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Therianthropy is not about a god, or about a set of rules. Animal people do not follow commandments, or have a ‘heaven’. Otherkin do not all go to a church, or have spiritual leaders.
Therianthropy is more about the way you think than what you believe. It is about instincts and perception and the way it all fits together.
When I let out a growl, it is not a small prayer to some deity above; it’s my natural reaction to being challenged. When I yelp, it is not a religious incantation – only a fear noise that seems logical to me to avoid confrontation. When I wrestle around, it’s not because my god wants me to; it’s because I see it as play and dominance rolled up into one. When I snuggle up to people and ask for skritches, it’s not a spiritual discussion; it’s what I perceive to be a natural bonding experience – and damnit, it feels good.

I go through life with two entwined reactions to everything, two thoughts of what I should do, two possible responses to a stimuli (and often, subsets of these) And in some ways, maybe this is similar to a religious mind, in which one might go through life with two categories of thought: ‘what I want to do’ and ‘what my god wants me to do’. (I’m speculating) But in my case, those two possible responses both come from me, and both wolf and human are ME, no doubt about it. They are not separate, neither guiding the other. I don’t pray to wolf, or invoke her. She is me, and I am her. We are therianthrope – theri for ‘beast’, and ‘anthrope’ for human. One word, for one being. We are overlaid, like a double-exposed photo, and even though one pops out more than the other sometimes, they are one image, and one word.
While trying to develop a 'definitions' page for the website of Spirit Tracks, I decided it might be a good idea to ask someone who wasn't real familiar with therianthropy what some good FAQ questions would be (redundant, I know- Frequently Asked Questions that are never asked).
So when I called my mate, I asked him what he thought. Every single question he asked made therianthropy sound like a religion, right up to 'what is the therianthropy god?'.
I very nearly dropped the phone on that last one. All this time I'd been trying to get him to understand what this was and why it was so important to me, and after two years, he still thought it was a religion?!?! What kind of piss-fucking-poor job have I been doing at explaining it???
I got off the phone, thoroughly ashamed of myself, and wrote this up.

I like it, but I'm not sure it's entirely clear.
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:iconperianardocyl:
PerianArdocyl Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2010
(at previous comment) Augh, I know what that's like. I knew these guys in school who would make loud noises just to see me jump a mile in the air. Not fun.

I know the OP probably doesn't respond to commnts posted on the art on this account, but I like to read what other therians write, so I thought I'd leave something.
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:icontheblueroanfilly:
TheBlueRoanFilly Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
good explanation ^_^
all my friends have finnally accepted the fact that i yelp when im scared, whimper when im sad or lonely, and growl when angry ;)
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010
Haha. Most of my friends don't bat an eyelash, but a couple of them still think it's funny to try to make me yelp. :P
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:icontheblueroanfilly:
TheBlueRoanFilly Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lol yeah i have a few that giggle when i do XD
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:iconilovemycupcake:
ilovemycupcake Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2009  Student General Artist
well said :]
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009
Thank you!
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:iconmaruul:
maruul Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2009
Heh heh. Yes, it is NOt a religion, much like furry isn't always a fetish. There are some who may treat it like one, but it really isn't. I saw someone who wasn't therian trying to defend it as a religion, beside paganism and vampirism. He was saying that it should be as widely accepted as Christianity. XP
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2009
Oops. He meant well, anyway. >.>
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:iconmasked--angel:
Masked--Angel Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009
:]
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:iconturret-wolfheart:
Turret-Wolfheart Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009
Can you fell me in I have herd of Therianthropy before but I don't know much about it.
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009
It's a hard thing to define. I like to use one along the lines of, "A person who identifies some integral part of themselves as other than human (be that mentally, spiritually, or even (less commonly) physically)."
Many people have said it much better than me, and I advise looking for some of them. :)
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:iconturret-wolfheart:
Turret-Wolfheart Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009
That sounds like something I would say about myself. But I would need to do more digging before I would call myself one. Could you recommend A reliable source? I mean it is the web.
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009
Usually the source I give out is the Werelibrary (www.werelibrary.org), since it's a lot of different people's writing, with all of the 'questionable' stuff marked.
If that doesn't satisfy your curiosity, feel free to talk to me more about it.
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:iconturret-wolfheart:
Turret-Wolfheart Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2009
Thanks I'll cheack it out and If I have any questions I'll ask you.
Hope our paths cross sometime.
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2009
Same here!
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:iconmare-and-bear:
Mare-and-Bear Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Wow!!!! Very Very moving. I love it!!!!!
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009
Thank you!
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:icondragonslorefury:
dragonslorefury Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009
Very well put.
*adds another gold star*
I really should get back to writing about therianthropy and otherkin but right now my univeristy time table is overwhelming me >_<
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009
Yea, it sucks to not have time. x.X
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:iconforeverchagrin:
ForeverChagrin Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is complicated when you do have a religion and you are also a therianthrope.
I get a lot of questions since I am both a Christian and a therianthrope.
You just have to take these things like a grain of salt.
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009
That's true. It just was a little mind-blowing, since I've spent so much time and energy trying to explain the concept to my mate, that he would still think it was a religion.
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:iconmongrelistic:
Mongrelistic Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009   General Artist
^_^ You've pretty much defined it right there.
My boyfriend had some misunderstandings(still might) about Therianthropey. People think I'm worshiping an animal, I'm just accepting that I am one(in some ways).
I luff yer writingz, therefore you get a gold star.
*puts sticker on yer forehead*
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009
Yey, gold star! :D
Yea, it's a difficult thing to understand. For most people, I just let it go, but with my mate, I feel it's a pretty big deal.
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:iconmongrelistic:
Mongrelistic Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009   General Artist
Aye.
Gaaaah on this topic(of therianthropey and mates), I'm gonna rant to you a bit(on something stupid, I'm sorry).

My mate earlier today showed me a picture by this nifty artist. They're entering one of those Original Character Tournaments on DA, right?
The character is cool and all... Just one things bugs me.
They call them a Therianthrope when they're pretty much a werewolf. Give or take the normal "OMGAWD FULL MOON" and that they're a maned wolf instead of a more common creature.
Perhaps a skin walker? [link]

I personally think the character is pretty original and epic. I really don't know why the choice of species wording bugs me to the extent it does, but alas, it does.
Perhaps because it makes me think about users on some therian sites who pretty much think they're an senses-enhanced, shape-shifting badass. That or just when straight out role-players join. DX

It's like making a character and calling them a 'christian' when they're a wiccan or something.

Then again Therianthrope technically means Therios= "Beast" and Anthrope= "Man/human".
It does work, but still bugs me. >_o
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009
I've had that happen before, while searching for therian writing on Yahoo!. I ended up with a fiction story about werewolves, and I think at some point they used a thesaurus, and so used 'therianthrope' once in the text.
It isn't incorrect, and it makes sense, but it is a little frustrating, and may end up contributing to the 'bad name' of therians.
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:iconmongrelistic:
Mongrelistic Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009   General Artist
Aye, I guess that's all I'm worried about. >_<

Was kinda funny because yesterday while talking to my mate about therianthropey once more, I suppose he kept thinking I was talking about old mythology.
I guess this last time it got through his head, although his response was, "Oh god don't tell me that's actually a religion."
Clarified with something along the lines, "It's a belief, but not a religion."
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009
I guess that's one way to put it. Sometimes I even shy away from the 'belief' one as well, as I tend to think of it more a permanent psychological state than a belief.
But that doesn't mean I'm right and you're wrong, and as long as we both agree it's not a religion, I'm good! xD

...Yea. Anyway. Boyfriends (and girlfriends, too) just don't get it sometimes.
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:iconmongrelistic:
Mongrelistic Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009   General Artist
I've thought about how Spiritual Therianthropey could as well be a psychological deal as well. Really it is. I just called it a 'belief' because well.. We 'believe' we are an animal to some degree.
Was more of just explaining how I said it. >w<
I got into detail of how there are no strict rules, no gods, or books. It's about ones inner self and ect.

Friends in general can have trouble understanding it too... >_>
Some of my friends are fascinated by it, others are like, "lol whatever". I don't mind really, as long as they realize I'm not an extremist individual who thinks I'm a werewolf. XD
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2009
Yea. Most of my friends are of the 'lol whatever' type. I go into this big, nervous explanation, and at the end they sit silent for a sec and then 'Ok' or something like that.
Makes me feel really... unfulfilled. Like, 'c'mon, I wanted a scene, or something. At least a question or two!' >.<
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:iconcaninehybrid:
CanineHybrid Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
I think you explained the concept beautifully! This is definitely something we need to address properly for Spirit Tracks and you said everything perfectly. Makes perfect sense to me (but that is probably because I understand what it's like and not an outsider). :+fav:
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009
I agree, it needs to be explained.

And that does seem to be the one issue with therian writing- if you already got it, you get it, but otherwise, you don't. x.X
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:icondextear:
Dextear Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009   Writer
Yet, it's still a belief that goes beyond instinct, and is created by the human mind. Which is why I hate the concept of "otherkin" so much.
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:iconsummonerwolf:
SummonerWolf Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009
I think I understand what you mean, but that's part of the point I was trying to make. It IS all in the mind; it's in the way you think.

I admit, I don't fully understand the way 'otherkin' works, but I don't mind them. I've known some that are plenty intelligent, so I guess I just accept and respect them.
There's better concepts to hate. Like physical shifting, for example.
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