GIFTS: Balance. Independence. Recognizing opportunities. Extreme patience and inner stillness. Staying grounded in emotion. Being fully in the here and now.
CHALLENGES: Loneliness. Lack of support. Taking every opportunity and focusing on none.
What is a heron doing when you see it on the bank of a river or a lake? Usually, it is standing perfectly still, watching the water, waiting for a fish. I have seen herons that I have mistaken for statues, they’ve been so incredibly still. Physical herons are extremely patient and can stand perfectly still for a long period of time. If Heron is your spirit animal, you have the gifts of extreme patience and inner stillness. Patience and stillness may not come easily to you. The lesson for you is to quiet yourself, your body, your mind. Find that still point that is always waiting inside you. That is the point that enables patience and perseverance. You can do anything when you harness that still point within you.
Heron possesses grace and balance that come from its ability to move between earth, water, and air. Heron wades and stands in Water (intuition and emotion) but remains always grounded to Earth (embodiment and perseverance). Heron flies in Air (vision and perspective), but does so with its neck retracted, not sticking out like Crane. This means that Heron’s perspective is of the Now. Heron does not stick its neck out to see beyond this moment. This is a reminder to you to pay attention to the here and now, to wade into emotions, and to always stay grounded.
Yes, that’s a tall order, a challenge unto itself. If Heron is not your spirit animal, then this challenge feels impossible to achieve. But if Heron is your spirit animal, you feel an inner knowingness that this kind of “soaring grounded balance in the here and now” is actually possible. It pulls at your soul as what you’re here to do and be.
Heron is likely the physical inspiration for the Egyptian deity Bennu. Bennu physically looks like a heron and symbolizes both creation and rebirth. When you accept these gifts along with Heron’s other gifts, you get the message to use Heron’s stillness, patience, and balance in order to create—and re-create/rebirth. That stillness, the gap between thoughts, is the source of all creation. Your mind may be swirling with a tangle of ideas, but it’s the space between them where they coalesce and take root. Heron gives you profound access unlike any other.
As if “soaring grounded balance in the here and now” weren’t enough of a challenge, finding a supportive community is an even bigger challenge. Heron people can be profoundly lonely. Your saving grace is your own inner stillness and balance. As a human, a social animal, you need a support system. But with Heron by your side, you have less of a need for community than do most people. Your here- and-now perspective gives you an accepting sense of reality without a fatalistic “this is never going to end” fear.