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This year has been…difficult. Not just for the things going on in the world at large, but for my wife and I this has been a particularly rough year. Financially and personally, from a lack of steady income that’s caused both of our credit ratings to take a serious dive, through a series of medical problems for each of us, and the loss of her grandfather after what happened last year…it was rough to say the least.

Perhaps that’s why, as we edge closer to December and the holidays it brings (not to mention my wife’s birthday on the 16th, and both of my parent’s birthdays), this year doesn’t feel as festive as previous years have. 

We don’t have any family to look forward to spending the holidays with, this year. My parents can’t make it out to see us, and we certainly can’t make it to see them. Her father’s passed away, her mother is dealing with the loss of her parents, and we don’t even really have any local friends to spend time with.

For the first time in my life, the holidays are actually looking depressing. So how do I handle it? Read on »

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You may have noticed at this point that I haven’t spoken out on the US Election. There’s a reason for that – first of all, the last two weeks of blog posts were written in October before it happened. Second of all – this is a spiritual and personal blog, not a politics blog. I also don’t publicize things like my GoFundMe campaign and medical situation on this forum and that was a very deliberate choice.

That being said, today I want to talk about another kind of disillusionment – the reason I haven’t participated in NaNoWriMo since 2011.

I participated in National Novel Writing Month – a personal challenge wherein a person is to write a 50,000 word novel within the 30 days of November – from 2008 through 2011. Of all those attempts, I only “won” (that is to say, reached the 50k word goal) once, in 2009. That book is the book I’m currently editing over on Patreon – and you can read it for as little as $1 a month, and get your name in the dedication for just $5 a month! Read on »

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The greymuzzles in the therianthropy community seem to be dwindling. While there are many like me, still around, such as Jakkal and Savage, the current overseers of The Werelist, many others who were active over a decade ago when I first found the community have now moved on to other things.

It isn’t that they’re no longer in the community that has me thinking, though – I know many therians who are no longer part of the active community for many reasons (an over-inundation of role players just being one such reason). It’s the fact that almost all of the people in the community that I looked up to and learned so much from when I first started discovering myself are slowly starting to back out of the belief system entirely.canis_dirus___canis_lupus

I still remember how shocked I was when Goldenwolf (the first dire wolf therian I was ever aware of, and a large part of my own self discovery) said publicly that she no longer identified with the therian label. Her artwork and (now defunct) dire wolf disambiguation page were instrumental in my discovering myself. I struggled with her change of heart for some time. At the time, there were three dire wolves, counting myself, that were active parts of the community.

Now, as of a recent post by the other dire wolf therian and a close friend of mine to the similar effect a couple of weeks ago…I’m the only grey muzzle dire wolf left who still identifies as a therian. With groundbreaking therian author Lupa also feeling wolf has become less her and more a guide and totem, and Arcanus Greywolf questioning his own beliefs regularly, I find myself wondering why I’m still here.

After all these people, who were basically greymuzzles in the community long before I even learned what therianthropy was, move away from this belief system…why am I still here? Why do I still feel like dire wolf is me?

Do I still feel that way?

The moves away from therianthropy seem to happen in a person’s late thirties to early forties, if the cited examples are a good sampling. However, I’m also aware of many therians in their fifties and even sixties and older. So age alone isn’t a factor. Is disillusionment? Yes, to a point. There comes a point in everyone’s lives when they feel they’ve learned all they can from what they believe, and unless you’re deeply indoctrinated into a religion that has you convinced you’re going to burn for eternity if you so much as peek around the corner at any other belief system, most people start to move away from their beliefs.

fork-in-forest-darkerI’ve even gone through this myself. But through all my disillusionment with the spiritual, and all the pain and personal issues that brought to me over the last few years as I worked through it – I worked through it. I’ve come out the other side now, feeling stronger and more secure in myself. Yes, I don’t feel dire wolf in every single aspect of my life anymore…but I have no doubt that I am still a dire wolf therian. I still identify with that label, no matter how “fluffy” the community gets.

So why have all my “heroes” of the community begun to turn away from the belief? Well, it all comes down to one simple fact – therianthropy is personal. It isn’t a religion. It isn’t organized. It isn’t universal. Everyone’s path through the forest is their own path. And while it’s nice to converge and walk with others for awhile, not everyone stays on that same path once they’re on it. People veer off to one side or the other, continuing on their own personal path. And ultimately, that path is never the same for two people.

So the answer to my question is yes – I do still feel that “dire wolf therian” describes me. Will I always feel that way? I honestly don’t know. But I do know this – whatever path I end up going down, I will continue to share it with others, because the most important calling I have is to help people who are struggling with the same things I am. And that is enough for this old wolf.

Do you question your personal beliefs? Have you ever had a complete change of heart – going from believing wholeheartedly in one thing, to something entirely different? Tell me about it in the comments! We can work through this together.

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Happy Halloween! This year’s Patron Exclusive Scary Story is now available on Patreon! Become a Patron today to read it! (Even as little as $1 a month makes a huge difference for me, and gives you access to the story and all other Patron posts – including a free personalized holiday icon worth $15!)

Every story begins with an inspiration. As I’ve talked about in previous Storyteller’s Howls, the mainstay of most writers is the old adage “write what you know.” How does this extend to something like a horror story? Well, every story needs characters. And this year, the characters just happened to be myself, my wife, and our cat. Read on »

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It has long been believed that pets can sense the paranormal. Everyone who’s had a pet has, at one time or another, witnessed them doing something that they couldn’t explain. Whether it’s staring at a random spot where you see nothing, with an intensity that makes you swear that something HAS to be there, or barking at seemingly nothing, or even seeming to interact with some invisible force, pets have a connection to the paranormal.

In a recent BuzzFeed article that gave me the idea for this post, seventeen different people recount their personal experiences with pets seeming to sense the paranormal. I was reminded of a podcast I sometimes enjoy listening to  Paranormal Pets. Then, two weeks ago, a friend of mine told me a creepy story about their cat and a friendly shadow person in their house. This brought to mind my own paranormal pet stories, and I’d like to share a couple with you now.

While not as disturbing as some of the stories I’ve shared in week one and week two of Ominous October, I feel these stories still have a bit of the eerie about them. Read on »