The emblem of Potnia, the Minoan-Mycenaean Mistress, is a Mother Bee.
Her priestesses were named Melissa. Bee maidens, usually identified with the Thriae, bestowed gifts of prophecy. The bee, found in the Near East, Egyptian, Aegean and Mayan cultures, was believed to be the sacred insect that bridged the natural world to the underworld. Tholos tombs and bories in France, Spain, Sardinia and Anatolia were shaped like beehives. Bees fertilize blossoming plants and are essential to human life. They are threatened today by commercial farming and pesticides.
Source: Gold plaque embossed with winged bee goddesses, perhaps the Thriae, found at Camiros Rhodes. 7th century BCE. British Museum
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