(Dictionary term) 1.The observable physical or biochemical characteristics
of an organism, as determined by both genetic makeup and environmental influences.
2.The expression of a specific trait, such as stature or blood type, based
on genetic and environmental influences.
PHENOTYPE: (Therianthropy term) The animal species of a therian.
The word 'phenotype' refers to the species of animal or animals that a therian has. In other words: their 'wereside'. While not technically a correct term, it is the most widely used, and many therians are more familiar with it. However, a much simpler way of introducing or explaining yourself would be to simply use "What animal are you?" or similar question. This eliminates the 'made up' definition of a word which truly means something very different, and gets away from the whole pointless endeavor of 'Creating new terms to fit', which does nothing but confuse and obscure the truth and facts of the concept.
The type of animal or species is not limited to wolves, despite the popular belief lead on by the term 'were' or 'werewolf'. Having a wolf wereside does not make you any more or less therian than having a more obscure type such as a reptile or insect. It should be noted that you DO NOT choose your wereside. You just are who you are. Most therians use the process of soul searching to discover their inner self or phenotype/wereside. You can find information on that process in the relevant section of this site.
There are basically two main groups of were'types':
Mythicals and Naturals.
These terms are in no way referring to the 'tr00 were' issue, nor what makes one any more 'real' than the next. Merely one method to simplify, rather than complicate and confuse those of you who may be new to the idea.
Mythicals include those types such as griffons, phoenix,
hypogriffs, unicorns, and any form of winged natural, (such as a wolf).
There is some debate as to wether these mythical types are considered therians at all, or wether they each class as a separate spiritual concept. Several 'mythical' types may be found under their own section of spirituality. Those types are not connected in any way to therianthropy, but are separate unto themselves.
Naturals include all those 'natural' animals such as bears, wild cats (tigers, lions, leopards etc), canids (dogs, wolves, jackals, coyotes etc), reptiles, avians and to a more obscure extent dinosaurs.
Basically in essence any creature could be considered a wereside, there is no 'standard' for making a real therian in this respect. IE: one who has an insect phenotype is just as real as one who has a more common type such as a wolf. It is not the type that dictates realism, it is the soul searching and spiritual matters themselves. In other words, if the individual is a moron who leaps into fantasy as reality without a thought, no extent of explanation to said individual is going to change that, no matter if their animal is a generic wolf. If the individual is intelligent and rational, there is no reason why they should not be given the chance to explain (if they so desire to do so) their choice of defining their inner self as a griffon, for example. It should also be noted that therianthropy as a concept is NOT defined by your explanation to another therian or other human being. In other words, you have every right as an individual to refuse to discuss your spirituality to other people, and refuse to answer questions if you should chose to do so. HOWEVER, also note that you are responsible for your own words and actions, and if you chose to make a claim you must respect and except others to comment on your words. Therefore the intelligent thing would be: If you do not feel comfortable discussing your private spirituality with another, do not bring it up to begin with. If, on the other hand, you wish to share conversation about certain aspects of your spirituality, you have every right to do so and refuse to delve deeper than you are comfortable with. If the place you converse at does not respect this, find somewhere else. There are many places and ways for you to contact other animal spiritualists and find out which areas are more comfortable in allowing you your right to privacy and opinion, and which are not. Do not be swayed by 'popularity' or 'popular people/groups'. Use your own mind.
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