Have you ever seen an egret spread
its massive white wings and glide effortlessly across a marsh? Have you ever seen
an egret stand, sure-footed, dignified and as still as can be in a blanket of
tall green foliage? Ever wonder what these majestic creatures are all about?
Let’s discuss, shall we?
First, the egret is part of the
heron family. Within this family, there is the great blue heron, the white
egret and the bittern. Storks and cranes should not be confused with these
birds. Herons are marshland and shallow water “waders” and all possess similar physical
characteristics: long, thin legs, long necks, and sharp bills.
As we examine the physicality of
their legs, we notice that the longer the legs, the deeper the water the egret
will feed in. Symbolically, the deeper life can be explored. Their long, thin
legs remind us that one doesn’t need great massive pillars to remain stable,
but as egret represents self-reliance, one must be able to stand on their own.
When egret feeds, it stands firm
in the muddy ground and at the same time, sees its form mirrored in the water. This
reflects a connection to earth, while implying the exploration of other
dimensions. Egret teaches that for those who wish to explore
various activities here on earth, being a “jack of all trades” may be a
fulfilling and enriching way of life.
Egret is a lone hunter and a very
solitary bird that is aggressive, self-determined and self-reliant. The only
time they gather in colonies is during breeding season. They teach us to follow
our own path with confidence and without regret—to stand out in our own
uniqueness without feeling the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses”, or lead
a cookie-cutter life. We learn how to snatch and take advantage of things and
events that present great opportunities.
When egret flies, its head is
folded back in a flat S-shape loop (pretty extraordinary to observe!). This
reflects an innate wisdom of being able to maneuver through life and control
its circumstances. We can learn to follow our own wisdom and path of
self-determination—to trust that we know what is best for us and follow that
inner guidance, rather than the promptings of others.
Egret is a very powerful totem to
those who are willing to follow its wisdom. And of course, as the icing on this
symbolic cake, egret is the great symbol of the Audubon Society!
Thank you, Egret…