Bees and the Ancient Mysteries
In an extraordinary exposition, Lorenzen—an expert beekeeper and student of contemporary spiritual science—describes the Logos mysteries, based at the ancient temple of Artemis in Ephesus, where priestesses were known as “Melissas” (honeybees), while the sacrificial priests were called “Essenes” (bee kings). These cultic mysteries, he says, bore remarkable parallels to the workings of a bee colony—specifically, in the relationship between the queen and worker bees to the bees’ spiritual group soul.
Lorenzen commences his unique study with a discussion of flowers and insects, exploring their common origins. He then describes the beginnings of the honeybee, its connection with the fig wasp and the subsequent controlled transformation of the latter that took place in prehistoric mystery centers. Breeding the honeybee from the fig wasp—a sacred deed performed at consecrated sanctuaries—was part of the Fig-tree mysteries. The initiates behind this task developed the ability to commune with the bees’ group soul and to work consciously on the mutual development of the hive and humanity.
This concise, rich work features an illuminating foreword by Heidi Herrmann of the Natural Beekeeping Trust, as well as a lucid introduction by translator Paul King that explains the anthroposophic concepts employed by Lorenzen in his text.
C O N T E N T S:
Foreword by Heidi Herrmann
Introduction by Paul King
1. Flowers and Insects
2. The Origin of the Honeybee
3. Fig-tree Mysteries
4. Bee Realm and Logos Mysteries
About the Author
Iwer Thor Lorenzen (1895–1976) was born in Harrislee Flensburg, Germany, and began his career as a teacher in 1914. While serving in World War I, he became acquainted with Anthroposophy (founded by Rudolf Steiner) through a fellow soldier. Following the war, Lorenzen returned to teaching, later moving into special education. He established a school in 1949 near Hamburg, where he remained until his retirement. Having worked as a volunteer in the Zoological State Institute in Hamburg from 1935 onward, Lorenzen was also a biologist revered, especially among biodynamic farmers, for his love and knowledge of beekeeping. He published his key work on beekeeping in 1938, followed by another nine books, as well as numerous articles on the insect and animal worlds, metamorphosis, and evolution.