The honey bees figure highly in Greek belief. To the Greeks, the honey bee was associated with art, music, and inspiration/intoxication. Now the funny thing is that close up the faces of honey bees look a lot like our modern smiley’s, and the honey bee is actually domesticated and mostly very gentle.
Beekeeping was probably the first step in animal domestication, so we have a long history together. Honey bees cannot bite anyone and are reluctant to sting. I used to pet them as a child. Bumble bees are ever less dangerous however and an enraged swarm is very dangerous. Wild ones will get territorial pretty fast if you are too close to the hive and crushing one will bring the hive upon you. I used to work in my garden, stick my hands right down into their masses, gently with no harm and was never swarmed. They became almost like pets.
Bumble bees represent miracles. Bees made a lot of things there old world depended on, like wax and honey. Mead was connected with love spells. Honey. Its sweetness with love. Bumble Bee is a miracle because they have such small wings and big bodies, and defied a scientific explanation for some time. So when I see one, I expect a miracle or something hard to explain and one greets me each spring flying in front of my nose to say hi, hovering inexplicably then flying on.
Animals think in a natural way and humans can do the same if they choose. It has been proven that chimps even have better short term memory than humans and sometimes they have better manners.
Herd animals are the keepers of the spirit of prosperity. They survive by knowing how to prosper for themselves. Impala. The buffalo robe wasn’t mockery of the prey, it was putting yourself in the place of your patron. Taking on his qualities. When they got a kill they saw it as something the buffalo gave them. They knew it could go another way. They did sometimes lose tribe to being trampled.
In Norse legend, the snake was a jailor of Loki. He sacrificed his eye to the ravens and this is how he earned their service. It kept him unable to move. They ate his eye and let him use theirs. He was the divine warlock. The term waer loga came from the Nore tongue and meant man of the logs, man of the runes, weirder. Though it was often bones, and rune staves were everywhere. They would carve runes staves into the threshold of a house.
Warlock was a reference to a peace keeper. A warrior with no chieftain, sort of like a knight errant. And yes, a knight errant was considered sort of disloyal. They brought down Rome. They were not on any particular side. They were the equivalent of a Bokor in voodoo. It is said that a Bokor serve the loa with both hands. Which means he serves his tribe with none.
The bear shirt wearers, berserkers, were warlocks. Respected, but not clan warriors. Their help was never rejected. It’s not impossible for a woman to be a warlock, just less common. Women are generally more community minded and less inclined to be hermits.
Wu-jen in China were their version of warlocks. They were often also skilled swordsmen, and gave rise to the tengu, because they disguised themselves with bird masks.
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One World, Many Paths