The Shapeshifting Witch: Summoning The Power Of Transformation

The Shapeshifting Witch: Summoning The Power Of Transformation February 14, 2020

Shapeshifting refers to the witches’ power to take on the spiritual attributes of another, whether it be animal, plant, spirit or human for personal and spiritual transformation.

Shapeshifting can bring transformation. Wolf and Women merging.
We can transform in our animal allies and other spirits for our spells and spiritual growth.

The Shapeshifting Experience

The process of intentional shapeshifting requires opening ourselves to the being into which we will transform. This is accomplished through modifying our own appearance, conjuring imagery of the spirit in our imagination, opening ourselves to the spirit through consciousness altering techniques and ultimately merging with the spirit so that we take on their energies.

Shapeshifting can be spontaneous when we are in trance, whether it be through deep meditation or other methods. When this occurs, the spirit has come forward because we need the medicine it brings. We can shapeshift during our journeys in the dreamtime as well.

The Witch As Shapeshifter: Bringer Of Medicine Or Evil Trickster

The witch as shapeshifter is an archetype found across cultures and times. In some of these accounts, the witch is the healer who shifts into different forms and bestows these powers onto those who need healing. In others, the witch is reviled as a deceptive manipulator, only out to dupe the innocent. Most folk tales have an element of truth in them. Such is the case with the stories of witches’ transformation into animals to work their magick and escape capture. The shapeshifting dyad of the legendary witch and familiar is part of the superstitions around witchcraft. The grain of reality in these stories is the witches’ inherent ability to adapt and survive through the power of transformation.

Fear Of Shapeshifting

Those who fear the witches’ powers of transformation told these stories to heighten fear of us. If we were not only cavorting with spirits, but also becoming them (whether they be rabbit, demon or otherwise), then we became even more suspicious. The likely basis of this superstition lies in the traditional healing practices of acquiring the attributes of an animal for healing, power and survival. The wise woman (or otherwise) would shift into the spirit, including those of humans, in order to predict the future, assure success in battle, and to infuse others with the associated spirits.

Practicing Shapeshifting

The imagination is key for practicing shapeshifting. Our witches’ minds are the beautiful portals to the world of spirits. Think of the mind as a vessel of energy within which we create forms. The more complete the form becomes in the mind, the more able we are to blend with the spirit we are shapeshifting into.

Archetypes And Oversouls

Most shapeshifting focuses on transforming into an oversoul of a spirit. When we morph into wolf, we do so by tapping into the archetypal force that is wolf. Using costumes helps to dive into this spirit, as does assuming their actions, sounds and habits. To blend with wolf for shapeshifting, move like one, dress like one, and then summon this oversoul in your imagination. This deepens your access to the archetype of the spirit, aligning us to their energies.

Invoking Spirits For Shapeshifting

Invoking a spirit for shapeshifting is often done through altered consciousness, such as ecstatic rituals, use of botanicals to induce trance, or even breathwork. While we can imagine that we are the spirit in our typical consciousness, it’s necessary to go deeper by altering our consciousness to truly become open to the spirit.

From this point, we can choose to seek their wisdom, healing or power through different techniques. The spirit can communicate with us without becoming absorbed into our own etheric being, we can permit them entrance into this or even allow them to blend into our corporeal bodies. Shapeshifting is but one possibility, so be clear in your communications with the spirit that this is your goal. State what attributes your will acquire and how you will use them. Set limits with the spirit by stating your boundaries.

Shapeshifting Preparation

Prior to beginning any shapeshifting witchcraft, ensure that you banish any harmful energies and engage in protection. Summon spirits that you are comfortable with. Most animals and plants are amenable to lending their spirits to shapeshifting. An excellent exercise for beginners is to practice shapeshifting in a beloved pet or favored animal.


Shapeshifting And Power Animals

The witches’ familiar, whether it is a beloved pet or an animal spirit guide, can be a wonderful spirit for merging with. A power animal can be a familiar, or another guiding spirit, sometimes coming for a short period of time to help with a specific need or a long-term companion who we work with for certain areas.

Shapeshifting into a power animal not only permits us to take on their abilities, but to deepen our connection with them. If elephant is a power animal for you, contemplate the powers of her medicine. She is wise, enduring and matriarchal. Perhaps she has come forward for you because you need these teachings for your own healing, or you may embody these attributes.

Transforming Into Wolf: A Shapeshifting Meditation

Wolf is powerful medicine, often bringing healing from feelings of unworthiness, codependence and isolation. Wolf is both independent and connected. Deeply associated with the primal source, transformation and the moon. A potent ally for the witch.

In this excerpt from a class in The Mystai, I guide students through a meditation for shifting into wolf.

Shapeshifting And Rebirth

The Wolf Mother is found in different versions across cultures and times. She is often also associated with rebirth. Through this reduction to our “bones,” the eternal essence of who we are, deep healing can occur.

Shapeshifting can allow us to experience spiritual rebirth because we strip away our false selves and inflicted facades when we acquire the spiritual properties of another being, be it animal, plant or otherwise.

Shapeshifting And Soul Retrieval

Shapeshifting can be a profoundly spiritual experience. Transforming into an animal or other spirit can bring their medicine into our etheric selves and our physical beings, for rebirth and soul retrieval.

Soul retrieval can lead to us shapeshifting back into who we were when we lost that piece of ourselves. The Rituals of The Sacred Cave includes descriptions and practices for releasing, retrieving and rebirthing with Hekate and her horde of spirits, animal, ancestor and botanical.

Hekate As Mistress of Shapeshifting

Hekate is the Mistress of Shapeshifting. In her form as the Triple Goddess, she teaches us that we always contain different shapes, whether they are different facades that we present in order to survive a difficult situation or to transform into an animal form to summon their specific attributes.

As Trimorphis, she is the Goddess of Multiple Dimensions representing different animal archetypes such as hound, wolf and serpent, or the three phases of the moon. The Triple Goddess also evokes the different stages of life, from youth to elder, representing the time weaving association with shapeshifting. To contemplate your own shapeshifting over time and situations, connect to Hekate in her role as Trimorphis. Petition Hekate to protect and bless your shapeshifting witchery.

Hekate’s Aviary: Shapeshifting Into Her Sacred Bird Allies

Shapeshifting into a bird spirit ally can allow us to acquire their medicine or to use their archetypal attributes in spells. This video is constructed to create a portal into the power of Hekate’s Aviary. Use it to connect with avian energy.

Shapeshifting And Time Weaving

When we shapeshift, we often walk the Wheel of Time, going forwards or backwards. This is because shapeshifting and time weaving are entwined. Both take us out of the physical world into the deeper one.

Transforming into either previous or future versions of ourselves is another type of shapeshifting. When we shift into a spirit, we enter into the Other World where all is possible, and everything is reduced to pure essence. Kairos is the time of this world; it is the circle that always leads back to the crossroads between the unseen world and the material one. When we shift back into an earlier version of ourselves for healing from the past, we walk this Wheel of Time.

Shapeshifting into future versions of ourselves allows us access to the knowledge and attributes of who we will be then. We walk forward in kairos time to reveal what may come. As we shapeshift we are also weaving time in our travels to the past and future, thus we shapeshift both ourselves and time.

Shapeshifting into future versions of ourselves allows us access to the knowledge and attributes of who we will be then. We walk forward in kairos time to reveal what may come. As we shapeshift we are also weaving time in our travels to the past and future, thus we shapeshift both ourselves and time.

Honoring Spirits When Shapeshifting

Our animal allies come to us to share their medicine. Allowing us to transform into their archetypal spirits honors them because they are being used for their true purpose. Approach your animal guides with the respect they deserve, and you will be well blessed by them. The same applies for shifting into plant spirits, angels or other guides. Expressing your sincerity through creating an altar, talisman or other token demonstrates your intentions. After a shapeshifting experience, offerings suitable to the spirit can be made.

Shapeshifting And Spellcrafting

Merging with the energy of an animal, plant or other spirit to amplify our spells is an excellent way to use their properties. Choose a spirit that symbolizes the power that you need to summon for the spell. If you are creating abundance in your life, for example, select an animal that speaks of the specific kind of prosperity you are manifesting. Rabbit is excellent for quick money spells, literally allowing the abundance to “hop to it.” For sustained prosperity, bear is excellent to shift into. Bear brings the power of dominance, adaptation and conversation, all things we need for prosperity over the long-term.

Shapeshifting: Letting The Transformation Begin

Shapeshifting allows us to take on the attributes of the spirits we identify with. Blending with their energy deepens our understanding of them while strengthening us. This is an intense, power and beautiful experience. Go gently into this practice if you are new to it. Approach the spirits with respect and you will be well blessed through your shapeshifting endeavours.

More Shapeshifting  Witchcraft

The Witch And The Rabbit: Moon Magick, Shapeshifting, Messages From the Dead And A Rebirth Ritual

Opening Up Your Personal Magic Circle: The Power of Vulnerability

2020 Is The Year Of The Witch

Modern Hekatean Witchcraft: Working With Animal Allies

Hekate: Goddess of Witches, Dark Mother And Keeper Of The Keys

Meeting the Wise Woman of Winter: Cave of The Cailleach Ritual of Renewal

Ted Andrews’ classic The Art of Shapeshifting is an excellent deep dive into this practice.

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About Cyndi Brannen
Cyndi Brannen, PhD, teaches and writes from the crossroads of personal development, spirituality and true magic. Founder of the Keeping Her Keys system of spiritual witchcraft, she shares the keys of The Sacred Seven laws using practical methods ranging from journaling to journeying. Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft explores Hekate from her ancient origins to our modern understanding through magic and personal development. True Magic: Unleashing Your Inner Witch, based on the sacred seven principles of witchcraft, is a practical guide to better living through witchcraft. Read Dr. Brannen's journey from shattered to whole, and the courses she offers at You can read more about the author here.

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