Native American Totems

Discovering the medicine and lessons learned from the spirits of animals and all living things.

Search this site:

When learning the medicine of Native American Totems it sometimes helps to relate a story about the animal, plant,Great Blue Heron Poster print 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