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The Cynocephaly! Werewolves? Lycans? Dogmen? What the hell?! Part 4

Now I’d like to get into the DIFFERENCE between Lycans and werewolves, which honestly I thought were the same thing. I guess I can blame Underworld for blurring the lines. But Kate Beckinsale is hot, so I can forgive them.

So let’s look at the differences.

Werewolves (pop culture):

  1. Killed by silver. Preferably a silver bullet.
  2. Transform due to the full moon, and have no control.
  3. Take on the form of a giant wolf (typically), some sources say humanoid wolf.
  4. A creature of witchcraft

Lycan:

  1. Killed by decapitation.
  2. Smarter and stronger than werewolves, probably due to actual self-control.
  3. Transforms when they want to.
  4. Is said to be of religious circumstances…

As to number 4 here, witchcraft is a religion, so I don’t really follow. And in most cases, the pagan religions are witchcraft in nature. If they are implying Catholicism or Protestantism, I’m in, but I highly doubt it.

Werewolf-1056224I would like to also address why I put pop culture next to werewolf. Hollywood has created the popular werewolf mythos that most are familiar with. I realized this by looking at the sources we have below. Where I would agree on the list that werewolves are of witchcraft nature, I would like to point out some key differences from Hollywood and folkloric werewolves.

Hollywood:

  1. Werewolves transformed by the full moon.
  2. Humanoid wolves.
  3. Silver bullet

Folkloric:

  1. Transformed with ointment or wolf pelt.
  2. Turned into wolves, not humanoid wolves.
  3. Silver not the only means to kill them.

In ancient stories, werewolves were hurt by regular weapons, like swords–silver or not. The moon did not really play a role in transformation. In fact the reason the full moon was incorporated had to due with the mythos that the full moon makes people act strange to begin with. And as we saw from the series of confessions from so-called werewolves in France, a devilish figure is usually to blame for their transformation.

Now more on Lycans, which perhaps should be called Lycaons. Lycaon was theLycan legendary cruel king of Arcadia, who, to make a long story short, tried to trick Zeus into eating human flesh. Zeus was outraged by this and turned Lycaon and his sons into wolves.

The story does not mention man-like wolves, but I’m fairly certain that the term Lycan comes from Lycaon. As for their religious affiliation, I found this, but it is not very Lycan-like in practice, so I really don’t know how anyone can say Lycans are of a religious circumstance… unless… pagan… and therefore witchcraft.

The legendary cynocephaly will be next week. Let me know what you think so far. Comment on the thing I got wrong. Let’s have a discussion. I’d love to hear what y’all have to say.

Sources:

Lycan and Werewolf

Lycan and Werewolf

Difference

Lycaon

The Lycian Santuary

1 thought on “The Cynocephaly! Werewolves? Lycans? Dogmen? What the hell?! Part 4”

  1. There are many folkloric references to humanoid wolves. The ancient hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt, the cynocephaly, Native American skinwalker (though they can choose other animals other than wolf), modern dogman folklore in the USA, etc. I think the full moon may be the only Hollywood add-on but even silver defeating evil forces is an ancient belief. Werewolves were believed to be evil and therefore susceptible to silver, which again, purifies/cleanses/destroys evil according to ancient lore.

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