Seeker of Knowledge


The Hummingbird is an extraordinary creature whose very existence is a source of fascination and inspiration. Beautiful, brave, even fierce, and, above all, constant in its search for the sweet nectar found only deep inside each flower.

In Mexico, where many of the more than 300 species traditionally winter, the hummingbird has been celebrated since pre-Columbian times as a spiritual messenger; a symbol of vitality, resourcefulness, and divine possibility. Its feathers decorated Aztec shields conferring courage and protection. Hummingbirds carried the souls of fallen warriors…which might explain why in its mythic encounters with Coyote, despite the discrepancies in size and “fighting equipment,” Hummingbird is victorious!

Consider, for a moment this marvel. The hummingbird has the largest heart-to-body-size ratio in all the animal kingdom!  That little heart beats up to 1200 times per minute. It has largest brain-to-bodyweight ratio among all birds, despite being the smallest. The wings, which beat 50-200 times per second, are uniquely configured to move in a figure 8, allowing the bird to fly forward, backward, up, down, to either side; and upside-down! Also to hang suspended in mid-air. Hummingbirds have powerful vision, which includes the ultra violet spectrum. Required to eat twice their own weight daily, they constantly seek out nectar as a fuel supply, tending to know the location of every flower in their territory and the interval needed for each to recover between visits.

At Ontogony, we choose the hummingbird as a special totem for all students and seekers. The nectar is, of course, food for the spirit; the kind of knowledge seldom found on the surface, but available at depth from many sources. We appreciate the hummingbird’s example of vitality and movement, along with the capacity for stillness in the instant. We admire the enormous range, the dauntless courage and how, in beautiful iridescent flashes, we are permitted a glimpse of the Divine.

We are grateful for the inspiration to work hard and still to hum, to dance, to fly, to love life. The invitation is to open our hearts and our eyes so that, beyond the ups and downs, we may feel and see the blessings, taste the sweetness, enjoy the surprises and miracles… one of them being the hummingbird, itself. Another being you!

May the grace, strength, beauty and magic of the hummingbird inform your journey!

Diminutive, defiant darter -
tiny heart in pounding pace;
we savour every fleeting glance -
a streak of heaven's fragile grace.

– Excerpt from poem ‘Ode to the Hummingbird, by Laryalee Fraser

Last modified: Monday, 31 December 2018, 9:27 AM