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This was shared as part of Therian Nation.

The related video is available.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19UCVej1Wu8

Hi. I’m Shannon Jackson. I’m also known as Wolf Daughter in the Therian community. Recently, I took on the name Ulfrvif (Wolf Woman).

I’m 30 years old. I attended 5 years of university to earn a BFA in graphic design and painting. I’m currently  working full time in that field as a graphic designer and printer assistant. My hobbies include hiking, camping, and canoeing. I enjoy being out in the remote wilderness. I enjoy archery. I also practice HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), with the main focus currently being on the German longsword.

I am a Wolf Therianthrope. My life is not entirely human. I consider myself to be both spiritually and psychologically a wolf. I think spirit works through and with the physical body, including the brain. I interpret aspects of my mentality and behavior as wolf. I have identified as a Wolf Therianthrope for 17-18 years, since I was 12-13 years old. I’ve never felt like I quite fit in with humans. But I can’t deny that I’m also human. That’s very obvious.

Therianthropy is about existing in two different worlds at the same time. It’s about having two different perspectives on life. I’m human and I’m something else. I actually think it’s really important. The world needs multiple perspectives and diversity. It’d be a really boring place if everybody thought the same, and experienced the same things.

For me, personally, Therianthropy is not about wearing ears, and tails, and looking cute. For me, being a Wolf Therianthrope is about personal power and inner strength. It’s about perseverance in difficult times. For example, wolves can go a long time without eating. It’s about survival. Being wolf is just about raw existence. It is a connection to nature, and a deeper, integral, and instinctual part of myself, the animal within. For me, it means to be tough and rugged. My life hasn’t been kind or easy, and I wouldn’t be alive today, if it wasn’t for tapping into that instinctual part of myself.

Therianthropy does makes navigating and interacting within the human world a bit harder for me. I think Katmandu said it really well in the A.H.W.W FAQ from 1994. 

“We exist in the human world, but long to seek connections with the animal one. We cannot completely leave the human world, nor completely enter the animal one. We are in-between, half animal and half human in psyche…mental or spiritual, shapechangers.”

Wolves are elusive creatures who are wary of humans. This causes me to have some anxiety. Although, wolves are also curious creatures. Being fearful of and inquisitive about people at the same time is a strange dichotomy. It’s a challenge in and of itself that I must deal with every day, but Therianthropy is not about shying away from responsibility. Being a Therianthrope is about taking on life’s challenges head-on with determination.

How do I know that I’m wolf? I seem to be more alert and aware of my surroundings. I’m more attentive to the information that my senses are bringing in. I watch, listen, and smell is also important. The calls and body language of other animals and humans are important.

Think of it this way–humans use phones to constantly be connected to the internet and that web of information. A wolf’s senses and awareness keep it plugged into the environment and all of that information that is available. A tremendous amount of communication takes place in nature between the plants, animals, and the environment.

When I say that Therianthropy is about personal power and raw instinct, it’s also about learning to control and balance that with being human. We can’t escape being human. We have to accept that part of ourselves too. It’s really hard to sum up all of this in a few minutes. It’s really impossible, and everyone has a slightly different experience. But I hope that gives you an idea of what my life is like as a Wolf Therianthrope. Thanks for reading.

Wolf Daughter/Ulfrvif

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Therian Nation

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Hello. Welcome to Therian Nation. I’m your host Shannon Jackson. In this video we will go more in depth about Psychological Therianthropy and hear from a few Therians about their personal experiences. Previous videos introduced modern Therianthropy, defined terms used in the community, and covered Therianthropic shifts. If you have not watched those previous videos, we recommend that you do so first in order to better understand Psychological Therianthropy.

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When was Psychological Therianthropy first discussed in the community? Discussion of the psychological aspects of therianthropy and psychological changes that take place during shifts have been discussed since the early days of the online community. Evidence of such can be seen in A.H.WW threads from as early as 1994. 

There has been a noticeable rift in the community between psychological and spiritual Therians, with members of each side not believing that the others can be legitimate. However, these two branches of Therianthropy are both legitimate and acceptable. Psychological Therians as well as Spiritual Therians can experience any type of shift, and have one theriotype or multiple theriotypes. Many Therians explain their identity through both spiritual and psychological experiences. 

Whatever the explanation, it’s important to note that Therianthropy is a subjective belief based on personal experiences, and not on scientific fact. Currently, there have not been any psychological or neurological studies related to Therianthropy. Therian Nation asks that all Therians and Otherkin respect each other, even if you have opposing views or beliefs. 

Psychology is the study of behaviour and mind, embracing all aspects of conscious and unconscious behavior as well as thought. A short explanation for psychological therianthropy is abnormal brain wiring or unconscious adaptations of the brain to experiences and possibly emotional traumas in childhood or a combination of both. Basically, a Therian identifies as an animal because their minds interpret their existence as such. One reason that we say being Therian is not a choice, is because most of our non-human behaviours and shifts are subconscious. 

There are more specific explanations found in the community for why people consider themselves psychological Therianthropes. Here’s a quick list, and then we will examine each in more detail. 

Atypical Neurology 
Imprinting/Developmental 
Identity Formation 
Survival/Resilience/Defense Mechanism 
Duality of Human and Animal Nature 
Combination of Multiple Factors 
Other Explanations 

Atypical Neurology 

Atypical Neurology also includes atypical neuropsychology and atypical physiology. Neurology is the scientific study of the nervous system especially in respect to its structure, functions, and abnormalities. Neuropsychology is a science that combines psychological observations on behaviour and the mind with neurological observations on the brain and nervous system. The specialty is dedicated to enhancing the understanding of brain‐behavior relationships and the application of such knowledge to human problems. Atypical neurophysiology is the functioning of a brain that works significantly different from a large majority of brains. There could possibly be differences in the structure of the brain and/or nervous system that cause different behaviour to develop. These differences in neurology and physiology can cause us to process sensations, perception, memory, and communication in atypical ways that we might be interpreting as non-human. On the Therian Timeline, Wolf Van Zandt hypothesized that Weres/Therians process language differently. In the essay, “A Comprehensive Introduction to a Psychological View of Therianthroy” Liesk wrote, “Quite plainly, it seems to be the case that therians work like animals do. A great number of therians report being visual thinkers, or otherwise thinking mainly in some non-verbal form.” 

The following is Wolf VanZandt’s view on therianthropy. (Video clip provided by WVZ) 

“Do I think that therianthropy is psychological or spiritual? That’s not really as simple a question a you might think. For instance, I come from a Shamanic background and I would say that everything that is material has a spiritual flip-side. So you can look at anything and say that it has a spiritual aspect or it has a psychological aspect. I would say psychoneurological, because it’s become recently pretty clear that even a lot of things that people used to consider behavioural have very material origins in the brain. So, yeah, if I had to choose a clear side, I would say that it’s psychoneurological. It’s a lot easier to explain most of the stuff that Weres experience from a psychoneurological viewpoint than from a spiritual one.

For instance, the phantom body. Hamdy Moselhy discussed a study where a couple psychologists did a brain scan a couple of clinical lycanthropes while they were changing and they found out that one of the parts of the brain were active where the same parts that light up, for instance, when a person with anorexia looks at themselves in the mirror and instead of seeing a very thin, emaciated person, they see somebody that’s fat. He calls it somatic delusions. And it would fit perfectly well with our experience of phantom bodies.

Just about everything that we experience could be explained either neurologically or spiritually. But when you say that something is spiritual, what are you really saying? I’ve never been able to grasp that. You can just about as easily say that it’s imaginary, because you can’t point at it, you can’t actually measure when someone is talking about something spiritual. Now, I believe in spirituality, but like I said, I believe that the universe has a flip-side duality between material and spiritual.

I don’t believe that therians have animal spirits, because I really don’t believe there is a difference in human spirits and animal spirits. I believe there are some differences in their disposition, but I don’t believe there is differences in their quality. So it’s hard for me to say that therianthropy is based on spirit. Whereas, like I said, I can very easily explain just about anything a therian experiences from psychology or psychoneurology material things going on in the brain. And that’s my viewpoint.”

Imprinting and Development 

Psychological therianthropy is explained by some Therians as imprinting on non-human animals. It’s possible that a child who watches animal behaviour, such as a dog or a cat, instead of properly being taught human behaviour and socialized by human family could learn to act like that animal. Children who associate with animals can take that association and turn it into familiarity and identity. This behaviour could become ingrained and be an integral part of one’s identity throughout life. Also, without a positive human role-model, it’s possible that some children may look up to and see animals as role-models instead of humans. Playing pretend as animals can internalize those feelings and also reinforce animal behaviors.

The following was submitted by Integral, a Border-Collie Therian. 
(Audio clip) 

“For me, it’s a psychological thing. I don’t really believe in deities or souls, so that leaves me with psychology. I’m not sure what kind of factors play into it, conditions it could be related to, or anything like that, but it definitely strikes me as something that’s brain-related.

I think a lot of it might have do with, at least for me personally, being raised around dogs, and not having a lot of exposure to other kids my age until around kindergarten. I think I kind of imprinted on the dogs I grew up with, and kind of absorbed part of their personalities and behaviors into my own.

Every time I talk about something similar to my mom, and I don’t bring this up specifically, she has told me a lot of times that I’ve been absolutely fascinated/ obsessed with dogs since I knew what a dog was. Apparently, when I was little, I also told her I really wanted to be a dog when I grew up.

I guess I am, in the weirdest, most embarrassing way I could think of. Seriously though, some of my earliest memories are of me trying to imitate my dogs and how they played. And learning as much as I possibly could about dogs.”

Identity Formation

Identify is multidimensional. Identity formation begins in early childhood, when infants become self-aware. Adolescents usually break away from early beliefs about themselves and their world view to experiment and explore alternatives. Identity achievement occurs when the adolescent has explored and committed to important aspects about their identity. Early learning creates lifelong brain organization, and children who come to identify as Therian later in life, could be developing differently from children who identify as human. Since a lot of Therians reported pretending to be animals as children, perhaps this is an early belief about themselves that still fits their world view and was maintained throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Of course, there could be many other explanations to why people come to identify as non-human, other than pretending to be animals as children. 

Now we will hear from Lopori, a Bonobo Therian. (Video clip)

“Hi, I’m Lopori, a psychological therian and otherkin. My kintypes are bonobo and mermaid. I have my own rather simple theory as to why otherkin exists, merely a way of perceiving yourself and making sense of the world, an illusion of sorts, where we’re all just humans at the end of the day. It’s just how we make sense of stuff, how we built our identities based on experience, such as growing up being very close with a family pet, or finding an explanation for just weird thoughts. Maybe even just being too attached to an animal or mythical creature so much that you convince yourself that you are that. That sounds less legit, but it’s entirely possible.

For me, I think being exposed to mermaids from an early age via films and stuff made me imprint on them a bit. With bonobos, I was late teens, so I can’t quite pinpoint the catalyst. I just remember seeing pictures of them and feeling kind of weird. Growing up, I was always fascinated by cavemen and also modern humans who still live in forests. I used to play “wild man” a lot if I went to places with woods and in an extent shifted a bit. I used to think my arms were longer and more toned than they were if I wasn’t looking at them in the mirror or something. I find myself wanting to move as if I was three times as lanky, and I’m not at all lanky. 

In hindsight, it was only an amount of time before the extant great apes came into my life and became one of the most important things. Another thing I think may have contributed is that I have a misdiagnosis of things in my childhood that ruined my self esteem and I have been brought up being made to believe that I was disordered and special. The more I distance myself from that, the more freedom I had to build my own identity, to find better ways of knowing myself, and explained an eccentricity which didn’t involve mental disorders that don’t fit. I’m actually normal. That’s not to say that it’s a conscious coping mechanism, because it certainly is not. It wouldn’t work anyway. Or I’m just a bit too much into bonobos and mermaids. I don’t know. Thanks for listening.”

Survival/Resilience/Defense Mechanism

In times of stress, whether acute or long term, survival instincts are triggered. After the threat has gone away, most humans’ behaviour and brain function return to normal. For those who have come to identify as Therian, they often express that the survival instincts never diminished. The acceptance of an instinctual, animalistic self became a permanent and integral part of who they are. 

According to the American Psychological Association, psychological resilience is, “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.” In the APA’s online brochure titled, “The Road to Resilience” one of the ten ways to build resilience includes looking for opportunities for self-discovery. “People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, greater sense of strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality and heightened appreciation for life.” 

Of course resilience is much more complicated, but perhaps Therianthropy is a natural result of learned behaviours that have allowed many of us to deal with hardship in our lives. The behaviors that are associated with being non-human have become a permanent part of the identity. This could also be related to defense mechanisms. 

Compartmentalization is considered to be a lesser known form of disassociation, in which parts of oneself are separated from awareness of other parts and behave as if one is different from the other. This could explain why younger therians usually talk as if their theriotype is separate from them.

Also, it should be noted that some psychologists consider defense mechanisms and coping mechanisms to be different. The difference is that a defense mechanism is considered to be subconscious. Whereas, a person can consciously choose between different coping strategies and find which strategy works best. 

While using long term defense mechanisms can lead to psychological problems, is seems that in most cases, Psychological Therians find a balance between their human and non-human selves and they become integrated and functional.

Dualism 

This is similar to what Meirya called “Primal Association” in the article “Otherkin and Therian Theories of Cause or Origin”. While many people do not want to admit that humans have natural, animal instincts and impulses, we do. Therianthropy could be an acceptance of this more primitive side of our personalities, and allowing it to have a greater influence on our lives and behaviors. 

A good example might be the fictional story of Tarzan. He goes back to civilization only to reject it and return to nature. While Tarzan can pass as a civilized person and function in society, he prefers to take off the mask of civilization and be more primitive. 

Many Therians believe that duality does not a Therian make. The duality of human nature my be obvious to many Therians due to their personal perspective on the world, but the simple realization of duality is not the same as a Therian awakening. Duality may be more a quality of Therianthropy than a cause of it. 

Combination/Multiple Factors 

Identity is complex. Most likely there is a combination of factors that lead one to identify as Therian rather than a single cause. Many possible causes of psychological therianthropy are similar and may overlap. For example, imprinting on an animal could have influences on identity formation. 

The next clip was provided by Aethyriek, a bat Therian. 

“So the often asked question: what do we feel the source of our therianthropy is? My opinion of why I’m a therian is not that I’m the result of a psychological or neurological quirk or whichever theory a person might have that often isn’t based in a lot of science or research or psychology. Most of us are not educated in that field when we describe what we think the source of our therianthropy is. Which is fine, we’re allowed to have those theories, but as a result I don’t feel a lot of value for myself in the theories of the psychological camp.

Concurrent to that I’m not a consistently spiritual individual, so framing my therianthropy as spiritual in nature would simply be dishonest. What makes me a therian is actually surprisingly tangible and if someone asked me, “What is the source of your therianthropy?” I would say it doesn’t matter.

What I would tell them is what brings me to feel that I’m a nonhuman animal. And for me, I would say, yes, I identity as bat, but I also identify with bats. My sense of place and sense of home, of where I belong are often in places where yes, there will be a human component and no one can deny that, but it’s also places that would feel more at home to me as a bat person.

Everything is built on this. If I look at my behaviours, my mind set, my problem solving, all their roots is based on bat and on human, or at least a perception of bat. It’s not symbolic by any means although certainly sometimes there is mythology there.

Beyond that, beyond the behaviour and the mindset, I experience sensations of body structure that are not there. I could simplify it for everyone and say it’s wings, but that would be a true simplification. So often when I am feeling this particular sensation of a different body, my body orientates how I move, what course I go about me day; it’s incredibly physical despite not being there. So it really will determine, again, some of my problem solving. I’ll base solving a problem on this perceived body and then I will have to correct myself in order to be functional.

So these are the things that make me an animal person; all these traits that blend together. What is the source of these traits? That’s the question of the psychological and spiritual theories are all about. And as a result I don’t see a necessity in it. At the end of the day, I’m an animal person.

Introspection is about  looking at those things and searching for why being an animal is meaningful to us. What makes us animal people in terms of our experiences? And that to me in the only important thing.”

Other Explanations 

Other explanations for psychological Therianthropy include that it’s genetic, passed down from generation to generation. We are not saying that non-human DNA can be mixed with human DNA. Instead, there could be genetics that cause our brains to develop differently. Just as there have not been any psychological or neurological studies related to Therianthropy, there have also not been any genetic studies that link Therianthropy to lineage. There is no evidence to support this belief. 

Similar to duality, there is also the concept that everyone is Therian, or has an animal-side, but few people become aware of the fact and accepting of it. Maybe everyone has the potential to awaken, but one must already be predisposed to it, then be presented with the right sort of circumstances in their life for Therianthropy to arise. 

A few members of the community consider Therianthropy to be similar to or related to autism spectrum disorder. During our research, Therian Nation came across neurodiversity. This movement frames autism, bipolarity and other neurotypes as a natural human variation rather than a pathology or disorder, and its advocates reject the idea that neurological differences need to be (or can be) cured, as they believe them to be authentic forms of human diversity, self-expression, and being. Just as autism is seen as a variation of functioning rather than a mental disorder to be cured, so too could Therianthropy be seen as just a variation in the way our brains function.

Remember, there is not a universally accepted or scientifically proven explanation for Therianthropy. Therianthropy is still a subjective belief based only on personal experiences. 

Therian Nation would like to say thank you to all of the members of the community who made suggestions and helped us gather information. Links to public sources used for this video have been provided in the description below. The next video will go more in depth about Spiritual Therianthropy. If you have any questions, you are welcome to leave us a comment or send us a message here on Youtube or our Tumblr page. Therian Nation will answer to the best of our knowledge and ability. Subscribe to Therian Nation to learn and stay informed about Therianthropy and the Therian community. Thank you for watching. 

List of Public Sources 

Neurology - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neurology

Neuropsychology - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neuropsychology 

See also – American Psychology Association - http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/neuro.aspxNeurodiversity - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurodiversity 

Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone. “Autistc, Allistic, Neurodiver, and Neurotypica: Say What?” https://crackedmirrorinshalott.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/autistic-allistic-neurodiverse-and-neurotypical-say-what/ 

American Psychological Association, “The Road to Resilience” - http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx 

“Hmmmmmm” AHWW Discussion, June, 18, 1996 - https://groups.google.com/d/msg/alt.horror.werewolves/IHpMmBR8e_s/80qDCYa3XSIJ 

See also: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/alt.horror.werewolves/EqPwqcHv0Ew/OkDzd_ykYXEJ 

“Mind of the Were”, Therian Timeline - http://theriantimeline.com/therianthropy/the_mind_of_the_wereMeirya, 

“Otherkin and Therian Theories of Cause or Origin,” 2006. http://project-shift.net/otherkin-therian-theories-of-cause-or-origin/ Liesk, 2007. 

“A Comprehensive Introduction to a Psychological View of Therianthropy” http://project-shift.net/a-comprehensive-introduction-to-a-psychological-view-of-therianthropy/ 

See also, Liesk’s archived website. http://web.archive.org/web/20070328202750/http://liesk.feralscribes.org/ Dr. 

Sharon Galor. “Defence Mechanisms vs. Coping” https://drsharongalor.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/defense-mechanisms-vs-coping/ 

Dr. Jaan Suurkül. “Survival Oriented Behavior” https://drgrandville2.wordpress.com/survival-oriented-behavior/a

 

Timothy Grivell , Helen Clegg & Elizabeth C. Roxburgh (2014) An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Identity in the Therian Community, Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15283488.2014.891999

Identity Development - Aspects of Identity - Adolescents, Adolescence, Self, and Exploration - JRank Articles http://social.jrank.org/pages/322/Identity-Development.html#ixzz4FqP3tt9U   

Seth J. Schwartz, et al. “Identity Development, Personality, and Well-Being in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood”, http://lp.wileypub.com/HandbookPsychology/SampleChapters/Volume6.pdf

Thumbnail Image Source: Created by Therian Nation 
Images (if any) are used under fair use for educational purposes only and remain the property of the copyright holders. 

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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Hello. Welcome to Therian Nation. I’m your host, George Ross. In this video, we will delve into the various types of shifts experienced by Therians. If you have not watched “Introduction to Modern Therianthropy” or “Therianthropy Terms and Definitions” we recommend that you do so first.

Shifting has been discussed since the beginning of the online Therian community. “Your best mental transformation”, is a discussion that took place on AHWW on December 1, 1993. In that same discussion, one of the members mentions having a out of body experience, which we now call a bilocation shift.

What do we mean by a “shift”? A “shift” is a temporary change of state when a Therianthrope becomes more instinctual or animalistic as the theriotype becomes more dominant in a non-physical manner. Shifts can occur in varying strength and frequency and be both a positive or negative experience. Shifting can be voluntary or involuntary. Different types of shifts can be experienced simultaneously. 

It is important to note that shifting is not necessary to identify as a Therian. Contherians are always in an animalistic mental state because their human and animal selves or minds have fully integrated. These individuals have animalistic experiences, they just don’t need to shift in order to do so. This state of integration is usually found in older Therians who have been aware of their Therianthropy for several years. But younger Therians have also experienced this integration and have classified themselves as Contherians. Also, a person does not need to experience every type of shift to identify as Therian. Some Therians may only ever experience one type of shift. 

Before we get into the types of therianthropic shifts, we must use some discretion. Be aware that having a single shift or even several shifts does not mean that you should assume, without a doubt, that you are a Therian. It is important to remain mindful and not to jump to conclusions. 

The same goes for finding a theriotype. We must carefully consider what experiences are relevant. There are rational explanations for why we might experience shifts that have nothing to do with Therianthropy or being Therian. All humans can have similar experiences or sensations to these types of shifts. We must be mindful and cautious that we are not simply imagining these sensations or potentially tricking our minds. We recommend reading the article “Believe It or Not?” written by Meirya, which can be found on Project Shift. Now let us move on to the types of therianthropic shifts. 

Mental Shift (MS or m-shift): this term indicates a temporary change in mindset toward thinking like a non-human creature. The human body stays physically unchanged. This shift can be very mild, to very strong, and any level in-between. During mild shifts, part of the human mentality is maintained. A mental shift can sometimes happen unintentionally, or the shifter can sometimes cause it voluntarily, or even suppress it. Mental shifts can happen in the midst of any emotional state.

A strong mental shift can make a person lose the ability to think in words in favor of thinking in pure awareness. If you know that you are pruned to strong mental shifts, it’s good to learn the sensations that are precursors of your shifts so that you can find a safe and private place to experience your shift.

Phantom Shift (ph-shift): when a Therian experiences phantom limbs or a full phantom body. This is a phenomenon that refers to the sensation of having non-human body parts attached to the human body. The most common example is the feeling of having and moving a tail. These phantom limbs can even overlap the normal limbs of one’s body, such as feeling paws instead of hands. 

“The specific ways in which these can be experienced varies vastly, but included amongst them are a diversity of levels of realism, some being very minor to some even being so intense that the phantom part feels almost entirely real regardless of the fact it is not physical. Some phantom parts are constant, but the ones referred to in this definition are those that are temporary and shift in and out of occurrence. Other effects associated with some phantom parts include pain or discomfort in/on or associated with the phantom part, movement (voluntary or involuntary) of the phantom body part, and reactions to outside real stimuli such as objects, sounds, movement of other things, and so forth.” - Project Shift 

One does not need to be Therian or an amputee to experience phantom limbs. Experiments prove that people can be fooled into thinking that another object or even an invisible limb is part of them. This deception is known as the rubber hand illusion. Please see links in the description to learn more. 

Sensory shifting (Se): also known as a Sense Shift, is considered to be a little different from mental shifting. It is a type of shift where the Therian’s senses become more like that of their animal. The Shifter will feel somewhat animalistic, alert, very aware, and often have a pleasurable heightened sense of their physical body. It can occur along with other types of shifts. 

Sensory shifting does not make senses more powerful. Focusing attention on a certain sense, such as smell, can allow us to pick out more smells than usual. It is important to note that this is a heightened focus rather than a heightening of the sense itself. Our senses may feel more keen during these times of focus, but Sense Shifts cannot increase perception beyond the physical limitations of the human body. Hypersensitivity is a similar experience which can also occur in humans for various reasons. 

Sensory shifting can be helpful in determining a theriotype, as animals preferentiate some senses over others. Ask yourself what senses are most prevalent during a shift. Canines, for example, understand the world primarily through smell.

Emotional Shift: When you shift during a certain emotional state; like stress or anger. Usually occurs in conjunction with another type of shift.

Cameo Shift ( C ): a shift into an animal that is not of a person’s theriotype. For example: If a cat Therian who has never experienced a dog mentality, shifts into a canine, this is a cameo shift. A cameo shift should not be the sole consideration as evidence of being a polytherian. Some theorize that a cameo shift could be due to an individual having a spirit guide or power animal instead.

Dream shift (DS or d-shift): a type of non-physical transformation which occurs in a dream as an individual becomes partially or entirely his/her theriotype within said dream. The dream might include the experience of transformation into that creature. A dream shift can occur in both lucid and non-lucid states. 

Never automatically assume that seeing yourself as an animal in a dream means that you are a Therian or that the animal is your theriotype. Many other experiences, research, and introspection should also be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not you identify as Therian. Seeing oneself as an animal other than the known theriotype, may only be a dream cameo shift and does not always indicate that one is a polytherian. Not every dream may be relevant to one’s therianthropy. 

Astral Shift (As): occurs most often during sleep or when a Therian enters a spiritual trance, travels out of body to the astral plane (spirit world), and shifts his/her astral body to the form of a non-human animal. 

Aura shifting (A): when a person changes the shape of their auric field or energy field to that of their theriotype. 

Spiritual Shift (S): Similar to Astral and Aura Shifting. When your spiritual self is turned into your theriotype. Any person that can astral project can perform this shift since it takes place on a non-physical plane. 

Bilocation Shift (Bi) - bilocation is the phenomenon of being in two places simultaneously. A shift in which the shifter’s theriotype leaves their human body and materializes elsewhere; It is very similar to an out of body experience, but instead of the spirit body being shaped like the human body, it is the shape of the theriotype. 

It is important to note that there is no proof of auras, astral travel, or out of body experiences. We do need to be aware that there are alternative explanations to astral, aura, spiritual, and bilocation shifting. They may not necessarily be spiritual in nature, but could be explained by ordinary events. Astral shifts could be the result of our brains trying to process the surroundings and the effects of sensory fatigue, a well documented effect which is at work in those able to perceive common optical illusions. Seeing auras or outlines around people and objects can simply be due to eye fatigue and other natural perceptual processes. Please see links below for more information.

Physical Shift (PS or p-shift): The transformation of a human body into the physical shape of another creature. There is no scientific evidence for this type of shift ever happening and no reasonable evidence that it ever could. The Therian community agrees that physical shifting is impossible, and it is usually taboo to bring up a discussion about this subject.

Remember to critically reflect on your experiences when considering whether you are Therian and/or Otherkin. Question yourself thoroughly and be honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself if your experiences are genuine. It is okay to explore ideas surrounding Therianthropy and to conclude that one is not Therian. 

Therian Nation would like to say thank you to all of the members of the community who made suggestions and helped us gather information. Links to public sources used for this video have been provided in the description below. The next video will go more in depth about Psychological Therianthropy. If you have any questions, you are welcome to leave us a comment or send us a message. Therian Nation will answer to the best of our knowledge and ability. Subscribe to Therian Nation to learn and stay informed about Therianthropy and the Therian community. Thank you.

Timestamps
Mental Shift: 2:38 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=2m38s 
Phantom Shift: 3:20 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=3m20s 
Sensory Shift: 4:50 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=4m50s                
Emotional Shift: 5:45 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=5m45s 
Cameo Shift: 6:03 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=6m3s 
Dream Shift: 6:28 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=6m28s 
Astral Shift: 7:12 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=7m12s 
Aura Shift: 7:26 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=7m26s 
Spiritual Shift: 7:32 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=7m32s 
Bilocation Shift: 7:44 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=7m44s 
Physcial Shift: 8:44 https://youtu.be/MCdcbynf5dQ?t=8m44s 

Therian Nation Full Disclaimer:  https://youtu.be/xM91N_xw4CQ 

List of Public Sources 

“Your best mental transformation”, AHWW, December 1, 1993: https://groups.google.com/d/topic/alt.horror.werewolves/sfJ0k722SKA/discussion

“Believe It or Not?” written by Meirya, December 2007, Project Shift: http://project-shift.net/believe-it-or-not/ 

“Types of Shifts” written by Sonne, Project Shift: http://project-shift.net/types-of-shifts/  

“It’s Okay Not to be a Therianthrope” by Bewylderbeast: http://project-shift.net/its-okay-not-to-be-a-therianthrope/ 

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

O. Scribner, Otherkin lexicon: A multi-lingual dictionary of jargon used in the communities of otherkin, therianthropes, and other similar peoples, v. 0.1 Abridged, last modified Sept. 8, 2012 in The Art and Writing of O. Scribner ( http://orion.kitsunet.net/nonfic.html ) 

Shifters.org Encyclopedia (2006 web archive): http://web.archive.org/web/20060901112859/http://www.therianthropy.org/SO/encyclopedia.htm 

Shifters.org (2001 web archive): http://web.archive.org/web/20010709235122/http://www.shifters.org/shifting/types.shtml 

The Wolf Within (web archive): http://web.archive.org/web/20010413214231/http://fly.to/twi 

Shifting Types, Therian Wiki - http://therian.wikia.com/wiki/Therianthropic_Shifting_types 

Phantom Limbs 
Choi, Charles Q. Even Non-Amputee Can Feel A Phantom Limb, Live Science, April 12 2013,  http://www.livescience.com/28694-non-amputees-feel-phantom-limb.html (accessed June 25 2016) 

“Phantom Extra Limbs” Mind Hacks, May 14, 2008, https://mindhacks.com/2008/05/14/phantom-extra-limbs/ 

Seung Don Yoo, Dong Hwan Kim, Yong Seol Jeong, Jinmann Chon, Jihea Bark, “Atypical Supernumerary Phantom Limb and Phantom Limb Pain in Two Patients with Pontine Hemorrhage” J Korean Med Sci. 2011 June; 26. Published online 2011 May 18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3102884/ 

Astral Projection 
Benjamin Radford, “Astral Projection: Just a Mind Trip” March 18, 2013 http://www.livescience.com/27978-astral-projection.html 

Auras 
The Skeptics Dictionary - http://skepdic.com/auras.html 

Thumbnail Image Source: Photomanipulation 
“Dreaming in Milan”http://www.flickr.com/photos/132907608@N05/20440463738https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ 

“Horses in the Mist” 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/55856449@N04/27579404630https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ 

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

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/

ulfrvif: Stylized, Nordic wolf head. (Default)

Therian Nation

Updated November 23, 2016. More sources added for the term Contherianthropy.

“Therianthropy Terms and Definitions” is now available for viewing on the Therian Nation Youtube Channel.
https://youtu.be/N6Ym8XgT_0U

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

The following is the written script for the video.

Hello and welcome to Therian Nation. I’m your host, Shannon Jackson. In this video, we will define terms that are commonly used within the Therianthropy Community. Some older terms that are no longer used will also be included because of their historic importance to the community. The previous video was an introduction to Modern Therianthropy, and we recommend that you watch that video first, if you have not already done so.

Before we get into the terms, we first need to understand how and why these community specific words came about.

“As the community developed, there was a need for a common language, especially since it was developing on such a language intensive media like the Internet. It became important for individuals to make themselves understood by other people. Personal languages morphed according to peer influences to form a relatively consensual vocabulary that could be understood by the rest of the community.

Finally, as the need to interact with the larger human community arose - commentaries were appearing on mass media, misidentification with other groups were developing - the common language had to accommodate the larger society.” - Therian Timeline

For Therians who have just discovered their identity and are new to the community, it’s best not to concern yourself too much with labels. It’s okay that you don’t have any clear answers right now. You’re not expected to. Be honest with yourself, and honest with other members of the community when you are questioned. Focus on your feelings and experiences. Being mindful of those will help along the path of self-discovery. Don’t force yourself to fit into a label. Knowing for sure if you are Therian and finding a theriotype can take months or years. Every individual is different.

Now, let’s get into the terms and their definitions.

Therianthrope/Therian: the current term for a person who has a strong internal self-identification as a being of a non-human species. Around 2005, Therian became the commonly used short form of Therianthrope, replacing the old term Were. The term “therianthropy” was first mentioned in AHWW on December, 13, 1994.

Alt.horror.werewolves (AHWW): a Usenet group created on November 16, 1992. It was created for the discussion of horror movies and books containing werewolves. A year later, in 1993, members began to discuss how they spiritually identified as animals and felt more instinctual. AHWW was the origin of the online Therian community.

Were: an old community term that is short for werewolf or any were-creature. A person who says “I am a Were.” means that he or she is an animal in human form. Used by the members of alt.horror.werewolves (AHWW) beginning in 1993 and up until the term Therian became more popular around 2005.

Phenotype: an old community term which referred to the species that is a Therian’s identity. First used on November 28, 1993 on alt.horrow.werewolves. This term is still in use by some therians online, but the term was eventually changed to get away from the misnomer of a phenotype being a biological term about the physically observable expression of a genetic trait. The continued usage of the term phenotype for a theriotype is not forbidden but it is unpreferred.

Wereside: another old community term used as a distinction from the “humanside” with the “wereside” being the part of a person that resembles a nonhuman animal. Wereside began to replace Phenotype in 1995. Wereside is still used by some older members of the community, but its use is also unpreferred.

Theriotype/Therioside: now the most common words for the animal which is an individual’s identity. Some believe that a theriotype develops as part of their mentality much in the same way that their personality develops. An example is “I have a goat theriotype.” Though many argue that one should just say, “I am a goat.” The term came into use in 1999.

Werecard: a short questionnaire that allows individuals to share information about themselves with the larger community. First used in 1994 on AHWW.

Howl: a real life gathering or meeting of Weres/Therians, usually to go camping. The term was originally used on AHWW and the first “Howl”, the 1994 Harvest Howl, was organized by Smash Greywolf in Ohio, USA.

Greymuzzle: an older member of the community who may be seen as wiser and more experienced. First used on AHWW, they were the ‘backbones’ of the community who had been in the group the longest.

Otherkin: first coined in 1990 in the Elfinkind Digest mailing list. A variant of the word “otherkind,” it referred to any creature that was not Elven. Between the late 1990’s and early 2000’s it became a blanket term signifying any person who identified strongly with a nonhuman existence - often including Vampires, Therians, and other people with animal self-images.

Awakening: the process of realizing and accepting that you are a Therian and then discovering your theriotype. Not every Therian has experienced an awakening, so this is not necessary to identify as Therian.

Shift: a change of state when a therianthrope becomes more like their theriotype in a non-physical manner. Shifting can occur with varying strength and frequency and be both a positive or negative experience. Shifting can be voluntary or involuntary. “…shifted” is the state of mind that I’m in when I feel closest to my animal spirit. It’s a feeling of heightened awareness, a sense of prowess and well-being.“

There are many different types of shifts, and we will cover those in the next video.

The following words refer to types or states of Therianthropy.

Polytherian: Therians who identify with more than one animal. Polytherian replaced the old term Polywere which had first been use in 1996.

Cladotherianthropy/Cladotherian: a person who does not identify as a distinct species, but instead feels a broader identity encompassing an entire genus or family, such as Canis or Canidae. Cladotherianthropy was coined in 2003 by Mokele, a reptile cladotherian, on the therian forum called Wereness Forums.

The following terms are used to describe integration of the humanside and animalside of one’s personality and how that relates to the frequency of shifting.

Vacillant Therianthropy/Vacillant Therian: when shifts occur more smoothly, as if on a sliding scale. Refers to a Therian whose animalside and humanside are integrated such that one or the other may still come to the front of the mind noticeably stronger than the other, as needed or as desired. Shifts seem to happen gradually and tend to follow a more consistent pattern. Though unexpected stimuli may trigger sharper or more sudden shifts. Vacillant Therianthropy was a community coined term in 2004 or 2005.

"People at this stage of integration seem to talk less and less about their therioside feeling separate and more about how it and the humanside have mixed, or about how they have one unified internal image of themselves that may vary with shifting and with time. This is a generalization though.” - Therian Timeline

Suntherianthropy/Suntherian (syntherianthropy/syntherian): A lot of debate was centered around the creation of this word on April 18th, 2005 by WordWolf. It was not a community coined term. Instead WordWolf created the term to describe his own personal experiences.

WordWolf defined a suntherian as “a therian whose therioside (primary or sole therioside) is integrated into his baseline personality. However, that integration does not prevent him/her from having minor fluctuations of mood that feel slightly more animal, or slightly less animal. He/she can feel them both at the same time, human and animal. He/she can not mental shift into his/her base theriotype (whether primary or sole).”

Contherianthropy/Contherian: a person who has fully integrated human and animal mental states. No shifts of any kind are experienced because the human and animal mindsets are consistent, usually half animal, half human at all times.

“This term was defined initially by Lion Templin in 1997 with his essays on the subject, and the word derived from the Latin “constans” meaning unchanging/constant. It came about in controversy at the time from people in the community claiming that it was mandatory for therians to shift, but Lion Templin’s term of contherianthropy brought about a concept that was new and is now widely accepted in the therian community.” - Project Shift

Many people think that contherians cannot feel their animal side, but that is incorrect because contherians do have animalistic experiences. They just do not shift into their animal because they are always in a state where they are one with the animal.

Some members of the community consider Vacillant Therianthropy and Sun-/Syntherianthropy to be interchangeable. Others think that the terms have slightly different meanings. The use of the terms Vacillant Therian, Sun-/Syntherian, and Contherian were also debated in the community because some members felt that there was no need to break down Therianthropy into types. They thought this would divide the community. Others thought it was important to have labels to help educate newly awakened Therians, and the public so that they could get a broader understanding of our experiences. These terms also make it easier for Therians to find others who have similar experiences. Having these terms well defined could also be important for future research into the formation of the Therian identity.

Now, whenever a new term is coined, usually by an individual and not by a need in the larger community as a whole, discussion and debate still arises. Most Therians now feel that we have now adequately defined all of the experiences that need to be defined. Any more terms will likely cause confusion. Also, it would be difficult to create new terminology every time someone experienced something slightly different. The constant generation of new terms found on Tumblr and social media is troublesome for the more private community forums. A vocal minority of less experienced individuals is having a negative impact on the community.

Interestingly, it has been observed that these terms are mainly applied online, and rarely used in real life.

“Most weres out there have integrated who they are into regular life and don’t bother with semantics. They just live like normal people.” - Swiftpaw, Jaguar Therian (from public internet archive, see source below)

“It doesn’t seem like there’s any emphasis on labels in the offline community. We don’t seem to use much jargon at all when we get together in real life.” - Wolf Van Zandt (theriotype, age, location, and occupation will appear in the video with permission)

“Yep the jargon just doesn’t seem to matter at offline gatherings.” - Ashen ( theriotype, age, location, and occupation will appear in the video with permission)

Links to public sources used to gather information for this video have been provided in the description below. The next video will cover shifts that Therians experience in more detail. If you have any questions, you are welcome to leave us a comment or send us a message. Therian Nation will answer to the best of our knowledge and ability. Subscribe to Therian Nation to learn and stay informed about Therianthropy and the Therian community. Thank you for watching.

Thumbnail Image Source: Rexano http://www.rexano.org/NEWS_ARCHIVE.htm

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

Therian Nation Full Disclaimer - https://youtu.be/xM91N_xw4CQ

List of Public Sources for this video

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

Project Shift - Terms and Definitions - http://project-shift.net/terms-definitions/

O. Scribner, “Otherkin lexicon: A multi-lingual dictionary of jargon used in the communities of otherkin, therianthropes, and other similar peoples, v. 0.1 Abridged,” last modified Sept. 8, 2012 in The Art and Writing of O. Scribner, Page 24 - http://orion.kitsunet.net/nonfic.html

O. Scribner,  “Otherkin timeline: The recent history of elfin, fae, and animal people, v. 2.0.” The Art and Writing of O. Scribner. 8 September, 2012. [ Otherkin Page 5 and 26 ] [History of online Therian Community starts on Page 28] [ Therianthropy/therianthrope term Page 30-32] [Contherianthropy term Page 43] [Suntherian term page 75] - http://orion.kitsunet.net/nonfic.html

Lion Templin’s archive of animal spirituality essays (web archive) - http://web.archive.org/web/20051211222158/http://www.leonine.com/~lion/cthwww/

House of Chimeras, Informative Articles, Between Forest and Sea - http://houseofchimeras.weebly.com/informative-articles.html

Alt.horror.werewolves FAQ by KatmanDu - http://www.faqs.org/faqs/werewolves/core-faq/

Draft Copy - AHWW FAQ ( Original post by KatmanDu) - https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/alt.horror.werewolves/YAgxK26bbUE

Another version of the AHWW FAQ - http://www.firelion.org/raven/ahwwfaq/index.html

Phenotype - November 28 1993 - https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/alt.horror.werewolves/Gi-b9ACNAVU

Wereside - February, 9, 1995 - https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/alt.horror.werewolves/ymoR_lc96UA

Polywere - June 1996 - https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!searchin/alt.horror.werewolves/polywere|sort:date/alt.horror.werewolves/i8t_dIsvFac/epuGUdssnocJ

Therianthropy - December, 13, 1994 - https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!searchin/alt.horror.werewolves/therianthropy|sort:date/alt.horror.werewolves/-Bl7zmVezJs/lCpsZ-AAUToJ

Werecard - September 5 1994 - https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/alt.horror.werewolves/T0aZwgNsFek

Cladotherianthropy, Mokele, About Page of Personal Website, The Jungle, February 14, 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20040214041246/http://www.therianthropy.org/mokele/about.htm

Velvet Wings, “Contherianthropy and Vacillant Therianthropy”, January 6, 2016.http://felinity.co.uk/therianthropy/contherianthropy-vs-vacillant-therianthropy/

Joshua Lion Templin, “A short view on modern contherianthropy,” Lion Templin’s Archive of Animal Spirituality Essays, 19 Jan 1997,http://web.archive.org/web/20051211222158/http://www.leonine.com/~lion/cthwww/

Liesk, “A Clear Look at Contherianthropy”, January 1, 2007.http://web.archive.org/web/20070401103850/http://liesk.feralscribes.org/essay2.php

Akhila, “The Contherian FAQ”, April 2005. http://akhila.feralscribes.org/2005/the-contherian-faq/

Rantings and Ravings by Jakkal, “Contherianthropy, Suntherianthropy, BStherianthropy, Apatherianthropy… ” 14 March 2006 - http://bitchcraft.livejournal.com/1968.html

“Why our language shouldn’t be so hung up in slang” by Swiftpaw - (web archive) - http://web.archive.org/web/20040324003900/http://www.otherwonders.com/swiftpaws/therian/old/myterms.html

Shifters.org Encyclopedia (web archive) - http://web.archive.org/web/20060901112859/http://www.therianthropy.org/SO/encyclopedia.htm

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/

ulfrvif: Stylized, Nordic wolf head. (Default)

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.

(Following quote displayed on screen )

“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

(Following quote displayed on screen)

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.

(following quote displayed on screen)

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

(following quote displayed on screen)

“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.

(Display text on screen)

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/
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