In many Native American tribes, Skin Walkers are a form of were-creatures. Shamans may shape-shift into a werewolf (or other creature) wolves were chosen manly because a wolf can travel far distances in less time, they’re also known as Yee Naaldlooshir meaning those that trot with it.
At times the shifter needed the animals’ skin in order to shape-shift others didn’t need the animal’s pelt.
Skin-walkers may attack people hoping to keep themselves secret. They are described as agile, fast, and impossible to catch. Legend has it that skin-walkers can read human’s thoughts. They can speak in familiar voices or imitate an infant’s cry to lure victims out of safety. They also used charms to instill fear, like beads made from human bones.
Spiritual Weres are also known as Totem animals. There are spiritual helpers; the human takes on the animals qualities in their own life. A wolf for example is loyal and devoted to its pack; a human would imitate those qualities. Modern spiritual shape-shifters wish to add their spirit animal into their own psyche.
There are ancient exercises to help you find you’re Totem animal. Most people find their spiritual animal in dreams.