Werewolfs & More
Around the world it is believed that fall may be the best season for human beings to shape shift into beast or half-beast forms. This process is known as therianthropy and the most common reference people have for this is the werewolf.
This idea has long been present in mythology. Consider the dog-headed Ra figures of Ancient Egypt or the Neolithic cave drawings of France. Other examples include Central Asian stories about human-canine shapeshifters who can turn others into animals and European werecats.
Skin-walkers. Native American legends reference skin-walkers who are able to turn into any animal they desire. To do so they must first wear the pelt of a specific animals.
Turkish Wolf. The wolf of Turkish mythology is revered. Turkish legends say people descended from these animals. It is believed that in a raid upon a small village, one baby was left behind. A she-wolf nursed the child and later gave birth to Turkish half-wolf, half-human cubs.
Congo Leopard. Folk belief of the Congo’s Banana area states that the use of magic potions can turn them into leopards. If they harm others, they will not be able to return to human form.
Malay Tiger. Tradition among the Malays states that priesthood can only be passed on if the soul of the dead priest takes on the form of a tiger that can then pass into the body of his son.
Oceania’s Tamaniu. In Melanesia the tamaniu is an animal counterpart to a person. It may appear in the form of an eel, a shark, a lizard, or some other creature. It shares the same soul and can understand human language. In some cases, any death or injury to one may affect the other.
There are many more myths, legends and tales about these supernatural creatures who seem to appear with greater frequency during the darkest times of the year. So take care and remember to be kind to any animals that cross your path. You never know, one of them may be an October Shape Shifter.