question about lycanthropes

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Philip Wang

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Nov 17, 1992, 1:27:46 AM11/17/92
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Are lycanthropes people who turn into animals or is the term restricted to
those who turn into wolves?

Also it seems to me werewolves doesn't necessarily mean wolf-man (ie a wolf
man being a biped with wolf like features and werewolf being indistinguishable
from your average ordinary really huge wolf except that it turns into a human).
Could someone explain this? It's been a while since I read anything on occult?
(well, some werewolves are created through devil worship - that much I
remember - I think by wearing a wolfskin and dancing around some Satanic icon
and doing some other stuff) or otherwise night creatures.

Sorry if I sound like I'm totally out of it, but as I haven't read about this
stuff since grammar school, you could say I am.

philip

Philip Wang
E-mail at pw...@cunixa.cc.columbia.edu
"Though many a tortured night prevails thy Exorcisms shall but fail
While Crucifix doth burn my flesh I shall not yield to you unless I Die."

A. Newman

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Nov 17, 1992, 10:39:31 AM11/17/92
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In article <1992Nov17.0...@news.columbia.edu> pw...@cunixa.cc.columbia.edu (Philip Wang) writes:
>Are lycanthropes people who turn into animals or is the term restricted to
>those who turn into wolves?

'Lycanthrope' is restricted to wolves; the word comes from the Greek
words 'lykos' (wolf) and 'anthropos' (man). Our word 'werewolf', on
the other hand, comes from the Old English word 'wer', which meant
'man', and the Old English 'wulf', which, unsurprisingly, meant
'wolf'.

>Also it seems to me werewolves doesn't necessarily mean wolf-man (ie a wolf
>man being a biped with wolf like features and werewolf being indistinguishable
>from your average ordinary really huge wolf except that it turns into
>a human).

Well, legends have two types of 'werewolves' drawn from differing
cultures. The original werewolves were shapeshifters; that is, they
were humans, who, under a proscribed set of circumstances (spells,
full moon, etc) turned completely into an animal. Typically, a large
animal, because humans mass so much more than most animals, and
sometimes a more cunning animal, but not a wolf with human
intelligence.

The other kind, created much later, and not really based on anything,
is the 'wolfman'. A biped, with lupine features, covered with hair,
with some vestigal human intelligence. This is the typical Hollywood
werewolf.

>Could someone explain this? It's been a while since I read anything on occult

>(well, some werewolves are created through devil worship - that much I
>remember - I think by wearing a wolfskin and dancing around some Satanic icon
>and doing some other stuff) or otherwise night creatures.

The methods for becoming a werewolf are too many to go into detail
here, but some of the common ones include:

Being attacked by a werewolf and infected (this is the 'lycanthropy as
a transmitable disease' premise)

Being scratched with wolvesbane - or some similar plant (this is also
scientific lycanthropy, like the one above)

Being born under a specific set of circumstances. In the Greek
orthodox church, superstition has it that any child born on Christmas
Day will become a werewolf. In some cultures being the seventh son of
a seventh son will grant you powers - or curse you. Likewise, you can
inherit a family tendency towards 'werewolfism'.

Being cursed by a witch or warlock. (magical lycanthropy)

Deliberately transforming yourself through ritual (much like you
describe, also magical lycanthropy).

>
>philip
>

Hope this answers some of your questions,

Alex Newman
tr...@sug.org

Thorfinn Einarsson

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Nov 17, 1992, 9:55:34 PM11/17/92
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> pw...@cunixa.cc.columbia.edu (Philip Wang) wrote:
>(well, some werewolves are created through devil worship - that much I
>remember - I think by wearing a wolfskin and dancing around some Satanic icon
>and doing some other stuff) or otherwise night creatures.

Please cite your source. In most cases, "devil worship" , called as such
by the christian paradigm, relates to the activities of pre-christian
pagans (heathens). Satan or The Devil usually appears in christian
dominated societies and is used as an excuse for the church's firm grip
over the sheep (I mean people).

There are Germanic heathen sources concerning werewolves. First of all,
the word, "were-wolf", is Germanic in origin where "were-" means "man"
and "wolf" goes back to "wulf" or "u'lfr". In chapter 8
"Sigmund and Sinfjotli Don the Skins" from the 13th century *Volsunga saga*:

<<<Begin Quote>>>
One time, they went again to the forest to get themselves some riches,
and they found a house. Inside it were two sleeping men, with thick
gold rings. A spell had been cast upon them: wolfskins hung over them
in the house and only every tenth day could they shed the skins.
Sigmund and Sinfjotli put the skins on and could not get them off.
And the weird power was there as before: they howled like wolves, both
understanding the sounds. Now they set out into the forest, each going
his own way. They agreed then that they would risk a fight with as
many as seven men, but not with more, and that the one being attacked
by more would howl with his wolf's voice. `Do not break this
agreement,' said Sigmund. `because you are young and daring, and men
will want to hunt you.'

Now each went his own way. And when they had parted, Sigmund found
seven men and howled in his wolf's voice. Sinfjotli heard him, came at
once, and killed them all. They parted again. Before Sinfjotli had
traveled very far in the forest, he met with eleven men and fought
them. In the end he killed them all. Badly wounded, Sinfjotli went
under an oak tree to rest. Then Sigmund came and said: `Why didn't you
call?' Sinfjotli replied: `I did not want to call you for help. You
accepted help to kill seven men. I am a child in age next to you, but
I did not ask for help in killing eleven men.' Sigmund leapt at him so
fiercely that Sinfjotli staggered and fell. Sigmund bit him in the
windpipe. That day they were not able to come out of the wolfskins.
Sigmund laid Sinfjotli over his shoulder, carried him home to the hut,
and sat over him. He cursed the wolfskins, bidding the trolls to take
them.

One day Sigmund saw two weasels. One bit the other in the windpipe and
then ran into the woods, returning with a leaf and laying it on the
wound. The other weasel sprang up healed. Sigmund went out and saw a
raven flying with a leaf. The raven brought the leaf to Sigmund, who
drew it over Sinfjotli's wound. At once Sinfjotli sprang up healed, as
if he had never been injured.

Then they went to the underground dwelling and stayed there until they
were to take off the wolfskins. They took the skins and burned them in
the fire, hoping that these objects would cause no further harm. Under
that magic spell they had performed many feats in King Siggeir's kingdom.
<<<End Quote>>>

In the ancient Old Norse saga, *Egils saga*, Egill's grandfather,
named U'lfr, was said to be cheerful during the day but given to fits
of uncontrollable savagery and drowsiness as evening approached.
Because of this, "people said that he was much given to changing form
(hammrammr), so he was called Kveldulfr (Evening Wolf)."

In fact, many of the sagas talk about a class of warriors called
berserkers, who would go into a battle frenzy wearing no armor, only
wolf-skins or bear-skins. The English word, "berserker" literally
means "bear-shirt".

Berserkers and werewolves are subclasses of a more broad category of
shape-shifters. In the sagas, people turned into wolves, bears, harts,
dragons, whales, seals, falcons, hawks, eagles and more. There were cases
of witches turning themselves into were-mares and treading certain
enemies to death.

When researching shape-shifters, always go back to the ancient sources.

=-= Thorfinn Einarsson =-=-=-=-=-= ALU =-=-=-=-=-= O'dhinn er alfadhir! =-=
"En stundum vakti hann upp daudha menn o'r io"rdhu edha settisk undir hanga;
fyrir thvi' var hann kalladhr draugadro'ttinn edha hangadro'ttinn."
=-= ALU =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Ynglinga saga ch. 7 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= ALU =-=


Larry Lyle

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Nov 17, 1992, 5:00:53 PM11/17/92
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Hmmmm, Good question. I think considering the myth behind the word and
the fact that I have never heard it applied to other werebeasts.. that
'lycantyhrope' refers exclusively to werewolves.

De
The Lupophile


The werewolf at CMU ... Lycan...@cmu.edu

Tanya Ann Olsen

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Nov 18, 1992, 6:08:33 PM11/18/92
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I've commonly heard the word lycanthrope used in reference to 'weres' in
general. In AD&D's Monster Manual, they list lycanthropes as a major
heading under which werewolves, werbears, wertigers, and wererats are
all included....

Tanya


rtsu...@ulkyvx.louisville.edu

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Nov 18, 1992, 9:23:59 PM11/18/92
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In article <1992Nov18....@wixer.cactus.org>, thor...@wixer.cactus.org (Thorfinn Einarsson) writes:
>
>> pw...@cunixa.cc.columbia.edu (Philip Wang) wrote:
>>(well, some werewolves are created through devil worship - that much I
>>remember - I think by wearing a wolfskin and dancing around some Satanic icon
>>and doing some other stuff) or otherwise night creatures.
>
> Please cite your source. In most cases, "devil worship" , called as such
> by the christian paradigm, relates to the activities of pre-christian
> pagans (heathens). Satan or The Devil usually appears in christian
> dominated societies and is used as an excuse for the church's firm grip
> over the sheep (I mean people).

True, but by the Middle Ages werewolves were firmly linked in the popular mind
with witchcraft and vampirism. I suspect that by that time anyone attempting to
become a werewolf would genuinely have believed that they were worshipping
Satan, rather than a pagan god. The fact that were-creatures exist outside
Xianity does not exclude Satanism as one mode of werewolfism.

Yours under the full moon,
--Semhaza

A. Newman

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Nov 19, 1992, 1:02:20 PM11/19/92
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Tanya, you may get a lot of criticism for using AD&D as a source for
anything. AD&D is complete fantasy and is not above making things up
or changing things to preserve game balance or their copyright. Some
of their most outrageous claims are things like 'platemail' which
doesn't exist and never did, and the fact that an *average* bowman
(first level) can fire a bow twice per round - or 12 times per minute.
Robin Hood in 'Lyttle Gest of Robine Hoode' could fire that fast.
Your average first level character isn't Robin Hood.

What AD&D refers to as 'lycanthropes' are probably best referred to as
shapeshifters. Lycanthrope, as I've said before, always means
'werewolf'.

Alex
tr...@sug.org
One of the the playtesters for AD&D ;-)

Steve Spencer

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Nov 19, 1992, 1:31:03 PM11/19/92
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Tanya Ann Olsen (tol...@leland.Stanford.EDU) wrote:
:
: I've commonly heard the word lycanthrope used in reference to 'weres' in
: general. In AD&D's Monster Manual, they list lycanthropes as a major
: heading under which werewolves, werbears, wertigers, and wererats are
: all included....
:
: Tanya
:
:
True, but it is improperly used by AD&D. The word lycanthrope means
"werewolves", specifically the wolf. However, there have been legends
farr more popular and wide spread than those of the werewolf. A couple
of these include the cunning, magic werefoxes, and the werehyenas that
are popular in African legends. So tell me, net readers, if lycanthropecy
is not he correct name to group all these "were beasts" uner, then what
is?


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
| It's the sputter of a raindrop. It's the sunlight on my face |
| My mind's eye into other realms. It's my paradise escape. |
| Steve Spencer SLC, Utah s...@unislc.slc.unisys.com |
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

rtsu...@ulkyvx.louisville.edu

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Nov 19, 1992, 6:31:33 PM11/19/92
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In article <1992Nov19.1...@unislc.uucp>, s...@unislc.uucp (Steve Spencer) writes:
> So tell me, net readers, if lycanthropecy
> is not he correct name to group all these "were beasts" uner, then what
> is?

Werebeasts? Werethings? Shapeshifters (nah--no style)?

Would they fall under the jurisdiction of this newsgroup?

If so, do we have to take over the duties of the vampyre group, since
vampires are notorious shapechangers?

Would politicians be shapeshifters?

Help!

Larry Lyle

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Nov 20, 1992, 6:22:49 AM11/20/92
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I guess my memory was jogged, and I do reemeber 'lyco-' beeing the greek
root for wolf...

Anyway Steve Spence writes:
>True, but it is improperly used by AD&D. The word lycanthrope means
>"werewolves", specifically the wolf. However, there have been legends
>farr more popular and wide spread than those of the werewolf. A couple
>of these include the cunning, magic werefoxes, and the werehyenas that
>are popular in African legends. So tell me, net readers, if lycanthropecy
>is not he correct name to group all these "were beasts" uner, then what
>is?

Though it may be a dissapointment, I think he already said it...
'werebeasts'... but 'shapeshifters' may fit as well and I guess that
may depend somewhat on the cuircumstances of the transformation. Seems
to me that there is a Franch word that can be applied to werebeasts in
general. Forgive me if I totally butcher the spelling but I think
'loupgeru' refers to werewolf... and just the word 'geru' (however its
spelled :-) refers to werebeasts in general....
Anyway... a topic to be chewed on ...

Later
De
Lycanthrope.


-----------------------------------------------------------
Lycan...@cmu.edu
The Lupophile - Larry Lyle

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