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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Creativity (An 8-Part Series): Part III - Shape-Shifting

By Kristy McCaffrey

Don't miss
Part I  - Imagination

While shape-shifting is often associated with evil and deception, it can be thought of most easily as a way to incorporate the qualities and sensory perceptions of a particular animal. Shape-shifting allows the navigation through different levels of consciousness, both awake and dreaming, and along the astral plane.

In the iconic King Arthur story "The Sword in the Stone" by T. H. White, the wizard Merlin transforms young Arthur into many different animals to aid the boy in learning how to be king. When Arthur finally pulls the sword from the stone, the animal kingdom relays many mystical messages, giving him strength and courage to grow into the man he needs to be.

In shamanic realms, one must master energy to become a shape-shifter, and thereby learn to shift situations.

Shape-shifting goes hand-in-hand with totem animals. In many cultures, association with an animal is a means of navigating the world—Coyote energy is mischievous, Raven energy is cunning and otherworldly, Rabbit energy is quick and alert. If one has an affinity for a certain creature, why not imagine what it would be like to be that animal? What might this teach you?

Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.
~ Author Edward Abbey

Each animal has its own gifts, which are accessible to us. Bear teaches us to set clear boundaries and balance activities with periods of rest. Butterfly embodies transformation from one state to the next. Whale calls to deep creativity and the ability to sing your intention into the landscape.

Shifting focus has long been an avenue to unlock creativity. While running along the terrain as a bobcat, what wondrous things will you see?

Lots of people talk to animals. Not very many listen, though. That's the problem. ~ Benjamin Hoff

Works Cited
Billington, Penny. The Path of Druidry: Walking the Ancient Green Way. Llwellyn Publications, 2011.

Carson, David. Find Your Spirit Animals. Watkins Publishing, 2011.

Farmer Ph.D, Steven D. Animal Spirit Guides. Hay House, Inc., 2006.

Myss, Carolyn. Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. Harmony Books, 2001.

Don’t miss Part IV in the Creativity series: Forbearance

Until next time…

 Connect with Kristy


  1. Interesting thoughts, Kristy! I've not ever written a shape-shifter story, but have always wondered about doing just that. I love the idea of being able to draw on the senses and reflexes, etc. of animals. They are so much more intelligent that humans believe--and maybe even more than we could ever know. Even if our characters don't actually shift, the understanding and communication that they have with animals is really telling. I remember a book that Kathleen Eagle wrote, one of my favorite contemporary romances--THE NIGHT REMEMBERS--and the hero has a special understanding and communications with dogs. I love that book so much!

    Another excellent post-I always enjoy these posts on creativity you write!

    1. Cheryl,
      It's always intriguing to find ways to bring animals into stories. I always find it curious when certain animals cross my path. I've read that if the same creature keeps appearing to you, then a message is at hand. I think the true idea of animal communication is that they are always very present in their environment and very in tune with their instincts. That is something as writers that we can tap into, and always something to aspire to as humans. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  2. "Shape-shifting allows the navigation through different levels of consciousness, both awake and dreaming, and along the astral plane." <<<I find this to be fascinating in that the human mind has the capability to achieve this altered state of consciousness. Those who learn to manipulate this level of mental discipline and control amaze me.

    Wonderfully thought-provoking post, Kristy. Thank you.

    1. Kaye,
      I've heard it said that this how we can time-travel. Hehe.

  3. A timely post today. I was feeling stressed. One of those where I have too much to do and not enough time. Part of our routine here is to take our indoor cat out for a quick stroll around the yard. I took her out this morning and watched her roll around the patio,enjoying the sunshine on an otherwise cold day. Then she went in and took her first of many naps she'll take today. I decided to be a cat for the day instead of me! I enjoy your thoughts of creativity, thanks!

    1. Patti,
      I think we can all take a page from an animal's life, which is usually to enjoy the moment and honor the natural rhythms of our lives. Sometimes we work and sometimes we rest.

  4. Always been fascinated by animals, especially cats. There is so much of the world we miss by just focusing on getting through the day. I think the joy of writing and telling stories is the joy of shutting off the 'noise' of life and getting in tune with real life. Wonderful post and impetus to get out and walk with nature. Doris

    1. Doris,
      Who doesn't feel better after being outside or with a pet? We certainly need it and almost daily. Especially writers. We spend so much of our time inside our heads, it's always good to engage the world physically. And animals do it naturally.

  5. I like that you spoke about each animal having its special gifts. That's good to think about when writing about shape-shifters. I've only written a shape-shifter character once and found it extremely difficult to do.

    1. Sarah,
      I think it's a challenge to write these types of characters since there are so many directions to go with it. It can be hard to narrow it down. I'm struggling with it right now.