Weekly Features

The Weekly Shaman

In ancient Baltic folklore Austeja is queen bee, a goddess who rules over bees, honey, hives and the flowers needed to make honey. Naturally she would also have connection abundance, fertility, and growth. She offers special protection to brides, pregnant women and naturally beekeepers. She is considered the original mother to bees, In Lithuania hives were kept high in tress to keep her connected to Mother Nature. Austeja was so popular a deity that worship last up until sixteenth century. Austeja was simultaneously a bee and a woman. Before gathering honey, it was suggested to both pray and honor her. In the Baltics honey was considered sacred and with great spiritual value so much so that it was once forbidden to buy or sell it. It was usually offered as a special gift. Even so it was once the top export from Lithuania. In mid-August her festival known as Zoline was held when bees are said to be most active. Her celebrants dance with her at this festival. Her sacred trees are those which contain beehives. Beekeepers honey and beeswax to get her blessings.

Also from Lithuania is Bubilas another spirit connected to bees and honey. In most cases spirits or deities connected to bees are female, but in this case Bubilas is male. Bubilas is the spirit of the drone in an attendant to the fore mentioned Austeja. He serves beekeepers and all who attend bees. Bubilas is described as a fat fairy man with a sweet tooth. Honey is offered to him in jugs which are smashed open symbolizing the breaking open of a beehive. Ladonna is a Lithuanian goddess who rules over nut bearing trees and nut groves she is seen as kindred to Austeja since nuts and honey have certain delicious connection. She is a guardian to nut trees and those who tend them. Her favorite animals are squirrels, and birds who have a diet of nuts. Nuts are her favored offerings as well as things carved or made in the image of nuts. Nuts have a certain connection to abundance. She was also honored by anyone offering financial contributions in the care and protections of nut trees. And so, it goes.