I didn't have a picture of a blue heron so here I am in Costa Rica standing on one leg - my best blue heron impression (oh wait, that's a flamingo1/). I identify strongly with this reflective medicine. I'm learning "to accept all feelings and opinions without denying any emotions or thought. . . . Heron medicine people are willing to look at themselves and see the truth of their motives, actions, feelings, dreams, goals, inner strengths, and inner weaknesses. In balancing those truths, Heron's medicine shows you how to meet the challenges of your personal weaknesses and how to continue developing the skills that lead to inner strength and certainty of purpose." (Medicine Cards, p217)
We have been cleansed by Frog and have experienced the pain of rebirth with Bat, moving on to week 10 of our journey we find ourselves with Blue Heron and have the opportunity to reflect on where we have been and where we would like to go.
Those that have Heron medicine have the "ability to accept all feelings and opinions without denying any emotion or thought." (Medicine Cards, p217) This may sound fairly simple but for me it has been pretty complicated. It has been over 10 years since I discovered that my main approach to life, at least to the negative aspects of life, was to deny and avoid.
Denial can actually be a healthy response to certain situations, maybe that is why it is so common. Denial can provide the time and experience needed to face the loss, to face the pain that was too much to stand in the moment or during the aftermath of a traumatic event.
Blue Heron visits us when we are ready for change in our life, when we are ready for the watery world of feelings and have a sincere desire to find our truth. "Heron flies over those who are unaware of who they are and where they belong in the world. Gently dropping a blue feather to them, Heron asks that they follow their intuition and begin the empowering journey of self-realization." (Medicine Cards, p217)
Blue Heron is one of my main totems. Sometimes I think maybe I think too much. I've been told more than once, "You over think things." Yes and no. I agree and I do not agree.
I recently saw a Ted Talks that said that scientists have calculated the likelihood of each of us being exactly who we are (according to our genetic makeup) and the odds are 1 & 400,000,000,000 (400 trillion)! How unique, how seemingly impossible that we are even here. If we truly sit and think about our lives, our loved ones, the impossibility that we were ever even born - it is almost too precious to understand, it is likely too precious to fully appreciate moment to moment and still be able to function 'normally' in life.
It is easy to lose site of the wonder in life, the wonder that shines in the eyes of a child - the light that often goes out from the experiences of living in a not-so-enlightend world. A world that is outwardly focused and where self-reflection is often portrayed as boring or self-absorbed or only for those that are the most devout of some religion or sect. The truth is that we are all built for the divine. Even if you do not believe in the divine, you can not deny that there is a life force, an energy that runs through us all.
"Like the Phoenix that rises from its own ashes, Heron emerges from the unseen worlds of spirit into a new balanced sense-of-self in order to embrace its potential again and again. The magnificence of your human spirit lies waiting for the joy of discovery, if you are courageous enough to follow the waterbird throughout the journey." (Medicine Cards, p218)
Blue Heron leads us toward a state of grace if we are willing to surrender our own limited thoughts and beliefs. Self-reflection allows us to be reborn again, again and again. We begin to understand that we create and destroy our lives every single day. Every drink, every dance, every puff, every smile, every drug we choose just to get by from day to day - we choose each one (or we allow it to choose us) and it leads to where we find ourselves.
If you want to decide where you end, you better examine whether each action you take is going to get you closer or further away from that destination. The unexamined life is not worth living according to Socrates. Those of us with Blue Heron medicine agree. You have unique talents and gifts to share with the world - you are 1 in 400,000,000,000 and the life of your dreams awaits. It starts and ends on the shores of Graces, standing perfectly still with Blue Heron.