Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shifters, Part 3: Using Magic to Shapeshift

In The Dictionary of Mythology by J. A. Coleman (Arcturus Publishing Ltd., 2007) the description of a werewolf included:


It is said that those who can become werewolves also practice witchcraft when in their normal human shape.

So today, that is what I am going to talk about. Shapeshifting using magic.

This isn't commonly featured in paranormal romance novels, however I have read it before: both instances involved one of my favourite writers, Christine Warren. The first was in Wolf At The Door. In this book, Sullivan Quinn, a werewolf, meets an intoxicating fox woman, Cassidy Poe. Fox women, in Christine Warren's Other series, are able to shift into foxes, but only through the use of a specific kind of magic.

Likewise, in her tale Heart of the Sea, offered on her website or here for free, selkies are witches who are able to transform into seals by a combination of witchcraft and their magical seal skins.

So let me dive in a bit about selkies, which are more commonly seen in literature than fox women. If you're wondering about the folklore behind fox women, while I am not entirely certain about Warren's thinking on the matter, the Japanese have a myth treating foxes rather like fairies, where they are able to transform into humans. Read more about the kitsune myth here.

The selkie myth originated along the Atlantic Ocean, in places like Scotland, Wales, etc. They can be males or females, and it is said that if you steal their skin they are unable to turn back into seals. Warren's short story, in my opinion, is a very interesting depiction of selkies.

More resources include:

Does anyone else have some examples of paranormal romances in which magic is used in order to shift?



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