Visit of the Spirit Whale: A Seri Legend
Most modern Seri say they no longer practice the nature-based religion of their ancestors. The Apostilitic church is a presence in both Seri villages and many consider themselves to be Christian. However, secretly, some admit to honoring old spiritual practices and beliefs. Fortunately they have also kept alive some of their ancient stories and legends, like that of the Spirit Whale.
The Seris fear darkness. While this is actually a practical fear because of the large numbers of poisonous creatures which crawl out from under rocks in the darkness, it is also a cultural fear. The Seris believe that animate forces lurk in the absence of light and are able to do their "work" only when the sun is not present. These forces include a female sea serpent who doesn't like humans wandering in her domain of darkness and other forces that inflict incurable illness and if they are encountered at night. In addition, the Seris fear the spirits of coyotes who they believe prowl the darkness seeking to avenge their deaths. However, they also believe there is a benevolent spirit that will bless a seeker with great mystical abilities if he or she is willing to confront the great risks of venturing into the darkness.
It is said that if you visit a certain cave, deep in the rocks in a hidden area on the coast near the village of Desemboque you may encounter the Spirit Whale. If you stare to the west at Guardian Angel island at midnight you will see it gliding on top of the waves. You must stare, unafraid, directly at it. The huge whale will leave the water and become airborne, flying directly at you. You must stare directly at it, unflinching and unafraid. If you do not look away or run in fear, at the last moment before colliding with you, it will give off a strong force that will penetrate your being with a powerful spirit. The Spirit Whale will protect you from evil and you will be able to walk about in total darkness without harm. You will be granted great mystical and healing abilities. Seris who have encountered the Spirit Whale are treated with great respect and are regarded as shamans.