The Native American Skinwalker : Immortal Monday

The ability to shift your appearance at will, look like anything or Mystique from X-Men in The Native American Skinwalker article by Debra Kristi, Authoranyone you want: would you desire such a skill?

Raise your hands if you saw X-Men: Days of Future Past in the past two weeks? Those of you familiar with the many mutant powers, who would like to have Mystiques’ special talent? If you feel that way, you’re not alone. Her insta change is uber cool!

Jacob Black in The Native American Skinwalker Article by Debra Kristi, AuthorWhat about other shapshifters? Tayler Lautner’s character, Jacob, in Twilight. Yeah, the sexy werewolf. Powerful being, but his shifting ability is limited to the one form.

Today’s culture has romanticized shapeshifters. We could make an endless list of movies, television shows, and books. We throw the word, shapshifters, around with ease. We tend to forget their legends are born from true monsters, not hot men and women who transform into strong wild beasts.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, but a true werewolf, a non-twilight kind of werewolf, is scary!” And you’d be right. Children of the moon (lycanthropy) isn’t romantic (if we throw out Michele J Fox’s Teen Wolf).

Instead, think: Wolf with Michelle Pfeiffer and Jack Nicholson.

In folklore: werewolves are vicious killers, only shifting with the full moon.

Limited to when they can shift puts them at a disadvantage compared to shapeshifers who possess the ability to change anywhere, anytime, into anything they desire.

Every culture has their own myths and stories regarding were-beasts. In Native American history the version of the shapeshifter and its origins, comes from a dark place.

The Native American Skinwalker

Skinwalker in The Native American Skinwalker: Immortal Monday article by Debra Kristi, AuthorHopi, Utes, Navajo, and many other tribes, have their own versions. When you boil them down to the clean bone they all pretty much say the same things. Skinwalkers are:

  • They are witches or medicine men with immense power.
  • They must perform a great evil to obtain their power.
  • They can transform into any four-legged animal. Most common: coyote, wolf, cougar, fox, owl, or crow.
  • The animal transformation was originally done by wearing the animal’s hide.

Does this sound familiar? Seen someone you know running around in fur? Your neighbor, perhaps?

Well…don’t jump the conclusion train yet. And if you do, don’t come scampering to me! 😉  

Today, the ritual involving an animal’s hide is rarely practiced. And for good reason. Society has grown wise of the skinwalker and such actions are a dead giveaway (pun intended).

Want to find out more regarding skinwalkers?

Not so easy.

Try striking up a conversation on any reservation. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to talk freely regarding skinwalkers. Their belief system in the supernatural is strong, rooted deep, and fear of punishment keeps their tongues still. Discussion is taboo, at least in public. And with good reason. Skinwalkers are not to be taken casually. This is serious,

Describe them in three words? The whispers you’ll hear…

Powerful.    Evil.    Scary.

Remember the evil deed I mentioned? The one a witch or medicine man must perform to receive their power? It’s the most evil of evils. Evil born from existing magic. Evil born from the worst of deeds. Evil born from taking a life. The life of a close family member. That’s pretty darn ugly, and twisted evil. Wouldn’t you agree?

Look into their eyes and you’ll see the animal looking back—literally, animal eyes. In their animal form, they’ll stare upon you with human eyes. Does that send shivers up your spin?

A witness reported in one account the skinwalker’s eyes glowed in the dark! What respectful monster wouldn’t have glowing eyes?

But seriously, it’s believed if you look one straight in the eye and don’t know who they are, you will die. Likewise, if you’re able to name the skinwalker by their full name they will get sick and succumb to death. Hence the age-old saying comes into play, “Know thy neighbor.”

Their goal: POWER and STRENGTH.

To achieve what they desire, they’ve been known to terrorize anyone believed to possess or even come across ‘said’ power. Interested in reading more in-depth encounters? Visit and see what Colm Kellecher and George Knapp have to share. Skinwalkers by Adam James Jones is another one. Fascinating look into the subject, and worth reading the comments.

Are you a shapeshifters lover? Do you soak it up through all forms of media? Please share. We love hearing what you have to say!

Shadow Falls Series from The Native American Skinwalker: Immortal Monday article by Debra Kristi, Author

Thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate your support.

Until next time, immortally yours.

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9 thoughts on “The Native American Skinwalker : Immortal Monday”

  1. PatriciaPatricia

    Well now, that is interesting. I have a romantic mystery manuscript that I’ve titled “On Hallowed Ground,” which is set on an Indian Reservation (Apache) and I talk about their spiritual concepts and rituals a lot. My heroine builds medicine wheels and performs “religious” ceremonies. I did not know about the skinwalkers though. I’ll have to do some more research. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
    Patricia recently posted…Insomnia Sucks!My Profile

  2. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    The main character in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books is a skinwalker. Briggs puts an interesting twist on the native legends: Mercy was born with her ability, and it’s a curse as much as a blessing. They’re really good books!

  3. Jess WitkinsJess Witkins

    When I interviewed Bethany she had heard it from the Utes tribe. She lives out in Utah. She too said it’s all very hush hush. She was researching them for her book, Shifting, which you should check out! The main character can shift but the skin walkers want her power so they’ll no longer need animal hides, just hers so they can become whatever they want. Creeeeeepy!

  4. Scott L VannatterScott L Vannatter

    That would be an excellent power. Mystique’s, that is. Any person? Wow! Could be fun and get you out of so many problems in life. Also, put you in hot water!
    Thanks for the interesting read.

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