Tim Yearington Educator, Author and Storyteller

       Thunderbird Ways of Knowing

 

In our current age many people are seduced by the need for material possessions, technology and smart phones. And because of this many people - particularly youth - are struggling emotionally and mentally. Issues of fear, depression, anxiety, apathy, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, dependence on technology, mental health, ADHD, PTSD, NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) are all steering people away from the inherent power within themselves to have self-worth, find purpose and be happy in life.

Thunderbird teachings and ways help us remember what matters most: We're all Native to the Earth! Therefore, to help us find our way in life we are all entitled to seek vision on the land at thunderbird nest sites to help us gain more emotional, physical, spiritual and mental stability. In our thunderbird medicine ways we are taught to "fix the fire first". This means we take care of our inner emotional world first. The balance for our emotional world is our spiritual world - our own beliefs - and this is where the human practices of thunderbird shamanism come in. Seeing our own self from a much higher bird's eye view helps us to recognize and receive healthy direction in life so we can improve for the better.

Thunderbird teachings are becoming much more significant in today's technological world. The medicinal benefits of our teachings and ways are being recognized, embraced and used by people all over the world.

Thunderbird ways of knowing encompass the old wisdom we gained by living in harmony with the natural world. The practical teachings learned thousands of years ago were originally inspired by the land; the plants, animals, elements, the weather and seasons. Our ancestors collectively retained the natural wisdom we gained through songs, stories, legends and myths. Ancient red ochre pictographs and birch bark scrolls helped us remember the things we needed to know to live smart and be well.

Today the higher perspectives of our Algonquin Worldview are mainly encompassed in various teachings such as the Medicine Wheel model and also The Seven Grandfathers. But there is much more to know than these fundamentals offer to the modern learner. Increasingly important today, transformational thunderbird teachings still exist within the deep, mysterious aspects of our ancient legends, manitous (spirits), animals, helpers, stories and ceremonies. When we learn the true value of the very things our thunderbird ancestors left behind for us to find, pick up and use, we come to see they're still guiding us in our everyday lives.