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Define "therian"
Spanky
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Post: #1
Define "therian"
Okay, I'm not sure if I'm just having terminology issues, or if there's a problem with the classification itself. But why are only Earth-based animal forms called Therians (which are compared to mythological were-animals, shapeshifters)?

I'm aware that not all therians experience a separation between the human-self and the animal-self - some have shades and gradations of being partially one and partially the other, while others may feel both "sides" equally at all times and experience no division at all.

I've also noticed that this difference in the degree of separation also occurs in many other types of 'kin. At least, I think so... are there not Dragons, fae, elves, demons, etc, who experience a separation between the "other" self and the "human" self as well?
2008-04-23 18:51
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Post: #2
Re: Define "therian"
I'm not sure where the term originated...I do know that individuals who are perpetually both sides at once are termed "contherians" while therians in general have mental, emotional, phantom shifts but aren't always meshed with their animal side consciously while contherians are. Most kin have mental shifts between sides and some are connected consciously to their other sides at all times....why therians have extra terminology I don't know, but there you have it.

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2008-04-23 19:18
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momo
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Post: #3
Re: Define "therian"
Moved to "Therians" sub-forum. I think it fits better in here with the other therian discussion. ^^

Thanks to Elinox for the banner!
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2008-04-23 19:23
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Post: #4
Re: Define "therian"
The term "therian" comes, obviously, from the word therianthropy which is a Greek word meaning "man animal". Therion meaning animal and anthrōpos meaning man.

Therians who do not experience shifts but still have a strong connection to an animal are called contherians. While therians who still experience mental (I think?) shifts are sometimes called suntherians. Although the term suntherian was created to express what many people considered contherians to be. I guess therians have these extra terms because the people who created the terms wanted something more specific to describe what they were experiencing. I'm starting to think that this just makes things more confusing!

There is a decent article located here that goes into possible differences between the terms "therian" and "were". It basically comes down to personal preference. As I consider the term "were" to be a Hollywood term for werewolves, I don't use it to describe myself because I cannot physically shapeshift and a werewolf can (it's pretty much what defines a werewolf IMO). I was introduced to the term "therianthropy" as meaning a person who has an animal soul in a human body so that's what I use.

And thanks for moving this momo, I was going to after I posted this but you beat me to it! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

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2008-04-23 19:33
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Post: #5
Re: Define "therian"
Well, I know that my panther form wasn't originally from earth... the only difference between him and panthers here is that a) he's not really interested in sex at all and b) he sends mental images to communicate.

Would he be considered therian or something else?
2008-07-09 15:32
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Post: #6
Re: Define "therian"
flarablaze Wrote:Well, I know that my panther form wasn't originally from earth... the only difference between him and panthers here is that a) he's not really interested in sex at all and b) he sends mental images to communicate.

Would he be considered therian or something else?

Depending on your connection to him, he could be a totem/spirit guide. Or another past life you may have had.

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2008-07-09 16:30
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Myenia
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Post: #7
Re: Define "therian"
I'm going to disagree with the wording of your definitions of contherian, Elinox. I feel that when people say "people with a strong connection" just means someone who REALLY likes something. Or says..."oh hey, I act catlike, so I have a strong connection to cats"....in otherwords, its self-labeling. Opposed to this, a contherian is someone who is cat. This person could have never heard of a cat, know nothing about cats, yet still experience life as if they were a cat armed with human intellegence and a human upbringing.

I think there are two parts to being therian..."built-in animal", and shifting. The built in animal is the way you think different from human, independant of change or shift. How a wolf sees a heirarchy in a group of friends, or how a feline may feel the need to rub up against their furnature. These are built in, and never change. Then shifts are more noticable swings toward being the animal...things that are not ignorable by the shifter. Contherians only experience the built-in animal.

I'm a suntherian...and my take on it (and why I feel the need to use the label) is that suntherians are like contherians, except we experience something much like minor mental shifts. This is the "built-in animal" being more animal or more human...but still, its not really a shift like other therians experience it. 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. I might be wrong on my take of this...but from what I understand, what I experience is too mild to be a mental shift.

But to answer the original question...I think you've mistaken the word therian for meaning some sort of seperation. We are very much both the animal and human at once. If it sounds like we mean otherwise, its just an attempt at differentiating our "symptoms." IMO, the word therian refers to earth based animals because they can be aggreeably grouped together. Dragons, fae, elves, etc, can be grouped each in their own groups, and are VERY different than being an earth animal. They have VERY different origins and memories.
2008-07-10 4:59
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Post: #8
Re: Define "therian"
Myenia Wrote:I'm going to disagree with the wording of your definitions of contherian, Elinox. I feel that when people say "people with a strong connection" just means someone who REALLY likes something. Or says..."oh hey, I act catlike, so I have a strong connection to cats"....in otherwords, its self-labeling. Opposed to this, a contherian is someone who is cat. This person could have never heard of a cat, know nothing about cats, yet still experience life as if they were a cat armed with human intellegence and a human upbringing.

I think there are two parts to being therian..."built-in animal", and shifting. The built in animal is the way you think different from human, independant of change or shift. How a wolf sees a heirarchy in a group of friends, or how a feline may feel the need to rub up against their furnature. These are built in, and never change. Then shifts are more noticable swings toward being the animal...things that are not ignorable by the shifter. Contherians only experience the built-in animal.

I'm a suntherian...and my take on it (and why I feel the need to use the label) is that suntherians are like contherians, except we experience something much like minor mental shifts. This is the "built-in animal" being more animal or more human...but still, its not really a shift like other therians experience it. 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. I might be wrong on my take of this...but from what I understand, what I experience is too mild to be a mental shift.

But to answer the original question...I think you've mistaken the word therian for meaning some sort of seperation. We are very much both the animal and human at once. If it sounds like we mean otherwise, its just an attempt at differentiating our "symptoms." IMO, the word therian refers to earth based animals because they can be aggreeably grouped together. Dragons, fae, elves, etc, can be grouped each in their own groups, and are VERY different than being an earth animal. They have VERY different origins and memories.

Reading back over my post, I have to agree with you Mye in that I didn't clearly define contherian. My main point was the "no shifting" connected with the term, however I probably should have elaborated on the rest of it. Sorry. <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarrassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> Not being a contherian myself, I don't normally use the term. Also, just really really really liking an animal doesn't make you a therian, sorry. Having the thoughts/behaviors/instincts and the shifts that go along with your theriotype does in my mind. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people confuse a totem or spirit guide with a theriotype.

And I liked your definition of suntherian, Mye. However, I've never thought the definition covers other types of shifts. How do suntherians experience astral or dream shifts? Or don't they? I've only ever heard of suntherians referring to mental shifts. I do like the sliding analogy, it seems like my own therianthropy is similar as I'm always both; just sometimes more wolf or more human. *shrug*

Anyway, Mye is correct. Therians are both human and animal at the same time and the use of "my wolf/cat/bear/whatever side" is simply to explain things to other people. Some therians may view their theriotype as a seperate entity, but I do not. In trying to explain experiences, it's just easier to make that distinction so most therians do.

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2008-07-10 13:49
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Myenia
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Post: #9
Re: Define "therian"
Oh, I've never heard of a suntherian having much aside from a mental. Just phantom or dream (which anyone can have), as far as I know....I've never had anything else. I feel like alot of people assume contherian means being perminently stuck in a shift between the two...which all its about is the instincts etc.
2008-07-10 14:46
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Post: #10
Re: Define "therian"
Myenia Wrote:Oh, I've never heard of a suntherian having much aside from a mental. Just phantom or dream (which anyone can have), as far as I know....I've never had anything else. I feel like alot of people assume contherian means being perminently stuck in a shift between the two...which all its about is the instincts etc.

I assume a contherian or suntherian could experience an astral shift, as it's an intentional shift done in meditation. I think I'll start a new topic on this, please help me with info!

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2008-07-10 14:54
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