Shifts sometimes happen at the most inopportune times. One of the worst times to have a mental shift for any therianthrope is when driving a car. Your mind goes more animalistic and less human, and unless you have a good “instinctive” ability to drive, it can be down right dangerous.
I’ve had shifts while driving before. One I remember very strongly was a totemic shift to horse that occurred while I was driving home from work when I still lived in Texas. And the reason it was so memorable is that it was a FULL mental and perception shift simultaniously. I was running with a herd, and I sped up to keep up with the herd. The herd is life, the herd is safety, family, and home. Keep with the herd. That is as close as I can come to translating the equine thought process to one that humans can understand (or even one I can understand, looking back on it. It wasn’t so much thought as… instinct).
I was completely caught off guard by the shift. Normally, even with totemic shifts, I feel them coming on and can hold them off or get somewhere safe before I allow them to come over me. But this one just slammed into me and swept me away as if I’d been picked up into the very herd itself.
Near as I can tell, the shift remained for about five miles. Maybe ten minutes at the freeway speed I was currently going, then disappeared as quickly as it came. Suddenly I was human, driving again. I had cramps and pain in my hips and thighs as if my legs had been trying to run like the horse that had taken over my mind. My shoulders and arms were stiff – I was hanging on to the steering wheel hard, but my body was still trying to run like a horse. And one of the first things I noticed was that I had sped up to almost 80 mph, and was keeping up with and passing other cars – just as I was keeping up and passing other horses in the vision that came with the shift.
As I thought about it later, I realized that the horse totem was taking advantage of where I was and what I was doing to show me what it had to show me. The cars on the freeway became other horses, the freeway became an open, hilly grassland. To this day, I’m not sure what Horse was trying to teach me with that experience – but it’s very possible that it was just giving me this hyper example of how powerful a totemic shift can actually be.
What’s brought this to mind and the reason for this blog today, is that I had a strong dire wolf shift this morning while trying to park and get in to class. This wasn’t a mental shift, or even a perception shift, but it was a full phantom shift. Which means, essentially, I FELT as if I had the full physical body of a dire wolf, jammed into the position I was stuck in to drive my car. My tail was crushed behind and beneath me. My legs were cramped in an uncomfortable position and I shifted so I could control the accelerator and brake with my toes rather than the flat of my foot which felt completely different. My hands didn’t want to grip the steering wheel, so I pressed the pad of my hands against the steering wheel and steered via pressure.
Thankfully, my positivity was holding out, and my amazing parking place of the day was waiting for me. I parked, got out of the car and shook myself, hard, leaning against the side of my jeep while my body tried valiantly to force me onto all fours. I stretched my back, I shook myself, I stretched my arms and legs and opened and closed my mouth, feeling my muzzle move. The wind whipped through my hair and my phantom fur, and I laid my phantom ears back in frustration. Shifts are frustrating when I don’t have the TIME for them, but I should’ve guessed that something would happen when I left the house trying to figure out what I was going to blog about today.
I told the universe that I got the idea – today’s blog would be about shifts. And almost immediately, the shift faded. I got back in my car (still had an hour before class) and closed my eyes, putting myself in a meditative state with the ease of practice, and thought about what I should include in the blog. The horse experience, the experience of this morning, and advice for anyone who wants to deliberately trigger different kinds of shifts.
SO! This is the first in a series of blogs about shifts that will be being posted here over the next few days and weeks. This one is my own experiences, though they will slip into future blogs as well, and the next blog will be about triggering a phantom shift – either partial or total.
So welcome to the first series I’ve written in this blog, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I’ll enjoy writing it.