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Symbolic Thunderbolt Meaning

thunderbolt meaning
From Chinese to Celtic, thunderbolt meaning is a deep symbolic element around the world.

Crashing Into Classic Thunderbolt Meaning

The most basic definition of thunderbolt meaning is when a flash of lightning happens while thunder strikes at the exact same time. The occurrence of thunder and lightning clashing together at the same time is uncommon.  I think that, in itself, is symbolic.

When Nature tosses out something rare in our experience, it is worthy of a second look…it’s worthy of some pondering.

Thankfully, ancient cultures around the world have done a lot of pondering about thunderbolt meaning already.  The following points offer some views about how the thunderbolt is perceived in different ways.

thunderbolt meaning

Say what??
Before meteorology and science explained away the wonder of phenomenons like thunderbolts, we humans only had our imaginations to explain such epic events. Around the world, the occurrence of the thunderbolt was thought of as a colossal shout from big, magical sources. Whether angel, god or goddess – the thunderbolt announced a message from an immensely powerful source. Essentially, witnessing and hearing a thunderbolt was akin to receiving a message from the heavens.

thunderbolt meaning

It is ALIVE!
Thunderbolt meaning deals with the creation of life. Perhaps the best example of this is found in that singular, memorable scene in any movie version of Frankenstein. When the thunderbolt struck the creature, it animated Frankenstein’s vision. The Buddhists give us the idea of ‘the rolling Dharma thunder.’ Dharma is the order of life, the order of the cosmos. In this case, the thunderbolt is a symbol of liberating life, and igniting the cycle of living.

thunderbolt meaningOkay, maybe it’s not so alive.
With every ancient cultural view that sees the thunderbolt as a spark of creation, most of the same views also see it as a source of destruction. Look at Zeus (Jupiter). The thunderbolt is one of his symbols. He is considered a creator-father god in Greek-Roman myth. But he was also feared for his destructive tendencies. In Native American myth, the thunderbolt is associated with the Thunder Bird.  This mega-bird is symbolic of the great Creator, it also represents some wicked-destructive forces.

thunderbolt meaning
Is that a thunderbolt in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
The idea of fertility is part and parcel with the creative aspect of thunderbolt meaning.  In many ancient cultures, the thunderbolt is a symbol of libido, virility and fertility.  Anybody who drools over the Thor character in the Marvel comics movies can formulate exactly what I mean. In fact, a thunderbolt is one of this Scandinavian god’s symbols. I guess you could say Thor, and his thunderbolt are kinda like a sex symbols. If you consider the shape of lightning, it’s like a rod. I don’t want to get too graphic here, but let’s just say it causes us to be ‘erect’ in our thinking about the thunderbolt. The simultaneous boom is a very orgasmic feature too. I’ll let your own imagination do the rest of the work when it comes to the thunderbolt as a symbol of virility and fertility.

thunderbolt meaningFlash! Bam! Alakazam!
You know that Nat King Cole song? “Orange Colored Sky” Nat croons that he’s just walking along, minding his own business, and then WHAM! He got stone-cold smashed with inspiration. In his case, he was struck by love. Thunderbolt meaning can certainly be symbolic of being blind-sided by love.  It is also symbolic of being struck by a bright idea. The thunderbolt represents a split second moment of tremendous inspiration.  In Hinduism, the thunderbolt of Indra and Krishna are synonymous with the awakening of the Third Eye. This is a fancy way of saying the thunderbolt represents enlightenment, a spark of intelligence and getting groundbreaking ideas.

Closing Thoughts on Symbolic Thunderbolt Meaning

Whether perceived as a symbol of war and destruction, or an icon for creativity and inspiration – it should be clear thunderbolt meaning is surrounded with lots of smashing concepts.

I hope this post offered you some thunderously thought-provoking moments.  I also hope you take your curiosity about thunderbolt meaning further by doing your own research. I’ve got a few links to other related articles that might keep your symbolic search energized.

As always, thanks for reading!

Thunderbolt blessings to you,


Symbolic Meaning of Lightning

Dreaming Meaning of Storms and Lightning

Symbolic Meaning of the Thunderbird


Source of Power in a Symbol (the Evil Eye as example)

Symbolic Eye
Symbolic Eye

I got the following question from a reader of my Symbols website:

My neighbor suggested I have some sort of evil eye symbol placed on my doorway to my gallery, (I expect as a symbol for protection).  I feel the place is protected because I ask for protection.  What are your thoughts?

My response:

I agree – our energy is protected (or otherwise) when we consciously choose to make it so…a physical symbol of our intent is unnecessesary.

Symbols are useless to us if we do not believe in their vibrational potentional.  Similarly, it is not the symbol that holds the power – it is the intelligence that holds the symbol that commands power.

In other words, the fire of human belief fuels the implied meaning of a symbol.

As you know, our ancestors used symbols frequently for drawing in or banishing various essences.  As humankind moves forward, we see these old ways dropping off more and more.  I think this is because humankind is beginning to understand the Hermetic axiom “As within, so without – As above so, so below.”

  • Now it is no longer the symbol holding the power – it is US! 
  • Now the esoteric art of symbolic interpretation is even more profound because it is our human heart that forms the meaning
  • Now the symbol merely serves as a reminder to us of the attributes we embody, the ultimate reality of our infinite potential.

So what is our infinite potential? We can answer that with another question: What are the symbols we hold?  With what are we aligned?

This cycle of reason reminds me of: “Which came first – the chicken or the egg?” because our symbols can define us, or we can define them.

And then, for another philosophical turn in your question:  If you DO put an “evil eye” symbol above your doorway with intent for protection – does that not imply an existing level of UNprotection?

Meaning, if we feel we must have a symbol to protect us, then we are coming from a position that we are unprotected.  I propose that protection (from a symbol or otherwise) need not be an option, because we are already protected 100% and at all times (just as you said “I feel the place is protected because I ask for protection” – simple as that – done deal).

Let’s just say we wanted to put an intentional exclamation point at the end of your request for protection.  Fending off an evil with an evil eye is highly ineffective.  If a space resonates evil, it will draw unto itself the same resonance.

In essence, Evil Eye’s wink back to evil, and say “come hither.”  Whereas, something with the verities of purity, love, compassion would be more suitable.  Love always trumps.  I’ve written a summary that’s kind of an antithesis of the Evil Eye here.

And I love this question – it’s one I’ve given tremendous thought to because I’ve asked it of myself…thanks for indulging me the expression of these thoughts.

You may also be interested in my page on Eye Symbolism here.