Seven of Swords / Heron feather “Let go of convention and follow your own unique path”
Today’s cards remind us that you do not have to follow convention in order to be successful, but if you forge a new path you must still keep obligations and responsibilities to your fellow humans in mind.
Great blue herons are solitary predators, preferring to hunt alone in waterways and fields. They are also highly territorial, although some herons will gather in large “rookeries” while breeding or resting.
If you are fortunate to spend some time watching herons in action, you’ll notice that they are “alone together.” Each bird may be following their own agenda, but they know where all the other birds are as well as their “pecking order” in a given region. Other species of birds keep an eye on the heron, who is not afraid to use their sharp beak or clawed feet to defend a choice spot in the creek.
Each bird makes their own choices based on instinct, experience, and the wisdom of their survival thus far. They are free to go where they please, but no matter where they go they must adhere to their basic heron-ness: seeking the same hunting, breeding, and nesting conditions they have always done. Even in acting as individual creatures, there is no way to separate themselves from their lives of other birds, or from nature itself.
Our desire for individualism could benefit from such a model. We may prefer to create and live alone, following our own agenda and striking out on solo adventures. Yet we cannot afford to lose sight of our basic human-ness. We cannot escape our responsibilities to ourselves, other people, and the planet. We must consider more than simply survival of the fittest. We must be concerned with creating conditions that nurture and support the survival of all living things.
Blue heron may take to the wing, but she will only do so to settle in another familiar spot. As you choose your own adventure today, remember that you goal is not to escape altogether. You may just want to seek a nesting ground that is more favorable to your individual goals and desires, yet still provides a clear view of what the other birds are up to.