From the abundant records and traditions dealing with the curious belief that certain men and women can transform themselves into animals I have collected a number of instances and examples which throw fresh light on the subject both from the point of view of folk-lore and occultism. The causes of transformation are various : contact with a wer-animal, touching what he has touched, wearing an animal skin, rubbing the body with ointment, slipping on a girdle, buckling on a strap, and many other expedients, magical and otherwise, may bring about the metamorphosis. Removing the skin, burning it, or piercing it with the stab of a knife, or the shot from a gun, so that blood is drawn, are among the best-known methods for causing the human shape to be resumed, but the stab should be on the brow or between the eyes, and the bullet should be made of silver and is all the better for having been blessed in a chapel of St. Hubert, otherwise the attempt to break the enchantment may fail. The penalty for being a wer-animal is death, but sentence is not passed until after some ordeal has been gone through, such as dipping the finger into boiling resin, innocence being established if the finger be drawn out unhurt. Any wound inflicted on the transformed animal is simultaneously inflicted on the humanbody, and in many other characteristics the nature of the wer-animal is similar to that of the witch or wizard.
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