I have just finished reading Ryan Skinner’s book Skinwalker Ranch: No Trespassing. I am not really going to review the book; it is a collection of stories and reports put together in book form that outlines some of the activity on and around the area now known as the Skinwalker Ranch. While I would have appreciated a little heavier editorial hand, the reports speak for themselves and the reader can choose to believe what he or she reads or not. For those interested in this specific area, the book is not expensive and does contain some food for thought.
I have given my thoughts on why the Four Corners area is the site of so much high strangeness. As I noted in the referenced blog post, the Dine’ (Navajo) have a long tradition of ceremonies in that area but, reading through Mr. Skinner’s book, I was reminded that the Dine’ are not the only indigenous tribe in the area. There are also the deeply secretive Hopi as well as the Ute and Paiute. Each of these tribes has their own medicine ways and those ways have been enacted on this land for centuries. As I said before, no matter how good the magical hygiene of a group is, repeated magical working in a single place or places will tend to thin the veil between the worlds and produce episodes of high strangeness, especially amongst people who are already sensitive to the ‘vibration’ of that magic e.g. the tribal people who have come forward to report some of the events in Mr. Skinner’s book.
I theorize, too, based on my own experiences, that tribal lands serve as refuges for the creatures of the Otherworld. While modern America wallows in its soup of materialism and lack of belief in anything beyond the senses, the traditional indigenous folks of this land learn early on that there is more to be seen than what can be seen with the physical eyes alone. These peoples attempt to live and work in harmony with the spirits of their land rather than ignoring them. Even those native people who are not raised in the traditional manner are often exposed to the stories of their people at some point in growing up. It is no wonder then that the native lands are host to all manner of beings – both ‘good’ and disharmonic.
I have already talked about the presence of ‘interesting’ areas in the Superstition Mountains, a site that is holy to the Apache of that area. When I was younger and working for a non-profit health organization, I was asked to come speak to a group on one of the reservations in the Phoenix, AZ metro area. Quite frankly, I felt the energy shift as soon as I drove onto reservation land. I found my speaking site and gave my presentation then started the drive home. By this time, night had fallen and as I made my way carefully down the road, I spotted a small creature hopping along the side of the road. At first, I thought this was a rabbit but, as I got closer, I realized that I was looking at a miniature version of the Kokopelli image so popular in Arizona. To this day, I can not tell you whether I was seeing this being with my physical eyes or the eyes of spirit but, as I watched, it disappeared by simply fading from my view.
I have also had the privilege of living right on the border of one of the Seneca reservations in Western New York. We often bought gas for our vehicles on ‘the rez’ and, again, I noted a subtle change in the energy around me as I moved onto reservation land. During the great Celtic feast of Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is traditionally quite thin, I would sometimes drive through the forest of the area and look into the woods, just to see the variety of beings slipping through those trees, careful not to reveal too much of themselves but nonetheless there. While these experiences were noted more with spiritual senses, I still felt certain that, given the right circumstances, these beings might just pop up in front of someone with eyes to see.
Granted, my experiences do not a fact make. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary. In my mind and my experience, however, native lands will always equate to areas where the veil between the worlds is, perhaps, just a little thinner than it is in other places. Given their long tradition of medicine workings and the belief that traditional native people place in those workings, I do not think this is surprising at all.