Today we have here some really nice stuff, as we are going to look closer at the topic of lycanthropy.
Off all the possible shapeshifters, the most popular nowadays are the werewolves. It seems that it was much the same way in the ancient times.
But how this happened?
Everything starts with a wolf.
Beautiful animal, ultimate predator, symbol of wilderness. Yet, very similar to early human, due to its lifestyle.
Wolves were organized in packs (families, tribes) lead by the strongest individuals (senior, chieftain). Living together and usually blood-tied, they were able to closely cooperate on various occasions. Hunting, raising pups, fighting enemies – healthy pack acted like a single organism. No surprise that humans who observed wolves were amazed with their effectiveness. Wherever a man was in contact with wolves, the animal found its place among the myths and legends.
And what was the wolf in the Indo-European world? Let’s look at the Encyclopaedia:
I imagine that at first people wanted to be perceived as wolves – especially warriors. It was good to be a wolf, especially if a man sought for leadership. Alpha male characteristics could earn him a respect of the entire tribe.
But as civilization grew, people moved to villages and cities and lost their close contact with wildlife. Casual warriors got replaced by professional soldiers, thus being a wolf was nothing positive anymore. Especially that wolves threatened the villagers and their livestock. The dark, villain side of a wolf took over and fear replaced admiration.
That way we got to the werewolves.
Apparently, Encyclopaedia comprises four werewolf-like creatures from different mythologies – let’s take a closer look at each one. (Click “Continue reading” to see the whole entries).
Thus, being able to turn into a wolf was considered more of a curse than a useful ability. And so it is still today…
However as more and more people seem to turn towards nature again and see the beauty of wildlife, the situation may get reversed. Are you ready to wake up your instincts and run into the night?
Let’s contemplate some pictures now.