Category Archives: Shape Shifters

Shape Shifting: The Real Scoop

Shape shifting is one of my areas of interest and one of the under explored areas in the occult, in my opinion. If I had the time for ritual and experimentation, I would write my own book but, in the mean time, here is a little primer for those readers interested in the topic.

First of all, let us set aside the topic that always comes up when the issue of shape shifting arises: is it possible for an individual to physically assume another form. While I am loathe to say that anything is impossible, the power outlay for a transformation of this sort would be enormous, in my opinion, and would require the interference of a major Power or tapping into an energy source of almost unlimited potential such as a major ley line. So, while I will not say that physical transformation is completely impossible, I think that power issues as well as the practicalities of returning to the original form make it practically impossible.

Nevertheless, there is very clear lore, throughout the world, indicating the idea of people turning into animals and animals turning into people. How do we explain these stories? Why is this such a wide spread belief? As I have indicated, one could write a book on this subject but here are some brief thoughts:

1) The Faery and other beings of the Otherworld. The beings of the Otherworld, particularly the Faery, are known for their ability to shift shape. Some of the shape shifting legends clearly derive from encounters between humans and Otherworld entities over the course of history. The Irish legend of the Selkie comes to mind – a seal that removes its skin and becomes a lovely woman or handsome man.

2) Astral Experiences. Some of the legends of shape shifting may actually derive from dreams and/or out of body experiences. One of the easiest ways to experience another form is to learn astral projection or one of the various forms of shamanic soul travel and then decide, once you are “out”, to move in the body of an animal. This may take significant practice on the part of the dreamer or out of body traveller or it may happen spontaneously according to events in the dream/journey. In either event, in cultures where the dream time is taken seriously and such movement from one form to another is common in dreams and out of body experiences, these episodes would be shared with others and settle into the legend and myth of the tribe or clan.

3) Glamour. Magicians, throughout time, have been known for the power to cloud human minds and make them see things that are not there. Star Wars fans will recall the famous “these are not the droids you are looking for scene”; Obi-Wan Kenobi could just as easily have made those storm troopers think that they saw the droids walking off in the distance and caused them to speed off in pursuit. Likewise, a strong telepath, using magical enhancement of his or her ability, might cause other humans to think they were seeing a human turning to an animal or part animal. Reasons for doing this might range from mischief to distraction so that the mage could escape a dangerous situation. Obviously, as Obi-Wan noted, these tricks work best on the weak minded.

4) Mental Shifting. Some people have such a strong affinity with an animal that they actually seem to be able to take on aspects of the mind of that animal. We see some connection to the idea of glamour here since people in the presence of this type of “shifter” will often report perceiving changes in the shifter’s appearance. I theorize that the person’s identification with their animal is so strong that they give off strong telepathic/magical energy that actually alters people’s perception.

5) Etheric Shape Shifting. There are a number of levels to the human energetic body. The level that is closest to the physical is called, in many esoteric traditions, the etheric. Think of the etheric level as the template on which the physical hangs, sort of an energetic lattice work that allows the physical to have and maintain a certain form. Magicians through the ages have been able to work with the etheric level by learning to project the etheric body, change its shape and even shape the etheric and use it as an overlay to their physical form. Interestingly, the etheric can even be “hardened” so that it looks and appears solid. Thus, the Northern legends of warriors who fought in semi-animal form and inflicted terrible damage with both their weapons and their claws/teeth.

6) Possession. In Voudou, the faithful are sometimes possessed by their Met Tet, the Lwa “of their head”, the ‘god’ that walks most closely with them and is their patron. I see no reason why an individual with a distinct shamanic bent who worked with animal spirits on a regular basis might not actually allow the spirit of a totem or power animal to possess them. Again, given the powerful energies involved, one wonders what the perception of an outsider witnessing such an act might be. We know that those possessed by the Lwa certainly change aspect and are capable of performing actions that an ordinary humans could not.

So, the next time you read a story about a skinwalker speeding across the Arizona desert or hear of a report of a werewolf trolling a forest in England, don’t be so quick to dismiss.


Crypto Four Corners

I am running a little behind in my podcast listening so just had a chance to listen to the Beyond the Edge Radio episode (20 April) featuring J C Johnson and Chief Leonard Dan of the Crypto Four Corners group. For those of you who want to hear about a veritable cornucopia of high strangeness, you will definitely want to check out this podcast. I have not heard about so much high strangeness focussed in a specific area since reading about the Skinwalker Ranch.

The Four Corners referred to in the name of the group is the intersection of the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners Monument is actually located on the Dine’ (Navajo) reservation and the area that this cryptozoology group covers is mostly located on the reservation, dealing extensively with Dine’ people. Listening to the podcast, Crypto Four Corners has investigated reports of the Furry Ones (Sasquatch), skinwalkers, giant rabbit-like ‘rodents’, mini T-Rex, ‘Night Stalkers’ (gargoyle like creatures), little people, centaurs, gryphons, winged hominids and dogman/manwolf. I know, from other reports that I have seen elsewhere on the Internet that J C Johnson has also reported a sighting of a dire wolf or something similar while on a San Juan river expedition.

The sheer volume and variety of reports discussed in this show was absolutely mind boggling. Sasquatch track lines that disappeared into the thin air, centaurs stopping traffic on major roadways, gargoyles taking off and landing in corn fields and grey alien incursions in the middle of the night, resulting in extended gun fire at the intruders (I will be commenting more on that issue in my next post). Those incidents are but a few of the ones discussed on the show and I strongly urge my readers to go have a listen.

At about 40:00, though, J C Johnson makes a statement that puzzles me. He states flatly that there is no window area or portal in the area that his group covers, that he believes, in fact, that all these creatures exist physically out in the desert. Honestly, I was taken aback by this flat statement. If what Mr. Johnson suggests is true then repeated overflights of the area ought to yield some very interesting photos since he is living in the midst of a veritable Jurassic Park of Forteana.

I think that the point that Mr. Johnson might have been trying to make was that the creatures that people are seeing in the region are ‘real’ – that is, they have mass, weight and presence to the five human senses. I would be the last person on earth to argue that the Dine’ and others (such as the British tourists who had a centaur encounter) are not seeing something. Those who have read this blog for a while will know that I even make a case for some creatures of the Otherworld to take on physical form or, at least, a hard etheric shell when they are in our world. These beings are, when they are in our realm, no less real than we are.

The fact of the matter, though, is that Mr. Johnson and his team operate on a reservation where it is not at all uncommon for people to consult with medicine people for the relief of their illnesses while at the same time availing themselves of Indian Health Services. The Dine’ have a complex and beautiful ritual life full of ceremonies to keep them in balance with their land. Those ceremonies make reference to their gods and draw on the power of their myths to bring about this balancing effect. As with all good ceremony, ways are opened to the Otherworld and spirits and energies flow through freely. The singer is taught how to open those ways and how to close them down again but such ceremonies are bound to leave a residue of power on the land.

I am not insinuating that the Dine’ medicine people are inept and unable to close their own portals but I would suggest that, given the frequency of these ceremonies over the course of time, a certain mystery has been built into the land, a certain thinning of the veil between this world and the Otherworld. Also, we have to remember that not all the magic worked on the Dine’ reservation is beneficial. The Dine’ have a long history of skinwalkers, evil magicians in their midst, who gain their powers by breaking tribal taboos and who are not, I am sure, as tidy in their magical actions as the medicine people. One suspects that these rogue magicians might have left any number of doors open to the Otherworld and may, indeed, have called through some of the less savory elements seen on the reservation.

The so-called skeptics will say that the surfeit of activity on the Dine’ lands is simply the result of superstitious reinterpretation of perfectly ordinary phenomenon and that certainly could be the case in some instances. Traditional Dine’ seem to have developed some of the skinwalker mythos simply to explain non-harmonious events in their lives but the fact remains that you have many individuals on the reservation who have lived in a particular place for generations and who know the land on which they live better than any outsider ever could. If such a person told me that they saw something strange on their land, I would be very much inclined to believe them.

At about 1:27:00, Mr. Johnson talks about a case in which a set of Sasquatch tracks found in a field show a lengthening of stride and then simply disappear. Mr. Johnson conjectures that the creature simply sprouted wings and flew away. I think it far more likely that the creature simply returned to the place from whence it came and took a flying leap through a portal back into the Otherworld. I respectfully submit that my theory in no way negates the ‘reality’ of the track set and is a little more elegant explanation of the large amount of high strangeness in the Four Corners area.

Thinking about Holographic Projection

I have discovered the wonders of Oyster, an application on my iPad, that allows me to pay a monthly fee and have access to any book in their system. Although it is best used for hunting up a good novel to read, I have found several interesting paranormal titles as well. One of the books that I have had a chance to peruse recently is Nick Redfern’s Keep Out! Top Secret Places Governments Don’t Want You To Know About. While a great deal of the book is highly conjectural, I did find the following quote from the section on the Montauk research facility on Long Island quite interesting:

As for Bigfoot, and the notion that the Montauk team learned how to project imagery of such beasts from the dark depths of the human mind into quasi-physical form in the real world, isn’t that just too outlandish to warrant even a solitary comment? Not everyone thinks so. One of those who offered commentary on these matters is a man who features significantly in another chapter of this book: Gabe Valdez, a key player in the story of the alleged underground alien base at Dulce, New Mexico.

Valdez has uncovered information that leads him to believe that many New Mexico Bigfoot sightings are actually the work of a covert arm of the U.S. government possessing the ability to create holographic imagery of the hairy man-beasts. The purpose? To deter people from getting too close to some of its secret underground installations. It is fascinating to hear such a theory coming out of the mouth of a respected police officer who was consulted by the FBI on cattle-mutilation cases at Dulce in the 1970s. Even more fascinating, Valdez’s position on Bigfoot eerily parallels the stories surfacing from the Montauk research community.

I have maintained for some time that some UFO sightings around the country are simply people spying top secret military aircraft. I’ve also noted in my In Response to Alien Infiltration Vs. Mind Games post that it is quite conceivable that some abduction experiences are the result of government/military mind control experimentation. While Mr. Redfern does not cite a source for Gabe Valdez’ contention about holographic projection, I think that the idea deserves careful consideration.

First of all, let me be clear, I am not proposing that all Sasquatch and other paranormal sightings (i.e. the Manwolf and various other ‘monsters’ seen throughout the world) are simply the result of governments trying to protect their secrets via the use of advanced imaging tech. There are far too many sightings of such beings scattered across too broad a range to make such a contention tenable. What I am saying is that it is possible that some sightings are the result of military or intelligence groups trying to keep civilians out of areas that they do not want discovered or investigated.

We would like to believe that our governments operate entirely above the board and with total transparency but such a view would be totally naive. Declassified documents and information collected through acts like the US FOIA are constantly showing us that, in some sections of government secrecy is the default. Given this sort of institutional paranoia and access to cutting edge technology, we can certainly conjecture that classified agencies within the government have reached into their black bag of tricks in order to prevent incursions on their installations. In addition, I think it is reasonable to assume that these agencies might be developing weapons to use against our enemies and be using civilians as test subjects.

If one wanted to keep people out of a specific area, what better way to scare people off than by having them come face to face with what appeared to be a real live physical monster? If, for example, one were tasked with protecting a top secret establishment that was testing cutting edge military aircraft, prototypes that were far in advance of vehicles that we have flying right now, one might establish that base underground with very limited and difficult to find access (first ring of protection). The site might have conventional physical security measure like clear zones, fences, razor wire, lighting, alarms and patrol personnel (second ring of protection). Before anyone got that far however, the insightful planner might want to establish a third ring of protection by scaring any but the most determined intruder out of the area before they ever encountered the hardened perimeter. The use of psychological warfare methods – such as our holographic projector theory – would fit nicely here. If people are frightened away from the area before they ever realize there is anything out there, so much the better.

My counter to this idea is that, if the place became known for a particular type of ‘monster’, it might actually draw interested investigators into the area. I find it far more likely that these covert agencies are simply testing their psychological warfare operations on innocent civilians.

The idea of using holographic projections to frighten people may seem far fetched but we know that CIA, in a well documented case involving Major General Edward Lansdale, used the myth of the aswang to good effect against Filipino rebels. Lansdale planted stories of aswang attacks near a rebel stronghold and then arranged fake vampire attacks in the area to scare the rebels into abandoning their position. This event occurred in the 1950’s. Imagine what a psy-ops group equipped with holographic projectors could do to an enemy with a native superstition. I have to wonder if some of the reports of werewolf/manwolf type creatures and other monsters in the Middle East, during the recent conflicts there, were not experiments or actual operations of the psychological warfare units. After all, the djinn of Arabic legend are known shape shifters and beings that frighten the heck out of many people in Muslim countries.

Given what we know about government psy-ops, I think that the use of holographic projection or other psychological warfare techniques are issues that we need to keep in the back of our mind while speaking with witnesses.

Book Review: Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone

As I write this, I am sitting in the midst of a hell of boxes and bubble wrap but all is not lost. The movers come soon and, by the time you read this, I will be back in Georgia, visiting with the in-laws and waiting for my household goods to arrive from New York. The New Year has brought great change into my life but I am hopeful that this change will be for the better.

Despite the chaos of the move, I’ve still managed to take a little down time and just finished reading a book titled

Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic

by the neo-pagan author who designates herself Lupa. I found the book interesting since I sometimes work in Harner style neo-shamanism but I found this author to be a little frustrating. While I have quite a lot of experience in the magical realms and could follow Lupa’s writing, I am afraid that a beginner in the Ars Magica would find this book difficult.

Part of the issue derives from something Lupa freely admits; she is very much a chaos magician. In other words, she practices a style of magic that is very much tied into the process of experimentation and is quite willing to practice in what she calls the buffet style – in other words, chaos mages have no problem with exploring magical styles and picking what they like from them. For some people this freedom works well and they find practices which really do lead to a relationship with their “Higher Selves” (or whatever they choose to call them) and an ability to hack their reality but others, like myself, like a little more structure. I found, reading this book, that the chaos side of Lupa shone through since she was quite willing to introduce a topic, make some pithy statements about it, drop a few ideas about how it could be worked with magically and then move on to another area.

For example, in her discussion of familiars (which she defines as an animal that partners with you in doing magic), Lupa makes starts off strong and then seems to tail off at the end of the discussion. She tells us something of how to locate a familiar and makes a strong case for not adopting an animal unless you are sure you can care for it (kudos to her there!) but then tells us that she spoke with her familiar to learn how it might assist her in magic and recommends this procedure for others. She does give some ideas about how to accomplish this but really does not give us any good examples of how her familiar assisted her in a magical working or workings. I, for one, would have been quite interested to see how she worked a lizard into her magic and less experienced practitioners would have benefitted greatly from such illustrative stories.

Another issue that gave me pause was her continued assumption that people reading the book were familiar with divination. She often recommends using either the pendulum, the Tarot or some other style of divination to get or check answers from totems, familiars or other animal spirits. While these methods might certainly work for a person with some experience, even flipping a coin for a yes or no answer to a question requires some basic knowledge of how to set one’s mind in the proper frame, how to phrase a question and how to establish some basic protection from outside influences. None of this is covered; the assumption seems to be, again, that the reader has some level of experience in the magical arts.

Again, with the process of invocation, actually calling an animal spirit into your body, Lupa describes why one might do an invocation and some effective ways to bring this magical act to pass (I found her description of dancing in a wolf skin to be practically invocatory all by itself) but skimps on the necessary details. This is most likely a personal bias on my part but I have always been of the opinion that you do not call what you are not sure you can banish and Lupa leaves the reader to figure out the best way to get rid of a spirit that does not want to leave. Even a very simple example of a banishing would have been better than nothing here. Additionally, given that Lupa seems to be shooting for a full on possessory trance in the invocation process, a warning that this work should not be attempted alone might have been in order. It’s all well and good to be possessed by the spirit of a wolf but quite another thing to turn such a person loose in a an urban area, for example. Someone grounded into consensual reality needs to be present to assist the person doing the invocation and help them find their way back to normal consciousness. Lupa describes doing invocation in a group setting and seems to assume that the reader will follow suit.

Lest you think that I did not like this book, let me state unequivocally that I found many new and interesting ideas and concepts in the book and plan to experiment with some of them and to another of Lupa’s books,

    DIY Totemism

If the reader is someone with a firm foundation in magic or neo-shamanic practice, then this book will provide a wealth of information on animal magics outside of the usual encyclopedia of totems construct. If, however, the reader is a beginner in the magical or shamanic arts, then I strongly recommend that this book be read as an intermediate level text with information to be filed away for later experimentation or for practice in the company of a more experienced mage.

More on the Creature of Mud Creek Road

In my last blog, I talked about an astonishing incident, reported by a couple in November 2011, in which they reportedly saw a being morphing from what they first took to be a naked human to . . . something else. The female percipient likened the witnessed transformation to watching someone become a werewolf while the male witness felt that he was, in the end, looking at a gargoyle without wings. I pointed out that, given the shiftiness of human perception, even in more normal situations, and the energies that surround an Otherworld incursion, the being in question might have been something reasonably harmless which was adopting protective camouflage.

I think this is a good theory since both witnesses survived the incident (and, yes, I am serious) but there are some other possibilities that merit discussion. I will start with the least likely and move to those I feel have more likelihood.

As unlikely as it seems, this case may have been exactly what it seems – a human shifting from one form into another. I have given my thoughts on why I think this is extremely unlikely (energy outlay = highly improbable) but let’s examine how this could be the case. In order for a human to transform from human to animal (or gargoyle for that matter) and back, a massive power source would be needed. People make the mistake of thinking that magic is easy – wave a wand or chant a spell and viola’, you get a result – but this is not the case. Magic like any other effort requires a power source. In mundane terms, the magician trying to pull off a “real world” physical transformation would need to find the equivalent of a nuclear reactor to power the working. Think gods, archangels, powerful old Faerie (which some see as gods) etc.

If a human being had gained sufficient access to such a being’s power (and I can not see an archangel being involved here unless it was to prove an ethical point) then anything, including a physical transformation is possible. As I mentioned before, there are legends of the gods and Faerie turning people into animals so there is some precedent as well. Still, I can not see such a being wasting that much energy. Its far more likely that the generator of such power might simply cast a powerful glamour to make both the “werewolf” and those around him/her believe that the individual was becoming a monster of some sort. Alternatively, the power source being might assist with some real werewolfery and help the person encase themselves in an etheric shell that looked and felt like a wolf or wolf man. In either case, both the shifter and the people seeing him or her would be absolutely convinced of a physical transformation and only punching the etheric shell with cold iron would dispel that notion. Most folks are not going to want to get that close to a raving werewolf.

So, such things are possible and there have even been people who learned or had a natural gift for the building of the etheric shell around the physical body but there is another magical technique that could have produced this frightening phenomenon. In the Norse story Hrolf’s Saga, we meet a hero named Bjarki who went forth into battle in the shape of a great bear. The interesting thing about Bjarki, if I have my sagas straight, is that while the bear was out fighting, Bjarki was out cold in his tent. In other words, this Viking warrior had mastered a form of projection that allowed him to manifest a bear on the field of battle, a solid physical form that played havoc in the enemy ranks until some clown woke the magician and forced him out onto the field of battle in his human form (the battle was subsequently lost, by the way). Such a gift of etheric projection would be extremely rare and would require a huge amount of time, training and discipline on the part of the projector as well as some serious help from the Otherside but I would imagine that anyone seeing the projection coming forth and taking form would be pardoned if they were convinced that they had seen a human transforming into something other. It’s that perception thing again.

Finally, and most likely in my view, is the possibility that the couple witnessed the incursion of an Otherworld being into our world. The Faerie, as one example, are noted shape shifters as are their cousins the djinn. While the creature might have just been adopting protective camouflage, it is also possible that it felt territorial about that area and wanted to scare the couple off, that it was more of a nature spirit and disliked humans on general principle, that it was a very powerful thought form placed there by First People shaman to protect a sacred site or that it was a spirit that fed on emotional energy and so performed this little scenario for a quick snack. In any of these events, I am sure that the experience was truly terrifying and I hope that discussing it with investigators has helped these two young people deal with an incident that would make even the most dyed in wool ‘skeptic’ think twice about his whole philosophy and outlook on life.

The Creature of Mud Creek Road

As I mentioned in my last blog, I have had the opportunity to listen to some of the paranormal podcasts out there. I was looking, the other day, for an interview with veteran researcher Stan Gordon, a man who has been investigating the unexplained for over 50 years, I found a great interview with him over at Beyond the Edge Radio (you will need to dig through their archives on iTunes or other podcast software to find the show). I wanted to see what Mr. Gordon was up to these days and, during the course of the interview, he mentioned a case that I had heard of before but had not had a chance to review here.

You can find the incident report for this occurrence at Phantoms and Monsters, one of the paranormal sites I have dialed into my RSS reader. This particular set of reports came to him from the aforementioned Stan Gordon and I found the first report in the queue, entitled “The Creature of Mud Creek Road” to be particularly interesting since I have a strong interest in shape shifters.

I am not going to quote the entire report, which comes from November 2011, but I would like to note the following. As you read this, please remember that when the couple in this sighting first saw the creature, they mistook it for a naked man crawling along the side of the road.

As the couple watched in amazement, the creature began to stretch its body. The man said that at this point the animal started to stand up on its back legs while also falling over onto its front feet. The driver said that in this position, the creature seemed to be about 6-7 feet tall. The animal then fell over on all four legs. The witnesses observed that the front claws of the creature was now two feet across the center line of the highway, while the back feet remain one-two feet from the edge of the road . . .

The witnesses indicated that this creature appeared to be changing form. The driver said, “Its shape was nothing like when it was squatted”. The woman stated to me that it “shaped into another form.” She thought it was a dark brown color, and looked like a werewolf with a little back hair. She estimated that when it was leaping into the woods, she thought it stood about 9 feet tall. The woman while reluctant to say it said, “I think it was a man changing into a werewolf”. The man after the experience went onto the internet to try to figure out what he saw, and told me that the closest way he could describe the creature would be a gargoyle with no wings. The man commented, “I will never forget what we saw that night”.

This is an utterly fascinating case of what appears to be someone or something caught in the act of shape shifting and it is well worth taking a look at the link and reading the full report.

I have stated more than once in these pages that I find it highly unlikely that a person could make a physical world transformation from human to animal. The energy outlay for such an event would be such that I doubt that even a werewolf could consume the calories necessary to sustain the Change to wolf and then back to human. A physical transformation would require the complete “re-booting” of an individual’s internal organs, bones and sinew and then a change back through the whole process. I never say that anything is impossible – legend states that the gods were able to change humans from one form to another – but I think it would require the interference of a fully manifested god form to bring on such a physical transformation.

So, what did these terrified people actually see? The answer here lies, I think, in perception. Note that each witness concluded something different when faced with this strangeness. The female thought it looked like a werewolf transformation while the male leaned toward a gargoyle.

Our perception of events, especially events outside our ordinary day to day life, can be skewed by any number of factors. Even in the more mundane instance of witnessing a purse snatching, police officers know that three different witnesses may give three different descriptions of the perpetrator depending on where they were standing, what the light was like, whether the day was overcast or clear and a host of other physical and environmental factors. If we add in the witnesses biases, their perception may be even more colored, literally. If, for example, the witness notes that the perpetrator is wearing clothes associated with a local gang, he may “see” the perpetrator as being of the race associated with that gang, even if the criminal happens to be of another ethnicity altogether.

Given that our perceptions are so easy to skew, let’s add in another factor, the incursion of an Otherworld being into our physical world. Such incursions are accompanied by energy, EMF and other, more subtle forces that are going to tend to cause perceptual issues in humans. The male witness noted that the creature seemed perturbed about being observed. It may be that the creature, whatever it was, was actually exerting an influence on the witness’ minds so that they did not see its true form. Its entirely possible that the couple encountered something benign along the side of the road that adopted protective camouflage when it realized it was being observed. My astral/etheric experiences have shown me that a lot of the nasty looking creatures out there are simply parasites that are either trying to get some emotion going so they can feed or are trying to scare you off so you don’t hurt them.

Somehow, I think that, if the thing really had been a werewolf or some other shape shifting monster, this couple might never have made it home to report this strange event.

Werewolves of Livonia

Yes, I know, Warren Zevon is beginning to play in your head already, at least if you are of a certain age. This blog had such a great title and contained so much good information that I had to post it for your consideration: I Saw a Werewolf Drinking a Piña Colada in the Duchy of Livonia, and His Hair was Perfect.

Enjoy . . . I certainly did. But then again, I am a history and folklore geek so be forewarned. Consider this proof that I do not have to write a thousand word blog every time I sit down. I just have to post to one 🙂