Last week took me out of my village to another village and one of my favourite places – a fishing lake. In these weird and troubled times, escaping to a secluded lake surrounded by trees, flowers and wildlife has been a much-needed tonic. Just for a little while, I can switch off from the news and social media and immerse myself and sit with Mother Nature. This time of year is also a time that I work with the Green Man, so often I sit and meditate a little and connect with him through my surroundings.
Sitting still for a few hours allows me to see some wildlife that don’t notice that I’m there – or maybe they do and are not bothered by my presence. One of the lovely creatures that came by in search of his breakfast was a heron. He sat on the island completely still – it was quite fascinating to watch, which got me thinking – as I do – about Heron, stories and myths in various cultures and what magical messages he may bring with him.
Our grey heron is a bird that I’m quite in awe of. Large, about a metre in length with a wingspan of nearly double that and can weigh between 1.5 and 2kg. They are tall with long legs and a beak to match with feathers of grey and white with some black. They are quite prolific reaching numbers up to 63,000 birds. They can be found near any type of water – lakes, rivers and garden ponds. They absolutely love fish but will also eat small mammals too as well as frogs and other small birds.
If Heron comes into your life, he will bring many messages. Keywords associated with Heron are:
It is quite a long list and different cultures will have different symbolic meanings.
In ancient Greece, Heron was thought to be a messenger from the Gods. Therefore, it was considered unlucky and bad luck to shoot one! (unlucky too for the poor heron!)
In Native America, seeing a Heron brought good luck. Fisherman looked upon seeing one as a good omen for a positive and prosperous fishing trip.
A Heron’s call is the cry of the sacred Benu-bird that was said to announce the beginning of time in Ancient Egypt. This Heron like bird was associated with the Egyptian calendar and of the cycle of life and death and rebirth. A Heron also represents the Sun God Ra as depicted on a ben-ben stone.
In Japan, held on the 2nd Sunday in April, there is something called the ‘Shirasagi-no-mai' or the White Heron Dance. This 1000-year-old ritual dance was performed to drive away illness and to purify the spirits on their way to the next world. The Heron signified peace and the whiteness of the feathers as purity.
Heron asks us to look deeper into all aspects of our life. This will bring out our innate wisdom and to become self-reliant. Heron also reminds us of a need to ground regularly – allowing us to discover emotional insights clearly and quickly.
People with Heron Spirit Animal do not need a lot of people in their lives. Heron is a solitary bird except when mating and are quite happy with their own company. Solitude speaks of introspection, inner reflection and meditation. Heron people never feel compelled to be ‘traditional’ in life roles. They are unique and very proud to be so.
Patience is another attribute. Heron will keep still, often for long periods in his hunt for food. When the opportunity arises, he will strike and capture his dinner. The long wait may seem frustrating, but will definitely be worth it!
So, if you are lucky enough to see a heron on your visit to a nearby lake or maybe one is hovering near your garden pond, take a moment to connect with him and see what message he has for you..