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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Fae, a General Overview

Original piece created ~January 12, 2015. Some modifications have been done since then.

This is intended as an overview of mythology, commonly held beliefs and facts. –

The term Fae tends to be a bit of a broad term. Here I will try to simplify the complexity as best I can.

*Please keep in mind that accurate information may vary from person to person and from resource to resource.

When most people hear “Fae” they think, Fairy, right?

Well what are Fae really?

First, let us define Fae.

According to Wikipedia:

Fae, is simply another term for Fairy.

A fairy (also faery, faerie, fay, fae; euphemistically wee folk, good folk, people of peace, fair folk, etc.)[1] is a type of mythical being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.

 

Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term fairy offers many definitions. Sometimes the term describes any magical creature, including goblins or gnomes: at other times, the term only describes a specific type of more ethereal creature. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy

According to MythicalCreaturesGuide.com:

In the English Language fey means otherworldly, able to see the future, or touched in the head.http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Fae

It can be gathered that while Fairies are Fae, not all Fae are Fairies. Fae tend to be very nature-oriented creatures, having a parallel existence in this, our physical world, and in a “magickal” (Subtle/Non-physical) Plane.

– While commonly thought to be mischievous and playful (primarily Fairies), this is not the case for all.

Fae Types

Some entities that may fall under the term “Fae” are (but not limited to):

List includes kin-types & mythical creatures

Fairies

Angels

Elves

Nymphs

Pixies

*Succubi

Elementals

Gnomes

Ogres

Giants

Mer-folk

Genies (Jinn)

Dryads

*Succubus suggested as Fae type via pop-culture. See SyFy series Lost Girl ( http://www.showcase.ca/lostgirl/ )

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Fae Courts

Fae, like other creatures, are often categorized as Dark, Light, or Neutral. For Fae, this puts them into specifically termed Courts.

Major Courts are:

Seelie (Light)

Unseelie (Dark)

Some believe in breaking down the courts further*:

Winter

Summer

Spring

Autumn

(reference: http://forum.otherkinalliance.org/index.php?topic=2343.0 – OtherkinAlliance – The Summer & Winter Courts by “Verde”) Otherkin Alliance forum has been down since 2013

*This is a new concept to me, personally. More information or better explanation to come as more information becomes available.

Further Information on Courts & Classifications:

_______________________________

Fae Groups

Social Order

Fae are either “Trooping” or “Solitary” creatures. Often communities are overseen by a King and Queen.

_______________________________

Fae as Otherkin

Fae-Kin for short.

Fae-kin are simply humans, identifying as otherkin (People who feel that they are in some way not entirely human), who believe their kin-type to be of a Fae variety.

____________________________________

Fae FAQ

Ask questions to see them posted here…

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References & Additional Resources about/for/by Fae

s i d h e, f a e r y, a n d t u a t h a ( a n d a l s o s o m e e l v e s )

Faeriepedia

Faeries, Fallen Angels, Demons and other related stuff

Mythical Creatures Guide, Fae

The Realm of Fae

http://main.otherkinalliance.org/articles/specific-otherkin/the-seven-roads-to-faery/

http://main.otherkinalliance.org/articles/specific-otherkin/elf-my-past/

http://main.otherkinalliance.org/articles/specific-otherkin/kabouters/

ImmortalOnes.com – Fae, Elven & Mer Folk

http://forum.otherkinalliance.org/index.php?board=13.0 – OtherkinAlliance.org Forum section Elementals, Elves & Fae (must join to view)

AngelFire.com – Who are The Fae?

Constructed Mythology Wikia – The Fae

http://forum.otherkinalliance.org/index.php?topic=429.0 – OtherkinAlliance – On The Fae, by “airforcegrrl”  Otherkin Alliance forum has been down since 2013

THE FAERIE KINGDOM – dnd.wizards.com

Classifications of fairies – Wikipedia

dresdenfiles.wikia – Faerie Courts

 

!-Please do not copy or use without first either ASKING permission or at least giving credit to the author, Myself Amelia Nightside -!

*OtherkinAlliance.org down indefinitely. New sources/references needed. Please do feel free to comment on this piece and help me out with your own understanding and preferred resources. (:

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