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.
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.
I’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.