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.

Gryph-Creature Types

This was an article written by a friend of mine from the OtherkinAlliance.org forum. The forum/website no longer exists, but before it disappeared, I did get permission from this friend to share an article they put together on another forum of mine.

Gryph Types

By Tytogriph

Gryphon/Griffin

True gryphons are the easiest to identify, having the head, wings, and forelimbs of a bird of prey; the body, tail, and hind limbs of a feline; and often ears that can be feline, equine, or eagle-owlish in nature, though can be seen without visible ears as well. The most common variety is eagle/lion, though any bird of prey and cat qualifies.

However, if it has the front legs of its feline half as well, it’s not a gryphon, but an Opinicus. Likewise, a gryph with all four legs resembling a birds is an Avian Gryphon, rather than a true gryphon.

Opinicus

On the whole, Opinicus has a similar description to gryphons, but are not the same creature. Besides having four feline paws instead of bird talons, they can also have a more camel-like tail or even one like a snake. It also has a subtype called the Draco Opinicus.

Canid Gryphons and Canid Opinici

The Canid gryphon is the same as its feline true gryphon, however it has a canine back half. If it has the front feet of a canid animal, it would be a Canid Opinici.

Avian Gryphon

Far more obscure than either its true gryphon or Opinicus counterparts, the Avian Gryphon is the most bird-like, true to its name, with four avian legs, wings, head, and a feline’s body and tail.

Draco Gryphon, Dracogryph, and Draco Opinici

The Draco Gryphon is the same as either the true gryphon or the Avian except that it has leathery dragon’s wings instead of feathered ones. However, if it contains more draconic features, it is a Dracogryph.

The dracogryph is the same as either the true gryphon or the hippogryph in that it has the head, and forelegs of it’s avian, as well as the body, hind legs, and tail of its dragon, the wings being the real kicker. These can be feathered like its bird half or leathery. However it is possible for it to be a mixture of both types as well.

The Draco Opinicus is the same as it’s true Opinicus counterpart except that it has dragon wings and scales on its neck.

Hippogriph

This variety is often portrayed as specifically eagle and horse, but can be any bird of prey and ungulate (hoofed animals ranging from horses, to llamas, to aardvarks, to elephants) Like gryphons, they have the head, forelegs, and wings of their bird type and the back half of, well, their other half.

Alce

Alce is identical to the true gryphon with one exception: it has horns. These are usually straight, but may be branched and/or curved.

Keythong

The keythong, unlike all of the previous types, is wingless–and thus flightless–instead having spikes on its shoulders or covering its entire body.

All of the above varieties varieties can have a feather tuft on its tail, unless the hippogriph has a full horse-tail. However, an avian-equine hybrid tail may be possible with thin, hairlike feathers. All of these varieties, with exception of the hippogriph and the draco gryphon may also be wingless.

Marigryph/Mergryph

The Marigryph is a type of gryph that is often found underwater and has a mermaid’s tail and fins in place of wings. It may have other definite water features such as gills and webbing between its toes on its front legs. Otherwise, it resembles the true gryphon.

Hieracosphinx

The heiracosphinx is an Egyptian chimera with gryphon-like features, having a lion’s body and a falcon’s head and no wings.

Hagryphus

Someone that identifies as this type would definitely be a therian, as the Hagryphus is actually a dinosaur discovered in Utah. It was believed to have lived during the Upper Cretatious period and was roughly three meters long–large for an oviraptorosaur.

If sources are requested, I’ll post a couple, but likewise I hope if anyone knows of other types or can correct me of any mistakes they’ll post those as well.

Well, I didn’t exactly intend for it to become an actual article, more as a general guide, and as such, some of my sources are a bit iffy, but sources incoming:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/38096641/GryphonTypes

tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OurGryphonsAreDifferent

http://www.unews.utah.edu/old/p/040306-2.htmlwww.polenth.com/gryphon/myth.html

http://www.gryphonpages.com/relatives/

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

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/ )

_________________________________

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…

_____________________________________

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. (: