Skinwalkers

“Yee naaldlooshii.”  “With it, he goes on all fours.”  (www.legendsofamerica.com)

These are the Navajo words used to describe a most feared and dangerous witch.  The Skinwalker (Seriously.  Cue the shudders as I’m typing this).

Skinwalkers are prevalent in Navajo legends as a form of dark witchcraft.  For the Navajo, good and evil powers merely are—it’s the same power, but with two sides.  The way a man harnesses the power depends upon the man.  There are other tribes that have legends of Skinwalkers, and all of them includes a nasty witch capable of taking on the form of an animal (www.legendsofamerica.com).

The permeance of these dreaded creatures runs so deep that many refuse to speak of them today (yes, in 2020!) for fear a Skinwalker may come after them or a loved one.  It is believed that these terrifying beings walk among the tribe during the day but secretly transform into the beast of their choosing once the moon is up and the skin is donned (creepy, much?).

According to Navajo legends, most Skinwalkers were once medicine men who achieved the ultimate level of spiritual power.  And then chose to use those powers for evil (www.navajolegends.org).  A lot like Star Wars, the Jedi, and the Sith.  One power, but two sides:  good and evil (I know I’m not the only Star Wars fan here…).

It’s reported that Navajo men only wear sheepskin or buckskin, and only for special ceremonies.  This is one reason the Navajo have become famous for such intricate textiles (and they are stunning—I own a set of Navajo-made clothes). They believe the Skinwalkers must don the pelt of the animal they wish to transform into—so the wearing of hides is taboo (www.navajolegends.org).

There’s nothing nice that can be said for these creatures of the night.  According to tribal legend, they must kill a sibling or family member to become a Skinwalker.  They wreak havoc.  Make people sick.  Commit murder.  They rob graves and are necrophiliacs (ahem, doing naughty things with dead people).  Even so recently as the mid-70’s, legal proceedings were brought against a nameless witch (reported to be of the spiritual level of the Skinwalkers) by attorney, Michael Stuhff (www.rense.com).  Skinwalkers are very real in the minds of many from the cultures who hold tales of these evil men who twist themselves to evil’s desires.  I’m certain I never want to meet one.

What do you think?  Are Skinwalkers real?  Or are they only legends?  Pop up to the grey Comments button at the top and let me know!

Book Recommendations

Shadow of Time: Dark Dreams  by Jen Minkman (intended for mature readers)

How the Stars Fell Into the Sky: A Navajo Legend  by Jerrie Oughton

Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Code Talkers of WWII by Chester Nez

Creative Writing Prompts

“Shhh!” My mother shushed me with more vehemence than normal.  “Never speak that word.”  Chills tingled down my spine at the fear in her eyes.

The moon rose and with it, the hairs on the back of my neck.

Something moved in the shadows.  Malevolent eyes glittered red.  My blood froze. 

The video clip below contains some mature content. Viewer discretion is advised. It’s creepy and dark, but very interesting.

Fairies

Did you know that there are hundreds of different types of fairies?  And most of them are not the cute, sassy Tinkerbell variety, though most are considered magical (rest assured, I’ll be featuring many of them in future posts)!  Fairies throughout history have been so feared that at one time, people wouldn’t even mention their names, referring to them only as The Little People, Hidden People, or sometimes The Gentry (https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/The-Origins-of-Fairies/, https://fiveminutehistory.com/the-history-of-fairies/).  All that aside, I’d still sign myself up for a Fairy Godmother given the chance.

Because fairies encompass so many different forms, there seems to be a fairy for literally every shape, size, occasion, and country (Tinkerbell, Lucky Charms, Cupid, jinnis/genies, anyone?).  And fairies are a lot older than you might expect—the earliest fairies are featured in Greek mythology (https://www.timelessmyths.com/celtic/faeries.html)!  While not on par with the gods and goddesses, think of fairies as spiritual beings one rung down the ladder—more like a demi-god.

Original artwork by local artist, Julia Ruprecht
Follow her on Instagram @julruprect

Most dismiss any Fae creature (anything belonging to the realm of the fairies) as purely imagination, though there are many (and several current) accounts of run-ins with the Wee People.  Do please share your story in the comments if you’ve had such an experience!  I’ve not yet been so lucky myself (although I do have friends who have found fairy rings—places fairies are said to dance).  Historically, these tiny creatures transcend the corporeal realm into the spiritual one.  Many stories associate the Fae with angels, or their equivalents in other religions (https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Fairy).   

A Fairy Ring
Discovered and photographed by Jenny Johnson

Fairy lore seems especially prevalent in Britain and Ireland (which probably accounts for most of my fascination).  In Ireland, some buildings had their corners cut off so they wouldn’t be in the middle of fairy paths.  And in some houses, front and back doors were built perfectly aligned and left open certain times of the year so the fairies could traipse through undisturbed (https://fiveminutehistory.com/the-history-of-fairies/). All legends aside, the word fairy didn’t appear until the middle ages in Europe.  The word probably comes from the Latin word fata—The Fates (https://www.etymonline.com/word/fairy).  Regardless of the origin, fairies continue to fascinate people on a global level.  Why are we so preoccupied with these tiny magical beings?

Do we long for a simpler time of childhood when all fairy tales were real?  Do we catch glimpses of them from time to time that give us that strange feeling in the pit of our stomachs?  Are they simply figments of human imagination created to explain the misunderstood?  Or are they perhaps real, waiting just beyond our realm?

Do you believe in fairies?

 

Creative Writing Prompts:

If you were a fairy, what’s the first thing you’d do with your magic?

The wind whispered through the grass, ruffling my wings like shimmering gossamer.  Spring was coming, the time we fairies danced on the lawn, sprinkled the grass with dew, and opened the flowers each morning.  But this year, there was a problem.

I am the reason humans fear the Fae folk.  It all started as an accident…

Book Recommendations

(Ya’ll, I LOVE a good Fae read, please leave any other book suggestions in the comments! Go to the top of the post, in the grey text above the title, click “Comments” and you’re good to go!)

The Creepy Hollow Series, by Rachel Morgan

The Goblin Wars Series, by Kersten Hamilton

Pippa of Lauramore, by Shari L. Tapscott

No post on fairies would be complete without these two classic scenes from Peter Pan–apologies, the first is really grainy.

I do believe in fairies!

Beautiful dance of the fairies 

www.fairies.zeluna.net 

www.disnerdadventures.blogspot.com