RE: Confusion about the meaning of therian
What you describe is very common on Tumblr.
It's one of the things that was honestly difficult for me to reorient to when I rejoined the online community; since back in the 90s the distinction wasn't so solid. If you read the AHWW FAQ, it uses WITH where we would now use AS. There wasn't really much difference between WITH and AS. Many folks didn't feel comfortable using the term AS -- it was too raw, since the mirror reflected a human face. WITH put enough distance to keep them from feeling crazy until they were ready to embrace AS. Nothing really changed, only the comfort with expressing the feeling. Identifying AS can be a lot more socially awkward/embarassing than identifying WITH, even if the internal feeling is the same for them. It's something I think we should be sensitive to.
Therianthropy isn't one size fits all, many of us experience it in different ways, and it can take time to wrap our minds around it when we first learn there is a term to express how we feel. Spiritual therians can also make it more complicated, since often they'll refer to it in ways that sound like their theriotype is seperate from them. When I am strongly shifted, for instance, the mindset is so alien to how I normally think, that in many ways it can seem like a completely unique individual -- but I still have my memories, and thoughts, they just occur in the background, subsumed by more primal drives. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with that being as much me as the analytical, calm mindset I have most of the time. I will still refer to that mindset as "the bear", because it is convenient to do so. Even though that is just another aspect of myself; just as someone will say, that they felt "their anger".
Obviously, I'm not meaning to muddy the waters, just to add some historical and social context and perhaps some further observations into why some individuals may describe their therianthropy that way.
My own theory about the abundance of wolves deals with culture and imprinting as a young age, and the co-evolution of humans and dogs. Canids are much closer to our hearts, collectively, than most other animals in the modern world. I suspect that there was a much wider variation in animal identification 10,000 years ago.
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(This post was last modified: 2017-09-06 13:59 by BearX.)