While meditating today, I journeyed to the Place of the Hummingbird—a place my guides took me to in non-ordinary reality a few years ago. As I sat in the grasses by the edge of the lake that is there, I felt myself zooming in or else something zooming toward me. In any case the distance between us was shrinking. Suddenly there was right in front of my face the eye of a hummingbird. It was about the size of my forehead, eyes and nose as a circle. As I looked into it I saw the reflection of the world around me. I then felt it moving closer and into my 6th chakra, as if taking up residence there, allowing me to see through the eye of the Hummingbird—Hummingbird perception.
In my shamanic training at The Four Winds, we learn four perceptual systems: that of the Serpent, the Jaguar, the Hummingbird and that of the Eagle. The perceptual domain of the serpent is the first chakra. The perceptual domain of the jaguar is the second chakra. The perceptual domain of the hummingbird is the 6th chakra and the perceptual domain of the eagle is the 9th chakra. In this journey spirit is bringing my attention once again to the 6th chakra as it has on other occasions.
The 6th chakra is the level of perception where we can become aware of the many paths that our life journey has taken us in this life. Here we can observe how everything that has happened to us—good and bad—has had meaning and purpose. The sixth chakra is the domain of inner vision. In this perceptual state, telepathic experiences are common and we can sense what is happening at a distance of even hundreds of miles.
Interestingly, sight is the most important sense for the Hummingbird. Hummingbird’s eyesight is better than human. They can see wavelengths into the near-ultraviolet range which means their world appears even more colorful than ours. Hummingbirds rely on vision to let them find food and mates.
Hummingbird perception is the level of the mythic, the archetypal and of the soul, allowing us to have a sense of being on a journey. At this level we find archetypes and myths operating in our lives. As shamans we may ‘track’ such patterns as aspects of a hero’s journey, or an entrapment in a victim-bully-rescuer disempowerment pattern, or any of the numerous archetypal stories. 
Alberto Villoldo in his book, Courageous Dreaming, says that Hummingbird perception is the realm of the soul and the place of the soul’s growth and evolution. The language of this realm is symbolic as expressed in dance, poetry, chanting, meditation, visualization, music, prayer, song, pictures and art, dreams, ritual, metaphor, stories and fairy-tales, myths and legends, and spiritual practice. All of these are doorways into the realm of the hummingbird perception.
When we enter into the realm of the Hummingbird we see everything as it is and should be according to the bigger picture where things are what they truly are—an expression of the sacred. This is the place of the tales of the gods and goddesses as archetypal stories play out, where we can see things at the mythic level in order to understand how these forces are working in our lives today and to find solutions. From this realm we are able to see who we are, who we came to be, what our calling is and who we are at the soul level. It is here that we find the courage to live the life that is ours to live.
Hummingbird perception allows us to notice hidden messages and to read between the lines, to notice connections that may have been hidden to us otherwise. Hummingbird connects us to the reality that we are on a sacred journey and how to drink from the nectar that is our life.
Villoldo associates the perception of the Hummingbird with the neo-cortex and our ability to visualize, create and realize life. It is our ability to see what is hidden, to see what is invisible to other perceptual systems and allows us to intervene at the mythic or symbolic levels. From the perception of the Hummingbird we are able to see the underlying spiritual and energetic causes of symptoms and then work to heal the underlying cause.
As we do our daily practice of meditation and shamanic journeying, spirit will often surprise us with information, instruction, insight and even healing that is needed to keep us on our path.
 Villoldo, Alberto. The Four Insights, p. 42
 Van Broekhoven, Michael. “Shaman’s Tools: The Four Levels of Perception” from his blog Not All Alleged is Apparent, posted September16, 2013,
 Villodlo, Alberto. Courageous Dreaming
 Villoldo, Alberto, The Four Insights
 Villoldo, Alberto. Courageous Dreaming
 Villoldo, Alberto. Courageous Dreaming