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posticon Werewolves Versus Lycanthropy


Werewolves Versus Lycanthropy



Montague Summers' The Werewolf discusses the phenomenon of werewolves and Lycanthropy using historical documentation and folklore from various regions and time periods. The book draws upon a variety of source s, ranging from anthropologists, somatists, totemists and rationalists (1). With these eclectic resources, Summers gives a very thorough overview of Werewolfery and Lycanthropy from many different perspectives. Summers also discusses the difference betw een Lycanthropy and Werewolfery and the common confusion that ensues by not knowing or understanding the difference between the two.

The first section covers the differences and overlapping of Werewolfery and Lycanthropy. Summers first defines "a werewolf is a human being, man, woman, or child (usually the first), who either voluntarily or involuntarily changes or is metamorphosed into the apparent shape of a wolf, and who is then possesed of the characteristics, the foul appetites, ferocity, cunning, the brute strength, and swiftness of that animal" (2). Further, Summers explores the characteristics of the werewolf:

 

The distinctive features of the wolf are unbridled cruelty, bestial ferocity, and ravening hunger. His strength, his cunning, his speed were regarded as abnormal, almost eerie qualities, he had something of the demon of hell. He is the symbol of Night and Winter, of Stress and Storm, the dark and mysterious harbinger of Death. (65)

 

For clarity, Summers immediately draws the contrast and recognizes the confusion of Lycanthropy and Werewolfery. This contrast is critical to the reader's understanding of the rest of the text. Summers' recognition allows the reader to identify with the confusion if need be and, therefore, better understand the latter issues discussed:

 

Werewolfery is hereditary or acquired; a horrible pleasure born of the thirst to quaff human blood, or an ensorcelling punishment and revenge of the dark Ephesian art.

It should be remarked that in a secondary of derivative sense the word werewolf has been erroneously employed to denote a person suffering from lycanthropy, that mania or disease when the patient imagines himself to be a wolf . . . (2)

 

Summers' contrast is easily understood and applied to the reader's opinions and theories for debate or acceptance of the differences. Finally, Summers points out a less obvious entanglement of mysterious elements. "A vampire, then, is altogether anot her thing from a werewolf. The former is dead; the latter fearfully alive, although there has been much confusion, there is indeed a connection of a sort between the two" (15-16). This reference to vampires as dead and werewolves as living beasts may sp ark fear in the reader but the reality of the subject and its study becomes evident through this sharp contrast. It should also be recognized that certain cultures, here Slavonic people, have definite links between the two beings: "It is generally held a mong all Slavonic peoples that the man who has during his life been a werewolf almost neccessarily becomes a vampire after his death" (15).

Aside from the definition of werewolves, Lycanthropy, and other often related subjects, Summers also focuses on cultural attitudes and experiences with the beings. While he gives respect to Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Scotland, Ire land, France, Russia, and Germany, the Christian studies, results, and ideas are given heavy emphasis. When Summers discusses the "Science and Practice" of the werewolf, he draws almost solely on the Christian perspective that "there can be no metamorpho sis, no transformation, which implies or involves any act of creation . . . . Creation belongs to God alone" (118-119:

 

The disease Lycanthropy, then, is in the majority of cases, perhaps in all, demonical possesion.

It is true that physicians nicely distinguish two types of Lycanthropy; the one rising from possession by the Devil, the other natural . . . At which point it is neccessary to emphasize very explicitly the difference between Lycanthropy and Werewolf ery, since these are two diverse and heterogeneous things, although both are clearly of Satanic origin . . . the sufferer, the Lycanthropy, may, it is true, be an innocent victim, thus woefully afflicted "that the works of God would be made manifest in him(John 9:23)," as was the man who was blind from birth, and who, Our Lord healed. Often again, it is that Satan has betrayed his evil sorcerer, the werewolf, has plagued him, has driven him mad to make him more miserable in life and to involve him even more in perdition. (23)

 

Out of the storage emphsis on the Christian perspective stems the debate of the three means by which a man becomes a werewolf. The three ways are part of an ongoing debate between several werewolf scholars that Summers discusses and introduces through out the book. The three perspectives all agree that the phenomena stems out of the same Christian root and include the Christian elements in their discussions as well as the inclusion of other ideas:

 

Glamour, caused by a demon, so that the man changed (either voluntarily, or under the influence of a spell) will seem both to himself and to all who behold him to be metamorphosed into the shape of a certain animal, and, although, if it be a spell w hich has been cast upon him, he retains his human reason he cannot exercise the power of speech. (119)

Satan (giving himself the appearance of a wolf); but so that he confuses the man's imagination that he believes that he has really been a wolf and has run about and killed men and beasts . . .And when it happens that they find themselves wounded, it is Satan who immediately transfers to them the blow which he has received in his assumed body. (120)

. . . from accumulated evidence would seem to be immeasurably the most general mode of werewolfism and other devilish transformation . . . in the words of Guazzo: "Sometimes, in beast, each part of which fits onto the correspondent part of the witch 's body, head to head, mouth to mouth, belly to belly, foot to foot, and arm to arm; but this only happens when they use certain ointments and words . . . in this last case it is no matter for wonder if they are afterwards found with an actual wound in those parts of their human body where they were wounded in the appearance of a beast; for the enveloping air easily yields, and the true body receives the wound. (121)


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Last edited by MaTTsWoRld, Sep/12/2007, 2:03 pm


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Re: Werewolves Versus Lycanthropy


What is Lycanthropy?

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What is it?:

"Lyacnthropy: An extreme for of violet insanity in which a person imitates the behavior of a wolf"
(In other wordsemoticon Lycanthropy is a condition where a person believes they are a Werewolf, or a semi-human creature. It is said to be a mental condition commonly linked to Schizophrenia. One with this "condition" believes they are an animal of prey... usually a wolf or dog, or sometimes other creatures like bears or lions. This is said to be where most werewolf myths came from. Lycanthropy is to most a disorder where you think and act like a certain animal.
Definitions:

Therianthropy: Therianthropy is SIMILAR to Lycanthropy. Therianthropes can mentally shift, but can usually wit for a better time to do it. A deep sense of peace can usually be experienced with Therianthropy, and it is said that a person becomes "one with the animal within"

Common Theories behind "Werewolves"

1. Between the years 1520 and 1630 people were thought to be werewolves. One theory to explain why this happened is that peasants ate rye bread that was contaminated with fungus that acted as a powerful hallucinogenic. When they ate the fungus, they would have delusions that they could change form. The fungus (called Ergot) is as powerful as LSD. The Ergot would attach itself to the wheat and often go un-noticed.

2. It is also thought myths could have been started from CGH (Congenital Generalized Hypertrichosis). CGH is a gene that causes thick, black hair on the face and upper body. All people have this gene, but it lays dormint in most.



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Different types of shifting:

when most people think of shape shifting, they picture changing their body physically. although this IS one type of shifting (Physical Shifting) it is not the only type of shifting.

Mental Shifting: When a specific species within one's soul or spirit dominates over any other. Basically the creature within's characteristics (ie: thinking, acting ect..) take over, or some to mind. This can usually be controlled.

Physical Shifting: When your body changes into a different for Ie: transforming from a human into a hawk. It is said by some that this fporm of shifting is impossible. It is said by others that people CAN shapeshift physically, but usually don't tell any one.

Astral Shifting: When you leave your body and shape shift your form (this is not physical shifting because, your body does not shift, your spirit does)

Dream Shifting: When you shift while in midst of a dream. This is common, but few remember it actually happening to them. One usually Dream Shifts while having a nightmare and feel the need to escape a danger or if they are having a dream about shifting.




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you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same

Sep/12/2007, 3:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 


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