Lycanthropic disorder

The term lycanthropy was also applied to those individuals afflicted with a form of dark melancholy, a deep depression that gave rise to a violent form of insanity. Clinical lycanthropy or Lycanthropic Disorder is a form of psychosis or dementia in which the patient has delusions of being a wild animal (usually a wolf). The … Read more


Lycanthropy is often confused with transmigration; but the essential feature of the were-animal is that it is the alternative form or the double of a living human being, while the soul-animal is the vehicle, temporary or permanent, of the spirit of a dead human being. Nevertheless, instances in legend of humans reborn as wolves are … Read more


Physical Therianthropy has been defined as the ability to shift from human to animal form and back again. Spiritual Therianthropy, then, is the ability to mentally transform from the normal human mode of thinking and reacting to an animal one. Even if humans are animals, it has been a constant effort of humanity, however, to … Read more

Animal spirits

In North and Central America, and to some extent in West Africa, Australia and other parts of the world, every male acquires at puberty a tutelary spirit; in some Native American tribes the youth kills the animal of which he dreams in his initiation fast; its claw, skin or feathers are put into a little … Read more

Animal ancestors

Stories of humans descending from animals are common explanations for tribal and clan origins. Sometimes the animals assumed human forms in order to ensure their descendants retained their human shapes, other times the origin story is of a human marrying a normal animal. North American indigenous traditions particularly mingle the idea of bear ancestors and … Read more


Some superstitions found in witchcraft and modern black magic are interlinked with lycanthropic beliefs.  During the Middle Age, lycanthropy was thought to be practiced by witches. The witches were believed to morph themselves into wolves that roamed throughout the European countryside frightening people, killing and devouring the travelers. Lycanthropes were even believed to be minor … Read more

Ergot poisoning

Ergot poisoning has been proposed to explain werewolf episodes in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries as both a cause of an individual believing that he or she is a werewolf and of a whole town believing that they had seen a werewolf. Ergotism was known by a variety of names: St. Anthony’s Fire, … Read more

The wolf

Our purpose is to analyze the reason for the wolf to be the creature of choice for metamorphosis. Usually, a person is deemed to take the form of the most dangerous beast of prey of the region: the wolf or bear in Europe and northern Asia, the hyena or leopard in Africa, and the tiger … Read more