When I was writing the Shift Happens blog about Phantom Shifts, I neglected to mention one of the possible triggers of them. One reason for this is that I was focused on how to deliberately cause one and this method is (for me, at least) fairly unreliable. However, the trigger I’m discussing is music.
I’m not talking about a drumming trance, or even instrumental music to listen to while you meditate and try to trigger a phantom shift (Dan Gibson’s Soundscapes series is awesome for this – wolf howls set to classical music, and other animal sounds), but when a song speaks to you in such a powerful way that it sets your “fur” on edge and you find yourself wanting to howl, or roar, or whatever your theriotype’s sound would be, along with it. When you find yourself skin dancing* without the skin, but with a different covering over your human body.
Now, this can progress into a true Phantom Overlay, but as you could be any number of places while listening to music, it is a good idea to arrest the progress of this (if you can – sometimes the spirit is a little TOO willing 😛 ) at the simple phantom shift, and just keep enjoying the music.
Why am I posting about this now? Why is it not under the Shift Happens label? And WHY is the title of this post, “Werewolf”? All questions I’m going to answer. Kind of now.
See, the reason I’m posting about this is that I had an awesome experience yesterday. Something that hasn’t happened in over a year, and something I absolutely love when it does. I was “seen,” and not by just one person… but two.
I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a sprinkler for our front lawn. I took a sort of long drive to get there, because I wanted to time the 2 routes I knew of and see which one was faster (hence one way going, the other way coming back). On the way, a 30 Seconds To Mars song I’d never heard before came on the radio. It was called Night Of The Hunter. Now, my initial thoughts were actually of an epic save that myself and Nyx and Midnite had pulled off in Stonecore in WoW a few weeks ago, in which our Tank and Healer both died, and the three of us (all L85 Hunters) managed to down both Slabhide and the final boss of the dungeon on our own from about 1/3 health. It was fairly awesome, and as I listened to the song, I found myself lamenting that none of us had been using a recording software at the time – we could’ve made a video of the fights to that song.
However, something else was happening. I don’t know what it was about the song, or whether it was the “background visuals” in my head, because every song I listen to has at least 2 ways I “see” it, and I arbitrarily pick which visual goes with it every time I listen to it, and this one tended to bring with it the visuals of a wolf pack hunting at night. Perhaps even the werewolf Pack from Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, because I think I recognized a certain large, golden, blue-eyed wolf in the mix. But whatever it was, a phantom shift overtook me in the car, brought with it a lovely energy boost, and was still going strong when I got to Wal-Mart
Wal-mart is huge, (and this was a Super Wal-Mart, so even bigger than normal), and because of my knees, hip, and back, I make a point of riding the electric carts around stores like that, while I walk in Albertson’s and other grocery stores. As I was heading back toward the gardening department, phantom shift still in place – an astral werewolf driving an electric shopping cart – I noticed a woman leading a young man gently by the hand. From the formation of his features and the look on his face, I could tell he was differently abled, mentally. Down Syndrome, perhaps, but maybe something more or worse. I looked away, never wanting to stare at someone for any misfortune, let alone one they had no control over, but my head snapped back around when he suddenly started screaming.
He was pointing at me, screaming, and trying to run away. The woman that was with him kept a firm grip on his hand and apologized to me profusely, saying that the electric cart must have frightened him, and trying to get him to calm down. I smiled and said that I’d move away, and that *I* was sorry I’d upset him. Which I was. And I was willing to accept her explanation as well – until I saw another electric cart pass by him a little while later and he didn’t react at all. The only thing I can figure is, like the very young and the very old, the mentally handicapped sometimes can see that which the rest of the world can’t. And what he saw was a human-sized wolf, driving an electric cart through a store. What else to call that but a werewolf? I can’t blame him for screaming.
My shift didn’t go away, though, and as I was coming back from grabbing the sprinkler, and heading for the checkout, I had another experience.
A young boy, maybe… 3 years old, at most, was sitting in his father’s shopping cart while the dad rooted around in the freezer section for something. The kid had been completely silent, from what I could tell. Then he looked at me, grinned in a huge and adorable way… and started barking. “Woof! Woof woof!” he said excitedly, continuing to grin at me. The way kids who like dogs do when they see a dog. This is the second time a small child has thought of me as a dog, the last one being a couple of years ago at the Irvine Spectrum. However, this occurrence, coupled with the earlier one, made this one even more memorable than the last.
Perhaps I should deliberately trigger phantom shifts while I’m out and see who notices the “werewolf” in their midst. 🙂