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Werewolves, Carnal Lust & the Full Moon - Original


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Author Topic: Werewolves, Carnal Lust & the Full Moon - Original  (Read 4247 times)
Jean Starling
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« Reply #165 on: February 29, 2008, 10:38:25 pm »

rockessence

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   posted 09-13-2005 12:04 AM                       
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Interestingly, the new dictionaries say that a lycanthrope is, first, a "person with a delusion...." while the old ones say that a lycanthrope is "a wolf-man" as the first choice and later, "person with a delusion...."

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"Illigitimi non carborundum!"
All knowledge is to be used in the manner that will give help and assistance to others, and the desire is that the laws of the Creator be manifested in the physical world. E.Cayce 254-17

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« Reply #166 on: February 29, 2008, 10:38:54 pm »

Jennifer O'Dell

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   posted 09-18-2005 01:30 AM                       
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Anyone know why that old movie, "the Wolf Man" just wasn't called "the Werewolf?"
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« Reply #167 on: February 29, 2008, 10:39:27 pm »

Jennifer O'Dell

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   posted 09-18-2005 01:37 AM                       
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Wow, Rockessence, as of today, you're one post away from 2000, nice work...
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« Reply #168 on: February 29, 2008, 10:40:12 pm »

Jean Starling

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   posted 09-28-2005 11:44 PM                       
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Prof. Waller Hastings
Northern State University
Aberdeen, SD 57401
Little Red Riding Hood

Perrault was the first to write down "Little Red Riding Hood," but the tragic ending of this version has caused some to question whether it has a genuine folk origin. Shavit argues that it is a satire about "the city gentleman who does not hesitate to take advantage of the poor village girl"; she notes an eroticism in the description of the little girl as a specific element encouraging the satiric reading, and the moral at the end tends to reinforce it. However, as we will see, there are other, clearly folk versions that contain the bawdiness and the admonitory function of the Perrault story.
In comparison to the French story, the Grimms' version ("Little Red Cap") is less satiric, more naive, and directed to the child alone - for educational purposes. This shift in focus more to the child authorizes the restoration of the happy ending; certainly the history of the story's evolution from a bawdy tale told to mixed audiences to an admonitory tale primarily directed against children reflects the development of a clear sense of distinction between child and adult.
Maria Tatar calls this “possibly the most famous cautionary tale of all times” but notes that there is no clear cause-and-effect relation between violating the mother’s injunction and being eaten by the wolf. In the Perrault version, there is no prohibition at all (but Perrault also eliminates the resurrection of the wolf’s victims); this was added by the brothers Grimm, and Tatar suggests this was in relation to the conversion of fairy tales to instruction of children (a la Struwwelpeter). The original folk versions of the story are more often bawdy in nature, dwelling on a kind of strip-tease by the girl (as in "The Story of a Grandmother"). These earlier versions were told to entertain adults working together on boringly repetitive chores. She suggests that the story may have had its origins, then, in a kind of bawdy burlesque, and was only later converted to social instruction.
It has been argued that in the original (folk) version of the story, the wolf was a werewolf (consider in re Angela Carter's version). We can see this also in the French tale "The Story of a Grandmother," in which the villain is a bzou - explicitly, a kind of werewolf.
There is also a social-class element in the later stories. Zipes suggests that the red cap (chaperon) signified the village girl's nonconformity, in that such caps were worn by the aristocracy and middle classes, not the peasantry. Thus, she is a more rebellious and individualistic girl - the kind that could easily be drawn into trouble by her natural inclinations. In 17th-century ideology, she is a potential witch, and her nature is confirmed by her pact with the diabolical wolf. Numerous subsequent versions connect this to the seduction of bourgeois women by aristocratic men. As tales are retold by men (i.e., Perrault), of course the woman is the one who has sinned and must be punished, so she is eaten (obvious sexual imagery) by the wolf; insofar as her individualism has led her into trouble, she must be safely eliminated by death. With the Grimms, the idea of justice has changed and she can be resurrected as a reformed, more obedient girl, the woodcutter/policeman having destroyed the seducing wolf.
An interesting but highly conjectural interpretation of the story comes from the French folklorist P. Saintyves (1923), who related it to the May Queen ritual - the red hood being a close shift from a hood of red roses which was used to crown the May Queen in England and France. He differentiates this from a more "surface" reading of an admonitory tale not to stray from the path or to talk to strangers, and an interpretation of the wolf as seducer. In his reading, leaving the path to go into the woods is wrong because young women were subject to attack by evil spirits (goblins) in early spring; also, boys and girls were to remain separate during part of the May celebration. The food she takes to Grandmother (butter and flat round cake) is similar to the traditional May festival food (butter and oatmeal cakes in France) one would take as May gifts. Little Red becomes a symbol of May flowers, the wolf of the devouring winter who must be overcome each year.
Other early interpretors saw the tale as a solar myth, with the wolf (the terror of the night) swallowing the sun (Little Red Riding Hood). In both Saintyves' interpretation and the solar myth, the Perrault version in which she is swallowed up and not returned must be incomplete, as the logic of the interpretation requires her resurrection to signify the new year or day. However, the concept of fairy tales as degenerated nature myths, on which both Saintyves and the solar-myth interpretation rely, no longer has much currency among folklorists.


http://www.northern.edu/hastingw/redhood.htm
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« Reply #169 on: February 29, 2008, 10:40:48 pm »

 
Michelle Sandberg

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CAVERNS, CAULDRONS, AND CONCEALED CREATURES

The Shape-Shifting Myth and Mystery

Copyright © 2003, Wm. Michael Mott

One of the oldest types of entities in folkloric and mythological accounts is also one of the latest, and of late, more common in paranormal or fortean accounts. Various entities may, upon initial consideration of witness accounts, seem widely-disparate in nature; yet whether of "gray" alien, the original Puerto Rican "chupacabras," "grinning men" (of various sizes, heights and descriptions), MIBs, or "reptoid" type, all seem to share a variety of characteristics which can be more or less identifiable as "reptilian" or "amphibian" in nature. These characteristics range from "leathery" or lizard-like skin texture, bulging eyes, slit or oblique pupils, webbed hands or fingers, and to some extent, sparseness or absence of facial and body hair.

The reptilians or "reptoids," stretching back through the centuries, have had a folkloric reputation of being deceivers, shapeshifters, vampires, and anthropophagous. Sightings and encounters have provided the basis for legends of horned, leathery demons and imps; goblins; ghuls; "henkies" and other dwarfish, somewhat-humanoid forms, nagas, trolls, and so on. The interest in human blood and genetic materials, exhibited by fairy lovers and abductors, elves, trolls, undines, incubi, succubi, frog princes, jinn, "deros," and the elemental or sylph-like "gray aliens" is all too obvious.

Of particular interest is the ability, currently attributed to the "reptoids" or lizard-men of ufological and conspiracy accounts, to "shape-shift" or take on an illusion of humanity. Some accounts have the reality the other way, in which the human being, due to stimulation of an non-human bloodlust or other desire, is transformed or "shifted" into a reptilian humanoid. While the latter type of "sighting," when genuine, may indicate a form of demonic (spiritually "reptilian") possession or oppression which is so powerful as to be visible for a temporary time in the visible spectrum, it is not necessarily the same as the encounters reported, through the centuries, of "real" shape-shifters, reptilians, devils, fairies, and "aliens" which can take on a deceptive or even a familiar form, for purposes of predation.

The ability of the fairies or "good neighbors" (a euphemism) to use "glamour," of nagas and rakshasas to utilize sorcerous illusion, and "vampires" and their "hypnotic" and shape-changing abilities, are reflected, in modern variants, in the reports of shape-shifting reptoid imposters, alien abductors who appear as familiar friends or family members, or the "rays" generated by dero "mech" which create a holographic persona. What is the "true nature" of these beings, and what is their common link, if any?

In the book "Etidorpha," a man is taken on a tour of the underworld and cavern realms by a "guide" who is more or less humanoid in form, but is described as having skin or flesh of an amphibian-like texture and no body hair whatsoever. This being is also compared to a lizard, and is described as being "slimy," "cold and clammy," and so on. The "guide" has one distinguishing characteristic which stands out in particular, however: "he" has no face at all, just a smooth ovoid patch where a face should be. As it turns out, he is not alone.

"Faceless" entities have long been present in apparition, ghost, and monster stories. Could these forms have any relation to the "shape-shifting" types of beings described? Are they not just reptilians, but representatives of a type of life which is both parasitic and chameleon-like? The question which comes forward is this: Could a "faceless" form of "genome-thief" still not be essentially reptilian, or a type of mammalian/reptilian creature descended from reptiles (as we humans, and all mammals, supposedly are)? Chameleons alter their skins cells to reflect colors, patterns, and even moods like aggression or passivity; could there be a form of life which has evolved this to an ultimate form of mimicry or deception, actually using stolen or absorbed genetic material? Would this possibility provide an answer to MANY mysteries?

There must be a clue, an explanation as to the "malleability" of these beings, their transformational abilities or else powers of genetic manipulation. Perhaps some of them are like "blank genetic templates," upon which an entire genome can be temporarily or permanently inprinted; or even different types of genomes, stolen from other life-forms, are imprinted or combined. Here would be an answer to the chimaerical and "hybrid" forms of many of the more outrageous "goblins," "cryptids" and ufonauts!

In an October 20, 1991 lecture, Ufologist Michael Lindemann delivered a lecture which contained this first-person witness account of an encounter in a top-secret underground military site:

"My friend who worked in the underground bases, who was doing sheet-rock was down on, he thinks, approximately the 30th level underground... these bases are perhaps 30-35 stories deep. As I say they are not just mine shafts, these are huge, giant facilities... many city blocks in circumference, able to house tens of thousands of people. One of them, the YANO Facility [we're told... by the county fire dept. director, the county fire dept. chief who had to go in there to look at a minor fire infraction] there's a 400-car parking lot on the 1st level of the YANO Facility, but cars never come in and out, those are the cars that they use INSIDE.

"O.K., so... a very interesting situation down there. Our guy was doing sheet-rock on the 30th floor, maybe the 30th floor, underground. He and his crew are working on a wall and right over here is an elevator door. The elevator door opens and, a kind of reflex action you look, and he saw three 'guys'. Two of them, human engineers that he's seen before. And between them a 'guy' that stood about 8 to 8 1/2 feet tall. Grey skin, extra-long arms, wearing a lab coat, holding a clip-board, AND HE DIDN"T HAVE A FACE! My friend said it was just teeth right there. Just teeth where a face should be..."

The Maya called such underworld shapeshifters "vhujunka." Other than the face, the physical description sounds much like that of one of the so-called reptoids reported at the alleged Dulce complex. Right down to the height, white lab-coat, and clipboard.

Are "reptilian" faces as much an illusion as anything else might be? Does this "faceless" account indicate that we're dealing with something that can appear in any form, or with any face, that it wishes? Underworld beings are traditionally the masters of "glamourie," or glamour, illusion, shape-shifting, deception, and so on, and of course, "Satan can appear even as an angel of light." But their interest in US is so self-serving and manipulative, yet tinged with desperation, that other questions logically follow.

Is it possible that we might be dealing with something which is PURELY A GENETIC THIEF OR PARASITE? A thief of genomes, in whole or in part as the necessity arises, a "blank slate" predator which can assume a variety of appearances? As noted previously and repetitively, this has traditionally been the province of "underworld" or subterranean beings in folk traditions worldwide, from western fairies and demons, middle eastern jinn and dubuks, to Indian nagas and Japanese "foxes" or fox-people.

These "others" may be genetically diverse beyond our imagining, due to this ability, yet incapable of reproducing of their own accord, or maintaining a stable and comfortable face, form, or life-span without it....and how does this all tie in with both livestock and human mutilations, which are essentially identical in nature and tend to concentrate on the blood, mucous membranes, reproductive organs and surrounding tissues, eyes, "meaty" organs like the liver (which is highly regenerative), and so on? Could these materials be of particular importance to an advanced genome-imprinting or cloning technology, which utilizes genetic material that has been purloined from somewhere or someone else?

Perhaps they have perfected a form of tissue regeneration and repair which requires some of the same materials which have always been offered up in sacrifices to the dark, bloody "gods" of antiquity, and THIS is the secret to "their" longevity (remember, vampires "live" forever as long as they stay out of the sun, and sun-dodging fairies are generally considered "undying" as well). Gruesome photos of a human mutilation victim from Brazil, along with autopsy data, support yet again that the vital organs, along with the most successfully regenerative tissues--the blood, mucous membranes, glands, "sweet bread" organs (the often self-regenerative liver, as well as stomach, intestines, etc.), sexual organs, and so on--are always the focus of their selfish and brutal desires.

It seems at times that Keel, Steiger, and other researchers dance around this possibility and even hint at it, but never really come out and say it. Until now, it may simply have been too unspeakable to contemplate or dare to put into print.

Even if unseen manipulators and predators have a reptilian origin that's lost in a vast antiquity, could it be that they have a partially hominid, somewhat mammalian heritage as well? Could they be as closely related to humanity as the monotremes (egg-laying mammals) are to the vivverids, for instance? Are they an ancient form of predator which is in fact a parasite, who has evolved along with all hominids and culminating with a dependence upon modern humanity? Vaguely, distantly, related in the vertebrate sense, perhaps more reptilian than we mammals, yet so old a species or variety of specie that they have evolved beyond our labels, and now represent a third form which is divergent, to some degree, from both the reptilian and mammalian kingdoms; this indeed seems more plausible as time goes by.

We may need to re-evaluate the nature of our ancient enemies.

Article copyright © 2001, Wm. Michael Mott
mottimorph@earthlink.net


Related URLs:

http://ebe.allwebco.com/Sections/Mutilations/Archive/human-m u.shtml

http://www.angelfire.com/zine/UFORCE/page75.html

http://www.disorganization.com/Library/LindemanLecture.html< /a>

Text and Images Copyright © 2001, 2003, Wm. Michael Mott
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« Reply #170 on: February 29, 2008, 10:41:17 pm »

Jennifer O'Dell

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Happy Halloween, everybody.
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« Reply #171 on: February 29, 2008, 10:42:01 pm »

Jean Starling

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Origins and variations of the word

The name is thought most likely to derive from Old English 'wer' (or 'were') meaning 'man' (male "man" rather than gender-neutral "person, human"). It has cognates in several Germanic languages including German: 'we(h)r', 'we(h)ren' (compounds include Abwehr, Feuerwehr, Bundeswehr 'group of men engaged in defense') and Old Norse: 'var' The second element is '*wlkwo-' or wulf meaning simply 'wolf'. The two elements joined thus yield 'man-wolf.' The first element is thought to be representative of the hypothetical Proto-Indo-European roots '*wi-ro-' meaning 'man.' Also thought to be descended from this root are Latin 'vir' Old Prussian: 'wirs', and Irish 'fir.' An alternative etymology looks to Old English weri (to wear) plus "wolf", thus bearing wearer of the wolf skin.

Other sources believe it is derived from warg-wolf, where "warg" (or later "werg" and "wero") is cognate with Norse "varg" meaning wolf and as "vargulf" means the kind of wolf that slaughters many of a flock or herd but eats only a bit. This was a serious problem for herders as they had to somehow destroy the individual wolf that had run mad before it destroyed their entire flock or herd. They then used the wolf's hide as a decorative ornament in the bedroom of a young infant, believing it to give the baby supernatural powers. "Warg" by itself was used in Old English for that specific kind of wolf (see J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit) and it was used as well for what would now be called a serial killer.

The Greek term Lycanthropy (a compound of which the first part derives from the same Proto-Indo-European root for "wolf", *wlkwo-, as the English word) is also commonly used for the "wolf - man" transformation. The term for the metamorphosis of people into animals in general, rather than wolves specifically, is therianthropy (therianthrope means animal-man). The term turnskin or turncoat (Latin: versipellis, Russian : oboroten, O. Norse: hamrammr) is sometimes also used. Another name for a werewolf is loup-garou, from the Latin noun lupus meaning 'wolf.' [1] The second element is thought to be from Old French 'garoul' meaning 'werewolf.' This in turn is most likely from Frankish '*wer-wulf' meaning 'man-wolf.' [2]
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« Reply #172 on: February 29, 2008, 10:42:36 pm »

Jean Starling

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History of the werewolf

Many European countries and cultures have stories of werewolves, including Greece (lycanthropos), Spain (hombre lobo), Bulgaria (varkolak, vulkodlak), Serbia (vukodlak), Russia (oboroten' , vurdalak), Ukraine (vovkulak(a),vovkun,pereverten' ), Poland (wilkołak), Romania (vârcolac), England (werwolf), Ireland (faoladh or conriocht), Germany (Werwolf), Denmark/Sweden (Varulv), France (loup-garou), Galicia, Portugal (lobisón, lobisomem), Lithuania (vilkolakis and vilkatlakis), Latvia (vilkatis and vilkacis), Estonia (libahunt), Argentina (lobizón, hombre lobo) and Italy (lupo mannaro) . In northern Europe, there are also tales about people changing into bears. In Norse mythology, the legends of berserkers may be a source of the werewolf myths. Berserks were vicious fighters, dressed in wolf or bear hides; they were immune to pain and killed viciously in battle, like a wild animal. In Latvian mythology, the Vilkacis was a person changed into a wolf-like monster, though the Vilkacis was occasionally beneficial. A closely related set of myths are the skin-walkers. These myths probably have a common base in Proto-Indo-European society, where the class of young, unwed warriors were apparently associated with wolves.

Shape-shifters similar to werewolves are common in myths from all over the world, though most of them involve animal forms other than wolves. See lycanthropy for more information.

In Greek mythology the story of Lycaon supplies one of the earliest examples of a werewolf legend. According to one form of it Lycaon was transformed into a wolf as a result of eating human flesh; one of those who were present at periodical sacrifice on Mount Lycaon was said to suffer a similar fate. The Roman Pliny the Elder, quoting Euanthes, says (Historia Naturalis viii. 22/34. 81) that a man of Anthus' family was selected by lot and brought to a lake in Arcadia, where he hung his clothing on an ash tree and swam across. This resulted in his being transformed into a wolf, and he wandered in this shape nine years. Then, if he had attacked no human being, he was at liberty to swim back and resume his former shape. Probably the two stories are identical, though we hear nothing of participation in the Lycaean sacrifice by the descendant of Antaeus. Herodotus (iv. 105) tells us that the Neuri, a tribe he places to the north-east of Scythia were annually transformed for a few days, and Virgil is familiar with transformation of human beings into wolves (see Eclogues viii. 98). In the novel Satyricon, written about year 60 by Gaius Petronius, one of the characters recites a story about a man who turns into a wolf.

There are women, so the Armenian belief runs, who in consequence of deadly sins are condemned to pass seven years in the form of a wolf. A spirit comes to such a woman and brings her a wolf's skin. He orders her to put it on, and no sooner has she done this than the most frightful wolfish cravings make their appearance and soon get the upper hand. Her better nature conquered, she makes a meal of her own children, one by one, then of her relatives' children according to the degree of relationship, and finally the children of strangers begin to fall as prey to her. She wanders forth only at night, and doors and locks spring open at her approach. When morning draws near she returns to human form and removes her wolf skin. In these cases the transformation was involuntary or virtually so. But side by side with this belief in involuntary metamorphosis, we find the belief that human beings can change themselves into animals at will and then resume their own form.

In the Volsungasaga of Norse mythology, the hero Sigmund and his son Sinfjötli spent some time wearing cursed wolf-skins, which transformed them into wolves.

France in particular seems to have been infested with werewolves during the 16th century, and the consequent trials were very numerous. In some of the cases -- e.g. those of the Gandillon family in the Jura, the tailor of Chalons and Roulet in Angers, all occurring in the year 1598, -- there was clear evidence against the accused of murder and cannibalism, but none of association with wolves; in other cases, as that of Gilles Garnier in Dole in 1573, there was clear evidence against some wolf, but none against the accused; in all the cases, with hardly an exception, there was that extraordinary readiness in the accused to confess and even to give circumstantial details of the metamorphosis, which is one of the most inexplicable concomitants of medieval witchcraft. Yet while this lycanthropy fever, both of suspectors and of suspected, was at its height, it was decided in the case of Jean Grenier at Bordeaux in 1603 that lycanthropy was nothing more than an insane delusion. From this time the loup-garou gradually ceased to be regarded as a dangerous heretic, and fell back into his pre-Christian position of being simply a "man-wolf-fiend".

The lubins or lupins of France were usually female and shy in contrast to the aggressive loup-garous.

In Province of Prussia, Livonia and Lithuania, according to the bishops Olaus Magnus and Majolus, the werwolves were in the 16th century far more destructive than "true and natural wolves", and their heterodoxy appears from the Catholic bishops' assertion that they formed "an accursed college" of those "desirous of innovations contrary to the divine law".

In England, however, where at the beginning of the 17th century the punishment of witchcraft was still zealously prosecuted by James I of England, the wolf had been so long extinct that that pious monarch was himself able (Demonologie, lib. iii.) to regard "warwoolfes" as victims of delusion induced by "a naturall superabundance of melancholic". Only small creatures such as the cat, the hare and the weasel remained for the malignant sorcerer to transform himself into, but he was firmly believed to avail himself of these agencies.

The werewolves of the Christian dispensation were not, however, all considered to be heretics or viciously disposed towards mankind. "According to Baronius, in the year 617, a number of wolves presented themselves at a monastery, and tore in pieces several friars who entertained heretical opinions. The wolves sent by God tore the sacrilegious thieves of the army of Francesco Maria, duke of Urbino, who had come to sack the treasure of the holy house of Loreto. A wolf guarded and defended from the wild beasts the head of St. Edmund the Martyr, king of England. St. Odo, abbot of Cluny, assailed in a pilgrimage by foxes, was delivered and escorted by a wolf" (A. de Gubernatis, Zoological Mythology, 1872, vol. ii. p. 145). Many of the werewolves were most innocent and God-fearing persons, who suffered through the witchcraft of others, or simply from an unhappy fate, and who as wolves behaved in a truly touching fashion, fawning upon and protecting their benefactors. In Marie de France's poem "Bisclaveret" (c. 1200), the nobleman Bisclavret, for reasons not described in the lai, had to transform into a wolf every week. When his treacherous wife stole his clothing, needed to restore his human form, he escaped the king's wolf hunt by imploring the king for mercy, and accompanied the king thereafter. His behavoir at court was so gentle and harmless than when his wife and her new husband appeared at court, his attack on them was taken as evidence of reason to hate them, and the truth was revealed. Others of this sort were the hero of "William and the Werewolf" (translated from French into English about 1350), and the numerous princes and princesses, knights and ladies, who appear temporarily in beast form in the German fairy tales, or Märchen. See "Snow White and Rose Red", where the tame bear is really a bewitched prince.

Indeed, the power of transforming others into wild beasts was attributed not only to malignant sorcerers, but also to Christian saints. Omnes angeli, boni et mali, ex virtute naturali habent potestatem transmutandi corpora nostra ("All angels, good and bad have the power of transmutating our bodies") was the dictum of St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Patrick transformed Vereticus, a king in Wales, into a wolf; and St. Natalis cursed an illustrious Irish family with the result that each member of it was doomed to be a wolf for seven years. In other tales the divine agency is still more direct, while in Russia, again, men are supposed to become werewolves through incurring the wrath of the devil.


Monument to the Beast of Gévaudan, Lozčre, FranceSome Werewolf lore is based on documented events. The Beast of Gévaudan was a creature that terrorized the general area of the former province of Gévaudan, in today's Lozčre département, in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France, in the general timeframe of 1764 to 1767. The beast was often described as a giant wolf, and attacked livestock and humans indiscriminately.

In the late 1990s, a string of man-eating wolf attacks occurred in Uttar Pradesh, India. Frightened people claimed, among other things, that the wolves were werewolves.
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« Reply #173 on: February 29, 2008, 10:43:28 pm »

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Becoming a werewolf
Historical legends describe a wide variety of methods for becoming a werewolf. One of the simplest was the removal of clothing and putting on a belt made of wolf skin, probably a substitute for the assumption of an entire animal skin which also is frequently described. In other cases the body is rubbed with a magic salve. To drink water out of the footprint of the animal in question or to drink from certain enchanted streams were also considered effectual modes of accomplishing metamorphosis. Olaus Magnus says that the Livonian werwolves were initiated by draining a cup of specially prepared beer and repeating a set formula. Ralston in his Songs of the Russian People gives the form of incantation still familiar in Russia. It is also said that the seventh son of the seventh son will become werewolf. Another is to be directly bitten by a werewolf, where the saliva enters the blood stream.

In Galician, Portuguese and Brazilian folklore, it is the seventh of the sons (but sometimes the seventh child, a boy, after a line of six daughters). This belief was so extended in Northern Argentina, that seventh sons were abandoned, ceded in adoption or killed. A law from 1920 decreed that the President of Argentina is the godfather of the every seventh son. Thus, the State gives him a gold medal in his baptism and a scholarship until his 21st year. This ended the abandonments, but it is still traditional that the President godfathers seventh sons.

Various methods also existed for removing the beast-shape. The simplest was the act of the enchanter (operating either on himself or on a victim), and another was the removal of the animal belt or skin. To kneel in one spot for a hundred years, to be reproached with being a werewolf, to be saluted with the sign of the cross, or addressed thrice by baptismal name, to be struck three blows on the forehead with a knife, or to have at least three drops of blood drawn have also been mentioned as possible cures. Many European folk tales include throwing an iron object over or at the werewolf, to make it reveal its human form.

In other cases the transformation was supposed to be accomplished by Satanic agency voluntarily submitted to, and that for the most loathsome ends, in particular for the gratification of a craving for human flesh. "The werwolves," writes Richard Verstegan (Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, 1628), "are certayne sorcerers, who having annoynted their bodies with an oyntment which they make by the instinct of the devil, and putting on a certayne inchaunted girdle, doe not onely unto the view of others seeme as wolves, but to their owne thinking have both the shape and nature of wolves, so long as they weare the said girdle. And they do dispose themselves as very wolves, in wourrying and killing, and most of humane creatures." Such were the views about lycanthropy current throughout the continent of Europe when Verstegan wrote. The ointments and salves in question may have contained hallucinogenic agents.

Becoming a werewolf simply by being bitten by another werewolf as a form of contagion is common in modern fiction.
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« Reply #174 on: February 29, 2008, 10:44:25 pm »

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Theories of origin

A recent theory has been proposed to explain werewolf episodes in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Ergot, which causes a form of foodborne illness, is a fungus that grows in place of rye grains in wet growing seasons after very cold winters. Ergot poisoning usually affects whole towns or at least poor areas of towns and results in hallucinations, mass hysteria and paranoia, as well as convulsions and sometimes death. (LSD can be derived from ergot.) Ergot poisoning has been proposed as both a cause of an individual believing that he or she is a werewolf and of a whole town believing that they had seen a werewolf.

Like most attempts to use modern science to explain away religious beliefs and folklore, this theory is controversial and unsatisfactory. Witchcraft hysteria and legends of animal transformations, as well as hysteria and superstition in general, have existed across the world for all of recorded history. Even if ergot poisoning is found to be an accurate explanation in some cases, it cannot be applied to all instances. An over-reliance on any one theory denies the diversity and complexity of such occurrences.

Some modern researchers have tried to use conditions such as rabies, hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth over the entire body) or porphyria (an enzyme disorder with symptoms including hallucinations and paranoia) as an explanation for werewolf beliefs, although the symptoms of those ailments do not match up well with the folklore or the evidence of the episodes of hysteria either.

There is also a rare mental disorder called clinical lycanthropy, in which an affected person has a delusional belief that he or she is transforming into another animal, although not always a wolf or werewolf.

Others believe werewolf legends arose as a part of shamanism and totem animals in primitive and nature-based cultures. The term therianthropy has been adopted to describe a spiritual concept in which the individual believes he or she has the spirit or soul, in whole or in part, of a non-human animal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolves
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