Reality of Physical Shifting: Eyes

February 2, 2014

It is often claimed, in many communities and subcultures (Vampires, Otherkin and even pagans), that some people experience a physical shift of their eyes. This is often explained as a color change, but also I’ve heard of a change in the shape of the pupil (from the average, human’s round pupil, to a more elliptical pupil like that in a feline).. I will try to explain this phenomenon and if it holds any merit realistically.

First, let’s get some Basics

The eye is a slightly asymmetrical globe, about an inch in diameter. The front part of the eye (the part you see in the mirror) includes:

• The iris (the pigmented part)

• The cornea (a clear dome over the iris)

• The pupil (the black circular opening in the iris that lets light in)

• The sclera (the white part)

• The conjunctiva (a thin layer of tissue covering the front of the eye, except the cornea)

Just behind the iris and pupil lies the lens, which helps to focus light on the back of the eye. Most of the eye is filled with a clear gel called the vitreous. Light projects through the pupil and the lens to the back of the eye. The inside lining of the eye is covered by special light-sensing cells that are collectively called the retina. The retina converts light into electrical impulses. Behind the eye, the optic nerve carries these impulses to the brain. The macula is a small extra-sensitive area within the retina that gives central vision. It is located in the center of the retina and contains the fovea, a small depression or pit at the center of the macula that gives the clearest vision.

Eye color is created by the amount and type of pigment in the iris. Multiple genes inherited from each parent determine a person’s eye color.


How Your Eyes Work

Vision begins when light rays are reflected off an object and enter the eyes through the cornea, the transparent outer covering of the eye. The cornea bends or refracts the rays that pass through a round hole called the pupil. The iris, or colored portion of the eye that surrounds the pupil, opens and closes (making the pupil bigger or smaller) to regulate the amount of light passing through. The light rays then pass through the lens, which actually changes shape so it can further bend the rays and focus them on the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye that contains millions of tiny light-sensing nerve cells called rods and cones, which are named for their distinct shapes. Cones are concentrated in the center of the retina, in an area called the macula. In bright light conditions, cones provide clear, sharp central vision and detect colors and fine details. Rods are located outside the macula and extend all the way to the outer edge of the retina. They provide peripheral or side vision. Rods also allow the eyes to detect motion and help us see in dim light and at night. These cells in the retina convert the light into electrical impulses. The optic nerve sends these impulses to the brain where an image is produced.

(interactive image available at the above link)

Eye Shape

The actual shape of your eyeball is very important. A misshapen eye can actually cause vision problems because it interferes with how light hits the rods and cones at the back of your eye, causing miscommunication from the optic nerves to the brain, this then would require the use of vision aid such as glasses or contacts.

Human eye shapes can affect vision. There are several different types of eyeball shapes: a normal eye, or one that’s emmetropic; an elongated or myopic eyeball, which causes nearsightedness; and a shortened or hyperopic eyeball, which results in farsightedness. The cornea and lens of the eye can also be shaped differently and affect vision.


In the eye, the pupil is the opening in the middle of the iris.

It appears black because most of the light entering it is absorbed by the tissues inside the eye.

In humans and many animals (but few fish), the size of the pupil is controlled by involuntary contraction and dilation of the iris, in order to regulate the intensity of light entering the eye.

This is known as the pupillary reflex.

In bright light, the human pupil has a diameter of about 1.5 millimeters, in dim light the diameter is enlarged to about 8 millimeters.

The shape of the pupil varies between species.

Common shapes are circular or slit-shaped, although more convoluted shapes can be found in aquatic species.

The reasons for the variation in shapes are complex; the shape is closely related to the optical characteristics of the lens, the shape and sensitivity of the retina, and the visual requirements of the species.

More on Pupil shape:

Can your pupil change shape? Yes. Is this para-normal? Not really

Read an overview regarding changes in pupils:

Some causes of pupil shape changes include:

  • Iritis
  • Normal genetic variation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Brain tumor
  • Syphilis

Eye Color

How do we get it?

Human eye color originates with three genes, two of which are well understood. These genes account for the most common colors — green, brown, and blue. Other colors, such as gray, hazel and multiple combinations are not fully understood or explainable at this time.

We used to think of brown being “dominant” and blue being “recessive.” But modern science has shown that eye color is not at all that simple.

Also, eye colors don’t come out as a blend of the parents’ colors, as in mixing paint. Each parent has two pairs of genes on each chromosome. So multiple possibilities exist, depending on how the “Wheel of Fortune” spins.

Get your fill gazing at those baby blues now, Mom, because there’s a chance they could become brown (or go green).


What’s responsible for this magical transformation in your baby’s eye color? The answer depends on the amount of melanin present in the iris (the colored part of the eye) — and that in turn is determined by the genes your baby has inherited — as well as other factors

Melanin is a protein. Like other proteins, the amount and type you get is coded in your genes. Irises containing a large amount of melanin appear black or brown. Less melanin produces green, gray, or light brown eyes. If your eyes contain very small amounts of melanin, they will appear blue or light gray. People with albinism have no melanin in their irises and their eyes may appear pink because the blood vessels in the back of their eyes reflect light.

Finally, the big question:

Can eye color change? Simply put, sure but it’s not likely to be a good thing. Please continue reading…

Also, did you know your eye color can change over time? Since the eyes don’t constantly produce pigment, they can become lighter or darker as time goes on.

↑↑ Notice the words “ time goes on”. Any natural change in color is a gradual change, not instantaneous as a result of mood, shifts or energy levels and related experiences.

Changes (lightening or darkening) of eye colors during puberty, early childhood, pregnancy, and sometimes after serious trauma (like heterochromia) do represent cause for plausible argument to state that some eyes can or do change, based on chemical reactions and hormonal changes within the body.

Studies on Caucasian twins, both fraternal and identical, have shown that eye color over time can be subject to change, and major demelanization of the iris may also be genetically determined. Most eye-color changes have been observed or reported in the Caucasian population with hazel and amber eyes

Why does my eye color change hourly? P.S. I am not joking.

Answer 1:

The quick answer is that yours eyes don’t change, but the way we see your eyes does. I said it was quick, not quick to understand. Here’s what’s happening. When we see something, we are really seeing light that comes from some source (a lamp, the sun, etc.) then bounces off an object and into our own eyes. There are some great tutorials on light and color at:

Just click on a topic and an animation will be activated.

The angle we observe an object from can change the apparent color of an object. Take a glossy photograph or magazine picture and look at it from various angles. The picture doesn’t change, but the way we see it does. So does the light source. Look at the ocean on different days and from different angles (on the beach, from the pier, from the hills) and you will see a similar effect.

When different amounts and types of light (fluorescent, sunlight, etc.) hit your eyes from different angles, or we look at your eyes from different angles, they will seem to be different colors. When your pupil (the hole in the middle of your eye) is more dilated (open) or constricted (closed), the color will also seem to change. Imagine you stretch a balloon out; the color will lighten as the material stretches. Dilation or constriction of your pupil will also change light angles.

Your eyes may seem to change more than your friends’ eyes do if you have different pigments (colors) in your iris (the colored part of your eye).

By the time you understand why the color of your eyes seems to change, you will have learned a lot about both color and how yours eyes work

↑↑ Based on this answer, one could say that even our own perceptions of our eyes as a third person, like through a mirror, could change depending on changes in light and angle.

The levels of melanin generally remain the same throughout life, but a few things can change them permanently.

The first is a handful of ocular diseases like pigmentary glaucoma. Another is a condition called heterochromia, or multicolored eyes, which affects about 1 percent of the population and is often caused by traumatic injuries. An example of this can be seen in the rock star David Bowie, who attributes his contrasting eye colors, hazel and light blue, to a blow to the face as a child.

The third cause appears to be genetics. A study in 1997, for example, looked at thousands of twins and found that 10 percent to 15 percent of the subjects had gradual changes in eye color throughout adolescence and adulthood, which occurred at nearly identical rates in identical twins.

What causes the iris of the eye to change color? For most of my life, my iris color in each eye was dark brown. When I was in my 50s, the color began to lighten. I’m now 62, and the iris color is hazel, a mix of brown and green. Also, my father’s eyes slowly changed from hazel to pale blue by the time he was in his 70s…

Caucasian population will see a change in their eye color as they age. In the case of you and your father, the eye color changed due either to a gradual decrease in the number of pigment granules in the iris or to a degradation of the granules.

3 Know that you can’t permanently alter your eye color naturally. Although many of us may dream of having a different eye color, unless you undergo surgery or opt for contacts you won’t be able to permanently change the colors of your iris’. There are a few things that will change your color for a short period of time, but they are not permanent. Be careful about what you choose to do to change your eye color, as it may cause damage to your eyes or be unhealthy in other ways. As with all things, use caution and good judgment before altering your body. Talk to your doctor for further opinions on altering your eye color.

4 Understand that a drastic change in eye color could be a symptom of a serious illness. If you notice that your eyes have significantly lightened or darkened, you should visit your doctor for an appointment immediately. Drastic changes in eye color are symptoms of multiple ocular diseases and infections, and may be dangerous to your body. A small shift in eye color may be natural, but completely changing colors (for example, brown to blue) could be a serious symptom.

One other possibility is magick, more specifically, Glamour spells. It is however, my belief that the real world is not like The Craft, and that glamour spells only effect others’ observations of you, not your actual appearance or physical body.. I also believe that, regardless of how it’s changed, it is not a permanent change.