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A Rainbow of Spirituality

Shape shifting -
Taking a Different Form

Shape shifting is a type of meditation on the relationship between humankind and nature, in particular animals. Shape shifting is based on assuming certain characteristics of an animal. Traits and talents are also included in these characteristics. These characteristics, traits, and talents are assumed for a limited time and for a particular purpose. A shapeshifter is able to change shape either at will or under special circumstances.

Shapeshifter are not just human; they are also animals and plants. Shape shifting ability depends on the level or degree of energy or quality of life the creature possesses. It is more difficult for plants because they are stationary, and least difficult for human beings because they are most able to understand the dynamics involved. Animals, including humans, are mobile, and it follows that animals are adept at moving and directing energy. It is, as humans, our innate nature, our state of being.

Chinese Taoism

For Chinese Taoists, there are two methods or purposes for shape shifting:

One, to strengthen or improve your vital essence by the study of metaphysics and nature.

Two, to share your vital essence with others. This shift can be accomplished through meditation, channeling, dancing, and singing - as well as chanting, ritual, and making love. More or less, any situation where people merge together as One and build energy.

Toltec Shamanism

Toltec shamans shapeshift and gather energy by pulling together the power from the universe; for instance, from dead stars. Through a complex set of physical movements, breath and intention, the Toltec shaman gathers and collects energy to be used toward specific purposes.

Celtic Shamanism

The Celtic shaman also understands that things never truly die; they merely change form. Thus, the cycle of life becomes more understood. All things continuously change shape. A child grows to adulthood to old age to death and again. Everything is continuously reborn through shape shifting, and the elemental components are constantly recycling. 

A glass of water is a good example of these changes. If given a glass of water, you cannot destroy it; it is impossible to destroy the water. If poured our, the water becomes part of whatever you pour it into or onto. If evaporated, it later becomes rain. If drank, it becomes part of the body then waste that is recycled into the Earth. In other words, like all other things, it cannot be destroyed. Nothing can be destroyed. All is ever-beginning, never-ending. All things merely shift shape. This very strongly suggests that shape shifting is a natural state of existence.

How It's Done

Human reason and logic do not necessarily apply to shape shifting. To shift into another person, animal, or elemental energy means being privy to the secrets of a state of being where you are able to feel the unexplainable, the mysterious. By setting aside known and accepted natural laws, like inertia, you can merge into the body of any animal, plant, rock, body of water - anything you choose. This merging allows you to experience the world of instinct. This world is frightening to most humans who have separated themselves from nature and from the "natural" state of being. As you learn more about shifting, and abandon the structures and forces that hold you to the Earth, time and space become very fluid and soft. This creates a gateway to Oneness, a threshold of awareness where your perspective alters and changes permanently. 

Once you move through that threshold, you are transformed. It becomes a metamorphosis. The fluidity of reality becomes "normal" and you realize you are not a fixed human being on this planet but a mutidimensional being with the potential of experiencing an infinite number of lifetimes, worlds, and shapes. One important thing to remember in practicing shape shifting is that nothing is what it seems to be, especially time, matter, and space. On a very basic level, shifting allows for a richer and fuller perspective of life and experience. As a way to gather information and build magickal skill, shape shifting connects you with your creative ability and your spiritual center, regardless of your religious, philosophical, or cultural preferences. 

The key to learning how to shapeshift is merging, sometimes called the "thirteenth factor." Merging, or the thirteenth factor is the point where there is no division between body, mind and spirit. Everything becomes Oneness, and all knowledge and wisdom are readily accessible in this place of being, depending on your intentions and desire. Merging is the mystic state where you become one with all things. This occurs naturally when you are in a beautiful nature area, and suddenly you feel yourself becoming part of the trees, the waterfall, and the rocks.

It also occurs when you fall in love. You merge and meld with your partner. Another example is the bonding that happens between parent and child, or between twins. The Two Main Components of the merging process are breath and intention. First, your intention needs to be specific, simple, and directed. Focus on the intention before, during and after merging. Second, pay close attention to how you are breathing. Relax. Use "in, 2, 3, 4 - out, 2, 3, 4." Hold your breath briefly in between. Repeat this as many times as needed for you to relax. After practice, you will find that merging becomes automatic.

When you merge into an animal, you enter the energetic being of the animal, stepping into catness or wolfness, and so on. It is as if you enter the domain of essence, becoming the animal, almost like becoming a mirror of the animal. Each animal becomes an aspect of yourself, your eyes, your legs, your heart become one with the eagle, the horse, the lion, etc.

When you incarnate into the physical, you take form and become flesh, embodied and defined. Definition gives temporary form and shape as a human being. Shape shifting allow you to briefly step out of that form. It also allows you to move out of "ordinary" reality into multidimensional awareness, realizing you can be here and there at the same time. It is a strange feeling at first, until you accustom yourself to this new perspective. With practice, you can eventually learn to experientially be in several places (worlds) at once, hence the concept of simultaneous lifetimes.

Done at Three Different Levels

There are three levels of shape shifting: mental, physical (usually accompanied by mental), and astral.

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