Spiritual therianthropes believe that they are a therianthrope because of a spiritual reason, having to do with spirits/souls, reincarnation, and the astral world.
Common Theories of Spiritual Therians
Here are some theories of spiritual therianthropy.
- Reincarnation: One of the most popular beliefs, the person believes in a past life he has carried the traits or memories over to the next life.
- Misplaced Soul: The soul was placed in the wrong physical body.
- Walk-in Event: The soul of another being switched place with the previous soul who occupied the body.
- Soul Pieces: Pieces of other souls fused themselves into one body.
Something that confuses people is the practice of spiritual shapeshifting also known as spirit borrowing. Shamanism is known for this, they use their power animal or totem for help. These people can mentally shift into an animal's spirit to learn a lesson, or use the animals’ power. This is different than Therianthropy because therians feel they are the animal, and spirit borrowing is asking to be lent the power of an animal (which normally induces similar feelings to therianthropy, feeling like the animal and such). Therians can practice spiritual shape shifting too, but if they are trying to borrow the spirit or an animal, it can sometimes prove a little more difficult. For example, I am a wolf therian, I do not have to borrow a wolf spirit, but if I wanted to shift into another animal (like a cat or bird) I'd have to borrow that spirit and it could be a bit more difficult. For Therians their inner animal is who they are, and people who practice spiritual shapeshifting just borrow spirits to Shift and learn lessons. It's a tough subject to explain, but if you study more into shamanism you will see the difference.
Your spiritual name is the name of your spirit. It is not to be confused with a Therian Name, our theriotypes are animals and don't have names, see here for more information.
Most pagans call it a Magickal name or Craft name. There are many ways to find this name. A simple method for me is meditation. First of all you need to relax. You can do this two ways, using just your mind, or a paper and pencil. Clear your mind, and breath slowly, listen to your heartbeat.
Please remember there are many other ways to meditate for you name, just do whatever fits best for you. You can travel in a forest, at the beach, in a meadow. Just whatever works best! Wait for your name, or wait until an animal appears in your meditation and tells you your name. You can have more than one name, so don't be surprised if you find out you have two!
Pencil and Paper Meditation:
This may take a few tries, but when you're done, see if you can find a name in the writing you have done.
These are some quick ways to figure out your name, don't restrict yourself to just these methods, as there are many other things you can try. If this doesn't work for you, Google up other ways to find your name.
A good pack member of mountain tooth summarized the importance and meaning of totem animals and guides, which help a lot in Therianthropy. Thank you Siera for providing us with the information below.
I've had a lot of conversations about them lately. I also got a new totem animal which makes it really clear and it's really there. I've never had a totem animal that I could talk with this good. His name is Algareath and he's a black panther. I'm really happy with him and he helps me really good. So the point of this post is that I want to help you find your totem animal if you didn't already.
Now, what is a totem animal?
The shamans say the totem animals are a part of the Great Spirit who comes to help you and guide you on your way. Each totem animal has his own medicine, which will come to you when you need it. You won't keep the same totem animal; they change when they did their job on what you needed most that time. By visualization or 'meditating' you can find and talk to them. They are always there for you and help you whenever you need them. They won't ever be angry at you doesn't judge you, just with love and help.
How do you find your animal totem?
Now the meditation is much alike to the meditation to find your Therian form. That's probably why some people think they have two Therian sides or change their form later because they thought their totem animal was their Therian side. Your animal totem is also probably not your favorite animal so don't try to think of things yourself, just go along with what you see. Also try to think of a couple of questions you want to ask him/her before you do the meditation like, what is your name, what can you teach me etc.
Make yourself comfortable, lie down or sit on your bed or just behind the computer. First make your mind clear, come to rest.
You see you are in a meadow. Hear the leaves and smell the nature. You can see a river or a small lake. Feel the sun shining on you and try to sense everything as strong as possible. You also see a path going through the woods. Walk on it until you come to a cave. Walk in there and still sense everything good. Now you see a fire at the end of the cave. When you walk to it you see a figure appearing. When you walk closer you see it is an animal. Ask it if it's your totem animal, if yes you can talk and ask him your questions. thank him/her for the help you got. Now walk back and slowly get out of your meditation.
After you find out
Don't be afraid if it doesn't work the first time, you may need some time so figure it out. Once you found out what you animal totem is you can search some things up on him/her. Meditate on it more often and you'll see it get's more clear and helpful every time. Don't panics if it's gone after a while you might have gotten a new totem animal or its off busy doing something important. Remember that it's there to help you and protect you until it has done enough and it's time for another animal to help you on your way.
If you found your totem animal I'd recommend you this site.
there's a list of different kinds of meanings of the animal totems and also some more information on them if you're interested. -By Siera
Don't forget to do research on your animal, there might be a neat lesson to learn!