Archive for Sunday, 2 September, 2012

Season of the wolf: Therianthropy

Posted: Sunday, 2 September, 2012 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Therianthropy is the practice of shifting our reality in accordance to our inner totemic self. These selves have been acquired through totemic practice, worship, and the lost ability to shift our physical selves resulting in the memories of being something other than human, but the limited physical traits of being all too human.

History has given us many archetypes and faces of divinity to honor and emulate while at the same time denying us the true unity of being one with all. For the Therian this is simply not possible as few are as closely tied to the realm of Earth and nature the way they are. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Celts, Gauls, and countless other cultures honored this union of all life and the shifting of one reality into the next forming a complete circle of duality in which both the human nature and bestial nature were elevated to a higher level by the wisdom one shared with the other. To acknowledge one’s animal likeness was to walk the silver threads between the two beings, thus to travel between the worlds of sleeping and waking in such a way were their Gods and Goddesses likened as they shifted easily between human and animal form. Many of these deities carried with them the permanent forms of these beasts and along with them the traits that are both the highest and lowest of nature. For example, the Goddess Sekhmet was often depicted as a statuesque woman with the head of a lion or being able to shift between human form and the form of a lioness. The Goddess MorRhiaghan is said to take the form of a raven and Greek mythology is steeped in half animal half human beings such as the Minotaur…the half bull half human that challenges those who walk the labyrinth. Just as these deities could shift shape and maintain the qualities of each form, they walked between the worlds in these forms but most commonly as their animal aspect.

The tie between shape shifting and divinity is rarely stronger than the tie between shape shifting and women. In the majority of myths women are primarily capable of shifting, maintaining, or effecting the shift in others. Although this gift is not gender specific, it does seem stronger in women as the tie between nature and the natural cycles of life are also more pronounced in women. Tales abound of goddesses and sorceresses alike shifting, altering their appearance at a whim, or changing the shape of others into those of animals or other forms. Shifting among men is prominent the Greek and Roman cultures and theology but it is fair to note that prior to Rome and Egyptian influence shape shifting was more matriarchial than not. This seems to form a timeline as the Greek and Roman cultures were once matriarchial before their culture began favoring patriarchy. This places the Therian females and tribes within this area as being matriarchial at first, bringing into their nature the lunar ties.

Just as the tides are moved by the full moon, so are all living things. As patriarchy advanced, so did the ties between the lunar mysteries and shifting begin to be shunned . Shifting at that point was considered a curse, a bit of sorcery, and nothing of a positive nature. The Minotaur became an evil consciousless monster and the Goddesses and female shifters became villains. All in all, shifters became the things of myth and were blamed for countless atrocities during the dark ages.

On the British Isles the shifter still maintained some power well into the advent of Rome as being a positive force of nature. They were seen as beings of great power and with strong ties to the natural forces of life. Within totemic cultures, such as the primitive natives and Aborigines, the shifter was often the shaman of the tribe and seen as a traveler between the worlds. Some could only travel on those realms in the form of animals as animals are considered pure souls. The tie between shamanic cultures and the Therian path is long and extensive beginning at the dawn of time and moving through the ages.

With the popularity of role playing and the return of the werewolf to Hollywood, it became more to be Therian than the every glittering vampire and just as with any otherworldly being there were those clamoring with extravagant explanations of their animal nature. For instance the popular use of the word Lycan with the advent of Underworld. This word hails from the mental illness (which has been all but extinguished due to its rarity), Lycanthropy. In the extraordinarily rare case of Lycanthropy, a primary explanation of Therian nature, the person developes a fragmented personality in which one half of the personality is animal and the other is human. The animal fragment is ruled exclusively by the lunar cycles, full moons in general and is completely sociopathic. This illness is extremely rare with only four people having been diagnosed with it throughout the decade of 1990 through 2000. This disassociative disorder is condered a rare form of schizophrenia in which one believes that he or she actually transforms into a wolf and is not responsible for whatever happens in wolf form. This may or may not involve cannibalistic behavior, however it is a treatable illness should someone be diagnosed with it. The disease itself is from the Greek root for Wolf and most documented cases of Lycanthropy almost exclusively have been wolf related.

The Therian does not believe that he or she will actually transform into a beast but rather that they harbor the spirit and the energy of the beast in a form of communion that enhances their natural abilities. For instance, a racer or marathon runner may utilize the bond between their animal nature and their human body to draw the ability one to another. The Therian will not actually transform, but will instead have pronounced strength, agility, stamina, and speed. It is not uncommon for Therian teens to be very athletic and carry this over into adulthood. Perhaps at one time before we learned to disbelieve we could shift forms as easily as breathing. Perhaps those days are long gone as we have many thousands of years of deprogramming to do. Yet we are fortunate to have these brothers and sisters among us who have not forgotten the rare bond between human and beast. They are the greatest teachers of Oneness.

With the recent “zombie” attack on a family and specifically their family dog, there is some talk that the attacker in question may have been a latent therian or Lycanthropic. The attack and consumption of the dog rather than the human occupants suggests there was an ulterior motive. Perhaps the “zombie” was attempting to take in the essence of the dog in hopes of actually assuming the animal form. Some shamanic practice involves ritual that invokes totemic spirits and then consumes like animal in order to acquire its spiritual essence. Some believe that by consuming the creature they take on the strengths and abilities of the creature. It seems the recent dubbed “zombie” attacks have been motivated by cannibalism resembling Dark Age accounts of therian behavior, however this focused on the dog. While the attacks in the Dark Ages seem to be motivated by genuine accounts of Lycanthropy, the attacks in the modern world are motivated by something altogether. One part synthetic narcotics and one part social obsession with creatures of the night. It is very unlikely the attacker was actually Therian or Lycanthropic.