Dear people of SOM, I am Anael and I am here to tell you about therianthropy.
Being a therian is when you identify as a earthly animal (while otherkin is identifying as a nonearthly creature). There are several indicators of therianthropy.
One; mental shifting. There are periods of time where a therian "shifts" into their animal. They may start losing their human mindset to adopt their theriotype's mindset, such as growling and hissing if their theriotype is a cat.
Two; phantom shifting. Phantom shifting is when you have the sensation of a limb when it is not actually there; a little similar to the sensation experienced by people who have lost limbs. These limbs may move independantly, move under your control, or simply be felt and yet not move. I am a caracal and villrein therian, so I experience antlers, hooves, a ruff, and once a caracal tail shift that I was able to control and move.
Three; aural shifting. Obviously this cannot be physically felt or observed, unless you can see or sense auras. This is simply a change of aura, as the name explains.
Four; sensory shifting. Sensory shifting is when your sight/hearing degrades or improves based off your theriotype. While obviously it is impossible for it to actually change, you may just start being more aware of things based off the sense that improves.
Five; dream shifting. Dream shifting is usually pretty unreliable, but it could be an indicator of therianthropy if you have consistent dreams of being a certain animal(s) in a realistic setting. For example, you wouldn't be a blue wolf chatting it up to another wolf, you'd be a scottish wildcat stalking prey through the undergrowth.
Six; Physical shifting. Physical shifting is absolutely not possible. If someone claims to p-shift it is 100% not true. Please don't try.
These are also applicable to otherkin- though dream shifts should be taken with a grain of salt especialy here because fantasy based dreams are not uncommon.
Types of Therians
Cladotherians: a therian who encompasses a specific species. Instead of being say, a golden retriever therian, you'd be a canine therian.
Polytherian: a therian who has multiple types. These can be determined if you shift into radically different types, like shifting into a pelican and also a deer. Because pelicans do not have antlers you decide you are both.
Suntherian: Someone who is in a constant nonhuman state, but experiences fluctuations on this level.
Contherian: Someone who is fully their theriotype, that is to say they are integrated. They do not experience shifts.
Standard therian: Someone who is usually human but experiences shifts. I am one of these.
What is not therianthropy?
-connections: this is called being 'kith or 'hearted with something.
-liking an animal: no, no, no.
-wanting to be an animal- see connections.
-thinking an animal is cool- This is the reason there are so many wolf therians. Most people think they're cool, or badass. Please don't identify as something because of how cool it is. If you are a therian, it's a long journey of self discovery.
Origins of your Therianthropy
Most therians identify as psychological or spiritual. Psychological therians believe their therianthropy is caused by, say, something that went wrong in their brain that caused a nonhuman identity to develop. Spiritual therians believe in things like past lives, etc. However, a past life does not make a therian.
If you think you are a therian; I recommend going to Therian-guide.com (Is linking to another site allowed? If not, just let me know and I'll remove it.)
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!