Date: April 3rd
Tools: potted violets, potted heather, honey, drum or cymbals, beeswax candle
Background: Cybele was known as The Great Mother, the Queen Bee, and the Domina. Animals associated with her included lions, panthers, and bees; her stone is the meteriorite, her trees the oak, fir, and pine. While she was invoked for aid in fertility and rebirth, she was likewise called upon for help in times of war. The spilling of blood in her honor was not uncommon, and her priests made eunuchs of themselves during several of her festivals.
For this festival, we are going to focus on her position as the Queen Bee. Depictions of her include robes covered in flowers, and wearing a similar garment may lend itself to a more complete union with her.
The ritual: This is a simple festival, wherein violets and heather will be repotted or placed in the ground, in order to provide nectar for the bee population. This is a day dedicated to the issue of bee population decline, a factor that influences food production for everything on the planet. Honor Cybele and her winged legions, the workers that provide pollination for our future. If you have space, consider setting up a hive or two of your own.
When the plants have been placed in their new home, pick up the drum or cymbals, and create a rhythm that reminds you of the bees swarming. Imagine them reproducing, and the members of the hive flying out to discover the flowers. Make a mental picture of them finding your flowers, and how the plants will look when the bees have sampled their nectar.
Next, light the candle, and imagine the smoke from it filtering into the hive. This method is used to subdue the bees so that honey may be extracted. In this case, it will lull the bees so they make a music all their own. Taste the honey you’ve brought with you, let it coat your hands, lick the sweetness of it off your fingers as you hum aloud. There may be no tune, but somewhere in the flow of it, remember to honor Cybele, the Queen Bee.