I’ll start with some general information about this awesome bird, before moving on to the spiritual significance…which is the primary reason for the post. The Great Blue Heron has a range of most of North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Galapagos Islands. It has also been seen, however rarely in parts of Europe. In North America, it is the largest of the Herons and is only surpassed in size by two other species of Heron worldwide. They can be found in a variety of habitats with the exception of always being near water, whether fresh or saltwater. Their diet mainly consists of small fish, but they have been known to eat other water dwelling creatures, such as shrimp…they have also been known to eat small mammals as well.
Just yesterday, a Great Blue Heron flew so close to where I was standing that I couldn’t believe it for a moment. For years, I’ve paid close attention to animals presenting themselves to me in ways which aren’t typical because I believe that there is a message in there. Whether the animal is seen more frequently than normal or it is seen where they normally aren’t…which is what the heron did…I do some homework to find out what it might mean. A really good friend and I are so similar in our beliefs and on our paths that when she told me that one had been seen by her just the day before, it really spurred me to dig deeper. Okay, here is what I found and wow…it’s true and just what was needed right now.
The physical characteristics of animals give us important cues which help us to understand their spiritual significance in our lives. The Great Blue Heron’s legs are one of their predominant features. Legs, as symbolism goes represent balance and the ability to progress and evolve. The length of the legs are significant too, as the longer the leg…the deeper the exploration of life can be. Heron’s legs are also very thin, which says that the person receiving a message is not one who needs the typical definition of stability in their lives, but they are able to stand on their own just the same.
One of the notes which I came across about heron totems is that it is important for people with heron totems to explore different dimensions of earthly life. This is not to be confused with dabbling…it’s that the person has the ability to do well at many things, which enables that person to follow their own path in life. It is reinforced by the fact that the Great Blue Heron is a lone hunter and that they only congregate during breeding season. This is one of the messages which I’ve struggled with for years. It isn’t that I do not like people…honestly I do. It’s just that I prefer to be alone a good bit more than most people do. Over the past few years, I’ve come to accept this and not view it as a flaw just because it isn’t typical for many people.
It has been said that most people can not live their lives in the way of people with heron as a totem because it isn’t a structured life and does not appear to have the stability and security which most people need. This however, is just a matter of perspective. The security in these people’s lives comes from being able to do a wide variety of tasks, knowing that if one way doesn’t work that a way which does work will be found. To a vast majority of people, the person with a heron totem’s life seems chaotic and unfocused because they are always diving into different things…sometimes leaving unfinished business for later. I’ve come to realize that there is a reason for this which took me years to understand. Until not long ago, my flitting from one thing to the next without finishing one first drove me nuts. Now I have seen that there is usually a progression to the madness of it. I get sidetracked often by things which pop up while I am working on something else and follow the new threads as they appear. Sooner or later, I get back around to the original thread and looking back…it was the following of the new threads which helped me to better understand the original thought. Reading about the heron totem has reinforced that for me, as well as helping me to accept it as a good thing and not as a character flaw.
Key features of people with heron totems which spoke to me are:
Not needing a lot of people in their life.
Not feeling pressure to keep up with the Joneses.
They stand out due to their uniqueness.
They know how to quickly grab onto things, events, and ideas which others wouldn’t bother with.
A NEED to follow their own wisdom and path of self determination.
Knowing what is best for themselves and being wise to follow that as opposed to the promptings of others.
It is amazing how many things that I have learned about myself…and how many messages I’ve received just when they are needed most by paying attention to the wildlife around me. What heron tells me is that the best life and path for me are the ones I’ve recently decided to allow myself to go on. This has given me the confirmation which I needed about my decisions and is something which I am very grateful for. Have you ever paid attention to the wildlife around you and thought about what it might be telling you?