Meloncholy Equals Lycanthorpy

I came across this in a book I was reading, and it struck and I was able to confirm that it is an actual existing text and the information the book referenced about it seems to be accurate, though I was not able to find an example of the text itself online, there were several references to it, and its author.

There is a text known as the Al-Hawi which in Middle Age Europe was translated into Latin as Liber continens which was written by the Arab scholar Abu Bakr Mohammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi, and this text in its time was the largest and most comprehensive medical encyclopedia.

Within the Liber continens there is a section on melancholy, or lovesickness, which back in the day was viewed as an actual physical sickness. The part that is interesting on all this, is the fact that in the Al-Hawi, melancholy is likend to lycanthropy .

The Libers continens identifies amorous melancholy with lycanthorpy. Which drives its victim to act like a wolf.  First lovers seem to change in their physical appearance; their eyesight weakens, their eyes become hallow and without tears. Their tongues slowly dry up and pustules appear on it. Their whole body is parched and they suffer constant thirst; at this point they spend the day lying face down; on the face and tibias marks like dog bites appear and finally the victims roam through the cemeteries at night like wolves.   


This is something of an honorable mention, because I really could not find sufficient information about it, but it still struck my interest and I thought was worth bringing up. One of the reasons I did want to mention this one, is because I find that it does have some similar traits with more “modern” myths if you will. The first which had come into my mind was the Chubacabra.

The Palis is a potentially deadly creature of the Arabian Desert. They are what is known as a foot-licker, for the simple fact that at night when one is sleeping in the desert the Palis will come up and lick the soles of their feet until the blood is gone.  There is no known description of the appearance of this creature.

One of the other reasons I was interested in this creature, if you have not already guessed, was because of its connection to blood. I rather enjoy blood suckers, or drinkers of any variety.

The Palis is not known to be a very intelligent creature and can be easily tricked. One of the best ways to avoid an encounter with the creature is to always sleep in pairs when venturing in the desert, this way you and your partner can sleep with the soles of your feet touching and this will confuse the Palis. Like many demons salt can also be a deterrent for the creature.

Werewolf Transformation vs. Vampire Transformation

I was inspired to write this because I have been approached with this question on more than one occasion, and so I thought I ought to post an article about it, which will hopefully clear things up for people.  I have been asked more than once upon the ways in which one might become a vampire, as well if the methods used for becoming a werewolf might be applied to becoming a vampire as well. It seems people are perplexed over the fact that there are a few possible alternatives for the werewolf transformation, but that there is no such for vampires. So I am going to explain the differences between the transformation of werewolf and the transformation of the vampire and where one cannot become a vampire in the same way one can become a werewolf.

One important thing to remember is that the werewolf transformation is one of the physical body.  A werewolf is essentially a form of a shape-shifter.  A human that can physically take on the shape of another animal, that of course being the shape of a wolf. But it is also a temporary transformation, and what I mean by temporary is that the werewolf can revert back to their human form. They do not forever remain in wolf form, they can go back and forth between human and wolf.

With vampirism it is not a physical change, it is not the external body that undergoes the transformation. Though according to some accounts, there may be aspects of the body that alter slightly. In some lore hair and nails are said to grow longer, any mortal blemishes vanish and the body becomes perfection and flawless, but still there person remains more or less in the same body. The transformation of the vampire, is more of a transformation of the soul, for lack of a better word.  It is an internal transformation not an external one. The outside of the person does not change, but something inside of them undergoes the change. It is also a permanent transformation. Being that a person cannot go back and fort between being a human to being a vampire again. Once the transformation takes place there person remains than forever in the form of the vampire.

The other key differences and important thing to remember is the fact that werewolves are still living creatures. When a person becomes a werewolf they do not go through a death and rebirth process.

But vampires are among the undead. A vampire is a being that is no longer a living creature. And the cruciall part of becoming a vampire involves the physical death of the body. Than for the transformation to be complete, one must drink the immortal blood of another vampire so they can be reborn. Basically their mortal blood must be drained out of their body and than replenished and replaces with the vampires blood.

There is no possible substitute for this process.  A vampire must be sired.

This is not so with werewolves. For one thing in the werewolf transformation, there does not have to be that equal exchange of fluids. that is if one were simply bit by a vampire, they would not than turn into a vampire, they would have to ingest the vampires blood. But with werewolves, one does not have to feed upon the werewolf in anyway. In most folk lore, to simply be bit by the werewolf is enough to stimulate the change. Werewolves do not have to be sired, because that werewolf transformation does not require one to directly take something from a werewolf, there could be other alternatives in which one might stimulate the ability to shape shift.

Now there are some stories that say if after a person dies, if the corpse is not properly taken care of, and the proper rites not preformed over the body, they could come back as a vampire, but again this is not something an individual has control over. There is no getting around the fact that in order to make the vampire transformation, one must experience physical death.