The ancient cave paintings in most parts of the world (from france.south america.india etc), where our ancestors have painted the walls for over 15,000 years on are mostly flooded with representations of man-beast portraits, representations of therianthropes. Even in Indian mythology (hindu), we can see the ancient gods like- matsya/kurma/varaha/narshimha are all avatars of lord vishnu where they are all man-beast formation. Till date the shaman tribes of !kung, and others believe in the transformation of a sorcerer to a beast (in the likes of la Catalina), which derives greater power of the animal who the sorcerer has transformed him/herself into.
Why the great fascination with men becoming either bats (vampires), or man-lions (narsimha), or a sphinx (and you must remember the vampire is not a Transylvania creation- he has existed as an egyptian god for over 2000 years). or even minotaurs and the like- take any ancient culture and you will find the tribal influences of therianthropes on them.. something so strange.
If you look at the beautiful paintings of the caves in south Africa, or France or even south America- this recurrent theme of men transforming into animals, as shown in detail over the cave surfaces is something very pertinent to ancient man.
In meso American religions such a man is known as a nagual shaman, who has the power to convert himself at will into an animal of his choice, such people till date are revered and feared deeply by local folks. They are called shape shifters, for they can change their shapes at will.
Something not common to just the religious tribes; day to day UFO abducts till date sometimes before getting abducted see such therianthropes, in the form of half man half beast and then they get abducted, at a later time the aliens show their real forms (another shape-shift), but in the first moments of an UFO encounter; most cases are of therianthropes seen.
Most Egyptian gods are sorcerers, like the sun god Ra, or Horus or sobek or anubis. Hybrid humans between owls and snakes and wolves/dogs and so forth.
The collective unconscious of Jung (through jung) has tried to be the solution to this pertinent anthropological/neurological model of human past. But i as many others see the collective unconscious as just a means to describe the dilemma and not exactly the solution to the problem.
Why are these hybrids existing as far as 15000 years back, when humans actually started becoming adept in controlling their environment.
The answers lie inside the human head for sure.. and there are many many theories concerning therianthropes. But these are inventions of the past century by western scientists alone; who dont have an inkling of knowledge of how these have contributed to human psyche for over a millenia.
Greater probability of finding a solution more akin to our liking lies in understanding the ancient shaman tribes and religions (many of such shamanic practices have been incorporated in the mainstream religions of date), and what is the process that shamans and medicine men undergo as they shape shift supposedly to their animal form.
The practices carried out include always means to bring about changes in ones present state of consciousness, through trance like activities which in turn endow the shamans/brujos/priests with the power to supposedly enter different worlds where they can encounter and interact with alien powerful god like beings. They return back with greater endowed wisdom and knowledge concerning the welfare of the tribe and environment. In the course of such activities through an entire life period, the shamans get the power to transform into animals. Some of these activities are explained through the sensory perceptual changes one encounters when one is undergoing a change in consciousness, ones vision and hearing change dramatically. Ones fingers or other body parts might become elongated or add extra parts, ones hearing dramatically sensitizes alike to many animals. There might be a change in ones weight or perceived mass, and a feeling of heaviness or lightness dawns, alike to animals which can fly.
These are but partial explanations, but in reality the transformation of ones consciousness in most of tribal therionthrope religions is practically visibly supposedly accompanied by change in ones physical persona as well. One might become a crow or a vulture, a feline or a snake... and so forth. I have found many interesting relics and folk lores such in tribes across the world which point to the still till date belief ney, rather absolute trust in the shamans ability to transform into an animal... so much so that the chief deities of the other worlds which the shaman encounters are also in such shape shifting forms.. One such folk lore is of the icchanti (the snake).
Something for later blogs to i guess.. but anyone interested in anthropology (the past of humanity which brings us to the future of our race), should try deeply to understand the presence of therianthropes in our past.