Awereness Forums 2005 Introduction
Why do you think you have the therioside(s) you do? Why do you believe you have them? What is your connection to your therioside? Why are you your therioside, and not something else?
Personally, to me, I feel I can’t reduce my belief and connection of my theriosides up to this point, down to just a few, specific examples. I say that because it is really a large combination of experiences, thoughts, et cetera that have occurred to me since I was a young child; they are all like the pixels that make up an image, though in this case some are a little larger than others, but still, when looked at as individuals they seem insignificant in forming the full image, but when looked at altogether (of which, I am the only one that has done that), you can see the significance each one has pertaining to the full image. Throughout this I will point out some of those “pixels”, but truthfully, I feel I can’t fully describe my belief and connection how I would like to, especially since I think I haven’t consciously journeyed this road (understanding the most about my therianthropy) far enough to gain that kind of explanation that I would like to not just present to others, like yourselves, but most of all, for myself. If I tried to just point a few instances that stand out in my mind about this, truthfully, I don’t think that would even come close to getting me to believe this about myself, but I’ll do what I can out of practicality.
To start off, I will state what I believe my theriosides to be: Cat (some type of wild/big cat, I’m guessing, not sure yet what kind), Wolf, and Horse (that’s how I refer to them…kind of a totemic influence, but I don’t have more ‘formal’ names for them at this time). Yes, I’m a polywere, but I am so very proud and grateful to have those three sides, plus they offer up some nice variety to my animalistic side. For a few months I believed that I might have had a fourth side, Crow, but I started to realize that I was being dishonest with myself there and that Crow was actually one of my totems (which explains the deep connection) rather than a blended/intertwined part of my soul, like the other three. So, I’ve left that assumption and settled on the three I stated. I realize that polyweres can be seen as kind of odd in the therian community, though there are many of us, just not as many percentage-wise to people with a single therioside, but to me, having three theriosides isn’t odd at all, it makes sense to me and I accept it very much.
My background ‘history’ with discovering my theriosides: I have felt profoundly animalistic, in general, for a human since at least my middle school years (6 th or 7 th grade), but I always thought I was just that only—a human that had more animalistic tendencies and quirks—nothing more. At the time (up until summer of last year) I didn’t believe in souls, spirits, reincarnation, and I was an atheist, so I didn’t have much in my beliefs that would have led me to believe in an actual, true animal side (I had never heard of the term therianthropy, or even the concept of it, that I recall; for me I never thought deeply about it as being the concept of mental therianthropy, I, personally, had to believe in souls in order to bring myself to believe in it...for myself alone). I’ve had phantom shifts and little quirks I do that I can easily associate with each of my three animal sides (for example, I shake my head and ‘snort’ similar to a horse, just randomly…I never knew why I did until I discovered my therianthropy), snarling/growling/hissing/purring, as well as some other things (which aren’t currently standing out in my mind).
My discovery started when I developed an interest in totems and spirit guides; I also began to develop a belief in souls and spirits (this all started last summer). I started this all in search of discovering my totems, which I had my suspicions, of course, of Cat, Wolf, Crow, and Horse (imagine that), but they had been the most profound animals in my life and of me having a connection to ever since middle school. It took months, but I definitely found out that Crow was one of my totems, and so I chose to believe that Cat, Horse, and Wolf were also totems of mine (even at this time I’m not yet sure for any of those three), but then after about a month or two I started to think that maybe my connection with all of those animals was even deeper than a totemic one, that they were actually parts of my soul. From there my belief in that developed further and further, even to the point that I wanted to give myself some term for it, so I came up with the phrase “foreign soul” (those physical beings, human or other wise, that have a soul that is not the same species/creature as the body).
Out of curiosity, I tried to search for others like me, considering the only one I knew was my sister (she has a faery soul), and finally came across the term “therianthropy”, back in late January of this year . From there I searched sites and tried to find forums that were still in regular use, which thus brought me here, to the Awereness forums. Basically, my belief in my therianthropy existed and was developing before I ever came across the term, and had only come across the concept briefly through my sister and also a book (Yasmine Galenorn’s “Totem Magic”) that described a similar relationship/connection, but as a totemic one instead. After looking into therianthropy more, and reading things on places such as this forum, I began to delve even deeper into learning more about my theriosides (which I was beginning to do before January), which allowed me to exclude Crow from being considered one of my theriosides. That’s as in depth with that as I’m going to go here (this thing is going to be lengthy enough, as is), but if anyone’s interested in hearing more, I will try to explain what I can in a reply.
On the account I believe in reincarnation, that is how I believe myself to have therianthropy, though as to why the sides are what they are, I do not yet know, if I ever will. I do believe, though, that I am not in a human body by pure fluke, but instead that I willingly ‘chose’ to be in a human body this lifetime for my own, personal reasons. I’m trying to learn better what my sides more specifically are, as in what they look like (colors, markings/patterns, etc.), what species (for Cat) and subspecies they are, and names if they have them and allow me to know them at some point. I’m also working on helping them ‘surface’ more in me, to be a more conscious and larger part of my life than they have been so far; to me, it is like releasing them from their cages and confines, to be more free in this life, though they will always be limited and locked up to some extent (considering I’m in a human body, of course), but I want them to have more freedom than they’ve had, freedom that I can actually allow them to have while still functioning fine as a human.
As for my connections to those specific animals, I don’t know how to describe it, I really don’t, because, like I’ve already stated, it is based off of a large compilation of events ever since I was a child. I must admit that I did consider wolves, cats (in general, no specific species), horses, and crows as my favorite animals, though I never knew exactly why. There are plenty of animals that I find so intriguing and simply amazing that don’t fall under those categories, including snakes, numerous insects, a variety of birds, many water-living animals, and so many others, but the animals that always stood out in my mind as me having the most profound connection to were those four, and I’ve already explained why I had the connection with crows. I think it would have been rather interesting and wonderful to have all of my animal sides, if not just one of them, that isn’t one that seems “typical”, but as far as what I’ve been able to discover, they are what I’ve stated, typical or not, it doesn’t matter for them or to me. I understand that not all theriosides are what you would expect, but when you really find them, they are always what you are, some part of you at least. So, for me, even though they are kind of what I expected, they aren’t necessarily all what I would have preferred, but that can’t be changed, and I don’t think I’d honestly want to change it even if I could. But, I will admit, I am still fairly new to this specific conscious journey of discovering those sides and more about them, so I am willing to admit that I am wrong in any of my current “conclusions” about this if circumstance and otherwise gives me reason and proof enough later on to do so; I don’t want to live the rest of my life delusional or misled about who I am, particularly in this aspect (my therianthropy).
My wolf side has recently, in the past few months, been a focus of questioning and doubting. I continued to believe that I had some type of canid for one of my theriosides, but I was brought to doubting it was a wolf. The reason for that probably has to do with the fact that I’ve been increasingly coming across people’s journals where they claim to be wolves ‘inside’ as well as many “lycan” (not a word I like to use) fanatics that try to claim (seriously or not) to be part wolf but can physically shift, and of course in the folkloreish way. I’ve come across so many “wolfens” (through journals, I mean) but with very few sounding legitimate at all, and rarely any cat therians, and no horse therians so far in that way. I don’t know all the reasons for the massive amount of wolfens, but one of them has to do with the wolf being so romanticized in society in a number of ways. Plus, when we are children we tend to hear about only wolves, coyotes (less than wolves, sometimes), domestic dogs, and maybe a few other canids, but most of the attention is centralized on wolves (timber wolves at that). This caused me to wonder if maybe the only reason why I believed my canid side to be wolf was because I was the most familiar with it out of all the wild canids, and that information and pictures have been so easy to obtain about them since I was a child; it made me wonder if I believed my soul to be part wolf just out of the romanticized aspect of them.
So, I started to look into briefly researching some other possible canids, with the most intriguing for me being the dhole. It is similar to a wolf in a number of ways, and physically looks similar to a wolf with the main exceptions being its legs are shorter, it is much shorter in height, and also its markings/colors, among other things, but it does live in a pack system sort of like a wolf. Anyway, I became intrigued and thought that just possibly my canid side could be dhole, which would be very interesting to me considering it is a much lesser known species over all than the wolf. But, as it turns out, in the past few weeks there have been some things, some I don’t know how to describe, that have been pointing me back to being a wolf, kind of reassuring me that I was already right, that I don’t need to continue my doubt of that anymore. So, when I think about it, my view is like this: there are a lot of other canids that I think would be so interesting and wonderful to have as one of my theriosides, such as a dhole, Ethiopian wolf, red wolf, and others, but I’m finding out, more and more, that my side is actually the oh-so-common [grey] wolf, probably North American timber wolf at that. And though I’m still somewhat disappointed in that, I’ve come to realize that this has nothing at all to do with fads or an animal being romanticized, this is my soul that I’m talking about. As far as my beliefs go (reincarnation), I have had my soul as this far before any of those fads came about, and I know that if the truth for me is that I really have a soul that is part wolf, then I will embrace and be appreciative of that so much, as much as I was before I doubted it, if not more; it isn’t anything to be ashamed of or disappointed in, especially because of other people’s obsessions and interests. Same goes for my other theriosides, Cat and Horse.
Did you see them in visions and/or through meditation?
No, not yet at least, but I hope to come to know my animal sides better with time, especially to be able to actually “see” them and know more specifically what they look like or what species/sub-species they are (such as Cat, which that is a rather broad spectrum there, and I would really like to narrow that down much further). I have, however, seen a strange wolf or wolf-like canine that ‘told’ me his name (yes, it’s a male), Kyoshe (kee-oe-sh). He appeared first in a dream, which is where I learned his name, and a couple of days later I saw a three-dimensional version of him walking outside while I was looking out my window one day (I had asked him the day before if I could be granted a chance to see him better). Though he was mostly silhouetted by the sun, I managed to make out that part of his fur was red (or reddish-brown because of the effect of the setting sun shining through it) and that he had the proportions of a wolf (not a maned wolf) and was about the size of a timber wolf (for comparison) if not a little larger (I’m guessing on this one); after a few moments he faded away though, so I didn’t see more of him than I did. I do not yet know what significance he has to me, if any at all (it may have all just been my imagination), but I have considered that he may be my wolf side, as I’ve also considered that he could be other things; I hope to eventually find out though.
Why does it feel "right"?
That is certainly a difficult question to answer, and really, I can’t think of a simple way to put it. I guess, to some extent, I answer that question throughout this, so I’ll refrain from forcing myself to fill in an answer here that just wouldn’t do me justice or meet my approval.
Have you questioned your thoughts at all, or doubted your therianthropy?
Yes, since I acknowledged my therianthropy I have had times where I have questioned and doubted them to some extent (different aspects of the therianthropy) even now, and I can understand the continuance of thinking that way sometimes. Even though I am confident in my beliefs of my theriosides, I do realize that questioning and doubting those isn’t necessarily bad, and if my beliefs are actually right then my doubts will not make me any less of what I am, in fact, I believe that my questioning and doubting at times actually helps to enhance my beliefs once I make it passed the doubting each time.
Have you ever shifted, if so, what sort of shifts?
Yes; I have experienced numerous phantom shifts (voluntary and involuntary) and have experienced a few mental shifts (that were strong enough that I consider them mental shifts). Though I probably don’t need to describe my shifts too much I’m going over them decently well anyway here (I have more than just a few ph-shifts, so sorry about the length of that section; plus I like to type a lot and be descriptive usually).
My phantom shifts: cat ears on my head—those are the oldest that I can remember having (though I might have had some here and there before then but never noted it in my memories), the ear shifts started around 6 th or 7 th grade and ended up causing me to use the ability that some humans have to move their ears (which I couldn’t do at all before then), although because of the ph-shifts I feel like my ears are moving a lot more than they are, even individually; feathered wings on my upper back (though I don’t associate those with my therianthropy), they used to be black feathered [what I considered crow] wings that were there for comfort and protection, but have turned into white feathered wings recently that symbolize what I think is hope and freedom; felid and/or canid fangs; on my arms and hands—cat legs (mostly the paws and claws), wolf legs, and horse legs (the horse legs are most prominent in my chest muscles though—I can feel the massive strength of the horses chest and upper leg muscles); on my legs and feet—wolf, cat, horse, and bird legs (not sure what kind of bird at this point, though; may not have to do with my therianthropy), the shifts are most prominent in my feet but somewhat in the remainder of my legs, I very often feel like I shouldn’t have human feet (as well as only 4 toes on each foot) so when I’m not wearing shoes (which is most of the time that I’m at home) I tend to move my feet in ways that fit with the ph-shift of them at that time
I haven’t had a tail ph-shift that I can recall, though I may or may not at some point in the future. There are a few more ph-shifts I’ve had but I don’t believe them to fit with my theriotypes and some of them are cameo shifts.
Were they deep, were they triggered, how often?
Most of my phantom shifts can be voluntary, but are most often triggered either randomly or as reactions to outside sources (like my cat ears reacting to sounds) or by my mood or desire at that time (such as the horse leg shifts for when I feel I need to go out walking or running). I don’t know how to describe my ph-shifts as being “deep”, per se, but I suppose I could categorize them that way by how prominent and “realistic” they feel to me. My cat ears are almost always there while I’m awake, and rarely do I voluntarily shift them because there’s not really need for it considering how often they appear, but to me they feel very realistic and prominent (my most frequently occurring and prominent ph-shift). My hands and arms as cat paws and legs are strong shifts that occur quite often (multiple times a day, usually), and are about equal voluntary shifts as they aren’t; they are often triggered (mostly consciously by me) while I’m listening to some types of music and imagining, as well as feeling, myself running to the rhythm of the music with those limbs. My horse forelegs can often be very strong and overwhelming when they do occur; I feel the great power and energy stored in the horse’s muscles (mainly in the chest area) as it feels like I am holding it back from running, which is when it feels the most overwhelming, it makes me want to run full speed on all fours as a horse and satisfy that desire, but I know I can’t, which seems to only make it worse until the shift completely fades. Those are some of my strongest ph-shifts, though the others can be rather frequent with varying levels of strength from one day/shift to the other for that one specific shift.
As for my mental shifts, I feel like one if not a combination of all my theriosides to some extent for most of the time that I’m awake, but I don’t consider those mental shifts. I have, however, experienced shifts that I consider deep enough to be defined as m-shifts, though they have only occurred a few times, all within the same month, which was a few months ago. My m-shifts were that of my cat side and the first one I had was probably my strongest (I technically had 3 shifts, back to back, with a short break between each one within about an hour’s time; but I’m just going to refer to it as a single shift here). I believe that my cat side ‘embodies’ some if not most of my sexual passion and it certainly showed it during that first set of times. The shift felt rather deep, but unfortunately I and my mate decided that it was best for me to hold off on letting it go deeper, understandably though for fear of me hyperventilating because of my breathing. Nevertheless, it was very enjoyable and ‘peaceful’, so to speak, to let it go that deep. The remainder of my mental shifts were also experienced with, and triggered by, my mate during that month, but each time, though it was always a cat shift, the shift was quite different by showing a different aspect of the cat’s personality and behavior.
**Note (July 2006): pertaining to the part about the wolf Kyoshe, thus far I have not seen any sign of him again, in any way, and I realized eventually that he had no relation to my canid therioside. As also, the section regarding me wanting to allow my theriosides to "surface" more, I came to the realization awhile after the introduction that there's no need, nor any personal reason for me to try to do that because I experience, feel, and live actively my theriosides everyday, and that's more important to keep up a balance like that than for me to try to let them "surface" more.