Ways to become a mermaid: spells, enchanting items, shifting, and costuming
Again, I spam, if you don't know where to start, try the relatively basic 'So you wanna be a mermaid...'
First I have to say, I have done research on this stuff, but a lot of this is also what I think about the various ways of becoming a mermaid. You don't have to believe everything, but remember that I'm not trying to waste my time by putting up fake stuff. :P
To me, a lot of this has to do with energy, your willpower, and how much effort you put into something. If you don't give these your all, you're never going to become a mermaid. When I did my spell, I concentrated as much as I could on being one with the ocean, to feel what it feels, to become a part of it. It takes dedication and directing your energy towards your goal, instead of fleetingly doing a spell and hoping it works, or not trying too hard with shifting, or giving up on the first try when nothing happens. You have to TRY and KNOW that you will become a mermaid! It isn't just energy and your desires, though- there's the magic (if you chose to do a spell) and the higher forces involved (if you call to them) that you should also be concerned about.
But! Why do things work out for some people and not others? I don't know the answer to that, but if you believe in the powers of fate/destiny/what have you, then there's an explanation, although some people might not like it. Whatever force is controlling the change from normal human to merperson has decided that you are not yet ready to become a merperson. Simple enough, if you believe it. However, everything has a reason for happening, so if something isn't working for you, take a good look at your life and what's going on. You might feel absolutely ready for something to happen, but maybe in reality you really aren't. This goes for spells and shifting- for spells the forces driving the magical change will decide when you're ready, whereas for shifting, your body will know it's ready to complete that change. That isn't to say you can't try shifting to push it along, but you might simply have to wait for your body/soul/whatever to think it's time, versus your longing mind. Or maybe, sadly, you aren't meant to be a merperson, but hopefully that isn't the case.
Most people seem to prefer spells. There are TONS of spells on the net, and it's hard to tell which are real/fake, which work or don't work, or are just crap.
While finding spells on the net is easy, you really have to be careful with what you're dealing with. Is the spell safe? I found one spell that recommends drinking lake water. Lake water is seriously nasty (which is why everyone says don't swallow it). There's pollution, human occupation, boats, the animals in the water, along with bacteria like E. coli- all of these things should be considered before you go bounce off and try a spell calling for such a thing. Another spell says not to shave your legs. I don't quite understand this one. I'm a guy and don't have to worry about that, but how does shaving your legs break a spell? If it sounds crazy or doesn't give a reason for why something happens, it might not be real or work.
You also want to look for something coherently put together. In other words, it's not a jumbled mess that you have to try to piece together- a spell doesn't have to be simple, but it should at least be easy to follow so you know what you're supposed to do and when. Needless to say, also be aware of the website's content. H20 is such a huge influence to those who want to be mermaids. If the site takes a lot from the show or other popular media (movies, books, etc), you might want to think twice because the author of the site isn't using actual facts, but stuff pulled from tv and other fictional sources.
Spells from books (like the one that changed me) are a better source, but again you really have to look at what you're dealing with. The type of book (made for kids versus an adult) and sources can help you figure out if the book is a good choice or not. The one I found, which was from the 40s/50s was a thick thing with many mermaid myths, stories, and info. The bibliography included a lot of older works from the 1800s. So something like that is a good shot. Old isn't always better, but older books seem to be a lot more open-minded versus the stuff of today, and include much older sources that might even be available today.
Making your own spell gives it extra power and energy because you're putting your heart into it, versus grabbing something someone else has made, so when you do that spell, the energy and heart you put into it means the more of those things going into the transformation you want. It's a simple matter of directing your energy and will to get what you want, thus the need for something original that has YOUR energy and desires put into it versus someone else's creation. That's why creating a spell is better, in a sense, but that doesn't mean it'll work 100% either. But, that also doesn't mean someone else's spell or a variation of it is going to work 100%. (However, I used my variation of the vaguely described spell in the book I found, so that isn't to say the spells WON'T work.) Spells seem to only work for certain people, like I mentioned. You can try different spells to see what happens, or if none seem to work, you can try another method.
You probly noticed that my spell didn't have words to it, and the one you create doesn't have to either. The spell I did was more about using your will and desires, sending everything you want to be out to whatever force changes you, and letting it know that this is what you want. That was why there was so much imaginative work involved, instead of powerful words. I don't know if one works over the other, but as long as you're putting everything into it, it shouldn't matter whether you use words or mental imagery.
The scenery around you does matter. I needed to create an oceanic atmosphere, so I had salty water (which produced a bit of a salty smell) and ocean sounds. Pictures, figurines, sounds, smells- these are all important towards the success of the spell. The more the area and yourself appear like what you want to be, or where the mermaid you want to be lives, the greater of a chance that it will work, because you're putting that much more energy into it (and it can also trick you into thinking you're at the ocean!).
Don't forget that the forces (gods, godlike but not godly nonhuman beings, fate, etc) changing you deserve recognition too, whether it's in your spell, or afterwards. Whether or not you know what you're calling out to (if you're calling to a force in your spell), you should be thankful to that force, and show your respect. Never forget what that force did for you, because it can just as easily take it away. If you're calling to a force you don't worship or hardly know, I would recommend getting to know that force. It probly doesn't need to be said, but you can't just go up to a force you hardly know and say, turn me into a mermaid, and then have it happen and be on your merry way.
But with all that talk about being successful, there's also the fact that while spells are expected to work the same way with everyone, they don't. Some are supposed to work instantly, others take days or even longer. While there are symptoms of the spell working (NOT side effects. Side effects denote something bad and unwanted as an effect of doing the spell. While that says that, sure the spell, just like your medicine, is working, it's the wrong term to use. Think about having the symptoms of the flu mean you're going to get the flu, and compare that to symptoms of a spell working means you're going to get your tail.), they can also mean, haha, tricked you. Symptoms of spells can be tricky. Did it work or did it not? I don't know why spells do this, and then you don't get your tail. SOMETHING was done right, but was something done wrong too?
Spells can be broken. That's common knowledge, and, I suppose, includes mermaid spells. I don't know if mine can be broken, or what has to happen in order to break it. I've read about a couple people who have lost their tails/powers and don't know why. The same forces that turn you can also take it away. Did you do something to upset those forces, or was there a part of the spell you didn't obey (like shaving your legs, even though that's pretty wild)? I don't know how breaking spells works, or if you can get back your tail after the spell broken. (If you do, share your knowledge!)
This one I don't know if I really believe. It seems to be the least preferred of the options. This way, you enchant something that will let you become a mermaid. Either you do a spell simply for the item to change you, or you do a spell for the item and for turning yourself into a mermaid, which ties you and the item to each other. But if you lose the item or take it off, you lose your powers and tail. It makes sense, yeah, but the thing is, if you're going to put all that energy and time into something that will turn you into a mermaid, but will screw you over if you lose it, why not just use that energy on yourself instead?
The goal of this is to physically be able to change your legs into a tail at will. This takes a lot of practice and can be really hard, but the results offer more control over when you can change, versus spells which focus on becoming a mermaid in water, and human on land (it seems no one has created a spell that lets you do something like having complete control, like with shifting). I don't know if anyone has fully succeeded with it, but I think it's a lot easier to get results. Once more, your energy and willpower is being channeled, but not into a spell to change you, but directly in your body, to change your legs into a tail. However, because you're trying to physically change your body without the use of something like magic, you really have to push at this and try very hard, very often, and don't give up. But the results come quicker, and eventually, you'll be able to change at will and never potentially lose your tail like with a spell. In other words, there are no restrictions on shifting aside from pushing yourself and not giving up.
The way to do this that is the easiest is to lay down wherever is comfortable, clear your mind (focus hard, meditate, whatever) and shove all your concentration and focus into changing your legs into a tail. You can do anything from simply trying to make your legs change, or do something more imaginative and see yourself as a mermaid swimming around and doing mermaid things, or imagine your legs changing little by little into a mermaid tail, which would hopefully happen in real life while you're imagining these changes. It seems really simple but like I said already, it takes a lot of time and dedication to get through this, but eventually (eventually being probly months or maybe longer from what I've read) you should get results. A full tail? That's the objective, but from what I've read, people get mermaid symptoms- they experience small changes or see things (an aura of a tail, for example) from attempting to shift, which is saying a lot more than spells ever do for most people.
There are other ways to shift aside from physically, like mentally or, while it isn't really a shift, dressing yourself up like a mermaid and putting yourself into a mermaid situation, like swimming or being in water. While these can prepare you beforehand for being a mermaid, or give you a taste of it, these shifts likely won't give the results you want, so if it's physical results you want, stick to concentrating on changing your legs into a tail and back again.
This is another thing I'm not too sure about. I don't have powers like controlling water or anything. The idea I assume once more came from H20, but it isn't stupid to think that mermaids should have powers, considering they're nonhuman beings and often seen as magical, mythical, etc. What kind of powers? You'd assume being able to control water, communicate with marine life (if you want to be Aquaman, the most useless hero), stuff like that. Spells should, logically, be able to give you powers IF the spell calls for that (a simple 'turn me into a mermaid' vs 'I will have X powers too'). I don't think shifting will give you powers because with that you're aiming for getting a tail and not focusing much on other things. Getting a tail through shifting might mean you have to work just as hard with developing powers, instead of simply gaining them through a spell.
Or maybe we don't have powers at all. :P
What really works?
Any of things CAN work, but for each you're taking a risk that they might not work, either because you're not ready, not meant to be a mermaid, whatever. But since they have different outcomes depending on which you do, like risking your tail/powers if you do a spell, you should take a good look at whichever method you choose. Spells seem easy and can get you personalized results (your tail color of choice, for example), but they don't work for everyone. Shifting takes time, but it has more promising results, and you don't risk losing your tail, but you also are unlikely to gain powers. Whichever you chose, you should stick with it. Jumping around is just fine if one has failed you, but you should put all your energy into one thing instead of throwing it around. If you do a spell, put some real, serious time and thought into creating your spell. If you don't create one, look around for a spell that has had results (giving people tails) and take note of what I mentioned above like making sure it doesn't call for anything crazy, and it's easy to understand. Personalizing that spell is fine, but remember if it's a spell that has had results, you don't want to change it too much or you might destroy whatever part makes it work.
When all else fails...
Costuming! It's SO EASY. Seriously, it will save you time! It might get expensive, but by making your own tail or by buying one, you can easily become a mermaid and go swimming as one. It might not give you exactly the results that you want, but at least you can legitimately say that when you swim, you're a mermaid. If you're interested, instead of me posting links, go search Google. There are so many wonderful sites with both cheap and expensive tails, or you find ways to make your own.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck! It really does suck that some people who really deserve to be merfolk don't get results when other people do, but hopefully one day everyone can achieve their dream.