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Contherian/Suntherian
Elinox
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Post: #1
Contherian/Suntherian
How do you define contherian and suntherian? Also, do you think that the two experience any type of shifting or do they just experience fluctuations in mood like Myenia's example below?

myenia Wrote:On a scale between human and animal...a contherian sits right in the middle...right at 50. A suntherian may sometimes fluctuate from 40 to 60, but not much more than that.

Also, do suntherians experience other types of shifts beside mild mental ones? I would assume that any therian could experience an astral shift as it's just a shift done while in meditation or a dream shift. I always thought that the terms contherian and suntherian dealt specifically with mental shifting.

Do contherians and suntherians experience phantom limbs? If so, how is this different than another type of shifting experience?

As I understand it, a contherian is someone who does not experience any type of shifting but is simply "animal/human" all the time. While a suntherian is someone who is also very integrated with their inner animal but may experience slight mood swings into their animal mindset, similar to mild mental shifts. What defines a "mild" mental shift as opposed to a normal or deep mental shift?

I consider myself very integrated with my animal self; I'm always a mix of both human and wolf, however, I experience mental/astral/dream shifts as well as phantom limbs. When mentally shifted, I am still aware that I am also physically human. Does this sound like suntherianthropy to anyone? (I'm honestly just curious as the specific terms tend to confuse me.)

So please, discuss contherianthropy and suntherianthropy here, thanks.

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2008-07-10 15:13
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Post: #2
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
I consider myself to be a contherian in that I am both always, no shifting from one to another. Though I'll be honest, I'm basing this off of the terms and definitions you posted, and I'm not sure where these even came from. I've only heard co (con?) therian once on werelist, and suntherian, not at all.

I do feel "phantom limbs", the ears and tails, but the corresponding human parts (ears and tailbone) move whenever the "phantom" limbs move, they're not independent of my physical body. I don't think phantom would be completely appropriate for me, because it's not like I'm truly lacking ears or the entire tail. If I felt wings, then that would be phantom, but not the other parts.
2008-07-11 2:14
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Post: #3
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
I'm a suntherian. For me, when I say a mild mental shift, I'm talking about something that nobody else notices as inhuman. There are a few obviously inhuman things I WANT to do, but I am still in control of myself and don't. I feel no need to howl or make noises. I feel the need to smell my boyfriend's skin and to nuzzle him, which I let myself do because he understands it. I also consider these minor mental shifts to be the things that happen to me when my instincts effect me more than they do normally due to a trigger...for example:

-when an unwelome intruder is in my house (roommat bringing over shady men...and I have problems with the regular type men in my home...)
- when someone touches or uses my stuff/enters my room without permission.
- Some sexual or intimate things with my mate
-Even just being outside in a very untouched part of nature.
-etc.

These things make me a little shifted toward wolf, and I feel it as slightly edgier, slightly less rational and slightly quicker to do what makes me comfortable over what is polite. Other people see it as me being bitchy and selfish, or as me being just a little less inhibited and happier (depending on the situation of course). They're certainly not obviously wolf, even to someone who has a good idea of wolf behavior. These are minor mental shifts...simply the same thing that happens to real animals when something triggers instincts.

Other shifts? I've had dream and phantom, but no astral, though I'm sure its possible. Phantom limbs come only with my "minor mental shifts" desribed above...teeth and muzzle come with the desire to rip out throats when I feel threatened or cornered. The entire body structure comes with being outside, wanting to run...especially the legs and paws.

Honestly, Elinox, the only person who knows if you'd be considered a suntherian is yourself. I think alot of people are still aware that they're human when they shift (not everyone though...), but its all about control.
2008-07-11 2:56
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Post: #4
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
WhiteFox Wrote:I consider myself to be a contherian in that I am both always, no shifting from one to another. Though I'll be honest, I'm basing this off of the terms and definitions you posted, and I'm not sure where these even came from. I've only heard co (con?) therian once on werelist, and suntherian, not at all.

As I said, those are the basic definitions that I know of. If you do a quick google or yahoo search for contherianthropy and suntherianthropy you can find more definitions from various sources. They are recognized terms within the therian community and most therians have at least heard of them. Although like me, they probably don't know the specifics involved!

The guy that came up with the term suntherianthropy created it because he felt that it was what most contherians meant when they were referring to themselves. Contherian refers to a completely integrated human/animal person, who does not experience any type of shifting. Suntherian is more like how Myenia described it, with fluctuations in mood; sometimes more animal, sometimes more human. At least, this is how I've come to understand these terms.

Myenia Wrote:I'm a suntherian. For me, when I say a mild mental shift, I'm talking about something that nobody else notices as inhuman.

I liked the way you worded that and it seems to be what I myself do, at least when in the presence of other people. I would consider what I do around other people "mild" because well, I consciously try to not act outwardly wolfy. I seem to have enough control to be able to still act normally, albeit a bit strange if someone is paying close enough attention to me. I'm usually an outgoing and fun type of person, but in the middle of a mental shift (at least what I've always called a mental shift, but in your terms Mye it would be a mild mental shift) I tend to become reserved and very quiet because I'm focusing more within myself.

Myenia Wrote:Honestly, Elinox, the only person who knows if you'd be considered a suntherian is yourself. I think alot of people are still aware that they're human when they shift (not everyone though...), but its all about control.

Yes, I know only I can properly label myself, but I figured I'd ask if what I experience sounded like contherian/suntherian to someone who already considers themselves to be one of those terms. I've always felt that I'm a mix of wolf and human but depending on the situation I'm more wolf/more human/etc. I don't think I'm ever just one or the other. I recognize that certain things are more/less human and more/less wolf, but both are part of me. I've never honestly explored the idea of contherian/suntherian because the term therian always just seemed like enough of a label for me. But now that I've been thinking about it more, about how I act and how I experience wolf, it sounds a lot like how Mye described being a suntherian. Granted, I'm sure it's different for everyone, and I'm still not sure about the phantom limbs (although I've always described them as always being there over my physical human body) but perhaps in becoming more experienced with my therianthropy, I am in fact a suntherian as well. *shrug* Who knows?

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2008-07-11 13:41
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Post: #5
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
Its very possible! I guess I feel the need to use the term sometimes because I think its important in conversation about shifting etc for people to know the extent of my personal experience. Its a quick way to summerize that I don't have those lose-control mental shifts, or much else for that matter. The word really doesn't matter except in that context.
2008-07-11 20:58
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Post: #6
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
Myenia Wrote:Its very possible! I guess I feel the need to use the term sometimes because I think its important in conversation about shifting etc for people to know the extent of my personal experience. Its a quick way to summerize that I don't have those lose-control mental shifts, or much else for that matter. The word really doesn't matter except in that context.

Lose-control mental shifts? I don't think I've ever had one of those. <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarrassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> I'm always in control of myself, although sometimes moreso than others. But if that makes me a suntherian, well then yay another label. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> Thanks for your help!

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2008-07-11 21:05
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Post: #7
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
Quote:Contherian refers to a completely integrated human/animal person, who does not experience any type of shifting.
Then I'll stick with that term.
2008-07-15 3:44
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Post: #8
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
I consider myself contherian, in that my mental state is always a muddled mish-mash of felid and human. I think each case of contherianthropy is unique, and the only thing that really ties us together is the muddled-mish-mashed mental state, and lack of mental shifting because of it. Some might be able to tell they are a 50/50 mix, some feel as if they are 100% animal trapped in a human body somehow, some might be more of a 60/40 or 70/30 mix of either side, but they are always that and never anything more/less. It varies, from what I have seen. I am some sort of integrated mixture to be sure, but what "percentage" I neither know nor do I currently care to find out (perhaps I will in the future.)

Some might be of the opinion that contherian would mean no shifting of any type, but I am wondering if that really is the case. Some contherians seem to experience constant phantom limbs, but I have heard of others actually having phantom shifts despite mental state not changing, and I am wondering if this is what is happening to me. I do not know if I experience "astral shifts" but I do tend to be a felid in my visualizations (working toward learning how to Journey properly) unconsciously. The last two times have been particularly powerful, coupled with intense phantom shifts, and vivid landscapes within my inner-not-quite-Journeys.

From what I have read about suntherianthropy, it was originally coined to describe what a lot of people meant by contherianthropy (as has been stated by others, of course.) People would call themselves a contherian, and then would describe themselves sorta-sliding around on a gradient of animal and human, not ever going entirely to one side or the other, and not calling it "shifting." Some would describe it like moods, such as "I feel more Jaguar today." But contherianthropy by definition excludes this, most people were drawn to the "lack of shifting" part of the definition and missing the "because of constant mental humananimal state" section.

So yeah, my personal opinion at this point in time is that con- and suntherians can experience other types of shifts, the definitions of the terms in my brain apply only to mental states. For some it applies to all types of shifts, some contherians have constant phantom limbs, are always astrally shifted, whatever -- but for others this might not be the case.
2008-08-15 1:26
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Post: #9
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
_Ix_ Wrote:From what I have read about suntherianthropy, it was originally coined to describe what a lot of people meant by contherianthropy (as has been stated by others, of course.) People would call themselves a contherian, and then would describe themselves sorta-sliding around on a gradient of animal and human, not ever going entirely to one side or the other, and not calling it "shifting." Some would describe it like moods, such as "I feel more Jaguar today." But contherianthropy by definition excludes this, most people were drawn to the "lack of shifting" part of the definition and missing the "because of constant mental humananimal state" section.

So yeah, my personal opinion at this point in time is that con- and suntherians can experience other types of shifts, the definitions of the terms in my brain apply only to mental states. For some it applies to all types of shifts, some contherians have constant phantom limbs, are always astrally shifted, whatever -- but for others this might not be the case.

From what I've read, 'suntherian' was created just like you said Ix, by one guy who thought people who used the term 'contherian' actually meant something else with their descriptions of their experiences. Personally, I don't want to use the term 'suntherian' to apply to myself because 1. the Latin is wrong, it should be 'syntherian' not 'suntherian' and 2. the guy that created the term was, at least in my research, doing it to become wellknown within the community. He also appears to be an asshole. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> And neither of which I wish to associate with my own therianthropy. *shrug* And it seems that the term 'contherian' was created also by one single guy, but he was actually just creating a term for his own personal use. And somehow it just caught on. But those are just my opinions. I think people should use whichever term they feel best describes how they experience therianthropy. I'd create a personal term myself but nobody else would use it (which is fine, hence the 'personal term') and I'd just get sick of explaining it all the time.

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2008-08-15 15:21
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Post: #10
Re: Contherian/Suntherian
To make it even more confusing, yes it should be syntherianthropy, but apparently the originator of the term preferred the pronunciation of suntherianthropy (SOON-therianthropy, as opposed to SIN-.)
And more confusing still, one chunk of the community came up with "Vacillant Therianthropy" (I think that is the word) to describe exactly the same thing. Of course, one group or even one guy creating a term for something has no bearing on the rest of the community, it is merely what one person or one chunk of the community has selected to represent whatever it is they desire. Syn/suntherianthropy appears to have become the more commonly used and heard-of term out there.
In the end, terms and labels can be very useful to some degree, but it is the description of your personal therianthropy which matters the most. 'Tis why I was so reluctant to apply the "contherian" label to myself for so long, and just went with the description of my personal experience instead (and I still combine the two.)
While not as dramatic as when the term arose, the label of contherianthrope was still quite earth-shattering for me when I came upon descriptions of it. For years I had known about the Were/Therian communities out there, but thought the thing that separated otherkin from therian was shifting. Therianthropes shift, at least that was the definition in my mind. It took some blind faith on my part to involve myself in the therianthrope community without having experienced mental shifting, and then I came across descriptions of what I experience complete with a handy little term (handy because so many people know of it, creating my own and having it catch on would likely be difficult!) It seems like shifting is the focus for so many, which is fine and more than understandable, but I greatly appreciate being able to easily find others who likewise have little to contribute in discussions of how shifting effects this or that aspect of your life. But yeah, as you might also already know, when Lion coined contherianthropy to describe his personal experience, shifting was a requirement for being a therian, at least in the eyes of the community at the time. The concept and term were both quite revolutionary, and I think I can see why he did so, despite all the ripples and such it likely caused.
2008-08-15 23:56
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