About a year ago I was inspired by this card and post by RedondoWriter, discussing her relationship with bees with the desire to protect. I could relate to her desire to protect these irreplaceable creatures despite her past experiences with bees. In my own experiences with bees, they have come into my life a total of 6 swarms so far, one of those times was with African honeybees that resulted in an attack on our whole crew, with 3 of us going to urgent care with multiple stings. It was incredibly frightening. I am not crazy about running into them again either, but I have a deep and healthy respect for bees and their value. Still, when I see a migrating swarm it takes every muscle in my body not to completely freak out and run. But despite my fear of them their protection means everything in the bigger picture.
Bees also inspire me creatively (Save the Bees) and sometimes I wonder if bees are actually one of my animal guides eager to share their valuable lessons since they’ve had such an impact in my life, especially as travelling swarms.
Swarming bees became a primary symbol in my Fear card for obvious reasons. But most recently bees have buzzed their way into the Community suit of my SoulCollage(R) deck, as shown in the “Bee Blues” card above. In a recent reading with the card, the bee became my guide through this IAOW statement:
“I am one who is coming right at you. I am one who has contributed to bad experiences, yet I am one whose purpose you value and want to protect. I am one who has caused you pain. I am one who is an important part of the natural world you love so much. I am one you need, and who needs you.”
The take away message for me at this time is a reminder that even painful experiences are an equally important part of the landscape of life, and after time can lead to new wisdom and a healthy respect. “Bee Blues” offers valuable learning from past experiences. Because of my encounters with bees, I’ve researched and learned much about their different species, fascinating adaptations, social structures and cues, and their unmatched role in maintaining the diversity and health of the environment. They have symbolically taught me about facing my fears, perseverance, community, the value of learning from past lessons, self-reliance and, how terrible things are scary to experience, but also get our attention and move us through transitions, taking action, healing, gratitude, and more.
I find it so fitting that a swarm (a colony/community!) of honeybees has indirectly played a role in the way I participate in my own community. Bee “medicine wisdom” or guidance often takes something personal to me and reminds me that it’s not just about me because there is a bigger community out there to be a part. For example my bad experiences have taught me valuable lessons which guide me in the larger community I interact with daily–in the actions I take, the workshops I lead, and the creativity I share.
In the SoulCollage(R) community, card making and readings lead to insight, intuition, “giving voice” to all parts of our self, and learning. Making a card for something we fear or dislike, or do not understand often takes away some of the “power” the related experience has held for us over time.
If you have an animal that has come into your life in a way you’d probably rather forget, consider looking at the experience you came through from an interpretive, or wisdom-gathering perspective. An attack experience is very scary and (if you are ready) perhaps viewing the animal through its more symbolic meaning might shed light, offering the gift of insight beyond a reaction to a horrible experience. Through the process of SoulCollage(R), giving the bees voice has taken them out of my head and into my deck where their lessons for me are far better appreciated and valued.
Do you have any cards that were first created to acknowledge a bad experience that have guided you in very positive ways? Sometimes we unintentionally create “shadow” cards that we are uncomfortable with, but surprise us with very supportive guidance during readings, have you experienced this with your own cards yet?
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