The chindi is a Navajo shapeshifter that acts as a kind of avenging angel to those people that disrespect any of the Earth Mother’s creatures. According to Navajo artist David Little Turtle, “it can assume any shape, or, perhaps more accurately, it can inhabit any living thing. Almost any traditional Navajo has at least one chindi story to tell. He or she will tell you about coming home at night and seeing a coyote walking on its hind legs.”
You may automatically assume that seeing wolf walking upright like a human would make it a werewolf, but according to Navajo tradition, it’s probably a chindi. Another way to identify a chindi is by the eyes, they will appear dead. If your headlights hit the animal’s eyes and they do not reflect the light, then you know it’s a chindi.
Should you worry about the chindi coming after you? Well, it depends on your attitude toward the Earth Mother and whether or not you have a good heart.
Now, if a chindi is set against you, the only way you can stop it is to draw a medicine circle around you and sing or say a prayer for protection. Little Turtle says, “It need not be a Navajo chant. Sing or say aloud any prayer you know. The important thing is your attitude. If the chindi sees that you have a good heart, the evil energy will boomerang and return to the one that set it upon you.”
But what if you don’t know how to draw a medicine circle for protection? What if you panic and can’t think of a prayer? Can you instead stop the chindi with a silver bullet? Well, Little Turtle says that no bullet can stop a chindi. “If you kill the host animal, the chindi will simply enter another animal. And another and another… until it has worked its vengeance upon you.”
So what have we learned today? That a strange-acting wolf may not be a werewolf, but instead a chindi. And, that you should always show respect for the earth and its creatures – otherwise a chindi may come after you.