The Delphic Oracle And The Bees

An omphalos is a religious stone artifact in the ancient world. In Greek, the word omphalos means “navel”.

According to the ancient Greeks, Zeus sent out two eagles to fly across the world to meet at its center, the “navel” of the world.

Omphalos stones used to mark this point were erected in several areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea – the most famous of which was at the Oracle of Delphi.

The ancient Greeks used to seek out the Priestesses of the Oracle to answer questions about the future and past.  The Priestesses sat on tri-legged stools near a spot where vapours rose up through an omphalos stone.

The omphalos stone was carved, hollow, domed-shaped and looked like a bee hive.  An example of the one from Delphi (which may be a copy of the original) is shown below:

Omphalos from Delphi

The Oracle itself – the Omphalos Stone, resembles a Beehive and is designed with crisscrossing rows of Bee-like symbols, reminiscent of the ‘Net dress’ worn by Nut, the Egyptian goddess of the sky and keeper of the title She Who Holds a Thousand Souls.

Legend asserts that the second temple at Delphi was constructed entirely by Bees.

12 thoughts on “The Delphic Oracle And The Bees

  1. Cool, very cool! And thanks for telling us the Zeus and eagle legend–I’ll have to post a link to this on my blog (I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out how to “reblog”!)

  2. […] Deborah, at Romancing the Bee explains how the Delphic Oracle had a ”bee connection”! […]

  3. Bibliopharm says:

    I love your history posts. How fun to feel a connection to this ancient work in our modern world.

  4. Love these posts that connect modern life, ancient practice, and deep mythology – just wonderful!

  5. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading The Delphic Oracle And The Bees Romancing the Bee I Tweeted it to hopefully give you more readers.I will certainly come back to read future posts. Private Postal Address UK

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  9. willowbatel says:

    I’m doing a curatorial project for school and googled ancient greek honey bee artwork, and this showed up. I laughed and had to comment to let you know. I’ll definitely be including this in my project now!

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