• Chris MacPherson

Hummingbird Medicine


Since hummingbird has been part of my Shamanic medicine and a bird that appears for me regularly over the past several years, I decided today to tell you about this birds’ special significance! I first connected to Hummingbird a few years ago while spending some time at the lake. These lovely birds kept coming to a tree nearest my deck which enabled me to really enjoy watching them. After that I put out a feeder to encourage them, and even some special flowering plants that they are particularly fond of. At that time, I had not really started my Peruvian Shamanic journey, so I had no knowledge of the significance they would continue to hold as I walk my path.


The Hummingbird is one of the four major power animals in Peru. (The others are the snake, jaguar/puma and the condor). In Shamanic understanding each items – plants, animal, mineral – and person has the ability to share its medicine, thus ensuring there is an appropriate medicine for everyone and everything. Absolutely everything in nature has wisdom to share as long as we are open to it.



The medicine I associate with Hummingbird is about nectar and sweetness. Hummingbird appears to remind us that it is this nectar – beauty, colour, the true sweetness of life – that are the things which make life worth living. Hummingbird’s medicine is one we can help ourselves to at any time when we need it – we do not need to earn it or make ourselves worthy – we simply need to remind ourselves that we can savor all the beauty which surrounds us when we become ready! The Hummingbird helps us to get ready and be open – she connects to our Shamanic heart – and she also teaches us that the very smallest of birds has a great deal of power and magic within her.


When we truly feel Hummingbird in our consciousness, we also feel the delight that is found in daily living and the deep happiness that resides within our hearts when we love openly and freely. We begin to experience the delights that surround us – even during the depth of a cold, white climate which we are currently facing. We take a closer look at the small things – the feather we find on our winter walk, the beauty in the barest of branches, the glint of the snow in the sun. It is by taking time to sip on this tasty nectar that the Hummingbird is able to fly the 4000 miles to reach their destination. This nectar is their fuel – just as the beauty that surrounds us can encourage us to fulfill our passions and desires.



But let’s be honest – it’s not just about fueling themselves – its’ about knowing they can do it. They can make that long journey on those tiny little wings. They just go – they go without hesitation or question. They push forward, they fly their course, they preserver; and if Hummingbird comes into your life, she is also there to remind you that you also have the ability to push through. Consider the depth of our cold winter when it is dark and the feeling of isolation (ever more present during COVID) can be overwhelming so that many of us want to become “couch potatoes” – we still go out, participate in life, work, and play…and this is because we know that the greenness of Spring is right around the corner. We persevere. We don’t question that Spring is coming….we just move forward.. just like the tiny Hummingbird does! We need to feel Hummingbird’s medicine and their attitude of perseverance as we work in pursuit of our dreams!


When talking about Hummingbird’s special abilities, I would be remiss if I did not also remind you of their singular ability to fly backwards! This amazing ability assist them in their everyday endeavors and demonstrates their adaptability and their intuitive ability to make decisions – and their complete connecting to the past, present and future. In this way, the Hummingbird is a messenger between the worlds and closely works with the Shamans in this work. It may be that Hummingbird is here to teach you how to move with one foot in the physical realm and one foot in the realm of spirit, or to offer you support at a time when you may be required to move swiftly backward or forward to accommodate life’s current circumstances.



The magical movement of the Hummingbird’s wings – not just the speed at which they move, but that they move in the shape of the infinity symbol – allows this little presence to glide between the worlds with the appearance of not moving at all. It is through this movement that we send our energies back through time and space to connect with our ancestors; and bring forward the wisdom of the ancestors into our daily life. Then, that new wisdom sits within us in our deepest Shamanic heart so that we can apply these wisdoms to the ways in which we bring our love into the future. This is the way in which the Hummingbird opens our heart and holds for us heart-healing medicine.


As with their other acrobatic movements, Hummingbirds also stop mid-flight and appear as though they are simply “hanging” in air. Their winged dance teaches us how to move with the flow of what is going on around us and how crucial it is to focus on the current times, as what may happen in the future is not nearly as important as we sometimes believe. The Hummingbird shows us how to move and adapt to changes as they surround us. They adapt too – as in the Andes, the little Hummingbird appears almost dead during the cold nights, yet in the morning, they are revived. They continue to show their resiliency and serve to remind us that their wings’ movement is that of eternity and continuity


The next time you see a Hummingbird, be sure to ask yourself what medicine it is sharing with you, because it can access the most powerful of spiritual wisdom and will share it openly. In case you want a little more factual information about the Hummingbird, here are a few tidbits have gathered as I have learned to work with Hummingbird medicine:

  • · Hummingbirds are the tiniest migrating bird. They don’t migrate in flocks like other species, and they typically travel alone for up to 500 miles at a time.

  • · Many Hummingbird species weigh less than 4 grams (less than 1 teaspoon of sugar).

  • · Hummingbirds can flash their bright colors, as well as hide them when needed.

  • · A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.

  • · Hummingbird feet are so tiny they cannot walk on them, but they shuffle from side to side on the perch. They are small so that their feet won’t add extra weight that can slow them down when in flight.

  • · Much like their small feet, Hummingbirds have the fewest number of feathers than any other bird - fewer feathers also keeps them more lightweight for easier flight.

  • · Hummingbirds can travel at 30 mph flying horizontally, however, when they dive vertically they can reach up to 60 mph.

  • · Hummingbirds are very smart and they can remember every flower they have been to, and how long it will take a flower to refill.

  • · Hummingbirds can hear better than humans.

  • · Hummingbirds can see ultraviolet light.

  • · A hummingbird’s tongue is grooved like the shape of a “W” and they have tiny hairs on the tip of the tongue to help lap up nectar.

  • · Despite their small size, hummingbirds are one of the most aggressive bird species. They will regularly attack jays, crows, and hawks that infringe on their territory.

PS. I know there are many more beautiful photos available, but these are special to me and I wanted to share them with you, as they are my own!

#sheCARES #animalmedicine #shamanism