Therianthropy, An Overview
THERIANTHROPY: One's spiritual belief that they are connected to/possess the soul/spirit/aspect of an animal(s).
ANIMAL SPIRITUALIST: Anyone with a spirituality including or centered around an animal(s).
WEREISM: Another term for Therianthropy.
ANTHRO or ANTHROMORPHIC: Animal displaying human traites, such as standing upright, speaking, wearing clothing, possessing an oposable thumb. Examples include 'werecreature' pictures depicting a balance between human and beast in one form.
LYCANTHROPY: The mental disorder of believing oneself to be a wolf in body.
The term wereism comes from the commonly known 'Werewolf' or as is more perferred: 'WereCreature' meaning man-beast. A lot of confusion comes from this term because of it's high use in liturature and films portraying the werecreature as an anthro, tall, muscled, (usualy) wolf creature that terrorises humanity and eats their flesh. This is not so for real wereism by any stretch.
Many animal spiritualists prefer the term Therianthropy for this reason, as it tends to imply more of the true nature of the connection they posess. The spiritual or non pyhsical aspect. It's core definition is Beast (Gr. Therios) Human (Gr Anthropos). Therianthropy is a state of being, in which someone believes an animal is an essential part of their core self. Therianthropy is an innate part of the person. Therianthropy is the recognition and acceptance of the animal within. It makes us what we are, but more importantly who we are. It is a part of our innermost being, not an overnight fad, or something we do because it's "Trendy". It's not easily discovered for most therianthropes, and it's certainly not an excuse to exclude yourself from humanity.
Therianthropy has also been referred to as 'Lycanthropy', much to the annoyance of many serious therians. Typically Lycanthropy is used to describe those suffering from the mental condition of believing they are a wolf in body. For that reason the term is seldom used by those who consider their therianthropy to be deep and meaningful, and much more than a simple game or phase in life.
Therianthropy is not defined as simply having animal
traits, such as heightened smell or the ability to see in the dark. Nor is
it the act of 'being an animal' such as growling/snarling at people when angered,
or running on all fours. The basic definitions of therianthropy have to do
very much with consistence. Non-therians may also practise the above mentioned
acts, and may also have talents such as eye changing color, or the ability
to produce a very real sounding howl to the moon.
The only consistent in each person on this earth, is their inner self. What makes you, 'you'. We label this part of ourselves, the Soul. Therianthropes have an animal(s) as well as their human within themselves. This is the basic consistent within each therian.
Any special talents or traits a therian may possess is very much a personal thing, unique to themselves and NOT attributed to therianthropy as a concept.
Therianthropy is a very much personalized belief when it comes to the finer details. The age old quote in the therian communities: "Ask ten therians what being a therian is and get twelve different answers." However, the simple and easy to understand plain definition still stands as a constant: The personal and integral connection a human being has to an animal(s). It should be noted that the 'connection' refers to a deeper meaning than simple fancy or "I seem to get along better with cats than people" deal. Thus, though the finer details are up to you, the reader, to discover (and well they should be since it's pretty much defining your own soul and how you work inside spiritually as well as physically) the core and basic definition you should know at the onset still remains the exact same for each and every therian alive. You should ask yourself wether the 'connection' you think you have, or feel is really something deeper than a simple fad or 'favorite animal', and go from there. Wasting time with the intricate details or pointless and confusing terms will do nothing but obscure the truth and confuse the hell out of you, the newbie (or even if you're someone 'revisiting' the concept). Leave the details until you understand the foundation.
Therians are not evil, satanic, or at war in general with any other creature (be they human, animal spiritualists, vampiric or anything else). Ideas such as these spawn from popular RPG games such as WhiteWolf or Werewolf: the Apocalypse. Therians were not put on earth to protect, nor were they put here to destroy. The very reason why any of us are here is an age old question without an answer. Just as it is for any other human being on this earth, be they therian or not.
The personal beliefs and religion of any given therian is as personal and individual as any other person's. If you look hard enough you'll probably find a therian that is part of just about any belief system you can name. Being 'Good' or 'Evil' has nothing whatsoever to do with being a therian or not, it's an individual choice that each person makes on their own. It varies from person to person.
The only thing anyone can do for you is give you advice to search for yourself and tell you of their personal experiences. Only you, personally, can find out who and what you are. NO ONE ELSE can do that. I'm sure there are people somewhere that have the ability to "find your wereside," But typically these people know better, and tell you the exact same thing I'm telling you now. If finding out who you are is important, you will take the time and effort yourself to find it on your own.
You make your own path to discovery. Any 'Shortcuts' you may find will lead you to despair, or force you to back track. Patience is a key that opens many doors. Keep this in mind, and you're on your way to self discovery.
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