Month: March 2018

How to Determine if You are a Therianthrope

  • By: Therian Nation
  • Written: January 2018

The following is the full transcript from the two related videos.

Video Pt 1 – https://youtu.be/Jkej2yRfJBI

Video Pt 2 – https://youtu.be/zn2LNtYechc

Part One (Video One)

Welcome to Therian Nation. I’m your host Shannon Jackson. This is part one of a two segment video that will explore many possible ways to help you decide whether or not you may be a Therianthrope. In this first segment I’ll go over common experiences for awakening Therians, and some stuff to be cautious of. If you have not watched any of the previous videos, I highly recommend that you do so to better understand the information presented here.

(Therian Nation animated logo and title on screen)

First of all, there is no scientific test or proof for Therianthropy. It’s considered an identity phenomenon, ontological phenomenon, and a personal belief. So, if there is no real proof, how does a person conclude that he or she is a Therian?

No single behavior, shift, dream, or other experience will determine if you are Therian. There should be multiple experiences that lead you to identify as non-human. Keep in mind that we are biologically and physically human. Also remember, that Therianthropy is an innate part of yourself that you discover and learn about. It’s not considered a choice to be a Therianthrope, it’s just who you are.

Time Tells

Each individual usually has an accumulation of years of experiences that is attributed to feeling non-human. This gathering of evidence for your personal Therianthropy can include being mindful of your feelings, behaviors, personality, mindset, and therianthropic shifts. This observation of one’s self is most important.

Honestly, the only true determining factor is time. If you are still calling yourself a Therian beyond your teenage years and into adulthood, then it will probably stick with you for the remainder of your life. For Therians, the non-human feelings may wax and wane, but they will never completely go away.

What is an Awakening?

When an individual “awakens”, this is becoming aware that you are a Therianthrope and have most likely always been a Therianthrope. An awakening is NOT when you start to change into a Therian or decide to be a Therian. Therianthropy is not a choice.

Most but not all Therians reported having vague feelings of being different, not fitting in, and not feeling completely human from a young age. Many say they felt more comfortable around animals instead of other humans. These feelings and emotions were usually persistent for years before searching for explanations online.

Seek Information

Learn everything that you can. There are a lot of good resources about Therianthropy across the internet. Be open to advice from others. Be open to asking for information that will help you. Find blogs and articles by other Therians to read and learn from. Don’t blindly trust everything that you find. There is a lot of false and misleading information. Cross-reference with other sources if you can.

Be open to receiving questions. Learn the difference between a question meant to help you, and a question that is clearly mean or disrespectful. Most questions from other Therians are to help you think about yourself and your experiences more deeply and from a different point of view. Thinking rationally and critically is important.

Also learn to recognize neutral information. A lot of info is repeated often within the community, but it’s very difficult to judge an individual’s level of knowledge. If someone repeats the basics to you, there is no need to get angry. You may know the information presented to you, but another person reading the post may not have known about it. Repeating information is not to invalidate you.

Human or Non-Human Behavior?

We are in human bodies. That can not be denied. Our experiences and behaviors are processed through a human brain. But humans are animals too. You need examine the behaviors and traits that you consider non-human. Are they just human behaviors? Could both animals and humans act this way? Or is the behavior or trait unique to a non-human animal? These questions can also help you find a theriotype or therioside. It’s also important to take into consideration when and why the behaviors occurred. Do humans normally act that way in that particular situation?

See the Q&A written by Sonne, especially the questions “What traits of a therian (or possible therian) are human and which are not? Or how can the person tell which are which?” and “My behaviour really mirrors [insert animal here], does that mean I’m a therian?” This is available on Project Shift.net.

Be Patient

There is no deadline for finding your answers, and figuring this out can be difficult. Your answers probably won’t come quickly or easily. Avoid Quizzes, pendulum readings and tarot readings. They can be fun, but these answers can not be trusted as truth. They are not definitive, and they often lead people astray. Directly seeking validation from others will not allow you the opportunity to learn about yourself and make decisions for yourself. No one else can give you the answer. Patience is also needed because having one shift does not make you a Therianthrope. You need to have non-human experiences multiple times before considering if you a Therian or not.

Your Journey

No one can say, “Yes, you are a Therianthrope.” or “No, you are not a Therianthrope.” This is a personal journey of self-discovery that is unique to you. It’s up to you to decide based on your own personal experiences, beliefs, and behaviors while meeting the agreed upon definition of Therianthropy and Therianthrope.

“The best way I’ve read about how to tell if you’re a Therian is that, when you find out about it, your life suddenly makes sense.” – Wolf Van Zandt

If someone tries on being a Therianthrope for a short period of time, that does not make them a fake. We are all exploring our identities, and that requires trial and error. What to look out for is claims of outrageous abilities such as physically changing shape.

Mind the Doubt

You will most likely feel some doubt about being a Therian. This is actually a good thing that can help you find the answers. I personally doubted for many years. It pushed me to really examine why I considered myself a Therian.

At the same time, finding out if you are a Therianthrope should not cause a lot of worry or stress. Even adult Therians examine the beliefs about their identities every now and then to make sure those beliefs still hold true for them. We’re always changing. Even the beliefs about why you identify as a Therianthrope can change as you learn more about yourself.

Before or After?

If you felt nonhuman and sought a reason for why you felt that waybefore finding this community, then it’s a good chance that you are a Therian. Plenty of people get exposed to Therianthropy, such as being told by a friend, and want to explore it. Some people realize they are Therian, and some decide that it’s not who they are.

If you first came across Therianthropy by exposure, just be thorough in questioning yourself. People who look into being a Therian afterhearing about it are less likely to identify as such for a long period of time. Remember, it’s time that matters most.

A Hard Truth

Wanting to be a Therian only to fit in with friends or be in a pack can not make you a Therian. If this is why you are in the community, then you really need to dig in deep and ask yourself some tough questions because this isn’t a fandom or roleplay. Also, you can’t force a person to be Therian just because you want a Therian friend.

I will also briefly state here that anyone can wear a tail or ears. Wearing these accessories does not make you a Therian. People do trick themselves into thinking that ordinary, mundane events are related to Therianthropy or shifting. I recommend reading up about Shifter’s Disease. See the link in the Description to learn more.

It’s Okay to be Human

It’s always important to consider other alternatives to Therianthropy. You may feel a connection with an animal because it is a Spirit Guide, which is considered different from being a Therian. Other possibilities are that you may be animal-hearted or a copinglink instead. Links for those are also in the description.

Click through to segment 2 of the video where I go over techniques to help you decide if you are a Therianthrope or not.

Part II (Video 2)

Welcome back. This is part two of a two segment video explaining methods to help you decide whether or not you may be a Therianthrope. Segment one covered common experiences had by awakening Therians and stuff to consider on your journey. This video will go over a few helpful techniques to get you started on your path of self-discovery. Here’s the quick list:

  • Introspection
  • Mindfulness
  • Research
  • Journal Keeping
  • Meditation

Introspection

Introspection is the “observation or examination of one’s own mental and emotional state,mental processes, etc.; the act of looking within oneself.”

This is related to having questions about who you are, what you are, and why. It’s important to examine why we believe that we are nonhuman.

Here are some sample questions to ask yourself. Keep in mind that you may not have the answers right away. That’s okay. It’s also okay if weeks, months, or years later, you realize that your answers have changed. Many people have taken years to understand this aspect about themselves and conclude whether or not they were indeed Therians.

Good Questions to Ask yourself

Why do I think I’m a Therianthrope? Is it from spiritual or psychological causes?

Do I experience therianthropic shifts? If not, do my experiences match that of a Contherian?

Am I tricking myself into feeling shifts or do they occur naturally/involuntarily?

Does Modern Therianthropy explain feelings I’ve had prior to discovering the term or community?

Do I really have any behaviors that I attribute to being nonhuman? What are those behaviors? Why do I consider them to be non-human? Did I act this way before finding the online community?

When I have dreams, are they really related to my Therianthropy?

Are my memories really from past lives or did I just visualize what I wanted to see?

Am I just doing this for fun or is this really a part of who I am and an identity for me?

Mindfulness

We hear a lot about meditation in the community, which has its pros and cons. What we don’t hear about is mindfulness. This is “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also: such a state of awareness”. This can be used along with meditation or on its own.

Most importantly, no one will find answers about who you are while staring at a computer screen. I highly recommend getting away from the computer. Leave the phone at home. If you must take a phone with you for safety, turn off notifications, and don’t check it for a while. Go to a park, preferably a grassy and wooded area, and just be yourself without any distractions. This time alone reduces being falsely influenced by others.

Part of mindfulness is also knowing when to take a step back. If you are having trouble finding answers about yourself, it’s okay to put this aside and focus on other things. If you are indeed a Therianthrope, this part of yourself won’t disappear just because you don’t focus on it.

Research

It’s okay to have doubts and questions. In fact, you should. It’s okay to discover that you are a Therianthrope. It’s also okay to discover that you are not. Being a Therian isn’t any more special than being a normal human.

It’s important to actually learn about Therianthropy and some of the history of our community. There are a lot of good, easily accessible resources where you can read about Therianthropy and see what other Therians have experienced. We always include links to these websites under the videos.

Do not get all of your information about Therianthropy from only one source or group of people. Get information from multiple places, but stay away from any outrageous claims. While no one else can tell you whether or not you are indeed a Therian, rational thought and self examination are important.

Journal Keeping

It’s important to keep track of your experiences and how you are feeling. This can help you gather information and make it easier to look back weeks, months, or years later. Therianthropy is an innate part of us, but it can change over time. For example, the type of shifts that you have can change. Their frequency and intensity can also change. We are constantly learning about ourselves.

Track shifts and their duration. Write down what causes you to shift so that you can be mindful of that and learn to keep calm. Record dreams that may be related. You can even keep track of foods, songs, and activities that help you feel like your animal self. It’s also important to keep track of things that keep you calm so that you can control shifts. Record quotes and information that you find helpful that you might want to reference later.

Meditation

Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual focuses his or her mind on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Meditation is also for the purpose of  helping us understand our own minds. There are various types of mediation, such as breathing or walking, and there are various methods for meditating. What works for one person may not work for another. Meditation takes patience and dedication. This practice can help anyone make positive changes to improve their daily lives. It’s certainly not specific to Therians.

This technique is often used improperly within the Therian community. It’s the practice of focusing the mind that can eventually lead to inner silence and deeper states of consciousness. It’s the deeper states of consciousness that can help us connect with our inner animal selves. Most people who meditated once or twice and then said they discovered their theriotype were probably just visualizing or imaging whatever they wanted to. Meditation should not be considered a quick or easy way to find answers. Seeing an animal during deeper states of consciousness needs to occur multiple times. Once is not enough to determine the answer.

Meditation used along with the other techniques mentioned in this video can be helpful. We will include a few links to sites about meditation in the video description.

This is the end of segment 2 of 2 “How to Determine if You Are a Therian”. If have any questions, please let me know in the comments or send a message on Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. I’m also on Amino now. If you didn’t see the first half of this video, click the image on your screen.

Thank you for watching!

Sources

Shifter’s Disease – http://therian.wikia.com/wiki/Shifter%27s_Disease

Sonne, Jan. 10, 2009 . “Question and Answer” Project Shift. http://project-shift.net/question-answer/

“Things you wish you’d known as a newbie” May 24, 2013. Werelist Archived Page. Http://www.werelist.net/archive/index.php/t-32892.html

Bewylderbeast, July 2008. “It’s okay not to be a Therianthrope”http://project-shift.net/its-okay-not-to-be-a-therianthrope/

Elinox, February 17, 2017 “It’s OK to not be ‘Other’” Lupine Instincts – Between Land & Sea.Https://lupineinstincts.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/its-ok-to-not-be-other/

RedFeather FalconHawk, 2012 “How to tell if You’re a Therian”https://redfeathers-eyrie.jimdo.com/general/how-to-tell-if-you-re-a-therian/

Ulfrvif, December 29, 2016. “What Makes Me a Wolf?”http://ulfrvif.dreamwidth.org/8680.html

Sonne, February 2009. “Becoming a Therian” Project Shift http://project-shift.net/becoming-a-therian/

Ozenwolf, June 18, 2003. “Am I a Therian?”http://web.archive.org/web/20050404141501/http://www.werechild.org/newbie.html

Kusani, January 1, 2009. “An Introduction to Animality” http://beinglion.com/introduction.php

Strill, July 2008. “Are You a Therian?” http://project-shift.net/are-you-a-therian/

“Awakening (How, Why, What)” April 22, 2015. Werelist Archived page. http://www.werelist.net/archive/index.php/t-34752.html

Animal-Hearted – http://therian.wikia.com/wiki/Animal-hearted

Copinglink – http://therian.wikia.com/wiki/Copinglink

Werelibrary – http://werelibrary.com/

Project Shift – http://project-shift.net/

Therian Wiki – http://therian.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

“Mindfulness.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 23 July 2017. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mindfulness

Meditation

Meditation for Beginners – https://liveanddare.com/meditation-for-beginners/

Types of Meditation – http://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation/

Imagery and Visualization –http://www.innerhealthstudio.com/imagery-and-visualization.html

Background Photo by Ulfrvif.

Images (if any) are used under fair use for educational purposes only and remain the property of the copyright holders.

Opening Title Music – “Lion’s Heart” by Art of Escapism is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike License. http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Artofescapism/Arena_Electronic_Music/Lions_Haven

Attribution-ShareAlike License – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/