The Thunderbird (Wakinyan), part of the thunder beings, was one of the first creatures in the universe. Lakota mythology describes these creatures as bird-like, who had a voice like thunder, and eyes of lightning. This thunderbird governs weather, clouds and rain. Stories tell of them coming to the rescue of the people in times of trouble. They are considered so powerful, that they are able to give or take life. It is believed that the Wakinyan sees everything backward. So if a man has a vision of a Wakinyan, he is considered Heyoka (opposite to nature) and must fulfill a ritual for a certain time that involves doing everything backward. During this time they are considered very mysterious and powerful. To have Wakinyan on your side means great power.