My life changed the day I read The Shamanic Way of the Bee. It felt like a calling. But also a remembering.
True to form, I found a tiny gold bee talisman, put in on a chain around my neck (my christening chain, no less) and fell into the research hive. I meandered with Artemis through the forest, accompanied by bears. I journeyed with Austėja and fell in love with the work of Nina Paley. I put honey in everything and on everything. I put pollen on every meal. I wrapped my leftovers in beeswax and brushed my teeth with propolis. I learnt that one my my idols had recorded hymns from the hive (literally).
Did you ever hear the one about the woman who wandered into a friend’s garden that had a thriving bee hive and was stunned when a bee stung her just below her right ear? Her first response was not positive (and probably justifiably, given the shock and pain) but then she discovered that her persistent, sometimes debilitating, tinnitus of twelve years had disappeared. This is not an isolated incident of bees knowing the best medicine for humans they hold in high regard.
Did I ever tell you about The Hum? I’ve been hearing it almost constantly for about two years. At first, I just assumed a van was idling outside my home all hours of the day. It kept me anxious and awake. After amusing experiments with tuning forks and considerably less amusing experiments with steroids, the best explanation the medical fraternity could provide was Tinnitus. Sadly, The X-Files episode dedicated to the phenomenon did not shed much light on it either (though it was fun to track to down and something of a marvel to watch a young Bryan Cranston directed by an equally young Vince Glligan!).
Anyway, I can’t say that The Hum is impacting my quality of life any more. But I am curious to see what my bees make of it… some day. An apiary is most definitely in my future. Maybe that is the hum that I am hearing.
In the midst of all this, I saw that my girl Julia aka @sacredfamiliar had received an exquisite handpoked tattoo celebrating her heritage as a weaver. The artist was a gorgeous gal called Tamara aka @babavesterkatattoos. Apart from the fact that she was honouring the ancient art of handpoked tattooing, the fact that Julia felt the presence of Vali Myers during her tattoo experience was enough for me. Before I could stop myself, I whisked off a direct message to Tamara, asking if she’d handpoke me a bee goddess.
At that exact moment, my christening chain broke and the gold bee fell off my neck.
Between making the enquiry and the appointment rolling around, I told myself all sorts of things to try and talk myself out of it. At the time, Tamara was working as a full-time chef and tattooing after hours from her home (she’s now a full-time tattoo artist, working out of an amazing studio). She probably wouldn’t be able to find a time that worked for me and my family, I told myself. And she probably lived miles away. And the design would probably be prohibitively expensive. And the handpoking would probably hurt like hell.
When June’s full moon rolled around and my appointed time came, it was early evening and perfect timing for my family. Tamara had just moved house… and lived five minutes’ walk from my home. Her designs were fresh and exciting and captured my dreams perfectly. The cost of the tattoo was extremely reasonable and totally affordable. And the actual tattooing did not hurt one single bit. Tamara herself was warm and wise and funny and fierce and I totally felt Vali in the room with us as we chatted all things Greek mythology, art and books. I walked home in the light of the massive glowing moon and barely slept a wink.
I adore my bee goddess completely.
And of course I’ve already booked in for my next one.