Therianthropy and the Art of Shapeshifting

by | Aug 13, 2022 | Wytch Blog | 0 comments

Therianthropy and the Art of Shapeshifting

Therianthropy is a belief and/or an experience that parts of, or even the whole of, oneself is non-human. If it is seen in western medicine, it is automatically deemed a psychiatric issue.

However, there are many ‘therians’ who function perfectly well. They interpret their experiences in many different ways–some spiritual, some biological, and some psychological. Their identity and experience can arise for lots of different reasons. These experiences can also be driven intentionally by magickal practices.

The term “therianthropy” comes from the Greek theríon [θηρίον], which means “wild animal” or “beast”, and anthrōpos [ἄνθρωπος], which means “human being”. The word has been used to describe shapeshifting or ‘transforming into an animal’ for thousands of years and there are examples of it in ancient mythology and folklore throughout the world.

There are many theories about shapeshifting.

Some scientists believe that there’s a neurological basis for it within the mammalian brain that sits at the top of the spine. Because we share this core part of the brain with other species, some believe that this part of the brain conceals primal powers that we can tap into. Which is quite exciting to think about.

In one of my shapeshifting experiences I was a wolf. It was amazing in itself, but the next day I had a massively heightened sense of smell! It became my most powerful sense for a few days. I could smell what the neighbours were eating for breakfast, and I knew when someone was anxious. I actually detected that someone had a bacterial infection! I could smell when someone was angry. I could smell the shape of a room, I could ‘see’ where scents were coming from.

It was amazing!

Another theory (the mysticism viewpoint) is that when we are in deeper or more expanded states of consciousness we can tap into the collective consciousness where we have access to all experiences from all times and from any kind of being.

Or it could be just our imagination.

Whichever it is, when you imagine that you’re an animal (or a plant or a stone), you can begin to experience your life from a different perspective. Seeing the world through the eyes of a sparrow, or even through the experience of a pebble, will expand your experiences and build new neurological pathways, which gives you more opportunities of experience and therefore more expansion in your being and your life.

Shapeshifting allows you to:

  • Travel to places you might not otherwise be able to go.
  • Gain a better understanding of the animal you shift into.
  • Gain a new perspective on a problem.
  • Temporarily adopt or build up over time certain qualities associated with a particular animal.

What do you think about shapeshifting?
Have you done it? If not, would you like to try it?

Let me know!

With love and apples,

Lilith x