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Werewolves, Lycanthropes, Shape-Shifters…. Therianthropy? Oh my!

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posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 06:40 PM
Nice job maxmars, I just have a few quick comments:

1) as far as teenwolf goes, who cares about MTV anymore honestly - isn't MTV supposed to stand for MUSIC TV? but hey, whatever - the teenwolf movies from back in the 80's starring non other than Michael J. Fox, were awesome
(Go watch the movies)

2) I don't know a whole lot about it, but like a few others have said here, Native Americans have been big into this kinda stuff for a long time - most people are well aware of their pow wow's where they dress up as different animals (usually birds and buffalo) and dance around a fire, but I'm willing to bet there is a connection here.

3) Personally, I've always liked werewolves more than vampires, and I don't really know why - there used to be this movie called Monster Squad or something back in 80's as well that was really cool when I was a kid, but no matter how many times I try to find it, I never have any luck. I'm sure plenty of people here have seen the Van Helsing movie where he actually turns into a Werewolf (supposedly via the angel Gabriel) and defeats Dracula.
Ever since that movie came out there's been several others w/ vampires vs werewolves.. i.e., all the Twilights (blah), all the Underworld movies, Wolfman, Daybreakers, all the Blade movies, Queen of the Damned, etc etc etc... is this just stuff that is normal for kids to think is cool, or is there something more to it all?

4) It's strange to me, in a way, how this thread suddenly shows up now, only because just the other night I was thinking about "shapeshifters" and possibly starting up a thread of my own - but I was thinking about it more on a scientific level, such as how any shapeshifter could possibly exist - for us to ever be able to figure out how to do it and explain the process through scientific means would envolve several different areas such as Quantum Physics (what exactly is a "soul" anyway), Teleportation (how would we be able to swap bodies but remain ourselves), and obviously a lot of Biology. To me while thinking about it, it could also be a means of being "immortal", but rather than a vampire being required to drink blood of others to stay alive, a Lycanthrope could simply heal themselves / regenerate via means of shapeshifting new parts... pretty interesting stuff to say the least!

EDIT: Apparently there are also connections to Mermaids from Russian legends - would anyone from Russia be willing to comment more on this at all? I've never heard of it before until just now while thinking to myself and playing on the internet...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses of the word, see Rusalka (disambiguation).
Rusalka Iwan Nikolajewitsch Kramskoj 002.jpg
Ivan Kramskoi, The Mermaids, 1871.
Country Russia
Habitat Caves
Witold Pruszkowski "Rusałki" 1877

In Slavic mythology, a rusalka (plural: rusalki or rusalky) was a female ghost, water nymph, succubus or mermaid-like demon that dwelled in a waterway.

According to most traditions, the rusalki were fish-women, who lived at the bottom of rivers. In the middle of the night, they would walk out to the bank and dance in meadows. If they saw handsome men, they would fascinate them with songs and dancing, mesmerize them, then lead the man away to the river floor to his death.

The stories about rusalki have parallels with those of Hylas and the Nymphs, the Germanic Nix, the Irish Banshee, the Scottish Bean Nighe and the Romanian Iele. See Slavic fairies for similar creatures.
edit on 6-6-2011 by Time2Think because: added more info.

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 06:41 PM
Primitive human fantasies about being strong and fast as wolves.


Nowadays we all want to be superman, and superwoman.
edit on 6/6/2011 by die_another_day because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 07:07 PM
Furry thread? (joking)

Had a friend who said he saw a werewolf in Nova Scotia - I went out to look at the area but didn't find anything (and didn't stay at night to look

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 08:00 PM
I like to tell my husband not to go out at night without me or the evil mermaids will get him...

but really id never heard of that before from russia, very interesting. im one to believe we dont know everything in this world, or that comes into this world. look at humanity still discovering species all the time.

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 08:00 PM
I came into this topic expecting a nice little lesson on werewolf lore and other shape shifting stuff. I got that so that is a star for you!


I noticed when i entered the topic a brief advertisement for "Teen Wolf." And upon reaching the end of the topic I saw that you ended with a comment and trailer about "teen wolf." That made me view this topic as an advertisement which in turn kind of ruined the whole experience for me.

This was a great topic but it seems like the whole reason it was written was because of "teen wolf."

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 08:04 PM
reply to post by Midyew

eh whatever, either way there's nothing wrong with helping ATS make a few bucks here and there. I'm happy to click on a few ads for them.

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 08:53 PM
i often complain about all the stupid vampire/indigo/werewolf threads on ATS.

Maxmars has changed that. This is a well written thread.

Me Likey!!!

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 09:22 PM
reply to post by Maxmars

Interesting topic.

Max and anyone else who cares to answer, I have a question I would like to propose because I have become curious.

Do you think there may be some sort of connection between the werewolve phenomena and the so called 'dog-headed men' phenomena?

Both seems to share some aspects such as canine heads and bodies 'similar' to man.

However there seems to be some types of difference between the character of the types of stories. The
'dog-headed men' seem to be far more peaceful and reasonable compared to the berserker werewolve disposition.

It is actually rather confusing trying to separate or connect the two set of accounts. I do think there is some sort of connection but I am not quite sure exactly how that would work.

Any ideas?

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 09:51 PM
reply to post by Time2Think

'Wolf Man Has Nads!'
Loved that movie!

But I digress...

The great thing about this world is, there is always something amazing to learn, no matter how much you already 'know'.

Perhaps there are many other places, phases, dimensions, if you will, that our eyes are just not always able to see...

It's possible that given the right set of circumstances, these other worlds become slightly more visible, allowing us to see what we usually cannot.

Or, like the legendary Sasquatch, Werewolves know better than to tangle with Homo Sapiens.

We are a vile, base, destructive bunch generally speaking.

It's like Tommy Lee Jones says in MIB, 'A person is smart, but people are dumb, panicky animals.'

Perhaps we are just not sophisticated enough for Wolfman...

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 10:02 PM
a very good book on the subject of shapeshifters is called "DEERDANCER" which is a collection of folktales from around the world concerning any manner of shapeshifter (snakeshifter, bearshifter, etc).

fascinating stuff because it seems evident that most cultures had the shapeshifter archetype in their mythos.

great thread... one of my personal favorite topics.

posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 10:50 PM
I was wondering... Isn't it the Dogons who say they were visited by dolphins from space, actually Sirius, with humanoids looking like dogs to serve them?

I couldn't find anything substantive about it, but I found the following picture, a cave painting, in the circumcision chamber.

Look at the character in the middle... A man like face, with woods, like the "Sorcerer" at the beginning of the OP...

Seeing it related to circumcision, could the male's parts be the "beast in the man"?...

( It doesn't mean that bigfoot, werewolves and the likes are Dicks, though... )
edit on 6-6-2011 by NowanKenubi because: to add that last line... I wonder if it will stay?...

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 02:53 AM

Originally posted by nh_ee

The witness who voluntarily took and passed a polygraph test claimed to have seen 3 of these creatures in broad daylight which somewhat conflicts with the typical shapeshifter myth/lore.

The fact that she was proven to been honest in her accounts of witnessing 3 of these creatures indicates that they weren't simply a spontaneous genre under the full moon but a living and social animal in that 3 were witnessed drinking water from a stream as any other mammal would ?

The hunting guide witnessed one of these creatures jump a 12 foot ditch on it's hind legs ?
That is no bear or a human in a suit....humans cannot jump that far....especially with a 50 lb suit on.

This is apparently beyond historic werewolf mythology.

These witnesses are seeing something. Something at we cannot explain.

Apparently the Govt. captured one in 1992 but tagged it and sent it up to the upper peninsula of Michigan.
That's another story on another day...

edit on 6-6-2011 by nh_ee because: typos

I'd love to hear that story.

Could you provide a link?

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 03:04 AM
I'm reminded of an even that happened to me a few years ago. When I was about 17 I broke my nose in a jetski accident and had reconstructive surgery. After the surgery I, apparently, went totally berserk. It took 4 nurses to hold me down, from what I'm told. The thing is I was totally unconscious, or at least totally amnesiac, during this period. It makes me think that there really are different layers, or levels, or spheres of consciousness. Perhaps my animal consciousness awoke before my ego, or human consciousness. Perhaps, as another poster said, the viking berserkers had methods of bringing this "animal consciousness" into dominance.

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 03:04 AM

edit on 7-6-2011 by renegadeloser because: double post

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 03:55 AM
This kind of thing, lycanthropy, is just found everywhere in the old religions of the world, the "spirit" religions. Wolves are probably more commonly the object of interest in Europe, but Africa has its leopard societies, lion societies, crocodile societies and serpent societies. There are animal totems of all sorts in North American aboriginal culture. The eagle is a particularly important totem to native Americans.

This is fascinating stuff. It has a profound connection to our nature as sentient beings. Human beings are very tricky and adaptable. "What a thing is man . . .". Monkey see, monkey do.

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 05:08 AM
115 flags for this are you guys kidding me? i just posted a thread about a bush insider speaking out about 9/11 and this is more important?

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 05:41 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

Interesting post. I have always found cryptozoology a fascinating subject. Just to briefly validate the concept as a whole, I would like to throw this out there. All it takes is to look out the window during a commercial airline flight over America (this is especially striking at night) to notice that in spite of urban sprawl, most of this country is not only uninhabited but downright desolate. It would be very narrow-minded to think that "modern science" has documented EVERY creature that exists in these areas. Even a large mamallian creature would certainly not be out of the question.

Just to add some perspective...I live in the heart of the American Southwest. I have been an avid outdoorsman for my whole life. I think we can all agree that the rattlesnake is a scientifically documented creature, it is common knowledege in households worldwide, and is said to be living in great abundance in this area as it is the ideal habitat for many species of rattlesnakes. Yet...I have never seen one. And I have looked, I mean really, REALLY LOOKED! Flipping over rocks and logs at the ideal times of year and times of day. I'm certain they exist. I'm certain they inhabit the locations I have searched. But, I cannot find an animal where it is known to exist whose populations are numerous. So, I do not believe it to be logical to assume that other unknown species do not exist. Especially since we know nothing of this hypothetical animal's biology, habitat, behavior, etc. Especially since it could be presumed that the population of these animals is far lower than the more common resident species.

As for the specific content of this thread, there is one point that has been brought up that I believe to be the heart of the matter. That is WHY. How could the same theme be adopted by seperate isolated cultures? I believe the fact that the wolf form is abandoned for other animals like jaguars and hyenas in areas devoid of wolves is important. The answer to the question, in my opinion, is fear. Straight up unadulterated, primal fear. Only in the last few generations has nature in the context of predatory animals and their very real threat to human life been removed from daily worry. In many parts of the world it still is a very real threat to the common person. This being said, the fear of getting eaten by a wolf runs deep in the human psyche. Combine this fear with feelings of disconnection from other humans, helplessness, isolation, lack of education, and other people telling you werewolves exist and live right outside your door and you have a perfect breeding ground for such beliefs.

I'm not saying they don't exist but I find it unlikely. As for the eyewitness testimony in the video clips, I find it compelling. But, eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Most of them were from young people "hanging out" and "just messing around" in secluded areas. You don't need very much insight to assume what they were doing there...the same thing my friends and I used to do in such places. Let's just say it usually involves bottles or bags or a combination of both. The guy with the deer carcass in the back of his truck? It is most possible that a wolf or even a dog could stand on its hind legs and lean on the truck trying to get at the deer. It was the middle of the night. Once good ole fear kicks in, one's perceptions change...especially when you're from Southern Wisconsin and grow up hearing stories about the Bray Road Wolf.

It could be real. I'm not saying all of the eyewitness testimony is not credible.

I think it would be cool if it was real. But in reality...not bloody likely.

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 08:35 AM

Originally posted by muzzleflash
reply to post by Maxmars


Do you think there may be some sort of connection between the werewolve phenomena and the so called 'dog-headed men' phenomena?

Both seems to share some aspects such as canine heads and bodies 'similar' to man. ....

If you ask me, there must be a connection of some kind.

The way I imagine the development of the concept it has various 'aspects' to it.

Ancient historical documents seem to verify that the idea of transformation was practiced. Most early accounts resolved to a purposeful decision to undergo a ritual or rite of passage; there were components and protocols to follow that would start the change. I often wonder if these were meant to convey the allegory of the voyage of exploration outside oneself as a human. In the beginning it would seem it was always a part of an adventure or magical undertaking that lead the sorcerer or his subject to transform.

Beyond this, we see it as a persistent tale of observed phenomenon, so in essence; stories passed down where people have told of 'man-like' creatures roaming the forests, jungles, mountains, ans seas. This aspect can be thought of as a story-telling element. But the imagination of man has led him to visualize the creature - who is like a man - but so much like a particular animal that they cannot be said to be a man. These tales are replete with violent overtones and often have some connection to combat and conflict - but not all.

Considering the 'second-hand' and anecdotal nature of the tales, we can see much room for liberal skepticism. After all, people in times of excitement are often the victims of their own fears and the heat of the moment. Facing people in battle who are convincingly garbed and behaving as animals would leave quite the impression on someone who wasn't expecting or knew little of their enemy's wiles. We know that brigands and bandits also capitalized on the fear and used such disguises to make their 'efforts' a bit easier. So the practice of 'dressing' up as part of an intimidation tactic is commonplace.

Early cultures seemed most inclined towards sympathetic magic and it would appear that we might desire to adopt the form of a creature we might associate with the divine. If we believed the man-like "were" animal to have some divine origin, or representative of a divine power, it stands to reason that shaman, medicine men (ya'ta'li), or other practicer of metaphysical science would pursue the ability.

These 'dog-headed' men - particularly renowned in Egypt, were reproduced nearly everywhere; but were never associated with the wanton berserker barbarism we see represented in the northern lands. As cultures mingle and the stories became available for scholars to compare, I have to assume they influenced each other.

On the other hand we have the 'first-person' accounts of those convinced that this was happening to them. The claims of absolute loss of control and even recollection was particular tot he 'victim' of the change. Frequently accused of horrible acts, these 'victims' were eager to associate their malady with something outside their control, like having consumed some substance, applied some ointment, or other accidental exposure to the lycanthropic condition.

At first blush, we might be inclined to think that malefactors, thieves, murderers, and the like would hope to diminish their personal responsibility for their actions by claiming themselves to be "afflicted." But as soon as the major monotheistic religions began their rise to common acceptance, that trend waned.

But we still have dog (or animal) headed people in our popular culture.... just watch cartoons, and anything meant to appeal to young children. Anthropomorphic characters are beloved everywhere and seems the 'benign' manifestation of our cultures' tendency to remember the were-people.

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 10:16 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

These 'dog-headed' men - particularly renowned in Egypt, were reproduced nearly everywhere; but were never associated with the wanton berserker barbarism we see represented in the northern lands.

Could it be there was a conflict between the Northern regions and the Southern ones? The dog-headed men would have been the heroes of the South while being seen as devilish monsters by the North, suffering from their attacks.

But since it seems to be a world wide phenomenon, could it be the North got divergent views about the dog-headed men's use and became somewhat politico-religious dissidents? Because Northern people, like the Vikings as was pointed out, used the "beast" in men to fight.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 08:20 AM

Originally posted by SL55T0T0
115 flags for this are you guys kidding me? i just posted a thread about a bush insider speaking out about 9/11 and this is more important?

really? i do hope you are in jest. i didn't realize we were in competition for Stars & Flags

some of us come to ATS not only for the usually conspiracy stuff (bad government's doing bad things), but for insightful explorations into other, more supernatural or esoteric topics... which this thread is a prime example of.

in fact, sometimes i weary of the "bad government doing bad things" threads, and simply want myself a darn good yarn about an age old myth (which lycanthropy truly is)

PS... ironically, i had starred your post as well! i thought it was certainly newsworthy.

happy days.

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