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Werewolves, legends, disease, and spiritual beliefs.

Many legends have been developed around the idea of these tales. The legends have ranged from men raised by wolves, to actual shape-shifting and transformation into wolves. Most recently the tales of Harry Potter dealt with two characters, that could change into wolves; a far cry from Teen Wolf in the 80’s. In Sumerian mythology in the epic of Gilgamesh there is a man name Enkidu. Enkidu is a wild man covered in fur. Enkidu lived with the animals and was protector of their kind. In ancient Egypt there was the Jackal headed god Anubis.

What is the probability and possibility of a genuine werewolf? I suppose that depends upon whom one talks to. In physical appearance to a werewolf, the closest one can come would be the aptly named human werewolf syndrome. This is a disease that covers the body and face in hair where normally hair would not grow. While it does not give the ill person any primal tools of a wolf; it certainly lends itself to offer insight to the possible origins of Enkidu. One could easily imagine the scenario of a child that grew extra hair and was abandoned in the forest; only to be raised by animals later on.

Physical appearance and feral behavior are not the only things that may have caused the legend of the werewolf. In the world their are many tribes whose rituals and practices give homage to the animals. Some of these tribesmen and women even go as far as to embody the spirit of the animal. Rituals often take place dancing in circles to the rhythmic beat of a drum. As the music becomes more intense so does the possession of the dancer intensify. Eventually the dancer begins to act feral and finally embodies the animal spirit the ritual was intended for.

There has been a long tradition of bond with animal and human. At least in native tribes people there has. In North America there are some Native American tribes whose practice and belief in a power animal could be equated to the idea of a werewolf. The process one goes through to find their power animal or spirit guide varies from culture to culture. In
The Way of the Shaman the author describes an event where his student, must take his power animal out for a walk or run everyday else worry about it being unhappy. This process is carried out much the same way one would walk their dog except, you are the dog and the dog gets to do what it wants.

Famed Occultist Dion Fortune actually had her own werewolf she needed to deal with. The wolf which she describes in her book Psychic Self-Defense was actually a manifestation of her own conscious and fears. Dion Fortune had to subdue this ephemeral creature else worry about it bringing harm to others. She did end up dissolving the wolf into her own being and a great lesson was learned.

Whether the wolf appears in spiritual beliefs, or is a result of naive civilizations; it remains today that there are no evidential proofs of werewolves among us. Werewolves will delight and awe us in movies and our imaginations. The fact remains for now that closest one can get to becoming a werewolf is either through their own psychosomatic tendencies, being raised by one, or having a disease to look like one.

Reference:
* The Epic of Gilgamesh
* Psychic Self Defense
* The Way of the Shaman
* How to find your power animal

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