|It has been suggested that this section be merged with Category:Shifting types. (Discuss)|
Shifting is the term used for when therianthropes have experiences that cause them to feel more like their Theriotype in a non-physical manner. Shifting is usually temporary, but some Therians have reported feeling constant shifts, most commonly phantom shifts. However, having shifts is not required to identify as a Therianthrope.
- See also: Contherian
Shifts can occur in varying strength and frequency and be both a positive or negative experience. Multiple types of shifts can be experienced simultaneously. Often shifting is entirely controllable, but sometimes a therian will experience strong shifts that do cause them to temporarily loose the ability to function completely as a human. Shifting is typically involuntary, but some Therians learn to induce voluntary shifts.
Also, a person does not need to experience every type of shift to be a Therian. Some Therians may only ever experience one type of shift throughout their life.
Before we get into the types of therianthropic shifts, we must use some discretion. Be aware that having a single shift or even several shifts does not mean that you should assume, without a doubt, that you are a Therian. We must carefully consider what experiences are relevant. It is important to remain mindful and not jump to conclusions. There are rational explanations for why we might experience shifts that have nothing to do with Therianthropy or being Therian. We must be mindful and cautious that we are not simply imagining these sensations or potentially tricking our minds.
- See also: Shifter's Disease
The following are common types of shifts and their abbreviations, although shifting can manifest in many other different forms which are not listed.
Common Therianthropic Shifts
A brief description is provided. Click to learn more.
Mental Shift (MS or m-shift)
Where you take on the mentality of your theriotype. This is not a physical shift.
Spiritual Shift (S or S-shift)
When the spiritual self is turned into the theriotype. This is not a physical shift.
When a person physically becomes his/her theriotype. This is the most controversial shift for a number of reasons but solid evidence has been provided. It should also be noted that people that claim to be able to physically shift are heavily frowned upon. But living in secret is a natural decision to make considering their lives may be at stake from people who can cause harm or death to them for this ability and existence.
Other Common Types
Aura shifting An aura shift is when a person changes the shape of their auric field to that of their theriotype, and also changes they way it's charged to a more animal like aura.
Sensory shifting Sensory shifting is the most common type of shift, in fact, many Shifters never have any other kind of shift. In a Sensory shift, the Shifter will immerse him/h
energy, resulting in an Animal-like mood. The Shifter will feel somewhat animalish, alert, very aware, with an often-pleasurable heightened sense of their physical body. This is very like the mindset that people playing a sport and really mentally absorbed in playing get into. If you've ever gotten into a different mode of awareness/concentration/feeling when deep in a game and having lots of fun, you know pretty much what this is like. Hence the phrase, "I'm in the Zone!" The only big difference is the Shifter has a definite sense of the animal in their mood. The body temperature may go up a bit.
Astral shifting is where the Shifter goes into the spirit world (astral plane) and shifts there. It can take a while to work yourself into the right frame of mind for this, so it's not as easy as aura shifting, which you can do anywhere and get away with. Dreaming of shifting into your animal form or of being in your animal form counts as Astral Shifting also.
Where you physically feel parts of your theriotype's body without it being showing physically (not like an amputee that has a phantom limb but without the amputee's pain though), more then a feeling of an actual tail or ears because they are there in comparison to a phantom limb of an amputee which is all in the mind. These phantom limbs overlap the normal limbs of one's body, such as feeling paws instead of hands.
A shift occurring in a dream. While in a dream shift you are in your theriotype form.
This is, as said before, a form of astral shifting
A shift in which you become a different animal instead of your theriotype.
One is always in a state of both theriotype and human at the same time.
Similar to Contherianthropy, except instead of being constantly half-shifted, the basic instincts and attitude of your Theriotype are integrated into your human personality.
A forced shift.
When you have a Shift at a random time.
When you shift during a certain emotion like stress or anger.
Persona Shifting A Persona Shift is somewhere between assuming a mood and the personality of their animal. Some Were Creatures have a separate persona for their "wereside", the different personae may even have memories attached to them that other persona's don't have (i.e. other persona's can't remember that event). Different personae often have different outlooks on the world, different skills, and other things like that. Learning to recognize different personae that you shift into (if you are a persona shifter) can be very beneficial in learning to extricate yourself from the mess and confusion that persona shifting can easily cause, and knowledgeable persona shifting can be beneficial, such as shifting into a persona that is calm and level-headed in a dangerous situation or shifting into a persona, at the right time, that knows how to write very well to ensure straight A's in English.
Sense Shifting is something of an enigma. It doesn't seem to be very common, and yet many Shifters have experienced what might be partial, or complete, sense Shifting. It may be physical shifting, or it may be mental shifting, it is difficult to classify. And proof it really happened is much harder for the shifter, or anyone else, to gather evidence on. It is similar to Possession shifting in that the Shifter receives the same, or some of the same, information (sense information, seeing, hearing, etc.) as the real animal they are connecting with. Yet no Possession or the things associated with it takes place. Sometimes the Shifter may even be aware of the animal's thoughts too. But the Shifter has no control over what the animal does, indeed the animal often appears unaware of the Shifter. Occasionally, proof that it really happened and wasn't just a vision is forthcoming, but usually not. In practice, often no difference can be told between Sense Shifting and a Shifter having a vision or dream of being an animal. I did hear of one shifter who could (both at will or accidentally) get "pulled around" so she was looking out of the eyes of animals she was near. This would count as a sense shift. Sometimes sense shifting of various kinds is also called astral shifting.
Bilocation Shifting Bi-location Shift is a combination of the paranormal phenomena of Bi-location with the paranormal phenomena of Shape Shifting. An interested person is encouraged to read up on Bi-location. Bi-location Shifting is when the Shifter goes into a deep trance, sometimes drug-induced, but often not. (Besides, the drug-induced trances have the quality that the Shifter is trapped in the Shift until the drug wears off, which could be deadly if they get caught in a deadly situation.) While in the trance, all the familiar Bilocation phenomena happens, except that the PHYSICAL, REAL Body that they materialize, and are in during the Shift, is not a carbon copy of their own, but instead a Wolf (or whatever type of animal they are). They are not in their body during the Shift, but in the body of the Animal. This is not a real Animal they have "possessed", but a body they themselves have materialized. Their human body will often get very cold or become rigid (like regular Bilocation), and there are frequent reports that, although it looks the same, it has lost weight (also like regular Bilocation), sometimes more than half of it's original weight (but will recover this weight when they shift back). Their Animal body is in every way the body of a real Animal, it gets tired, it can (and does) hunt and eat (and digest), it is solid and real-feeling if touched, it can be wounded (and corresponding wounds will appear on their human body at the same instant) and it can die (which causes the Shifter's human form to die), and be dissected, and still appear exactly like a real Animal. The corresponding injury thing stops, though, at the moment of death, so the Shifter who is injured, killed and dissected will only shown the injuries up to the point of death, he/she won't also be dissected in human form. Accounts of Bilocation Shifting indicate that the Shifter usually has excellent memory of what they did as a Animal. The Bilocation shifter can be confused with the classical/molecular shifter if they are never witnessed dematerializing (or materializing), or if their unconscious human body is never witnessed while their animal body is out "romping". The Bilocation Shift is related to other types of Shift. It is generally accomplished by the Astral Shifter or Spirit Shifter who has gained enough expertise and ability. Bilocation Shifting has some advantages over the other kinds of ShapeShifting because the Shifter will never be "dropped" somewhere inconvenient, while naked, and the Shifter never has to worry how they will get into the woods and back. On the other hand, there are indications that Bilocation Shifters often can't control where they end up, just that it tends to be within a few miles of their human body and in a wild place. And that helpless human body has got to be a disadvantage. There are also indications that the Shift back to human (un-materialization of the animal body) cannot be easily done at will. A Bilocation Shifter who is good enough at it can learn how to materialize their Animal body in the same place as their human body, using their human body as fuel, and thus performing a Molecular Shift or a Classical Shift, or something in between
Magickal Shifting Magickal Shifting is when the Shifter has to perform a formal magickal ritual to cause the Shift every time they Shift. This kind may largely be a fictional kind of Shifter, but there are indications that it was more common in the past and that it often was a precursor to learning how to Shift without the ritual as another kind of Physical Shifter. This is the kind that the inquisition during the Middle Ages tried to claim all WereBeasts were. Suspected Were Beasts were often tortured until they confessed, in a way that fit with the official theology, that they were a Magickal Shifter with a magic belt or something. Except in the case of Bilocation Shifters who owned a drug-salve, the "magic" object used to cause the Shift was practically never recovered, evidence that the object likely never existed. Magickal Shifting is also sometimes used to refer to other types of Shifts that the Shifter believes had something to do with magick, even though no formal ritual is needed to cause the Shift. This may refer to magick as the natural energy that flows through everything (which some Shifters believe is involved in every type of Shift) or it may refer to a formal ritual or informal encounter with a magickal force that the Shifter believes to have caused them to become a Shifter. Many Shifters look down on attempts to become Physical Shifters via magick, as a kind of acceleration of a natural process that would result in Physical Shifting eventually anyway, and thus "cheating". These Shifters see the long, hard road to Physical Shifting as a mechanism to make sure those who become Physical Shifters are really ready to handle it.
Possession Shifting A Possession Shift is when the Shifter sends their soul , mind , spirit , astral body or whatever into an animal body in such a way that they are in the animal's body, see and perceive through it's senses, and can at least partially control what it does (depending on how far they have ousted the original resident soul of the animal). This type of Shifting is very hard to do, very hard to keep doing once it is done, and fairly dangerous. There are many protection mechanisms that keep the proper soul in possession of the body it was born in, and the Possession Shifter may be injured by them and will often have to fight with the animal's soul for possession of it's body. In addition, the channel that the Possession Shifter opens up between his or her body and the animal's body tends to cause big problems for the Shifter when the animal dies, regardless of whether he or she is in the animal's body at the time. But Possession Shifters will not receive corresponding injuries when the animal is injured, whether they are in the body or not, yet they may feel pain and become sick when the animal is injured. Basically, Possession Shifters can rarely keep it up for long without serious consequences, and if they had any real power they would choose one of the other types of Shift to perform. Since it takes a certain amount of power to possess any living thing, the number of potential possession shifters is small. Bi-location Shifters are commonly mistaken for Possession Shifters.