Was this a skinwalker we were looking at or was it a shapeshifter? The question is the missing link of questions because it is so hard to distinguish between the two. All I know is that we made it to Phil’s truck and by the time he backed out of the dirt driveway, this huge dog was gone. We counted our blessings and a sigh of relief came over us as we began our descent towards the Valdez valley. By the time we got to the entrance of our camp, we were talking about what our next move should be. That’s when the unthinkable happened, the big, black dog was standing by the entrance to my teepee and I realized that this was a serious breach, one that I had to confront head on because this was my home.
Phil wanted me to stay in the truck but I had horses, chickens, goats and geese that were my babies and I wasn’t going to let this large beast attack any of them. Without thinking and purely on instinct, I jumped out of the truck before it stopped and ran towards the big black dog. I threw rocks and sticks, yelling at him that he was not welcome. He just stood there, surrounded by my geese who were in attack mode themselves. I walked about ten feet towards the large black dog and made it clear I would hurt him. He just stood there, staring at me so I immediately went into action; I ran at him and hurled a rock at his head. He jumped out of the rocks way and started to run back the way he came with me running after him. I looked like a mad woman but I didn’t care. I made it clear he was never to come back!
After I had calmed down, I realized that I had missed something. He obviously didn’t hurt any of the animals; he was trying to get my attention because he wanted to convey a message to me, one that I didn’t get because I was too busy being the defender of my animals. I think in his own way, he was telling me he needed help and I was too dense and twitterpated at the time to see it. I always regretted chasing him away after that. I did drive by the house, a few weeks later, looking for him but I never saw him again after that. I heard through the grapevine that the dark witch moved away and had the house up for sale shortly after our encounter. I was happy she was gone but I felt I let a lot of animals down by not doing something more for them. Did I encounter a dark witch or shapeshifter and was the big, black dog a skinwalker or was he just an animal that was a trapped soul? He was too intelligent just to be a big dog but then I have had one in a million dogs that were wise old souls. You be the judge here.
The skinwalker is obviously the most intrusive symbol in cult history. It has always been a mysterious and confusing figure in folklore or movies because the interpretation or definition regarding a skinwalker always seems a bit muddy. My view is that a dark witch is behind the scenes in some form or fashion, controlling a compromised or deceived, soul. Once the dark witch gains the upper hand, they can place their captive in the forefront of hostilities, hence creating the skinwalker. I don’t think the skinwalker is out by him or herself scaring the crap out of people. I think they are directed and controlled by a menacing force that uses them for personal vendettas and feuds. They have a contract that binds them through misfortune, misdeed or sacrifice. It’s a distinctive and detailed record kept in the bowels of the dark and decrepit shadows that waits for the ill-fated signature in blood, so that it can eternally envelop a soul and control it.
Here in lies the human quandary; it’s the undeniable appeal for power and conquest. Most of the people attracted to the dark realm, would rather be in control then be controlled. I doubt there are many who would by personal choice, choose to be subservient to someone else. If this is the case there is usually some coercion by some reticent malevolent ego, hidden from the mainstream populace. The shadows can keep secrets hidden ceaselessly and the unquestionable desires can hold their breath, waiting for those unsuspecting victims of circumstances.
The skinwalker is in some ways symbolic of their own delusional respite. It’s in their nature to think that some day they can walk away from their circumstances by self effacing and acquiescing to another’s will. The darkness doesn’t come without consequences, so once a person plays with fire, they become apart of the fervor that intensifies its malevolence.
I think that there are trapped souls like the birds and large black dog that are prisoners of black magic. I think there are dark witches who have their own agenda and vendettas, thus becoming physically twisted, distorted and perverted. They become what they put out and it eventually shows in their appearance. Shapeshifters can be either dark or light in intention and with the added gift of being a Medicine Man or Woman; they can heal people and speak with nature in her language, one that she shares intimately with them. If darkness is apart of the equation then, the shadows speak louder and the night sky cloaks ominous deeds. This does not mean that nature speaks to a dark witch who can shapeshift; the dark witch can project two images, one that is the illusion of intention, and the other which is their true objective. The skinwalker is the inevitable consequence of ill-fated circumstances, the dark and depraved outcome based on someone else’s nemesis or foes. It’s not so much that I don’t think that a skinwalker can’t be a skinwalker because they want to be or intend to be, it’s that their insanity comes from the constant push and pull of obscure sentiments and commands. They just don’t seem to do what they do by conviction alone.
Native American families who generationally have both the dark and the light counterparts understand that peace comes from the grey area in the middle. It’s not the most conventional place to be but one that at least both sides can exist on. With this being said, I have come to understand that if I seek out a dark witch, shapeshifter or skinwalker, they will willingly accept my invitation. I understand they are out there, and because of my Medicine path, I respect the dark but I am where the light resides by choice. Since the light and dark aspects of humans and nature are on opposite sides of the same coin, I have made sure I know both sides and respect my boundaries. It comes down to this, in order to appreciate the light, we must understand the dark.
“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, the one I feed the most.”
George Bernard Shaw