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An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Klandagi
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An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Hello there! I'm Erik, also known as Klandagi over the years during my involvement in the online "were" community.

Until I met a group of animal folk identifying as part of a “were” or “therian” community in the late 1990’s, I truly thought I might be insane. Since this time, my concept of sanity and even reality has drastically changed. What has been more surprising for me lately, however, is how my perception of myself seems to be transitioning.

If my first full, unanticipated 100% mental shift to a non-human animal during adulthood was my awakening to another side of myself, what I seem to be going through now is some sort of Awakening to my Whole self.

I’m not very good at putting these experiences into words at this point, so please forgive me if my introduction seems a little scatterbrained or confusing. Honestly, I’m still sorting out a lot of mental confusion, and my scientific human brain is unable to fully analyze my experiences and categorize them into any sort of system that is familiar enough for me to make sense of it.

Here’s a brief recap of what I think I know so far:

I was born a shapeshifter, and have had a strong connection with animals my entire life. Although I experienced many mental shifts and dream shifts to different animals as a child, I chalked it up to make-believe and abandoned the concept of shapeshifting as I became an adult. This seemed to build a pressure inside of me that I didn’t know how to deal with during my late teens. Struggling through horrible issues with my emotions, relationships, and feeling so incredibly out of place in the world; I finally had some sort of “breakdown” at age 19 during which I experienced a full mental transformation into a cougar. Exploration during the earlier days of the internet led me to meeting up with other “animal folk” at a “howl” in the late 90’s. Through sharing personal accounts and experiences with others, I began to identify with many people who considered themselves “weres” or “therians”. It seemed to make sense to define myself in the same manner, and so I considered myself an active part of that community for many years, organizing meet-ups, camp-outs, and even moving across the country to be closer to my “packmates”. At the present time, I still associate with many friends that are like family to me from the therian community, though my involvement in the online community became virtually non-existent for a number of years.

One thing that seemed to be different about my experiences than most I spoke with was my history of shapeshifting to many different animals. Some therians insisted that it was not the accepted norm to have strong connections with or shapeshift into multiple animals beyond one or a few “phenotypes” (now called “theriotypes” in the therian community). While the therian community now has many expanded definitions and terms to encompass a wider variety of experiences, I still don’t seem to find my place among the community in a spiritual sense. Many therians I’ve met are atheist, for example. Shapeshifting seems to be at the very root of my spirituality, and although I am not religious, spirituality is one of the most important aspects of my life. Another experience setting me apart from others I know is that I have shapeshifted into forms other than animal, such as trees. One time I seem to have merged with the spirit of a landscape, maybe something like a Genius Loci… And another time with some sort of indigenous human spirit. Lately, I feel myself being pulled more and more towards the Void; some sort of existence as Nothingness, or conversely, oneness with Everything. The concept is confusing and scary; foreign and unexplored for me. It is not so important to me that I define myself at this time, but I would like to expand my interactions to include those who are more open to spiritual matters regarding these experiences as well as the idea of shapeshifting beyond what seem to be accepted definitions in the therian world. I like to think of myself as very open-minded, and I'm always up for deep discussions involving the Great Mysteries of the cosmos we all seem to be experiencing.

I look forward to meeting you all, and I hope to be able to contribute to the community here. I totally welcome any questions, comments, ideas, or criticisms! <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->
2013-05-16 0:19
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Post: #2
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Welcome <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> While I personally attribute my therianthropy to psychological considerations, I identify as a polywere so you're certainly not alone in the whole 'shapeshifting' thing.

[Image: seraphyna11_zps47e1e313.png]
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost."-Tolkien
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."-Poe
2013-05-16 1:06
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Klandagi
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Post: #3
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Seraphyna Wrote:Welcome <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> While I personally attribute my therianthropy to psychological considerations, I identify as a polywere so you're certainly not alone in the whole 'shapeshifting' thing.

Awesome! <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->

Nice to meet you, Seraphyna!
2013-05-16 2:44
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Post: #4
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Welcome! I identify as a polymorph (kind of like shape-shifting) and I use that term instead of a shape-shifting since I don't have a core kintype, at least not that I'm aware of. However, I feel my being kin is due to psychological happenings. I'm spiritual, my kin-type just has nothing to do with spirituality as far as I'm aware. :3 But I do understand shape-shifting/being a polymorph. :3

~ Arawn

Members: Gabriel, Lestat, Nico, Fenrir, and Nathaniel.
2013-05-18 15:59
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Post: #5
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Hi Klandagi,

Welcome. I read this post a couple of days ago and have been thinking on what to say. I've also experienced shifts to different beings, but in my case I think it's related to energetic sensitivity -- that my psyche can at times become those who surround me (or step into me) incorporeally. I wanted to present this option, that maybe instead of this being linked to your own identity, perhaps you're picking up on beings who surround you. I'm not sure how much more I want to say at this point, but I have been thinking of this and wanted to communicate it while the concept was fresh. I haven't read again your intro this time, therefore, apologies if my hit is a bit off. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

-- Chordal
2013-05-20 1:33
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Klandagi
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Post: #6
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Annwyn Wrote:Welcome! I identify as a polymorph (kind of like shape-shifting) and I use that term instead of a shape-shifting since I don't have a core kintype, at least not that I'm aware of. However, I feel my being kin is due to psychological happenings. I'm spiritual, my kin-type just has nothing to do with spirituality as far as I'm aware. :3 But I do understand shape-shifting/being a polymorph. :3

~ Arawn

Hello Arawn! It's certainly nice to know that others here may have had experiences similar to my own. I've only recently come to the realization that my kin-type and shape-shifting practices are so deeply rooted in my spirituality. I still believe there could be a psychological component to my experiences as well. I'd love to chat with you about your experiences being a polymorph sometime. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->
2013-05-22 8:29
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Klandagi
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Post: #7
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Chordal Wrote:Hi Klandagi,

Welcome. I read this post a couple of days ago and have been thinking on what to say. I've also experienced shifts to different beings, but in my case I think it's related to energetic sensitivity -- that my psyche can at times become those who surround me (or step into me) incorporeally. I wanted to present this option, that maybe instead of this being linked to your own identity, perhaps you're picking up on beings who surround you. I'm not sure how much more I want to say at this point, but I have been thinking of this and wanted to communicate it while the concept was fresh. I haven't read again your intro this time, therefore, apologies if my hit is a bit off. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

-- Chordal

Hi Chordal,

Thank you for sharing your perspective. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> I have considered the notion of picking up on energy or spirits -- whether in "ordinary" reality, an alternate dimension, on the ethereal plane, etc. In some cases after recounting certain experiences, such an idea seems the most logical conclusion.

I'm curious to know more about your shifts. Do you have to be in close physical proximity to the being you are shifting into?
2013-05-22 8:44
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Post: #8
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Klandagi Wrote:
Chordal Wrote:Hi Klandagi,

Welcome. I read this post a couple of days ago and have been thinking on what to say. I've also experienced shifts to different beings, but in my case I think it's related to energetic sensitivity -- that my psyche can at times become those who surround me (or step into me) incorporeally. I wanted to present this option, that maybe instead of this being linked to your own identity, perhaps you're picking up on beings who surround you. I'm not sure how much more I want to say at this point, but I have been thinking of this and wanted to communicate it while the concept was fresh. I haven't read again your intro this time, therefore, apologies if my hit is a bit off. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

-- Chordal

Hi Chordal,

Thank you for sharing your perspective. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> I have considered the notion of picking up on energy or spirits -- whether in "ordinary" reality, an alternate dimension, on the ethereal plane, etc. In some cases after recounting certain experiences, such an idea seems the most logical conclusion.

I'm curious to know more about your shifts. Do you have to be in close physical proximity to the being you are shifting into?
Physical proximity ...is kind of a separate thing than what I'm thinking of. I'm going to take the chance to trust you/the forum with this information, as I was pushed to weigh it before posting. With spirits, location is kind of tricky. To me, it's symbolic; physical location takes form as a metaphor for mental location, only, mental location is nonlinear.

TO EVERYONE: Pretty much everything in the below is Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis, except for the fact that I've talked with a couple of other people who have experienced things the same way. That in no way makes it true, but it's strong enough of a hit to cause me to wonder about the veracity of my thought.

I have picked up on spirits who were physically near to me (for example, a plant in my care), and I have envisioned spirits or thoughtforms near me or approaching me, etc. But "location" in psychic terms -- at least in my terminology -- has to do with the "space" one is inhabiting. Basically there are different "places" one can go in one's mind which have to do with emotion, memory, feeling, what zone one is thinking within, etc. By "zone" I mean something like one's current paradigm and associated thoughts and feelings that occur at any one time while in that "space". For example, a religious paradigm may not always be held in the mind, however the mind can enter and exit religious states, during which insights within the terminology and worldview of that "space" can occur and may be applicable outside of the religious paradigm. That same insight might be difficult to approach without the assistance and (this-world and next-world) lexicon of the paradigm. (It tends to be the case, at least with me, that the next-world [energetic] lexicon is only built up through trial and error or vaguely similar meanings and metaphors handed down through culture, and/or cryptically hidden meanings within the teachings of those cultures...in some cases, literally like it's written in code.)

The mind -- as versus the brain (in this case, mind = process, brain = hardware) -- allows us to travel between different psychic "places"; what happens when I "channel" (in quotes because I'm probably using the term idiosyncratically) is that the mind (notice I did not say "my mind") steps into a certain space inhabited by a certain identity. Physical location is one thing; psychic location is another. Identity exists at certain locations or ranges within psychic space. My first spirit friend I knew by his energy signature, not by the way he looked or the fact that he would visit me in the same physical location at around the same time every night (now that I think of it, I was awfully easy to rendezvous...). I've spoken about this before with someone here; the kind of sense that one gets of the "taste" of a certain spirit; their vibratory "feel." That "feel," if one allows it to overtake oneself, is psychic location, where now the consciousness of the body is overlapped with the psychic location of a spirit, and for some time you are in sync, and the body's consciousness may think of itself as that spirit, without realizing the process of what could be happening -- or it could realize it and long, "this time," for it to be permanent (when by the nature of the beast, it is not). It's not quite the same thing as being possessed, because if one's skilled and wills to do so, one should be able to retain control over the actions of the physical body, and not give up control to the spirit at that psychic location. But you have to know first that your thoughts are not always you, and that in most cases you have a choice not to engage a hostile spirit.

I have no idea how I got into this deep enough to start talking about possession, but anyway...ultimately, the body is held responsible for the actions the body commits; the mind has the ability to move into and out of psychic states, and hence the potential to evade unnecessary conflicts. What one needs to know in order to stay safe, is that in a sense, one *is* the body, and so -- it is not entirely impossible, but only possible with a great deal of damage -- it is not a good option to attempt to escape any punishment that may be inflicted on the body because of the body's actions. It's better not to commit actions that will get one's body in trouble, if one can do this without violation to the self. This means not to let one's mind run rampant, enter and exit dangerous states for fun and/or attempt to avoid responsibility for actions committed while within those states. The spirits one overlaps with have an existence in a way separate from us; if we aren't vigilant and mindful of what we allow in, they can "joyride" our bodies and leave us hanging with the punishment without suffering it themselves. It's just self-preservationist to be careful.

I'm not a member of that New Age cult that just came to my mind now; it's just that I'm trying to explain this any way I can. That last paragraph was a disclaimer, by the way. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

So regarding all of this...there is a question of which psychic location is "mine." "So I know how to be other people, but who am I and how do I be I?" seems to be the question. I'm still sussing this one out myself, though I'm getting closer to an answer, after a bit over a decade of trying. I think my spirits (the ones whose locations I overlap with) are trying to help me with this, too. I have a very strong tendency to be "fluid;" I'm now coming to a point of recognizing and attempting to embrace my gender fluidity, even though I think now that I'm coming at it from the opposite vector than I thought I was...and there are not words that I know of to name what I'm going through. The thing is that my fluidity isn't limited to gender, and I've heard now a number of times, from professionals, that I do not have DID. I think I may be energetically sensitive, and that this is what's going on with the changing states that I've experienced, and the seeming chaotic-ness that has been happening (up until relatively recently, I'd been assuming [or trying to] that everything that was happening in my mind was basically "me," which seems only true on the grand scale of things where all spirit is one Spirit...so we're all holy, we're all one, and we sub-differentiate based on our life experiences and what we do with said life experiences; at the same time, together we are the mind and body of Deity).

OK, craziness over for tonight? <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> I will try to post this and see if the spirits delete it from my computer. <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue --> In any case, I should get some sleep, but I wonder if any of this will help you?
2013-05-25 6:28
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Post: #9
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Welcome to OKP, glad you made it over here!

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"You're the best kind of crazy." -Murphy, The Dresden Files
2013-05-28 17:30
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Klandagi
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Post: #10
Re: An introduction from a curious shapeshifter...
Chordal, thank you very much for sharing. Either you're not as crazy as you suggest, or our states of craziness are quite compatible! <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> I understand what you mean about location being non-linear as it relates to "thought space". And I can see that the mind stepping into certain thought spaces may actually be able to tap into or merge with some sort energy or attractor field associated with an identity or entity occupying that psychic space. This would certainly seem to explain some of my shifting experiences that fall outside of the commonly accepted degrees of human-animal shifts that are often discussed in the therian community. What an insightful perspective! Would you be open to discussing this further, either on the forums here or privately?

I sympathize with your struggle over your identity. This seems to be one of my greatest challenges in accepting what I am. I have realized that the "person" most people I interact with have come to know is nothing more than a construct (or more accurately a conglomerate of constructs), formed entirely based on my perceptions of expected behaviors. While this explains a lot about my social interactions, it poses a difficult question. If who I am socially depends on perceived expectations of those I am interacting with, what happens if I turn the filters off? In other words, if I'm not shape-shifting into the person others expect me to be, who would I become? And if I shed all these constructs that people in my life have come to know, how will the people in my life react to the changes? How do I be true to myself? How do I separate others' ideas from my own? Even when I am alone, my view of myself is filtered through others' perceptions and an accepted consensus of reality. When the ego is stripped away, and all preconceptions are abandoned, there is still something at the core. There is something here having these experiences that is me.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts, Chordal. I believe I have experienced some of what you describe, and if nothing else, it helps to know that I am not alone. I would love to continue the discussion further if you're game. Feel free to contact me privately if you'd like. My e-mail is <klandagi@gmail.com>.
2013-06-01 7:33
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