#054: Ware the Wendigo
Sunday, 22 April 2018
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Keine Mission. Es ist ein Sammelgegenstand.
About This Item
While working on the Orenda coin a few months back I came across a cautionary tale of Native American folklore about a fantastically terrible beast called the Wendigo. This creature begins as a human, but as some humans do, (s)he falls prey to an all consuming greed to acquire more and more and becomes something else entirely.
The Wendigo, as a mythical beast, is a human who is possessed by an evil spirit and becomes a taker, consumer, hoarder or similar type who becomes obsessed with possessing more. His appetite is never satisfied and the more he eats, the greater his need to feed. He will even resort to cannibalism feeding on others. He grows to gigantic size towering over humans and consuming all in his path attempting to constantly fulfill his appetite, but will never successfully do so until he consumes himself or is destroyed by another. A wonderfully frightening cautionary tale for children to curb them of greedy behavior.
Native Americans also understood the Wendigo as a conceptual issue beyond a cautionary monster tale. They saw the invaders of their land from across the ocean as a Wendigo as well. The people came and took. When they had enough, they took more. They grew quickly and consumed faster and faster often destroying others of their kind in their need to possess more, take more and acquire far more than they could possibly use. They saw the Wendigo as a state of being where humans became out of balance with nature and consumed more than they gave back or cared for nature. They saw this as terrible danger coming where man would consume so much and his appetite would grow so terrible that he would destroy his world and himself in doing so. The Wendigo is a danger of epic proportion that we must consider every day. The footprint we make on this planet and the amount we take must be equal to what we give back to preserve it and by doing so preserve ourselves.
The word ware is older than the word beware and broader in it's meaning. It means to be aware, wary and cautious. Not to be afraid of becoming Wendigo so much as to more specifically have the idea in mind at all times, to constantly judge our own actions and be self-reflective in our impact in the world. Stay in balance. Give back as you take. Care for your world. Protect it. Defend it. Respect it. Even Revere it. Ware the Wendigo.
On the face side of the coin we see the Wendigo pushing it's way into the world despite the protective diagram of warding surrounding it. The symbols of Spider, Arrowhead and Turtle enforce and strengthen the protective ward, but the Wendigo continues to try and push forward spewing his noxious breath that reeks of a newly opened grave with the rot of death. On the reverse side we see Wheel of Life depicting the 4 stages of maturity in a human. At each stage humans are reminded to Revere, Protect, Defend and Respect their world. A ward of protection with the symbol of personal balance, the Orenda, is at it's center. The various flora of the forest grow out from the center as a reminder that we owe our very existence to the world that protects us.
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