What is Therianthropy?
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING THOUGHTS AND IDEAS ARE MY OWN VIEWS ABOUT THERIANTHROPY AND ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE THERIAN COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.
Therianthropy is, by common definition, the transformation of humans into animals. Now most rational adults will agree that the ability to turn a human into an animal is completely fictional, and I would agree. However there is another side to Therianthropy. People, such as myself, who are members of the therian community will describe therianthropy as having a strong connection, often something spiritual, with one or more animals. The individuals who experience this connection are referred to as Therians. So then what exactly is a Therian? Well as I said before a Therian is someone who feels a strong connection or bond with one or more animals.In most cases from I’ve experienced this is often some sort of spiritual connection. These spiritual connections can be but are not limited to the following:
- Being an animal spirit in a human body, either from chance or reincarnation.
- Having been an animal in a past life, either the most recent or the very first, and being reborn as a human.
- Having an animal totem or guide to whom you feel strongly connected to.
These are only a few examples of a spiritual connection that may lead an individual into identifying as Therian, though I’m certain there are several more.
There are also people who believe Therianthropy to be a result of some sort of psychological phenomena. People who see Therianthropy as purely psychological still can, and rightfully so, identify as Therian because they still feel some sort of connection to the animal, i.e they may or may not feel strongly for the animal but they may still feel like the animal, same goes for people who believe it to be purely spiritual. The following are just some ways Therianthropy can be seen as psychological:
- Growing up with the animal as a part of your life such as a pet or anything else that would have been significant enough to make you feel a connection at some level to it.
- Being conditioned to act like the animal. From a young age you would play the part of an animal, even if it’s not because you felt like the animal it could play a part into you forming the connection.
- Mental functions in the brain performing differently that in most people, not necessarily a disease since it doesn’t stop you from being a productive member of society but certainly not normal. (Note that this would not require you to feel connected to the animal in anyway other than just feeling like it.)
- Species Dysphoria/Dysmorphia (These are actually things that could possibly develop as a result of therianthropy but they are worth making note of.)
As with the spiritual beliefs these are only a few examples that I could think if and there are plenty more out there.
Now we get into how I see Therianthropy. For me Therianthropy is both spiritual and psychological. I do believe in Spirit Guides and Totems, reincarnation, and souls. I believe that I do have the soul of a black panther, I believe it is the first life I lived and therefor is the form my soul takes. However in this life I was born a human. This could be because I have to experience being a human or because the powers that be just said “screw it” and threw my soul into whatever body they pleased. There is no way to be sure and it truly doesn’t matter because I am what I am. Because I am a black panther (my soul is, since my soul is me I will refer to myself as a panther because it is who I am, though I still acknowledge that I’m human it is not the true me.) I naturally feel a strong connection with my kind. When I see a panther I do not see a big ass cat walking around and eating. I do, however, see myself. I can Immediately see myself in their eyes, I can vividly imagine myself hunting my prey, climbing a tree, stalking at night, and walking around on my four paws with a coat of black fur to keep me warm. The connection I feel may be caused spiritual influences it is still a psychological one. Because I already knew I had some sort of feline side to me I naturally liked cats of all kinds. I had also always wanted to physically turn into a cat (keep in mind at this time I was still very young). But before I knew of Therianthropy I had no knowledge of black panthers or any large cat for that matter. In fact i wasn’t aware I was a black panther until about a year after I found out about Therianthropy. Once when I was meditating I had a very strong and vivid image of a black panther walking towards me looking at me as if it was looking into my soul. When it unleashed its roar I woke up shocked. After that I researched them, found out about their behaviors, habitats, life cycles and whatever I could about them. I would take information about them and compare it to myself (to avoid falsely identifying myself with an animal I was taught to list out my behaviors keep that list and use it when learning about animals, that way I could compare their behaviors to mine without tweaking anything subconsciously to fit an animal so I could identify with them). I found that the black panther was more like me than any other animal I had previously researched. At that moment I felt something in me that told me I was heading in the right direction and that was when I started identifying as a black panther. So what makes this connection psychological? Well because I did not feel a connection to them before I learned about them, the connection could not have been spiritual because I would have been born feeling connected to them. The connection I feel with felines as a while is spiritual because I have always felt connected with them. Another reason I see Therianthropy as partially psychological is because in order for anyone to believe they are Therian they have to consciously think about whether or not it applies to them and even if it does if they are willing to believe in it. Because of this I think at some level every Therian has some kind of psychological reason for believing.
Once again I will remind you that this is all only my take on Therianthropy. Just because I feel this explanation works for me, does not mean it works for everyone and that is fine because even if it doesn’t work for everyone and even if I may not agree with someone I do not think they are not Therian because it is not my place to decide if a person is or not, such a choice of belief is on the persons own experience. Many Therians will tell you that no one can tell you if you are or are not a Therian, because that no one can know your feelings. So if you say you are Therian, and you take it seriously, are respectful of other Therians and view Therianthropy in a completely different way than me, then to me you are still a Therian.
As I end this I will thank anyone who read all of this and again remind you that these are the inner workings of ,y thoughts and experiences and are not necessarily the views shared by the community as a whole. If there are any questions or comments pertaining to Therianthropy contact me however you can and I will do my best to reply. Thank you.