by Gary 'Z' McGee
destiny comes to a man from outside,
it lays him low,
just as an arrow lays a deer low.
comes to a man from within,
it makes him
it makes him
into a god."
What is thunderbird medicine?
It is the most
paradoxical and mysterious of the sacred medicines. Thunderbird
is the spirit keeper for the element Fire and is the seventh
stone at the center of the
Those with thunderbird medicine bring much-needed storms to
dried-out norms. Their medicine is dual in nature.
They bring fire
to the rot and water to the wasteland, upheaval to settled ways and
imagination to fixed thinking.
Thunderbird is a
symbol for strength as well as for change.
Those with thunderbird medicine bring both storm and renewal.
complacency and wrongness and transform the energies of this
un-doing into what is healthy and good.
They are profound
healers, but they are feared by those who resist needed change.
This kind of medicine can
be upsetting and unsettling.
And rightly so. Those possessing
thunderbird medicine are fierce agents of balance. Not even God
is immune to their ruthlessness.
Here are some signs you may possess thunderbird medicine…
been initiated by the thunder gods
and if society
doesn't provide them,
One way the universe provides shamans is through profound
Shamanic reconditioning is as old as human conceived
time. It is personified by self-actualized beings with soul-centric
perspectives who are capable of perceiving the cosmos through a
state of interdependence.
Whether by surviving deep trauma, ego-death, shadow reconciliation,
dark night of the soul, or all of
the above, this is where the human precondition spills over into
This is where
impermanence becomes self-actualized. Where the human victim becomes
As a carrier of thunderbird medicine, your initiation was probably
some variation of a profound vision of the interconnected world
induced by a raging thunderstorm (here
is my experience).
Most experiences are tantamount to an out-of-body experience, where
the thunder itself comes down and takes possession of your soul,
transforming you into a "thunderbird."
Where you are flown to
the highest heights and inflicted with the knowledge of how
everything is connected to everything else.
Black Elk explains,
"When a vision comes
from the thunder beings of the West, it comes with terror like a
But when the storm of
vision has passed, the world is greener and happier; for
wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a
The world, you see,
is happier after the terror of the storm."
2.) You are
see your matter going black,
this is the beginning of 'the work'."
You relate to
Sacred Clown energies, mocking the
sacred through high humor and embracing uncertainty while holding
the tension between opposites.
You are a bridge between
worlds, leaving space for adventurous travel into other worlds that
challenges the status quo to think differently.
You use contrarian logic and backwards thinking to jolt society into
higher and healthier reasoning, blurring the line between culturally
conditioned notions of right and wrong.
In true Nietzschean form,
"beyond good and
You are in that field
"Out beyond ideas of
wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you
Your shadow is
Your halo is
With thunder in
your blood, you transform boundaries into horizons through
the unity of opposites.
Guided by the
Midnight Sun (sol
niger), your luminous shadow shines like a
beacon of darkness
(reconditioning) into the blinding light of indoctrination
3.) You are
able to transform the Great Mystery into Magic Elixir
everyone has a destiny;
only the hero
who has plunged to touch
it and has come
up again - with a ring."
Because of your ability to act as a bridge between worlds, you are
adept at excavating sacred knowledge and then repackaging it into
something that can be consumed by the "tribe."
by Jo Ann Tomaselli
You use a,
older than words" (Derrick Jensen) to translate
immortal truth into mortal wisdom.
You are able to listen to
the silence and detect the,
"voice that doesn't
use words (Rumi)."
Your thunderbird wings
spread, becoming the sky, becoming the cosmos-as-self, giving you a
bird's-eye perspective of how all worlds are connected.
From these heights you
the voice of God
the Great Mystery
the Blooming Haha
becomes the magic elixir distributed to heroes who have dared to
navigate their own hero's journey.
A sacred gift given to
those who have eyes sharp enough to read it, ears keen enough to
hear it, a heart resilient enough to feel it, and a soul flexible
enough to adapt to it.
4.) You practice
- which is the
collision of consciousness with unconsciousness -
is not to be
submerged in the unconsciousness,
but to be raised
into consciousness and to suffer more.
The evil of
suffering is cured
suffering, by higher suffering."
Provident interdependence has liberated you despite the ignorant
codependence that once contained you.
You've gone beyond merely
surviving the cocoon, or dark night
of the soul, or existential crisis, or sacred wound. You're a
thunderbird with a Phoenix heart. The burnt ashes of your heart
forever animating your soul into heart-rebirth.
In true Akhilandeshvari (the Goddess of Never Not Broken)
form, your heart has been broken and put back together again so many
times it doesn't know how not to be resilient.
As Goethe said,
"Unless you are
constantly practicing it, this dying and being reborn, you are
only a guest on this dark planet earth."
As such, you embrace
higher suffering. You embrace the life-death-rebirth process. Pain
is your persistent guide through the maelstrom of the human
condition. And although your wounds are deep, they are sacred.
Reminding you, always,
"the cure for the
pain is in the pain (Rumi)."
practice ruthless love
needs in this universe is not certainty
but the courage
and nerve of the gambler;
conviction but adaptability;
not firm ground
whereupon to stand
but skill in
Your heart is on your sleeve, vulnerable but fiery, open but
resilient, warm but merciless. You love the way Nature loves, with
neither pity nor placation.
by Medicine Wheel
As Derrick Jensen
"Love does not imply
It is dangerous being
openhearted, but you understand that openheartedness is a must if
love is to be true. Loving is a delicious gamble at best and a
tragic gamble at worst.
Either way, it's a
But you realize that the answer isn't to crawl into a safe,
comfortable, secure hole and erect defensive walls to protect
yourself from harm. Nor is it to become callous, cynical or jaded.
The answer is to
become a better gambler.
The answer is to get
better at being vulnerable.
To be animated by the
pain of love rather than burned-out by it.
As such, you are a lover
who dares to love dangerously.
You seek to perfect your
"skill in swimming" rather than cling to the safety of the shore.
Even if this means breaking hearts or having your own heart broken
again and again.
Balance is key, of course. But in a world grown lopsided with too
many fearful shore-clingers, we could use a few more courageous
In the end, thunderbird medicine is counter-intuitively healthy.
It's existentially challenging. In some ways it is a curse for those
who carry it.
For in order to maintain
such medicine, the tug-o-war rope between life and death, finitude
and infinity, darkness and light, pain and passion, mortality and
immortality must be held taut between madness and genius.
is not 'gentle'.
medicine is a cure for unhealthy complacency. Probably more for
others than for you.
if you are able
to balance like an acrobat across the rope
if you are able
to dance the shamanic dance over the abyss
if you are able
to continually reanimate your Phoenix-heart,
...then your thunderbird
wings will keep you aloft, and your wake-up calls will be like
thunder on the wind, and your wisdom will be like lightning in God's
ears, and your medicine will be like rain for thirsty souls...