I see one through my kitchen window most mornings. They love the brightly colorful fuchsias in the hanging pots out on our deck. When I walk outside I find them dancing through the hummingbird plants in our garden and they like to dart, shimmering and thrumming, through the mist of my garden hose when I water my plants.
Hummingbird World notes that the hummingbird is a common totem animal and points out that the bird has a powerful religious and spiritual significance in many cultures.
A website called Art from Tribe contains some stunning images of animals and birds created by modern artists. These images are made in the style of the Northwest tribes, also known as Haida art. Here the hummingbird symbolizes love, beauty, and friendship. It is also believed to be a spirit messenger. (1)
The site also says that the hummingbird is:
...a literal messenger of joy, this beautiful tiny bird...represents friendship, playfulness, and is a symbol of good luck in Northwest Coastal Native art. It is a positive sign to see Sah Sen (hummingbird) prior to a major event such a hunting or traveling to another village. Hummingbird's ability to hover back and fourth at great speeds is believed to be a skill for guiding the people; if they fall behind Hummingbird can easily back up to keep pace.
Ted Andrews, author of Animal Speak, writes that
Hummingbirds inspire us to protect the environment and to preserve old traditions that are in danger of being lost.
Operation Rubythroat uses the power of kids, science and hummingbirds to spread a message of cooperation and understanding between cultures. Nice.
The Spanish saw them for the first time when they landed in North America. They called them Joyas voladoras or flying jewels. Jamie Sams writes that
...the hummingbird teaches us to laugh and enjoy the creation, to appreciate the magic of being alive, and the truth of beauty.
A Mayan legend says that the Hummingbird is the sun in disguise. Who am I to argue?
It glitters half-guessed half seen half-heard
Above the flower bed. Over the lawn ...
A flashing dip and it is gone.
And all it lends to the eye is this --
A sunbeam giving the air a kiss.
Blessed Solstice to you and yours,
Poem: The Hummingbird by Harry Kemp
Off the Shelf:
The Hummingbirds' Gift by Stefan Czernecki and Timothy Rhodes
Illustrated by Stefan Czernecki, with straw weavings by Juliana Reyes de Silva and Juan Hilario Silva. Endpapers feature flat straw weavings of animals, mermaids, and dancing human skeletons hand-woven by Mexicans of Tarascan Indian descent. The story, which tells of the origin of these traditional weavings, is set in a Mexican village and illustrated both with bright paintings and with the woven figures. The story begins during a severe drought in the village of Tzintzuntzan, the Tarascan Indian word that means "the place of the hummingbirds." A farmer and his wife watch their crops dry up and fear for the lives of the beautiful hummingbirds who frequent their garden.
Animal Speak by Ted AndrewsOther Council Fires Were Here Before Ours by Jamie Sams
Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams
1. They certainly love to fly around me when I meditate. I try to listen to hummingbird, especially when She appears to me at odd times or places.
There are a number of sites on the web that talk about hummingbird's message and medicine. My advice is to take these not as dogma, but as a guide. After all, it's your messenger, and your message - it's up to you to figure it out.
Every culture that has hummingbirds also has wonderful stories and myths about them. I also suggest that you read the myths from many cultures but if you are looking for messages or personal wisdom, I recommend that you pay particular attention to the bird myths from your own heritage and from the area where you currently live.
Hummingbird Lesson Plans:
Hummingbird Science Lesson Plan for Teachers - Grades 3 - 6
Hummingbird Facts & Notes About Their Important Place In Our Ecosystem:
More Hummingbird Facts