ferine: (Herne)
A few weeks ago bloody-disgusting.com brought news of a Norwegian horror film arriving later in 2012 that will tell the tale of the "huldra". Aleksander Nordaas' Thale follows a creepy chick with a cow's tale that appears normal from the front, but will appear "hollowed out" from behind (like a tree trunk).

Here's what Wiki says about the lore: "In some traditions, the huldra lures men into the forest to have sexual intercourse with her, rewarding those who satisfy her and often killing those who do not. The Norwegian huldra is a lot less bloodthirsty and may simply kidnap a man or lure him into the underworld. She sometimes steals human infants and replaces them with her own ugly huldrebarn (changeling huldre children). In some cases, the intercourse resulted in a child, being presented to the unknowing father. In some cases, she forces him to marry her."

I can't wait to see this!! >:-D

ferine: (dreams)
... that [profile] omegadog showed us awhile ago. I think you'll like it.

ferine: (owl in suit)
A wise old owl crept into my soul
About fourteen years ago
Some old ones remember
Lynx curled up on the back burner
Not really gone, not ever,
Just contentedly napping
As the owl started flapping
And shook itself awake

Such has come over me again
The last six years sightings
No longer dismissed as mere coincidence
It's about time, I know,
To untether and go with the flow
To make peace with the unbearable weight
Of Knowing,
To acknowledge the worth
Of simply being.
ferine: (Yule)
When Wolves Rescued Santa
by Suzanne Asha Stone and posted on 21 December 2010
For your holiday enjoyment (and with apologies to Clement C. Moore)!

‘Twas the eve before Yuletide
And to Santa’s great dismay
Came such an icy blizzard
Reindeer couldn’t lift the sleigh.
As the elves paced and worried
And Santa’s face grew a scowl
A song echoed from the woods:
A wolf pack’s ancient howl.
From the thick of the storm
O’er snow on big padded feet
Came eight silvery wolves
Ice and wind could not beat.
Santa’s mouth hung open wide
As the wolves paired up in front of his sleigh
Then he sputtered to the elves
“Well…then… let’s be on our way!”
Santa met and thanked each wolf
While the elves finished loading the last gift
Then he sprinkled their fur with fairy dust
Chuckling, “That’ll give you a lift.”
“They won’t believe this in Wyoming!”
He laughed, a merry twinkle in his eyes
Then the elves harnessed the wolves
Giving a mighty pull they took to the skies!
From the thick of the storm
O’er snow on big padded feet
Came eight silvery wolves
Ice and wind could not beat.
On Lightfoot! On Blacktail! On Windswift! On Howler!
On GreenEyes! On MoonSong! On Hunter! On Prowler!
The wolves’ eyes glowed as they leapt through the storm
Santa wished his own coat would keep him as warm.
That night the wolves even taught Santa to howl
A song filled with hope for Peace and for Joy
That this season may bring for all Life on Earth
As they left special gifts for each girl and boy.
‘Twas that icy eve before Yuletide
Santa will fondly remember
When wolves rescued his mission
That stormy December.

For Orion. Suzanne Asha Stone ©2010
ferine: (screech owl tribal)
(The following is cherry-picked from a delightful recent British book I've been engrossed in, Werewolves: The Beast Within by Jon Izzard. I've read and re-read and replay this excerpt like a mantra. Though it specifically regards wolves in a totemic stance, I feel it's applicable to anyone with a link to any animal or bird, and not just as a totem--because of this, I've substituted "animal" for "wolf" whenever possible):

The world we presently live in moves faster than our minds and bodies can comfortably cope with--part of the reason why too many people feel stressed for far too much of the time. "The now of wolf-thought," as Wendy and Richard Pini express it in their Elfquest series of graphic novels (1978, ongoing), requires the mind to focus only on what is happening at this minute. There is no fretting over the past; no worrying about the future. "Now" is what really matters. It's the wonderful and timeless immediacy of childhood and can be useful if you are trying to reduce your stress levels.

Living in the now is also particularly relevant to the overarching theme of the werewolf--the sudden, violent release of utter rage in the transformation that overcomes us when we lose our temper. Paradoxically, the animal can be useful in anger management, as the animal would not waste its time and energy raving against something that is either so big that it's out of our control, or so small that we simply shouldn't bother about it. Though potentially ferocious, the animal is a creature with a clear sense of proportion.

The animal can help us become more assertive. In the highly structured world of school, work, and social life, we can become too passive, too willing to roll over and give up. Sometimes we need to stand up for what we believe in, even if we stand alone. The lone animal is not afraid, nor is it out of control. It is intensely alive and self-aware.

Being assertive allows us to express opposition without actually being aggressive. Although it involves confrontation, it is not about winning, but rather about solving a problem and finding the best outcome.

Self-assertion--finding a good balance between being a doormat and being overly aggressive--is a weapon that can be wielded with disarming gentleness. Using the abilities of our inner animal can transform our lives in a very positive way.

With a clear vision of ourselves and our lives, we are in a much better position to transform our environment. These liberating transformations are only possible when they are tempered with a wholehearted commitment to taking personal responsibility for ourselves and our actions.
ferine: (Default)
As you might recall, a while back I had a vivid dream about a great horned owl. The entry was here. The following day we found this beauty near its pelvis, two talons, the other eye orbit shattered beyond salvaging, bits of brittle rib cage, and some feathers yet to be cleaned.

Late this morning mom entered the den and wheeled me out into the back yard. A crow had been barking incessantly at something in the neighbor's tree and was still going strong. At first I couldn't see anything else there until suddenly a gargantuan great horned owl burst into flight, hounded by the crow! They took off to the west toward the mountains.

Tooling around on google earlier, I found the old page wolfs_moon.tripod.com. It's a rectory of Totem animals and their symbolism. Barring the typos and leanings to the Newage side of things, this information struck me curiously. I was also stunned at how similar owl symbolism is to the lynx symbolism I've uncovered and pieced together through the years.

Read more... )

I'm often told folks have difficulty shopping for me. This handy dandy button makes it easy. >:-D

My Amazon.com Wish List
ferine: (Default)
When penning the entry "Therianthropy", I began it with passionate and righteous anger. My 11 years of fury over a white-washed past, as if all of on-line therianthropy was erased and rendered nonexistent by two ego-maniacal people and their accepted followers.

Then I realized: to those that came to non-line therianthropy after 1997, they had no idea about this. To them it was new, a clean-slate, if you will. It wasn't just for me to bear frustration toward them or the new over-defined version of therianthropy. A new "history" had been concocted, and there's no undoing it. What's done is done.

I was a fool to have wasted so much time and energy being upset over this hijacking and changing of the subculture. Granted, it was a subculture near and dear to my heart, that opened many avenues of self-expression, exploration, discussion, exchange of ideas, and opportunities for friendship. Many of those friendships survived to this day and crossed over from on-line beginnings to off-line interactions. Still, the on-line subculture is just that--digitalized. A mask too easy to hide behind, particularly for the socially inept in the off-line world.

I was a fool to waste time attempting to open the eyes of 'therian' folks, post-1997. This is the way is now. You can't go home again. It's analogous to my situation; I can't return to the vigor or abilities I've lost.

My desire for reaching out and helping new animal folk is a stubborn streak. In all these years, regardless of my anger at the petty bickering and often personal attacks that go on in the more prominent 'therian' circles (Werelist being the main culprit), I've never surrendered my efforts to contact and open a dialog with the animal-identified. No matter how many seem suspicious simply because I'm nice and to-the-point, I've not surrendered my hope or my effort.

And I'm grateful, as I've met many kind, intelligent, and fascinating animal people in this manner: one on one at first through e-mail and journal, sometimes graduating to the telephone, then in person.

For now it's time to return to basics, particularly given my vulnerable state.

I'm not giving up on those I've yet to meet. What I'm doing is slowing the pace of my often unbridled enthusiasm. Returning to my tried and true system of singling out an individual to exchange thoughts with.
ferine: (Default)
Therianthropy was once used as a simple term for individuals with a spiritual identification with an animal. A broad term for a nebulous concept. An idea not subject to scientific measurement, classification, and verification; instead, a term denoting the variation of belief within a common umbrella: the umbrella of those with a spiritual identification with an animal (or, in some cases, an 'other').

There was no need for more definition than that, and it wasn't an issue. It denoted a philosophy, something spiritual, a sense of wonder, the mysterious, metaphor--not something physical, biological, a germ, an illness, something to prove, define, and categorize. The latter is now the norm, or so it appears, in the more well-known communities of the newer therian-identified.

Strangling a world of definitions out of the term therianthropy became the new big thing once the word, and therefore all newcomers following, were hijacked and altered by the two who weren't put on a pedestal by the old timers from AHWw (alt.horror.werewolves, pre-1996). Those folks, their research, notions, ideas, and history were quieted, conveniently overlooked, or rewritten so as to have never existed. Rumors were started that those old timers, "Greymuzzles", had abandoned the scene and those newcomers to it (with the exception of two or three who were personal friends with the hijackers, of course). Undoubtedly some had moved on by then, but many hadn't and still wanted to be involved. With the scene hijacked and altered, it no longer resembled the haven for friendly discussion or support of the original therianthropy group. The majority of the old guard left the new-fangled on-line "therianthropy community" then, as it was a quickly-growing trend that bore little semblance to its origins.

I stubbornly clung to the term therianthropy for a long time, largely for the sake of nostalgia. I still am a therianthrope, by the original intent of the word as adopted by alt.horror.werewolves in 1994. I do spiritually identify as an animal. For me this is spiritual; this is philosophical; the shape-shifting is metaphorical; this is all in my heart and head. Can the soul be measured, dissected, proven as if it were physical evidence? No. I am what I am, and my 24 years of mythological, philosophical, zoological, psychological, and folkloric study in relation to therianthropy, as well as my 24 year revelry in were-animal fiction, film, cartoon, comic book, and television appearance regardless of how cheesy, plus 24 years of introspection, have left me contentedly knowledgeable of what makes me tick-- therianthropically speaking. >;-)

In good conscience I've stopped using therianthropy (except for in this entry) and it's derivatives because in the last eleven years this new over-defined, pseudo-scientific version of therianthropy doesn't fit me anymore. The word carries an excessive amount of baggage, probably to no one else but those who were there in the early years of on-line therianthropy. I've used animal people for a descriptive when a descriptive was necessary, as an ode to the author Charles de Lint. His recurring characters, often, are called "animal people"--animal archetypes that can take human shape. In 2002 I started using "animal folk", not as a term but simply to refer to animal people. For some strange reason people started using it.
I love the nebulous nature of "animal people". It has no definition, no muzzle and chains to confine it and break its spirit.

It's tragically comedic. Those who discovered on-line therianthropy after 1997 have no clue what came before. Everything therianthropic on-line began with the hijackers, and they prefer it to be regarded that way.

Is this in itself a bad thing? All subcultures evolve or devolve; change. The meaning and use of words change over time. Common vernacular is often different than the dictionary definition. What was therianthropy and the "Were community" has simply changed: changed in outlook, in definition, and in what is a relatively short on-line history.

There were always on-line cliques. I lucked out and joined AHWw when the newsgroup was the sole therianthopic clique on-line, boasting maybe thirty frequently posting members. This changed soon enough, and therianthropy saw a swell in popularity, forums, sites, and cliques. Now there are numerous cliques on-line, whose members won't cross over to befriend or even desire to know someone outside of their clique or social network (be it the Werelist, or some IRC channel, etc.) It's a shame.

Time has changed. History's been changed. But you know what? It's okay. And I'll never stop reaching out a friendly paw to my fellow animal folk--whatever they choose to call themselves.
ferine: (Default)
Currently the term "animal people" is a hot topic in "therian" circles. Folks are doing their damnedest to concisely define it. Can't have a vague, ambiguous term running amok; must define it to death, break it like a wild horse, render it controlled.

It would further amuse and annoy me if they were to do the same with "animal folk", though I invented the term three or four years ago [EDIT--5 years ago, following Reemul's death] to simply refer to animal people. And I feel comfortable using "animal people" because it bears no concrete definition. To me I am an animal person, one of the animal folk. I'm not one of the modern argumentative, over-defined, every-kink-in-existence-obsessed, often ill-researched, and predominantly young "therians".

The current "therianthropy" movement on-line was hijacked in late 1996 by two questionable choads who had their start in alt.horror.werewolves, the Usenet newsgroup. Because they failed to acquire the lemming fan base they desired there, they went on the make the leading websites/forums on therianthropy out there. Well, one of the sites, and arguably still the most popular, was adopted by one of the hijackers when the original moderator gave it away. Recently it switched hands again, yet it's still under the thumb of one of the two hijackers and controlled by the lemmings they've groomed over the years.

Why the hijacking? Why their success? Why their continued popularity? Why are those with dissenting points of view or different opinions ostracized or ignored/covered up?

The hijacking was spurred by a bruised ego. For hijacker #1, they made a fool of themselves when they entered alt.horror. werewolves in 1995; particularly on a.h.ww's IRC server at the time. I'm certainly not the only one who can attest to this (remember the Space Vampires poised to 'pave' over the Earth, [livejournal.com profile] blackpaws?). The problem? We were too nice to them. We did not hurl abuses, or even question their claims. We were cordial, though disbelieving. Live and let live, no big deal. They seemed to catch on after awhile, and rejoined the newsgroup a year later under a new name--complete with a new history and a new phenotype, and a new shiny therianthropy page with forums, 'definitive' essays--bells and whistles. A year later their history changed again, as did their now blended phenotype. Their popularity surged as theirs was the only highly promoted therianthropy website with 'authority' on the subject. Only their 'authority', of course, and a few of their friends. No other, older, animal folk, regardless of how sound their ideas, where included in the 'authoritative' essays at their self-crafted terms, names, and definitions.

So with a snarky, aggressive new attitude to accompany the latest blended phenotype, they surged in a popularity not achieved in the beginning on a.h.ww.

The other hijacker also had a bruised ego and, while seemingly humble and altruistic at the onset of rescuing what had become the most famous therianthropy site on the web, their true colors began to show. It became an ego trip, a chance to be seen as the authority on the subject, and to assert this persona on newcomers.

It's no coincidence that the hijackers are good friends. It's no coincidence that they work together on sites. It's no coincidence that of their LJ friends, neither have more than two from a.h.ww who knew of their pre-website popular personas. Why does this matter? According to hijacker #2, they're an open book. They supposedly wish to remain in contact with all of the "gray muzzles". If one looks, we're not hard to find on LJ.

To me it seems that the hijackers prefer a more impressionable flock, ones they can imprint on. They don't want pesky people who knew them from before hanging about, questioning their 'authority'.

And so, those outside their cult of on-line personality who attempt to offer different ideas about therianthropy, minus the reams of terminology, charts, and similar nonsense so readily bandied about so readily, are driven off and labeled "a danger to the ('therian') community", or blackballed from every site or community listing supposedly every site there is on therian/were/animal people.

It effects me when I would like to offer some of these newcomers different ideas, or to at least let them know there are other places out there. By the same token, I wouldn't want to succumb to their lust for illusory on-line power or the ego-feeding machinations of their industries. They can have them.

Another big-wig has appeared on the scene more recently, with self-promotional guns a-blazin' and a blind eye toward the on-line history of animal people or anyone once involved in it (save for hijacker #1, curiously, though in hijaccker #1's community they expressed dislike of the new kid on the block -- go figure). I'll get to them later.
ferine: (Default)
Lynx/me has guaranteed my survival when I’ve grown tired, unconsciously waiting for the sun to set. Lynx/me is too curious to allow myself to shut down for any length of time. Lynx/me keeps moving and knows when to walk away. I owe much to who and what I am.

As much as I owe to family, friends, kin, nature. There are no words, only shared silence, knowing looks, and feather-light touch.

Animal people find each other. There are no coincidences. It somehow happens. Some call it synchronicity, some call it law of attraction, some call it fate. Sometimes it’s a matter of being active, and tracking others down. Some refuse to meet, or are too busy to, or are afraid to, or have no interest in. Each unto her or his own. When animal people meet animal people, in the flesh and eye to eye, something happens. A veil is lifted, and the animals size one another up. The animal people fit like long lost pieces of a broad mythical puzzle, if they’re cut from the same puzzle. There are undoubtedly many puzzles of different make flitting about, none inferior to the other, just different. Luckily, if luck has anything to do with it, of the fifty-odd I’ve met in the last twelve years (at least those who admitted such), Lynx/me fit with all save nine. That’s uncanny. It’s spectacular. It’s rare enough to find a friend, rarer still to find animal people, but to find them and know, on that instinctual level, that you both fit and are part of a like mythical puzzle is thrilling.

Gatherings are integral. Call them by whatever name you choose: Howls, meet-ups, gathers, get-togethers, visits. Whether they involve camping, hiking, environmental work, animal work, deep discussion, spiritualism, visiting animal sanctuaries, or simply laughing and being together, what matters is that it happens. That animal people have that chance to meet others and to know. A chance to rend the veil and to be free of the monkey mask with others. Trust is a no-brainer, a given, once met. To not trust doesn’t enter the equation when you fit. The bond is unspoken but felt. Known.

There is nothing else like it.

"If the world were a field
You would be the only flower
If I were the four elements
The sun, water, air, and earth
I would make you bloom forever
Be and give everything you need." ~ Imperia
ferine: (Default)
*Tears and stars in eyes, wonder blazing in chest*...

Read Old Man Crow, Charles de Lint’s latest chapbook, last night.

This story, brief as it may be, whispered resoundingly to my sometimes tired heart.

Not only did it bring Reemul to mind, but it reminded me to honor myself, and to remember who and what I am.

The corbae creed of "awakening the cousins" immediately brought to mind Reemul's admission of "pushing" (his term) others in a spiritual/symbolic sense to admit and realize their true nature and to bring it to the fore. Those who spent time with him in person doing animal work remember this.

The story, beautifully crafted and o-so-timely, whisked me to another--yet inner-- headspace. Visions, snippets of dialogue, and emotions of the recent Gathering whorled abstractly. Nature scenes from childhood to maturity morphed through my mind's eye like a warming lava lamp's display. Such memories were a part of me, within me, and me.

I can never forget I am Lynx. Lynx, the ugly, crippled, diseased old codger that enters the sweat lodge and is transformed, healthy and vital; Lynx, hounded by Coyote's unwarrented jealousy, yet always emerging unscathed; Lynx, aiding others altruistically; Lynx, laid-back, soft-eyed, observant, and truth-seeing; lynx, built for snowscapes, draped in supple pelt, cautious, quiet, and eternally tied to the snowshoe hare.

To be an animal person is to celebrate being an animal and a person. To be an animal person is to embrace metaphor, symbolism, and the possibility of being. To be an animal person is not only to dream, but to act, to make a difference. To be an animal person is to hunt the self and learn and know. Being an animal person means responsibility: responsibility to the environment, responsibility to our animal and human brethren, responsibility for our own conduct. Being an animal person, we find our way and each other.


May. 7th, 2007 11:59 am
ferine: (Default)
1.) Believing in something, or somethings, does not equate, by some philosophical default, that one must believe in all things.

2.) When passionately supporting/following a cause, execute some critical thinking to avoid being blinded by ideology.

3.) Being accepting does not mean agreeing with or tolerating everything.
ferine: (Default)

What I was getting at with the example of my elf and leprechaun friends is that, were I to meet those on-line, exclusively, who made such claims, my skept-o-meter would immediately blink like a blinkin' beacon. The same for a pegasus-cheetah hybrid, an angel, a demon, an elemental, a twelve-tailed were-Pikachu, soulbonders, people who claim to have multiple personalities and other real mental disorders/disabilities and claim they are a "spirituality" or a "phenotype", or claim said disorder validates their belief in a scientific and wholly non-spiritual way.

I'm not sure where these more outlandish and colorful personae emerged from. The most surreal beings when I frequented A.H.Ww were those who claimed to be Wendigo (as a vengeful forest creature). Over the years younger people entered the scene, and making time for self-analysis and employing common sense flew out the window -- to do so "took too much time". To question was suddenly considered a big no-no, and meant you were close-minded and elitist.

So many don't seem to understand, one can be self-analytical without employing cynicism. Critical thinking doesn't equate disbelief. One isn't intolerant and close-minded for not immediately accepting and supporting everything someone claims without question.

Back to the point I was beginning to make -- despite the raised eyebrow such oddities I mentioned above might cause me in the on-line realm, I am open to accepting such things in person, where I can observe, interact with, and get a feel for the flesh and fiber of the individual. Of course people can wear a false face in person as well as on the computer screen, but it's much easier to know instinctively if someone is true in the flesh. And even if one is delusional, projecting fantasy, this isn't in itself a negative. In all this time, I still haven't ruled out the possibility that I could be a nut-job for believing in my mental/emotional/spiritual/symbolic connection to Lynx. It's certainly not logical or
scientifically provable.
The danger lies in using ones delusion to manipulate others or inadvertently (or purposefully) harm others and oneself. Being a wolf, an elf, an alien, what have you, isn't an issue if one can maintain a happy, healthy life both on- and off-line.

If one wants to use otherkin as the common modern vernacular for animal person, go for it. It seems that's how it's used, anyway. Words are words, no more, no less. We give them power and meaning.

Do books makes us become what we're not? Books in and of themselves, no.

Within the pages of books new worlds can be made real. Words can awaken new thought, cause stagnant neurons to spark. The beauty of a well-formed sentence, the perfectly conveyed philosophy, bridges true magic between the head and heart.

Books can comfort, and expand the mind. Books can temper or flare every emotion. I believe they can trigger awareness, that they can serve as a catalyst for transformation. At the same time, in the individual lacking a strong sense of self, books can become crutches, and hold sway over peoples thoughts and deeds, influencing to an unhealthy degree even though it may seem Good and Right to the individual and other converts or believers.

Books are powerful things. As for creating what's not there, well... this can happen, though what's created is an illusion. Then again, get enough folk to believe in an illusion, a symbol, and watch it become real; The Velveteen Rabbit, as it were. Which begs, what is Real?
ferine: (Default)
Remember my questions regarding therians, otherkin, the importance of nature to the individual, and what roles books play in awakening the individual or even "making" her or him into whatever subject the book is espousing?

It took some time to formulate my reply. Pardon digressions that may occur. Without further ado, away we go:

According to many people who use the moniker otherkin, the descriptive has been bandied about on-line since the early '90s as an umbrella term encompassing animal folk (therians, Weres) and mythicals (dragons, unicorns, vampires, fey, so on and so forth). Essentially, anyone who spiritually, symbolically, mentally, or even physically feels in sync with something inhuman, extra-dimensional, or out of time, and all other imaginative possibilities one can muster.

Curiously, I hadn't heard of otherkin until 2003, a year after joining LJ. A late computer-bloomer, I hadn't forayed into the net frontier until 1993-ish. My first and only on-line community exposures were the Usenet newsgroups alt.horror.werewolves and alt.gothic. I glanced at a few pagan ones, but they were too large and drama-filled to entice me. During my three year stay on A.H.Ww, I never saw the word otherkin. None of my friends or I used it, and I don't recall it being used by anyone I knew of or read. I left A.H.Ww shortly after 1997, for reference.

I am, however, schooled in the use of the umbrella term: my neuromuscular disease, Friedreich's Ataxia, along with forty other progressive neurological/neuromuscular disorders, is shelved beneath the umbrella of Muscular Dystrophy. This is good for funding research and aid for necessary equipment. Many of the disorders lumped under the MD umbrella don't resemble what most people think of upon hearing the term Muscular Dystrophy -- profoundly crippled, weak, and knocking on death's door. Hence my dislike of boxes, be they verbal, literary, or ideological. Veering back to the topic above, of terms: That said, like most others, I invent my own pet names and terms for myself that feel right to me, that reflect myself in a plain and simple way: animal folk. Animal person. One can ask for more detail if one wants it, and that to me is of key importance; opening the doors of dialog, of communication, rather than relying on convoluted terms or sweeping generalized umbrella terms to introduce oneself as.

Not that I consider the use of labels confining or a bad thing, continuing on a slightly different yet related tangent. To proclaim oneself as One Thing, and only that thing, seems constrictive and isolating. To use as many labels as reflective to who we are as individuals communicates honestly. Thus I'm an animal person, writer, dreamer, pagan, disabled, lesbian, gothy-type, environmentally-aware, humorous, down-to-earth, liberal person among other things.

I don't consider myself otherkin, but if others do it doesn't bother me. Use the moniker you're comfortable using. I find myself distant from the umbrella, a raindrop far from, in that my being doesn't resonate with the majority under that crowded dry spot. Instinctively skeptical hackles bristle when confronted with those claiming mythical connections. This, coming from an animal person? Laughable, yet true never-the-less. I'm not one to readily suspend disbelief on-line; I don't believe one can "read auras" or "energy" digitally from someone they've never met in person. I'm willing to accept what's true in person, face to face. I've met and been roommates with two people in the past, one an elf, and one a leprechaun, and they just were. It sounds silly to say, but they made such claims and that was that. Their behavior, attitude, and appearance left no room for doubt; and, such revelations weren't the sole of their existence, merely an aspect of it, an aside. "By the way...".
I'm open-minded, more so in the flesh than on-line. On-line people often pass off well-crafted personas as their true selves, as well as blustering with bravado or ferocity courtesy of the security of relative anonymity.

(to be continued in the morning...)
ferine: (Default)
In [livejournal.com profile] waywind's journal, this was recently asked: "What are some of the events or epiphanies that confirmed the reality of your spiritual beliefs for you?"

This question falls nicely into my period of reflection.

To answer this aloud feels like bragging. It feels like saying, look at me, I'm special because this happened. Some things, I think, are meant to be for you, and left unsaid.

Some things are also meant to be shared. The prime influence on me at a very young age was my Dad. Aside from being a musician and raising me with music, he studied philosophy in college, and therefore had many old philosophy books leftover from school. At five I would thumb through his copy of Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces dreamily. I couldn't read, yet the black & white pictures entranced me.

I wasn't raised with religion, but with stories of good deeds and good tenets from Western and Eastern schools of thought. I was left to my own devices to form my own belief system, or, alternately, to chose none.

From the age of five I formulated abstract thoughts of deity, based largely on the images from The Hero With a Thousand Faces. I meshed this with my relationship with my beloved pets and the nature in the backyard (and the many plants inside the house). As I grew, these connections fermented and I was able to read about and research like ideas.

At twelve my faith in my beliefs were firm. My mind and heart were clear and focused. I knew what I wanted in life and pursued it unwaveringly. I studied, researched, and memorized passages from many books on lycanthropy, comparative mythology, animism, animal totemism, paganism, and witchcraft. This was prior to discovering New Age stores, and prior to even the concept of using a computer.

I was content believing I was alone in my beliefs and experiences. Since the age of thirteen I had met various older mentors, what I considered teachers, who expanded my mind with thoughtful questions and, sometimes, with books (one gave me her dog-eared first edition of Starhawk's The Spiral Dance when I was fifteen, which sent me reeling). Though there were these amazing people who appeared in my life for a time and then moved on, I still felt my path was my own, that I was alone on it, even though others had obviously felt similarly in the past.

I met others my age with familiar ideas when I turned 21. It was strange to vocalize my beliefs with others my age, even though I trusted them and the sharing went both ways. Eventually this contact led to my first computer at 23. After teaching myself enough to get on-line and send email, I looked up the word werewolf on the web. One of the few returns was for the usenet newsgroup alt.horror.werewolves. The description appealed to me, yet I had no idea what a "newsgroup" was. It took a week for me to learn, and then I spent a few months observing the group before dipping my digital toes in the water.

This initial foray into the vast internet world expanded my mind further. Suddenly I had new information at my fingertips, and the chance to communicate with those who were physically, and even culturally, distant. The "neat factor" is still with me to this day, though I'm less naïve and tempered by experience.

Alt.horror.werewolves changed me and strengthened me in many ways. It also hurt me, deeply, in the end--a lot like growing up, in a microcosm. I joined the group wide-eyed and utterly new to the 'net. In most ways it was one of the safest, most familial group of individuals to be the first ones on-line to meet and interact with. The friends I made there in 1994 remain close, dear friends, most of whom I've shared time with in person through the years.

It was strange; the more involved I became with the group, the less content I felt being alone with my animalism. I found myself craving the physical company of other animal-people, which is something I had never needed before. That, in itself, saddened me a little. It was as if something in me broke when I met these wonderful animal-people on-line, and I desired to have such connection with other animal folk locally.
Eventually, that did happen.

Then I met a raven from alt.horror.werewolves, and my inner workings shifted. He truly flew between worlds, and my life turned inside out each time we got together in person. From that chaotic internal stripping, I drifted into uncharted territory. With his death I became un-anchored and lost.

I can now honestly say I'm grounded and into my own. I am my own anchor, and my family (I consider my parents, my friends and packmates, and my pets my family) are the links in the chain that connects the anchor to the boat. What's the boat? The world, the universe, the We.

Synchronicity, or "mere coincidences", if you prefer, confirm the reality of my spiritual beliefs on a daily basis. The confirmation and the reality are entirely personal.
ferine: (Walks-Between-Worlds)
Would you purchase and wear a suit of authentic woman skin if you're a MtF pre-op to practice a spiritual ceremony to channel your inner female? Or FtM with a man skin?

How is it different to do so with a wolf pelt and face, strapped to your body, to channel your inner wolf? Or a fox? Or a lynx? Acquired from fur farm 'leftovers'. it's still feeding the industry. It's still blood money, blood trade, and feeds the industry. No amount of burnt sage will end the suffering of the animals used by perpetuating the trade.

(A post I made to AHWw in '95 that's, unfortunately, still topical):

To The Wind (an anti-fur farm rant)
The lynx lay in the cage, its pale amber eyes dwindling.
It had never known the freedom that was less than a mile away...
Green hills, uncut forest, small fields ripe with berries and flowers.
The only life accompanying the cat were parasites, insects, and
disease. In neighboring cages were its brothers and sisters, some
dead, some clinging to life despite the futility of the effort.

I opened the chicken-wire cage and let the cat sniff my hand. It was
too weak to move its head, and growled softly. I reached in and
removed the animal, its bones sharp against my hands. The flies
swarmed and the stench was pungent. I cradled the lynx and carried it
to a flowering grassy field far away and yet so close.

We sat together in the grass watching the world. The lynx murred and
mustered the strength to raise its head, watching the dance of a
nearby bumblebee. I smiled and stroked its fragile body. The cat
looked up as if scanning the heavens. As we sat, I suddenly realized
that this one moment of freedom was worth a lifetime to the one who
had never before experienced it. Tears welled in my eyes as the lynx
made a motion to join the wind. In the effort the body broke and I
rocked with its fading warmth

~ Walks-Between-Worlds
ferine: (Default)
(cut & pasted from google groups archives)

By Ron Cass Poirier Nov. 15th, 1993

Regarding werewolf symbolism:

One obvious symbol of the werewolf is that of change. They can
shift shape and "adapt" to new surroundings. They are frequntly unable to
restrain this shape shift - particularly when angry. This is the beast
within/beside coming out. A higher-order werewolf would be able to
control his or her beast, but I think would still feel most comfortable
expressing anger when the time came to express it while in monster form.

Shapeshifting: in the werewolf psyche, shapeshifting is in fact a
way of being HONEST, not deceptive as most mythical shapeshifters tend to
be. A good example of the dishonesty of shapeshifters would be the
doppleganger myth, a truly terrifying monster with the ability to exactly
copy the appearance and mentality of another specific person. The movie
"Zelig" is a good example of the doppleganger myth - while Zelig is not in
fact a monster, he is a person who cannot be trusted to be who he appears,
as he will simply shift shape and identity when it seems to be more

The doppleganger is "evil" because it cannot be counted upon,
because it is deceptive (it does not show its true self - in fact Zelig
has a problem in that he gradually comes to HAVE NO TRUE SELF). A
willingly evil doppleganger might use its powers to masquerade as someone
who it is not, for its own personal gain. In an amoral stance, killing or
displacing the person duplicated is not seen as evil to the doppleganger,
and so this may be viewed as an acceptable option - but not to society.

Now examine the werewolf. The werewolf is not a shapeshifter of
duplicity (CAUTION! My opinions only - my interpretation of a myth.
Obviously, the werewolf can be viewed as VERY duplicitous, appearing as a
human to enter a cottage and then attack the surprised human. Look at the
Little Red Riding Hood story...) Rather, the werewolf is a shapeshifter
of HONESTY. When he/she is angered, it is obvious - because the physical
form is that of a monstrous beast. When he/she is on the hunt,
aggressive, raging - all very human emotions, not evil in and of
themselves - it is obvious. When he/she is relaxed, calm, at peace -
then, too, it is obvious because the form is human (MY INTERPRETATION
ONLY!!! I admit that I can imagine a "monster" werewolf (or bat) romping
(flying) happily through wooded glades... perhaps our new interpretation
can allow for this, as in expressing joy at one's own body, the physical,
or something similar - this meaning that in monster form one cannot be
sure if a werewolf is angry or not, merely that he or she is feeling
strong emotions... Maybe strong emotions one way or the other, meaning
that a werewolf in love is "doomed" to take the form of the wolf when the
feelings become intense, with interesting psychological and literary
repurcussions... All optional, of course.) This shows shapeshifting to
be a valuable guide in determining the inner workings of the werewolf.
The werewolf is INTENSELY emotional, but also capable of controlling
his/her emotions to the point where he/she is the true master. There is a
certain emotional honesty there that is not present with the vampire, who
can freely hide hatred and spring a cunning trap, or even the human, fully
capable of duplicity as I am sure we are all aware ("I don't know which
species is worse, ours or theirs - you don't see them fucking each other
over for a percentage!" - Ripley, "Aliens"). This duplicity, this
"hiding of the beast", enables humans to function in society and vampires
to excell at it (they have willingly accepted their beast but refuse to or
cannot master it). The emotional honesty of the werewolf gets them into
trouble with society as a whole. While they are trying to save the
people, the hidden beast of society is moving against them and hating them
for the danger the potential masters represent.

- Ron P. ^*^
Werebat peering down from the branches
at these quizzical quadruped canines...

Newsgroups: alt.horror.werewolves
From: j...@nick.csh.rit.edu (Jochen Reber)
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1993 20:22:12 GMT
Local: Mon, Nov 15 1993 2:22 pm
Subject: Re: Respect (or lack thereof)

My interpretation of being a werewolf would be slightly different:

Werewolves are usually despised because their second nature is a dangerous
beast, which can kill humans and is unable to controll. Honesty or not,
everything dangerous and uncontrollable is considered as evil.

I don't think you can see their shapechanging ability as a way
of expessing their feelings, but as a curse which binds them. The honesty
is lost at the moment when the transformation is complete, because then,
the human part has no controll over the emotions of the werewolf anymore,
and the wolf is in total control.

For me, it is hard to see a werewolf as one being. It is rather two personali-
ties combined in one body, which constantly changes form. These personalities
have nothing to do with each other, as one is a "civilized" human where as
the other is a "wild beast". Therefore, this one being cannot be totally
honest, because one part of it always betrays the other.


Jochen "Joe" Reber // "Wise men are instructed by reason;
j...@nick.csh.rit.edu // men of less understanding, by experience;
// the most ignorant by necessity;
// and beasts by nature," -- Cicero

Newsgroups: alt.horror.werewolves
From: rpoirier@kirk (Ron Cass Poirier)
Date: 16 Nov 1993 09:29:13 GMT
Local: Tues, Nov 16 1993 3:29 am
Subject: Re: Respect (or lack thereof)

In article <1993Nov15.202212.26...@ultb.isc.rit.edu> writes:
> In article <2c7fbpINN...@dns1.NMSU.Edu> talkreligion writes:
> My interpretation of being a werewolf would be slightly different:

Most people would have a different interpretation. Than my own, I

> Werewolves are usually despised because their second nature is a dangerous
> beast, which can kill humans and is unable to controll. Honesty or not,
> everything dangerous and uncontrollable is considered as evil.


> For me, it is hard to see a werewolf as one being. It is rather two personalitites
> combined in one body, which constantly changes form. These personalities
> have nothing to do with each other, as one is a "civilized" human where as
> the other is a "wild beast". Therefore, this one being cannot be totally
> honest, because one part of it always betrays the other.

You subscribe to the "Jeckyll and Hyde" werewolf model. This is
certainly acceptable - but I tend to think of werewolves as more
misunderstood than inherently evil, as are the wolves themselves. My
werewolf (bats are truly more relevant to me but they are nonexistant in
most literature (werebats)) myth centers more on the "misunderstood
monster" hypothesis. This in no way means your own interpretation is not
credible - after all, we're talking about a made-up beastie here in the
first place, so you can make it act and think however you want (Eastern
dragons are good, while Western dragons are evil, for an example). The
"Jeckyll and Hyde" model is, by the way, an excellent one from a
psychological point of view - the classic monster from the ID.
Unfortunately, it is also rather boring after a while. It forces the
werewolf into a cut and dried position - this discussion began with a
search for more meaning to the werewolf myth, a search for expansion.
Anne Rice did this for vampires - severing a lot of old ties and creating
some new ones. Modern writers are free to play with werewolves as much as
they want - I was only trying to show an example of some other possible
things for the werewolf to symbolize.

Another thing about the "Jeckyll and Hyde" werewolf model is that
it does ignore many of the earliest werewolf tales, I'm talking
pre-Hollywood here. For example, the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood
(originally a werewolf story as I am told) WILLINGLY plots his evil deeds
of deception. Old style werewolves knew their beast in their human form,
too. Remember, Hollywood werewolves come to us after the writing of the
original "Jeckyll and Hyde" story, and are certainly (IMHO) affected by

- Ron P.

Newsgroups: alt.horror.werewolves
From: rpoirier@kirk (Ron Cass Poirier)
Date: 16 Nov 1993 09:58:21 GMT
Local: Tues, Nov 16 1993 3:58 am
Subject: Re: Respect (or lack thereof)

Another possible werewolf "interpretation":

What does Anne Rice do with vampires? I think a big part of it is
that she strips them of psychological "meaning", inherent symbolism, etc.
They simply ARE. Walking corpses that need blood to survive. There is
nothing inherently evil or anything else about this at all. A man who
simply has the ability to change shape into a wolfen form (or a bat form)
is also inherently nothing at all. Free to choose his own actions.

So - what does this do? Actually, plenty. Even if the werewolf
has no inner set of "rules" to live by, (and forbidding the rational mind
to take over is, in fact, a rule of sorts!), the psychology of the
lycanthrope would still be or become very different from that of the
average human. Werewolves would be stronger, more powerful, possibly even
invulnerable, and have abilities that normal humans would find
inaccesible. This would affect the way they think. Arrogance? A sense
of responsibility to use those gifts the "right" way? Desire to show off
power? Dionysian joy at romping through the woods, chasing rabbits and
deer and...? This would be the "Super-hero (or villain)" type werewolf -
really just a normal man with enhanced abilities, perhaps prejudiced
against by society because of popular myth. There would be a lot to write
about in this genre, more so than mere "Jeckyll and Hyde" werewolves. So
I prefer "Superhero" werewolves - so sue me! Rice's vampires are similar
to this genre.


- Ron P.
^*^ ^*^

^*^ ^*^

Newsgroups: alt.horror.werewolves
From: g...@dcs.ed.ac.uk (Graham Brown)
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1993 11:28:57 GMT
Local: Tues, Nov 16 1993 5:28 am
Subject: Re: Respect (or lack thereof)

> You subscribe to the "Jeckyll and Hyde" werewolf model. This is
> certainly acceptable - but I tend to think of werewolves as more
> misunderstood than inherently evil, as are the wolves themselves.

Agreed, werewolves are neither human or wolf as such even sugesting that
they are "good" or "evil" is wrong as they are relative concepts. Consider
a wolves point. In Britain wolves, bears, boars were hunted into extinction
if a werewolf took this view of the human race as an "evil" which should be
fought, mauled, torn to bits at every opportunity then she is on a crusade
against an overwhelming oppressor of part of her nature, the fact that her
nature duality are warring is half the point. As human we see the beast as
evil when in all reality, considering the actions of human and wolf, the
humans have done ultimately more damage than good. I say rip em up.
Considering the lack of wolves in the U.K. ( there are some in reserves
in Scotland but they are not aborigional ) has anyone considered the idea
that the race may be degenerating into weredogs, personally I would be more
concerned with meeting a were-pitbull then a werewolf as they are more
Graham (a English werewolf in Scotland).

Newsgroups: alt.horror.werewolves
From: dwil...@cis.ohio-state.edu (darren wilson)
Date: 16 Nov 1993 14:36:22 -0500
Local: Tues, Nov 16 1993 1:36 pm
Subject: Re: Respect (or lack thereof)

Graham Brown wrote in article <cgl18a....@dcs.ed.ac.uk> :

>has anyone considered the idea
>that the race may be degenerating into weredogs, personally I would be more
>concerned with meeting a were-pitbull then a werewolf as they are more
> Graham (a English werewolf in Scotland).

I big howl from the U.S. Grahem. I agree with you here but I don't know
that much about the actual nature or "personality" of wolves. I do know
however about feline traits. Could someone maybe post something about the
habits and nature of wolves in general and maybe we can come up with
what an actual werewolf might act like or do. This of course would be
without the preconcieved ideas of Hollywood and fiction.

D. Wilson

Newsgroups: alt.horror.werewolves
From: j...@nick.csh.rit.edu (Jochen Reber)
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1993 20:21:27 GMT
Local: Tues, Nov 16 1993 2:21 pm
Subject: Re: Respect (or lack thereof)

In article <cgl18a....@dcs.ed.ac.uk> g...@dcs.ed.ac.uk (Graham Brown) writes:

>> You subscribe to the "Jeckyll and Hyde" werewolf model. This is
>> certainly acceptable - but I tend to think of werewolves as more
>> misunderstood than inherently evil, as are the wolves themselves.

>Agreed, werewolves are neither human or wolf as such even sugesting that
>they are "good" or "evil" is wrong as they are relative concepts. Consider
>a wolves point.

Agreed. "Good" and "evil" are always relative terms. But, they seem also
only apply to humans. If you consider the charactericts usually aplied for
evil (extreme egoism, ruthlessness, powerhunger, rudeness), than you realize
than no animal could qualify for them. So, it is just ridiculous to see a
wolf (or werewolf in human form) as evil.

It is clear that wolves and werewolves can be dangerous and can threaten human
lifes. But that humans usually consider every thing dangerous as evil is
more the fault of mankind than the fault of the wolf.

I really think we have to totally redefine our set of values if we want to
judge werewolves, as it applies at the moment only for a human society.

Jochen "Joe" Reber // "Wise men are instructed by reason;
j...@nick.csh.rit.edu // men of less understanding, by experience;
// the most ignorant by necessity;
// and beasts by nature," -- Cicero

Newsgroups: alt.horror.werewolves
From: jbogg...@owlnet.rice.edu (Jennifer Carolyn Boggess)
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1993 22:19:13 GMT
Local: Mon, Nov 22 1993 4:19 pm
Subject: Re: Respect (or lack thereof)

In article <2ca6h9INN...@dns1.NMSU.Edu>, rpoirier@kirk (Ron Cass Poirier) writes:
|> In article <1993Nov15.202212.26...@ultb.isc.rit.edu> writes:
|> . . .
|> after all, we're talking about a made-up beastie here in the
|> first place, so you can make it act and think however you want (Eastern
|> dragons are good, while Western dragons are evil, for an example).
|> . . .

Not true. (At this point the *YOU HAVE HIT A NERVE* sign should
be flashing. :)) Plenty of legends about cruel, selfish, or
(more frightening) simply aloof and uncaring Oriental dragons
exist, and there are a few - granted, not many, but a few -
Western legends involving helpful or even caring Occidental
dragons. Even the South American dragon isn't 100% good in
all the legends; no matter what culture you find the dragon in,
it can't be perfectly pinpointed as a "good" critter or an
"evil" varmint.

Sorry for the non-werewolf digression; I just had to fix that.
- Boggles

For the complete conversation, click here.


Jun. 10th, 2006 02:47 pm
ferine: (Default)
Cogs in the brain whirring. Ghosts in the machine stirring.

So much Algernon Blackwood and Charles de Lint in these last seven months has expanded the railways of my heart and mind. New tracks laid, new paths discovered, all exposing a far more copious and complicated inner labyrinth than previously surmised.

No stranger to what some view as "complicated" thought, as I was exposed to Joseph Campbell's books before I could read, and his theories as well as a number of existentialists philosophies and various religions teachings were exposed to me verbally (and to supplement this once I had mastered reading, I poured over Dad's book on these subjects from his college days). These sent my mind reeling even at four, as I sat on an old bright yellow beanbag in the living room of our then home and flipped through the pictures in Campbell's Hero With A Thousand Faces. My mind whirred like the galaxies. I was immense and immortal and of the Earth and the Earth, and beyond it.

As I aged and met my peers and authority (authority apart from my parents, who I idolized and wanted to please of my own volition rather than viewing them as "authority figures"), my perceptions and inner growth altered; even violently when I "progressed" into my mid and late teens. My mind, spirit, and heart which had raced among the stars prior, shrunk from the alien and brutal behavior of my so-called fellows. I was singled out and torn to pieces time and time again, physically, mentally, and emotionally. The chaotic swirl of hospital visits, tests, and diagnoses ocurred simultaneously and added to the rigors of what normally is a turbulent age. My refuge, my comfort, my sanity, as it always had been, was my home: my parents, my cats, my books, my music.

After dropping out of high school and leaving home for the first time to live in a far-off state, I began to find my own reliability. To open a bank account, to apply for SSI and find a local doctor, to pay bills, to buy food, to budget, to clean my apartment (technically my and my roomie's apartment, but his idea of cleaning was to take a shower *chuckles and eyerolls*) was a new growth, a sudden initiation into reality and survival. For three years life was immediate, lived in the moment, experienced rather than dreamed of.

Upon returning home from such freedom and independence, I plunged into bleakness. Even when I did my damnedest to get my own apartment and health care help, and succeeded at it for six years, that bleakness never left. I often deluded myself into thinking the shadow had lifted, and at times it genuinely seemed to. It never did in truth. In my alone time, when not partying and dancing and roaming with the local pack, the gloom descended and gnawed at my confidence. My sense of strength, my courage, ebbed. It was a harrowing time, yet some of the brightest moments of memory were therein.

Afterward even that semblance of independence slipped through my fingertips. Forced to return home after a short-lived, so-called "normal" life. Well, not normal as most would consider the context of the word to mean (ah, my lifelong pride and joy -- abstaining from the societal norm to be true to myself!). My shell was weaker, less dependable, and I was no longer able to dance with my arms or able to withstand the smoke at clubs and bars. Non-pack friends came around less, and I lashed out angrily at the rest. Survived two murky, dramatic, traumatic intimate relationships, and then my best friend died. Despondency, like cloying tar pulling the aspects of all that encompasses my being apart, ensued.

Only in these last seven months have my wings unfurled. There have been moments of great joy not fully appreciated until now. The beauty of the Earth has returned. Somehow I've returned to the spiritual innocence of my preadolescence, though it's not an exact returning; it's as if these 33 years have been on what seemed a complex path yet was ultimately just a loop, and I've come out the back of where I started.

My eyes are open where they've been closed much too long. I am no longer trapped, caged, isolated, or lost.

Animals have always played a part in my self-identity. This took shape as serious study and obsession at the age of 12. That fervor, research, and thrill has yet to subside.

This is a deep and feral love for the Hollywood werewolf film, for the werewolf novel, for the non-fictional historical accounts and hypotheses of lycanthropy, for the historical references to shape-shifting, for the spiritual and magical context of animal totems and spirit guides, and for individuals in the modern on-line 'therianthropy' scene (particularly alt.horror.werewolves, the usenet newsgroup that started it all and, sadly, seems to be either forgotten about or disregarded as 'rubbish' by many nowadays who haven't even delved into its history [best times: '94 - '96]).

Currently my acceptance of lynx is that lynx is a metaphor for my philosophy, my vision, and simply me. Knowing lynx is knowing myself, bringing me closer to fully understanding what life is and what we're all about.
ferine: (Default)
The stench of body odor and dead things carried on the breeze. Down below, in a well-used campground, people hovered around a smoldering fire. Some danced and some sat whispering amongst themselves. Ornate skulls and strips of pelts were festooned before tent openings. One of the dancers wore the full strapped-on skin of a wolf. Its vacant eye-holes mirrored nothingness, the blank stare of the void. A few drummed with severe expressions, palms slapping the taut heads in arrhythmic fervor. Someone laughed shrilly and stole bites off a chocolate bar. The melted chocolate on her fingers and lips resembled the blood of some small forest creature that the party had shot with a bee-bee gun earlier for the sole use of its blood as spiritual decoration. Most of those present had dabbed the blood on their foreheads, in stripes down their cheeks, or smeared across their lips.

The wolfskin dancer raised his head and let loose an all-too-human howl through blood-cracked lips. Some in the circle, including the drummers, joined in the din. Still others who clustered just outside the circle jeered and snickered amongst themselves at the display. Those that grouped apart from the circle were indeed animal-people, and as such had no need for ever discussing such phenomenon unless it was to tear down those not among their ranks. The pseudo-shamanistic Newage spewed by the illogical, unscientific ferals in the circle was beneath them. Yet jabs behind backs and jabs in the front were okay because no matter how one group disdained the other they were united by a common community.

Those within the circle honored their animal natures through sacrificing small animals, through anointing in blood, and by expressing their essence through the pelts of their inner self. It wasn't important where the pelts or bones came from because they were being recycled and honored as demanded by their spirit (or spiritual residue in some cases). To be a wolf was to don the pelt of a wolf, to psychically see through its non-existent eye holes, to gnash blood-smeared lips and howl to one’s brethren. To be one's animal was to be as taboo as possible in every way so as to distance oneself from the human detriments of responsibility and modesty. They knew the cliques beside them scoffed at them from time to time, but it mattered little because they were all united by the silver chord of community.

Above the noise and stink of the campground a silver figure had paused to watch and listen. Hearing enough, the figure bounded far away beneath the cold moonlight. There was more to learn under the stars, among the trees, through the snow, beside the brook, listening to the wind, watching the birds, being still, remaining silent.
ferine: (Default)
The book that's been around for a few years but still manages to get some folk's knickers in a twist: Rosalyn Greene's The Magic of Shapeshifting.

Sorry to burst anyone's ego-bubble, but this book is not plagiarized. Were it truly stolen material, whoever claims it it was stolen from would have had solid ground to and attempted to take the author or publisher to court, or at the very least made an attempt to contact the author or the publisher to discuss these things.

No one owns a copyright to what are self-proclaimed "terms created by the whole 'Were' community", nothing created by one person, and nothing with legal copyrights.

A great example is this: say you make a forum on Jungian dream symbolism. You write FAQ's on the subject and soon have a popular site/forum on your hands. Then a Jungian scholar comes along and writes a book of Jungian dream symbolism. Naturally a lot of what is present in the FAQ's will appear in the book, because the information's not new! It's not the intellectual property of the forum maintainer, because they did not create Carl Jung's terms, nor his dream symbolism. I've seen more than three people who, unbeknown to each other, write amazingly similar essays on the same subject. To an outsider who didn't know they wrote these essays independently of each other it would be easy to accuse each of plagiarizing the other, even though they merely came to similar conclusions on their own.

As for the quality of the book itself, eh *shrugs*. It's just a standard new age book. There are some good points and some goofy ideas. Take the good, chuck the silly. It's certainly not going to confuse the "impressionable newbie" -- trust me, the well-known highly advertised "Therian" sites and forums and on-line gurus do a far better job of that than an actual book from a bookstore.

[EDIT] -- still consider this book a stolen tragedy of epic proportions? Then why haven't you written the ol' big bad sneak-thief Rosalyn, care of the publisher, to establish an intelligent dialog on the subject? Her publishing house is here: http://www.conari.com/authors/author_detail.jsp?supplier_id=400. Write, and give her a much belated piece of your mind! Include a self-addressed stamped envelope and she might write back. I've written authors in this way and had them respond. So go forth with your bad torch-burning selves for the sake of protecting your beloved "Therian" labels and lexicon! Rarr! [/EDIT]


ferine: (Default)
Sarah B. Chamberlain

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