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Keynote: Tireless Joy and the Nectar of Life
Cycle of Power: Daytime
The hummingbird may be the smallest of birds, but it is also
the most fascinating. Anyone who
has ever seen this tiny bird is filled with a sense of wonder
and joy. Its name comes from the
vibration of its wings as it flies or hovers. We have all heard
how good it is to whistle while we
work, but humming is much more effective. It creates an internal
message, restoring health and
balance. This the hummingbird reminds us to do. It reminds us
to find joy in what we do and to
sing it out.
There are over 300 species of hummingbirds. This is very significant.
In the Hebrew alphabet,
the letter "shin" is given the numerical value of
3000. This has associations with fire and
relationships, the past and the future. As we will see later,
this is even reflected in the wing
movement of the hummingbird. It has the ability to move its
wings in a figure 8 pattern--a
symbol for infinity and links to the past and future and the
laws of cause and effect.
Hummingbirds have long bills and tongues that enable them to
extract nectar from flowers. In
fact, they could not live without flowers, and many flowers
could not live without pollination
from hummingbirds. Again this reflects the mysteries of cause
and effect that the hummingbird
can teach so that you can extract your own nectar.
Hummingbirds have knowledge of how to use flowers for healing.
This includes their fragrance,
their color, and their herbal qualities as well. They can teach
you how to draw the life essence
from them and create your own medicines--as in the case of Bach
flower remedies and other
flower elixirs. They can teach you how to use flowers to heal
and win hearts in love.
The hummingbird is the most skillful flyer of all birds. It
can hover in the air. it can fly
backward, forward and sideways. In fact, it cannot walk; it
flies everywhere. It reminds us that if
we truly enjoy what we are doing, we become light as a feather,
and life is rich with nectar.
The humming bird can reach high speed at its take off. It can
also stop immediately in flight
from a high speed. It is such a skillful flyer and is not afraid
of any predator. Humming birds
have even been known to chase off eagles.
No other bird can fly backwards. This reflects the hummingbird's
ability to explore the past and
to draw from it the nectars of joy. The hummingbird can help
you to find joy and sweetness in
any situation. Its swiftness is always a reminder to grab joy
while you can--as quickly as you can.
Because of its iridescent colors, the hummingbird has been named
for jewels and glittering
stones--i.e., the ruby-throated hummingbird. It has also come
to be associated with the Faerie
Realm. One species has been called the wood-nymph hummingbird
and another the purplecrowned fairy.
The iridescent colors have also caused it to be associated with
rain. More specifically, it is
associated often with the rainbow promise that follows the rain.
To the Pueblo Indians, the
hummingbird's rainbow coloring, its great strength in flying,
and its hovering about flowers, has
associated it with various ritual practices. Prayers sticks
and ceremonies were used to bring the
rain and help with endurance.
Hummingbirds are big eaters, and most of their food is comprised
of the nectars (sugars) of the
flowers, although they will also eat tiny insects. The hummingbird
may eat 50-60 meals a day.
Because of its small size and its high degree of activity, it
loses body heat quickly, so it must
digest food quickly. Individuals with hummingbird totems should
watch their own sugar levels.
Are you getting too much or too little? Are you not getting
enough sweetness in your life? Are
you not savoring the sweet things in life.
Hummingbirds are very playful. Even when bathing--and they bathe
often--they play in the
water. They also seem to fight with each other, although no
one seems to get hurt. Now scientists
pretty much agree that these are only mock fights for exercise
Hummingbirds are fiercely independent. Except when mating, they
like to be alone and free,
seeming to revel in that freedom. During the mating ritual,
the male does anything he can to gain
the attention and affection of the female. If the female chooses
to mate, she returns the attention,
otherwise she just flies off.
Mother hummingbirds are hard workers. This is necessary, for
they receive no help from their
mate. She will usually lay two eggs, again very symbolic. Two
is the number of the inner self,
the feminine to which we must give birth and expression to find
our own joy.
Hummingbirds are master architects. They build their homes with
great care and design. Some
are very intricate, but each is unique to itself. If the hummingbird
has taken up residence in you,
you may wish to redecorate. It may be telling you to do something
to create joy in the home.
Hummingbirds can also hibernate overnight. The body temperature
will lower, its feathers will
ruffle up as insulation and it will assume a state of torpidity.
It will appear to have died on its
perch. This is done to prevent exhausting the energy supplies
necessary for it to live--while
allowing it to rest. For those with the hummingbird as a totem,
it is important to get regular and
deep sleep and rest. It will be necessary so that you do not
burn yourself out.
The ruby-throated hummingbird is a wonder of migration. Every
winter it makes an amazing
journey. for several days it will eat and eat, storing up food
and energy in its tiny body. Then it
will fly for days and days to get to a warm climate. Some have
been known to make a journey of
2500 miles or more, from Alaska to Central America. Scientists
are still unsure how it is able to
store up enough energy to accomplish such a journey.
But it does, and because of it the hummingbird is a symbol for
accomplishing that which seems
impossible. It will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful
living from your own life circumstances.
*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
Hummingbird is a very good sign. She is a good-luck messenger.
She takes our prayers to the
Great Creator. She is a doctor and healer. The Hummingbird has
the power to travel long
distances under great odds and obstacles. Her colors promote
healing and balance. She is very
smart and very spiritual. She can teach us how to soul-travel,
develop psychic powers of the
mind, and how to be graceful.
*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
The energy of pure joy to keep you aloft the flower of the world,
extracting the nectar of life
wherever you go. This is the only bird in nature that can fly
backward. As such, consider what
part of the past you're retrieving for productive review. Love.
In folk magic, hummingbird
feathers were a common component in love charms. Just take care
that this is not forced or
manipulated. Such a relationship will not last. Among the Native
Americans and Basquwe
people, this represents total honesty. They believe that hummingbirds
cannot tell a lie. Reveling
in freedom and playfulness. Scientists have shown that these
birds seem to enjoy both
tremendously. How much free time or play time have you had lately?
*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
This beautiful iridescent bird is found only in the Americas.
There are hundreds of species of
hummingbirds. Except for some large species in the jungles of
South America, this creature is
extremely small, some no bigger than bumblebees. It is the only
bird capable of backward flight;
its wings can beat fifty-five times a second. It has a very
thin, long beak and a long tonuge,
making it possible for the bird to feed while suspended in the
A fearless thing for its size, the hummingbird exhibits superb
precision flying, especially during
ferocious battles between males during the mating season. I've
seen our cats creep alongside of
the house rather than expose themselves to the high-speed bombing
runs of hummingbirds
streaking between the porch railings.
The Mayans associated the hummingbird with the Black Sun and
the Fifth World of their
legends. Their deity Quetzalcoatl was considered to be a hummingbird
god and, as the Feathered
Serpent, wore its plumes. Although the feathers of this bird
were used in love charms, the Aztecs
had a war god, Huitzilopochtli ("the hummingbird on the
left"), who wore a crown of these plumes.
Superstitions: It is believed by many that hummingbirds migrate
by hitching rides on larger birds.
Magickal Attributes: Happiness, love, relaxation. Don't be so
judgmental. Love and happiness in
*Jamie Sams & David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Joy. Hummingbird is associated with the Ghost Shirt religion,
which taught that a certain dance
done properly would bring about the return of the animals, and
that white people would
disappear. Once again the Original People would know the joy
of the old ways. In Mayan
teachings, Hummingbird is connected to the Black Sun and the
Fifth World. Hummingbird can
give us the medicine to solve the riddle of the contradiction
The song of Hummingbird awakens the medicine flowers. Hummer
sings a vibration of pure joy.
Flowers love Hummingbird because nectar-sucking brings about
the reproduction of their
families. Plants flower and live because of Hummingbird.
Hummingbird can fly in any direction--up, down, backwards and
forwards. Hummingbird can
also hover in one spot and appear to be motionless. Great Spirit
created Hummingbird to be
slightly different from other feathered creatures.
Because of their magical qualities, Hummingbird feathers have
been used for a millennium in the
making of love charms. It is said that Hummingbird conjures
love as no other medicine does, and
that Hummingbird feathers open the heart. Without an open and
loving heart, you can never taste
the nectar and pure bliss to life. To Brother and Sister Hummingbird,
life is a wonderland of
delight--darting from one beautiful flower to another, tasting
the essences, and radiating the colors.
If Hummingbird is your personal medicine, you loe life and its
joys. Your presence brings joy to
others. You join people together in relationships which bring
out the best in them. You know
instinctively where beauty abides and, near or far, you journey
to your ideal. You move
comfortably within a beautiful environment and help others taste
the succulent nectar of life.
Hummingbird holds the Bow of Beauty which is delicately inlaid
with gold and silver flowers,
pearls, and precious jewels. Hummingbird disdains ugliness or
harshness, and quickly flies away
from discord or disharmony.
If Hummingbird has flown into your cards, get ready to laugh
musically and enjoy Creator's
many gifts. Drop your judgmental attitude and relax. Hummingbird
will no doubt give you a
flash of the spirit, darting here, there, and everywhere. Get
ready for a strange new burst of
energy which may send your senses reeling.
Hummingbird hears celestial music and is in harmony with it.
Hummingbird may invite you to
an art museum or a concert. Hummingbird energetically embraces
the highest aesthetics.
Never be coarse in front of Hummingbird, for this is a fragile
medicine which may have no
understanding of worldly affairs. Beauty is the target, and
Hummingbird's mission is to spread
joy or to be destroyed. Hummingbird quickly dies if caged, caught,
Follow Sister Hummingbird and you will soon be filled with paroxysms
of joy, and experience a
renewal of the magic of living.
Contrary: If contrary Hummingbird is in your cards in any configuration,
it speaks to you of
matters of the heart. How or why has your heart center closed?
Have you done something callous
to another, causing them to shut off the love they once felt
for you? The contrary Hummingbird
may presage sorrow and the inability to see the many blessings
we two-leggeds have been given
and the primordial beauty that surrounds us. If contrary Hummingbird
sings its forlorn song,
perhaps you should journey into your personal pain and know
that your sorrow is your joy in
*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
Are you too busy and frantic in life? Is it time to slow down
and relax? Hummingbirds represent
the absolute energy and joy in delving into the nectar of life.
They can fly up, down, and even
backward. Expand your joyous energy in all directions.
*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Hummingbird warns of frequent indecision; mental vacillation.
*Zolar/Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions:
Should a hummingbird pick at a girl's breakfast, it is said
that she will marry during the year. If
she is already married, a woman will have a child within the
year. In Latin America,
hummingbirds are thought to be a refuge of dead souls.
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