What is Lycanthropy?
from Greek lykoi, "wolf" anthropos, "man", a psychiatric state in which
the patient believes he is a wolf or some other nonhuman animal.
Undoubtedly stimulated by the once widespread superstition that
lycanthropy is a supernatural condition in which men actually assume
the physical form of other animals, the delusion has been most likely
to occur among people who believe in reincarnation and the
transmigration of souls.
does this condition surface. Examples of lycanthropy are only now being
linked to schizophrenia - having very few cases to study in our present
institutions makes this disease difficult to study in-depth.
of men turning into beasts go back to antiquity. In parts of ancient
Greece, werewolf myths, stemming from prehistoric times (based on new
evidence), became linked with the Olympian religion. In Arcadia, a
region plagued by wolves, there was a cult of the Wolf-Zeus. Mt.
Lycaeus was the scene of a yearly gathering at which the priests were
said to prepare a sacrificial feast that included meat mixed with human
parts. According to legend, whoever tasted it became a wolf and could
not turn into a man unless he abstained from human flesh for nine years.
Romans also knew this superstition. Anyone who was supposed to have
been turned into a wolf by means of magic spells or herbs was called
versipellis "turnskin" by the Romans.
about the werewolf were widely believed in Europe during the Middle
Ages. Outlaws and bandits played on these superstitions by sometimes
wearing wolfskins over their armour. At that time people were unusually
prone to develop the delusion that they themselves were wolves;
suspected lycanthropists were burned alive if convicted. Only rarely
was their condition recognized as a psychological disturbance. Although
the superstition is no longer common, traces still linger in some
primitive and isolated areas.
term werewolf isn't like the "classic" Hollywood-style ravenous beast
stuff. The term lycanthropy as is used here can be found in some
medical psychological books as being a disorder, a certain animal like
behavior as a result of an advanced psychosis. This is also not the way
I like to use the term werewolf in relation to me. The way I use the
term, is as in spiritual theriomorph.
you are now probably a bit dazzled by the terms used by me here, so let
me give a short description of them (borrowed from the AHWW FAQ):
- Lycanthrope \'li-ken-throp n (NL
lycanthropus, fr. GK
lykanthropos werewolf, fr. lykos wolf + anthropos man) 1: a person
displaying lycanthropy 2:a werewolf
- Lycanthropy \'li-kan(t)-thra-pe n 1: a
delusion that one
become a wolf. 2: the assumption of the form and characteristics of a
wolf held to be possible by witchcraft or magic - lycanthropic adj.
- Theriomorphic \'thir-e-o-'mor-fik adj (GK
therion beast + morphe form - more at treacle): having an animal form
you, these were taken from some dictionary, and provide a general
discription of the terms, not an exact one. Read on to get a better
understanding of what is meant.
A Theriomorph is a shapeshifter; a being who can assume an animal as
well as a human form. A spiritual theriomorph is someone who at least
sees aspects of animals in his or her personality and actions, and
those aspects shape who he or she is.
The Book of the Weird
by Barbara Ninde Byfield
are never quite Wolves. Even at the peak of their
transformation they retain many of the features of Men. Werewolves are
hollow-eyed, burning of skin, with fangs protruding from the lower lip.
They travel alternately on all fours and on hind feet; their legs are
calloused and scabbed. Hair will be found on the palms of their hands
and on the soles of their feet. The longer they continue their foul
practice the less difference their is between the one guise and the
Werewolves eat the flesh of living humans, prefering children to all
other things. They have at all times a raging thirst, but do not drink
blood. Weapons and tools, other than their claws or fangs, are useless
to them. Werewolves tire easily and cannot retain the form of Wolf
wounded in the guise of Wolf the body of the Man will
bear the scar as well. When a Werewolf is killed he changes at death
back into a man.
is of dubious benefit against Werewolves. Use
the same precautions as for Vampires.
are of two sorts: voluntary and involuntary.
Those who have been bitten once too often be a Vampire, or have been
cursed into Werewolfdom by a malevolent Witch, or have inadvertently
placed themselves in the hands of an evil or incompetent experimenter
with youth-giving elixirs and potions are all involuntary Werewolves.
They have little or no control over their changes from Man to Wolf and
Wolf to Man, and are subject to phases of the Moon.
who wish to be Werewolves for pleasure may become
so by obtaining from a Witch or Sorceress a salve which, when rubbed
well into the skin, will turn one into a Wolf and back again. The salve
may well find that it is not possible to be a truly voluntary Werewolf
are most frequently come upon:
during the full moon,
in the countryside,
traveling in packs.
Favorite Medieval Tales (Mary Pope Osbourne)
ago in northern France, a valiant knight named Sir
Marrok was married to a fair lady who loved him tenderly. One thing,
however, made the lady unhappy with her husband: Every week, he
disappeared for three days, and no one knew where he went.
lady grew more and more troubled by her husband's
disappearances, until finally she could bear it no longer. One day
after Sir Marrok had returned from one of his mysterious trips, she
approached him. "My dear lord," she said, "I must ask you something,
but I'm afraid my question will make you angry."
Marrok embraced his wife. "Fear not,' he said. "I
will tell you anything within my power to tell."
"I am very frightened when you leave me alone," she said. "I dread
losing you, for I do not know where you go. Pray, tell me, what is your
knight looked pained. "Please ask me no more
questions. If I told you the truth, only evil would come of it. you
would begin to loathe me, and I would be lost."
But the wife persisted. "I could never loathe you," she said. "Please
tell me, where do you go?"
and night, the wife wept and begged her husband to
tell her where he went, until finally, he was forced to share his
ago an evil spell was cast upon me," he said.
"Each week, I become a werewolf. As soon as I feel the change coming
on, I hide in the thickest part of the forest. I live there, hunting
and eating wild roots for three days and three nights. Then I change
back into a human."
man's wife was so repelled she could barely speak.
"But what of your garments?" she stammered. "Do you still wear them
when you are a wolf?"
lay my clothing aside," said Sir Marrok. "That's all
I can say. I cannot tell you more because if I were to lose my
garments, I would remain a wolf for all time."
please tell me, my lord," the lady said. "Why do
you hide this last thing? Surely you do not think that the one who
loves you most would betray you."
Sir Marrok sighed. "At the edge of the forest is an old chapel. Near
the chapel is a large stone with a hollow beneath it. I hide my
garments in the hollow. When the enchantment loses its power, I put
them back on and return home."
After the lady heard her husband's story, her love for him changed.
Just as Sir Marrok had feared, she was seized with great loathing for
him. Night and day she dreamed of how she might escape his embrace.
the lady sent for a certain knight who had
once loved her and tried to woo her. She swore him to secrecy, then
told him the story about her husband.
The knight was horrified, and he asked how he could help her.
"You must steal his clothes," the lady said. "then my husband will not
be able to change back into a man, and he'll be forced to live as a
wolf in the forest for all his days, until someone finally slays him."
after, the lady's friend went forth and stole Sir
Marrok's garments from under the large stone near the chapel. When he
brought them to her, she hid them well. "Now I am safe!" she exclaimed.
"That beast will never return to my home."
passed, and when Sir Marrok did not return, his
wife pretended to worry about him. She even sent men to look for him.
But they found no trace of him, and all concluded that he had been
mysteriously slain on one of his secret journeys.
a year had passed, the lady wed the knight who
had helped her. They took over all of Sir Marrok's lands and
possessions, and neither worried anymore about the good man they had
the poor wolf roamed the forest, grieving
bitterly for the wife he had loved so well.
One day he heard the barking of the king's hounds. He knew the dogs had
caught his scent and would soon be upon him. He bounded through the
woods, but the dogs chased after him.
All day, the wolf fled the hounds, until at last they closed in on him.
Just as he was about to be overtaken and torn to pieces, he king caught
up to his dogs.
wolf dashed to the king and seized him by the
boot.. He licked it as if begging for mercy.
king stared a the wolf in astonishment. "Look here,
my lords!" he called. "What is this marvel? A wolf asking me for my
help! Why, the beast acts like a man. Call off the dogs. I do not want
this creature injured. I order no one should hunt in this forest, lest
by accident they slay this remarkable animal."
when the king and his men started for home, the
wolf did not linger in the forest. Rather, he followed close behind the
royal party. He would not turn back, not even when they arrived at the
king was greatly pleased, for he thought the wolf
quite wondrous. He ordered his knights to treat the beast with great
care and kindness. And he allowed the wolf to sleep in his own chamber.
the wolf roamed freely about the court, all the
courtiers were very impressed with him, for he moved about with such
grace and intelligence that he seemed almost human.
Once day the king called his knights and barons together for an annual
meeting. Among the nobles was the knight who had betrayed Sir Marrok
and married his wife. The knight had no idea that his rival was still
alive, much less that he was close by. But as soon as he looked upon
the wolf, the animal sprang at him savagely.
wolf would have slain the knight, had not the king
called him off.
was astonished, for the wolf had never tried
to hurt a soul. Someone had to guard the wolf the entire time the king
held court. Not until the barons left the castle did the wolf return to
his gentle self.
spring, the king decided to journey to the forest
where he had first found the wolf. As was his custom, he took the beast
Sir Marrok's wife heard that the king would soon
be in her part of the country, she grew very excited. She hoped to win
his favor by presenting him with splendid gifts, for she knew the king
did not love her second husband as much as he had loved Sir Marrok.
as soon as the lady entered the king's presence,
the wolf attacked her and bit off her nose.
king's men drew their swords. They would have slain
the beast, if a wise courtier had not stopped them.
this wolf has been with us a long time. He has
never shown ill will to anyone except this woman and her husband. We
know she was once married to a man who vanished. Heed my words--put
these two in prison. Ask them if they can give a reason why the wolf
should hate them so."
king did as the wise man recommended. Before her
inquisitors, the lady confessed that she had betrayed her first husband
by stealing his garments. The king commanded his guards to fetch the
clothes belonging to the lost Sir Marrok.
When they were brought forward, however the wolf acted completely
said the wise courtier, "if this beast is
indeed a werewolf, he will not change shape while any of us watch.
Leave him and the garments alone in your chambers. And we shall see if
he becomes a man."
the beast was locked in the king's private chamber.
And the king and his courtiers waited for a long time before unlocking
they did, they found the long-lost Sir Marrok
asleep on the king's couch.
king ran to him and embraced him, and he bid Sir
Marrok to take back all his stolen possessions.
treacherous wife and her second husband were
banished from the king's country. Thereafter, they lived many years in
a strange land. They had children and grandchildren--but by this sign,
their treachery was always known: All the maidens in the family were
born without noses.
Are you a were? This is a list of
some signs that you are a werewolf.
- The Red Wolf beer commericals to you are
run with the wolf, you are the wolf.
- Humans run with you with Red Wolf beer in
you, "The comercial told me to run with you!"
- You are in the final pick for the new Red
Wolf mascot only
lose since you were a little too real.
- You try to avoid alcohol since you know
that alcohol and a
don't mix . . .
- . . . but a human spikes your drink anyway
and pays the
for getting a wolf drunk. God have mercy on that soul.
- Your hotlist/bookmark list is full of bad
- People that are allergic to dogs sneeze
when you are near
- When most of the guys/gals are saying that
you say that German Shepard looks better.
- Every full and no moons you go into the
forest for some
- In the Music video "Heaven Beside You"
(Alice in Chains)
want that girl to come over to your house.
- Your favorite fairy tale is 'The Three
Little Pigs: The
Side of the Story.'
- The guys download pictures of porno, you
- Your web site is made for and only wolves.
- You consider the Alaskan Government to be
- In the movie 'Dances with Wolves,' you cry
out when the
gets shot. :,(
- Them: Porno videos You: Nature
- You seriously consider moving to Alaska .
- . . . then you decide not to since you
will probably get
when you first set foot off the plane.
- You make nightly visits to the Vet not
just to say hi or
- You know how the aliens in 'Third Rock
from the Sun' feel
your not really a human either.
- In the school stage play 'Little Red
Riding Hood,' you are
picked instantly for the part of the wolf . . .
- . . . but you don't take the job since it
is an unfair
representation of wolves and suggest 'The Wolf's Side of the Story' as
- When other children think of the easter
bunny, you think
- In that ink plot test, you like the furry
- You don't say: I am ____ hear me roar. You
say: I am ____
- You hate Fri. during lent since you can't
eat a thing . .
- . . . then you eat meat saying that since
can be excluded from the rule.
- That fur on you right now is a sign. (Made
- You get the award for 'Best
makeup/costume' and say that
- You put the headphones' volume on 1/2 and
you still say
- The Howling wasn't scary.
- The Were that was featured on 'Chip 'n
modeled after you.
- When someone says 'Where,' you answer them
since you think
were calling you over. (Ok, that was a bad one)
- You need to delete all those furry
pictures that are in
hard drive, but then blow $400-$500 for a tape drive to back it all
- You're really offended by that werewolf
that was featured
- The songs you write all have at least one
wolf's howl . .
- . . . . then everyone asks where you got
that howl and you
- Possible were: Alanis Morrissette (Listen
to 'Head Over
- Your room is a mini-museum for Furry
- You are very excited when something good
about wolves pops
the news. But no one else does. (They should though)
- You're the only one around that cares if
it's a full or no
- The perfect gift: A bone.
- When you get pissed at some human, all you
have to do is
your nails . . .
- . . . or your teeth
- Someone tries to compare your height to
since you're on your top of your feet.
- Cutting the plastic wrap on the Windows 95
box is easy
nails . . .
- . . . and people come all around to get
the box opened by
- You write to the makers of the dictionary
to rewrite the
definition of werewolf. (They say it's a fictional creature and someone
that's nuts. I'm not nuts.)
- You visit the Louvre and wonder, "Where
are all the furry
- You spend almost all of your time on
creating and managing
poll for all your furry friends.
- You spend all your time on AHWW. (I know,
that was really
- Instead of calling someone's name out when
them, you howl. (By NightHunter)
- You suddenly can't play the
a muzzle now.
- You're on stage playing your violin
string broke. You walk up to the conductor and say, "My claw broke my G
- You wake up every full moon and feel the
call of the wild
you to come home. (By Brian Toney)
- You feel funny all over while on the net,
your skin is
elastic. You walk to the bathroom to get some asprin for that headache
you just got. You lookup to the mirror and see a big wolf in the
mirror. It's you!