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Apis-Corvus (The Honey-Bee & The Crow)

The Apini

Yet I dream that somewhere, clad in downy

whiteness, dwell the honey-makers

In aerial gardens with no mortal sees,

and at times returning, lo, they flutter round us

gathering mystic harvest,

So I weave the legend of the long-lost bees

Henry Van-Dyke


Circling us...offering the earth protection and giving us sustenance are the honey-bee and the crow.  They nurture the planet and bring life...pollinating, distributing and germinating precious seeds and flowers.  Without them we would struggle to survive.  For thousands of years, myth and legend have surrounded the honey-bee and the crow.


Legend tells us the honey bee signifies immortality and resurrection. It was the sacred insect that linked the natural world to the underworld.  Both the Atharva Veda and the ancient Greeks associated honey with the gift of eloquence and  prescience...and the ability to see into the future.  In ancient Egypt bees were born from the tears of  Ra the sun god.  A bee was said to settle on the lips of Plato when he was a child ‘announcing the sweetness of his enchanting soul”.


In Hindu mythology the Crow is one of the great ancestors...& in Buddhism he is the protector of Dharma...the stability and harmony of the universe.  For some nomadic cultures the crow is the organizer of the universe...the divine creature who brings us culture and civilization. When he flaps his wings he creates wind, thunder and lightening.


What can the honey-bee and the crow tell us about the future?  Long ago it was said the honey bee would show the world the truth...and the crow would defend humankind.

(Dedicated to Vandana Shiva...Protector of the Seeds)


A sterling silver chain terminates in a toggle closing.  It holds three things: a seed-keeper, a crow feather and a honey-bee.The ornate silver cap of the seed-keeper has been created from an antique salt spoon and some silver sheet metal.  The spoon handle has been twisted up...mirrored by a corresponding piece of silver wire.  These handles create Rhizomic structures reaching toward the light.  The base of the seed-keeper is a silver-plated salt shaker lid  from which hang sterling chain 'roots', connecting us back to the earth...grounding us.  The silver crow feather was created from a small, antique letter opener.  It is a 'portrait' of a real crow feather.  It can be used to dig tiny holes for seeds.  The silver bee was created from the end of a baby’s spoon, silver wire was soldered in place to create the appearance of wings.  The silver head is from an antique czechoslovakian knife rest.  A glass scientific bottle holds seeds for planting.   The chain can be swivelled so the talismans sit at different locations.


Seeds are used interchangeably in this seed keeper to tell different narratives.  Navdanya or nine seeds....dedicated to Vandana Shiva a woman who has  changed the world through her work to save heritage seed varieties. White Barley (Hordeum Vulgare),  one of the first grains used by humans.  Found along the Nile in Egypt…and into the middle east.  Ancient barley grains have been found in pottery dating back 13,000 years..  The ancient greeks used barley in secret ceremonies called 'The Mysteries'.   In these ceremonies Barley was used as a sacrificial gift to the goddess Demeter (some people think her name means 'barley-mother').   Demeter was the goddess of fertility and controlled the cycle of life & death.   The myth of Demeter describes how her  daughter Persephone was abducted to the underworld by Hades.  Every year Hades releases Persephone so she can come above ground to visit her mother.  When she emerges all the flowers begin to bloom and that is why we have spring.  Black dal (Lens culinaris).  Used since neolithic times…is is also one of the first seeds cultivated by humans.   These tiny  seeds have also been found in  13,000 year old pottery.    In some cultures the round shape symbolizes the life cycle from birth to death. In other cultures they are considered a greatly blessed seed.


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