In most societies, birds have some mythology and Mystical Lore associated with them. In Native American culture, the spirit world is highly reverenced and animal symbolism is the most important part of their teachings.
They are visible signs of invisible forces on both a natural and supernatural level of significance. In some cultures, birds were Gods for they could make the thunder and bring the rain.
Native American legend considers the Thunderbird to be a sacred, supernatural bird of great power and strength. This is the powerful spirit who controls the lightning and rain and metes out rewards and punishment to those who deserve them.
The beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind. This is how it got its name. The Thunderbird is often depicted in the form of an Eagle to Native Americans and considered to be a symbol of spiritual power and illumination. A messenger between God and humankind.
The Mystical Lore of the Thunderbird can primarily be found in the art, songs and oral histories of the American Southwest and the Pacific Northwest Coast Cultures. Some of the Native American Tribes that speak of its great power include the Algonquians, Menominee, Ojibway, Plains Cree, and the Winnebago.
Native American Mystical Lore teaches us that this great bird controls the rain and hail. It is said to take much glory in fighting and in deeds of greatness. It controls the upper world while the underworld is controlled by a Great Horned Serpent which the Thunderbird hates and protects mankind from its evil.
One tribal version says that the Thunderbird was created to fight the underwater spirit by throwing lightning at it and by creating thunder through the flapping of its wings. They have prevented these serpents from taking over the earth and devouring mankind since the ancient of days.
The Thunderbird also punishes humans who dare to break moral laws of life. Mystical Lore says that these powerful birds are the bridge between humans and the Divine, the Earth, and Heaven. They are said to be direct messengers of the Great Sun. The Thunderbird Spirit Guide symbolizes power and glory, transformation, indomitable spirit, and divine dominion.