Picture provided by Microsoft ClipArt.
I had just completed a three day course in Shamanism and I had lived through the three day juice fast. I was thinking that life was pretty good! I was out in the park, walking my dog, Magic, when this very big and very tall heron walked out of the tall grass along the river. He had extremely long legs. It did not walk toward us, but angled away from us, watching us all the time. We were both silent and a little awed. I was awed because of the beauty and Magic simply because he'd never seen anything like this before. Then Heron stopped, and turned. A second Heron walked out of the grass. They looked at us, then slowly spread their wings and flew up, in different directions. They then both flew over the river. However, they flew opposite to each other, and seemed to fly across each other's path in a figure eight formation. After almost flying over us, they flew down the river and disappeared.
I have never seen anything like this! I believed that Heron was bringing me a message that tied into my Shaman weekend. When I arrived home, I contemplated what I knew about Heron. I grew up on a farm, and during the summer, a pair of great blue herons lived at our dugout (pond). We had an abundant supply of tadpoles, minnows and frogs. Their visits lasted for about ten years while I was growing up.
I knew that the long legs were about balance, and about progressing and evolving. If the legs are long, Herons can wade in deeper water. The meaning for me is that I could move forward in exploring life and Shamanism and other healing arts in great depth. The legs are also about standing on one's own without having a big support structure. If you have ever seen a Heron fish, you will notice that they stare at the water for an extended amount of time, almost like they are mesmerized by the water. This implies a connection to the Earth, and also the ability to look deeply into one's emotion (water) and contemplate without interruption. There is also a message about standing balanced in one's own emotions. This fisher bird is also a message about being able to be alone and complete tasks successfully.
Herons are solitary birds. To see two of them together is unique. Since one was smaller than the other, I believe that they were male and female. So, it seems the message is about being balanced in one's masculine and feminine energy, and that having a mate to fly with is a good thing. The Heron's S-shaped neck is a symbol of strength and innate knowing and Heron travels life on its own path. The quick strike of a hunting Heron gives guidance that one needs to act quickly when opportunity arises. The action may be quite assertive. This is a message about allowing one's power to flow and not trying to stifle it. The message is also about determining one's own road and not following or listening to what others are doing. The flight path of a looping figure eight seems to indicate that life is infinite and one has an infinite amount of tine to move through it.
Much may be learned by watching the Heron for both its actions and its inactions teach us about taking advantage of events in our lives. The Heron represents grace, agility, and quiet power. The balance it uses in its life is a reminder to all to follow balance in all things.
-©Judith Hirst-Joyeux August 2007. If you have had an experience with Heron, we'd love to hear about it, and please let us know if we may publish your story in a future newsletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.