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When I first created this site back in 1997, I naively assumed that magic and religion were as exclusive to each other as they are from science. After all, the Christian church in the middle ages worked tirelessly to eradicate witches from the world. Whilst trying to establish this revision on sounder footing however, I realised that in most cases, magic and religion are one, and they all work on the philosophy that the Universe itself has awareness: that there are intelligences and deities whose aid we may beseech.

Within the context of physical transformation, we may either pray to a deity and request them to transform us or we ourselves as components of the universe, raise the power and guide the process. The former case would constitute a classical miracle; the latter case would be magic. What they both have in common is that faith, the belief you have in what you are trying to achieve, is of paramount importance. Shape-shifting is a dramatic, very physical manifestation of power and consequently demands immense faith, either in yourself or your deity or both. In these jaded times, that can be a problem.

Faith - Why we don't see any modern-day Circes.

The Christian Church is not big on transformation into animal form, believing strongly as it does that there is something that differentiates humans from animals (I would tend to agree: boy, have we got some catching up to do!). Many other religions however regard all life as spiritually connected, and allow for the possibility that one form may undergo transformation into another. In some cases, this would require one form to die and be reborn as another: reincarnation. Others allow that physical transformation and other abilities may be learnt in our current lifetimes. These are not "how-to"s: these are possible paths to explore. Here are some possibilities.

Reincarnation - a new life in a different form.
Miracles - direct intervention by a deity.
Spells - the most common way of controlling magic.
Potions - magical elixirs and ointments.
Artefacts - containing magic in a physical object, such as a ring or amulet.
Astral Projection - Out of Body experiences.
Altered State - invoking a trance to evoke an equine experience.
Lycanthropy - werewolves are much in vogue at the moment, but werehorses?
Sympathetic Magic - leading your magic by example.
Hermetic Sorcery - the purest form of magic, using will alone.