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Types of Shifting
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Mental And Physical Shifts

For anyone who is new to learning about cases on "real" weres (therains,therianthropes), this may seem to be a shock to you, but there are actually many different types of shifting a real were creature can do. From the mental ability of feeling the urges, to the physical ability of being one with fur and all. Below is a list and description of the different type of shifts.


Non-Shifting


Non-Shifting is not a type of shift, but rather a condition. There are many werebeings who have never experienced any kind of Shift. Then why do they think they are werecreatures (therianthropes)? Simple, their connection with their animal is a way of life. In a way that is very real to them, they are both human and Animal. Their animal is intertwined with all they do, what they like, how they interact to the world. They do realize that they aren't a Animal by the world's definition, yet that nevertheless is what they are. They often experience some of the symptoms of being a werecreature other than Shifting. And many (perhaps some time or another all??) of them eventually experience Shifts.


Aura Shifting


Aura Shifting is the most common type of Shift, in fact, many Shifters never have any other kind of Shift. In an Aura Shift, the Shifter will immerse him/herself in the animal's 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 Animalness to their mood. The body temp may go up a bit.Astral ShiftingAstral Shifting is where the Shifter goes into the spirit world (astral plane) and Shifts there. It can take awhile 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 or being your animal, or even dreaming about it, counts as Astral Shifting.


Dream Shifting


A Dream Shift is where the Shifter is a Animal in their dreams, or where the Shifter changes physically in their dreams. This kind of shift is very common among people. Many Shifters who shift in their dreams have reported they go after their fears and destroy them in Animal or half man half animal shape and gain much self-confidence and inner peace that way.


Mental Shifting


A Mental Shift is an aura shift that is much deeper and with much more animalness. Mental Shifting is also used to mean any Non-Physical Shift, so someone claiming to have mentally shifted may be talking about any kind of Non-Physical Shift. Actually, there is no clear boundary between an aura shift and a mental shift. Aura shifts are often called "light mental shifts" and one Shifter's experience of mental shifting may be much deeper than another Shifter's experience of mental shifting. And the depth of Mental Shift in one individual Shifter can, and often does, vary at different times. In the deeper mental shifts, the shifter achieves a state the army calls "Condition Orange", a much deeper version of the into the game like state described in aura shifting. Condition Orange is a state of heightened awareness and concentration in which the coordination is likely to be very precise in an unconscious, easy, effortless kind of way, it is like the state a healthy Wild animal is in most of the time. The Shifter will likely have trouble with words, making little sense or losing speech altogether. The Shifter will tend to engage in behavior that is definitely animal-like, and might forget how to get around on two legs. The Shifter may be able to run around on all fours (not hands and knees, but hands and feet) in a very agile, natural-looking way. The Shifter might or might not have memory holes, or memory fuzziness, or no memory at all of what they did while mentally shifted. You might want to look at this for more info.On average, lighter mental shifts are remembered much better than deeper mental shifts. Mental Shifts often cause a deep desire to drink lots of ice-cold water after or during the shift. Mental Shifts sometimes cause "Animal spit" to form in the mouth, "Animal spit" being Shifter slang for that kind of gunky spit you sometimes have in your mouth when you first wake up in the morning. Mental Shifts can cause the skin to become very pale or even "gray"(or somewhat  color of animal), like a person in shock.


Spirit Shifting


A Spirit Shift has more than one meaning. Those for whom being a Shifter is a very spiritual thing may call mental shifting spirit shifting. The other thing is that some werecreatures mentally shift by channeling a Animal Spirit or a Shifting Spirit into their body in much the same way that a regular channeler can channel a guardian angel, an astral entity, or someone's dead relative. Thus the second meaning of Spirit Shifting refers to a Mental Shift in which an Animal Spirit was channeled into the body. Of course, many Shifters don't believe in spirits, and many Shifters do believe in spirits but are sure none are being channeled into their body. While yet other Shifters are sure that all Mental Shifts result from a spirit being channeled into the body.


Persona Shifting 

A Persona Shift is somewhere between assuming a mood and the personality of their animal. Some WereCreatures have a separate persona for their "wereside",  the different personas may even have memories attached to them that other personas don't have (i.e. other personas can't remember that event). Different personas often have different outlooks on the world, different skills, and other things like that. Learning to recognize different personas 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.

 


Shape Shifting


And now ShapeShifting (Physical Shifting), the most rare and interesting type of Shift. There are actually several types of ShapeShifting also, and they do have some overlap. A Shifter can experience more than one kind of ShapeShifting, or a kind of ShapeShift between two well-defined categories. ShapeShifting may or may not be accompanied by a simultaneous Aura Shift or Mental Shift or Spirit Shift. Some Shifters use the term "ShapeShifting" to refer to Non-Physical Shifting, which can make some people angry.


Sense Shifting


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 Posession shifting in that the Shifter receives the same, or some of the same, information (sense information, seeing, hearing, ect.) as the real animal they are connecting with. Yet no Posession 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.


Molecular Shifting


A Molecular Shift is when the Animal spirit (or potential Animal blueprint held within, or whatever) takes the raw matter of the human's body and assembles itself out of it, resulting in a physical change which is the least subtle of all Shifts. Molecular Shifting is notable for the extreme suddenness of the Shift, there is no gradual metamorphosis. Molecular Shifting is an almost instantaneous Shift from full human form to full Animal form. It can be so quick it creates a miniature sonic boom, which means either the surfaces of the body must be moving into their new positions faster than the speed of sound (600 something miles per hour) or a rush of highly energized air happens, like when lightning strikes and produces thunder. (It kind of proves the Big Bang theory )Molecular Shifting produces a "Mind of an Animal" mentality. The Shifter will feel pains leading up to the Shift (for as long as a day) they intensify as the Shift comes closer. Around three minutes before the Shift is to take place, they feel an overwhelming urge - much like vomiting - to run where there is 'safety'. The actual Shift is painless. The Molecular Shifter seems to run on an energy cycle. Their Shifting energy builds up until it produces a Shift, then keeps them in Animal form until it burns itself and It often "dumps" the WereCreature wherever he or she happens to be at the time it burns out, which may or may not be a convenient place to be.


Classical Shifting


A Classical Shift is called that because it is the "classical" kind encountered in most WereBeast folklore and WereCreature Sightings. It is the gradual metamorphosis from man or woman to beast, taking up to ten minutes for the change to become complete. The human cognition is retained and control is easier to maintain. Thus this sort will attain the body of an Animal but not the mindset. Although, of course, being in an Animal body, with an Animal's brain, hormones, senses, and instincts will still have some effect. Just not the "complete animal" in thinking and behavior that the Molecular Shifter is. Classical Shifting is much less painful, actually bordering on the sinfully pleasurable, and accompanied by odd physical feelings. It is a lot easier to trigger, and is also reversible (i.e. the Shifter could partially change, then change back to full humanoid form without reaching full Animal form), and they also might have the ability (or the involuntary problem) of remaining for an extended period in a median form that is between Animal and human. Since most accounts of WereCreatures stuck in a median form, from all over the world, agree very well on exactly what the WereBeast looks like that, it is probably hard to remain anywhere but that particular point in the Shift, or (assuming it was controlled) it is probably inconvenient to remain anywhere other than that particular point. That point resembles a human body (albeit a furry human body with other noticeable differences, such as somewhat changed shapes and proportions of limbs and torso, and paw-hands) with a Wolf head, complete with long muzzle, and pointed Wolf ears on top of the head. Although I have found accounts of WereWolves lurking in a form where they were furry, but so little changed they could still talk, and using this form to rob passers-by without their identity being known, with the threat (and sometimes demonstration) of more fully changing to help convince the victims to give up their money. the Wolf that a Classical Shifter transforms herself or himself into could be any color of Wolf, not just black-coloured Wolves. In accounts of eyewitnesses of both Classical and Molecular Shifts, gray colored Wolves, like in nature, are the most common kind.


Bilocation Shifting


Bilocation Shift is a combination of the paranormal phenomena of Bilocation with the paranormal phenomena of ShapeShifting. An interested person is encouraged to read up on Bilocation. Bilocation 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 (dematerialization 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 WereBeasts 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.


Posession Shifting


A Posession Shift is when the Shifter sends their soul, or mind, or spirit, or 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 Posession 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 Posession 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 Posession 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, Posession 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 posess any living thing, the number of potential possession shifters is small. Bilocation Shifters are commonly mistaken for Posession Shifters.