Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cancer is the Beast.

Weendigo (windigo) is a beast. That beast eats and eats. It is an incorporeal being. It is the essence of greed, selfishness, and evil. The Windigo comes from Ojibway (and Cree) Teachings. The Teachings of the Windigo show us the nature of greed. The nature of evil unchecked.

Ronald Wolf a writer explains the Windigo this way:
You probably won't find a more savage or terrifying creature as the Wendigo. Americans and Canadians share this legend which is very similar to a werewolf. The Wendigo (also known as Windigo, Weendigo, Windago, Windiga, Witiko, Wihtikow) is a mythical creature appearing in the mythology of the Algonquian people.

It is a malevolent cannibalistic spirit which humans could transform, or which could possess humans. Those who indulged in cannibalism were at particular risk, and the legend appears to have reinforced this practice as taboo.

Wendigo psychosis is a culture-bound disorder which involves an intense craving for human flesh and the fear that one will turn into a cannibal. This once occurred frequently among Algonquian Native cultures, though has declined with the Native American urbanization.

Recently, the Wendigo has also become a horror entity of contemporary literature and film, much like the vampire, werewolf, or zombie, although these fictional depictions often bear little resemblance to the original entity.

The Wendigo is part of the traditional belief systems of various Algonquian-speaking tribes in the northern United States and Canada, most notably the Ojibwa/Saulteaux, the Cree, and the Innu/Naskapi/Montagnais.

Though descriptions varied somewhat, common to all these cultures was the conception of Wendigos as malevolent, cannibalistic, supernatural beings (manitous) of great spiritual power.

They were strongly associated with the winter, the North, and coldness, as well as with famine and starvation. At the same time, Wendigos were embodiments of gluttony, greed, and excess; never satisfied after killing and consuming one person, they were constantly searching for new victims.

In some traditions, humans who became overpowered by greed could turn into Wendigos; the Wendigo myth thus served as a method of encouraging cooperation and moderation. Among the Ojibwa, Eastern Cree, Westmain Swampy Cree, and Innu/Naskapi/Montagnais, Wendigos were said to be giants, many times larger than human beings (a characteristic absent from the Wendigo myth in the other Algonquian cultures).

Whenever a Wendigo ate another person, it would grow larger, in proportion to the meal it had just eaten, so that it could never be full. Wendigos were therefore simultaneously constantly gorging themselves and emaciated from starvation.

All cultures in which the Wendigo myth appeared shared the belief that human beings could turn into Wendigos if they ever resorted to cannibalism or, alternately, become possessed by the demonic spirit of a Wendigo, often in a dream.

Once transformed, a person would become violent and obsessed with eating human flesh. The most frequent cause of transformation into a Wendigo was if a person had resorted to cannibalism, consuming the body of another human in order to keep from starving to death during a time of extreme hardship or famine.

Among northern Algonquian cultures, cannibalism, even to save one's own life, was viewed as a serious taboo; the proper response to famine was suicide or resignation to death. On one level, the Wendigo myth thus worked as a deterrent and a warning against resorting to cannibalism; those who did would become Wendigo monsters themselves.

Among the Assiniboine, the Cree and the Ojibwa, a satirical ceremonial dance was originally performed during times of famine to reinforce the seriousness of the Wendigo taboo.

The ceremonial dance, known as a wiindigookaanzhimowin in Ojibwe and today performed as part of the last day activities of the Sun dance, involves wearing a mask and dancing about the drum backwards. The last known Wendigo Ceremony conducted in the United States was at Lake Windigo of Star Island of Cass Lake, located within the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota

That is what cancer is. "Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues". We know that Cancer is a Spirit. We know it takes indiscriminately. I have no love for Cancer. I know that there are people out there, Traditional people who are working hard at fighting Cancer. Sometimes Cancer wins and takes a life, other times it loses and the people win.

Cancer is a bastard. It took a number of family members. My aunties on both sides of my family, my Mom and now it threatens my Cousin's little baby girl. She is only two. It hurts to see my cousin, his family in such pain. Trying to live normally. What ever the heck that is. We can offer words, but what else can we do. We can pray. However, it is the battle between the two that is going on. Maybe the medical community can win where the Traditional Healers cannot, or maybe the Healers can win where the Medical Community may not. I hope and pray that the baby wins. Hope is not an answer or method but sometimes it is all you have.

I will send you on your way with a story our Friend Annette told us the other day. Her grand-Auntie had a bout with Cancer. She beat it. Anyway this one day she felt a lump where her belly button is. She panicked. She got worried. She had already dealt with Cancer before and didn't want to deal with it again. She wanted to make sure it was okay. She went to the hospital. The doctor found a hard ball of dirt in her belly button. "Clean your belly button Auntie".


  1. Thank you for the Auntie story to offset the rest of the post. I will pray for the baby too. Been a lot melancholy lately, missing my Dad. Time for a visit home.

    Yes, the Windigo won in our case. He had a big fight, first with colon cancer which dad won but the esophogeal cancer got him. I joked that I had a section of hose here he could borrow to replace all his bad innnards. :)

  2. My brother volunteers at the Cancer Run, I haven't done anything Yet to help in the fight against cancer. My wife donates blood on a regular basis. I faint at blood tests, so not sure if I could give blood.