Many reference sources do not have information on Egret, and others will tell you to also see Heron
Heron’s Wisdom Includes:
All aspects of diversity Self-reliance Boundaries
Exploration Self-esteem Balancing multiple tasks
The heron is a long legged wading bird. There are about 60 species of heron including several species called egrets.
Most egrets have white plumage that is highly prized as ornaments in oriental ceremonies.
Herons are often seen standing motionless, as if in a meditative state, on its long thin legs.
This stance symbolizes its ability to maintain balance through proper focus.
Its inner foundation is secure although not fixed.
When the heron feeds it stands in water. Its neck is bent in an S shape.
The flowing pattern of the letter S reflects the rhythm of this bird.
Understanding your personal rhythm and responding to it accordingly is imperative for those with this medicine.
Water is associated with the mysteries of life.
It is connected to the emotional body of man.
When you see a heron standing in water notice how deep the water is.
This depth can symbolize the depth that needs to be explored within self.
The deeper you go the more you discover.
Whatever is discovered take the time necessary to stand in silent reflection.
In this way clarity of understanding is known.
Those with this medicine have strong emotional natures.
They feel things deeply and with passion.
The challenge here is to keep passionate thoughts and feelings under control in order to maintain a balanced emotional nature.
The advantage of this energy indicates the passion and ambition needed to complete tasks and accomplish goals.
Herons are seldom seen flocking together. They are solitary birds that enjoy their own company.
Heron medicine people are independent and willing to make changes when the need arises.
They do not need a lot of people in their lives.
This can sometimes lead to challenges in personal relationships especially if the other person has needs that require constant attention.
Maintaining some type of social interaction and not withdrawing from others completely is helpful.
Herons stand out in their uniqueness and know how to take advantage of things and events for their own benefit.
By observing the heron, its actions and its lack of action we learn how to perfect out personal flight through life.
Herons hold a silent power, their grace, agility and majestic presence reflect balance. This balance is the gift they offer to all who choose to receive it.
Keynote: Aggressive self-determination and self-reliance
Cycle of Power: Spring
There are many variations of herons, including bitterns and egrets. storks and cranes should not be confused with them. Herons are part of a group of birds called “waders.” It is a bird of the marshlands and shallow waters. All waders have similar physical characteristics–loping, thin legs, long necks, and sharp bills. These physical characteristics are important to understand for those who have a heron as a totem.
Legs enable animals and people to move about on the earth. They are symbols of balance, and they represent an ability to progress and evolve. Also the longer the legs, the deeper the water the heron will feed in. The deeper life can be explored. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that you don’t need great massive pillars to remain stable, but you must be able to stand on your own. This is especially significant for those with a totem of the great blue heron, as it is a lone hunter.
When it feeds, it stands in the water, reflecting a connection to the earth–while implying the exploration of other dimensions on the earth (water element). It is important for anyone with a heron totem to explore various activities and dimensions of earth life. On the surface, this may seem a form of dabbling, but those with herons as totems are wonderfully successful at being the traditional “jack of all trades.”
This ability enables them to follow their own path. Most people will never be able to live the way heron people do. It is not a structured way, and does not seem to have a stability and security to it. It is, though, just a matter of perspective. There is security in heron medicine, for it gives the ability to do a variety of tasks. If one way doesn’t work, then another will. This heron people seem to inherently know.
Heron do not seem to need a lot of people in their life, nor do they feel pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” or be traditional in their life roles. The only time they gather in colonies is during the breeding season. They stand out in their uniqueness, and they know how to snatch and take advantage of things and events the average person would not even bother with.
The great blue heron is considered the king of the marsh, although the short-eared owl has been known to readjust the heron’s viewpoint. It is the tallest of the herons, and when it flies, its head is folded back in a flat S-shaped loop. This reflects the innate wisdom of being able to maneuver through life and control its life circumstances. it reflects a need for those with this totem to follow their own innate wisdom and path of self-determination. You know what is best for you and should follow it, rather than the promptings of others.
The great blue heron in flight is powerful, and its legs and head are held in a straight line. It uses a slow stalking stride when hunting. When it spies a fish, it spears its prey with its sharp beak and with quick speed. Again it reflects an aggressive movement toward opportunities that present themselves.
The green heron is actually more of a slate blue, and it has orange legs which are distinctive. This color combination reflects an innate balance at living life in its own unique style. It flies silently, and is most often seen in flight at night and at dusk. Like all herons, it is a marsh bird.
There are distinctive seasonal changes in the color of this bird. The irises of the eyes will turn from yellowish to bright orange, as will the legs. Meditation on this color will provide a lot of insight as to its role in your life.
*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
The name heron is applied to a large number of small or large wading birds in the family Ardeidae; they are related to storks and ibises. These birds live in temperate and tropical areas of marshy or salt water around the world. All herons have a long, slender neck, a long, pointed bill with sharp edges, and long legs. Their plumage may be colored black, white, brown, gray, blue, chestnut, buff, or combinations of these. Although the heron is a timid bird, it will defend itself with its sharp beak if cornered.
In mystical symbolism, the heron, stork, and crane represent much the same things. They are all solar and Water birds that are said to be able to predict the weather. they represent vigilance and are valuable as destroyers of reptiles.
In Greece, the heron was sacred to Athene and Aphrodite, carrying their messages to humans. In both China and Japan, the white heron is teamed with the black crow to symbolize solar-lunar powers. Ancient Egyptians associated the heron with the rising Sun and the return of the resurrected god Osiris. It signified regeneration of life. In Celtic cultures the heron had many of the attributes of the crane.
Superstitions: It is a general European belief that to shoot a heron is bad luck.
The ability to watch patiently for results. Dignity of movement, methodical procedure in matters.
Gaining dignity and self-confidence for facing personal problems.
*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Heron defines the beauty of spiritual wisdom.
*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer’s Dictionary:
You can expect some losses, but you will regain them and more if you dreamed of these exotic birds.