Sure, bunnies are cute and chocolate eggs are delicious, but spring is about more than just fertility and baby animals – it’s about flowers. Flowers everywhere are popping up out of the sleepy winter ground, or blooming and dotting the world with a little colour. You may only have snowbells or daffodils now, but soon the trees will be green and the ground dotted with all the colours of nature. Once those pretty yellow dandelions start to decorate your lawn you’ll know it’s honey bee season. (Dandelions are one of the first flowers honey bees drink from once they shake off the winter blues!)
Honey bees are, unfortunately, a dying breed. Pesticides, human encroachment on wild land, having grassy lawns instead of gardens, and once more with feeling PESTICIDES have put us in a dangerous situation with our honey bees. These busy little critters pollinate not just pretty flowers, but the plants that grow our food, and the food of our food all over the world. Without bees the humans and animals of the world would starve and die out in a matter of years. So when you think of the cute little animals of the spring equinox or, Ostara, make sure your mind falls on the bees.
Ostara is a time of renewal, fertility and togetherness. Since it’s the newest of the neo-pagan Sabbats it has very little real root in antiquity (no. it is not pre-christian. and the germanic tribes of europe had no goddess Eostre. Most of her traits were written by none other than Jacob Grimm!) and the way to celebrate Ostara is wide open to interpretation and creativity. How about doing something a little different?
Ostara Ritual to Save the Bees
This ritual combines the colours of spring and bees, with growing flowers and a prayer to the Roman Goddess Mellona, the goddess of bees and honey. If you’re a secular practicing witch you can sub out the prayer for your own words, or use the power of your magical mind and visualize the same outcome. Blessed Ostara!
You Will Need:
- A seed (or seeds) or bulb for a flower that benefits or attracts bees
- A flower pot
- Small offering bowl (optional)
- Honey (optional)
- Floral oil
- Yellow candle (beeswax would be ideal!), to represent the bees
- Black Candle, to remove obstacles
- Light blue candle, for peace and tranquility
If you have a ceremony for opening or closing a circle or calling in guardians, begin there. Otherwise you can ground yourself to the earth or even the element of air.
Place your pot in the middle of your altar.
Dress your light blue candle with the flower oil you’ve chosen and as you do imagine a wide open field full of wild flowers. As large a field as you can imagine. Feel and smell the flowers blooming all around you.
Next, dress the black candle with the flower oil and recall your field. This time focus on the weather, make sue the weather in your field of flowers is perfect. No clouds, not too hot, not cold, no high winds. No predators or other people. Nothing that could hurt the bees or get in the way of their work.
Take up your yellow candle and dress it in the same way, but this time fill your field with the sounds of buzzing honey bees. The sound would be light, more like a hum. Imagine happy little bees quickly flitting from flower to flower, drinking the nectar and taking it home to their hive beyond the field somewhere. The bees don’t even notice you. They don’t come near you, they’re hard at work.
Keep the field in your mind as you arrange the candles around your flower pot.
Fill the pot halfway with dirt and hold your seed or bulb in your hands, still imagining your field. If you’re non-religious, imagine sending healing light into the seeds. This is the seed that started your beautiful field. Send it light so that it might grow and provide food for honey bees, and in turn all of us.
If you’re so inclined, now you may say a prayer to Mellona, the Roman Goddess of bees and honey over your seed.
Goddess Mellona, Keeper of Bees
Watch over your children
and accept my blessing with the help of this seed
Place your seed in the pot and cover with the remaining dirt
I offer my aid, my blessing, my prayer
that every bee will be filled with nectar
that every hive will be filled with workers
that every spring will be filled with the buzzing of bees
and the sweetness of honey
Fill your offering bowl with honey and place it in front of your pot
Goddess Mellona, I offer my aid
Bless these seeds that they might nourish the bees
as honey nourished the body
As you will it, so shall it be
Let your candles burn down, and put the honey outside as an offering. If the weather permits, put your flower pot outside and take good care of your flower. Watch and see the bees visit it once it blooms.
Notes and Variations:
- If you have trouble communicating with animals you can add a brown candle to your spell, and imagine the bees in your field coming to your call.
- Decorating your altar with bees and flowers and maybe even your flower pot with intention can only add to the magic.
- It’s true that big name honey is not always harvested ethically, buy ALL your honey (but especially the honey used as an offering) direct from a farmer you trust to be ethical. Small farms usually take great care not to harm any bees while collecting honey. This part can also be left out or subbed out. If you want to pray to Mellona, and offering is still recommended. There are lots of liqueurs on the market made with honey such as Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey or mead or many ciders. You can also make a small bee totem that can be out outside and returned to nature.
- This spell or prayer can be adapted as a coven ritual, or for an entire garden of bee attracting flowers.
- Make sure your seed if you a native plant! No matter how attractive something is to bees in another country, it doesn’t mean bees here will recognize it. Get native plants to ensure success.
- After performing your spell, make other efforts to help bees by not using pesticides, not killing dandelions, planting bee friendly flowers and seeds, leaving out small drinking stations for bees and of course – not swatting them!