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Monday, 14 July 2014

Shapeshifters Reviewed

Hi dear friends and followers welcome back again, I do pray you all hade a wonderful weekend. Today we revisit the world wide recorded myths and legends on shapeshifters. You are welcome to come along as well. Have a great read, my dear friends

What Do You Think You Saw?

Shapeshifting, defined as an intentional full body transformation to look like another creature, is a common theme in mythology and folklore. Having the ability to change their appearance enables creatures to trick, deceive, hunt, and kill humans and animals. The following is a list of the top ten legendary shapeshifters from around the world:

Lesky – A lesky is a male woodland creature from Slavic mythology, believed to protect the forest and its animals. Although leskies appear as very tall men, they have the ability to shapeshift into any form—plant of animal. Leskies have beards made of living grass and vines, and often have a tail, hooves, and horns. In human form, they have pale white skin and glowing, dark green eyes. Because they are lords of the forest, they have close bonds with wolves and bears. When encountered, it is commonly believed that leskies will lead people astray, make them ill, and sometimes even tickle them to death. Although not always evil, they are very mischievous and have lured lost wanderers into their caves and kidnapped young women.

Selkie – Selkies are seal-like creatures found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, and Scottish mythology. Selkies are able to shapeshift into human form by shedding their seal skin (which is very risky because they must reapply that same skin in order to return to their original form). Legends surrounding these creatures usually revolve around romantic tragedies. In many cases, humans have unknowingly fallen in love with them, but had their hearts broken because selkies are only allowed to have contact with humans for a short period of time before having to return to the sea. These creatures have been known to lure humans into the sea by creating illusions and a false sense of reality.

Selkie – The expression, “To go berserk,” was in our vernacular long before anyone “went ballistic.” Berserkers were a group of Norse warriors. Although mostly human, upon entering battle, they became uncontrollable and enter a trance-like fury, which caused them to transform into wolves, bears, or wild bulls. Or so they thought themselves to be. Their uncontrollable rage gave rise to the word “berserk.” Before battle, berserkers would adorn themselves in the pelts of bears and wolves helping them make complete transformations when necessary. Berserkers are known for having bloodshot eyes, incredible strength, and unlimited endurance. It is said that Scandanavian kings used berserkers in their armies, as hired men, and as their royal bodyguards.
Kitsune – In Japanese folklore, the Kitsune is an intelligent and magical being, whose strength increases with age and wisdom. These fox-like creatures — believed to have as many as nine tails — can assume human form and are notoriously mischievous. Although they are unable to shapeshift into human form before the age of 100, they prefer to take on the form of a beautiful young woman or elderly man when they can. Kitsune can willingly enter a person’s dreams and create illusions so vivid that people perceive them as reality and are driven to insanity. They can fly, become invisible, and can generate fire or lightening. In some parts of the world, the Kitsune are even believed to be able to bend time and space.

Puca – The Puca (pronounced “pooka”) originated from Celtic folklore. It is a mythological fairy and the ultimate shapeshifter, able to assume many forms, such as a horse, rabbit, goat, goblin, and dog. Puca commonly appear as a black horse with a luxurious mane and glowing, orange eyes. These creatures have the ability to use a human voice, and are known to give good advice to those who respectfully ask for it; however when feeling mischievous, they enjoy confusing and scaring humans. Puca are very sociable creatures that enjoy getting together and playing pranks on unsuspecting children and adults. In many regions of the world, they are believed to reside in the mountains and hills.

Wendigo – The Wendigo appears in Algonquian mythology, and are generally described as large, alien-like canine beasts. They are evil and cannibalistic, and are almost always associated with the bitter-cold winters. Algonquians believe that when a human engages in the act of cannibalism, they will transform into a Wendigo as a result of being possessed by the demonic spirit of the beast. Because these creatures embody gluttony and greed, an individual, once trans- formed, will become violent and obsessed with consuming large amounts of human flesh. Never satisfied, these newly-turned Wendigos will kill many people. They are believed to live in rural and highly forested or mountainous regions.

Encantado – An Encantado is a legendary creature from Brazil, known to live in a deep underwater realm. They most often appear as a type of freshwater dolphin or sea snake, and have the ability to transform into human form. As humans, they have superior musical ability, are very seductive, and are attracted to crowds and parties. Encantados are able to control storms and haunt humans. Using various forms of mind control, encantados can inflict illness, insanity and even death. Many Brazilian natives will not go near the Amazon River at night, and some have even claimed to see and interact with them.

Aswang – Aswangs come from Filipino folklore, and are described as being a combination of vampire and witch, and are almost always a female with characteristic bloodshot eyes who can transform into either a large black dog or boar. These creatures are cannibals known to stalk, kill, and eat people at night, sometimes even eating children and unborn fetuses. In human form they appear to be normal, shy, and elusive, yet when the sun sets they turn into savage and deadly beasts. In the middle ages, the Aswang was the most feared creature in the Philippines.

Vampires – Paging Barnabas Collins! These are legendary creatures known to feed on the blood of humans and animals. The original mythological vampire, unlike the modern day ones, are said to be bloated in appearance, ruddy, and dark purplish in color. These shapeshifters can take on many forms, often choosing to take on the form of a bat or human. As masters of disguise they will seduce their human victims, waiting for the right moment to kill them and drain their body of blood. Although typically described as being an undead immortal, some cultures believe vampires to be living creatures. In the past, European belief in vampires led to mass hysteria, which resulted in riots, killing sprees, staked humans, and innocent people being accused of vampirism. The most famous recently recorded case of vampirism was about a 19-year-old girl named Mercy L. Brown, who died in Exeter, Rhode Island in 1892.

Lycanthrope – Also known as werewolves, lycanthropes are mytho- logical shapeshifters who are humans but, by the light of a full moon, can turn into wolf-like creatures. With one bite, a werewolf can infect another human and turn them into a creature of the moon, like themselves. Although the werewolf myth began in Europe, many accounts of lycanthropes come from all over the world. Werewolves have distinct characteristics such as the meeting of both eyebrows at the bridge of the nose, curved fingernails, low set ears, and super human strength and senses. When in human form—their weak form—a werewolf can be identified by cutting into the flesh and finding hair underneath, or by revealing special bristles under the tongue.This is all that I have found from web sources on shapeshifters. Can you add to this? Who – or what – do you think you saw?

Dear friends and followers, tomorow I will be posting my own knowledge and personal experiences with the phenomena of shape shifter. I hope you are able to drop by and have a read and share your thoughts with me. Thank you very much 

With love from your Fairy Lady 

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