Thunderbird Medicine – Reclaiming our Wings

Guest Post by Jane Large, Retreat Attendee & Mentor, Circle Member

As I strode out onto the street, around the corner towards the parking lot, I was greeted by the most beautiful winter sunset I had seen in a long time. Its beauty, breathtaking, stopped me in my tracks. I gazed in awe, a familiar feeling rising within me, letting me know this sunset has something to teach me. I took a deep breath, bringing my awareness into my heart, and then I saw it – a Thunderbird in the centre of the sky amongst the clouds with wings spread wide and its head to the side so I could recognize the unmistakable profile of this sacred winged teacher. As I breathed through my heart centre, feeling a warmth gathering within me, I thanked the Thunderbird for presenting itself to me and asked what it was calling me to realize or what medicine it had to share with me in this moment. “OPEN” is what I felt and heard, as tears of joyful realization welled up in my eyes and some long-held tension released in my back, chest, shoulders and neck. It felt my like shoulders dropped 3 inches as my entire being embraced this wisdom… “OPEN”

Thunderbird knows that our greatest potential is possible, even if we have not yet even become aware of what our greatest potential is or how to manifest it in our lives. Thunderbird knew at that moment I needed to remember to open a bit more and be open in order to take one step further on my soul pathway, allowing my greatest potential to emerge into Being. 

Thunderbird medicine is calling me. It is calling many of us now, to open further to the possibilities within us and to courageously reclaim and spread our wings wide so that we may soar to our greatest potential. Whatever that potential may be for each of us, it is a unique and beautiful unfolding of our natural inner gift, purpose and power. In order to do this, Thunderbird is calling us to allow our wings to unfurl, rebirthing as the leaves on trees do each spring. Thunderbird is calling us to cut ourselves lose from all that we have been binded with that may hinder us from living our fullest potential, to release what keeps our wings bound and unable to fully spread. 

For many years I lived with my arms in 3 positions (both literally and metaphorically): crossed tightly across my chest, creating a barrier between myself and life; straight out in front of me pushing away, keeping others and life safely at “arms length”; and bound tightly behind my back, holding me back out of fear from opening to and embracing the fullness of life. I walked around in a constant state of bindedness, surrounded by a cage I built to keep myself “safely” separate from others and life. In the process I even cut myself off from the awareness of my own heart and soul. The fear, anger, guilt and shame I carried was so heavy I allowed it to ground me, to the point where I felt heavy physically, mentally and emotionally. I often imagine that this was like carrying a really heavy backpack, one that is far heavier than what I was ever meant to carry. As I have discovered, it can be challenging to reclaim and spread my wings when I am carrying a heavy backpack filled with old negative energies that weigh a ton!

The medicine of the Thunderbird began calling to me to take off that heavy backpack filled with energies and energetic connections that no longer serve my highest growth and the highest good I am meant to serve in my family and community. In many journeys I have stood at the edge of a cliff and imagined myself taking off heavy backpacks and throwing then over the edge, releasing the old energies to transform into new, lighter energies. Often those backpacks I have thrown over the cliff in my imagination have transformed into sets of wings, new energies that support me as I chose to soar into a new way of being based on unity, harmony and truth.  

In connecting with the medicine of the Thunderbird, I have also imagined the energetic cords that may still connect me to people and relationships long gone from my life. I wonder or explore where I can reclaim energy I still may be expending by holding on to a grudge, or fearful thoughts, or angry memories. When I cut those cords, that energy is able to return to me and strengthens my entire being. I feel where the energetic cords connect me to another, perhaps by the head, heart or other body part, and I imagine cutting those cords, releasing that energy to come home within me, and releasing the other to walk their path as they choose. In doing so I have given old energies permission to become something new, which in my case is often sets of wings representing my natural inner gifts, purpose and power. It is with my intention that as I release these energetic cords I am also releasing my arms to transform into beautiful wings that allow me to embrace love, life and all that I am.

My first set of wings I received were rainbow wings, draped across my shoulders in the form of a rainbow shawl, a gift from my soul self in a journey. I saw this shawl transfigure into rainbow wings as I took flight as a rainbow-winged Pegasus unicorn. These rainbow wings support me in connecting with the unity energy of the rainbow as I hold space for wholeness within myself, for my family, at my place of work, and for all of Creation. The rainbow wings also support me in bridging, like the rainbow does, from one shore to another, perhaps in reaching out to someone after a disagreement or mending old hurts in my family. 

Another set of my wings, red wings of fire, accompanied by a new Spirit nameRainbow Dancing Fire Wings, were gifted to me by the Spirit self of a dear friend. In a journey he pressed his thumbs into the top of my shoulder blades and as immense heat and a feeling of ecstasy flowed from my heart through my entire being. I heard and felt a popping sound, and my fire wings emerged from my back and spread wide before I took flight. And yet another set of wings came during a sauna ceremony as I tossed old baggage over a cliff in my imagination, the bags transfigured into white doves that then began to perch on my shoulders and arms, transforming into gorgeous white wings of peace, unity and harmony. 

As the Thunderbird soars above me in the clouds, reflecting how it is soaring within me as I spread my wings, I open to the truth of my greatest potential, soaring with multi-coloured wings. The Thunderbird is calling me, calling all of us, to open to its medicine so that we too may soar in our lives with all of our sets of coloured wings, soaring to our greatest heights by reclaiming our natural inner gift, purpose and power.

Again and again the medicine of the Thunderbird supports me in reclaiming my many sets of wings, as I reclaim more of myself, my inner gifts, purpose and power.  Each time I have reclaimed a set of wings, I have also transformed or released old ways of thinking, doing or being, therefore releasing myself from the old cages I had put myself in, releasing my arms from the old positions of defensiveness. As I do this I find it easier to find forgiveness for myself and others, to embrace all the experiences of life and to hold space for others to heal, sending them ripples of rainbow light with my rainbow wings. 

I realize that as I commit to setting myself free, welcoming the medicine of the Thunderbird within me to reclaim and unfurl my wings, I am allowing my natural inner gifts, purpose and power to flow within me, flowing where they are needed most at any moment. It is by reclaiming my wings, allowing my most natural self to emerge within me, that I am able to be at peace within myself, and able to breathe into being my greatest potential. It is my greatest potential, the fullest expression of my natural self, that the Thunderbird is calling me to manifest so that I may be happy in life and be of highest service in my family and community, using my gifts, purpose and power to help others as I do myself. Gifting myself with the permission to soar to my greatest heights, I encourage others to do the same by my living example. It is when I am soaring to my highest height, upon the winds of harmony with my natural self and expressing my natural inner gifts, purpose and power, that I am most able to flow beauty into the world.

Home Practice

If possible, go outside and connect with the element of air. As you feel the cleansing winds flow around you, connect with the sensation of the wind flowing under your “wings” (arms) and take a deep breath. As you come into your heart space, ask Thunderbird:

  • What does my greatest potential look like, feel like, taste like, smell like, sound like?
  • What would it be like to gift myself permission to soar into my greatest potential?
  • What are my natural inner gifts, purpose and power? How am I being called to realize them, allowing them to emerge within my life at this time?
  • What would it be like to embrace the fullness of my natural self?

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