Windigo: A Psycho-Spiritual Disorder

The intention to write and share this article comes from my own experience and research. My approach to knowledge comes not only from scientific or metaphysical studies and discoveries, but also from dreams, intuition, shamanism, nature and ancestral memory. Perhaps for many, what I share sounds crazy and without scientific evidence. I do not mean for you to believe me. It is more my feeling to share from my point of view and reflection, to share my truth. We all hold part of this cosmic fabric of consciousness.

Since I was a teenager, many things in the world did not fit quite well. I grew up in Lima Peru with terrorism all over during the 80’s and scared to be bombed anytime in the streets. There was always news of fear, wars in the Middle East (of course), politic corruption, abuses to women and indigenous, and politicians fighting against each other. Also, a confused sexuality and distorted social success. School was almost like a military system, and social dynamics were about how to be the “coolest” and all what that means in modern society. No trust was in the streets. Always aware of the possibility of getting robbed. Confused sexuality all around, in advertising, TV and school. News and TV were about the same. People were just repeating the same behavior they saw on TV. Adults talking about how to make “a big deal” of “business”. There was a constant battle of dividing and conquering. Us and them. Sincerely, I could not find myself in the midst of all of these things. Those years were challenging in many ways, until I found shamanism and the indigenous spirit. This shifted my consciousness of living, seeing and processing life.

After many years involved in shamanism and living in the Andes and Amazon, I got an understanding of what is happening on earth today. It is a psychological and spiritual interference and disorder. In my exploration and research to find meaning in my life and the human world, I went through different experiences that revealed some keys to what is happening. I had a revelation. In this revelation I saw how beings on another multidimensional plane interfere or infect the human psyche, through a mind-control technology that I do not know. I could see how these beings, who were like shadows, infected the minds of millions of people with fear, which manifest themselves in many other ways. I understood that they get into the minds of politicians, business men and women, communicators, doctors, teachers, artists, scientists, spiritual leaders or guides and many others. They seek to separate human beings from their bodies, mind, spirit and soul, and consequently with the earth, the natural world. Keeping us in constant fear and sickness is their main intention. They seek to control this frequency of fear in many ways. A constant scare. They reinforce this through the educational system, the mass media, the press, politicians, science, religion, warfare, the economic and pharmaceutical systems, among others. And they distract us with infected, absurd and distorted frequency of entertainment. That frequency of fear and separation are seen influenced in movies, books, magazines, sports, discos, novels, series, music and other activities and expressions that reinforce that illusion in human beings. I came with the understanding it was about an illusion of selfishness, narcissism and psychopathic behavior.

“The beast has been called an evil spirit that devours mankind. The very word, Windigo, according to Ojibwa scholar Basil Johnston, can be derived from roots meaning ‘fat excess’ or ‘thinking only of oneself’. Writer Steve Pit states that ‘a Windigo was a human whose selfishness has overpowered their self-control to the point that satisfaction is no longer possible.’” — Robin Wall Kimmerer

I also understood that they have been doing the same to other beings from other planets. In this experience, I also found great and expanded compassion for these beings who had been doing this. I was able to witness a great divine light touching the earth and other planetary systems with such intensity that these beings could not do anything about it. I could see their frustration using their last resources towards this interference. I also managed to perceive that their greatest intention is to infect the soul, something that despite all their attempts and technology they cannot achieve. What they are trying to achieve is to disconnect the mind-body-spirit that bridges with the soul and generate a break in that communication with the divine. I understood they cannot touch the soul.

After several years I found the concept of Windigo. This term is used by the Native American Indians (wetiko for the Algonquin, windigo for the Ojibwa) to describe the way of thinking that develops among human beings who practice cannibalism, as if it were the mental virus of cannibalism. This pathogen is said to deceive its host into believing that obtaining the life force of others (plants, animals, people, etc.) is a logical and rational way of existing.

“The figure of the Windigo is familiar to Native and First Nations Algonquin peoples and predominant in Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) and Cree literature. It goes by various names with variant spellings but is most commonly rendered as Windigo, Wendigo, or Witiko. Windigo is a malevolent manitouor spirit whose insatiable appetite for human flesh can never be satisfied. The Windigo also has the power to turn humans into cannibals who suffer the same voracity. Ojibwe storyteller Basil Johnston explains that Windigos ‘came into being in winter and stopped villagers and beset wanderers. Ever hungry, they craved human flesh, which is the only substance that could sustain them. The irony is that having eaten human flesh, the Weendigoes grew in size, so their hunger and craving remained in proportion to their size; thus they were eternally starving.’ The Windigo’s appearance reflects the bitter winters of the remote North, and its presence often is signaled by sudden cold and wind. Although it can take many forms, the Windigo often is depicted as ‘a giant spirit-creature with a heart and sometimes a body of ice’ endowed with ‘prodigious strength’ and able to travel ‘as fast as the wind.’ […] Windigo’s cannibalistic behavior recalls the vampire, the zombie,and the werewolf. ‘Like the vampire, it feasts on flesh and blood,’ writes Columbo. ‘Like the werewolf, it shape-changes at will.’”
— Grace L. Dillon

“But the Windigo is more than just a mythic monster intended to frighten children. Creation stories offer a glimpse into the worldview of a people, of how they understand themselves, their place in the world, and the ideals to which they aspire. Likewise, the collective fears and deepest values of a people are also seen in the visage of the monsters they create. Born of our fears and our failing, Windigo is the name for that within us which cares more for its own survival than for anything else.” —Robin Wall Kimmerer

Jack D. Forbes describes in his book “Columbus and Other Cannibals” the common belief among indigenous communities that the European conquerors were chronically infected with wetiko. “Tragically, the history of the world in the last 2,000 years is, to a large extent, the history of the epidemiology of wetiko disease…I have come to the conclusion that imperialism and exploitation are forms of cannibalism and, in fact, it is precisely those forms of cannibalism that are most diabolical or evil.” — Jack D Forbes

Paul Levy is another author who also reveals the windigo or wetiko phenomenon in his own experience. “Modern civilization suffers from an extreme mastery of the rational and intellectual aspects of the mind, an imbalance that seems to disconnect us from nature, from empathy and from ourselves.” Paul Levy suggests that windigo or wetiko operates as a mental virus that spreads through our blind spots, the subconscious mind, and depends on our own ignorance of what is happening, that is, not seeing that we are being swept away by the sense of personal importance.

In my understanding, this psycho-spiritual disorder could be a multidimensional manipulation affecting our body-mind-spirit. Also this disorder affects the nervous system, reacting in a survival-behavior mode to eat each other. As Forbes describes it, a kind of cannibalism. This windigo also seeks the distraction of consciousness and separation of the self, the separation between each other, separation with nature, and therefore with the Great Spirit, the divine consciousness.

Another interesting aspect about this windigo is the manifestation of what we call Stockholm Syndrome, which is yet another psychological manifestation of windigo in my understanding . A kind of agreement that we have chosen to survive. Wikipedia published: “Stockholm syndrome is a psychological reaction in which the victim of abduction or retention against his will develops a complicit relationship and a strong emotional bond with his captor. Victims experiencing the syndrome regularly show two types of reaction to the situation: on the one hand, they have positive feelings towards their kidnappers; while, on the other hand, they show fear and anger against the police authorities or those who are against their captors. At the same time, the kidnappers themselves show positive feelings towards the hostages. Several possible causes for such behavior are mentioned:

  • Both the hostage or the victim and the perpetrator pursue the goal of escaping the incident unscathed, therefore they cooperate.
  • Hostages try to protect themselves in a context of situations that are uncontrollable, so they try to fulfill the wishes of their captors.
  • The delinquents appear like benefactors before the hostages to avoid an escalation of the facts. From here an emotional relationship of the victims can be born out of gratitude with the perpetrators of the crime.
  • Based on the story of personal development, victims’ rapprochement with offenders can be seen as a reaction developed during childhood. An infant who perceives the anger of his parent suffers for it and tries to “behave well” to avoid the situation. This reflex can be reactivated in an extreme situation.
  • The total loss of control suffered by the hostage during a kidnapping is difficult to assimilate. It becomes more bearable for the victim by convincing herself that it makes some sense, and may lead her to identify with the motives of the perpetrator of the crime.
  • This behavior arises due to the psychological pressure that the hostage has on knowing that he is isolated, abandoned, threatened and perhaps forgotten by the police.”

It is evident when inserting the windigo spirit in humans, a kind of Stockholm syndrome happens in human psychology. It becomes a response as a survival mechanism against such a kidnapper. Maybe right now, we are seeing and experiencing a global Stockholm syndrome. When the hostage realizes that he/she has been kidnapped, he/she will try to free himself/herself from this situation by finding various ways to unleash the lies and illusions he/she had been believing in. This is the moment where we detect windigo in the psyche and awaken from its illusion of reality. The great disillusion, awakening and healing begins. We began to question our belief system, information, trauma, religion, official history, nutrition, politics, medicine, economy, spirituality, etc… everything that was in-formed in us. A great healing adventure begins to take shape and place to traverse windigo. It is through windigo that we find our deepest realization of who we are, what we are doing, where we are going, etc. An mirroring-activator to divine consciousness.

Facing windigo is the great opportunity to heal and transform consciousness individually and collectively. I feel that this supposed “pandemic”, or “panic-demic”, is only part of the wetiko to paradoxically make us wake up from the illusion and be coherent with ourselves. Facing the devil in great compassion is key to healing.

“One does not become enlightened imagining figures of light, but making the darkness conscious.” — Carl Jung

Many years ago, during my exploration and training in shamanism, I had another revelation, in which I died. In this experience, I had the appearance of a Buddha. This Buddha was the embodiment of evil, or possibly another manifestation of windigo. It was one of the most intense images of a Buddha embodying evil. It was black with multicolors around it and an intense facial expression of evil, with a smile and an evil look. Doing research about this image, it is likely that there was an appearance of Mahakala, the god of time, illusion, creation, destruction and power, according to Tibetan traditions.

When this Evil Buddha manifested itself in front of me, mocking me and making me die of fear, a profound force arose from within me. I recognized it as a combination of the soul and inner spirit voice within me. Instantly, I changed my physical posture in front of this Buddha. Upon finding this posture, firm and present, this soul-spiritual force manifested itself from my thoughts, also confronting this Buddha by saying: “If you are trying to scare me, you will not succeed.” At that very moment, in declaring this to the universe, to existence itself, the Buddha, exploded into millions of different colored particles. In this transition, the Buddha became a white Buddha, with his eyes closed and a light and powerful facial expression of peace. This Buddha presence could have been Amitābha, according to East Asian Buddhism. It is known for his longevity attribute, strong red fire element, the aggregate of discernment, pure perception and the deep awareness of emptiness. My body felt a great expansion of peace, love and confidence to what happened. This energy wrapped me in a communion with the great spirit, with the most divine in me and in everything. A few days later I discovered the Tibetan book of the Dead, and reading the process of death through the 3 bardos, I was able to identify my experience under Tibetan Buddhism’s perception of death and rebirth. I feel I had an initiation to death and rebirth surrounded by the spiritual enlightenment of the Buddha. In the shamanic tradition, initiation means that one spiritually dies to their old way of being in the world and experiences rebirth, or coming back to life again as a transformed person.

Since then, my gaze towards death became the great possibility of transformation, healing and reunion with the divine. Facing the most fearful and dark parts of ourselves is indeed the great spiritual work for human development. If we are not able to face those fears, they will continue to operate as windigo in our psyche and willpower. Windigo becomes this great Buddha of evil, a Buddha who shows us our darkest sides to reactivate the spirit within, declare our divine sovereignty as human beings, find peace and harmony, and therefore find the divine within and, as a result, outside of ourselves.

Facing windigo is probably the most compassionate act we can discover and learn. Pure shamanic initiation, or the archetype of the shamanic journey, to the world of darkness to find the cure is a key rite of passage in these times. We are facing the darkest parts of ourselves, facing spirits of darkness, to re-emerge with the wisdom and medicine to heal. On my personal journey, I began to understand that this reality we live in is a shamanic journey, dealing with lies, projections, diseases, and evil spirits. And that we are in search of the truth, the cure, honesty and spirit guides that accompany us and teach us on this journey. But not everyone on that shamanic journey manages to get through the windigo. Many and many are lost on the journey and begin to feed it. Many of them speak of spirituality or shamanism as an excuse to continue feeding the windigo. I met several shamans who feed on it. Many of them indigenous, who are infected by windigo, making them confuse and kill each other, for money, power, sex and other distorted frequencies. It was a disappointment to accept this, since my experience with the shamanic world was always the illumination of darkness and the awakening of divine consciousness.

“There is a psycho-spiritual disease of the soul that originates within ourselves and that has the potential to destroy our species or to wake us up, depending on whether or not we recognize what it is revealing to us.” ― Paul Levy

In my understanding, the process we are facing is a shamanic process of shadow work, as purging, facing fears and all the hidden corners of our unconscious. It will depend on the individual how to recognize it and work on it to ultimately embrace the windigo. Compassion is key to unleashing this illusion of which we are prisoners. What we are experiencing with the “coronavirus effect” is yet another manifestation of windigo at the individual and collective level. How can we embrace the most terrible aspects of our humanity? How can we forgive and accept the darkest of ourselves and others? Are we at that level of waking up and finding the true cure to heal from this predatory virus? I would say, first is to recognize the disease, the windigo, its manifestations and feeds. Windigo looks for different ways to confuse us and make us fall into its infection, as well as, paradoxically, awaken our consciousness, honesty and intentions. This is a very personal experience and realization.

“On a grander scale, too, we seem to be living in an era of Windigo economics of fabricated demand and compulsive overconsumption. What native people sought to rein it, we are now asked to unleash in a systematic policy of sanctioned greed. The fear for me is far greater than just acknowledging the Windigo within. The fear for me is that the world has been turned inside out, the dark side made to seem light. Indulgent self-interest that our people once held to be monstrous is now celebrated as success. We are asked to admire what our people viewed as unforgivable. The consumption-driven mind-set masquerades as ‘quality of life’ but eats us from within.” Robin Wall Kimmerer

Finding medicine and care for windigo will depend on each and every one of us, on the level of in-formation and self-work, coming from the sincere commitment to think and act coherently according to the divine consciousness, in compassion, empathy and forgiveness. It is in us to find the medicine that fits our stage and way of life for our bodies, mind and spirit. The indigenous way of living, cosmology and philosophy are something to incorporate in this modern scientific world. Medicine is always in front of us and within us. A consciousness full of compassion and wisdom, and in which its roots are rooted in the earth connecting with the sky, waiting for that moment of illumination in the darkness in connection with the whole.

“The reality of the Windigo for Indigenous peoples is much more complex. Waldram decries the longstanding western tradition of attributing Windigo possession to a psychological disorder: ‘Early historic and ethnographic reports of wendigo lead to …the transformation of this folk belief into a bona fide mental disorder, windigo psychosis, considered by many to be a culture-bound syndrome. But no actual cases of windigo psychosis have ever been studied.’” —Grace L. Dillon

“The spiritual life, the religious life and the ordinary human life of which morality is a part are three quite different things and one must know which one desires and not confuse the three together. The ordinary life is that of the average human consciousness separated from its own true self and from the Divine and led by the common habits of the mind, life and body which are the laws of the Ignorance. The religious life is a movement of the same ignorant human consciousness, turning or trying to turn away from the earth towards the Divine, but as yet without knowledge and led by the dogmatic tenets and rules of some sect or creed which claims to have found the way out of the bonds of the earth-consciousness into some beatific Beyond. The religious life may be the first approach to the spiritual, but very often it is only a turning about in a round of rites, ceremonies and practices or set ideas and forms without any issue.
The spiritual life, on the contrary, proceeds directly by a change of consciousness, a change from the ordinary consciousness, ignorant and separated from its true self and from God, to a greater consciousness in which one finds one’s true being and comes first into direct and living contact and then into union with the Divine. For the spiritual seeker this change of consciousness is the one thing he seeks and nothing else matters.” ― Sri Aurobindo