|It seems everywhere I look these days, I’m reminded in some way of the story of the Phoenix. In native cultures, the Phoenix is also known as the Thunderbird. Looking back over the historical significance of this image, it is interesting to see how this image is coming to life in the life journeys of many folks right now. Perhaps it is similar for you, too.
We can thank Harry Potter for bringing the Phoenix back to our attention. Anyone who has seen the movies or read the books understands what happens when the Phoenix rises, falls, then rises again. Each time the Phoenix falls, it rebuilds and reorganizes itself from its ashes, bringing with it new insights, skills and personal power. This powerful symbol of birth, death and rebirth can be found in some form or another in many cultures around the world. The cycle can refer to physical, emotional, spiritual changes, challenges and aspects of our life – or all of them at once!
According to Sun Bear and Wabun in their book, The Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology, they describe Thunderbird as follows:
” In Native American tradition, those associated with the Thunderbird Clan are always actively glowing with the radiant energy of the sun. They have the capacity to purify themselves and those they touch by reducing matter or spirit to its basic components and then rebuilding with what proves to be real. Their energy is constantly burning within them and usually shining through to those around them. They have the power to bring change, but this change comes from contact with the power that is at their core. They must for a time bring things within their light in order to change them.
Thunderbird people are doers, looking for new things in which to be active. They always seem to be involved in beginning new projects .. in making new trails for others to follow. They keep turning to their inner fire to find the proper path for them to take. They have strong intuitive energy and know enough to use it for guidance.”
The process of self-reflection, inner child work and gaining insights into our thoughts, feelings and behaviours is a bit like the flight of the Phoenix. When we dismantle all the old patterns that really don’t serve our health and happiness and replace these with real truths about ourselves and our world, we can build upon a stronger personal foundation. From this place, we can assert our personal power more effectively. With this comes a new understanding of the need for self-acceptance, kindness and love. By transforming our thoughts, feelings and beliefs we begin the transformation of our relationship with ourselves. And as this evolves, so does our outer world.
Over time, we come to understand that in our life there are certain times and challenges that can only be resolved by completely surrendering to the transformative process. This requires courage, strength and faith that, as the Phoenix and Thunderbird show us, this process is for our higher good. If we can learn the lessons, if we can be receptive to the new ways of thinking, feeling and being, if we can love who we are unconditionally, we will be well on our way to developing Wisdom.
Wisdom is something you can’t learn from a book. It is something we get from living life, asking and answering the tough questions, and ultimately using these experiences to evolve. And it is never over! As the saying goes, “Life is a journey, not a destination!” Enjoy the flight.
Article written by Pat Antoniak, Registered Nurse – Registered Aromatherapist and owner of the Natural Comfort Wellness Centre in Tsawwassen, BC.