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PostSubject: Therians/Werekins   Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:42 pm

Okay, so this is a post that I found on a different forum, but I think that it should go here as well.



Therianthropy is a generic term for any transformation of a human into another animal form, either as a part of mythology or as a spiritual concept. The word is derived from Greek therion, meaning "wild animal", and anthrôpos, meaning "man".
The most commonly known form is lycanthropy, from the Greek word lycos ("wolf"), the technical term for man-wolf transformations. Although the precise definition of lycanthropy specifically refers only to werewolves, the term is often used to refer to shape changing to any non-human animal form.
When people believe they change into an animal form (theriomorphosis), or possess supernatural non-human animal traits, the term 'clinical lycanthropy' is often used. This classification is a form of mental illness, though many anthropologists would point out that the belief has extensive religious precedent in shamanic cultures. Likewise, people who call themselves 'shapechangers' as a form of social identification are generally not considered ill by mental health professionals unless their beliefs interfere with the normal functioning of their lives. This can be a controversial issue, as the line between what the Western mind passes off as a strange or alternative belief and what is considered a mental illness is indistinct

Descriptions and Origins

In recent times, a subculture has developed that has adopted the word therianthropy to describe a sense of inner spiritual or psychological identification with a non-human animal. Members of this subculture typically refer to themselves as therianthropes or therians. (The word were was also common for some time, as a reference to other part human part animal shapeshifting creatures of legend such as werewolves, weretigers and the like, but is much less common these days. One reason might be a growing consensus and wider awareness that the prefix simply means "man", and not "part human, part ___", as is often assumed)

Therianthropes may describe their nature manifesting in terms of their cognitive processes, their outlook on life, their inner reactions and instincts, their senses, or through their physical body, though claims of actual physical variations from the norm tend to be regarded with skepticism both within and outside the subculture. Detailed descriptions (as with all inner experiences) vary widely, with common descriptions being of a spiritual bond, the soul of an animal within, a belief that they have an atypical or atavistic neurology, or an emotional shading of the personality. The human and non-human aspects of the self may then co-operate or conflict, leading to happiness or unhappy dysfunction, and may take much self-discovery to begin to understand or accept. Because this is a personal self-perception, identification or discovery over time, the ways in which a person describes his or her self-identification as a therianthrope vary considerably

Beliefs about Therianthropy

Those prefering a spiritual understanding of this phenomenon may believe that they partly or fully have the spirit, or soul, of some type of animal. Such beliefs often overlap to some extent with aspects of shamanism or totemism, and may also draw inspiration from stories of shapeshifting in Celtic, Norse and Native American myths, among others. This is sometimes called spiritual therianthropy.

Others may simply believe it to consist of having a stable, non-human animal side (or aspect) to their personality or nature. Explanations given vary, with some believing that this could be due to some sort of unusual neurophysiology, and others believing that in fact their genes are partially non-human (this explanation is unproven and usually considered scientifically implausible, and not favored by many). Of those who favor an atypical neuropsychology explanation, most do not appear to regard it as innately dysfunctional, only counting it so if it is disruptive to, or troubles, the individual's life and happiness.

Grouping Therians

Common distinctions by which therians can be grouped include how they sense their "non-human side", beliefs about its relationship to their human side, whether this is a partial or full identification, the species involved, the degree of integration or separation (ie the degree to which it and their human side are experienced mutually exclusively or simultaneously), the perceptual and experiential differences which arise between the different sides, and the degree of conscious control over their access to these sides of themselves.

(Note: terminology may be slightly uncertain, as there is not always a commonly agreed set of terms to denote agreed concepts. For example, it is not fully agreed what the human and non-human "sides" or "aspects" of a therian should be called, or indeed whether they are "sides", "aspects" or some other thing)

Below is a glossary of some generally accepted terms used within the Therian community.

Dominant Shift Types

Shift Sub-Types
Lucid Dream

Related Terms

Dominant Shift Types

Astral Shifting
Astral Shifting is closely related to Dream Shifting,the major difference being that the shift is experienced on the Astral Plains/during Astral Projection.Astral Shifting is usually a clearer experience than Dream Shifting as the Therian is either already aware or becomes aware of being on the Astral Plain while experiencing the shift.Some Therians find that the shift is automatic when entering the Astral Plains,some find it requires certain stimuli within the enviroment or only occurs at certain stages of their Astral journey,others find that they must consciously trigger the shift.

Dream Shifting
There is still some debate within the community as to wether this is a valid shift or not - for the moment,at least,we will go with the arguement that it is indeed a valid shifting experience.Dream Shifting is probably the most frequently experienced form of shift.It is experienced by both Therians and Non-Therians.However,not all Therians experience this.There is some debate as to wether this is due to the fact that very few people can consciously recall every dream they have.As such,even if the shift is experienced there is no guarantee that the individual concerned will ever remember it.Dream Shifting is when an individual dreams either that they physically are their theriotype or that they become their theriotype in the course of the dream.Newly awakened Therians often experience dreams in which they are being chased by their theriotype,often resulting in them being caught and devoured.In these cases,most report a feeling of inner peace and oneness with the animal.The current popular theory is that this is a subconscious attempt to meld the human and animal aspects of the individual.

Mental Shifting
Mental Shifting is when the Therian assumes the mentality of their theriotype.The shifted Therian experiences animal like thoughts and emotions,acting in an instinctive rather than a logical manner.The ability to think as a human becomes detached and distant-or even disappears altogether for the duration of the shift.They enter a 'fight-or-flight' mindset.Contrary to popular belief,a Therian in this condition is rarely dangerous or aggressive unless provoked.Even then,most will tend to 'flight' rather than 'fight' unless cornered.The shifts can vary greatly in intensity.A mild or light shift tends to leave the individual edgy or slightly panicky especially within man-made structures-they often experience strong urges to 'escape' outside.Speech and simple everyday tasks may become difficult as they become disassociated from their human aspect.The most intense or deep shifts result in a complete animal mentality for the duration.They lose the capability for speech and act and move in the manner of their theriotype.All capability for rational human thought is lost.

Spiritual Shifting
Spiritual Shifting is the least understood of all types of shift.It is also the one that presents the widest range of variation - both in the personal experience of the individual experiencing it and from individual to individual.The basic description of such a shift is that the individual shifts to the spirituality or soul of their theriotype while in a medative or trance state.Further aspects include the claim by many that during these shifts they see and otherwise sense places where their shifted spirit is,distant from their physical form.

Sub-Shift Types

Aura Shift
An Aura Shift is when an individual shifts the field of their Aura to that of their theriotype.It is usually subconscious but some claim to be able to do so at will.

This is not as yet a generally accepted variety of shift yet it is common and interesting enough to warrent a mention.The Berserkers are best remembered for the apparently insane strength and rage with which they used to fight.It is believed that they attempted to include animal-like qualities and abilities in their fury by donning animal skins prior to battle.Some Therians claim to experience a mental shift for the duration of which they apparently display enhanced strength and an enraged nature.After the shift passes these Therians usually report being extremely weak and drained of energy - the same syptoms reputedly experienced by the Berserkers.

This variety of shifting presents a possible explanation for sightings of apparently physically shape-shifting creatures.A Bi-Location Shift occurs when an individual,either consciously or subconsciously,projects an image of their theriotype to an area outside of their body.It is thought possible to have the theriotype image overlapping the human body giving the appearence that the individual has indeed shape-shifted.The projected image is believed by some to be the etheric/astral body manifesting itself on the physical plain.

Cameo Shifting
A Cameo Shift is when a Therian experiences a shift into an animal other than their theriotype/s.It is known to occur most often with Dream Shifting but can occur within any variety.It may happen more than once and may involve a range of animals-none of which are actual 'aspects' of the individual concerned.An example would be a Wolf-Therian experiencing a shift into a tiger yet in no way 'connecting with' or experiencing tigers as part of themself.

Lucid Dream Shifting
Lucid Dream Shifting is basically the same as the better known Dream Shifting except that it is experienced as part of a Lucid Dream.

Personality Shifting
Believed to be a form of light mental shift, this is where the individual experiences (sometimes at will) a change in personality resulting in greater animalistic tendencies, while still retaining human thought.

Phantom Shifting
Said to be rather like Phantom Limb Syndrome as experienced by people who have had arms or legs amputated,who sometimes still feel the limb itching or hurting.Phantom Shifting is when the Therian experiences anything from the simple sensation of fur or a tail to the sensation of a complete animal form.They have complete 'control' of these phantom body parts.Some appear to be able to trigger such shifts at will.

Sense Shifting
This shift is usually described in two different ways.Some Therians experience sense shifts by suddenly being aware that they are able to see and feel the world around them through the senses of their theriotype. Others experience a heightening or change of their senses, such as increased/decreased eyesight/hearing/sense of smell ect.

Shadow Shifting
This is thought to be closely connected to Bi-Location and Phantom shifting.Shadow Shifting is when the Therian produces a ghostly image of their theriotype around themselves. It is called Shadow Shift because it is really only visible in poor lighting conditions. The Therian experiencing the shift may also be able to see this 'shadow' around themself with the use of a mirror.

Related Terms

This is a subject discussed relatively rarely within the community.Some believe that humans are not the only creatures to experience therianthropy - the theory being that certain animals can experience shifts to other animals or even humans.

Some Therians find that they are in constant state of a mental semi-shift. This is known as Contherianthropy. Some believe that Contherianthropes cannot experience any shift, and that their Mental Shift never deepens. Other believe that Contherianthropes can experience other types of shift, and find that sometimes their mental state deepens to a full Mental Shift.

There are some Therians that claim that they have no specific theriotype, and that they can shift to any animal should the occasion or wish to do so arise. Even so,they often have 'favourite' animals which they shift to most for preference.They are sometimes referred to as Shape-Shifters.

A Poly-were is a therian with more than one phenotype. Usually a Poly-were has 2 or 3 theriotypes though a greater number is not unheard of.They should not be confused with Poly-shifters as Poly-weres have set theriotypes.
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PostSubject: Thank you   Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:03 pm

Thank you for this post, it is interesting and informative. I hope the others like the information provided in it.

Darkest wishes
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PostSubject: Re: Therians/Werekins   Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:54 am

Yes thank you, I have a idea on what dominiant and sub types i am now Smile Thank you very much
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