AUSTEJA is the Lithuanian Bee Goddess with whom some interesting rituals are connected. It was believed that bees chose their own homes according to how generous the farmer was; when a queen hived off, the people followed until she set up a new location, after which the two families were considered linked through "biciulyste", a kind of kinship-via-bee. Neither bees nor honey could be bought or sold, because they were gifts, not products. The Lithuanian language had several words for "death",...
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We call to Austeja, Goddess of Bees, Austeja we give thanks for the sweet gift of honey. Your Bees Gather pollen from so many of Mother Earths flowers helping the plants reproduce and supplying sweet gift of honey for us and other animals. You teach us to live as a loving community, working together both for the benefit their own community and all other life. We ask that you may strengthen our relationships with each other so that we may become a community of bee buddies. (Lithuanian)