Journal Entry: March 13, 2006 --Reevaluation of canid side and introspective thoughts
I've been reevaluating my wolf therioside. As of recently, I've been thinking about how something about 'wolf' doesn't seem to be sitting right with me. I've gathered quite a bit of knowledge about wolves (though of course there can always be more, but I don't need to know *that* much to figure out my canid theriotype), or rather the North American timber and arctic wolves (which include all of the subspecies in that area), and yet I still feel like there's not enough connecting my therioside to being that type of wolf--like I keep wanting to find more and more knowledge to validate it as that type, but that knowledge isn't to be found because it doesn't fit. I could sit here and research massively on N.A. timber wolves, and still come up wanting to find more to fit and validate that as being my canine theriotype, and honestly, it seems stupid to keep trying to push myself into it, although I didn't realize until recently (through feeling this way) that I was actually doing that. I decided to give it a rest for trying to figure out my canid side, and just settled on using the term "wolf" to suffice until I can figure out more about it and validate or disprove it as being wolf, mainly because I felt I was doubting it *just* because of trivial, stupid reasons of wolf being such an insanely common, and in many places abused in usage, theriotype and I thought I was leading myself on thinking "am I just not thinking this through enough and am only believing wolf to be a theriotype of mine because so many other people seem to have fallen in this trap?". Now, however, I realize that I *was* doing that, of doubting it for those stupid reasons, but I also have other, underlying and deeper reasons for it that didn't show themselves until I just cleared my mind of it altogether and stopped worrying about my canid side being this or that. It's come back to smack me in the back of the head and tell me to do some research, of myself and outside resources.
Okay, I have two aspects (sad it's just two) that I'm quite confident (though of course I know that doesn't mean it's a guarantee) are indicators of my canid therioside--it being canid, and it being a pack oriented one, however I'm still unclear about the specifics regarding the pack orientation, but I do know it is a close-knit pack structure. Of course, when I went back to LionCrusher's site, I ended up realizing how broad of a spectrum that is, so basically, I'm starting almost from scratch with this (which will hopefully prove to be a good thing, although annoying and difficult to get through). I can rule out foxes, at least, and a few other canids that may work in packs, but not in the "wolf-like" way of having such a close-knit relationship and 'dependency' on each other.
Another thing that I'm greatly considering is not actually ruling out wolf (which this is the possibility I'm currently leaning toward the most), because I think I maybe thrown off altogether about the canid type by it being a grey wolf subspecies, a lesser known one, and truthfully, I know next to nothing about the varying grey wolf subspecies beyond ones that are and are very similar to (in behaviour and appearance) to the N.A. grey wolf. Ethiopian wolf is a possibility, although it's still quite iffy there, but I just have to figure out where I can find good, moderately comprehensive resources on the different grey wolf subspecies that I don't know about. And then, there's the possibility of it being a red wolf, which actually do operate in close-knit packs, but little is known about their behavior in the wild because that opportunity was brought too late in their existence in the wild. Also, dhole is still a possibility, among a few other canine species. I have a lot of work to do, but it isn't something that I'm going to be able to do in a few days or weeks, this will take months, if not much longer than that, little by little.
I'm currently running into the problem of separating out all of these "puzzle pieces" of my therianthropy. Having 3 very different theriotypes, and a strong avian totem to go with that, confuses me, but only in regards to this of me trying to figure out what pieces go where. I know what the general pictures look like, and where some of the pieces go, but most of the pieces I don't even know what they go with: human, cat (what type?), canid (what type?), horse, avian, and anything else that decides to pop-up through spirit guides or random cameos. Damn, it's times like this I realize just how complex my therianthropy actually is compared to what I've seen so many people describe in the community. I'd be banging my head on my desk like crazy if I actually tried (any time soon) to figure out a simplistic way of explaining my therianthropy, and still cover the spectrum of it in justice (hence one of the reasons why I haven't attempted to do that). I haven't even written an actual 'essay' (like I tend to write) or even close about how my therianthropy operates. It isn't at all complex and unfamiliar to me, I'm so used to it I don't realize that it is so complex and confusing until I compare it to and try to see it from the perspective of (what appears to be) most or many of the people within the community.
I seem to function just fine like this, as complex as it seems, and it isn't "difficult to maintain", the only times it is are when I experience deep phantom shifts accompanined by deeper than normal "mental shifts" (I'll settle for calling them that), which I rarely experience (although Horse is the main one to cause them, figures though, considering Horse is such an on-edge creature), and during my angsty teenage high school years when I had no idea about the concept of therianthropy, so I had some annoying body dysphoria, for reasons I didn't understand. Since I've ackowledged my therianthropy, I've been much more balanced out and the problematic shifts/occurences happen rarely, and yet, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel all three of my theriosides in some way, they make up a good portion of my little "quirks" and forms of expression (ones that can and can't be seen by other people). It could be interesting to describe the functioning of my therianthropy at some point eventually, though I'm going to have to figure out a lot more about it first, and how to describe parts of it better.
Back to the part about fitting the pieces together. I'm slowly trying to make sense of them and trying to carefully place all of these mixed up pieces into their proper categories in order to understand more about my therianthropy in many aspects. I'm still trying to find the "visual" pieces (assuming there are any there, I don't know) that can allow me to see glimpses or visions of what my theriotypes look like, what climate/environments they live in, and some other aspects I'd much like to find and know because going purely off of my behavior, shifts, and numerous personality traits, etc. are very important and the main basis for me understanding my therianthropy, but I become very limited on just how far I can narrow down parts of each theriotype from that information (maybe one of the reasons I have trouble getting any more specific than "cat", and have trouble getting past "wolf" or just pack-canid).