I think people mistake their therioside with a totem because when in meditation, the two can seem very similar. It takes practice to differentiate between what's in your
soul and what spirit is meeting with you. I think people often assume that the first animal they meet in meditation is their inner spirit becuase A. they're eager for answers and B. it was the first thing to approach them. I think that after awhile, some people discover that the first animal wasn't correct so they keep searching. And there's nothing wrong with being mistaken, it takes awhile to learn something like this about yourself. I also think a lot of people that are new to therianthropy gravitate to wolves because that's usually the first "were" creature they're ever exposed to so they simply stop searching once they come to the conclusion of wolf. Other popular animals are big cats and foxes. I think some people are just drawn to predatory animals and then add a bit of wishful thinking to come up with their conclusions. I personally don't see anything wrong with being a mouse therian as opposed to a lion therian but to some people, size and power matter. Plus, it's not like you can pick your soul!
chaitea Wrote:Also, is it possible to have mental shifts into one’s totem?
Mental shifts as your totem I'm not sure about, but I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. It's a form of shamanism to take on the attributes of your totem animal so you can get a better understanding of that animal from its own perspective. I've never done it, but I have experienced a phantom dorsal fin from Dolphin when she wanted to get my attention to work with her.
chaietea Wrote:And if so, might people who don’t identify as otherkin be able to experience such?
This seems very likely in my mind. If someone wants to learn how to not take any crap from someone, they could do work with Badger. Or to be cautious they could call on Rabbit. It's a learning tool to better yourself through working with animal spirits. Taking on attributes of an animal can help you learn how to act in certain situations which can be very helpful. I know that lupa does a lot of work with totem animals and while she's a wolf therian, she has often shifted to other various animals to learn more about them. She may be able to add more insight into this.