"I walked up the mountain to find my way. I trusted the tall tales of the ancient trees. They told me to follow the animals to the beautiful places, the medicine sites and the mysterious stones of the Thunderbird Nest. Like a little pine I stood alone atop that place of vision and I grew cold. Then one night, a great bird - grey as a storm cloud - hatched inside my heart. My spirit flew free and I soared like a thunderbird into the sky." -- Tim Yearington
Out of respect to those of you who are seeking to know more about me, I share with you this personal information. I trust it will help you see more about my medicine path and practices.
I am originally from North Bay, Ontario, Canada. I was adopted as a child so my roots have always been a great mystery to me. But I did finally learn I have Mohawk and Irish ancestry on my birth mother's side. On my birth father's side I have KitchiZibi (Great River) Algonquin blood and Métis/French Canadian roots. It's with this mixed ancestry I say I'm a "mixed-blood" person.
Ever since I was a boy who loved being out in the wilderness, I knew I would become a person to teach Indigenous knowledge. Today my passion is helping people learn how to embrace the wonderful, powerful teachings of my ancestors. This matters to me because we need to remember that we're all "Native" to the earth. Mother Earth is home to us all; each and every one of us.
Before I knew what my role was as a medicine ways teacher, I had many things to learn myself. And I still am. I spend a lot of time out on the land - out in the bush - so to speak. Here I get deeply engaged in my learning guided by the spirits of the land: the stones, plants, trees and animals; the crawlers, the walkers swimmers and flyers. An Algonquin elder once said to me, "The word eagle and the word ego sound very much alike. There's a fine line between fearlessness and foolishness." So very true.
After the death of my career as a commerical artist, I went back to what I knew best and became a wilderness adventure guide. For many years I took people canoeing, hiking & snowshoeing to all the beautiful places that inspired me. I wanted to help people see the medicine of traditional KitchiZibi territory just west of Ottawa. But no trails even existed to all the medicine places and sacred sites I had become well acquainted with.
So, inspired by my own creative visions, I began "scouting out" and constructing trails that would bring people to see the good medicine of the land. I made the trails go to spots where people could personally experience the union of the earth and the sky. One popular trail I created is the. Found just west of Ottawa near Calabogie, Ontario, this trail network includes scenic Eagle's Nest Sacred Site which is also a lookout. And there is another trail I scouted and created that goes to a vision quest place called the however that's another story. You'll have to talk to me in person about that.
Today my passion is helping people learn to use the power and teachings of Thunderbird Medicine. My aim is to help others find and utilize the Great Spirit that soars high within each of us by sharing ancient knowledge that helps us see our shared human condition. My ultimate hope is that people will learn to embrace the Thunderbird that flies within each one of us to help create personal wellness, outer well-being and inner peace.
My knowledge is rooted in my research, experiences, visions and most importantly the lessons, ways and wisdom I have learned from a variety of traditional elders, medicine people, knowledge keepers and holy people. I have recognized that my quest for medicine ways has taken me my entire life. Upon the trail I have endured many sacrifices and have lost many things. But for all that I have lost, I do understand I have gained much. All I have gained is what I passionately share with others today.
Some of my knowledge is based on my very close relationship with the earth - like a snake - and my experiences with animal manitou helpers. I will also admit to you that some of my most profound knowledge has come to me directly from ancestors who are known as the Old Ones. And then there are my own very personal and ominous experiences with the Thunderbird.
The Thunderbird, a powerful messenger of the Great Spirit, employs its medicine to help people create changes in life for their own greater good. I was taught, "Sometimes the weakest people (e.g. myself) need the strongest medicine." As such, most of my work draws upon the ways of what is generally called "Thunderbird Medicine". The old Thunderbird Medicine Society was a group of knowledge keepers and holy people. These people didn't gather roots and bark for their medicine; theirs came directly from the Great Spirit and the Sky World in the form of ancestor spirits called Grandfathers who many still believe come to help us - in spirit form - as the Thunderbirds.
I once learned that a Thunderbird medicine person comes into being by having visions and experiences with their spirit helper the Thunderbird. And in addition, learning to be a Thunderbird medicine person also involves learning about and working with the medicine of snakes and serpents; things that aren't too fun and are very challenging personally. My very first dream of the Mishi-ginebig (Horned Serpent) was when I was fourteen. This being, Mishi-ginebig, appeared to me in a dream where I was swimming at the bottom of a deep lake in northern Ontario.
I didn't know it at the time but eventually I learned that when a person dreams of Mishi-ginebig (and Thunderbird too) this may indicate they could possibly become a medicine person later in life. When I grew into a man I realized it's up to that person if they choose to step into this role, embrace the medicine, walk their talk and share their gifts, skills and traditional knowledge to help others become more balanced, strong and well in life.
Thunderbird people are taught to share their feathers. These feathers take the form of traditional knowledge, medicine ways and ancient teachings. All of this "good medicine" is intended to inspire, enlighten and encourage people to realize the critical importance of finding - and then using - their own inner spirit to empower themselves upon their own "Medicine Trail" in life.
From the work I've done on myself on my own trail in life I now understand that true self-awareness and self-empowerment typically involves facing that monster serpent that exists deep within each of us. As a Thunderbird myself, this is what I aim to help people with the most - the hidden, deep, dark scary stuff.
The Elders I've met on the trail believe it's very important today to help people re-connect with their own spirits again. In this way people are motivated and can become empowered to bring balance and happiness back into their lives. I believe it's getting more important that we honestly re-assess our direction in life by utilizing Indigenous knowledge as an indicator of how we, as human beings, are genuinely doing in life here upon the earth.
As told by the Anishinaabe prophecy of the Seventh Fire, there is a time soon coming over the horizon when we will have to make a vital decision between living harmoniously with Mother Earth or technologically against her. The Native teachings I've learned to utilize on my own trail and now share with others is intended for everyone. There are many trails to the sacred nest at the top of the mountain. We are all entitled to embrace and use the wondrous power within our own spirit to get us there.
The Indigenous ways I've learned are a huge part of my life. I'm very passionate about sharing these teachings with others. Miigwetch (thank you) for taking the time to read all of this. I trust it has painted a clearer picture about myself for you. I do welcome questions so I look forward to hearing from you!