Tasting honey under the tongue, also known as ‘honey on the tongue’, is a spiritual practice that has been used for centuries across different cultures and faiths. It is associated with receiving divine nectar or ambrosia – the food or drink of the gods – which carries a profound symbolic significance.
Sacred Nectar in Ancient Traditions
In Hindu mythology, the gods and divine beings are depicted as being nourished by a sacred nectar called ‘amrita’, said to confer immortality and spiritual enlightenment. Tasting this nectar under the tongue allows it to be absorbed by the body’s own internal pharmacy.
Similarly, ancient Egyptian mythology speaks of the sun god Ra being sustained by a divine ambrosia. The ancient Greek gods on Mount Olympus were also said to be nourished by ambrosia and nectar, the food and drink that made them immortal.
Receiving Spiritual Sustenance
Therefore, the practice of tasting honey underneath the tongue has come to signify receiving spiritual sustenance – the nourishment that feeds the soul and spirit. Just as honey is sweet and nourishing to the body, the subtle essence absorbed under the tongue is considered sweet and nourishing to one’s subtle spiritual anatomy.
Subtle Anatomy in Yogic Traditions
In yogic traditions, the area underneath the tongue is linked to important meridian points and chakras associated with spiritual growth.
By holding the honey underneath the tongue, it makes contact with the Varahi cavity where key nadis (subtle energy channels) and marmas (vital energy points) meet. Varahi is associated with wisdom and transformation, as it governs the throat chakra area.
When the essence of the honey is absorbed by the Varahi, it can nourish the energetic pathways in a way that promotes spiritual insight and inner realization.
Receiving Divine Wisdom
Furthermore, the tongue has a symbolic significance in many spiritual traditions as being connected to receiving divine wisdom or logos – the creative sound current from which all manifestation arises.
By placing honey underneath the tongue, it touches this sacred receptacle designed for receiving the nectar of divine truth. The sweetness reminds the practitioner of the sweetness of God’s grace and spiritual truth.
Ritual Practice Across Traditions
We find the ritual practice of honey on the tongue across different faiths and spiritual paths:
Christianity – In some Christian traditions, tasting honey is symbolic of being touched by divine grace and receiving spiritual wisdom from scriptural logos or holy words.
Sufism – Sufi mystics speak of the sweetness of divine love absorbed under the tongue during zikr (remembrance of God). The honey is a symbol for the sweetness of the divine Beloved’s presence.
Taoism – In Taoist alchemy traditions, honey under the tongue represents receiving the golden elixir, the culmination of inner spiritual transformation.
Ayurveda – Ayurvedic practice often recommends holding honey underneath the tongue to nourish and vitalize the subtle energy channels, before it is ingested into the digestive tract.
Yoga – In advanced yogic practice, honey may be used to stimulate the Varahi cavity as a support for awakening higher states of meditation. The essence absorbed under the tongue nourishes the subtle energetic pathways.
Therefore, while the exact rituals may differ, the underlying essence is similar – tasting honey underneath the tongue carries a symbolic spiritual significance, associated with receiving sacred sustenance or divine grace.
The sweetness reminds the practitioner of the sweetness of God, divine love, or transcendental truth as it makes contact with the subtle spiritual anatomy.
Modern Scientific Perspectives
While the subtle anatomy systems of yogic or mystic traditions cannot be directly studied via scientific methods, some modern perspectives offer insight on the value of honey under the tongue:
Sublingual absorption – Medicine and supplementation often utilizes sublingual delivery of certain substances because the tissue under the tongue allows faster absorption direct into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive process. Therefore, honey too may enter the bloodstream more efficiently.
Nitric oxide – Honey has been found in studies to support nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is not only vital for cardiovascular health, but also supports healthy nerve transmission and cognitive function. Holding honey under tongue may maximize this benefit.
Antioxidant absorption – Certain antioxidants in honey, such as vitamin C and polyphenols, are more bioavailable when consumed sublingually and absorbed via mucous membranes instead of through digestion.
While more research is needed, these findings lend some scientific validation for why honey underneath the tongue may provide unique health and energetic benefits.
The practice of tasting honey underneath the tongue has been used ritualistically for centuries across different spiritual traditions. It carries a symbolic significance reflecting the reception of the divine sweetness – whether conceived of as grace, wisdom, love, or spiritual nourishment.
Modern scientific understanding also suggests possible benefits in terms of nutrient absorption and bioavailability. However, the subtle energetic anatomy systems of ancient traditions remain mysterious terrain not easily studied via empirical methods.
Ultimately, this sacramental practice reminds the spiritual seeker to receive the gifts the divine has to offer – absorbing the mystical sweetness of enlightened truth as spiritual sustenance for the soul. The honey under tongue tradition persists as a symbolic ritual for divine communion.