Heron Totem – Spirit Animal

By: Orly Niran Yahalom.

The name Heron includes Herons, Egrets and Bitterns, such as Cattle Egrets, Black Heron, Bittern, the beautiful Great Blue Heron and many more. Herons are of the Ciconia Order and the Ardeidae Family, whose preferable natural habitat is in the vicinity of shallow fresh water wetlands and swamps. The gracefulness of Heron is easily noticeable by its long neck, thin legs and beautiful feathers. Heron people stand out due to their gentleness, uniqueness and the magic they project on their surroundings.

For those who are guided by the Heron Totem, the Throat Chakra, physical and mental balance as well as the connection to water is greatly significant. The Heron hunts its food by standing in shallow waters. Heron carries the medicine of Water – the exploration of the emotional dimension and ability to nourish our hearts emotionally. Heron people excel in self-analysis and understand the behavioral patterns that motivate their operation. This ability depicts their skills of observation and comprehension, analysis and connection with deep aspects of the human soul.

Heron’s long neck suggests the importance of the Throat Chakra, which is the center of freedom of communication. Heron people will always choose several fields of interests and ways of making a living that enable freedom and flexibility. They need a variety of ways through which to express the creativeness with which they are gifted.


A person’s ability to make a living is linked to their personal need to firmly stand on their own two feet. In the case of Heron, the legs are very thin thus enabling light footedness and flexibility of work choices and their combination throughout an extraordinary way of life. This is one of the most prominent features of Heron people, whose life path is always unique and evokes amazement and inspiration in their close environment. The flexibility of the neck depicts an open mind for different life paths and creative solutions for subsistence. These unique people have inner wisdom embedded deep in within their souls regarding an understanding of life’s diversity. This understanding perceives work as an expression of creativity and not merely for survival needs. Heron’s ability to maintain balance regardless of its thin legs indicates the need of Heron people to find the balance between the practical pragmatic aspects of life and the expression of their rich inner world. This need usually leads them to a unique life style that differs from the norm.

Heron’s diet mainly consists of aquatic animals, such as fish, crustaceans and molluscs. It is important for Heron people to add fish to their diet and maintain a balanced diet even if they are vegetarian. Heron teaches us particularly important lessons regarding mental balance through balanced nutrition, self nurture and nourishment of our loved ones. In the Seneca Tribe Medicine Wheel, Heron is located in the month of July along with the astrological sign of the domestic and motherly Cancer. When Heron people are connected to their inner selves, they are aware of domestic aesthetics, as well as their own physical aesthetics and nourishment. Massage, cosmetics and attention to aesthetic appearance form part of Heron people’s nurturing essence. Another aspect of nurturing can be expressed in the love of cooking. I knew a woman who the Heron was her major totem animal and she chose to make a living by establishing a catering service, and others for whom the field of nutrition as a basis for a healthy life serves as the focus of their lives. In contrast, another acquaintance whose Heron totem was located on her Totem Map in the place of Lessons mainly dieted on fast food and chocolate.

Heron Medicine addresses nourishment on all levels. Heron people are particularly sensitive to their need for emotional nourishment and it is imperative that they concentrate on positive thinking. Nourishment means choosing the books, movies/scenarios and thoughts with which we decide to fill ourselves. Some Heron people choose to nourish others as spiritual teachers, dietitians or healers.

Those whose path is guided by Heron know how to make quick decisions when required, just as Heron quickly catches its prey after a long examination and observation of the waters. They have the ability to act and enhance their actions and ideas at the right timing and to exploit social connections. Heron people make life decisions based on self reliance and inner knowledge. This is the magic that is in the Element of Water with which they are connected, knowing how to extract power from the depths of the soul.

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