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The Spirit of a Thunder Spirit

By Jai Tiger Deardorff, Editor

The Blue Star Gazette

One of the great blessings that I have in my work is meeting so many different kinds of people expressing a diversity of work that in its great common heart has one purpose. Sometimes as I travel to meet people, I am not sure what to expect. On my way to meet Walks with Thunder, I had to smile at the images my mind offered for what a Shaman of Indian and Hispanic descent would look like. My imagination settled on a casual pale skin guy in jeans, a T-shirt with Native American design, a long gray braid, headband, a lot of Indian necklaces and bracelets, perhaps a hand-sewn leather bag with beads, feathers, and totems dangling off of it and a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his T-shirt.

So when Walks with Thunder asked me So, do I look like a Shaman to you? I laughed and said Yes because he did...but not at like I pictured. The only visual cue you might find of Walks with Thunder’s heritage is the simple turquoise thunderbird he wears on a silver chain around his neck and, that he looks Indian. I answered Yes to this gentle unpretentious teacher, because he felt like a Shaman to me.

We were sitting side by side going over materials on his laptop when something happened. He had turned to me and with a playful expression on his face, asked me a question about desserts. My mind was confused and as I looked at him I saw a transformation in his face and felt a tremendous energy coming through, a very loving nurturing grandparent energy. Suddenly I felt very warm and to my embarrassment, tears started falling from my eyes. I told him that I was having an emotional reaction to him and went to sit across the table

Walks with Thunder apologized and asked if I would like to receive a balancing and an energy transfer. A few moments later I was back ‘together’ until the energy transfer when he put his hands on either side of my face, there was an intense heat and I felt again this loving nurturing grandfather and tears streamed down my face. In the middle of the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse, Walks with Thunder handled this well. He explained that he is Shaman Born; his Grandfather was a Shaman for the Caddo tribe, as was his father before him. He told me that feeling this loving grandfather spirit coming through is just a spiritual experience that generates an emotional response from the soul. It is like receiving or remembering the revelation that the Creator loves you and puts people here to help you. When you meet these people it can be a very emotional experience. Its okay. It means you have heart and its full.

As my new helper took his seat across the table, I was finally able to get out my first question.

JT: When were you first aware of your unique abilities, that you were a Shaman?

WWT: My first metaphysical memory was when I was one and a half years old. I was laying in bed looking out the window and I saw balls of colored lights in the trees and I wanted to go play with the fairies. I was in the process of crawling out the window to join them when my sister pulled me back in and told me I could not go. I had seen things all my life but I had no context to understand them. Raised by my Hispanic mother, I was not aware that I was Native. When I was 27 I called my mother and told her that I was going to check myself into a mental institution because I was seeing so many things I felt I was going insane. She then told me the family secret - that she was the illegitimate daughter of a Shaman and that this was perhaps why I was experiencing these things. I never met my grandfather but spirits like to return to same families.

JT: This is who I met then today, your Shaman Within, your grandfather. He has a very palpable presence. When you learned this, how did you feel about all of it?

WWT: I wanted it to stop. It was an intrusion on my ‘normal’ everyday technological life. It was 1989 and I was working for the Dept. of Commerce as a data processing manager with 50 people working under me. I was so uncomfortable when I would see spirits that I would tell the visage that I was uncomfortable and that I wanted it to stop. When I saw my first dark spirit, it really unnerved me. Then second time it made me angry, and then the third time I threatened it so it went away. I felt these experiences were an intrusion into my world or my perception of life as it should be. That changed the day of the explosion.

JT: The day of the explosion?

WWT: Yes, it was the day I first saw my guardian spirit. A little thunder spirit came out of the wall by the electrical outlet. I got a very strong feeling of uneasiness and told it I’m uncomfortable seeing you, leave me alone I’m going to get a donut. While I was getting a donut trying to calm down, there was an electrical malfunction which hit the $120,000 computer and literally destroyed it. Had I been working at the computer, I would have been electrocuted.

JT: So the next time you saw the thunder spirit…?

WWT: I was a little happier to see it! I understood that its message was Its going to be ok, I’m here. I realized that before the explosion, the little thunder-lightning bolt I had seen flying out of the wall socket showed up to warn me that something bad was about to happen.

JT: How do you feel about the thunder spirit now?

WWT: A very sweet smile fills his face as he throws his head back to the sky. Well, when I talk to the Thunder Nation, they do things for me. They love me, I’m one of their favorites!

JT: This was how you were able to help with hurricane Rita? (Walks with Thunder and I had talked two days before the hurricane was due to hit and he had been working on it. He told me that it would decrease from a Category 5 hurricane to a level one storm.)

WWT: Yes, my guardian spirit is a Thunder Spirit. Ed told me this is relatively rare, they usually don’t associate with humans. Ed told me that my thunder spirits other form is a Thunderbird with a 3 mile wingspan!

JT: Who is Ed?

WWT: Ed Whiting is a Shaman I went to see in Pine Ridge South Dakota. It was at a turning point in my life. When I first got there, he made me very uncomfortable. His guide is Emerald Man and while we were talking, it kept turning his face sparkly and green. Ed explained why I was seeing this so I told Emerald Man it made me uncomfortable and to stop and he did. Ed explained to me that the little thunder spirit was my guardian. It was 1998 when I was at Ed’s and I had left my old world.

JT: What happened at Ed’s?

WWT: I went through 10 days of ‘subtle’ testing! This began when he had me sleep in the basement and all the spirits that he sees kept coming and waking me up during the night. This really annoyed me because I was tired and I wanted to sleep. Some of the spirits were not so friendly but I felt safe because I was at Ed’s and I commanded the spirits to stop waking me up and they did. The next morning Ed told me to not assume I was safe and to say this phrase: Let me pass, I do not worship you.

JT: What did you say?

WWT: I said And that is going to get me out of deep dark trouble? I didn’t believe him until I used it on the lawn mower.

JT: On the lawn mower?

WWT: Yes, it was my day of testing where I was not allowed to come in out of the 120 degree heat until all the lawn was mowed and I had learned the lesson I was suppose to learn. After hours of mowing in the heat, I tried to go back inside but I was told to stay outside until I had learned the lesson I was suppose to learn. I was the only one outside. I told myself I already know how to mow the lawn.

I looked over and there was a patch of lawn that hadn’t been mowed and it was in shade. I told myself, I’m going to go mow over there. If there’s something for me to learn, I’m going to learn it in the shade. I started mowing, cutting in a square. When the mower got to a certain spot it died and I began to feel very hot and like something was pressing on my chest. Being stuck in my technological mind, I checked the mower thoroughly and I could not find any mechanical reason for it to not run. Finally, I got the mower running but when I reached that spot again, the mower died. And the feeling of heat and the terrible pressure on my chest returned. I was annoyed at the mower, there was no ‘reason’ for it to stop! I got it started again and worked my way around the square to the same spot where the mower died again and the crushing symptoms returned. I was just unwilling to accept that a metaphysical force had stopped a physical engine. This time it was very very hard to breathe and the pressure on my chest was stronger. I said to myself OK I’m being messed with and I can fix it. I said in a very sarcastic way, Let me pass, I do not worship you. Suddenly I could breathe, it wasn’t so hot, I pulled on the cord and the mower started and I finished. When I went inside my friend asked me, Did you learn the lesson? I said Yes you’d be surprised what a cagey old man can do to you.

JT: How did it end with Ed?

WWT: Ed told me at the end of the ten days You came here because you wanted all these ‘bad things’ to stop and I have bad news for you. The spirit world is calling you because you have a gift and you are not using it, you are not sharing it and so they intrude on your normal everyday technological life to show you that there is more, that there is something else you are meant to do. So your choice is, you can either embrace your gift and use it or ignore it and continue to be a victim of your gift.

JT: So what happened after this?

WWT: So I asked the grandfather spirits to teach me gently. I get taught in my sleep. There have been a couple of lessons that have been really hard to learn. I’ve learned that I have to be careful about my will, and my intent, and how I feel about things. Ed explained to me that how I have been taught and the things I know how to do, the powers I have, are the result of my grandfather’s spirit reborn through me with his knowledge and power.

JT: You have a true shaman within!

WWT. I was able to see Grandfather spirits at age two and bilocated at fourteen. I didn’t know those things were special. I thought every one could do it, and you know I was right. I have been on the Red Road a long time before I even knew there was a Red Road. I live the life of a Wacasa Wakan, I don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke (sometimes at a ceremony), don’t drink coffee, and use no recreational pharmaceuticals. Its a spiritual choice. I didn’t learn the way of the Shaman from another Shaman. I prefer to be called a Shaman instead of a Medicine Man because the term Medicine Man was a misnomer by the white settlers. What the shaman was doing was healing with power and the settler interpreted the word power for medicine.

Everything I do is with will and intent. I think it should be so and there it is. Knowing what I know and seeing what I see, I have absolute faith that there is a creator and there is a plan. By embracing my gift and sharing it with people, I follow what I am meant to do. This information comes from a pure state and it is things that everyone knows how to do, it is within you to do it. It is as easy as daydreaming and everybody knows how to do that! Within you is your soul that makes you unique, that gives you the sweetness of who you are. You draw on your faith and the power of your soul. What I do is very powerful yet very simple and things everyone can do once they learn to believe in themselves.

We said goodbye at my car and I felt like I had found a new friend. As I turned away, I heard him call back to me softly, I like your name. I looked back excitedly, it was his Grandfather’s spirit again... Thank you, I replied thinking of my first name when

the Shaman within Walks with Thunder sweetly called back to me, Tiger! smiled and walked away, his energy leaving me feeling giddy.

Walks with Thunder has many many stories, from a cancer healing miracle at Medicine Bear’s sweat lodge ceremony to finding a lost briefcase with $30,000 in jewels and being gifted two boxes of Girl scout cookies in return. But rather than reading more, best would be for you to join him at one of his fall classes listed in the events section! I’ll see you there! If you’d like to connect with Walks with Thunder, please feel free to call him at 253-350-5755 or e-mail him at His homepage is

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