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HONEY & HOPE

Inspired by the queen bee who calls forth the swarm with honey and hope, ten luminaries will share stories of how they have pushed boundaries, connected deeper with Nature, learned from ancestral wisdom, gained inspiration from within, and/or sought to affect systemic change.

 

From indigenous cultures to integrated psychedelia, from ecofeminism to environmental economics, together we will explore questions about mindful, meaningful living and how we can individually and collectively sprinkle honey and hope from our own hives to humans and non-humans far beyond.

April 7: Dr. Stefan Stângaciu from Apitherapy.com

April 21: Dr. Elsa María Cardona Santos from Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research 

May 19: The Melissae's World Bee Day Ceremony

June 16: Matthew Shepherd from Xerces Society

July 14: Max Dashu from Suppressed Histories Archive

September 15: Clare Dubois from TreeSisters

September 29: Starhawk from Earth Activist Training

October 20: Melanie Kirby from Zia Queenbees

November 17: Chiara Baldini from BOOM Festival

December 15: Hanifa Nayo Washington from Fireside Project

2021 Video Recordings Also Available

10 SPEAKERS

Activism
Mythology
Apitherapy
Archetypes
Psychedelia
Ecofeminism
Sacred healing
Environmentalism
Bee-centric science
Indigenous cultures
Community-building
Art and more...

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

2022 BEES, DREAMS & MEDICINE

Full-Series (10) Subscription $160 (get 2 free)

6 Speakers $100 (save $20)

3 Speakers $55 (save $5)

1 Speaker $20

* Online webinar series via Zoom *

* Attendees of live talks get an opportunity to ask speakers questions *

* Video recordings will be available to view on-demand afterwards *

* All prices include service fees and sales tax *

* Tickets bought up to one hour in advance guarantee access to live talks *

Are you experiencing financial hardship? 

BIPoC: we value your presence and warmly welcome you into this community.

Contact us for a limited number of partial scholarships.

2022 PROGRAM

Dr. Stefan Stângaciu

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Mysteries of Bees:
Intelligence, Communication, Medicine

Thursday, April 7, 12–2pm Pacific Time

The Melissae

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World Bee Day Ceremony

Thursday, May 19, 12–2pm Pacific Time

Max Dashu

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Prophetic Women

Thursday, July 14, 12–2pm Pacific Time

Starhawk

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A Revolution of Thought, Action and Community

Thursday, September 29, 12–2pm Pacific Time

Chiara Baldini

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Her Share of Divine Madness: Women in the Ancient Rites of Dionysus

Thursday, November 17, 12–2pm Pacific Time

Dr. Elsa María Cardona Santos

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Rewilding Nature and Society

Thursday, April 21, 12–2pm Pacific Time

Matthew Shepherd

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Save the Bees!—But which Bees,
and How?

Thursday, June 16, 12–2pm Pacific Time

Clare Dubois

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Inspiring Restoration and Feminine Leadership, One Tree at a Time

Thursday, September 15, 12–2pm Pacific Time

Melanie Kirby

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Nurturing the Matriarchy: From Beescapes to Reciprocity

Thursday, October 20, 12–2pm Pacific Time

Hanifa Nayo Washington

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Sacred Healing & Psychedelic Integration

Thursday, December 15, 12–2pm Pacific Time

MEET OUR 2022 SPEAKERS

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Thursday, April 7
12–2pm Pacific Time

Dr. Stefan Stângaciu

Mysteries of Bees:
Intelligence, Communication, Medicine

Around the world honey bees are known for producing honey and for greening the planet through pollination. Less known is their ancient relationship with humans, dating back tens of thousands of years; their inherent intelligence and wisdom, passed down to those who “listen”; their contributions to medicine, whereby almost every byproduct of the hive—honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, even bee venom and beehive air—can be applied to humans to prevent or cure various illnesses (aka “apitherapy”); as well as a little understood, slightly controversial theory that bees can sense our “auras” and administer healing bee stings where needed.

 

Dr. Stefan Stângaciu, one of the world’s leading apitherapists, relays personal and professional stories of working with bees throughout his lifetime, during which he’s observed their behavior and developed theories about and practices surrounding their intelligence, communications, and medicine.

About Stefan

Stefan is a Romanian physician, focused primarily on apitherapy, a practice that uses bee products to heal numerous ailments. Renowned as one of the world’s foremost apitherapists, he has successfully treated thousands of patients throughout Europe, North America, and beyond. Stefan is President of the Romanian Apitherapy Society, Honorary President of the German Apitherapy Association, Secretary General of the International Federation of Apitherapy, founder of Apitherapy.com, author of apitherapy books, and a keynote speaker at many international conferences.

 
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Thursday, April 21
12–2pm Pacific Time

Dr. Elsa María Cardona Santos

Rewilding Nature and Society

Anthropocentrism—the belief that humans are superior and separated from other life forms—is profoundly embedded in many modern cultures and our globalized economic system. While some claim this to be a root cause of human-driven environmental collapse, others propose that anthropocentric approaches, such as regarding Nature as a form of capital, can provide a solution to ecosystem degradation. However, the concept of "rewilding" proposes the opposite: a re-connection between people and Nature, whether as a conservation approach to support the health of ecosystems or as an approach to enhance human health.

 

Dr. Elsa María Cardona Santos will explore both the potential of rewilding and the potential for rewilding. She will analyze our capacity to implement this approach, given our cultural and economic institutions, and the capacity of this approach to shape our connection to Nature. 

About Elsa

Elsa is an environmental economist concerned about the effects of our consumption and production patterns on our health and the health of our planet. She is a researcher and campaigner for the protection of Nature and the wisdom of our ancestors. She studies the design and impact of environmental policies and brings together science and policymaking to stop ecosystem degradation and to protect biodiversity. She works at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany.

 
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Thursday, May 19
12–2pm Pacific Time

The Melissae

World Bee Day Ceremony

A growing number of people seek to interact with the honey bee in a deep way. There is awe in their voices as they speak of their sweet humbleness after sharing liminal space with them. Many commune with honey bees in an artistic way, ceremonial way, through performance, art, plant medicine. What is emerging is a distinct culture, a unique vision and fecund vocabulary, expressed through influential music, dreams, archetypes, and activism.

 

The Melissae (bee priestesses) invite you to participate in a simple set of ceremonial practices, so that together we may grow in awareness of the honey bee. After years of study and personal development, each of our presenters has special ways by which they honor bees in their lives. They will describe these discoveries and processes, and then, if you wish, we will all perform a ceremony of offering, forgiveness, and love to our pollinator family in celebration of World Bee Day (May 20).

About The Melissae

Laura Bee Ferguson, founder and director of The College of the Melissae, invites Rahibe (alumni) and members of the school’s network to share glimpses into their inner musings and spiritual studies with honey bees. Each has discovered lines of understanding that, seemingly self-discovered, also exist collectively. This synchronicity and unity is helping to provide a framework for a renewed animistic look at our relationship with Nature, one another, ourselves, as well as the world around us.

 

Subscribe to The College of the Melissae's mailing list for updates and introductions to our special hive of guest presenters.

photo © Alexander Wild

World Bee Day Ceremony

About The Melissae

 
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Matthew Shepherd

Save the Bees!—But which Bees, and How?

Thursday, June 16
12–2pm Pacific Time

About Matthew

Buy now

Thursday, April 21
12–2pm Pacific Time

 
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Thursday, July 14
12–2pm Pacific Time

Max Dashu

Prophetic Women

We’ll take an international visual journey that calls back memories of the seer-ess, dreamer, sibyl, oracle—under her many cultural names. The prophetess does more than “predict the future,” she speaks sacred truths (“soothsayer”) and communicates profound insights about reality in her inspired voice. She channels divine wisdom, “sitting out” on a stone, under a tree, at the riverside, or while dancing, chanting. She divines by casting lots, throwing the bones or kernels or shells. We’ll look at Aztec diviners; the Germanic veleda; female oracles from Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Greece; Algonquin mashkiki-kwe; French and African-American fortunetellers; the Caribbean madama; and South African izangoma. The prophetess is a guardian of culture and sometimes leads her people in fighting domination, like Dahia al-Kahena (Tunisia), Muhumusa (Uganda), Mauricia la Bruja (Venezuela), Teresa Urrea (Mexico), and Essie Parrish (California). We need to know about these women, and their ways of knowing which subvert systems of domination, on our path to liberation.

About Max

Max Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research women in the global cultural record. From her collection of some 50,000 images, she has created and presented hundreds of slideshows at universities, conferences, festivals, community centers, bookstores, schools, and libraries internationally. She is the author of Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion and Pythias, Melissae and Pharmakides: Women in Hellenic Culture. She also publishes videos, such as Woman Shaman: the Ancients and Women’s Power in Global Perspective, as well as the Deasophy Coloring Book. She teaches with images via her online courses, webcasts, the SHA Facebook page, and stream-on-demand videos (Suppressed Histories Portal on Teachable).

 

In a career that began in England and took him to Kenya before his arrival in the United States, Matthew has spent 35 years working with people from all walks of life to create better places for wildlife. He works for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, and in the last two decades has helped build pollinator conservation from an obscure issue to a topic of dinner-table conversation and wide engagement.

 

Matthew is author or co-author of numerous articles and other publications, including Attracting Native Pollinators.

We’ve all seen headlines about plunging pollinator populations and have read stories about people who want to save them. There’s no doubt that pollinators are under pressure and that we most certainly need to enact change to help them. But which bees need saving, and which actions will have the best impact?

 

Matthew Shepherd’s own awakening about bees came a quarter century ago. Soon after, he was offered the opportunity to take a leading role in protecting them.

 

Join him on a journey through the diversity of bees, some of the major issues clouding their future, steps we need to be taking to ensure they have a safe environment, and how you can contribute at both an individual level and as a community. Along the way, we’ll also take a diversion to check in on the status of monarch butterflies in North America.

 
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Thursday, September 15
12–2pm Pacific Time

Clare Dubois

Inspiring Restoration and Feminine Leadership, One Tree at a Time

Clare Dubois founded TreeSisters after a car crash that delivered a life-changing message to reforest the tropics and lead the way in switching humankind’s behavior from a consumer to restorer species. Since then, TreeSisters has grown into a worldwide network of individuals inspired to protect and restore the planet—and themselves—through reforestation, feminine leadership, and global action.

 

Clare will share her personal journey of transformation and how the activation of motivated members and the cultivation of more feminine leaders will create a better, more sustainable future for all.

About Clare

Clare is the founder of TreeSisters, a social-change and reforestation organization that places tropical forest restoration into everyone’s hands. TreeSisters has funded the planting of more than 22 million trees globally and champions the cultural shift required to grow humanity from a consumer to restorative species.

 

She is a free radical and unlikely leader, an Earth-loving social entrepreneur and inspirational speaker, inviting us all to step up on behalf of the planet. Before TreeSisters, Clare coached business leaders and facilitated group behavioral change internationally across multiple sectors.

 
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Thursday, September 29
12–2pm Pacific Time

Starhawk

A Revolution of Thought, Action and Community

These are challenging times. And in challenging times we need visionary leaders to guide us towards a better future, leaders who can ignite the people with bold thoughts and unflappable passion. A revolution of philosophy, of action, could be sparked, whereby underdog values (re-)emerge from the cracks of a crumbling society. Values of Earth-based activism. Ecofeminism. Community. Environmental spirituality. Social justice.

 

Starhawk heeds the call and rises to that challenge. Emboldened by a growing movement of concerned citizens taking action, she forges forth—and brings us along—on a journey about goddesses, regenerative culture, permaculture, and the power each of us holds within ourselves.

About Starhawk

Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer and teacher, and a prominent voice in modern Earth-based spirituality and ecofeminism. She has authored or co-authored 13 books, including The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess and the ecotopian novel The Fifth Sacred Thing, as well as its sequel City of Refuge. Her most recent nonfiction book is The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups about group dynamics, power, conflict, and communications.

 

Starhawk founded Earth Activist Training, which teaches permaculture design grounded in spirituality and with a focus on activism. She travels internationally, lecturing and teaching on Earth-based spirituality, the tools of ritual, and the skills of activism.

 
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Thursday, October 20
12–2pm Pacific Time

Melanie Kirby

Nurturing the Matriarchy: From Beescapes to Reciprocity

The Queen is the heart of the hive, a conduit for sharing memories from one generation of bees onto the next for survival and longevity. The relationships between topography, time, and seasons sculpt these memories. The dynamics between humans and bees in diverse landscapes encourage adaptive stewardship, from the first indigenous beekeepers and farmers to today’s diaspora of peoples and disciplines. Around the globe, bees inspire stewards.

 

This presentation will take viewers on a visual and storytelling journey, reflecting on how past and present apicultural experiences guide us into the future and encourage reciprocity.

About Melanie

Melanie Kirby is an interdisciplinarian, weaving the cultural, artistic, and scientific approaches to beekeeping by exploring kaleidoscopic concepts and implications of land stewardship, agroecology, food systems, biodiversity conservation, and outreach. In 2005, she co-founded Zia Queenbees in the southern Rocky Mountains of the U.S., specializing in breeding regionally adaptive bees. A Fulbright-NatGeo Storytelling Fellow with a graduate degree in Entomology, she advocates for broadening the narrative of marginalized farmers and communities as a mestiza of mixed indigenous ancestry. Melanie collaborates across cultures and landscapes, promoting whole-system approaches to pollinator conservation with diverse communities, including SlowFood-SlowBees and as founder of The Adaptive Bee Breeders Alliance.

 
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Thursday, November 17
12–2pm Pacific Time

Chiara Baldini

Her Share of Divine Madness: Women in the Ancient Rites of Dionysus

Mad women running atop mountains without the supervision of husbands. The ingestion of mind-altering concoctions. Ecstatic nocturnal dancing to the rhythm of the frame drum. Ritual sexuality. These and more were the ingredients composing the early worship of Dionysus, the Greek god of fertility, wine, and pleasure.


Chiara examines the role of women in the Dionysian cult: Who were the maenads? What happened during their women-only rituals? What was the reaction of their contemporaries? And which have been the most accredited interpretations of their legendary legacy by modern scholars?

About Chiara

Chiara Baldini is an independent researcher and freelance curator from Florence (Italy). She investigates the evolution of the ecstatic cult in the West, particularly in ancient Greece and Rome, contributing to anthologies, psychedelic conferences, and festivals. She has been the program curator of Boom Festival’s (Portugal) cultural area, Liminal Village, since 2010, and also helped to set up and run ConTent, the first cultural area at Fusion Festival (Germany) in 2015 and 2016. She recently co-curated an anthology called Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine, investigating the intersection between the feminine principle and altered states of consciousness. She is currently a PhD candidate in Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

 
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Thursday, December 15
12–2pm Pacific Time

Hanifa Nayo Washington

Sacred Healing & Psychedelic Integration

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About Hanifa

Hanifa Nayo Washington is an award-winning sacred activist, creative visionary, storyteller, musician, heart-centered facilitator, and entrepreneur. She has been combining arts, healing, and activism to make the world a better place for 20+ years. She is an Usui/Holy Fire Reiki Master; co-founder and Chief of Strategy of Fireside Project, operators of the first U.S.-based psychedelic peer support hotline; as well as Principal Organizer & Co-Founding Practitioner of One Village Healing, a Black-led mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness initiative that centers liberation, accessibility, mindfulness as preventative medicine, affinity healing, and psychedelic wellness as its core practices.

VIDEO RECORDINGS FROM 2021

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Les Crowder

The Nature of Bees: How Not to Step on Their Toes While You Dance

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Gary Bobroff

The Fall of the Masculine Idols

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Andrew Gough

Cybele: The (Bee) Goddess Who Fell to Earth

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Rabbi Dahlia Shaham

Devorah and the Bees: The Historic Fall and Contemporary Rise of Spiritual Feminism

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Valerie Solheim

The Mayan Melipona in History and Ceremony

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The Melissae

Rituals & Practices of the College of the Melissae

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Marla Bull Bear

Honey Lodge: Our Winged Relatives and Activism within a Lakota Bee Experience

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Anna Breytenbach

The Gifts of Communicating with Bees

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Dr. Gabrielle Francis

Illumination to Honor Pachamama and the Wisdom Keepers of the High Andes

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Max Dashu

Bee Goddesses, Melissae & the Oracular in Ancient Crete and Beyond

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Miranda Rondeau

Ancient Drums of the Melissae: A Sacred Tool Reclaimed in Modern Times

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Michael Joshin Thiele

The Apian Ecology of Selves: Who Is We?

BEES, DREAMS & MEDICINE is a co-production of 
The College of the Melissae & The Ambeessadors

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