THERIANTHROPY, SHIFTING IN ALL ITS FORMS
SHIFT: The act of a therian switching back and forth between their animal and human self.
Shifting for a therian can occur several ways and take several forms.
Do not consider any or all of these shifts to be the definition of 'real therians'. Many therians do not shift at all, and may stay in one or more of them permanently, particularly the mental and phantom shifts.
The ability to shift does not make you any more or less of a therian than one who can not.
This involves going into the mental mind-set of your
animal. There are varying degrees of this shift, from full - resulting in
memory loss for the amount of time elapsed, to partial - where you are still
aware of yourself during the shift. Some therians remain in this state permanently.
This shift, in uncontrolled states can be brought on by strong emotions such as anger or passion, or a particular place relating to your phenotype such as a woodland area or mountainside.
In an attempt to induce this shift on purpose, 'acting' as your animal or being close to someone or something that tends to bring it out in you may be a good approach. Some therians prefer quiet places, others have certain musics or even herbal essences to relax the body so that the mind can be exercised.
This involves 'being' your animal during a dream, or
shifting into it.
Most therian dream shifts tend to be more 'being' the full animal rather than an anthro form and doing a natural tendency such as loping through a forest or hunting etc.
Dream shifts are difficult to control, if you cannot control your dreams to start with, and can be brought on as before: by a mental shift earlier before sleeping or perhaps stress levels beforehand.
This involves the feeling of animal appendages, such
as ears, paws or a tail.
Sometimes to the extent of attempting to move a limb that does not exist, such as swiping with a tail or turning ears to a startling sound.
As with the previous shifts, this one is mostly a randomized shift, due to high emotions or other random factors, but it can be deliberately induced with enough focus and energy.
This is an out of the body experience in shifting.
Similar to 'planes walking' but it is not necessary to leave this plane to
accomplish the shift. The astral body takes on the form of your phenotype.
Unlike the other shifts, this one can be either anthro or full animal depending
on the shifter's choice of form. When you leave your body, the mind remains,
and the form can fit the mind.
Therefore it is also possible to take on a form that is not your own. IE an animal that is not a part of you. (Therefore using an astral shift, or any shift for that matter, as a guide to your 'were animal' is rarely a reliable source.)
To prepare to induce an astral shift, meditation exercises are often used, personalized by the individual to what makes you comfortable. Meditation in this instance usually involves blanking the mind to a point of 'silence' and attempting to keep it focused that way, with only the needed visualizations. The less distractions, the easier it is for the mind to relax and invite a differing mental state.
This is a widely debated form of 'shifting'. Mostly
due to the fact that it can be extremely closely related to simple imagination
or 'wishful' thinking than anything else. On the whole however, this shifting
term is pretty much a pointless excuse to 'specialize' something that's really
The 'cameo' shift is explained as shifting into an animal that is not your type. Many people who support the term argue that it isn't a simple imagination drive or wishful thinking, it feels like any other shift - in that it is far more in depth than a simple daydream. (Although daydreams, being counted as dreams, would be counted under 'dream shifting' and should not be discredited any more than any other dream shift.)
As described by this term, it would stand to include: any dream one has of being any other animal, any time in one's life that they 'felt' or 'acted' like any other animal before they discovered who they really are, any shift they may have brought on by being close to an animal they are not. Yes it does happen more frequently than people would like to admit, but they will most often try and counter it by calling 'cameo-shifting' something 'deeper'. It really isn't. while the other shifting terms are mere descriptions of the shift, cameo-shifting has little usefulness and should probably be grouped in with the other overloaded therianthropy terms discussed in the main section. (In other words when discussing you would say "I shifted 'mentally' into a cat the other night" and not "I shifted 'cameo-ly' into a cat the other night." Rather you would say, in the case of a cameo-shift "I shifted into a cat the other night, though it isn't my animal." or similar.)
This is a very controversial type of shift in the therian
communities. The definition of a P-shift is physically changing one's body
form to something else. The fabled movie shift, as it were. The reality of
this would be somewhat different. The finished form would not realistically
be an anthro, (though you would pass through that state to reach it) but it
would be a full animal form.
This goes by the theory that a physical shift would work with an 'evolution' concept, and by that there is no logical or necessary use or improvement for the shifted body to remain 'anthro'.
Many therians disbelieve this shift type entirely, yet many others hold faith that it could be possible given time, patience, and a hell of a lot of practise and information. Not to mention energy.
So far, many have included the smaller aspects in this shift, such as nail and hair accelerated growth, and eye color changes. Partial shifts may involve ears becoming pointed, elongating of fangs and lower canines, elongation of the jaw structure and an obvious change to the basic joints of ankle, shoulder etc. To count as any of these, the changes must be noticeable to an outside viewer. Simply having the feel of a pointed ear is more a phantom shift than anything else.
Other therians discount partial shifts as being individual talent. That a full physical shift is only defined as changing the human form into something 'not human'. Such as growing an animal ear, claws instead of finger nails, and the obvious joint change as mentioned above.
The only preparation for this shift, is as the others, a lot of meditation and concentration and a good dose of faith.
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