There are two types of shapeshifting; changing your light body in the astral to
power animal, & changing your physical form on the earth plane into an animal.
Perhaps this is where the lycanthropy legend actually began. Very adept shamans
are said to be able to change their physical human forms into that of animals.

There is also a middle ground where we should not miss. During certain ritual
dances, humans can be possessed by the animal spirit. Although they outwardly do
not become the animal, their body may contort or move in the fashion that the
animal is most comfortable. Vocalizations are also heard, such as the cry of the
Eagle, scream of the Falcon, etc. These power dances are not harmful, as long as
they are done within some type of magick circle. Inwardly, the individual melds
with the animal. The human’s sense of smell or sight may be heightened, there
could be increased dexterity in the limbs, or a feeling of savage power that the
animal may represent. It is exhilarating & enlightening.

In the astral, taking on the shape of the animal is not particularly dangerous.
I had only one glitch, & that was in the form of a panther, where I had to learn
to control the beast & not let it run away with my (or its) strength.

In order to keep accurate track of your astral studies, you should use your
notebook. Be sure to write the date, time, moon phase, weather conditions & your
own health at the time of the travel. Also indicate the reason for the exercise.