Symbols - What does heaven look like


Dumbledore is another name for a bumble bee, thus Dumbledore takes its symbolism directly from that of the bee – a spiritual traveller – one who is able to ‘fly’ out of body, with a difference, because the association with honey is not there, bumble bees do not make honey [did A K Rowling know this I wonder?].

The implication is that probably being of an intellectual bent this particular spiritual traveller cannot create spiritual input for use by others, it can only fly about by itself and thus by implication a dumbledore is not a ‘healer’.

The word dumbledore is one of a set of rhyming words from English of some centuries ago, the others being bumble (from a root meaning to drone or buzz – humming and buzzing) and humble (from an old Germanic word meaning to hum).

All three – dumble, bumble and humble - have been used to form names for those furry, blundering, slow-moving bees that are so large you wonder how they get off the ground.  Bumblebee is now the usual term almost everywhere, humblebee was once common in Britain but is now much less so; dumbledore is the rarest, though it can be found in stories.

Charlotte M Yonge used the word in The Daisy Chain, published in 1875:

“Those slopes of fresh turf, embroidered with every minute blossom of the moor — thyme, birdsfoot, eyebright, and dwarf purple thistle, buzzed and hummed over by busy, black-tailed, yellow-banded dumbledores”....

The ‘dore’ in the name  dumbledore is an Old English word for any insect that flies with a loud humming noise.

Angel and Monk Getting Honey from a Beehive  - Russian lacquer art