Re-blogging more for reference, but to pass along information about popular mythology so people don’t quite understand. Definitely a good read.

Fabulous Realms

The mythic tradition of shape-shifters (or more specifically theriantropes, capable of transforming from human to animal shape) is one that is as old as storytelling itself. Although the werewolf is undoubtedly the best-known human-to-animal shape-changer in popular culture today, when we turn to world mythology we find that transformation legends are attached to almost every kind of animal. The most notorious combine human and animal predations, and even innocuous ones, such as swan-maids or goat-men, can be very dangerous. Animal people are not fluffy critters; in ancient lore those who could assume beast-form were forces to be reckoned with. They could command strange magics, summon hordes of beastly allies, seduce you in the night or simply tear your throat out. Even their human forms were disturbing – often beautiful, always unpredictable. In the present day there is a clear demarcation between humans and animals. Mankind is civilized, living in cities, working…

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