Werewolves, Lycanthropy & Skinwalkers

Originally shared by: Amelia Nightside on Sunday, March 25, 2012

*additional sources may need to be cited.

Werewolves

So, what actually is werewolf or lycanthropy?

Is it a fact based on concrete evidences?

Is it a myth, fabrication of feeble minds?

Is it an exaggeration of some other things?

Well, all these questions have been puzzling mankind for last 5 centuries. Though many ingenious hypotheses have been suggested as possible explanations, definite conclusion can’t be drawn. Some experts have tried to observe it as purely supernatural phenomena while others have relied on scientific observations. Contradictions and debates still persist and will continue till any single theory solves the jigsaw which seems unlikely considering complexity and diversity of the topic. Nonetheless, the werewolf phenomenon has not perished yet; recent werewolf sightings are still reported.

The word werewolf is most likely to derive from two old-Saxon words, wer (meaning man) and wolf. Frequently used Greek terms Lycanthropy refers to the transformation process while Lycanthrope, which is in fact synonymous to werewolf, is the afflicted person. The popular definition of werewolf or lycanthrope is a man who transforms himself or being transformed into a wolf under the influence of full moon. – http://alam25.tripod.com/

Possible Explanations for the Werewolf phenomenon

  • Robert Burton, the clergyman and scholar, considered lycanthrope to be a form of madness as mentioned in his book Anatomy of Melancholy in 1621; he blamed every thing from sorcerers and witches to poor diet, bad air, sleeplessness and even lack of exercise for this.
  • The diet of medieval peasants may have been a source of werewolf delusions. Ergot infection on food grains like wheat and rye was common in Europe during the middle ages. This is actually a fungus which grows in place of grains in wet seasons after very cold winters. Alkaloids of this fungus are chemically related to LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, a strong hallucinogenic psychoactive drug which produces dream like changes in mood and thought and alters the perception of time and space. It can create lack of self-control, extreme terror and blurring the feeling between the individual and the environment.) Similar to this modern drug, Ergot poisoning results in hallucinations, mass hysteria and paranoia. Continuous exposure to this contamination through bread or other food items could contribute to either an individual believing he is a werewolf or a whole town believing that they have seen a werewolf.
  • Rabies – A strain of virus carried by dogs, wolves and other mammals including vampire bats causes Rabies. The virus strikes the central nervous system and produces uncontrollable excitement and painful contractions of the throat muscles’ intervention preventing the victim from drinking. Usually the patient dies within three or four days of first symptom.
  • Porphyria – At the 1985 conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, biochemist David Dolphin suggested that the untreated symptoms of Porphyria match many of the traits associated with the classic lycanthrope. One of them is severe photosensitivity, which makes venturing out into daylight extremely painful and thus dooms the sufferer to a life of shadows and darkness. As the condition advances, the victim’s appearance grows increasingly morbid; discoloration of the skin and an unusual thick growth of facial or body hair occurs. There is a tendency for an abnormal change in skin and formation of sores. Eventually the disease attacks cartilage (the soft bone) and causes a progressive deterioration of the nose, ears, eyelids and fingers. The teeth, as well as the fingernails and the flesh beneath them might turn red or reddish brown because of deposition of Porphyrin, a component of Hemoglobin in the blood. Porphyria is often accompanied by mental disturbance, from mild hysteria to delirium and manic-depressive psychoses.
  • Hypertrichosis – Hypertrichosis is also known as “Wolfitis”, refers to a condition of excessive body hair growth. In most cases, the term is used to refer to an above-average amount of normal body hair that is unwanted and is an aspect of human variability. The hair growth can be generalized, symmetrically affecting most of the torso and limbs, or localized, affecting a particular area of skin. Though severe Hypertrichosis is quite rare it results in excessive or animal-like hair on face and body.

http://alam25.tripod.com/exp.htm

Lycanthropy

Lycanthropy is the professed ability or power of a human being to transform into a wolf, or to gain wolf-like characteristics.

A more modern use of the word is in reference to a mental illness called lycanthropy in which a patient believes he or she is, or has transformed into, an animal and behaves accordingly. This is sometimes referred to as clinical lycanthropy to distinguish it from its use in legends. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycanthropy)

Clinical lycanthropy

…is defined as a rare psychiatric syndrome that involves a delusion that the affected person can transform into, has transformed into, or is a non-human animal.[1] Its name is connected to the mythical condition of lycanthropy, a supernatural affliction in which humans are said to physically shapeshift into wolves. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_lycanthropy)

 

 

Skinwalkers

In some Native American legends, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires, though they first must be wearing a pelt of the animal, to be able to transform. Similar lore can be found in cultures throughout the world and is often referred to as shapeshifting by anthropologists. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin-walker)

Shapeshifting

… is a common theme in mythology, folklore, and fairy tales. … shapeshifting occurs when a being (usually human) either (1) has the ability to change its shape into that of another person, creature, or other entity or (2) finds its shape involuntarily changed by someone else. If the shape change is voluntary, its cause may be an act of will, a magic word or magic words, a potion, or a magic object. If the change is involuntary, its cause may be a curse or spell, a wizard’s or magician’s or fairy’s help, a deity’s will, a temporal change such as a full moon or nightfall, love, or death. The transformation may or may not be purposeful.

Berserkers (or berserks)

…were Norse warriors who are reported in the Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the English word berserk. Berserkers are attested in numerous Old Norse sources. Most historians believe that berserkers worked themselves into a rage before battle, but some think that they might have consumed drugged foods.

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Angels – The Grigori

Originally shared By Amelia Nightside on Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Grigori – were a group of angels sent down to earth to guide mankind. But the difference between being down here versus being back Home was more than anyone understood at the time. Especially time differences. So the Grigori felt cut off from Home, and those back Home had no understanding of why they’d have issues (“stay down there and do your job, it’s been merely a moment!” “It’s been a hundred years which is a long time for us down here!”, etc.). Some of the Grigori fell in love with the humans they were guiding, and bred Nephilim. Later when the Grigori decided that if Heaven wouldn’t listen to them, screw that… some amongst them bred Nephilim deliberately as an army to fight the Host if it came to that. Which led to the Grigori being cast out (the entire group, regardless of individual action), and the Nephilim being wiped out.

 

Some accounts (various UPGs) of the Nephilim don’t paint a very rosy picture – as many were not ‘stable’… part angel, part man and unable to naturally stabilized the spirit part while in the physical without the constant effort of will of their angelic progenitors. Descriptions included some that were literally falling apart. Others were more stable, and some may have learned to stabilize themselves.

 

They are also referred to as ‘The Watchers’.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watcher_%28angel%29

 

They are pretty much the focus of the Book of Enoch, a text that the Catholic Church rejected when they decided that angels could never have walked alongside men, let alone be tempted to lay with one. This was (I believe) during a period of time when the church wanted less focus on saints and angels, and more focus on God in order to cull paganism’s creeping into their own rituals etc. It is therefore considered an ‘apocryphal’ work.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_enoch

– A member of Otherkinalliance.org (User/Name withheld for privacy)

For More Information:

http://www.steliart.com/angelology_fallen_watchers_grigori.html

http://www.amadan.org/Innomine/Grigori.html

Angels Part 1 – Christian Heirarchy

Here’s a quick list of the types of Angels, as recognized in various religions and other mythologies (to be continued).

____________________________________________________________

Christian

1. First Sphere

  • Seraphim – mentioned in Isaiah 6:1-7, serve as the caretakers of God’s throne and continuously shout praises: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. All the earth is filled with His Glory.” The name Seraphim means “the burning ones.” The Seraphim have six wings.
  • Cherubim – have four faces: one of each a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle. They have four conjoined wings covered with eyes, a lion’s body figure, and they have ox’s feet. Cherubim guard the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24) and the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14-16).
  • Thrones – (Gr. thronos) or Elders, also known as the Erelim or Ophanim, are a class of celestial beings mentioned by Paul of Tarsus in Colossians 1:16 (New Testament). They are living symbols of God’s justice and authority, and have as one of their symbols the throne. These high celestial beings appear to be mentioned again in Revelation 11:16.

 

2. Second Sphere

  • Dominions – (lat. dominatio, plural dominationes, also translated from the Greek term kyriotites as “Lordships”) are presented as the hierarchy of celestial beings “Lordships” in the De Coelesti Hierarchia. The Dominions, also known as the Hashmallim, regulate the duties of lower angels. It is only with extreme rarity that the angelic lords make themselves physically known to humans. They are also the angels who preside over nations.
  • Virtues – or “Strongholds” lie beyond the ophanim (Thrones/Wheels). Their primary duty is to supervise the movements of the heavenly bodies in order to ensure that the cosmos remains in order.
  • Powers – or “Authorities”, … are the bearers of conscience and the keepers of history. They are also the warrior angels created to be completely loyal to God. Some believe that no Power has ever fallen from grace, but another theory states that Satan was the Chief of the Powers before he Fell (see also Ephesians 6:12). Their duty is to oversee the distribution of power among humankind, hence their name.

 

3. Third Sphere

  • Principalities – or Rulers … The Principalities are shown wearing a crown and carrying a sceptre. Their duty also is said to be to carry out the orders given to them by the Dominions and bequeath blessings to the material world. Their task is to oversee groups of people. They are the educators and guardians of the realm of earth. Like beings related to the world of the germinal ideas, they are said to inspire living things to many things such as art or science.
  • Archangels – The Seven Archangels are said to be the guardian angels of nations and countries, and are concerned with the issues and events surrounding these, including politics, military matters, commerce and trade: e.g. Archangel Michael is traditionally seen as the protector of Israel and of the ecclesia (Gr.root ekklesia from the New Testament passages), theologically equated as the Church, the forerunner of the spiritual New Israel.
  • Angels – messengers, are the lowest order of the angels, and the most recognized. They are the ones most concerned with the affairs of living things. Within the category of the angels, there are many different kinds, with different functions. The angels are sent as messengers to mankind.

 

 

 

Sources & For More Information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_angelic_hierarchy
Wikipedia – Christian Angelic Hierarchy

http://www.angelslove.net/types_of_angels.htm
AngelsLove.net – Types of Angels

http://www.gotquestions.org/types-of-angels.html
Questions.og – Types of Angels & Angel Categories

http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/articles/id/spiritualresearch/spiritualscience/angel
A Spiritual Perspective – Angels

– AngelsGhosts.com
Types of Angels

http://marleneb.hubpages.com/hub/The-Nine-Types-of-Angels
Nine Types of Angels

Reality of Turning

To begin, the message in-short here is:

  • Some believe turning is possible and some don’t.
  • You can’t be turned by being bitten.
  • There are several cases where “turning” could be used to mislabel one’s perception of what’s really happening
  • There may be at least one theory that could be True Turning.

And especially keep in mind here – If turning is something you’re waiting for then you’re likely going to wait a long time and should probably look for a better hobby and not give up on the rest of your life just yet. It is not worth the risk, and while argued to be possible, it is HIGHLY unlikely to be done successfully if at all.

 

 

Turning
Is generally defined as the act of changing one individual into the same thing as the parent or original thing. (I.E. a vampire turns a non-vampire INTO another vampire)

Turning is an incredibly controversial topic.

 

TURNING IN FANTASY
For vampires and werewolves of fantasy and fiction, the most common method of turning is through a bite, for werewolves scratches can also trigger one to turn.

What is it specifically that causes one to turn?

Your answer is as good as mine. Some claim it to be a virus, a venom or poison that causes some sort of infection. This then (as my guess would be) mutates the DNA of the human victim and transforms them into the same species as the “parent” creature.

 

TURNING IN NATURE
In nature, there is no such thing. Many species have venom. Many species also cause infection via bacteria or viruses in their saliva (mosquitos and ticks for examples). Some species, like the Komodo Dragon, rely on both venom and bacteria to kill their prey. These methods are for killing prey for food, not to create more of it’s kind.

Some conditions, carried and caused by animals can cause strange thoughts and behavior which may lead to a conclusion of turning. However; there is no actual change.

Examples for conditions that cause such symptoms are (but are not limted to)

Rabies
is spread by infected saliva that enters the body through a bite or broken skin. The virus travels from the wound to the brain, where it causes swelling, or inflammation.Symptoms may include:

  • Drooling
  • Convulsions
  • Exaggerated sensation at the bite site
  • Excitability
  • Loss of feeling in an area of the body
  • Loss of muscle function
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Pain at the site of the bite
  • Restlessness
  • Swallowing difficulty (drinking causes spasms of the voice box)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002310/

Rabies is transmitted through biting, and the dementia and aggression of late-stage rabies can make people behave like wild animals.http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/36662.html

Mad Cow Disease
symptoms related to the nervous system:

  • Depression
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Dementia

Before the development of modern technology and medicine, the conclusion of turning may have been taken for nearly Any unusual ailment, from infections disease to defects and disorder or any other such disease which may cause a change in physical or mental condition (bleeding from the mouth, disformation of the teeth/gums, changes/deterioration in brain structure and/or function, irrational changes in behavior, etc)

Infectious Disease
After an individual died of disease (Tuberculosis or Flu for example), a relative (who had frequent contact with the deceased while alive) would then develop symptoms of the same disease, and it would be concluded that the previously deceased relative had come back and begun feeding on the sickening individual

Defect or Disorder
Any abnormal appearance of the body might have caused thoughts of turning or possession; birth defects, hypertricosis (excessive body hair), etc.

 

IN CONCLUSION
The point is, there is currently no known animal, substance or organism that can or does change a human’s (or any animal’s) DNA into that of a whole new species, stops the process of aging and causes one to be able to survive off blood alone.

There are a number of cases of animals infecting people either with an ailment intended to kill prey for food or by an involuntary naturally occurring virus or bacteria.

These cases and occurrences in nature are not true turning as it is described in fiction.

 

REAL VAMPIRISM
There are a number of speculations..

Here are some possible explanations for a perceived “turning”:

  • Awakening; It is commonly believed that Real vampires are born, not made. If one is born, not knowing they are vampire, then later awakens to their vampiric nature, this individual could easily come to the conclusion/belief that they were in some way “turned” into a vampire.
    • Awakenings can also be triggered other vampires, and experiences in life. This could lead one into the belief of a sire in the sense of Turning.
  • Psuedo-Vampirism could be considered turning as one who does not identify the need nor as a vampire develops vampiric need after having been drained to the point that their body must take from outside them-self in order to replenish their energy. Pseudo-Vampirism is temporary but can be mis-interpreted as a turning.

 

HOW CAN YOU BE TURNED?
Remember, This is JUST speculation and nothing conclusive.

Some believe turning to be possible when speaking of real vampires following are some theories (speculations and hypotheses):

Damage to energy body
This would only be possible as an energy/soul-related condition (Psychic, maybe Hybrid). This leaves out the possibility of Turning (in this manner) someone into a blood-needing vampire (Sanguinarian).

I believe it would have to involve enough draining of the target to first induce Psuedo-Vampirism and somehow managing to damage the energy body enough so that the system can not naturally return to normal.

This would involve
Extreme draining of the victim (remember, symptoms of severe energy drain are similar to symptoms of severe blood loss), while simultaneously maintaining their energy body and keeping it from collapsing (for want of a better term) and their physical body from dying.

Blood
Some believe that an exchange of blood between vampire and non-vampire or a feeding (from non-vampire, OR from vampire, depending on who you ask) of a large quantity (unspecified) of blood would somehow induce Vampirism.

Some also believe in a sort of trigger found in Sanguinarian blood which may “turn” a non-Vampire if they have certain genetic predisposition for it.

This could involve (more information may be needed)
Something within blood or saliva (carried in bodily fluids) that would induce the need for physical blood (or blood component, whatever you believe). What exactly could do this evades me currently, perhaps some sort of virus or disease which would break down blood or blood components, causing one to feel a need/desire to ingest such to replensish their loss.
Or
A studied and confirmed genetic “switch” triggered by (More information needed)

For more on”Genetic Switches”: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/genetic/genes-turned-off-on.htm | http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/gene-switches.html | https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120411131911.htm

Metaphysical Constructs (more information needed)
Some claim that through the use of Psionic constructs, one can inhibit or altogether change a person’s energy system. In this way, some believe it is possible to create a Vampiric need for energy in an otherwise/previously healthy indivdiual.

THE DANGER & RISK?
IF the aforementioned methods were to be attempted, whether legitimate turning or not…

Energetically
My understanding of the physical and the metaphysical body is that they are closely linked. What effects one, often effects the other. To damage the energy body so much as to cripple it could likely traumatize the physical body.

To what extent?

That can’t be said for sure, but equal and opposite reaction (cripple or kill the heart chakra and related organs will be effected, as an example) makes sense to me, and to say it would also cripple the physical counterparts and in turn further stress, cripple or kill the body seems about right.

Blood
There is no known difference between a Real Vampire’s blood and that of a non-vampire. Real Vampires are human. Exchanging of blood would have no effect in regards to turning.

Drinking large quantities could not only cause the “feeder” to become ill (if one is not used to blood in any quantity especially) to their stomach, but also the loss of blood could make the individual who is donating become ill and at risk of potentially fatal complications.

ANY exchange of bodily fluids (give and/or take) risks serious disease such as (but not limited to) HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis B & C.

 

**This article is NOT to encourage one to attempt turning or look for being turned. This article is strictly here as mix of information and personal speculation based on (minimum) of 7 years listening/reading the experiences, information and thoughts of others to explain the reality of turning. DO NOT start asking to be turned! DO NOT use this article outside of it’s intended purpose as described.**

 

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Therian/Otherkin Bill of Rights

Summary

You have the right to identify as anything you happen to identify as, you have the right to be respected for who you are, you have the right to expect the same courtesy from others that you give them, you have the right to ask for proof of extraordinary claims, you have the right to ask questions, you have the right to say no to somebody trying to exert power over you, and you have the right not to be pressured to do things you don’t want to do.

Full Text

You have the right to be who you really are inside, whether that is a wolf, a bear, a big cat, a horse, a dog, or even a fish. It is no one else’s business to say or to judge. Sometimes you really do have to look and act like a respectable adult human in order to be successful in real life. But you don’t have to compromise on who you are inside even if you have to control how you look and act on the outside.

You have the right to be respected for who you are. No one else should be telling you what kind of animal you really are if that does not feel right to you, or what your aura really looks like, or what religion you should believe if you don’t want to. If someone tries to take power over you by telling you that they know more than you about who you are or what to believe, you can tell them no if you don’t agree. It can feel good to have other people tell you things about your identity that you want to hear, but be aware that you don’t have to agree with everything they say if it does not feel right to you. You are the sole owner of the real estate inside your own head.

You have the right to expect the same courtesy from others that you give to them. If you try to join a group that is disrespectful of you, or that wants you to bow and worship their authority, or that harasses and hazes newcomers, you can tell them no. You can find a community that is respectful to you and treats you the same as everyone else. No one else has the right to treat you like you are worth less than them, not even if they are bigger and older and more experienced than you.

You have the right to ask for proof of extraordinary claims. If someone says they can physically change into a wolf, or that green monkeys fly out of their butt, it is normal and reasonable to ask them to prove it. If they offer lots of excuses why they can not show you proof, you have the right to say you do not believe them and go find people to be with who do not feel the need to make up stories about how powerful and special they are. You may really want to believe that people can physically shift, but you need to think hard about whether you would believe a similarly extraordinary claim about something you aren’t so emotionally invested in (like, “I own an elephant that can fly”), and what standards of proof would be reasonable to expect under those circumstances. Then apply those standards. Keeping an open mind is good, getting fooled by people who can’t back up their grandiose claims is bad.

You have the right to ask questions. If someone gets mad because you questioned something they said, even in a polite way, or asked for proof of an extraordinary claim, you should consider whether they are being reasonable or mature. Being a therian does not make you so special that you get a free pass to be a jerk to other people, nor does it mean you have to put up with other people being a jerk to you. The therian community is actually a pretty big place, so if you find yourself in a section of it where people are being jerks, you can look for other therians to hang out with who aren’t jerks. You don’t have to stay in a bad friendship, even if you have an important thing in common with them.

You have the right to say no if someone tries to exert power over you without your permission. No one is your “alpha” unless you want them to be, and you should think very carefully about the maturity level of people who want power over others, especially if they try to demand it or take advantage of it in creepy ways. You especially have the right to say no if someone tries to touch you when you don’t want them to, or demands sex when you are not comfortable with that. Be very wary of any group or “pack” that uses power over people in an inappropriate way. You have the right to be respected, and you do NOT have to agree to be submissive to an “alpha” in order to have a close knit group of therian friends – a “pack” if you want to call it that – or a therian support community. Real wolves don’t actually behave that way in the wild. Authority based packs are a very human thing, and not always a healthy thing.

You have the right not to be pressured to do things you don’t want to do, especially if they are dangerous, harmful or illegal. Or even if they just make you feel uncomfortable. Real friends will not pressure you or force you if you say no, you don’t feel okay doing something.

Reuse Rights

You have to copy, use, reproduce, or modify this document as you see fit. You may use this document on your own websites, or in any way you choose.

This paticular version taken from: http://archive.is/X9kys#selection-1337.0-1385.147

**Edit of this specific document by Amelia Nightside

Readers of this piece may also be interested in:

Questioning in The Otherkin Community, by Seraphyna

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C19a_q5GTOi8zuylyBtBoOs1GeG_-fpTArrSzUjB5DQ/edit?usp=sharing

General Resources

Modifications to be on-going (as best as I am able).

Please comment and share your resources. Those you comment may or may not be added to this list per MY discretion.
On The InterWebs
General Sites

Web Forums

Blogs

Videos/Vlogs & Channels

Social Media

Other

Text / Non-Fiction Books, News-Media & Scholarly Articles/Studies & Other Writings

Offline: Meetup Groups/Communities/Organizations

*Key*
Topics/subjects specified where web address or title may not be obvious,
Not all web pages/groups are guaranteed active.
If any links appear broken, please say something.

Information Covered:
O = Otherkin (Unicorns, Draconity, Fictionkin, Objectkin, etc. possibly included), T = Therian, V = Vampirism (Medical Sanguinarians possibly included), MS = Medical Sanguinarian (Med. Sang.)/Sanguivore specific, D = Donor specific resources (in reference to Vampires & Sanguinarians) + = more/other

Social Medias:
(F) = Facebook, (G+) = Google Plus, (LJ) = LiveJournal, (T) = Tumblr, (Tw) = Twitter…

Totems, Guides and Therianthropy (oh my)

*May need updating

Originally Published/Created by Amelia Nightside
February 5, 2014

I have found that many of those who are newly awakening, or even those already aware of a kin-type, often seem to be confused by what exactly Therianthropy is. Equally so, there seems to be a blurring of lines between Therianthropy, Spirit (animal) Guides, and Totem animals.

I would like to use this to explain to everyone the difference(s) between the three.

Basics

Define – First, I will define these terms, and then, if I feel it is needed, I will further explain the differences between each.

Therianthropy – This is an identity. Individuals who identify as a non-human [Earthly] animal are considered Therians. This identity most commonly is held psychologically and/or spiritually. This identity is often experienced via Shifts and species ( or sometimes body) dysphoria. This identity is often expressed via voluntary or involuntary behaviors, personal preferences and body modifications which may reflect that of their non-human identity.

What is a shift?

http://therian.wikia.com/wiki/Therianthropic_Shifting_types

What is Species/Body Dysphoria?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_dysphoria

Body dysphoria is used to describe general feelings of sadness or an uncomfortable mood. It can include feeling great anxiety, irritability or restlessness in relation to one’s physical body.

Body dysmorphic disorder, on the other hand, occurs when you have a preoccupation about some quality in your appearance.

http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_150/190_fitness_tip.html

Totems

  1. An animal, plant, or natural object serving among certain tribal or traditional peoples as the emblem of a clan or family and sometimes revered as its founder, ancestor, or guardian.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/totem

  1. A totem is any natural or mythical animal to whom you feel a close connection during your life or some particular period of your life. The energy of the totem animal speaks to you in some way that is relevant to your own personality or circumstance in life.

https://crystal-cure.com/article-totems.html

More on Totems:

http://therian-guide.com/?page=Discovery

http://www.firelion.org/raven/ahwwfaq/ahwwfaq02.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totem

Spirit Guide – 

a term used by the Western tradition of Spiritualist Churches, mediums, and psychics to describe an entity that remains a disincarnate spirit in order to act as a guide or protector to a living incarnated human being.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_guide

A spirit guide can be an incorporeal, once human, individual, or a non-human creature (hence Spirit Animal).

Spirit Animal Definition

Spirit animals are typically associated with traditional as well as modern Western shamanic practices. During initiations or shamanic journeys, the shaman would find one or several animals that she or another person is associated with. Traditionally, the spirit animal is used for guidance.

Think of your spirit animal as a guardian spirit or spirit guide. It can play the role of protector and provides guidance. It’s like a “personal guide or protector” that has a personal affinity with the person it’s associated with.

Power Animals

In addition, the spirit of the animal could unite with the person it “chose” in more personal ways and one will often find similarities in traits of personality, characteristics, and synchronicity between the two. As such, the power or essence of the animal can be felt or communicated. In that sense, spirit animals can also be referred to as “power animals”.
http://www.spiritanimal.info/

Power Animals should never be confused as a Kin- or Theriotype. Power Animals are interpreted and expressed through humanized, often romanticized, traits and characteristics assigned as being related to that particular animal (even if naturally, such does not actually apply to the real animal). It is a metaphor, a representation, not an identity. I.E. – The fox is sly. The snake cunning. The bear is strong. The owl is wise.

Real Differences

Compare and Contrasts

One’s Therian-animal or, Theriotype, IS their identity, it IS what they feel they are, and often who they are integrally and internally, at their core.

A Spirit Animal is a type of guide, it can be a totem, but not all totems are also spirit guides.

Totems aren’t always permanent, though they can be, and will leave once their message has been received, or they’ve accomplished what they needed to.

A Spirit Guide (as an animal – per context of this article) and a Totem, are completely separate entities from one’s self, if they are entities at all and not just metaphoric symbols. A Theriotype is not seperate from a Therian, not metaphoric and is not a symbol, message or messenger in any way shape or form.

Often, a person can experience something like a shift in related to their Spirit Guide or Totem; This however, is a case of the entity trying to communicate or teach you something. A shift of this sort likely will not be recurring over a long period of time.  More commonly, these entities appear to you via dream, meditative vision or by drawing such animals to be around your everyday life (this is not something that usually lasts forever, but can come and go if the totem and/or guide remains yours for an extended period of time/for life). – In short, there will be signs (as vague as that sounds).

Side Note –

It is possible to have the same type of creature as your theriotype and a totem or guide. It is important, however, to remember that a Guide/Totem is not YOU. While your Theriotype is you.

More on Spirit Guides, Totems & Therianthropy (were/as related):

https://hermitsjourney.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/some-thoughts-on-spirits-guides-and-totems/

http://www.monstrous.com/forum/index.php?topic=13509.0