[Note: The world is made up of people who“know” that Shapeshifting is a fact and thosewho “know” it is not, so for ease of discussion,an assumption is made here that Shapeshifting
possible and, while difficult, also do-able.]
Shapeshifters (known by various names) have been part of the ancient way since time imme-morial.It is often believed that most modern day Shape-shifters (especially those who find it “easy” incomparison; the word ‘easy’ definitely beingrelative) have also been Shapeshifters in times past. Indeed, those who are even interested inthe phenomenon and who do not find it strange,creepy, frightening, or disgusting (the idea of “turning into an animal” as they put it, due tomisunderstanding or misinterpretation is off- putting to some people) most likely have beenShapeshifters in at least one past lifetime.It is difficult if not impossible to describe anexact process. Not only does it vary betweenindividuals depending on one’s belief constructsand cultural influences, it is also an integral partof what makes up the part of the unique “me”, asin “this is part of me”, but here’s an admittedlyover-simplified shot at it …
When people think of Shapeshifting what oftencomes to mind is the infamous Skinwalker, nowmade even more notorious thanks to some rather bad movies loosely based on the theme. TheDené (Navajo) nation call them
— “he who trots along here and there on allfours”—their word for a certain type of “super-witches” who are inevitably evil. Not beingDené I cannot speak with authority on their par-ticular brand of Skinwalkers, however, to themand other societies this is
a mere legend butis very real and very dangerous. Even though itis a subject not openly discussed, especially withstrangers, hair-raising accounts of encounterswith Skinwalkers have been documented by re-liable, credible people such as police officers.Shapeshifters appear in native cultures through-out the world (in Europe—among the Norse andthe Celts in particular—and also in the Ameri-cas, Africa, Asia) and survive to this day. En-counters with them, however, are not limited tonative people nor must you be an aboriginal per-son to become a Shapeshifter, although if youexplore your past lives you will likely find oneor more where you were of at least one of thesecultures.Because some Shapeshifters can be totally evil,however, does it necessarily follow that
are?Does it not come down to choice; where eachindividual makes a conscious decision abouthow to use his/her power, whatever that power may be?
The power to Shapeshift does notautomatically mean the Shapeshifter is either good or evil. It is a skill that can be learned if one is willing to commit to years of arduousstudy and practice (often extremely frustrating).They can go either way. In most cases, it is usedfor good: for healing, for exploration, and some-times to foil an enemy. Accounts of the preda-tions of Skinwalkers in the Four Corners area of the
(and other places) by credible peoplecreate the not unfounded assumption that suchnasty characters exist, nevertheless, to categorize
Shapeshifters in this manner is missing the point.Some Shapeshifters or Skinwalkers were Norse —the
a word meaning “bear shirt”,were a form of Shapeshifters or lycanthropes— and the Celts have also passed down a traditionof Shapeshifting. It is worldwide and so perva-sive in the history of so many nations and peo- ples that, upon even a little research, it seemsobvious that there’s something more to Shape-shifting than crazy “werewolf tales”.
Many believe that most Shapeshifters and allSkinwalkers (yes, many do differentiate between thetwo) are males; possibly because they are oftenlumped into the catch-all category of “medicinemen”. This is untrue. Although it would seem themajority are male, it is not exclusive; females alsoShapeshift and there are many “medicine women”.