa who had surprised me that day and then disappeared as swiftly as she had appeared. An occasional ripple of laughter broke the busy silence and the Melissa nearest to me - young and of a delicate prettiness, I could have sworn, although her veil disclosed provokingly little - was singing the sweetest of seductive Siren chants as she stooped over an open hive and lifted out a crowded honeycomb. I hoped it was sung for my benefit.


The taste of honey is on your lips,
my darling, your tongue is milk and honey for me.
I have entered my garden,
my sweetheart, my bride.
I am gathering my spices and myrrh,
I am eating my honey and honeycomb,
I am drinking my wind and milk.
Eat, lovers, and drink
until you are drunk with love..."

- Simon Buxton

Meet the Melissae. Women descended from an ancient European tradition called The Path of Pollen. When writing and reading of the Melissae we cross into the lands where history and myth intertwine. There are few in-depth accounts of the Melissae for they are a veiled tradition, steeped in the mysteries of the feminine.

The Melissae Priestesses trace back to the oracular traditions of ancient Greece. Melissae comes from the Greek word for "honeybee". The Bee Priestesses at Eleusis were called Melissae and lead the initiatory rites of passage at Eleusis known as the Eleusinian Mysteries. The Priestesses of Demeter, Aphrodite and Persephone among other goddesses were all known as Melissae, as were many of the ancient Pythias or Oracles. It is even said that the oracles ate honey as one of the means to induce "truth-speaking".





The grounds of the Sacred Trust
Taken from the Galley on their website.

In the excerpt above, Simon Buxton writes of his first encounter with the Melissae in a summer garden in England where he is initiated onto the Path of Pollen by Bee Master Bid Ben Bid Bont. Through his experience, Simon goes on to create the Sacred Trust in Dorset, England, where he and a group of incredible staff offer workshops in Shamanism and The Path of Pollen. Through a series of deeply synchronistic events (more later!), I was gifted with the opportunity to attend one of these workshops last July. The workshop was called the Way of the Melissae and lasted a week. It was a women-only class, taught, priestessed and held by the incredible Kate Shela and Naomi Lewis, for whom I am forever grateful. They call it a workshop, but it is so much more. It irrevocably altered the path of my life. I have little else to say about the teachings, for it is not mine to teach. However, if there is some deep stirring within you as you read this, I suggest a trip to the Sacred Trust website to see where the threads take you.

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