Celtic Shape-Shifting
Chapter 15, By Oak, Ash, and Thorn by DJ Conway

There are a great many Celtic legends about the power of shape-shifting.
These stories are all written as if the shape-shifter actually turned
her/himself into another creature or person. Of course, physically
speaking, this is not true. The human body does not transform into an
animal form or take on another's appearance.
Then what is shape-shifting? This shamanic talent is the assuming of a
certain animal's characteristics so closely that the shaman axhibits
that animal's traits, talents, and behavior patterns, thus
subconsciously reminding people of that animal...
A shaman would practice shape-shifting for several reasons. Perhaps
she/he needed the specific abilities of a particular animal for a period
of time, such as the sharp eyesight and awareness of the eagle, the
speed of the hare, the tracking of the hound, the strength of the bear,
or the cunning of the fox. By adopting the consciousness of a particular
animal, the shaman projects her/himself outside normal human awareness.
This makes the shaman able to look at human actions and events from a
detached, very different viewpoint, and thus able to see things from a
different perspective. This often makes for clearer, more accurate
decisions and information.