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Therian Nation
Video available on Youtube: https://youtu.be/RYHsNUDQ7MY

Tumblr: http://theriannation.tumblr.com/

The following is the script written for the video with the help of members from various forums.

Hello. Welcome to Therian Nation. I’m your host, Shannon Jackson. In this video we will begin to examine the identity phenomenon known as modern Therianthropy and dispel a few common misconceptions.

(Therian Nation animated logo and title displayed on screen)

Personal identity has been discussed since the beginning of Western philosophy. Modern Therianthropy is an identity phenomenon categorized by a deep integral, personal belief that an individual is to some degree non-human. This animal identification can be instead of or in addition to a human identification. Therians fully acknowledge that they have a human body, but the physical body and appearance are not the only factors for identification.

Therians come from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, religions, and spiritualities, including atheism. Some Therians explain their identities through spiritual reasons.

Other Therians explain their self-identification as an animal in terms of neurobiological or psychological processes related to identity formation.

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“Therianthropy is thought by some to be present from birth or acquired in very early childhood because most Therians do not have a memory of ever having not been Therians ( though there may have been a period of not recognizing the nature of their therianthropy).”  - Therian Timeline

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The following is from “Life Stories of Therianthropes: An Analysis of Nonhuman Identity in a Narrative Identity Model” by Natalie Bricker. “To date, the scientific study of therianthropy has been given little attention, and only a fraction of this attention has been from the field of psychology. As such, very little is known about how therianthropic identities develop.”

Therian Nation will examine Spiritual Therianthropy and Psychological Therianthropy more in depth with upcoming videos.

Whether from spiritual or psychological experiences, the majority within the community agree that Therianthropy is not a choice.

It is agreed upon that one can’t pick and choose a theriotype, the animal which is an individual’s identity. As Therianthropy is not a choice, many Therians do not like their theriotype or have any emotional connection to that animal. Some individuals enjoy the experience, some do not, and others are indifferent to being a Therianthrope.

Therians understand that their experiences are subjective, with most therians being ‘self-labelled’ or “self-identified”.

Skeptics might argue that identifying as Therian occurred after finding the online community, but Therianthropy is not a group identity. It is a personal identity with the majority of Therians feeling non-human and/or exhibited species-specific behavior before finding and participating with the online community. Therians often share memories from childhood of having felt a kinship with animals or related more to animals than people, or of having always experienced a vague feeling of being other than human.

Most individuals who come to identify as Therian were also skeptical of their own feelings and experiences in the beginning. This leads to a search for alternative explanations, which often leads to a further search for and analysis of evidence of being Therian.

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The following is also from “Life Stories of Therianthropes: An Analysis of Nonhuman Identity in a Narrative Identity Model” by Natalie Bricker. “The therians who participated in the current study reported a nonhuman identity that predated the discovery of the therian community. Feelings of being nonhuman and certain therianthropic experiences existed even in childhood for most participants. It therefore appears inaccurate to say that the identity was created by the community. It is true, however, that participants expressed relief and belonging upon discovering the term “therianthropy” to describe their experiences and the online therian community. In turn, these discoveries may have served to further reinforce participants’ nonhuman identities. Additional research is needed in order to verify this possibility.”

Another recent study “An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Identity in the Therian Community” states

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“In the archaeological and anthropological literature, therianthropy is not considered an illness but rather it is associated with spiritual experiences. Although therianthropic beliefs and experiences seem to be an accepted part of culture in many non-Western countries, this normalization and validation of experiences does not generally appear to extend to Western culture.”

(Diagram to illustrate the following) https://goo.gl/photos/MJ7tEyEtmA3zMMkK9

There are communities which share similarities to Therianthropy, but developed separately, such as Otherkin and Furries. These communities can overlap. Some Therians may enjoy participating in Furry culture and some Therians may also identify as Otherkin. Future videos will examine the Furry Fandom and Otherkin Identity in more detail.

Instinctual, bestial behaviors are characteristic of Therianthropy, and most Therians identify as real-world animals whether currently living species or extinct species such as dinosaurs. There is not a hard distinction, however, and individuals with mythological or non-earth animal identities may have experiences that are best supported by the Therian community, such as individuals who identify as dragons.

Therians are all ages, races, genders, and come from all walks of life. The majority of Therians have successful careers, behave and act normally in public, and they are regular members of society. Therians are high school and college students, IT professionals, volunteers, biologists, artists, authors, teachers, engineers, military personnel, etc. Most animalistic behaviors are kept private. The ability of Therians to control their actions during animalistic impulses is what sets Therianthropy apart from mental disorders. To some, being Therian is a major part of their life and identify. For others, this is a less significant facet of their being.

In regards to more people being understanding and accepting of modern Therians, we as a community need to be careful and mindful of how we present ourselves. This includes the use of terms and phrases. People may come across the not so common word Therianism. Most use the term Therianism to simply indicate inclusion within the community. However, in the wrong context, people might think that Therians are all spiritual and that Therianthropy is an organized religion or ideology, which is incorrect.

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Anuolf says the following, “Therianthropy has never been an -ism. It’s not an ideological movement, principle, or system in which someone can choose to be a part of. It’s not a pathological condition like alcoholism. And it certainly isn’t denoting a basis of prejudice or discrimination like racism. Nor is it necessary to use -ism in order to make it into a noun since therian/therianthropy is already a noun.”

As a community, we should use words carefully because that can have a significant impact on how we are perceived by the public.

Now, we will mention a few major misconceptions.

Simply liking an animal does not make one a Therianthrope. The terms animal-hearted or other-hearted are used to describe people with a strong liking or connection to an animal, yet who do not identify as non-human.

Having an animal totem or spirit guide does not make one a Therian. Therianthropy is not Shamanism.

Therianthropy is not a structured spiritual or religious belief, a cult, or an ideology that anyone can join.Therianthropy as a subculture does not have any central dogma or tenets, nor any recognized authority.

Again, therianthropy is not a choice, therefore it is not a fad, trend, a style, or a role-playing game, in which a person creates a fictional character.

Therianthropy is not all fun and games. While it is not a mental illness, and most Therians have normal lives, some do have negative experiences.

Therianthropy does not imply a sexual fixation with a non-human animal; that is unrelated.

Therians can not and do not physically change shape. That is not possible. Therianthropy does not give anyone special abilities, powers, or extra physical strength. We will go more in depth about this subject in a future video.

It should be noted that some of the concepts developing separately on Tumblr and social media are very different from those found in the community that has developed on more structured forums. At the same time, keep in mind that no one can be an expert as Therianthropy is personal and subjective.

Remember to be intelligent and think for yourself!

Links to public sources used to gather information have been provided in the description below. Therian Nation has a lot of information to cover. In our next video, we will define terms commonly used within the community. Subscribe to Therian Nation to learn and stay informed about Therianthropy and the Therian community. Thank you for watching.

 

Title Screen Image: Dog-headed men from “Livre des merveilles du mooned” (Book of Wonders of the World also known as The Travels of Marco Polo), a 13th-century travelogue with stories told by Marco Polo.

Images are used under fair use for educational purposes only and remain the property of the copyright holders.

Therian Nation Full Disclaimer: https://youtu.be/_IrZw2XgVmQ

Links to Public Sources for this Video

Project Shift - http://project-shift.net/category/therianthropy/

Therianthropy Research Group - http://therianthropyresearchgroup.weebly.com/what-is-therianthropy.html

Therian Timeline - http://www.theriantimeline.com/

“An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Identity in the Therian Community” by Grivell et all, page 114 (2014) - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15283488.2014.891999

Bricker, Natalie, “Life Stories of Therianthropes: An Analysis of Nonhuman Identity in a Narrative Identity Model” (2016). Senior Theses - http://publications.lakeforest.edu/seniortheses/63/

Shifters.org Guide “Therianthropy - An Overview” (web archive) - http://web.archive.org/web/20060901113122/http://www.therianthropy.org/SO/guide.htm

White Wolf’s Den - http://members.tripod.com/syber_zx/therians/id1.html

Personal Identity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) - http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/

Fury Culture and Furry Fandom

Anthropomorphic Research Project - https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/home

Opening Title Music - “News Theme 3” by Ithaca Audio Ltd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. http://www.ithacaaudio.com/2010/12/07/news-theme/

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Therian Nation
Video Link: https://youtu.be/ull7T4zp0Es

Tumblr: http://theriannation.tumblr.com/

Written Script

Hello and Welcome to Therian Nation. I’m your host, Shannon Jackson. In this video we’ll explain the etymology of the word Therianthropy and see how it has been used throughout history. Greek is one of the world’s oldest recorded and living languages, meaning that it is still in use today. I’ve come across a few different origins for the word Therianthropy.

One source lists “thero” as a Greek root for “breast” or “mammal.” 
And “anthro” as the Greek root for “human." 

Another source list "ther” as a Greek root for “wild animal”
And “anthrop” as the Greek root for “human.”

“Therion” is a Greek word for “wild animal” or “beast.”
Yet another source uses the Greek word “Therios” for “wild beast." 

Google Translate recognizes both Therion and Therios.
And anthrōpos [ἄνθρωπος] is a Greek word for "man”.

The word Therianthropy is a portmanteau or combining of two Greek words, which then loosely translates as human-animal or animal man. The constellation that we now call Lupus, was first called Therion by the Greeks.

The historical use of the word Therianthropy was to describe men and creatures in mythology and folklore who could change shape such as werewolves, were-cats, and other were-creatures. The term has often been used by archaeologists to describe animal-human figures found in prehistoric rock art such as the “Dancing Sorcerer”. Theriocephaly refers to beings which simultaneously share human and animal traits, such as Egyptian Gods.

The word “therian” also has a clear meaning within science and biology. The first attempt to formally classify organisms began in the 18th century, around 1789. Therian, in taxonomy, means a member of the mammalian subclass, Theria, consisting of marsupial and placental mammals or live-bearing mammals and their extinct ancestors. 

When was the first historic use of the word Therianthropy? One source, a book titled “The Human Predator,” written in 2005 by Katherine Ramsland, raises the possibility that the term Therianthropy may have been used as early as the 16th century in criminal trials of suspected werewolves.

One of the first known written and published appearances of the word therianthropy can be seen in a book titled “The Religious Systems of China” written by J.J.M De Groot in 1901. The usage of therianthropy can be found on page 171 of Volume IV, Book II, titled “On the Soul and Ancestral Worship, Part I.”

“The tale of Cheu Chen’s slave shows a new feature in Chinese tiger-lore, which, like so many others, we find also in therianthropy elsewhere in Asia and in Europe, namely, that the change into a beast may be brought about artificially and willfully by means of charms, spells, and other instruments of witchcraft.”

Volume V also includes a few interesting tales of shape-shifting, human-like creatures with blue skin and tusks, “beings resembling men, squatting down sometimes like dogs,” walking trees, women giving birth to monsters and devils, which are also referred to in the book as specters. 

On page 793, a baby is called a yaksha, a broad class of nature-spirits, and described as having “cock-spurs and horse-hoofs.” Page 823 begins a section that includes sorcery and tales of sorcerers changing themselves into animals.

Therianthropy was used to describe spiritual beliefs in human transformation in a 1915 Japanese publication titled, “A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era.” On page 65 in a section titled “Therianthropic Elements” the first sentence is “That the religion of ancient Japan - known as Shinto, or "the way of the gods” - had not fully emerged from therianthropic polytheism is proved by the fact that, though the deities were generally represented in human shape, they were frequently conceived as spiritual beings, embodying themselves in all kinds of things, especially animals, reptiles, or insects.“

While therianthropy may have been used in the past to describe shape-shifters, old words are often taken and used to represent new concepts. The modern day use of the term, beginning in the early 1990’s, does not imply magic or physical shape-shifting. Modern Therianthropy is a subculture of people known as Therianthropes, or Therians for short, who are intrinsically connected to an animal. The connection can be spiritual, psychological, or both, and this strong connection leads people to identify as non-human animals. However, it is not a mental illness, as Therians understand that they have the physical body of a human. 

In conclusion, the word therianthropy has historical, archeological, scientific, and new modern usages. Upcoming Therian Nation videos will examine the personal belief of Therianthropy more in depth and cover the history of the Therianthropy community.

Links to sources can be found in the video description below. Thank you for watching (reading). 

Therian Nation Mission Statement: https://youtu.be/WtqILBWrn9E

Therian Nation Full Disclaimer: https://youtu.be/_IrZw2XgVmQ

Etymology Sources

https://msu.edu/~mcelhinn/zoology/mammalwords.htm
http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/courses.hp/zool250/Roots/RootsMain.htm
http://wordinfo.info/unit/2678/ip:4/il:T
http://www.oakton.edu/user/3/gherrera/Greek%20and%20Latin%20Roots%20in%20English/greek_and_latin_roots.pdf

Lupus (constellation): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupus_(constellation)

Wikipedia - Therian in Taxonomy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therian
Wikipedia - Theria Subclass - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theria

Books, History, etc.

Source of  "The Religious Systems of China” written by J.J.M De Groot:
Volume IV: https://archive.org/details/religioussystem04groo
Volume V: https://archive.org/details/religioussystem05groo

Source of “A History of the Japanese People” written by Captain Frank Brinkley:
https://archive.org/details/historyofjapanes00briniala

Therian Timeline - Words and Concepts - http://www.theriantimeline.com/therianthropy/words_and_concepts

“An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Identity in the Therian Community” by Grivell et al.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15283488.2014.891999

Therianthropy Research Group: http://therianthropyresearchgroup.weebly.com/research.html

Other

World Wide Words - Therianthrope - http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-the2.htm 

Memidex - http://www.memidex.com/therian

Wiki Fur: http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Therianthropy

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therianthropy

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

ulfrvif: Stylized, Nordic wolf head. (Default)
 Hello. Welcome to Therian Nation. This blog will feature educational material, discussions, interviews, and news about Therianthropy and the Therian community. Therian Nation’s mission is to educate the public and the community while dispelling false and misleading information. Topics will be presented in a professional and respectful manner and examined with critical thinking. Therian Nation aims to be factual, helpful, and inclusive to all who are serious about identifying as a Therian or anyone interested in learning about Therianthropy. Therian Nation also aims to be inclusive by using multiple sources and viewpoints. Knowledge, experiences, and data will be gathered from across the community, including group chats and communication with members from as many forums as possible. This show will aim to be non-biased. We want to have an open and positive discourse. Therian Nation encourages constructive dialogue from the public Tumblr audience as well. Subscribe to Therian Nation to learn and stay informed about Therianthropy and the Therian community. Please read the disclaimer. Thank you.

http://theriannation.tumblr.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYbjRVPTdTIrhninWDYdR0w

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