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Ugh. I hate glimpse. It really fucking sucks and I don't know why I have a profile on there. Layton was trying to get me to email some chick who came in my inbox. I told him no but he was being insistant about it, like a small child, so I told him I'd think about it. Anyway, I was trying to update my profile so as not to sound so bitchy only to remember how hard it is and remember why I sounded so annoyed in the first place. It's cruel and unusual. When it's not making any sense whatsoever, it's being pointless and annoying. I should just erase the thing but I'm just too lazy.

Shapeshifting 101
Author Unknown
Most people, when they think of Shapeshifting, think of people sprouting hair under a full moon and running rampant over some poor hapless town, devouring anything in its path. While there are people with the gift (or curse, depending on who you talk to) of changing physical shape, most of us can't. Shapeshifting does not always have to occur in the physical plane, though. Anyone who can travel astrally or who has had the experience of their soul free of their body can shapeshift, with a little practice.

The theory behind much of magic is mind over matter, and this is true for shifting as well. The theory is that if you can leave your body behind, and get yourself into a form that is far more free than the flesh, you can then shape that to match your whims. Some people have become experienced enough in shifting the spirit-form that they actually can change physical appearance.

But to do this takes a lot of practice, and an experienced teacher. I don't recommend any form of shifting work to be undertaken by anyone who is not an experienced astral traveler, an experienced spirit-walker, or an experienced Dream-walker. However, this isn't to say you can't learn. I simply recommend that you first learn the realms of the spirit before trying to alter yourself. And if you're just starting out in astral travel, lease, have someone experienced to guide you....the astral plane can be a scary and potentially dangerous place to wander around alone.

All disclaimers aside, it warms my witchy heart to see people interested in an art that I've been working at for many years.

To get ready to attempt a shift, I suggest you work in a circle, or someplace you feel comfortable or safe. If you want, light a few candles and some incense, play your favorite music softly, have something you really like with you. Just be very relaxed and comfortable in your workspace. If you're uncomfortable, it's not going to work. If you have any spirit animals, or spirit helpers, talk to them. Spirit helpers and familiars are great for helping first-time shifters, as they can help guide you into a form that's right for you. Offer a few prayers to your favorite deity if you like. Maybe they have a preferred alter-form that you could use. (My particular deity is The Morrigan; she favors crows and ravens. As my spirit-helper is Raven, and most of my others have been birds or creatures of the air, I mostly use the raven myself. But you can use whatever you're comfortable with.) Anyway, get yourself set up and comfortable.

Get well grounded; send that root of power down into the earth a good piece. If you're not well grounded, sometimes you can get curious overlapping of what you see as a spirit, and what you see as a human, and it is very disorienting, not to mention disturbing. Center yourself well, keeping your power in a nice ball, and focus all of your power into a fine point. The best example I can give is that of a flashlight....the more focused the source of light is, the sharper and more precise the larger circle of light it gives off is going to be. If you stay well focused, then getting out of your body is going to be that much easier. Use whatever power is most familiar with you: ask the Goddess' blessing, use a node of natural power, take some from a holy place, or use your own.

When you feel focused and kind of floaty, slide out of your body....this is the exact same way astral travel starts. Once you are outside of your body, there will be a fine cord that connects you to your body. DO NOT SEVER IT. It is the only thing that keeps your soul and your body together. It will stretch and grow along with you for however far you decide to go, but if you sever it your body will be left without a soul, and a body without a soul eventually dies unless hooked up to all sorts of hideous machinery. It lacks a purpose and a will to live, and you'll be left wandering the earth without the means to the Underworlds, save by the good grace of the Goddess. This is why I say that you should have some experience in out-of-body Magicks; it makes it less dangerous.

Once outside of your body, things get relatively easier. As a spirit, you'll find yourself a lot lighter, not weighed down by things. Shapeshifting in the astral takes a bit of concentration, but that's about it. The spirit is far more malleable that the flesh. Whatever form you want to take, thing about. Keep that form in your mind's eye. You are now the opposite end of the flashlight's reach; you're the projected circle. Whatever image you have projected with that sharp focus of power you started out with is what you will end up as. That's why when most of us start astral travel, we always keep a semi-true mortal form. You'll look like whatever you think you look like. The trick to shifting is to think of yourself as something else. So use your Mind's Eye to shape the most accurate, detailed image of whatever you wish to be. Let the power you're holding flow into it, fill it. As you do so, imagine yourself taking that form, feeling your hands become paws or wingtips, feeling your feet change, your face. When you don't feel anything else changing, or you've completely filled the image with power and it can't hold anymore, you should be the image you've created.

To reverse the shift when you're done, take the image and "undraw" it, removing all the power from it first. Once the image is undone, think of yourself again, your natural form, and let that become your Mind's eye image again. Fill it with power, and gradually unfocus the power's projection. You should return to your body, if that's what you're aiming for. To simply undo the shift just remove the power and undo the image, then redo it to be whatever your next form needs be if you're still remaining a spirit-form.

Physical shifts should only be attempted by those who've mastered the art of the spirit-shift; mastery would mean they could shift form rapidly without effort or difficulty, can teach others to spirit-shift, and can protect themselves while shifted. Those who are interested should seek out a teacher of such things; they should never be attempted alone. Beginners to physical shifting would learn how to shift a little bit before a major shift was attempted. An example of this would be tapering and sharpening fingers to claws, lengthening a tailbone to a tail, changing eye color or shape, changing size, or other minor physical characteristics.

So that's my little spiel on shape-shifting. I am experienced in shifting, as well as most other forms of magick, so if anyone has difficulties or questions about what I've outlined here, please, write me or leave me a message. I take full responsibility for all of my ideas, so if they cause mass panic or people end up weird or insane, it's my fault. Not that there's anything I could do about it, but I like to think I'm responsible for what I teach.

Remember: shifting is not about running around your hometown as a slavering beast who disappears with the sunrise. You're not going to wake up one day and vaguely remember a night of carnage - unless of course you're in one of those atrocious movies :P. Misinformation is one of the greatest obstacles facing Witchcraft these days; let's not give people anything else to talk about.