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Sacred Symbolism

The Bee was the emblem of Potnia (“Pure Mother Bee”), the mother goddess of the Minoan civilization. Her priestesses were called “bees” (Melissa) by ancient Greeks at Delphi, even after Apollo had replaced the goddess at the famous oracle. Homer describes Apollo receiving his gift of prophecy at Delphi from three bee goddesses (Thriae) -- one of the earliest references explaining the shift in human culture from matrilineal to patrilineal models of descent and inheritance.  The earliest reference to Potniais from an inscription in Linear B (Mycenean Greek) found at Knossos, Crete dating from 1450-1400 B.C. The bee was emblem of the goddess in many ancient cultures including Artemis and Demeter in Classical Greece. The Mycenean tombs at Tholos were even shaped live a beehive. This pendant illustrates two bees holding the Cosmos with their honey as giver of life.