I am currently reading the Shamanic Way of the Bee. I am only about 1/2 way through the book, but it resonates with me so intensely. You see, the first of my totem that I ever met was the bee.
Bees have followed me throughout my life in very interesting ways. When I was approximately 5 or 6 years of age, my family and I were up in the forest getting wood to keep us warm throughout the impending Winter.
As I was wandering through woods I had spent my entire life in, I came upon a fallen log. I sat down for just a moment, but long enough for a hive of bees that lived within it to become thoroughly distraught. The whole hive swarmed and covered me.
Panic was my only recollection of that moment. I began running toward my mother, who was deathly afraid of bees. She would not help me, and my father could not hear my screams because of the sounds of the chainsaw. My only option was to find a way to deal with the repeated stings and hope that they would go away. I had to surrender.
I don’t really remember what happened after that. I know that they did eventually go away. I think perhaps my dad came to my rescue or some such, but I don’t really remember. I do know that since then I have had a healthy fear and respect for bees since. One would think I would be terrified and want nothing to do with them, but I actually became even more curious about them.
My grandmother and next-door neighbor was an avid gardener. She knew the need for bees, and taught me to work with them and that without them we would not have the food or beautiful flowers we treasure.
Many years later, still reading about and loving bees, I gave no thought to them when I began looking for my totem animals. It did not occur to me that a totem animal could be an insect, but that was terribly short-sighted of me. I very quickly learned differently, bees were one of the first totems that was revealed to me.
Very soon after learning about this very personal connection I had with bees, I had another strange encounter with them. I literally had found out about it only a few weeks prior and was questioning the validity of my journey and the information imparted there. I wondered if it was all my imagination or not when a very strange incident took place.
I came home from school and walked into my kitchen to see a swarm of bees in the room. I walked in there without fear, but completely aghast. I had no idea what to do, I had not ready anywhere what one should do if they came home to find a whole hive’s worth of bees were buzzing about in one’s room….
Having children, I quickly realized that I could not bring them home to that, so I scooped them up and took them to their Grandmother’s. Later, however, when the S.O. got home and checked out the situation, it turned out that the bees were gone with little evidence of ever having been there. That was the moment that I accepted and embraced that the bee was/is truly my totem.
I now work with them on many levels. They visit me in my garden and we thank each other for the work we do there. Especially in the exceptional drought last year, they thanked me for keeping food available for them. In journey, they guide me and soothe me. I love the bees and thank them for all that they have taught me, and all that they do for the planet, daily.