Otherkin?

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by iBrian, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I've just had this subject reference in another site:

    What are the Otherkin, and how are they received in terms of spiritual ideas? Is it as much fantasy role-playing, or is there a very serious set of spiritual paths encompassed by the term?

    Simply asking, because I've not heard the term referenced before. :)
     
  2. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    So long as there have been stories about faeries, elves, etc. there have been people who think they might be at least partly those things. The same with werewolves and other typical "monster" creatures. I believe this "Otherkin" label is just a new catchall for these types.

    Ruth Montgomery, who was a prolific "automatic writer" who predated a lot of the fad for channelling, talked at some length about what she called "walk-ins" who were supposed to be people who were possessed by more evolved souls who had come back to Earth to try and do good works. Montgomery got involved in psychic stuff after doing an assignment on Jeanne Dixon, the psychic. Montgomery had started her career as a journalist but quickly switched over to producing a string of books on psychic and spiritual topics. She was quite popular in the 1970s and early 80s. She died in 2001.

    I think that Montgomery's "walk-ins" idea, along with the resurging popularity of faeries in the new age crowd, made this Otherkin idea much more likely to come about.
     
  3. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

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    Within the community in which I circulate, I know personally of several who think of themselves as dragons, fey, cats, and other critters not human. One guy, I know, folks think of as a dragon incarnate in human form only for this one lifetime; it's true, he does have trouble socializing well, and he does love fire. . . .

    Never heared such referred to as "Otherkin." I like the term.

    My understanding of this has been evolving now for several years. I think my current take on it is this:

    Western culture has been thoroughly indoctrinated--read "brainwashed"--in the idea that there is an absolute and objective reality and, further, that if something cannot be shown to be knock-on-the-table solid, if it is imaginal, it must not be real. Since the time of Descarte, science and religion have been relegated to two separate boxes, and neither is allowed to play in the other.

    One aspect of the New Age movement, the revival of witchcraft and the reawakening of ancient Goddess religions has been the rediscovery of the power of myth. I think it fair to say that modern culture has largely abandoned myth--unless one cares to argue that the vacuum has been filled by pop-heroes, rock stars, and movie icons. Classically, however, myth did what I do for a living--use a fictional framework to tell people about themselves. Myth creates a pathway into our deep subconscious, enabling us to connect with a Reality deeper than that which we experience in the waking world.

    Practitioners of the ancient mystery religions did not, for the most part, believe literally in Orpheus or Kore or Demeter or Hades. The evidence suggests that these were accepted as stories that guided people to a deeper truth, and an awakening of new understanding, illumination, and experience within. I'm thinking, too, of the many Biblical and Apocryphal tales supposedly written by Moses or Job or Elijah or Daniel. The authors circulated these with the names of well-known historical figures, and the practice at that time was widely accepted, even honored. It was a perfectly valid means for promoting the work's message. Only our recently arisen, hypercritical culture insists that either these claims MUST be literally true, or, since they obviously CANNOT be literally true, they must be lies deliberately perpetrated as literary hoaxes. I think the revolutionary author of The Book of Job (a brilliantly disguised attack on 5th-6th-century BCE priestly dogma) would have been shocked at that interpretation. In my occasional battles with Biblical fundamentalists, I bewail the fact that accepting Genesis as literal fact--something that could have been recorded on videotape had there been such at the time--performs a savage injustice to both Judaism and Christianity. If we see it instead as myth--myth lifted, incidentally, from ancient Sumer and with the serial numbers filed off, AND IF WE CAN GET PAST THE MODERN JUDGEMENT THAT MYTH EQUALS LIE--then the Genesis creation account becomes a pathway for those attempting to explore their own relationship with God on a deep and meaningful level.

    What does this have to do with Otherkin? Simply this. I feel certain, based on personal experience, that many "Otherkin" are involved, as Brian so nicely put it, in fantasy role-playing; they do it because it's fun, it's cool, their buddies are doing it, and it gives them that wonderful mystique of "I'm special and I know something you don't." I suspect that the vast majority of Otherkin fall into this group, especially among teenagers and young adults.

    But I also believe that many sincere and honest people take on the personnae of fantasy beings in order to explore and understand their own psyches. For them, being a "dragon" or a "cat in human form" or "one of the fey" becomes a very personal form of myth, and subsequently a tool for spiritual growth.

    I would also argue, in the same vein (that's for all those Otherkin out there who pretend to be vampires), that many of the creatures assumed by these people are essentially archetypes in the classical Jungian mold. Dragons tend to be powerful and magical protector/warriors, cats self-sustaining and independent, the Fey ancient and magical beings drawing upon deep Earth magicks. To connect closely with one of these is to connect with elements of our own deep subconscious, and this is an essential early step in training oneself in magic and in figuring out who and what we truly are.

    A few months ago, on this forum, I argued that whether or not a hypnotically regressed memory of a past life was objectively real or not was not the point. There are cases on record that appear to demonstrate the reality of past lives; the vast majority . . . there's no objective proof one way or the other. But it doesn't matter, since the memory of that past life, drawn as it is from very deep within a person's subconscious, emerges for a reason, one generally associated with that person's need for healing, forgiveness, or self-understanding.

    Is my friend mentioned above "really" a dragon? Objectively, no. On the other hand, I HAVE seen him project an extraordinary aura that includes vast, dragonish wings, and I have interacted with him, as a dragon, in trance-work and spirit journeys; on some level, in some reality, yes, he is a dragon. [It's amazing to watch babies interact with him; they appear to be fascinated by his "wings!"]

    Yet another example of my ongoing thesis that we do create our own reality!
     
  4. Winged Wolf

    Winged Wolf Therian, Psion, Mom of 2

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    No, it is not fantasy or roleplaying--it is deeply felt, and quite sincere. I'll do my best to explain further tomorrow, provided I don't get another message telling me this is an invalid thread. <lol>
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Sorry about that - sounds like a logging in error. If using your own computer, it helps to have the checkbox ticked when logging in, to stay logged in whenever you visit the site. Otherwise there is also the danger of being automatically logged out while composing a really long message, only for the post to be lost because you were not logged in...

    CTRL+A, CTRL+C are the friends of messages before sending. :)
     
  6. PersonaNonGrata

    PersonaNonGrata CODinside

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    who are you talking to? what happened? Is winged wolf an otherkin?
    dear mate! :D
     
  7. Winged Wolf

    Winged Wolf Therian, Psion, Mom of 2

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    Yes, and I had this long, detailed post typed out, and hit "submit", and it went bye bye... <lol>

    Anyhow, I figured the thread could use an insider opinion. In truth, being otherkin's more like being transsexual than it is a form of spirituality. Transsexuals feel that their body is the wrong gender--otherkin feel their body is the wrong species.

    There is no set belief system involved--'kin do not know why they are the way they are. Within the 'kin community, you'll find hundreds of discussions on the topic, all people speculating, and trying to figure out what 'kin-ness is, and what causes it. Some folks will hold to one idea with a powerful faith, others will confess to having no idea. Many 'kin have what seem to be past-life memories of being their kin-type. How this could be with such a creature as a faery or dragon, they don't know any better than you do--but they still remember.

    Sure, there are a few roleplayers and hangers-on at the fringes of 'kin society, but it's a mistake to think these folk are anything but a minority. In some corners of the web, anyone suspected to be pretending is immediately chased off with torches and pitchforks. <G>

    Awareness of 'kin-ness generally develops in early childhood. The vast majority of Otherkin know they're "different" very early on...a good number even know exactly what it is that makes them different, and only discover the otherkin community later on. I personally knew that I was "wolf-souled" as early as age 7 or 8. I didn't discover the therian community until I was in my mid-20s. My story's a very common one in the therianthrope community. It's not a matter of molding what they are to fit the template of the community, but of discovering that "hey, there are other folks out there who are like me...cool".
    Psychologists assure us that so long as our odd "beliefs" do not interfere with our overall happiness or ability to get along in society, we are not mentally ill. :D
    Or so several of them have said in public recently. (The television show "Animal Imitators" on TLC included a short segment by the therian community's own Coyote Osborne, who gave a very good showing).

    While there are a few folks who go to extremes of behavior, and body modification and the like, most otherkin look just like everyone else.

    Vampires are not really otherkin, IMO. By definition, otherkin are people who feel they are other than human in mind/spirit. Vampires just ARE different, perhaps that's why they've been swept under the otherkin umbrella. <G> They're not kiddies who like playing Lestat either, but I'll put off explaning all that lest the conversation become a tad too esoteric and metaphysical.
    (Contrary to media opinion, most vampires don't dress the part either, and certainly do not seek attention).

    Being otherkin means that you don't see what you expect when you look in the mirror--you don't necessarily understand human folk very well, and you probably don't behave the way other human folk expect, either...at least, not all the time. You learn to "pass", though...most of us learn how to "act normal" before we finish school. It just doesn't come naturally.

    If this is some sort of personification of our psyches, it's a powerful one--one that is maintained from our earliest memories to the time we die. People don't stop being Otherkin. Religious beliefs are comparatively transitory. Otherkin may have any sort of faith, and there are athiest 'kin as well, for the record. Some incorporate their otherkin-ness into their religion or spirituality--some don't.
    I hope this has shed a bit of light on the subject. :)
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hello Brian, and all.

    For those of you who are hunters of wild game, you may be aware of the "first kill first heart blood" ritual. Where I come from this ritual is sacrosant. The first time a hunter kills an animal (deer for example), he/she would field dress the animal and then bite into the heart of that animal, in order to obsorb the "spirit" of the animal.

    My first deer, I was expected to comply with this ritual, but I refused. When asked why, I said "I am the predator, and do not want the life blood of the prey running through my veins."

    Well, I lost some potential friends, but gained one or two others. My point is that what we take into ourselves does affect us. It changes us, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. We can become (or at least partially become), something other than self.

    Now on another note, I once suggested that past lives could theoretically be ancestral memories that current people experience, that is we remember what has been passed down from before in our genes. If so, why not remember the lives of ancestors that the Bible calls the "Giants of Old"? These were the "Sons of God" who took daughters of man for wife, the offspring of which always resulted in "different" types of people (mostly giants of great strength...but when dealing with two different races of beings...anything can happen). This phenomenon occurred three seperate times according to scriptures.

    Also, there is a real desease known I believe as Lupine (meaning wolf like in appearance), and people who have been anemic, and crave the iron in blood (the easiest to absorb).

    My own kid brother is tall and slender of build (but don't let him grapple with you, 'cause his grip is like a vise), but he has slight bobs on his ears that would make Mr. Spock of Star Trek jealous. Sounds an awful lot like a faerie Archer, don't you think? Maybe 1000 years ago, he would have been considered a freak of nature. Today, he is just thought of as a gentle Irish giant with what women call "cute ears"...oh my! By the way, his little girl has the same pointed ears...She such a beautiful little leprechan...

    I think we can become what we want to become, because we want it strongly enough. Some of it is from our past (deep past), but most of it is from our desire to be something other than what we are. We want to be different.

    my two cents

    v/r

    Q
     
  9. Winged Wolf

    Winged Wolf Therian, Psion, Mom of 2

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    I won't discount what you're saying, but I will say that most Otherkin spend a lot of time learning to accept what they are.
    That's an important lesson for anyone, of course. But it doesn't seem in keeping with a desire to become something else.
    Of course, the vast majority of 'kin desire to be physically what they are mentally, but since that isn't really possible, I'm not sure that's the same issue.
    Life isn't better or easier as 'kin, quite the contrary.
    I can't quite see why anyone would want to be otherkin.
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hello Wolf, and welcome!

    I wouldn't mind having an otherkin living next to me and mine. But then, I wouldn't mind sharing my land with elves either, as long as their pranks were kept light and in good fun for all, including the "target"...plus they'd better be willing to get as good as they give. :D

    Seriously, I think all of us have an "otherkin" inside, of some kind or another. I think it help protect us in crisis, then hides away until the next time needed. Maybe some folk just want that part of them to be out in the open all the time, unfettered. The pitfall might be that an "otherkin" spirit might encroach upon the lives of others. That would be wrong no matter how one looks at it.

    my two cents.

    v/r

    Q
     
  11. Winged Wolf

    Winged Wolf Therian, Psion, Mom of 2

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    This thread might help shed a bit more light on the issue:
    http://www.werelist.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2651

    Ironically, it's talking about that very idea. ;) It doesn't seem people find it too terribly likely, though. Personally, I favor the notion that therianthropy (and kin-ness) is due to a combination of factors--neurobiological, spiritual, environmental, etc.
    Not everyone has that combination...in fact, few do.
    Don't confuse a person's kin-side for their Id. It's not a repository for negative feelings or behaviors that a person doesn't normally feel they can express.

    I can't imagine that my wolf side would be a whole lot of help in most crises, unless the crises involved rapidly fleeing the scene. <lol> Wolves are generally timid creatures, contrary to popular myth. While many otherkin identify as creatures of myth, therians identify as real animals, not mythological ones.

    It might come in handy if I ever really need to catch a rabbit with my bare hands.

    I'm not entirely certain of your other concern...how would an otherkin spirit encroach upon another's life? And why would it be any more wrong for them to do so, than for someone non-kin to do so?
    Some fae kin do engage in "glamour-bombing"....this is a generally harmless behavior designed to knock people out of their daily routines...usually via art. Leaving bits of artwork in unexpected places (not vandalism, of course, but bits of paper with decorations, or other media, or things such as chalk drawings--that kind of thing) is a common form.

    Is this wrong? If so, why?
     
  12. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hello Wolf,

    No, I meant if people used their "otherkin" persona as an excuse to intimidate or otherwise badger others. I think "Abuse" would be the right expression. That doesn't hold water. In fact if would bring out the "man" in me, with extreme predjudice.

    Otherwise, I'm really just a (I don't know what I am, I never thought of it). I'm just a me, I guess. I never thought to consider what other part I might hide inside.

    v/r

    Q
     
  13. Winged Wolf

    Winged Wolf Therian, Psion, Mom of 2

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    I think there are a few who may engage in intimidation via 'being freaky', but I expect that's more an action based in resentment of rejection...it's frowned on in the 'kin community. I'd compare it to the sort of thing Aleister Crowley used to do...
     
  14. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Thanks for the further explanations, Winged Wolf - and thanks also for trying again when the first post was lost. :)
     
  15. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    Ok this thread is very interesting to me. My whole life I have been fascinated with wolves almost to the point of obsession. I even look at people based on their pack order and base my reaction to them with that same mindset. I read anything I can get my hands on regarding these animals. I spend time at Wolf Haven International which l am blessed to live so close to. Their choruses give me such a thrill that I am almost hypnotized.
    I have done some fictional writing on them. I feel an affinity with them that I dont feel with most people.

    Is this what your talking about?
     
  16. Winged Wolf

    Winged Wolf Therian, Psion, Mom of 2

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    It's hard to say...being otherkin is more than a fascination with a certain type of animal or being. You ARE that being inside.
    Do you see yourself as a wolf wearing "human clothes"? Do you wish you had your own four legs and tail back? :)

    In some cases, a person's inner animal isn't even necessarily the one they would WANT it to be. They might have a different animal that they admire more, or would want to be--but you are what you are, and can't change that.
     
  17. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    I dont know if I feel that Im a wolf wearing clothes.. I have had dreams to where I'm a wolf looking through the eyes of one. I do not wish I had 4 paws and a tail mostly because they are horribly mistreated by humans. lol
     
  18. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    I have never heard of otherkin before so I have a couple of questions. I am going to try and think of something my inner man would be instead of a man but the only thing I can come up with right now is when wearing a halloween costume or the like and I see myself as that instead of a man. And at particular moments I DID feel I was whatever costume I was wearing (behind the mask).

    The only thing I have actually seen myself as, is a spirit flying high above the the earth, but more like a man than a bird because I was higher than birds fly and travelled faster than birds. This has happened in driving the interstates, dreams and just day dreaming and more or less in thoughts, but has also seemed real.

    1) Can you remember a certain age you felt this?
    2) Is it something that a person is born with?
    3) Is there something at one point that may have influenced this otherkin to be?
    4) Does the otherkin come and go or is it always there?

    Thanks for answering if you want to.
     
  19. Winged Wolf

    Winged Wolf Therian, Psion, Mom of 2

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    You mean the earliest? I really don't remember, to be honest with you. I can point to therian traits I had as early as kindergarten, but I couldn't tell you when I began to actually notice them and think about it. The first diary entry I ever made, around age 9 or 10, mentions it.

    Most of the community believes that it is.

    Not that stands out in my mind. I grew up with a pet dog in the house, but so do a lot of other people. <G> And we got a cat when I was 3.

    Always there. I'm a shifter, though...this means I can voluntarily take on the mindset of my theriotype (kin-type, inner self). This could be compared to some shamanic shapeshifting practices, and also to clinical lycanthropy (though the latter is not controlled). This ability comes naturally to therians. I wouldn't say I'm ever in a "completely human" mindset, but I can shift more toward the wolf, or away from it.
     
  20. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Thanks Winged Wolf. I believe you and in some way I do relate, I just dont know what to say from here:) .

    I wonder though, are you ok with it being this way? I mean, if you had the choice would you rather be a wolfe to see for sure. Or would it be better if you could just try it and still come back to being human if you did not like it.?

    That is is all, I am not trying to figure it out or question it senseless, but it is interesting to me because this is the first time I heard of it.
     

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