The thunderbird is of prime importance in this painting. The symbol itself conveys ideas such as indomitable spirit (as it rises from the ashes), transformation and power. The thunderbird is also viewed as an omen of war in many cultures. The figure holding what could be a tomahawk in the painting reflects this vision. As a native American symbol, the Thunderbird marks the separation between the heavens and the Earth.
The other figures in the painting are portrayed in this manner. In various Native clans the Thunderbird is pitted in a battle with a massive water Serpent to protect humans. Their epic battle results in deafening cracks of thunder, raging waters and, storms. All of these symbolic messages have been incorporated in this painting which was created by placing acrylic paint on printmaking and rice paper and developing the figures and symbols while still wet.