When learning the medicine of Native American Totems it sometimes helps to relate a story about the animal, plant, or mineral that the lesson is coming from. The First People of Turtle Island (North America) have left us with wonderful stories that help us understand more about a messenger who has come to us on our journey. Yesterday, I blogged about the Blue Heron and how it teaches us about self-reflection. Here is a story about Blue Heron from the Cherokee tradition.
I have heard that a very long time ago there was a race of Little People. These people were very small, perhaps only 5 or 6 inches tall. The Little People enjoyed a good life for the most part. They did suffer from the occasional attacks from visiting birds, though. You see, my friend, these birds were larger than the Little People and it caused them much worry that they might be mistaken for food. One day a Cherokee hunter, whose name has long been forgotten, gave the Little People a gift. He showed them how they could make little bows and arrows to defend themselves against the birds. They were very grateful to this friendly hunter.
For the next hundred years the Little People lived by the marsh in harmony with the world around them. One day a flock of Blue Herons came. The long legs of the Heron caused the arrows to fall short and they did not scare the Blue Herons away.
The long beaks of the Great Blue Heron frightened the women and children and they fled, screaming into their homes at the sides of the marsh.
The tiny warriors stood their ground and faced their fears of these enormous foes. The Great Spirit saw that these Little Men had faced the challenge bravely and were using the skills they had. So, a punishment was given to Blue Heron for terrorizing these Little People. It is why the Blue Heron has to feed alone and is never seen in flocks to this day. This is why Blue Heron brings us the message of self-reflection as it has to feed alone. Alone we have to face our fears, look at our gifts, and be in harmony with our world.
I love to find these tribal stories and see how they relate to the Native American Totems that work with us in our journey on Mother Earth.
~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related
Bev, love the Blue Heron story. Love your new blog theme!
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That is so cool that your home is called “The Blue Heron Farm”! I live near a lake and we have Blue Heron flying over us frequently and see them feeding in the shallow waters. It is so very cool.
I have always enjoyed Native American stories, especially the animal stories. We see Great Blue Herons often when they visit our habitat. I am curious about the round mark on their “shoulder” that looks like a wound. Are there any Native American stories about that unusual mark?
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I don’t know of a story about how the Heron got the spot on his shoulder but I’ll see if I can find one. It does sound like a possibility for a story. I thought maybe one of the Little People left a mark with one of their tiny little arrows. Then again, Great Spirit could have put it there to be a reminder not to terrorize little beings. Sounds good anyway.
We have a single blue heron who visits the creek behind our house. Sometimes he wades in the creek fishing for salmon and sometimes he roosts in the trees. He is always by himself.
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Hi Bev–I love the story of the Blue Heron. Also, we have a whole community of Blue Heron who fly up and down the Conestoga River where I live. Whenever I see one, I am reminded to pause, and simply breathe.
We call our home, “The Blue Heron Farm!”
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