By the Dark Wolf


The Shifters...
It is believed that some people can metamorph into something else. These gifted ones are called shifters. Here are the many types of shifting one might experience:

· Non-Physical Shifts: There may be some physical changes, such as blood pressure, involved here, but nothing
     very out of the ordinary. Non-Physical Shifts are mental.

     Non-Shifting is not a kind of shift, but rather a condition. There are many werewolves and other Werebeings who
     have never experienced any kind of Shift. Then why do they think they are werewolves? Simple, their connection
     with their animal is a way of life. In a way that is very real to them, they are both human and Wolf. Their animal is
     intertwined with all they do, what they like, how they interact to the world. Yes, they realize that they aren't a Wolf
     by the world's definition, yet that nevertheless is what they are. They often experience some of the symptoms of
     being a werewolf other than Shifting. And many (perhaps eventually all??) of them eventually experience Shifts.

     Aura Shifting is the most common type of Shift, in fact, many Shifters never have any other kind of Shift. In Aura
     Shifting, the Shifter will immerse himself/herself in the animal's energy, resulting in a Wolfish mood. The Shifter will
     feel somewhat animal-like, alert, very aware, with an often-pleasurable heightened sense of their physical body.
     This is very like the mindset that people playing a sport and really mentally absorbed in playing get into. If you've
     ever gotten into a different mode of awareness/concentration/feeling when deep in a volleyball game and having
     lotsa fun, you know pretty much what this is like. Hence the phraze, "I'm in the Zone!" The only big difference is
     the Shifter has a definite sense of Wolfness (or whatever their totem is) to their mood. The body temp may go up a
     bit and the behavior will seem more lupine in general.


     Astral Shifting is where the Shifter goes into the spiritworld (astral plane) and Shifts there. It can take awhile to
     work yourself into the right frame of mind for this, so it's not as easy as aura shifting, which you can do anywhere
     and get away with. Dreaming, with a capitol D, of shifting into your animal or being your animal, or even dreaming
     about it, counts as Astral Shifting.

     Dream Shifting is where the Shifter is a Wolf (or whatever animal) in their dreams, or where the Shifter changes
     physically in their dreams. This kind of shift is very common and I decided to list it separately after many people
     said it should be in a separate category. Many Shifters who shift in their dreams have reported they go after their
     fears, and destroy them, in Wolf or half-wolf shape and gain much self-confidence and inner peace that way.


     Mental Shifting is an aura shift that is much deeper and with much more animalness. Mental Shifting is also used
     to mean any Non-Physical Shift, so someone claiming to have mentally shifted may be talking about any kind of
     Non-Physical Shift. Actually, there is no clear boundary between an aura shift and a mental shift. Aura shifts are
     often called "light mental shifts" and one Shifter's experience of mental shifting may be much deeper than another
     Shifter's experience of mental shifting. And the depth of Mental Shift in one individual Shifter can, and often does,
     vary at different times. In the deeper mental shifts, the shifter achieves a state the army calls "Condition Orange", a
     much deeper version of the volleyball state described in aura shifting. Condition Orange is a state of heightened
     awareness and concentration in which the coordination is likely to be very precise in an unconscious, easy,
     effortless kind of way, it is like the state a healthy Wild animal is in most of the time. The Shifter will likely have
     trouble with words, making little sense or losing speech altogether. The Shifter will tend to engage in behavior that
     is definitely animal-like, and might forget how to get around on two legs. The Shifter may be able to run around on
     all fours (not hands+knees, but hands+feet) in a very agile, natural-looking way. The Shifter might or might not
     have memory holes, or memory fuzziness, or no memory at all of what they did while mentally shifted. You might
     want to look at this for more info.On average, lighter mental shifts are remembered much better than deeper
     mental shifts. Mental Shifts often cause a deep desire to drink lots of ice-cold water after or during the shift.
     Mental Shifts sometimes cause "Wolf spit" to form in the mouth, "Wolf spit" being Shifter slang for that kind of
     gunky spit you sometimes have in your mouth when you first wake up in the morning. Mental Shifts can cause the
     skin to become very pale or even "gray", like a person in shock.


     Spirit Shifting has more than one meaning. Those for whom being a Shifter is a very spiritual thing may call mental
     shifting spirit shifting. The other thing is that some werewolves mentally shift by channeling a Wolf Spirit or a
     Shifting Spirit into their body in much the same way that a regular channeler can channel a guardian angel, an astral
     entity, or someone's dead relative. Thus the second meaning of Spirit Shifting refers to a Mental Shift in which a
     Wolf Spirit was channeled into the body. Of course, many Shifters don't believe in spirits, and many Shifters do
     believe in spirits but are sure none are being channeled into their body. While yet other Shifters are sure that all
     Mental Shifts result from a spirit being channeled into the body.


     Persona Shifting is somewhere between assuming a mood and the radical "mental shifts" of a person with
     Multiple Personality Disorder. Some WereCreatures have a separate persona for their "wereside", yet persona
     shifts exist in the real world in people who are not WereCreatures. In more radical instances {but still less radical
     than multiple personality} of persona shifting, the different personas may even have memories attached to them that
     other personas don't have (i.e. other personas can't remember that event). Different personas often have different
     outlooks on the world, different skills, and other things like that. Learning to recognize different personas that you
     shift into (if you are a persona shifter) can be very beneficial in learning to extricate yourself from the mess and
     confusion that persona shifting can easily cause, and knowledgeable persona shifting can be beneficial, such as
     shifting into a persona that is calm and level-headed in a dangerous situation or shifting into a persona, at the right
     time, that knows how to write very well to ensure straight A's in English.


 · And now we come to ShapeShifting (Physical Shifting), the most rare and the coolest type of Shift.
     There are actually several types of ShapeShifting too, and they do have some overlap. A Shifter can experience
     more than one kind of ShapeShifting, or a kind of ShapeShift between two well-defined categories. ShapeShifting
     may or may not be accompanied by a simultaneous Aura Shift or Mental Shift or Spirit Shift. Some Shifters use
     the term "ShapeShifting" to refer to Non-Physical Shifting, which can make some people angry.

     Sense Shifting is something of an enigma. It doesn't seem to be very common, and yet many Shifters have
     experienced what might be partial, or complete, sense Shifting. It may be physical shifting, or it may be mental
     shifting, it is difficult to classify. And proof it really happened is much harder for the shifter, or anyone else, to
     gather evidence on. It is similar to Posession shifting in that the Shifter receives the same, or some of the same,
     information (sense information, seeing, hearing, ect.) as the real animal they are connecting with. Yet no Posession
     or the things associated with it takes place. Sometimes the Shifter may even be aware of the animal's thoughts too.
     But the Shifter has no control over what the animal does, indeed the animal often appears unaware of the Shifter.
     Occasionally, proof that it really happened and wasn't just a vision is forthcoming, but usually not. In practice,
     often no difference can be told between Sense Shifting and a Shifter having a vision or dream of being an animal. I
     did hear of one shifter who could (both at will or accidentally) get "pulled around" so she was looking out of the
     eyes of animals she was near. This would count as a sense shift. Sometimes sense shifting of various kinds is also
     called astral shifting


     Molecular Shifting is when the Wolf spirit (or potential Wolf blueprint held within, or whatever) takes the raw
     matter of the human's body and assembles itself out of it, resulting in a physical change which is the least subtle of
     all Shifts. Molecular Shifting is notable for the extreme suddenness of the Shift, there is no gradual metamorphosis.
     Molecular Shifting is an almost instantaneous Shift from full human form to full Wolf form. It can be so quick it
     creates a miniature sonic boom, which means either the surfaces of the body must be moving into their new
     positions faster than the speed of sound (600 something miles per hour) or a rush of highly energized air happens,
     like when lightning strikes and produces thunder. (It kind of proves the Big Bang throy ;) )Molecular Shifting
     produces a "Mind of an Animal" mentality. The Shifter will feel pains leading up to the Shift (for as long as a day)-
     they intensify as the Shift comes closer. Around three minutes before the Shift is to take place, they feel an
     overwhelming urge - much like vomiting - to run where there is 'safety'.  The actual Shift is painless. The Molecular Shifter  seems to run on an energy cycle. Their Shifting energy builds up until it produces a Shift, then keeps them in Wolf form
until it burns itself and It often "dumps" the WereWolf wherever he or she happens to be at the time it burns out, which may or may not be a convenient place to be.


     Classical Shifting is called that because it is the "classical" kind encountered in most WereWolf folklore and
     WereWolf Sightings. It is the gradual metamorphosis from man or woman to beast, taking up to ten minutes for the
     change to become complete. The human cognition is retained and control is easier to maintain. Thus this sort will
     attain the body of a Wolf but not the mindset. Although, of course, being in a Wolf body, with a Wolf's brain,
     hormones, senses, and instincts will still have some effect. Just not the "complete animal" in thinking and behavior
     that the Molecular Shifter is. Classical Shifting is much less painful, actually bordering on the sinfully pleasurable,
     and accompanied by odd physical feelings. It is a lot easier to trigger, and is also reversible (i.e. the Shifter could
     partially change, then change back to full humid form without reaching full Wolf form), and they also might have the
     ability (or the involuntary problem) of remaining for an extended period in a median form that is between Wolf and
     human. Since most accounts of WereWolves stuck in a median form, from all over the world, agree very well on
     exactly what the WereWolf looks like that, it is probably hard to remain anywhere but that particular point in the
     Shift, or (assuming it was controlled) it is probably inconvenient to remain anywhere other than that particular
     point. That point resembles a human body (albeit a furry human body with other noticeable differences, such as
     somewhat changed shapes and proportions of limbs and torso, and paw-hands) with a Wolf head, complete with
     long muzzle, and pointed Wolf ears on top of the head. Although I have found accounts of WereWolves lurking in
     a form where they were furry, but so little changed they could still talk, and using this form to rob passers-by
     without their identity being known, with the threat (and sometimes demonstration) of more fully changing to help
     convince the victims to give up their money.  the Wolf that a Classical Shifter transforms herself or himself into could be any color of Wolf, not just black-coloured Wolves. In accounts of eyewitnesses of both Classical and Molecular Shifts, gray colored Wolves, like in nature, are the most common   kind.


 Bilocation Shift is a combination of the paranormal phenomena of Bilocation with the paranormal phenomena of
     ShapeShifting. Although I haven't personally heard of any Bilocation Shifters in AHWW, folklore and collections
     of paranormal sightings have many Shifters of this type, as well as fairly detailed studies of both the phenomena of
     Bilocation in general and, to a lesser extent, Bilocation Shifting. The interested person is encouraged to read up on
     Bilocation. Bilocation Shifting is when the Shifter goes into a deep trance, sometimes drug-induced, but often not.
     (Besides, the drug-induced trances have the quality that the Shifter is trapped in the Shift until the drug wears off,
     which could be deadly if they get caught in a deadly situation.) While in the trance, all the familiar Bilocation
     phenomena happens, except that the PHYSICAL, REAL Body that they materialize, and are in during the Shift, is
     not a carbon copy of their own, but instead a Wolf (or whatever type of animal they are). They are not in their
     body during the Shift, but in the body of the Wolf. This is not a real Wolf they have "possessed", but a body they
     themselves have materialized. Their human body will often get very cold or become rigid (like regular Bilocation),
     and there are frequent reports that, although it looks the same, it has lost weight (also like regular Bilocation),
     sometimes more than half of it's original weight (but will recover this weight when they shift back). Their Wolf body
     is in every way the body of a real Wolf, it gets tired, it can (and does) hunt and eat (and digest), it is solid and
     real-feeling if touched, it can be wounded (and corresponding wounds will appear on their human body at the
     same instant) and it can die (which causes the Shifter's human form to die), and be dissected, and still appear
     exactly like a real Wolf. The corresponding-injury thing stops, though, at the moment of death, so the Shifter who
     is injured, killed and dissected will only shown the injuries up to the point of death, he or she won't also be
     dissected in human form. Accounts of Bilocation Shifting indicate that the Shifter usually has excellent memory of
     what they did as a Wolf. The Bilocation shifter can be confused with the classical/molecular shifter if they are never
     witnessed dematerializing (or materializing), or if their unconscious human body is never witnessed while their
     animal body is out "romping". The Bilocation Shift is related to other types of Shift. It is generally accomplished by
     the Astral Shifter or Spirit Shifter who has gained enough expertise and ability. Bilocation Shifting has some
     advantages over the other kinds of ShapeShifting because the Shifter will never be "dropped" somewhere
     inconvenient, while naked, and the Shifter never has to worry how they will get into the woods and back. On the
     other hand, there are indications that Bilocation Shifters often can't control where they end up, just that it tends to
     be within a few miles of their human body and in a wild place. And that helpless human body has got to be a
     disadvantage. There are also indications that the Shift back to human (dematerialization of the animal body) cannot
     be easily done at will. A Bilocation Shifter who is good enough at it can learn how to materialize their Wolf body in
     the same place as their human body, using their human body as fuel, and thus performing a Molecular Shift or a
     Classical Shift, or something in between.


     Magickal Shifting is when the Shifter has to perform a formal magickal ritual to cause the Shift every time they
     Shift. This kind may largely be a fictional kind of Shifter, but there are indications that it was more common in the
     past and that it often was a precursor to learning how to Shift without the ritual as another kind of Physical Shifter.
     This is the kind that the inquisition during the Middle Ages tried to claim all WereWolves were. Suspected
     WereWolves were often tortured until they confessed, in a way that fit with the official theology, that they were a
     Magickal Shifter with a magic belt or something. Except in the case of Bilocation Shifters who owned a
     drug-salve, the "magic" object used to cause the Shift was practically never recovered, evidence that the object
     likely never existed. Magickal Shifting is also sometimes used to refer to other types of Shifts that the Shifter
     believes had something to do with magick, even though no formal ritual is needed to cause the Shift. This may refer
     to magick as the natural energy that flows through everything (which some Shifters believe is involved in every type
     of Shift) or it may refer to a formal ritual or informal encounter with a magickal force that the Shifter believes to
     have caused them to become a Shifter. Many Shifters look down on attempts to become Physical Shifters via
     magick, as a kind of acceleration of a natural process that would result in Physical Shifting eventually anyway, and
     thus "cheating". These Shifters see the long, hard road to Physical Shifting as a mechanism to make sure those who
     become Physical Shifters are really ready to handle it.


     Posession Shifting is when the Shifter sends their soul, or mind, or spirit, or astral body or whatever into an
     animal body in such a way that they are in the animal's body, see and perceive through it's senses, and can at least
     partially control what it does (depending on how far they have ousted the original resident soul of the animal). This
     type of Shifting is very hard to do, very hard to keep doing once it is done, and fairly dangerous. There are many
     protection mechanisms that keep the proper soul in possession of the body it was born in, and the Posession
     Shifter may be injured by them and will often have to fight with the animal's soul for possession of it's body. In
     addition, the channel that the Posession Shifter opens up between his or her body and the animal's body tends to
     cause big problems for the Shifter when the animal dies, regardless of whether he or she is in the animal's body at
     the time. But Posession Shifters will not receive corresponding injuries when the animal is injured, whether they are
     in the body or not, yet they may feel pain and become sick when the animal is injured. Basically, Posession Shifters
     can rarely keep it up for long without serious consequences, and if they had any real power they would choose
     one of the other types of Shift to perform. Since it takes a certain amount of power to posess any living thing, the
     number of potential possession shifters is small. Bilocation Shifters are commonly mistaken for Posession Shifters.

     · The mentality of a WereWolf in Wolf Form may be anywhere from one with hardly any trace of
     humanity to one that is very human indeed.
     And, yes, WereWolves do turn into real Wolves, four-footed and completely indistinguishable from a real Wolf.
     They tend to be noticeably larger than the average real Wolf, but otherwise there is no difference. WereWolves
     may occasionally turn up in a partially transformed state, but even then they don't look like stereotypical movie
     WereWolves, nearly always having a noticeable long muzzle and a tendency to drop to all fours. WereWolves and
     Shifters in general can fall into any of the categories of Shifters I listed, fall between two categories, fit into several
     categories, or slowly (or maybe even rapidly) change from one category to another. Even those who seem to fit
     squarely in one or a few categories often show "vague hints" of other categories, such as one Shifter I know who is
     a mental/spirit shifter, yet was once able to grow a small patch of fur (a hint of a physical shift). Of course I didn't
     see this, but that's what he said happened. And many Shifters I've met have had more subtle hints of Physical
     Shifts. And many have hints of the Bilocation Shifter by being associated with a Wolf spirit that they can project
     (non-physically) to other places.

Closer Look at the possible metalities of a were:
1."Mind of a Wolf" - when the werewolf transforms (for whatever reason) he loses his human mind and takes on the mentality of a normal wolf. This means that while the werewolf would not go out of its way to commit heinous acts of evil, it might for example attack a small child and eat it if it were hungry enough. Similarly, the noise and confusion of the city might scare a werewolf into a frightened frenzy, where it leaps about ripping out throats... It is more likely that a werewolf in wolf form with this mentality would flee to the woods, however, if any were available. The territorial nature of the wolf might prove interesting here - should transformation occur in the house or apartment of the werewolf's human form, it might (if it retains any of its human memory) stick around and "guard" its "territory." Should the transformation occur while walking through unfamiliar territory, the werewolf might be extremely cautious, as it knows that it may well be on someone else's (read: "another territorial wolf's") land.

Exactly how much of the human form's memory is carried over to the wolf form's memory is debatable. Subsets of "Mind of a wolf" might include "memory wiped" (the wolf form has no memory of the human form, no recognition of familiar places/faces), "vague memory" (enough to give the wolf a sense of security in the human form's house or apartment, a sense of trust and connection with one's spouse and loved ones, etc.), and "complete memory" (albeit interpreted through the mind of a wolf). The movie Ladyhawke portrayed a werewolf (and werehawk) with this mentality.

2."Mind of a Beast" - Similar to the Stevenson tale "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," the werewolf (while transformed) loses all inhibitions and goes on a wild ID-spree, expressing as many repressed urges as possible before reverting back to human form. This werewolf could be the "ravening beast" who slaughters her cheating husband, her whining children, and her abusive parents in one fell night, or perhaps the disgruntled lawyer who stalks parks on the nights of the full moon to rape and mutilate attractive young women. As with "Mind of a Wolf," the werewolf may or may not remember his or her actions in wolf form after the change. This is the werewolf of classic Hollywood horror.

All of us generally repress violent and sexual urges throughout the course of our lives, although there might be plenty of other things held back by our Egos (or Superegos? I keep forgetting...) regarding those two. Perhaps the homosexual werewolf, repressing his true nature for years and years due to the pressures from his family or church, finds the change enabling him to break free and express his love interest in a co-worker or close friend. Of course, given the fact that all other barriers are down as well, this poor fellow might find himself raping his love interest... Oh, well. This is not the kind of werewolf mentality any of us on A.H.W. would WANT to have, I think. These lycanthropes are typically violent and destructive, more so than normal humans or animals. Name a Hollywood werewolf film (An American Werewolf in London, Silver Bullet, etc.) and you can bet it will portray werewolf mentality in this manner.

3."Super-hero" - this is the lycanthrope who remains completely human in mentality after the change occurs. It could just as easily be labeled "Super-villain," since not all humans would use lycanthropic powers for good... Still, it is probably the least horrific of lycanthrope mentalities (at least for the individual lycanthrope). The White Wolf game Werewolf - the Apocalypse seems to portray werewolf mentality this way, although werewolves are slightly affected by their wolf nature depending on what form they are in and can still frenzy on occasion... a better example of a lycanthrope with this mentality would probably be Kirk Langstrom as Man-bat, after he perfected his formula and could retain his sanity while he changed (before this, Man-bat had possessed a "Mind of the Bat" mentality). It is not one of the more exciting mentalities to talk about, since we already know it in human form - however, even a normal person's psyche may be considerably altered on looking into the mirror and seeing the reflection of a wolf, having to walk on all fours, and receiving a cornucopia of sensory stimuli in the form of new scents and sounds.

DW'S Final words....
What of this is true and what isn't will you ask me....  The only answer is that it's up to you to find out for yourself. I didn't display these "how to be a werewolf" faqs to avoid little occultist flaming me with those ritual recipes or whatever... If you need more info, I'd be glad to answer your questions on [email protected]