Different cultures have different beliefs and as years go on like the childhood game Telephone facts get altered here and there. But still the main point of the story will remain. My family comes from a long line of mixed cultures. I am Scottish, Irish, Ukrainian and Native. All of these roots I hold strong and proud. In these different cultures we have different beliefs, mythologies and tales. There are a few that stand out the most though that to this day can make me weary and panic at the thought or action of invoking them. I am going to tell of these tales the way I remember them.
The first is the Aurora Borealis. The beautiful Northern Lights that dance in the sky full of changing colors. If you listen close enough you will hear them moving and whispering to you. The Northern Lights are believed to be the spirits of passed loved ones and friends. They remain in the night sky to watch over you and whisper messages to you.
Growing up on our acreage there were many beautiful calm nights that you could just sit for hours and watch the Northern Lights Dance. Some believe that if you whistle you can bring the spirits down and whisper back to them. They will then in return pass your messages on to those loved ones and friends. One of our beliefs was you NEVER EVER whistle when the Northern Lights are dancing. Why do you ask? They will come down and take you away!
I can remember there were a few nights when we had been out and getting home late the sky would be dancing. We would have to wait for our mom to unlock our deadbolt on the door to get in the house. While we were waiting my brother would start whistling to scare me and I would scream and cry banging on the door wanting to get inside. I truly thought the Northern Lights would come down, swoop me up and carry me off into the sky forever. Looking back on those times I can now laugh. Still to this day I will not whistle at the Northern Lights because…what if.
Another tale that was a bit scarier was the Windigo. Oh man, talk about a child’s over active imagination! To begin, in case you do not know what the Windigo is…Picture sharp teeth, antlers, horrid breath and can move faster than the wind. That is the Windigo. This spirit hunts for those who are weak, greedy and just all together mean. Human beings may also take on the Windigo life form if they themselves are greedy or weak. They will kill and eat their prey.
The memories I have of being petrified of the Windigo was always in Winter. If at anytime I was playing by myself in the snow drifts or in a snow fort we made I would have moments ware my imagination would take over. With the sun at my back I would see a shadow of a tree branch on the snow drift in front of me. Panic would set in. My imagination told me it was an antler. My heart would be pumping so hard I could hear it pounding in my ears. I would work up all of the courage I had and turn around as fast as I could! It would be gone like the wind! Now remember I told you it preyed on greedy and mean people. So, if I had been bad that day and was mean or greedy, I thought for sure the Windigo was going to get me. Now saying this, my mom and dad never told me of the Windigo or used it as a tactic to get me to behave. These were stories we heard from everyone around us growing up or watched on our weekly show North of 60.
There are many many more tales to tell, but the third one still to this day I will not speak of out loud. The one who makes my skin crawl and leaves me on edge looking over my shoulder is the horrid witch…the Skin Walker. To this day there are still reports of seeing this witch who can drop to all fours and transform into an animal. Mostly these sightings have been in the United States but more and more reports are now coming from Canada with video footage.
The Skin Walker is the most volatile and dangerous. If a Healer or Spirit Guide used their powers at anytime for evil, they would transform into a Skin Walker. They would walk as human forms during the day but transform at night. If one was to lock eyes with this witch they would become possessed immediately. If you were to shine a flashlight in their normal looking eyes, they would turn red. With being the most dangerous they are also the most powerful the legend says they can destroy one’s belongings, control your thoughts, read your mind, control your behaviours, bring upon illness, disease and death.
How do you know a Skin Walker is upon you? Listen for the knocking at your windows. Watch for someone standing on the road in front of your vehicle at night and watch for changes in behaviours in your animals at night. This witch can shape shift whenever it needs.
To end on a lighter note. One of the most beautiful beliefs were the trees. The trees have souls. The trees speak to us if you listen. While out on our many adventures on the cut line or in the woods I would always listen closely to see if I could hear the trees speaking to us.
Before I close this episode, I would like to make clear that just because my imagination as a young child would take over at times…know that I clearly could and can differentiate between what was/is real and what is not.In the later episodes you will be introduced to people who experienced various situations with me confirming it was not my imagination. There were people, photos and audio that confirmed these events and continue to do so.