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The Cardboard People

I mentioned a couple of times how Snow Leopard animal spirit walks with me and how I try to understand myself better through this. I know it sounds very weird to some since they just don't understand this sort of thing, and that is ok. We are all free to choose what we believe in life. Today I wanted to talk about Crow animal spirit.

I often go on my balcony and smoke a cigarette (my daughters are trying very hard to break me of this bad habit) and think as I try to form my thoughts into something interesting. I wrote once before how I let my imagination just run wild at first and see what my thoughts and feelings are and where they take me about an idea I want to share. Here is what Crow's wisdom is:

* Guardian of the place before existence
* Ability to move in space and time
* Honoring ancestors
* Carrier of souls from darkness into light
* Working without fear in darkness
* Guidance while working in shadow
* Moves freely in the void
* Understands all things related to ethics
* Shapeshifter

Often I do see a Crow sitting on the telephone poles but usually just think "oh, pretty bird" but when you keep seeing this image then I begin to wonder if it means something more. Today we were watching a movie called "How to make an American quilt" and one of the stories had a crow theme. It got me to thinking how I noticed it several times when I went to think about things so decided to look up it's wisdom.

I think the "guidance while working in shadow" part is what is speaking to me since I do feel a bit lost sometimes so think to myself 'how can you think you can help others when you are such a mess yourself yet?!" In framing my ideas for what I wanted to call "The Cardboard People" I had several images in my mind. One was where I always tease the girls I will someday buy this big cardboard picture of "Legolas" from the movie "Lord of the Rings" and keep it in my room. That image of them in cardboard let to other thoughts using this image.

It is hard to understand for me but there are some people who are very empty inside and they come in all colors and sizes. They are jealous that you have not become just this one sided thing like they have. They group together and then are able to show how they are all this cardboard image instead of real and try to confuse you that this is what you should try to become too. They can show you how they are all like this and hope you begin to force yourself to become this fake image in place of yourself.

I thought that was a good way to describe what I felt about these predator types who seek power and control over others with nothing real to offer back. The image of all sorts of people pictured this way helped me feel less intimidated by them and helped put things into perspective. The other image I had was how I wanted to show how this non-violent way is the true way to go about this. I dont remember it's name but it was an old Asian martial art movie where this guy trains hard to fight against injustice in his area but they have learned how to counter this already and he gets beat up.

A lady finds him and helps him heal and watches as he works harder then ever to fight against them. He constructs a sort of paper frame of a human shape and tries to get fast enough and strong enough to hit it. But they have learned how to use this force to defend themselves. He tries and tries and tries and does not give up since he believes he can if he just works at it hard enough. She sits quietly in the background as he trains. One day he tries as hard as he can to hit this cardboard person but it always is pushed back by the force of his attack, sort of like how a fly can feel the air rushing when you try to swat one. She does her gently delicate martial art style and on her first try manages to grab 2 pieces of the paper, one with each hand.

That is an image I love for peace conquering where violence fails us. It is why I feel that this place will help us find our voices since we come when we want to, just read a few or all the ones we missed and are free to do what we want and how we want to do it. For my Voices of the Future article about our personal story I chose how I feel a part of nature and this bond is a natural part of life. I know some call this sort of thing "witchcraft" but I view it as a very natural and untaught part of life and hope to help people see that as I am not a bad person who seeks control over you and your thoughts and that it is my beliefs that tell me this is wrong and that understanding and community will strengthen and grow.

I have often wondered why they tried so hard to destroy my culture (you can look it up yourself if you are interested: Aleut) and think it is partly because of our spirit. How I had been raised to be 'white' by my father but felt it and knew it was real even though I was never taught it. I think it is because of the way we were a community and believed in a good and peaceful life but also were not afraid to fight when we had to. While we do have a few of our own cardboard people around that they are the exception and not the Truth of my people.



jadefrank's picture

The crow

Hi Maria,

Your writing is captivating. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and your culture with us. I know some "cardboard people" and I hope that one day, we can awaken their spirits and help them to soar and move freely in mind and body as the crow.

Warm regards,

Maria de Chirikof's picture


I wish I was more musical since I can almost imagine a piece where I play a song to sing to souls to awaken them but it is vague still. It will be called "The Drum begins it's Beat" but that is as far as I have gotten in figuring out how to say it. I wish I was more poetic or musical but will figure out how to write it into a story!

But it is that whole 'awakening and soaring' feel I want to project since we all should be free to soar or swim or just lay in the grass as we wish. I think it is what scares 'The Cardboard People' is that thought that they will be left behind when I think most people want inclusiveness instead of separation, where each can be as they are. Once they realize that Peace means they find it too I think it will become more widely embraced.


katea's picture

My thoughts

I believe that you also possess the Spirit of the Crow because you carry wisdom in your stories. You are a guardian of your ancestral land and rightfully so. You are not afraid to see through darkness, as you are also ready to soar at the break of dawn. No one can destroy a Spirit, a Culture, like yours.

embracing Aleut,

Poverty is man-made that we can undo.

Maria de Chirikof's picture


It feels a bit weird talking about these things but I am glad others understand what I mean! One of my twins has Crow as one of her animal spirits that she identifies with, she is also snake like you!

I also believe that these things go beyond ourselves and that is why they endure through everything and time.


Mckenzie's picture


If you haven't yet, consider reading the book "Women Who Run With The Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Your words remind me of this book I hold close to myself.

Maria de Chirikof's picture


I was checking with the girls and that is one of the books I bought for them for school and deeper reading on the subjects of woman and nature. I haven't read it myself yet but do plan to sometime so will move it up on my list! We do a lot of our stuff through the feminine perspective of a young adult Native so it is their look at the world and the textbooks and that makes it a bit more interesting and one of the reasons we enjoy homeschooling so much.

Thanks for the recommendation and I will try to it it this summer!


Mckenzie's picture

Wish I Was Home Schooled

That's great! I'm 23 now, but if I had that book, lets say...high school than possibly I would have made better decisions during that time.

Your girls are lucky to have a mother such as yourself!

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