The Lycian Sanctuary

Online since 1998


Lycian vs. Lycan:  Clearing Things Up

We are human beings and we take the "wolf" as a worthy model of behavior and our "totem/power animal." We may dream we become wolves and/or astrally project as a wolf, but there is absolutely NO physical transformation. Dreams are dreams, no more.

Our tradition, which is called "Lycian," is one of many traditions in the Wiccan religion and it has the wolf, our totem animal, as a primary focus in many of our rituals, both secret and non-secret.  This has been misconstrued in a number of important ways which has linked us, by some, with "Lycans."  Below are explanations of what Lycian Wicca is and isn’t in relation to these misconceptions.

LYCIAN:  It means "wolfish." "Lyc-" comes from the Greek language for "wolf" and "-ian" is the standard English ending meaning "of" or "pertaining to." 

WHY IT’S LYCIAN:  The Tradition identifies strongly with the wolf as a totem/power animal.  We study its nature and apply the principles of family, loyalty, discipline, pack (a.k.a. coven) dynamics etc. where useful.

LYCAN:  From Wikipedia here:  Lycan is the name of a fictional race in the movie "Underworld" and its sequel "Underworld: Evolution." In the films, they have the ability to transform into bipedal creatures, part-wolf. They can be seen as a variation on the idea of werewolves and the term lycan is derived from the Greek "lycanthrope" or lycanthropy. In the films, lycans are opposed by "vampires", again a variation on the traditional vampires.

WHY IT’S NOT LYCIAN:  Let’s take a closer look.  This is a fictional creation from a sci-fi movie.  Please note: "fictional."  I’m sure the special effects are especially cool for those looking to identify with something unique and outside the normal, boring, human realm.  But it’s not reality, especially NOT OUR REALITY.  It’s a movie, using the folklore idea of the shapeshifting werewolf and updating it to modern times.  The Lycian Tradition does NOT teach that we have the ability to shapeshift our physical form, or that members of such a race exist and we really don’t care what any would-be vampires think about us.  ;)

OTHERKIN: From Wikipedia here:  Subculture made up of people who consider themselves non-human or having a connection to a mythical archetype in some way, usually believing to be mythological or legendary creatures.

WHY IT’S NOT LYCIAN:  It’s an interesting thought, however, Lycian Wicca does NOT teach that we are anything other than fully human.  If you want to consider yourself personally Otherkin and practice Lycian Wicca, that’s not our call, but the "otherkin" concept is irrelevant to our faith.  So please, don’t attribute it to what being Lycian is all about, because it’s not.

WEREWOLF: From Wikipedia here:  A werewolf (also lycanthrope or wolfman) in folklore is a person who shapeshifts into a wolf or wolflike creature, either purposely, by using magic, or after being placed under a curse.

WHY IT’S NOT LYCIAN:  You’ve already seen the disclaimers of “we don’t physically shapeshift.”   We do believe that we can take on the appearance of a wolf in the dream state, as you can be just about any form in a dream, if you learn the technique for controlling your dreams. (See: "Lucid Dreaming.")  We don’t need anything other than being human to do this, and we don’t believe that doing so is a curse.  Please note: this is an astral mask, a dream persona, not a biological transformation.

I hope the above has helped clear things up.  If you have comments, or questions, please feel free to Email me.  If you come across any of these misconceptions in a forum, discussion, etc., I would appreciate a heads-up so I can correct it.  Thanks!  You’re also free to post a link to this page for informational purposes.

Lycian Wiccan Priestess