Hummingbird Meaning, Spirit Guide and Folklore
As a little girl, I was delighted and intrigued by the appearance of a hummingbird. My grandmother kept hummingbird feeders in the backyard, and every once in awhile we’d see these tiny, beautiful creatures hovering nearby sipping nectar. For a long time I wondered about the hummingbird’s meaning – what does her appearance mean to me? Or to anyone who encounters her? Let’s find out here plus learn more about the hummingbird as a spirit guide and its folklore.
First, Some Interesting Hummingbird Facts:
- they’re one of the smallest and FASTEST flying birds in the world
- one type of hummingbird weighs the size of a penny!
- they’re only found in the Americas
- their wings can flap between 50 and 200 flaps per second
- they can fly backwards and upside down!
The Hummingbird Meaning and Spirit Guide
The Hummingbird Spirit Guide comes to those who need to learn a specific lesson in life. The Hummingbird means there are lessons of joy, swiftness, ferocity, adaptability, and lightness to learn. These tiny birds as spirit guides deliver messages from the gods and deceased loved ones. You might see them flitting about your yard. You might see their image on the TV, online or in books. They are trying to get your attention! Do your research on the hummingbird and ask the hummingbird spirit guide to reveal its message to you. Take to heart the message or lesson. The Hummingbird Spirit Guide is a special messenger and should be honored.
Hummingbird Folklore and Mythology
The ancient indigenous people of North and South America have various myths and stories centered around the speedy little hummingbird. The Aztecs (an ancient people of Mesoamerica) honored the god of war known as Huitzilopochtli whose name means “Hummingbird of the South”. The Aztecs held the hummingbird spirit guide as a fierce and sacred animal. Upon death, Aztec warriors were believed to morph into hummingbirds and fly to join the god Huitzilopochtli.
The Mayan Legend of the Hummingbird
To the Mayans, hummingbirds were magical, sacred creatures. One legend tells of how the hummingbird was created – sculpted from the left-over feathers of other birds. The gods were so in love with the hummingbird, they put on a great celebration where all the other animals were invited to honor the hummingbird for his bright beauty and wit.
Pueblo and Cherokee Legends
Just like other birds, hummingbirds are messengers between humans and the gods. To the Pueblo Natives, hummingbirds bore their messages of praise and requests to Mother Earth for the shamans. Even the Cherokee people have a legend of this swift, tiny bird. The legend says the hummingbird used his speed and swiftness to grab a piece of the world’s first tobacco plant to help heal an old woman. And on and on these legends go. Dozens of Native tribes all over the United States, Canada and South America have their own endearing stories of the hummingbird spirit guide.
More on the Meaning of the Hummingbird Spirit Guide
With all of the amazing things the hummingbird spirit guide can do, it’s no wonder they have so much to teach us. The Hummingbird symbolizes many aspects of life.
The hummingbird means living a joyful life. Think of how the hummingbird flits from one place to another, happy and bouncy. Full of life. We would do well to learn how to love life like the hummingbird. Go outside and look for one beautiful thing. Then focus on that one beautiful thing for at least five minutes. Why is it beautiful? How is it made? How can you take that beauty and carry it with you throughout your day? This is how you find joy in living. Just like the hummingbird.
The hummingbird flies backwards, an ability only a few birds possess. In this way, the hummingbird meaning takes a step back to further examine a situation. Sometimes we have to take a step back in order to move forward. If you’ve been feeling stuck lately, and don’t know how to make a decision, allow yourself to step back from the situation. Take your time analyzing all of the aspects around the decision. What are the possible outcomes? What good or bad comes from each decision made? Once you understand fully, then make your decision.
Swiftness / Speed
The hummingbird represents speed and agility for obvious reasons. They remind us sometimes in life it is advantageous to be able to act quickly in emergent situations. Paradoxically, though the hummingbird also teaches us how to take a step back, it also teaches us to move forward swiftly in certain circumstances. I believe this particularly relates to emergency situations: when someone or something’s life or livelihood is at risk. Act like the hummingbird and do what you can to save that person or thing.
The hummingbird is very light-weight, some weighing no more than a penny. This is symbolic of moving through life with a lightness. Leaving gentle footprints behind us on this earth means to care for the earth, care for our families and treat everyone and everything with gratitude and respect. Most people do not move through life with a lightness like the hummingbird. If you’ve been consuming and not been aware of your habits, take a step back and analyze how you can leave less of a carbon footprint on the planet. How can you take care of Mother Earth?
Hummingbirds have a metabolism so high they have to consume more than their own weight in nectar every day or they will die overnight. In this way, the hummingbird represents endurance and survival. They are always mere hours away from death, yet they survive and carry that inevitable brightness everywhere they go. No matter what you’re dealing with in life right now, the hummingbird is telling you that you WILL survive. But you have to have the will. You must endure. Remind yourself of all the blessings you have in life…and even though they may be small blessings, they will give you the endurance necessary to carry on.
Hummingbird Meaning By Individual
The great thing about symbolism is that it is different for each person. You might think the hummingbird meaning actually represents something not listed here, and you’re right! Whatever the hummingbird spirit guide symbolizes to you is what’s important. Take nature’s messages to heart in whatever way they may appear. Even in the tiniest of birds like the hummingbird.
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