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Max Dashu

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

Max Dashu takes us on a visual journey through the ages and across continents, beginning with the ceremonies of Cretan and Mycenaean bee-women and how they related to sacred dance, shape-shifting, and Ariadne’s labyrinth. In Hellenic tradition, milk and honey were offered to goddesses, and bees were said to circle stone honeypots in the Cave of the Nymphs, where they wove life itself. Melissae was the title conferred on Delphic oracles and Eleusinian priestesses of Demeter, and bees were a primary symbol of Artemis of Ephesus in what is now present-day Turkey. Across the Mediterranean in Egypt, the temple of Neith was called "House of the Bee." Up north, Finnish healer Ilmatar sent her bee helper to bring resurrecting vitality from the sun in the Kalevala. And in India, the bee goddess Bhramari evokes the vibrational hum of the cosmos.

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).


Inspired by the scholarship and leadership of

the Melissae (ancient bee priestesses and oracles), we invite you to

meet select luminaries and international thought leaders, who share

insights, visions, and dreams for a new tomorrow.

During this yearlong online series, we meander through a labyrinth

of Science, Sacred, His-/Herstory, Mystery, Art/Medicine, and Activism

— the pillars that comprise the College of the Melissae.

Amid troubled times, together we ask: Who are we?

Where did we come from? And how can we recreate our cosmology?

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