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Friday, May 13, 2011

Animal Signs: The Heron

It's Friday the 13th. There are a lot of things going on in the world with massive flooding and earthquakes, and just a general sense of "unsettledness". In my part of the world, today we saw the sun- or at least some clear sky without rain for the first time in what has been a pretty long stretch. It seemed like the colors were really magnified- super bright dandelions just bursting in bloom, purple violets everywhere I look, and lots of buds almost out on the trees. In the midst of all this spring awakening, I saw a Heron today. In fact, it almost felt like I was being "stalked" by a Heron today so I figure maybe he wanted me to talk about him in my blog.

As a totem animal, the Heron signifies self determination and self reliance. It is said that the appearance of a blue heron is a symbol to follow your own unique wisdom and self-determination. The heron is about following your heart and your soul rather than popular opinion or the latest "bandwagon".

Herons have those incredible long skinny legs for a reason. It's so they can wade out into deep water while keeping their balance but still maintaining the ability to soar to great heights.

Herons can be pretty aggressive in their self-determination. They don't think twice about eating some pretty big fish in order to thrive and survive. It is said that the heron teaches us that sometimes it is best to take advantage of things and events that other people might not even notice or bother with.

I see this heron a lot. He sits on a buoy all by himself as though he is king of the world- pretty content to sit there it seems. When I see him in the reeds by the water he's always alone. When I see him flying overhead I never see any other birds with him. (I really have no idea if it's a him or a her, or the same one I keep seeing, but it makes a better story that way!). The point is- herons are pretty solitary creatures. The lesson to take from them is that there is strength to be gained from spending time with yourself, away from the crowds and opinions of others. There are times when following a solitary path, or non-traditional role may be very rewarding.

When so many things are going on in the world and others are full of doom and gloom, when everyone else knows what you should do or shouldn't do, it might be a good time to think about the heron. They keep everything in balance, happy to be unique, confident in creating their own circumstances. Happy to be unique.

All of this resonates with a few Bach flowers. Cerato, Walnut and Aspen all seem to point to the "heron way" of life. Cerato can help you trust your own inner wisdom. It's indicated when you need a bit of balance to maintain a sense of self-assuredness- to help you follow your own path. Walnut also helps you follow that chosen path. Walnut can provide you the ability to move forward, protected from the influences of others,changing circumstances, and events. (Walnut would probably be helpful if you were evacuated from your home due to rising flood waters I think!). If you wanting to feel more "heron-like", you might consider Aspen as well. Aspen helps replace apprehension with a desire for new adventure and experience. Aspen might help you wade into deeper water in a fearless, trusting state.

So on Friday the 13th, as the flood waters rise and doomsday prophets seem to be coming out of the closet, I guess the Heron has a pretty important message. Maintain your own connection, your own source of strength and stand firm and balanced secure in your personal power.


  1. Hi Heather, While camping recently i came upon a lonely Heron and got some great photos before he flew off. In my search to learn more about the Heron I came to your post...and loved what you had to say about the Heron so much that I had to quote your words on my blog and included links back to Pixi Dust...I hope you don't mind. You can see my post on the heron at

  2. Hi Marisa! I certainly don't mind- thanks for including the link. It's all about sharing! And your photo's are beautiful by the way!

  3. Haha. I also took some pretty cool photos of a heron. On two differen occasions in the same week. I thought it only necessary to research more on this seemingly content feathered friend. The first click. Here. Nice post. Went looking for symbolism. Got more than what I was looking for. :)

  4. I had a major heron experience this summer. Shortly after rekindling a very intense romance with the love of my life, we decided to move in together. I had been living at home for over 3 years (my grandmother with Alzheimers moved in with my family and coming back to help with her, I stayed after her death because of the 'comfort' of it and couldn't break from the 'flock'). One day I saw a magnificent blue heron coming from the ponds out in the back of our property. Thinking this was pretty common (he lives there afterall), I went about my day. The next day, I saw him coming from the direction of the stream on the opposite side of the house. 'Now that's pretty cool- two days in a row!' I thought (or something to that effect). For the next 3 weeks, I saw a heron EVERY DAY. I thought at first that it was strange, but shrugged it off because for the first few times it was the same one (or at least was coming from the same place, and I figured it was just the 'resident bird'). However, I started seeing them everywhere else- on the way to my love's house, I saw herons in the river, over the river- one day after a gorgeous hike with our friends, one came from the side of the mountain and did a complete sweep over our heads and went back to the mountain. All I can say is that this experience blew my mind, and sent me searching in a whole new way spiritually. After reading some different sources about 'heron medicine' and about the symbolism of the blue heron, I realized Heron was telling me to stand alone- leave the comfort of my flock, stand tall and that it was okay for me to go on the path I was on. I moved in with that man and had an unbelievable learning experience as well as a very tumultuous spiritual search (that I am still undertaking). Life's waters are rarely calm, but my new long legs hold me above the choppy waters and my huge new wings carry me above the storm if I need. I will always feel a special sort of awe when I see this bird and will try to always remind myself of the special experience I had with it and the lessons learned when it flew into my life. :D

    1. Incredible! Thanks for sharing that. That Heron must be breathing a huge sigh of relief that you "got it" after all that effort to show you the path!! Enjoy the journey and your long legs!