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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Of Ghouls and Windigos

Ah, the ever hungry ghoul,found in Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath by Lovecraft,it is shown as a once human creature with a canine appearance. Ghouls feed on the human dead or even occasionally live humans.The stories say it was possible for a human to be transformed into a ghoul. The wendigo is a beast that lives alone in the northern forests, feeding whenever possible on human flesh. The wendigo originates as a human being. However the person is then possessed by an evil Wendigo spirit and transforms into the beast. The most common reason for becoming a wendigo is if one eats human flesh. For this reason, it has been suggested that the wendigo legend came about in order to prevent tribes from descending into cannibalism during times of food shortage. Some say that those bitten by a windigo will begin to develop a craving for human flesh and eventually become possessed themselves. There is no cure. The wendigo is also known as the "spirit of the lonely places".The ghouls of lovecraft's tales are based on the ghuls of Arab magick. In Arab lore ghuls are again semi-human creatures with dog-like faces.The Arab ghul lived in lonely and deserted places feeding on the dead.It is said a powerful magician can transform into a ghul. The ghuls are associated with a homophagic diet (eating humans), necrophilia, and magickal transformation.As you can see these two states of being,the windigo and the ghoul are true kissing cousins in the land of cryptozoology.They are reminiscent of many aspects of shamanism.It is common for the shaman to transform into an animalistic or semihuman form.The Inuit Indians called the creature Wendigo, translated, it means "the evil spirit that devours mankind". Around 1860, a German explorer translated Wendigo to mean "cannibal" among the tribes along the Great Lakes.This is also remanisent of the skin-walker,who is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires, though they first must be wearing a pelt of the animal, to be able to transform.The Skinwalker is (or was) a shaman in it's human life. As a rite of passage, he kills his entire family to drain the souls. He then can transform into any animal it feels like, and any person. It has the ability to mimic voices that are familiar to you, to draw you out.Ritual cannibalism and shapeshifting was found in almost every culture. Even today in cultures where ritual cannibalism is no longer physically enacted there still remains traces of symbolic cannibalism. Tibetan Lamas have rites involving a corpse,and so do the Vama Marg, sometimes even with cannibalistic elements(more on that in a moment).Native American versions of the creature spoke of a gigantic spirit, over fifteen feet tall, that had once been human but had been transformed into a creature by the use of magic. Though all of the descriptions of the creature vary slightly, the Wendigo is generally said to have glowing eyes, long yellowed fangs and an overly long tongue. Most have a sickley yellowish complexion but others are said to be matted with hair. They are tall and lanky and are driven by a horrible hunger for human flesh and blood. This brings us back to Tibet and the The Chod rite,Chod combines prajñāpāramitā philosophy with specific meditation methods and tantric ritual. The chod practitioner seeks to tap the power of fear through activities such as rituals set in graveyards, and visualisation of offering their bodies in a tantric feast in order to put their understanding of emptiness to the ultimate test.According to tibetologist Jerome Edou Chod practitioners were often associated with the role of shaman and exorcist:
“The Chö[d]pa’s very lifestyle on the fringe of society – dwelling in the solitude of burial grounds and haunted places, added to the mad behavior and contact with the world of darkness and mystery – was enough for credulous people to view the Chödpa in a role usually attributed to shamans and other exorcists, an assimilation which also happened to medieval European shepherds. Only someone who has visited one of Tibet’s charnel fields and witnessed the offering of a corpse to the vultures may be able to understand the full impact of what the Chöd tradition refers to as places that inspire terror.”
In contemporary Occultism, a man named Ryan Parker wrote something called The Rite of the Ghouls,a ritual based upon the work of Kenneth Grant,Phil Hine and the "Cultes des Goules" used by Abbe' Boullan in his Lyons workings.This is a fantasic ritual with many hidden Physiological effects within it that could be harmful to the unprepared Art worker.I've been working on something along the same lines but with a focus on the Windigo and the so called "Wendigo Psychosis",a mental disorder in which a person intensely craves human flesh and thinks they are turning into a cannibal (despite an abundance of healthy food available).I believe there is a rich mine of LHP ritual here that can push the shaman to the point of no return and bring about real change outside of the"normal"human mode of understanding.Edmonton ethno-historian Nathan Carlson called it the  Windigo condition, which haunted communities right across northern Alberta in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and cost dozens of lives.
The Windigo is a Anglicized form of the word Witiko.Carlson describes it as “the consummate predator of humanity.” It’s sometimes described as “an owl-eyed monster with large claws, matted hair, a naked emaciated body and a heart made of solid ice.”.“It’s extremely destructive,” he says. “The more it eats, the hungrier it gets, so it just keeps killing."Windigos can possess people, transforming them into wild-eyed, violent, flesh-eating maniacs with superhuman strength. Many native people in northern Alberta lived in terror of being possessed.“It’s important to understand that cannibalism was repellent to the people,” Carlson explains. “The Windigo personified evil."To bring about this change for a short time and then return to "normal human morality"may provide a boon to the LHP worker trying to break free of his or her own cultural conditioning. Wendigos are said to be notoriously hard to kill. "This thing is a good hunter in the day, but an unbelievable hunter at night." They have few weakness, as far as weapons are concerned, it can only be killed by iron, steel and silver. The most gruesome method of disposal is by shattering the creature's ice heart with a silver stake and then dismembering the body with a silver account of the Wendigo took place 650 years ago, an entire civilization and culture vanished without a trace.I am talking of the Anasazi,who came to Angel Canyon at least 10,000 years ago and was thought to be a peaceful farming society.But, modernization brought about its destruction. Society soon became centralized as political/religious leaders took control, built roads to outlying the colonies and trade routes to other civilizations. Then, about 800 years ago the economy collapsed, the land had become overworked and the leaders became tyrannical. The Anasazi moved their homes into caves high in the cliff walls and prepared to defend themselves. To add to the troubles was a gang of roaming Toltec outlaws that often invaded their small communities, terrorizing, murdering and even eating members of the Anasazi tribe!The shamans of the Tribe believed that the Toltec were possessed by the spirit of the Windigo,and rather than fight back, the Anasazi responded with a mass exodus- just walking away and leaving their troubles behind them. The Anasazi migrated South, eventually building a new culture and religion that we know as the Hopi.This is just the tip of the Iceberg when it comes to Windigo lore,and I will be writing and talking more on it as the ritual takes shape in a form that can be done without harm to myself and those around me....till then,stay Hungry. 


  1. beautifully done, well written. love the hat btw

  2. Fascinating! I had thought the Wendigo was only a North American creature. I wasn't aware of other cultural beliefs on this (I.e. Arab).