Reality and Myth
The Archetypal Theriotype VS the True-to-Life Theriotype
I don’t believe that any therianthrope is totally free from the influence of animal myths. Some part of everyone’s psyche is tainted by a less-than-true perception of hir theriotype.
Take, for instance, the longstanding beliefs about packs as a rigid social group of wolves. While we know this idea is fictional, many therians still base their own social interactions around it. Or, for another example, consider the classic film, ‘The Lion King’, a strictly anthropomorphic film that has given us many ideas about lions. Perhaps most deeply rooted are our ideas from ancient mythology: coyote the trickster, wolf the sexual predator, or eagle the noble.
Is this harmful? Probably not, as long as we realize that many of these constructs are an invention of culture, not a representation of reality.
If we assume therianthropy is a product of the mind- atypical wiring in the brain- then archetypal thinking is only as damaging as we allow it to be. If we recognize that therianthropy is a combination of our natural, individual inclinations; imitation of the animal we already identify with; and a smattering of mythological ideals- we can recognize that the animal we identify with is not identical in life to the animal in our minds.
However, if we consider therianthropy to be a part of the ‘spirit’- a result of reincarnation, for example- it may be much more difficult to accept the idea that we are not always correct about the nature of our own theriotypes. It may help, perhaps, to remember that people are quite often mistaken about their human emotions, and it would not be unrealistic to assume that they could easily be mistaken about nonhuman emotions as well.
Regardless of the background or context, it is safe to assume that we all are afflicted with some degree of incorrectness about our selves.
Sometimes, these are very minimal. Some perhaps could be labeled as ‘ceremonial’, in a way- like the emulation of the archetypal bear’s mothering tendencies. These are generally harmless, and sometimes could be called beneficial; a person who visualizes hirself as a matriarchal bear may drive hirself to be stronger and simultaneously kinder.
However, sometimes these mythical ‘truths’ overwhelm the real facts, resulting in a ‘Dragon Don’t’ situation. This can cause very negative and sometimes very damaging situations, such as this. Obviously, this is an extreme example, but many therians have claimed to be ‘unable to control their anger’- a conviction that could result in a very dangerous end.
As therianthropes- and as human beings- it is very important not to allow ourselves to fall into these types of patterns. We need to be in control of ourselves, and we need to be responsible for our actions. It is one thing to theorize that our desires and urges are driven by somewhat non-human bases, but it is quite another to relinquish control of ourselves and to blame our actions on these urges.
You are your own animal.