Sunday, 25 March 2012

Songs: Wolf by Iced Earth

Tonight, for a change, let's take a look at one of many werewolf-themed songs that are out there. Coming from the 2001 album Horror Show by the American heavy metal band Iced Earth, we can see some influence from classical werewolf movies such as the 1940s version of The Wolfman. Below are the full lyrics to the song and a YouTube link to the song itself. More to come in the future, so enjoy!

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Wolf
Iced Earth


Innocence tainted by pure lunacy
Cursed by the slash of a shapeshifting beast
Oh, no -- this can't be
Demonic infection, a doomed changeling
His future concealed as he begs to be told
A kiss from the Gypsy, he'll never grow old
Oh, no -- this can't be
Demonic infection, a doomed changeling

Even a man who's pure and says his prayers by night
He won't hear your prayers (May become a wolf)
When the wolfsbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright
There's a full moon tonight (May become a wolf)

He who is bitten by a wolf and lives
Possession soon follows, no use to resist
Oh, no -- this can't be
Cursed by the moonlight, a doomed changeling
The madness and turmoil that swells up inside
To truly find peace is to truly die
Oh, no -- this can't be
Cursed by the moonlight, a doomed changeling

Even a man who's pure and says his prayers by night
He won't hear your prayers (May become a wolf)
When the wolfsbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright
There's a full moon tonight (May become a wolf)

Now comes the rampage, a killing spree
Hunting his loved ones comes instinctively
Oh, no -- it's maddening
A shapeshifting demon of pure lunacy
A shot from the darkness tears through its flesh
A bullet of silver lays it to rest
Oh, no -- it's maddening
An innocent victim found his peace

Even a man who's pure and says his prayers by night
He won't hear your prayers (May become a wolf)
When the wolfsbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright
There's a full moon tonight (May become a wolf)

Click here to shop for Iced Earth's
album Horror Show on Amazon!
Since I am now part of Amazon’s Affiliate program, you can directly support Werewolf Theory by purchasing a copy of your own of Iced Earth's album Horror Show from Amazon! Should my post spark your interest in the album, please consider buying it using the link provided next to this message. Simply click on the cover of the album on the right-hand side and you will be sent to a page listing all the offers related to it! Thank you and enjoy!


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Myths, Legends & Folklore: Sigmund and Sinfjotli

The following is a story about Sigmund and his son Sinfjotli putting on wolf skins, thus transforming into wolves. It is part of the 13th century Icelandic prose work, Völsunga saga, which tells of the origin and decline of the legendary Völsung clan.

* * *

Sigmund and Sinfjotli, father and son, set out into the woods for hunting. In the heart of the woods, they came across an abandoned hut where, apart for hunting equipment, they found two wolf skins. While Sigmund searched for the owners of the hut, Sinfjotli put on one of the skins to frighten his father. Suddenly, however, he realised that he is not able to take it off and that he is turning into a wolf. The father, wanting to find out what happened to his son, also put on the skin and became a wolf.

Then, Sigmund and Sinfjotli ran off into the woods in the form of wolves. After some time, they came across a human trail which led them to two huntsmen, most probably the owners of the hut, asleep next to a campfire. They attacked, killed and devoured them whole.

For many months the two wolves roamed the vicinity murdering travellers, peasants and foresters until one time after a successful hunt Sinfjotli tried to attack his father to shoo him away from the prey. Sigmund bit his son in self-defence, but the moment he did it, he regained consciousness and remembered that they were, in fact, human beings and that the other wolf was his own son. He went, therefore, to the other wolf and started licking his wound. Then, suddenly, the wolf skins fell off of the two men and they became human again. Having regained their former shapes, they decided to burn the skins which had nearly deprived them of their humanity.

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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

On the Forms of Werewolf Physicality

This is another one of the more interesting posts I wrote on the original website. This one comes from July 2006. Enjoy!

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It could appear that recently the division of werewolves on the basis of their physical appearance after the change into anthropomorphic (i.e. humans with wolf features) or zoomorphic (i.e. wolves with human features, mostly psychological) became rather insufficiently general for the level of complexity that the 21st century has brought. That is why more and more frequently there appear more specific terms which divide the two categories mentioned above into a few minor sub-categories.

My search for the origins of that nomenclature have lead me to the most probable source from which they may have stemmed – the 1992 RPG called Werewolf: The Apocalypse which has since gone through several re-editions, in which one can come across the mentioned terms, as well as a whole history that accompanies the gameplay and which surely also had an influence on how we see werewolves now, which, however, I won’t be describing here at this time.

According to this nomenclature, combining it with the previous terms as well, werewolves can appear in five different forms:

I. Anthropomorphic

1. Homid

Human form. The form in which most of the traditional werewolves exist. Usually, it is not characterised by any particular traits in outer appearance, however some sources do enumerate a few characteristic features which are supposed to enable a keen eye to discern a werewolf in human form from a regular human. Such features may include:
- excessive body hair
- bushy, often connected, brows (the so-called ‘monobrow’ or ‘unibrow’)
- sharp, reddish nails
- dry lips and conjunctiva
- bloodied eyes.
An only slightly changed appearance can be still classified as human form (different colour of eyes, defined ‘vampire’ teeth). The consciousness of a werewolf in human form is maintained and they are able to fully control their behaviour.

2. Glabro

Form known also as “monstrous man” or quasi-human. It can be said that in reference to the subsequent change, this would be the initial form, in which there are visible physical changes to the body. It is characterised by:
- bigger body size and an increase in muscle tissue (stronger and more bulky)
- appearance of considerable hairiness on the skin, which may or may not cover the whole of the body
- complete or partial change of nails into claws
- sharpened and bigger teeth, protruding fangs
- change of eye colour and/or pupils
- deformation of facial features to those resembling a wolf
We can assume that in the glabro form, a werewolf’s consciousness should still be working properly, if not fully then at least partially, as the changes in body-build are usually not as far-reaching as in case of further stages of transformation. The influence of animal instincts, however, is visible in a person’s behaviour.

An example of glabro werewolves as seen in the movie Skinwalkers.

3. Crinos

Human-wolf. The favourite form of movie-makers of the werewolf genre, in the age of pop culture also probably the most popular vision of a werewolf. This form is distinguished by the following:
- upright position
- being bipedal, moving usually using the two legs, like humans; sometimes in order to achieve greater speeds such a werewolf can drop down to all fours and run like an animal
- visible features of human anatomical body build (torso, hands/legs, five fingers with an opposable thumb and five toes, sometimes also human sex organs)
A tail can appear both in the final form and in this one in its not fully developed, residual form, but it is possible that it will not be present at all.

A crinos werewolf as pictured in the movie Van Helsing.
Along with further anatomical changes which relate to the passing from glabro form to crinos form, most probably somewhere on the line separating the two the loss of human consciousness occurs in most shapeshifters, giving way to the animal mind which often makes use of sub-conscious experiences and knowledge of the human form. In some cases in modern werewolf lore, however, this loss of consciousness does not occur – usually when the werewolf has control over the time of his transformations. Voice communication at this stage, unlike glabro, becomes impossible due to the changes to the vocal chords.

II. Zoomorphic

1. Hispo

The so-called “monstrous wolf” or quasi-wolf. It is the transitional form between a human-wolf and a fully developed wolf. It is characterised by:
- quadruped body position
- strong, roughly human-like, limbs, especially the hind ones, which can cause the whole silhouette to be crooked forwards (though rarely an opposite thing can happen)
- a werewolf in this form is usually a lot faster than a bipedal werewolf, and his manner of movement to a bigger degree resembles that of a normal wolf

An example of a hispo werewolf from An American Werewolf in London.
2. Lupus

Wolf form. It is the final stage of werewolf transformation, however not all werewolves reach it, stopping and remaining at different levels of change. The reason for this might be the level of penetration of a host’s body by the virus or stem from the werewolf’s experience. Some werewolves are thus able to jump to each of the above forms without having to go through specific stages. The gradual process is more natural, though. A werewolf in wolf form is usually indistinctive from normal wolves save for the larger body size, human intelligence and cunning, and sometimes the possession of “human eyes”.

A wolf form werewolf as seen in the episode Alpha of the X-Files series.
As with all posts, I will update this one if need be with more content.

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Myths & Legends: Karl Bartsch's Three Stories About Werewolves

Legends about werewolves are very well-known. Referring to them, many people were said to be able to transform into wolves by putting on a wolf belt. They wandered in such form at night, attacking their enemies or their enemies' livestock.

In Fahrenholz, in the year 1682, a certain number of people was accused of the power to transform into wolves and put on trial. No more than thirty years ago (in the 40s of the 19th century) many cases of similar magic were related in all children's rooms, although there had not been any wolves in Mecklenburg for more than a hundred years. This proves how widespread such legends were.

Beyer, in Mecklenburgische Jahrbücher (Annals of Mecklenburg), states: "As far as I remember, during youth I had only heard of men-werewolves, never of women. However, in other regions the gender is of no significance."

1

There once was a man who possessed a wolf belt, which enabled him to change into a wolf (werewolf). Once upon a time, a group of huntsmen organised a fox-hunt and placed a corpse of a dead horse in the forest to lure them out. Instead of foxes, a werewolf appeared and started biting at the meat. The huntsmen suprised the werewolf and shot him. It fled, but when the huntsmen went to the home of a man who they suspected of being the werewolf, they found him bedridden, with a gun wound in his side.

2
The husband of a young woman often and without any explanation left her at home, so she began suspecting him of being a werewolf. One afternoon they were both working in the field. The man once again abandoned his wife. Suddenly, a wolf jumped out of the bushes, ran up to the woman and grabbed her by her woolen skirt, tearing at it back and forth. Screaming, the wife managed to fend off the wolf using her pitchfork. Not long after her husband emerged from the same bushes. She told him about the horrible event, to which he burst out with laughter, thus revealing red, woolen scraps of the skirt that were stuck between his teeth. The woman complained to a judge and the man was burned on a stake.

3
A lumberjack was working in the woods with his brother. The latter disappeared suddenly and soon after, from the nearby bushes, there emerged a wolf. The lumberjack wounded the wolf's right paw in self-defence with his axe. Howling, the wolf fled. That evening, when the lumberjack returned home, he found his brother lying in bed with his right hand hidden under the covers. Only after repeated threats did he finally show the hand to his brother, on which was the same wound that the lumberjack inflicted earlier on the wolf. The lumberjack reported his brother who was subsequently burned alive.

On the basis of: Karl Bartsch, Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche aus Meklenburg (Wien: WIlhelm Braumüller, 1879), v. 1, no. 182, pp. 147-148

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Ways of Becoming a Werewolf

Evening to all and every one of you who happen to be reading this!

A lot of work is still needed from me before all the contents of Werewolf Theory are successfully relocated to here, but the blog seems to be growing nicely for the time being. Today Id like to share with you one of the more interesting posts I wrote back in September 2005, in which I attempted to gather all the known ways of becoming a werewolf that can be found in legends, lore and all other aspects of our culture. The list below is not necessarily complete, so if you have any other ideas that are not there, feel free to let me know by adding a comment!

Disclaimer: When I originally wrote this post for informational reasons only and as part of my research into the subject of werewolves, I did not expect it to need a disclaimer, but now I realise that it does, just in case. The following is by no means a guide or a list of instructions and should be taken as a collection of curious beliefs that people have or have had over the centuries. In other words, do not under any circumstances try any of the following at home!

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There exist at least 27 ways, according to lore, of how one can become a werewolf and these can be divided into the following categories:

I. Werewolfism caused by supernatural means

The werewolf transforms only when a spell is in effect and remains in the form of a wolf without pause for a time specified by the spell or until it is lifted.

1. Werewolf that does not have control over changing

a)     curse, hex, enchantment, spell, etc.

A magical curse is put on the victim (or victims, for it can as well be a whole family or clan), which forces them to temporarily or permanently stay in the form of a wolf. This can be done by witches, sorcerers, gods and saints. This method was popular especially in the Slavic regions, Greece and Rome. Often, such magic forced the werewolf to remain in the form of a wolf for several years during which if they wanted to return to their human form, they were not allowed to consume any kind of meat (e.g. in Rome, this period amounted to 7 years).

b)     atonement for sins

An idea that was born in Christian Europe. It tells of souls of sinners roaming the earth after death in the form of animals, such as wolves, which because of this were regarded as evil to the core, being both a nuisance and a threat to the living.

c)      neglecting a child’s ceremony of baptism

This was supposed to cause a child to possess two souls –  a Christian and a pagan one, the latter considered to be the cause of the child’s periodic transformations into a wolf.

d)     divine punishment

As punishment for committed sins, the mortal is transformed into a wolf by a deity or a saint. Two examples of this are the legend about king Lycaon, who was turned into a wolf by Zeus, and St. Patrick of Ireland, who turned the king of Wales into a wolf.

e)      being born of one or more werewolf parents

If at least one of the parents is a carrier of the virus, it’s almost certain that their offspring will be a werewolf. Also, it was believed that a male child born on Christmas Eve would become a werewolf when he grew up. It was believed that the only way to cure such a child was the ritual of “shoeing”, which had to take place during the following three nights of Christmas. Such children did not become werewolves until they became 20 years of age. Originally, this belief applied only to boys, as girls would supposedly become witches – but nowadays, it applies to both genders.

f)      possessing inborn abilities to shapeshift into wolves

The transformation occurs in opportune circumstances, e.g. in times of danger or agitation. It can stem from inborn magical abilities or from a person possessing some traits of a wolf’s nature in their human nature. In some cases, it can be controlled, in others not.

2. Werewolf that shapeshifts according to will and has control over their wolf form.

Applies mainly to sorcerers possessing magical abilities (inborn or, like in Christian culture, granted by the devil or his minions). Slavic folk tales tell that such abilities were also alleged to sheep herders.

a)     signing a pact with the devil

This was said to  particularly concern atheists and black magic adepts. Such people were said to offer their souls to the devil in exchange for the ability to become wolves.

b)     according to a Russian legend, in order to become a werewolf, one needed to jump over a fallen tree in a forest, stab a copper knife into it, and recite a specific verse.

c)      drinking water that gathered in the pawprints left by a wolf in moist earth or drinking from a wolf’s watering-place was said to turn one into a werewolf

d)     eating the brain of an animal killed by wolves

e)      eating the meat or the brain of a wolf itself

f)      rubbing in magical lotions (usually under a full moon)

Such lotions were supposedly obtainable from witches or demons or prepared personally and often included the root of deadly nightshade (Antropa belladonna), the blood of bats, henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), silverweed (Potentilla anserina), sometimes also opium, the fat of an infanticide and soot, all of this mixed together while reciting appropriate spells.

g)     a wolf belt

Anyone who had access to this magical belt could transform into a wolf at will whenever they put it on. Such a werewolf could remain in his animal form for as long as they wanted to and was able to return to human form at any moment. The wolf belt was usually obtained from devil himself or demons that served him.

h) drinking a pint of specially brewed beer combined with the recitation of a magical formula (like it was common among the Livs)

h)     participating in magical gatherings or rituals

In Germanic culture, these were secret gatherings of young males, during which young warriors were supposed to temporarily obtain wolf-like traits, such as ferocity, strength or endurance, often thanks to specific practices, e.g. drinking human blood or intoxicating potions.

i)       eating specific herbs

Some sources speak of a particular type of plant whose picking and consuming was thought to induce a change into a werewolf. This plant was said to grow in the Balkans. Although there was a lack of agreement regarding its look – according to some it was a big red daisy, others claimed it was a ghost-white sunflower with a delicate scent – everyone agreed that it was very attractive to the eye.

k) a pregnant woman eating deadly nightshade (Antropa belladonna) marked by the urine of an alpha wolf was supposed to induce werewolfism in her unborn child (of course, if she herself managed to live through the experience, because deadly nightshade is known to be extremely poisonous...)

j)       drinking of magical potions

It was believed that potions containing northern wolfsbane (Aconitum lycoctonum vulparia) were given by witches to those they wanted to change into wolves.

k)     inborn abilities to shapeshift into wolves, as described in I. 1. f) that were controllable

l)       wolf skin

A method similar to the wolf belt, putting on a wolf skin was supposed to enable a person to transform into a wolf. In some legends, the skin could be taken off whenever the person willed it, while in others, once it was put on, one would remain a wolf for the rest of their life or until they were released spontaneously (usually through proving their humanity and not allowing the animal nature to take over) or via external interference.

II. Werewolfism induced by contact with a wolf or a werewolf  natural lycanthropy.

1. Direct contact with a lycanthropes bodily fluids (blood, gland secretions, etc.) in his wolf form.

The so-called “Lyc-V” virus similar to the known HIV virus makes the means of infection pretty similar to each other, including: bites, scratches, wounds inflicted by objects covered with werewolf blood, etc. Originally this one-hundred-per-cent certain way of contracting lycanthropy boiled down to a bite, nowadays however the spectrum of infection means was expanded by other possibilities, so all kinds of contact with infected blood (of course, leading to its inclusion into the victim’s bloodstream). Some people may wonder why scratches/wounds caused by claws qualify – usually, just like in case of biting, a werewolf’s saliva containing the virus comes in contact with a victim’s wound, just like the gland secretions used in the wild to mark territory, which should also contain the strain, make contact during claw-induced injuries. It is worth mentioning that in some lore a werewolf is able to infect others by biting also in human form, however the issue of gland secretions like in case of claws should theoretically not apply here.

a) transfusion or injection of infected blood (or even just wolf blood, as thought up in 1925’s werewolf movie Wolfblood)

b) transplantation of organs/tissue/body parts of a wolf/werewolf (e.g. in one of the movies the main character becomes a werewolf after an eye transplant)

III. Werewolfism caused by other means

1. Being born on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve

Some folk tales tell that male children born on the 24th or 25th of December will sometimes grow up to become werewolves. Believing this, parents of such children often performed a ritual called “shoeing”, which was supposed to rid their progeny of the curse.

2. Being conceived at a specific time

Some sources claim that those conceived during a full moon have a good chance of being born as werewolves.

3. Certain actions being performed during a full moon by one’s parent(s)

a) knitting or sewing under a full moon

b) sleeping in the open during a full moon on Wednesdays or Fridays in the summertime

These activities were supposed to cause a person’s progeny to be born as werewolves, especially if that person was pregnant at the time.

4. A specific sequence of birth.

a)     being the seventh son of one woman, especially if those born before were all daughters, or being the seventh son of one set of parents (in Galicia, Brasil and Portugal such children were banished or given up for adoption).

b)     being the seventh or ninth child of one set of parents

In Romania, such a person was said to become a werewolf only after death (usually seven years after), would leave their grave and – similar to the nosferatu – drink human blood.


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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Myths & Legends: The Wolf Stone

It's time for a bed-time story in the form of a legend from the lands of Germany, included in the work of Alexander Schöppner who lived in the 19th century.

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In a valley in the Fichtel mountains, a shepherd once was tending to his herd in a green meadow. A few tmes it happened that after he brought them back home, he discovered that one of the animals was missing. All searching was to no avail - the sheep always vanished into thin air.

The shepherd decided then to observe his herd more attentively and at one such time he noticed a huge wolf come out of the forest and grab one of the lambs. Angered, the shepherd began chasing after the wolf, but it was too fast and before he could do anything, the wolf disappeared with its prey.

The next time, he brought along a marksman. The wolf appeared again, but no matter how much he would shoot, the bullets just bounced off of the animal. At that moment, the shepherd had an idea to load the gun with the dried pitch of an elder bush. The next day, they managed to hit the wolf-thief which then fled, howling, back into the forest.

In the morning the shepherd met with an old neighbour of his, who he was not on the best terms with. Seeing that she was limping, he asked:

"Neighbour, what happened to your leg? It does not want to go along with you."

"What business is it of yours?" she replied and hurried away.

The shepherd remembered that. The woman had been suspected of practising black magic for a while and people claimed to have seen her on Heuberg in Schwaben, on Köterberg, and on Hui near Halberstadt*.

And so he reported her to the authorities. She was then arrested, interrogated and subsequently submitted to lashings - a punishment carried out on all those suspected of witchcraft who denied the charges. After that she was chained up, but one day out of the blue the woman disappeared from prison and nobody knew where she could have gone to.

Some time passed and the poor, unexpecting shepherd saw the hated wolf again come out from the forest. This time, however, the wolf did not come to attack the herd, but the shepherd himself. A fierce battle ensued - the shepherd gathered all his strength against the fangs and claws of the bloodthirsty beast and would have surely been killed had it not been for a huntsman who appeared on the scene at the last moment. He fired at the wolf, but to no avail, so he decided to stab it with his hunting knife. The moment blood gushed out of the wolf's side, the old woman appeared before their eyes in the meadow, writhing and kicking in pain. Together, they finished her off and buried her twenty feet under the ground.

On the spot where they buried the woman, they erected a large stone cross which they named the "Wolf Stone" in memory of these events. The area surrounding the stone, however, was never peaceful. The Malicious Messenger (der Tückebote) or the Burning Man (der brennende Mann), in the language of the people, still goes about his dangerous business here.

Alexander Schöppner, Sagenbuch der bayerischen Lande: Aus dem Munde des Volkes, der Chronik und der Dichter, München, 1874, II/165f 

* These names most probably refer to mountainous areas/towns that were considered gathering places for witches during the sabbath.

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Monday, 19 March 2012

Myths & Legends: Zeus and Lycaon

I was wondering what would be a good way to start pouring over the contents of my old blog into this one. I decided to start off with a well-known ancient myth about the Arcadian king by the name of Lycaon. There exist two versions of this myth, slightly differing in details, so I submit both of them below.

1

In the heart of the Peloponnese, on the very tip of the Balkan Peninsula there once lay a land called Arcady. It was there, in the times when gods stepped down from Olympus to indulge in human pleasures, that king Lycaon had his reign. He was very intelligent and clever and introduced a high level of culture and civilisation to his land, and he was the one who ordered the erection of many temples and commanded his people to worship Zeus as the supreme deity. After some time, however, Lycaon and his sons began to neglect their responsibilities and their faith.

Zeus, worshipped by the king and his people, learned of this immediately and decided to put Lycaon to a speical test. He came down from Olympus dressed as a countryman and knocked on the palace doors. But, perceptive and intelligent as he was, Lycaon figured out who his visitor really was and so welcomed him generously and accommodated him as well as he could. However, among all this, he committed a heinous crime - he served Zeus his youngest son as a roasted dish in order to give the god a testament of his faith through this horrible sacrifice.

Zeus, however, noticed what it was that he had been served and raged at his host, filled with divine wrath. As punishment, he transformed Lycaon and the rest of his sons into wolves, while he resurrected the youngest son and made him king.


2

Zeus, having heard of the misdeeds of the folk not only in the aforementioned Arcadia, came down to earth to roam his lands and learn more of the situation in hopes of proving the rumours false. But it turned out that the rumours were true and at dusk, tired from learning of more and more of the crimes of the common folk, Zeus came to Arcadia and stayed "under the unwelcoming roof of the tyrant Lycaon". He gave a sign that he was a god, so the people fell to their knees before him, praying fiercely. Only Lycaon jeered at Zeus's divinity and announced that he was yet to confirm whether he was a god or a mortal. Having said that, he then sneaked up on Zeus and tried to kill him, but with no success. However, this was not enough proof for him and so he ordered that one of the slaves of the Molossi tribe should have his throat slit and then cooked a portion of the meat and roasted the rest. Such a dish he then served to Zeus who, seeing what he had been offered, became enraged and burned down the royal palace with thunder and lightning, so that the roof would crush Lycaon under its weight. When Lycaon tried to flee, Zeus transformed him into a wolf as means of punishment.

Below is the fragment describing Zeus's wrath towards Lycaon and the latter's transformation into a wolf from Publius Ovidius Naso's Metamorphoses:

[...]
The house with just revenging fire upon the owners hed,
Who seeing that, slipt out of doores amazde for feare, and fled
Into the wilde and desert woods, where being all alone,
As he endevorde (but in vaine) to speake and make his mone, 
He fell a howling: wherewithall for verie rage and moode
He ran me quite out of his wits and waxed furious woode.
Still practising his wonted lust of slaughter on the poore
And sielie cattle, thirsting still for bloud as heretofore,
His garments turnde to shackie haire, his armes to rugged pawes: 
So is he made a ravening Wolfe: whose shape expressely drawes
To that the which he was before: his skinne is horie graye,
His looke still grim with glaring eyes, and every kinde of waye
His cruell heart in outward shape doth well it selfe bewraye.
[...]

Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses, Arthur Golding, London, W. Seres, 1567

 

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Starting anew - the revival of Werewolf Theory

Welcome to Werewolf Theory - a second incarnation of a blog devoted completely to the study and presentation of werewolf legends, lore, the influence of lycanthropic beliefs on modern culture and society, and much, much more that comes with all of the above. This blog is meant to present each and every of its readers with whatever pieces of information I can find concerning werewolves - an undertaking I began no less than 9 years ago by creating a similar website on the Polish reaches of the Internet under the name of remus-lupin.blog.pl. 

At first, it began as a humble blog of a 14-year-old I was at the time and consisted of mostly chaotic and uninteresting babble about werewolves - a hobby that had always been with me, which now comprises a great portion of my life and who I am. After some time, the goals of the old blog started becoming clear - it was no longer a blog consisting of posts about random things, but became a website devoted to propagating werewolf lore in the Polish cyberspace. Having taken on J.K. Rowling's character as a kind of patron and a way of showing tribute to its influence on me and my decision to pursue my secret hobby further, the website assumed the title of Werewolf Theory, with me becoming a self-proclaimed Lycanthropologist, taking the word for my moniker. 

For a person like myself, the website proved to be a big success. It allowed me to condense my knowledge of the subject in a single place and at the same time enabled me to share my passion with the world. It was also sometimes an heir and means of preservation for data featured on other websites that eventually ceased to exist. Their legacy, however, remained within Werewolf Theory. The website grew in popularity and won itself many fans who eagerly awaited new entries. Some visited it to discuss their views about werewolves, others dropped by out of sheer curiosity and sometimes left with a smile on their face, saying, "I never knew that! Thanks for writing about it!" It's such moments that made me feel that what I was doing brought enjoyment not only to me, but also to other people. 

The decline of the blog began somewhere around my entering high school. With a lot of things going on in myife and a multitude of other activities I engaged in, regular and frequent updates to the blog became a difficult task to accomplish. New entries started becoming scarcer until they virtually stopped altogether when I entered university. It was a regrettable, but unavoidable thing to happen to a website so popular. At some point later on, when I realised that in order to reach a wider audience, convey some things better and not be confined at a regional level my website would have to be translated into English. This proved a too big of an undertaking back then as it required an extensive amount of work and time. Having numerous other committments at the time, I simply threw in the towel. 

But no more. Throughout the years, werewolves remained one of my hobbies and Werewolf Theory has never left my thoughts. It was only when I discovered the potential that lay in creating a blog on blogspot.com, the flexibility and creativity it provided, that the idea of reviving Werewolf Theory began haunting my thoughts. The ultimate spark to light the fire was my totally accidental visit to one lady's blog on which she wrote articles about her own hobby. The thought that I could do the same thing with Werewolf Theory struck me. And so finally, after a long road I've tread, here I am to get this show on the road. 

So keep your fingers crossed for me as I pour the contents of my old blog into this new one, hopefully both for my and your pleasure. So stay in touch and see you soon!

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