All about Merfolk

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A guide to merfolk and a basic shifting method. Please see my full mermaid shifting method for in-depth on how to shift.

You will need the following items for this Spell
reading comprehension
will to learn

Casting Instructions for 'All about Merfolk'

(All info taken from my website, gathered by me over the years of me being in the nonhuman community.
What are merfolk?
Mermaids are semi-aquatic creatures, who are best known in sea tales and folklore. In a spiritual sense, merfolk are a type of fae, similar to faeries, elves, and water nymphs. In real life, Merfolk, despite having a scaled, fish-like tail, are mammals. Merfolk have adapted in many different ways depending on where they live, and merfolk shifters reflect this. For instance, a deep sea mer would be paler, have fangs,claws, and potentially bioluminescence, while a freshwater mer would have a darker, muddier tail to blend in with the murky opaqueness of a lake or river.
Types of merfolk
Akin to dragons, merfolk have different "breeds" or subspecies, based on where they live. This has forced them to develop certain adaptations. For example, an arctic mermaid would have a thick body and tail full of blubber to keep warm, and likely have the colours of a seal to blend in. Or, a tropical mermaid would be skinny but fast, ready to flee from any predator (if one were to attack).
These are the recognised types of mermaids by the merfolk community.
Deep sea merfolk
Deep Sea Merfolk reside deep below the ocean's surface. Their bodies are shifted to be much stronger than a humans, being able to with stand great depths and water pressure, without their bones and organs collapsing. In appearance, these mermaids are not the beautiful like tropical and open oceans typically are displayed, they have fangs, and claws, to help catch and eat their prey: fish. The Deep Sea Mermaid is pale in colour, with little to no sunlight getting to the depth they prefer in the ocean. Their eyes are specialised to see in the dark. Many deep sea merfolk may also opt to shift bioluminescence, for further sight. For a tail, they need a strong fluke, to be able to swim great distances.
Tropical merfolk
Tropical Merfolk have much brighter and flashy tails, often green, pink, or even yellow in colour. These bright colours allow them to blend in with the tropical fish and the coral around them. They aren't built for swimming great distances, so their tails are more decorative and flukes are often not as thick as an Open Ocean. They dwell in shallower waters and often in archipelagos (like Hawaii or the Great Barrier Reef's islands), however a tropical mermaid may also live in the amazon or around South America. Their diet consists of sea plants, fish, and fruits, as they shift to and from their merfolk forms on the islands and for the water.
Arctic merfolk
Arctic Mers are built to withstand the beyond freezing cold and harsh waters of the arctic or antarctic Thick layers of Blubber are shifted to allow for proper insulation, and as a result many arctic mers are chubby or overweight, as they need to be to survive in their habitat. Tail colours may be white, silvery, blue, purple, or even black and white with counter shading to help blend in. Flukes and fins must be thick and powerful to swim through currents. Due to the Arctic being home to many predators (Killer whales, potentially seals, and even polar bears in the arctic circle), these mers must be adapted to be fast or know how to defend themselves against their hungry neighbours. An Artic Mermaid's main diet is fish. A "mermaid" with a seal-shaped tail is no longer considered a mer, but instead a Selkie, which are creatures with many other myths and legends surrounding them.
Open Ocean merfolk
Open ocean mers are adept travellers and live in, well, the open ocean. They are also often called Traveller mers (although, tropical mers may also be "tropical travellers") and they are not home to any specific region. An open ocean mer may live in anywhere from the British Isles to the outskirts of Madagascar, or they may travel between multiple locations. Open ocean mers are often strong and have blue, purple, or black tails. Their tails may employ counter shading as camouflage. Their flukes are often shaped like a whale's or a dolphins to help them travel long distance without much drag. While in theory an open ocean mer could travel across the seas, in reality this task would be impossible.
Fresh water merfolk
Fresh water mers are mers who have chosen to live in lakes and rivers. Mostly green, brown, black, or maybe even blue. Many fresh water mers actually look rather murky and dark, or shiny to match the fish in the lake. For example, a mer who wishes to live in a lake filled with koi may shift a koi tail for camouflage. Most lakes and rivers aren't very clear, and the tails are a camouflage to blend in with their environment. Often, fresh water mers do not shift gills and rather just come up for air every so often.
Basic shifting method
Merfolk follow one of the most widely known shifting methods, which is the four-step method. Many merfolk seek out shifting due to a "call to the sea" similar to how avians experience a call to the sky. Mermaids who don't have this call often do not shift or give up. Another thing some mers believe is that they believe their shifting ability comes from their otherkinity, their past life or lives as a mermaid, and not from their current genetics.
The Fantasy or F-shift: in which the mer either designs their tail or finds the tail they had in a past life and draw it out or visualise it, making sure they know every thing about it.
The Phantom or Ph-shift: Some merfolk skip this step, however almost all do not. This is when you visualise and feel the tail but it isn't there. Like a mental trick, this shift allows you to feel like you are p-shifted without actually being p-shifted.
The Mental shift or M-shift: One of the most widely known shifts, merfolk use mental shifting to incorporate their mer side into their daily life, as once a mental shift is completed, it stays forever. M-flares are common and often drive the mer to run to water/attempt to p-shift even if they are not ready. Many believe that mental flaring is necessary for a successful p-shift.
The Physical or P-shift: The final step, when the mer actually shifts their tail onto the physical plane. The rarest shift and only a few mers are believed to have completed it by the community.
As i did for avians and dragons, I have conducted a few estimates based on my knowledge and using energy mapping.
Average time to go through the whole merfolk shifting process: At least 1 year to four years
% of people who give up after six months to a year: 74%
% of people who give/gave up who do not have a call to the sea: 89%
The following were found using energy mapping and cannot be proven, after all these are estimates.
# of merfolk who are undergoing the shifting process: 31,790
# of merfolk who have successfully p-shifted: 681
# of merfolk who have run off to the sea: 71
# of merfolk still alive at sea (not counting ones who may be "pureblood" and not shifters): 32