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“History is rife with lost knowledge and traditions whose meaning has blurred with the passage of time. I believe the ‘Bee’ is one such tradition, and that its symbolism was important to civilizations of all ages. Inexplicably, the Bee is dying and nobody is quite sure why. Legend asserts that when the Bee dies out, man will shortly follow.”

Part One: http://www.andrewgough.co.uk/bee1_1.html

Part Two: http://www.andrewgough.co.uk/bee2_1.html

Part Three: http://www.andrewgough.co.uk/bee3_1.html

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Gilgamesh then returns to Uruk, where after purifcation he attracts Ishtar’s romantic attentions. Then the goddess offers to be his lover, he refuses, citing a list of her former lovers as an excuse. Though Gilgamesh (unlike Theseus) does not return with the monster’s head, the plot is familiar: Hero enters the wilderness or labyrinth where he faces a monster who brings out the hero’s most heroic (and often violent) aspects. Changed, the Hero then earns the love of the goddess, whom he then insults (or abandons), getting instead her curse. He returns to the outer world (usually a city) cold and famous. What is it about the meeting of monsters that brings out the worst in heros? One wonders: After the monster at the heart of the labyrinth is slain, what is born? Death and rebirth seem to lie at the heart of the labyrinth’s mysteries, but whose death and whose rebirth isn’t always easy to discern.

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If 13 people sit down to dinner together, one will die within the year. The Turks so disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary (Brewer, 1894). Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. Many buildings don’t have a 13th floor. If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil’s luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names). There are 13 witches in a coven. Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams. Don’t start a trip on Friday or you will have misfortune. If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow. Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck – as in the tale of H.M.S. Friday … One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell once and for all the widespread superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned, named “H.M.S. Friday.” They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard from again.

The name “Friday” was derived from a Norse deity worshipped on the sixth day, known either as Frigg (goddess of marriage and fertility), or Freya (goddess of sex and fertility), or both, the two figures having become intertwined in the handing down of myths over time (the etymology of “Friday” has been given both ways). Frigg/Freya corresponded to Venus, the goddess of love of the Romans, who named the sixth day of the week in her honor “dies Veneris.”

Friday was actually considered quite lucky by pre-Christian Teutonic peoples, we are told — especially as a day to get married — because of its traditional association with love and fertility. All that changed when Christianity came along. The goddess of the sixth day — most likely Freya in this context, given that the cat was her sacred animal — was recast in post-pagan folklore as a witch, and her day became associated with evil doings.

Various legends developed in that vein, but one is of particular interest: As the story goes, the witches of the north used to observe their sabbath by gathering in a cemetery in the dark of the moon. On one such occasion the Friday goddess, Freya herself, came down from her sanctuary in the mountaintops and appeared before the group, who numbered only 12 at the time, and gave them one of her cats, after which the witches’ coven — and, by “tradition,” every properly-formed coven since — comprised exactly 13.And Loki makes thirteen. . .

Twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One, god of mischief, had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to 13. True to character, Loki raised hell by inciting Hod, the blind god of winter, to attack Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and obediently hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly. All Valhalla grieved. And although one might take the moral of this story to be “Beware of uninvited guests bearing mistletoe,” the Norse themselves apparently concluded that 13 people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck.

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Nezha or Na Zha (Chinese: 哪吒; pinyin: Nézhā; Japanese: Nataku or Nata) is a deity, the enfant terrible, trickster, originally of Buddhist Chinese mythology, though in the West he is perhaps more well known from Japanese anime. His official Taoist deity name is Zhongtan Yuanshuai (中壇元帥) or Nezha Qiansui (哪吒千歲). Recent research traces the origine of the character to Nalakuvara.

Nezha is often depicted flying in the sky with a wheel of fire under each foot, a golden hoop, the “cosmic ring”, around his shoulder and a spear in his hands. Sometimes he is given multiple arms. Nezha is usually depicted as a youth and rarely as an adult.

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When I turned 22 I started tempering with my soul. Lacking confidence in any of the known (subscribed?) religions, I’d often felt unoccupied, quintessentially blank. In times of joy, I acknowledged the emotions, drew pleasure from their light substance and held hands with positive delight. In times of pain, I cursed remorsefully at my weaknesses. At all times, I had felt evacuated of my specter.

A few miracles took place that year. I met several of the best people and friends I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, I landed a job in a terrific environment where I felt challenged daily, I started to dabble a bit in yoga, and studied philosophy, world religions and science ~ as a past time ~ with great hunger.

Giordano Bruno, Immanuel Velikovsky, Johannes Kepler, Rene Descartes, Tesla, Einstein, Copernicus; Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism; Mythology, History, Astrology; all were devoured, consumed and processed into a escalating panacea of awareness of my long lost soul.

I forgave my emptiness, I allowed the whispery personage to seep back into my being. I took pleasure from knowledge and repletion in the training (re-training?) of marrying my physical and metaphysical senses.