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#1 EarthMommy

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:27 AM

I am currently working on a novel which involves magic and shape shifters. Anyone have info on Hexenwolves - shape shifters only with magical item like a belt - or on Native American shape shifters, who would let me pick their brains?
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#2 Vampchick21

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 10:27 AM

You could try picking up the new book by Dr. Bob Curran, Werewolves. I have a copy and it's fascinating reading. There's an entire section on the French werewolves and their magic belts from the Devil.

You can also see if you can get your hands on the books by Linda Godfrey about the Beast of Bray Road and American Werewolves. She has entire sections on Skinwalkers and other Native American shape shifters.

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#3 greg_dragonlvr

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 01:19 PM

According to conventional folklore, shapeshifters come in 5 flavors: supernatural beings, ghosts, animals, things and interveners. The catagory you are looking for is the last; interveners. Strangely enough, wolf shapes are not that common. Ones that can shift into wolf shape are not techincally werewolves, which involve a whole different set of legend, curses and birth order.

I can only find a few instances in Native American lore that have shifting into large carnivors. The forms are smaller, more useful critters like fox, birds and even kittens. Not to be confused with skinwalkers, which are supernatural beings that can change shape, and really have no part in your topics as they never were human and have not many redeeming qualities.

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#4 Vampchick21

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 06:01 PM

That's odd, everything I've been able to read on skinwalkers indicates that they are indeed humans....shamans or witches steeped in evil with magic powers, but humans none the less, since they gain this ability by killing a member of their family.

Edited by Vampchick21, 13 November 2009 - 06:01 PM.

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#5 greg_dragonlvr

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:12 PM

Well, that will show me to pay more attention to Navajo lore, and by association, some Ute lore also. I also missed that there are books and a movie(?) about the Navajo Yee Naaldooshii who is an evil witch who can assume animal shape and are generally nasty folks you wouldn't want as neighbors.

This seems to be the winner of the information source concerning Skinwalkers. More familiar with Eastern and Southern Tribal lore. .

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#6 Vampchick21

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 09:41 PM

I'm aware of spirit beings within Native North American mythology and beliefs that can alter their shapes between human, animal and spirit, perhaps that's what you were thinking of.


The Skinwalkers (by all their names) are some pretty seriously wicked and evil humans....the encounters I've read about send a chill down my spine!

In European mythology, Hollywood aside, most shapeshifters are given the ability via an animal pelt and or a magic salve and incantation, and depending on the time period are viewed as either benevolent or evil, or worthy of admiration in the case of the Beserkers.

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