Judge Ri: Episode 2

BAILIFF: All rise. The case of The Thaumaturgid Academy of the Theleturgically Gifted versus Willawyn Mourning Dove, the Honorable Judge Ri, Prince of Chaos, King of Tentacles, and Chief Boodler presiding.

(All rise. JUDGE RI grins maniacally.)

BAILIFF: Your Honor, I present the plaintiffs, Lord Nullturgid and Lady Odratta, High Priest and Priestess of-

JUDGE RI (interrupting BALIFF): Thank you. I am already well acquainted with these people. (to PLAINTIFFS): And what is all this about again?

LADY ODRATTA (a magewomon of size wearing enough patchouli to gag the Goat of Mendez): This traitor is unworthy to take up space!

JUDGE RI: Who, Lord Nullturgid?

(LORD NULLTURGID [a thin, weedy mage wearing ceremonial regalia that weighs more than he does] glares at JUDGE RI and mutters under his breath.)

JUDGE RI: I couldn’t hear that, Lord Nullturgid. Would you care to repeat that?

LORD NULLTURGID: I curse you to the darkest depths of the Stygian abomination of the Lovecraftian-

WILLAWYN (a pale, spastic girl-mage with a perpetual nervous tremor wearing a simple black robe): Pleae, my Lord, no!

(WILLAWYN leaves the defense box and throws herself at LORD NULLTURGID’S feet.)

JUDGE RI: Hee, hee, hee. That is the stupidest curse I’ve heard since the soundtrack of Battlefield Earth!

LADY ODRATTA: Your Honor, as you can see, this – girl – does not have the discipline, dignity, or deportment it takes to be a mage. She is a sniveling nuisance who must be expelled and declared Anathema in the sight of all the Awakened.

JUDGE RI: Oh, really? You mean she does not have the discipline, dignity, or deportment to curse a judge in his own courtroom?

(LADY ODRATTA glares at JUDGE RI.)

JUDGE RI (to LADY ODRATTA): I take that as a yes. (to WILLAWYN): Please get off the floor and return to your seat. As you can see, these two twits have no power to curse me – or anyone else, for that matter.

(WILLAWYN chokes back a giggle, stops trembling for the first time in her life, and runs back to the defense box.)

JUDGE RI (to WILLAWYN): Since the plaintiffs are not bright enough to explain this case, perhaps you can.

WILLAWYN: I am to be expelled from the Th-Thau- (She bursts into tears, unable to finish her sentence.)

JUDGE RI: It’s OK. I already know the name of your school. You don’t have to choke yourself on all those empty syllables.

(WILLAWYN turns red with anger.)

WILLAWYN: Your Honor, I may be unworthy, but I have sworn to defend the honor of the Academy, even unto death!

JUDGE RI: You poor deluded child, how can you defend the honor of an insitution that clearly has none?

WILLAWYN: I’m sorry, Your Honor, but I have to do this.

(WILLAWYN pulls a bugle out of her voluminous sleeve and blows it. The Noise of Doom erupts, forcing LORD NULLTURGID, LADY ODRATTA, the BAILIFF, and JUDGE RI to the ground. They all lie prone on the floor, not moving. WILLAWYN tiptoes over to JUDGE RI, still clutching the bugle. WILLAWYN kneels down, bending over JUDGE RI as if to close his eyes. JUDGE RI grabs WILLAWYN by the sleeve of her robe, flipping her onto her back. The bugle flies out of WILLAWYN’S hand. While holding WILLAWYN down with one hand, JUDGE RI snatches the bugle with his other hand, holding it out of WILLAWYN’S reach. JUDGE RI pulls WILLAWYN to her feet.)

JUDGE RI: You blow very well, my dear.

WILLAWYN: Thank you, Your Honor. Please allow me to attend to my Lord and Lady-

(The BAILIFF stumbles to her feet, groaning and holding her head.)

BAILIFF: What in Holy Hades was that?

JUDGE RI: That was Willawyn, on bugle. I have confiscated it as…evidence.

BAILIFF: A wise choice. The child is even more tone-deaf than you. Where’d she go, anyway?

(JUDGE RI and the BAILIFF look around, but find no trace of WILLAWYN. Suddenly, a high-pitched scream erupts from a corner. JUDGE RI and the BAILIFF go the corner, and find WILLAWYN on the floor, crouching over the bodies of LORD NULLTURGID and LADY ODRATTA.)

WILLAWYN (covering her face and crying): I killed them!

(The BAILIFF hauls WILLAWYN to her feet, opens a bottle of mead, and puts it in WILLAWYN’S hand.)

THE BAILIFF: Here. Drink this. All of it.

JUDGE RI (to BAILIFF): Are you sure that’s a good idea? She’s underage, and that mead was made by the Pirate Queen herself.

BAILIFF (to JUDGE RI): If you were the student of Lord Nullturgid and Lady Odratta, wouldn’t you need a drink?

JUDGE RI (shuddering): I’d need the entire keg!

BAILIFF: I rest my case. (WILLAWYN drinks from the bottle and stops crying. Once the courtroom is quiet, the BAILIFF kneels down and looks at the bodies.)

BAILIFF: Eew, yuck!

JUDGE RI: What’s wrong?

BAILIFF: Their eardrums exploded.

(WILLAWYN puts down her empty mead bottle.)

WILLAWYN: I’m sorry, Your Honor.

JUDGE RI: I hereby sentence you to one nose lick for apologizing too much.

(JUDGE RI licks WILLAWYN’S nose. WILLAWYN purrs and hugs JUDGE RI.)

JUDGE RI: You LIKE getting your nose licked???

WILLAWYN (still hugging JUDGE RI): Mrrow. Prrr. Squeak!

JUDGE RI: HELP!

(Fade to black).

Judge Rialian: Episode 1

LIVE FROM OTHERKIN TV:

The Bailiff:

Order in the court! The Honorable Judge Rialian, Prince Righteous, Defender of the Royal Throne, HOPE of the Realm, is now presiding!

Plaintiff: Lady Taffy Brightstar of Willowood Defendant: Rowan al’Thandor, alleged Dandelion Mage

The Plaintiff is suing the Defendant for $93 million for turning her crabapple trees into Dandelions and making wine from said flowers without giving her a share of the profits.

Judge Ri: What’s the problem?

Taffy (a small, rather rotund elf who resembles a ball of dough): He’s the evil Dandelion Mage, he is, he is! He turned all my crabapples into dandelions!

Judge Ri: And the problem is? (raises one eyebrow)

Taffy: He made wine and did not give me any of the profits realized!

(Rowan groans and shakes his head).

Judge Ri hands Taffy a slice of Brie: Here’s some cheese to go with your whine.

(Everyone groans).

Rowan (a handsome young dragon with a roguish grin): Your Honor, it was at Lady Brightstar’s request that I made the Dandelion Wine for her. All profits were to be split 50-50.

Judge Ri (to Taffy): Is that true?

Taffy: Yes.

Judge Ri: So, what’s going on here?

Rowan: We broke up, that’s all, and she went off her rocker.

Taffy: Your Honor, I am suing this evil Dandelion Mage for pain and suffering and damages inflicted…

Rowan: Well, I am countersuing for…

Judge Ri: Enough, both of you.

(Taffy and Rowan keep arguing and screaming).

Judge Ri: Don’t make me come down there.

(They both yell louder and start throwing things at each other).

Judge Ri: All right, that’s it!

He descends from the bench, grabs them both, and gives each a sloppy, resounding lick on the nose.

Taffy and Rowan: AAAAIIIEEEEEEE!!!! (They run out of the courtroom still screaming).

Bailiff: That wraps it up for today’s episode of Judge Ri! See you next time, when we have the divorce case of The Bondage Fairy who was kept in captivity by a band of Elves and liked it!

You May Be Wight

(to the tune of “You may be right” by Billy Joel, obviously).

Friday night I crashed your gather
Saturday I said I’m sorry
Sunday came and raised you up again.
I was only having fun
Wasn’t biting anyone
And we all enjoyed the barrows for a change

I’ve been stranded in the twilight zone
I fell through Zandru’s Hell alone
Even rode an elvensteed to the moon.
And you told me not to fly
But I managed to survive
So you said that only proves that I’m a fey.

You may be right,
I might be Faery….
But it just might be an otherkin you’re looking for.
Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be one for all I know
But you may be wight

Remember how I found you you there
Alone in that faery cairn.
I’d have asked you for a smoke, but you were wyld.
You were lonely for a man
I said take me as I am
‘Cause there wont be any of those here for a while.

Now think of all the weres you tried to
Find some wolf to satisfy you
I might be as crazy as you say
If I’m crazy then it’s true
That it’s all because of you
And you wouldn’t want me any other fey

You may be right,
I might be Faery….
But it just might be an otherkin you’re looking for.

It’s too late for flight
It’s too late for changelings
You may be one for all I know
But you may be wight

You may be right,
I might be Faery….
But it just might be an otherkin you’re looking for.

Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be one for all I know
But you may be wight
You may be one but you may be wight
You may be one but you may be wight

50 Ways to Host Your Brothers

(tune of 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon)

“The problem is that you lack a head”, she said to me.
“The answer is easy if you take it logically.
“I’d like to help you in your struggle to be me,
“There must be 50 ways to host my brothers….”

She said, “It’s really not my habit to include,
“And furthermore I hope my residents won’t be lost or mixed with you.
“But I’ll reveal myself, at the risk of being a brood,
“There must be 50 ways to host my brothers–50 ways to host my brothers…

“Ya just split down the back, Jack
“Make a new man, Stan
“Y’don’ need to destroy Roy
“Just get into me–
“Hop on the bus, Gus
“Ya don’ need to discuss much–!
“Just squeeze in with me, Lee
“And we can be three…”

“Ooh, split down the back, Jack
“Make a new man, Stan
“Y’don’ need to destroy Roy
“Just get into me–
“Hop on the bus, Gus
“Ya don’ need to discuss much–!
“Just squeeze in with me, Lee
“And we can be three…”

She said “It grieves me so to see you lack a brain,
“I wish there were something I could do
“To make you live again.”
and I said that I appreciate that
and “Would you please explain about the 50 ways–?”

She said, “Why don’t we both just sleep on it tonight
“And I believe in the morning you’ll begin to see the light.”
And then she channeled me and I realized she probably was right,
There must be 50 ways to host your brothers.
50 ways to host your brothers…

“Ya just split down the back, Jack
“Make a new man, Stan
“Y’don’ need to destroy Roy
“Just get into me–
“Hop on the bus, Gus
“Ya don’ need to discuss much–!
“Just squeeze in with me, Lee
“And we can be three…”

“Ya just split down the back, Jack
“Make a new man, Stan
“Y’don’ need to destroy Roy
“Just get into me–
“Hop on the bus, Gus
“Ya don’ need to discuss much–!
“Just squeeze in with me, Lee
“And we can be three…”

Along comes a Faery

Every time I think that
I’m the only one who’s lonely
Something comes to me
And every now and then
I spend my time at song and swords
And curse the faults in me

And then along comes a Faery
And does it want to give me kicks and be a mystic click
And give me pick of stories
Or maybe rather gather tales from all the days of tribulation
No one ever sees
When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch

When vague desire is the fire
In the eyes of faes whose sickness
Is the games they play
And when the masquerade is played
The neighbor folks make jokes
At who is most to blame today

And then along comes a Faery
And does it want to set me free and
Let me see reality
From where they got my name
And will they struggle much
when told that such a tender touch of hers
Will make them not the same
When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch

And when the morning of the warning’s passed
The gassed and flaccid dreams
Are flung across the stars
The psychodramas and the traumas gone
The songs have all been sung
And hung upon the scars

And then along comes a Faery
And does she want to see the stains,
The dead remains of all the pain
She left the night before
Or will their waking eyes reflect the lies
And make them realize
Their urgent cry for sight no more
When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch

Sweet as the punch
Sweet as the punch
Sweet as the punch
Sweet as the punch

Cho-Ku-Rei

(from Yesterday by the Beatles)

Cho-Ku-Rei,
Dai-ko-mio Raku Shonen-Fe.
Gnosa Kryia Zonar Tsuriai.
Om So-la-kyu, Cho-ku-rei.

Sei-he-ki,
Halu Rama Iava La-Ra-See–
Shanti Teser’tien Hyo-o-ki.
Harth Cho-ku-rei Om Go-She-Ki.

Hon-Sha-Ze-Sho-Nen, Tian-ta, Sereasin.
Shanti Neresta, Setana Om Cho-Ku-Rei.

Cho-Ku-Rei,
Dai-ko-mio Raku Shonen-Fe.
Gnosa Kryia Zonar Tsuriai.
Om So-la-kyu, Cho-ku-rei.

Hon-Sha-Ze-Sho-Nen, Tian-ta, Sereasin.
Shanti Neresta, Setana Om Cho-Ku-Rei.

Cho-Ku-Rei,
Dai-ko-mio Raku Shonen-Fe.
Gnosa Kryia Zonar Tsuriai.
Om So-la-kyu, Cho-ku-rei.
hmmmm-m-mmmm-m mmmmm-m-m

Long Lonesome Road to Old Texarcadia: A Country&Elvish song

Not exactly a filk, but I’m sure it can be sung to *some* Johnny Cash song or other trucker’s favourite.

Well it’s a looong, lonesome road, down to old Texarkadia…
Can’t seem to get nothing, on this here old radia…

Been hauling this load, for ten thousand stadia,
at the end of the road, well, I got something to say to ya….
Well, they said that Dun Ailinne was pretty darn big,
Nigh as big as the wheel on the Dagda’s own rig, …

But that was a long time ago…
Nothing lasts for me, now, don’t y’all know,
Yeah, I had all the lady I’d ever seen yet,
And we parted one day that I’ll never forget…

“Yeah, I’m drivin, I’m drivin, that Elven Express,
Gonna find me some diesel damsel in distress….”
Ain’t had a clean shirt since the Castle of Glass,
and if I had one right now, I could wipe my own…
….Windshield.

Yeah, I ain’t seen my homeland in three thousand years,
That’s one for each tooth on these sixteen gears…
Got my neon Dana up on the dash board,
My girlfriend waits tables and washes the Ford.

Well, I’m drivin’, I’m drivin, that Elven Express,
Three beds of Fianna, that’s my home address:
A dotted white line, that’s my highway path:
got the gas and the time, but I can’t do the math…

Yeah, the wheels are still rolling, the tanks I did fill,
Got a chrome Awen screwed to the top of my grille,
And if that ain’t enough to keep me on the road,
got a jug of cold coffee, and a face full of woad…

It’s a long lonsesome road, down to old Texarkadia,
Got a song for my lady, on this here old radia
Gonna buy us a house, and a big shiny car,
And we’ll both come no more, into old Ballynar.

The Real Elf Shady

(With Apologies to Eminem and blame to Rialian. Don’t kill me Kyrin!)

May I have your mead cup please?
May I have your mead cup please?
Will the real Elf Shady please get drunk
I repeat, will the Real Elf Shady please get drunk?
I think we’re gonna have some entertainment here…

Ya’ll act like you ain’t never seen a toxic elf before
Laughing all on the floor like Cel, Like Esh just ran through the woods,
chasing each each like every year before, shakin ass on the way to the showers
It’s the return of the.. “Dude, wait, gimme more..”

He just drank what I think he did, did he?
Then Rialian said abandon all H.O.P.E
Rialian’s pet cliche, almost printed on cards
Elven women love the toxic one
“Toxic elf, I worship him, look at him, walking around
talking about who knows what, drinking who knows what,
cursing at gods know who…”
“Yeah, but he’s so loud though”
Yeah well, he the first thing you hear in the morning
And the probably the last thing you hear at night
Sometimes, he’s all you can hear in the camp,
Sitting by the fire with a fork of doom
“Did I get that drunk, did I get that drunk”

And if we’re lucky, we’ll get to see it again
And there’s a message behind all this scarasim
But we just aint’ figured out quite what it is

So of course we laugh it up and drink by the fire
by the time midnight rolls around
we’re all gonna be staggering about
“We ain’t nothing but elves and others” well, one if us is
Louder and harder than all the rest
But he’s one of us so we put up with him and tehre’s no reason for him not to leave when
We all sometimes feel like he feels
Everyone grab your cup, sing the chorus and it goes

(Chorus, x2)
I’m Elf Shady, yes the real Shady
All you other Elf Shadys are just imitating
So won’t the Real Elf Shady please get drunk, please get drunk, please get drunk.

The Very Model of an Elven Individual

MIAREN:
I am the very model of an Elven Individual,
I’ve information memorable, magical, and mythical,
I know the kings of Faerie, and I quote the tales bardic-wise
Of Thomas Rhymer, Taliesin, Tam Lin and some otherwise;
I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters of Awakening,
I understand Rememb’rings, both the quiet and the quakening,
On matters of linguistics I am teeming with a lot o’ news,
With many cheerful facts about what spelling of “des’tai” to use.

ALL:
With many cheerful facts about what spelling of “des’tai” to use..
With many cheerful facts about what spelling of “deshtai” to use.
With many cheerful facts about what spelling of “desh’tai” to use.

MIAREN:
I’m very good at keeping track of lifetimes that are serial;
I know the True Forms and the names of beings nigh ethereal:
In short, in matters memorable, magical, and mythical,
I am the very model of an Elven Individual.

ALL:
In short, in matters memorable, magical, and mythical,
She is the very model of an Elven Individual.

MIAREN:
I know our mythic histories, the true ones and the fictional
And even on occasion write a new one that’s original
I filk in constant counterpoint the doings of Rialian,
At times this has necessitated large amounts of Valium

I can tell undoubted elven-types from satyrs and from angelforms,
I know the common hideaways of fairy folk and unicorns.
Then I can draw an elven star inscribed inside a heptagon,
And improvise from tales in that dreaded Mabinogion.

ALL:
And improvise from tales in that dreaded Mabinogion.
And improvise from tales in that dreaded Mabinogion.
And improvise from tales in that dreaded Mabinogion.

MIAREN:
Then I can write a courtly speech in “Elenari politic,”
And tell you ev’ry detail of the Gate creators’ travel ships:
In short, in matters memorable, magical, and mythical,
I am the very model of an Elven Individual.

ALL:
In short, in matters memorable, magical, and mythical,
She is the very model of an Elven Individual.

MIAREN:
In fact, when I can trace in full Tuatha geneaology,
When I can theorize about draconical biology,
When such affairs as Alardans and Gathers I will travel to,
And when I know precisely what the politics unravel to,
When I have learnt what languages the Elenari babble in,
When I know more of Camelot than Guenivere’s best chatelaine–
In short, when I’ve a smattering of nigh to useless trivia,
You’ll see an Elven Individual who’s just been ribbin’ ya.

ALL:
You’ll see an Elven Individual who’s just been ribbin’ ya.
You’ll see an Elven Individual who’s just been ribbin’ ya.
You’ll see an Elven Individual who’s just been ribbin’ ya.

MIAREN:
For my otherworldly knowledge, though I’ve hardly scratched its minimum,
Is only manifesting at the start of the milennium;
But still, in matters memorable, magical, and mythical,
I am the very model of an Elven Individual.

ALL:
But still, in matters memorable, magical, and mythical,
She is the very model of an Elven Individual.

Based on “I am the very model of a modern Major-General” from “The Pirates of Penzance” by Gilbert and Sullivan.

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Hotel Four Quarters

On a dark forest back road, have I travelled too far?
Cool brushes of fog-wisps curling in ’round my car
In the glow of my headlights I saw the shape of a cow
I saw a signboard with the elven star
I’d made it here (Don’t know how!)

There he stood in the clearing
We put the truck in park
And let me tell you there ain’t nothin’ like setting camp up in the dark
Then we turned on a tap-light and we set up our tent
There was music in the starry night
This is how it went

Welcome to the Elf Camp at Four Quarters
Such a lovely site (Such a lovely site) Such a lovely night
Plenty of ‘Kin at the Elf Camp at Four Quarters
‘Bout this time of year (‘Bout this time of year) You can find it here

The humor’s really quite twisted – Ri’s puns give me the bends (ugh!)
But we got a lot of pretty fae, elves and friends
How they sing by the fire Cool summer night
Some songs aren’t remembered – But hey, that’s all right

So I called up Rialian “Please bring me some mead”
He said “Benny brought a couple kegs – would you rather dry or sweet?”
And then the Toxic Elf bellows from far away
Wake you up ‘fore the crack of dawn – just turns out that way

Welcome to the Elf Camp at Four Quarters
Such a lovely site (Such a lovely site) Such a lovely night
They livin it up at the Elf Camp at Four Quarters
Till it rains again (Till it rains again) They be partyin…..

Candles on the altar The mugwort tea’s too hot
So we said –
“Let us take it back down the hill. Some will want it some will not”
And at the fire circle
We gathered to take leave
One thing that we all must share – as a Kin group – we believe!

Last thing I remember, I was heading for the car
I dreaded going back to town ’cause it always seems so far
“Relax,” said Rialian, “We aren’t really far away
I’ve got a list on EGroups now – just a few score posts a day”

Human on the Outside

I might look the same, but I’m not quite like you
I’m at least a little fey; can you see right through?
I’m still made of flesh, I’m still made of bone
But I’ve had you fooled enough to leave me alone

Human plus more (and perhaps more than one)
I might confess it, but please don’t make fun
I’ll explain at least some

There’s elf in these veins and my wings cause me pain
I’m only human on the outside
And though looks may deceive, make it hard to believe
I’m only human on the outside

On the outside

Should I just come through, should I just come clean
Show you something you might never have seen?
Or would that be extreme? Would it go too far?
Would it break your brain or would it break your heart?
Yeah your brain or heart…

It’s not something I choose; I assure you it’s true
I’m only human on the outside
And though looks may deceive, make it hard to believe
I’m only human on the outside
Well, it gave me a turn the day that I learned
I’m only human on the outside
A seeming, that’s all; baby, under it all
I’m only human on the outside

On the outside

Yes, I’m Otherkin, hon…

No, I’m not insane, there’s just fae in my veins
I’m only human on the outside
And though looks may deceive, make it hard to believe
I’m only human on the outside
I’m a dragon, you see, that’s the full, real me;
I’m only human on the outside
A seeming, that’s all; baby under it all
I’m only human on the outside

On the outside
On the outside…

King of Pain

There’s a little black sword in my hand today
It’s the same old thing as yesterday
There’s a pair of trav’lers bound for Tanelorn
The Eternal Champion’s again reborn

I have stood here before outside Melniboné
With the worlds in convergence running ’round my brain
I guess I’m always hoping I can end this reign
But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain

There’s a little black sword in my hand today
(Souls for Arioch)
It’s the same old thing as yesterday
(Souls for Arioch)
There’s a pair of trav’lers bound for Tanelorn
(Souls for Arioch)
The Eternal Champion’s again reborn
(Souls for Arioch)

I have stood here before outside Melniboné
With the worlds in convergence running ’round my brain
I guess I’m always hoping I can end this reign
But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain

There’s a blind man sailing on the Sea of Fate
(Souls for Arioch)
There’s my lover sleeping but she cannot wake
(Souls for Arioch)
There’s a dragon sleeping in a far-off cave
(Souls for Arioch)
There’s a Chaos storm rising like a wave
(Souls for Arioch)

I have stood here before outside Melniboné
With the worlds in convergence running ’round my brain
I guess I’m always hoping I can end this reign
But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain

There’s a bone-white king with his eyes of flame
There’s an old soul trying to forget his name
There’s a young prince fighting with a silver hand
There’s another one carrying a rune’d staff

King of pain

There’s a white wolf tearing at a huntsman’s pack
(Souls for Arioch)
There’s a Dragon Prince who’s riding to attack
(Souls for Arioch)
There’s a little black sword in my heart today
It’s the same old thing as yesterday

I have stood here before on the dissolving plane
With the worlds in convergence running ’round my brain I
guess I always hoped that I could end this reign
But it’s my destiny to go around again……

King of pain
King of pain
King of pain
I’ll always be
king of pain

Lothlorien

(from “Under the Sun” by Sugar Ray)

“Now this is somethin’ from back in the day
I’ll always remember the mallorn tree
And all of the wisdom
That we brought from the sea
Beauty of Lothlorien
Living amongst my hand
Maybe I’m dreaming
Can you tell me

Chorus
Do you remember
The living that lasted so long
Elven haven
where we learned to sing all the songs
Do you remember
All of us together
As we grew in Lothlorien

I’ll always remember everything we’d do
But it was all good when I’m with my crew
I remember Elbereth
The Stars, and Gilthoniel
Seems kind of funny on Earth
But it’s taking me back
We’d always sing a song
It was great just to be elves
Don’t want to stop dreaming
Can you tell me

Chorus

I want to rewind every time
‘Cause my Hand had so much meaning
They were there when nobody cared
Always knew what I was feeling
Come to me, don’t leave me reminiscing
All I do is wind up missing you
Are you missing me?
Are you missing me?
Na na na na na

Do you remember the living that lasted so long
Back in the day, back back in the day
Do you remember all of us together

As we grew in Lothlorien?”

One Night in DC

I am going to have to blame Miaren for this one…
(original lyrics)

Mongolian! Oriental setting
And the staff don’t know what the guests are eating
The strange and the weird of the other world at a
meal with everything but ol’ Rialian.

Time fades – doesn’t seem a minute
Since the hotel spa had the goth bois in it
All change – these cards are not what you
Play, though this game’s at an ordinary venue

It’s New York, or Four Quarters, or Canada, or, or this place!

One night in DC and the world’s got stranger
The staff are human but the cards ain’t free.
You’ll find a space at any open table
And if you’re lucky then the god’s a sidhe
I can feel an angel sliding up to me.

One world’s very like another
When your seeming falls at an elven gather **

It’s a troll, it’s an orc, it’s really not that pretty
Don’t be looking at the fae, if you come from the city.

Whaddya mean? You seen one pointy-eared,
fluffy, toadstool eating…

Mead, food, wine, fire
Some are ready for the next forest meet.

Watch that! You’re looking for more’n this?
Now every move should be the surest
I meet my fae above the beltline, starshine.

One night in DC makes a dark elf grumble
Not much between fear and history
One night in DC and the winged ones stumble
Can’t be too careful with your company.
I can feel a devil sitting next to me

No one’s gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of celestial fitness
This cuts me deeper than a
Shoddy old blade or silent mother.

Ignoring God who’s only watching the game
Following it.

I don’t see you guys seeking
The kind of mate I’m contemplating
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the fae we use might just bite you

So you better go back to your meals, your
homes, your peaceful nights…

One night in DC and the world’s got stranger
The staff are human but the cards ain’t free.
You’ll find a space at any open table
A little look a little fantasy
I can feel an angel sliding up to me.

One night in DC makes a dark elf grumble
Not much between their ears but fantasy
One night in DC and the winged ones stumble
Can’t be too careful with your company.
I can feel a devil standing next to me


** or the uncensored version:
One elf’s very like another
When your heads down over their piece, oh brother!

for which I disclaim all responsibility.

One Night in Kitchener

Kitchener, Canadian setting
Where the city don’t know what the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the fae world in a
Show with everything but David Bowie

Kitchener, just another stop in
The Kin gather circuit – changelings drop in
Dance, workshops, check out and then you
Move on to another venue

Like Texas – or to Artemis – or DC – or – or this place

One night in Kitchener and there’s Kin invading
I counted nine inside an SUV
You’ll find a god in every doorway’s shading
And if you’re lucky then the god’s a Sidhe
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One world’s very like another
When you just met a guy who claims he’s your brother

It’s a drag, it’s a bore, it’s really such a pity
To be stuck in Viking A, not looking at the city

Whaddya mean? Ya seen one goth-filled,
abandoned, suburban town, ya seen ’em all

Food, drinks, chips, sweets
Some are set up in the upper floor Con Suite

Yeah, right! You’re talking to a tourist
Whose every thought’s among the purest

I get my kicks outside the timeline, sunshine

One night in Kitchener makes the new Kin humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Kitchener and the paradigms crumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel a satyr walking next to me

Kitchener’s gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of reality’s fitness
This warps me more than cluing
Into Heisenberg shields or Reiki attuning

I don’t see mundanes rating
The twists of fate I’ve been awaiting
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the fairies here would not excite you

So you better go back to your pool, your
hot-tub, your massage table

One night in Kitchener and there’s Kin invading
I counted nine inside an SUV
You’ll find a god in every doorway’s shading
Another chapter in my history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Kitchener makes the new Kin humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Kitchener and the paradigms crumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel a satyr walking next to me

(original lyrics)

Portal to Try

(from Ticket to Ride by the Beatles)

I think I’m gonna be sad
I think it’s today, yeah
The elves are making me mad
They’re going away

Sidhe have a portal to try
Sidhe have a portal to try
Sidhe have a portal to try
And Sidhe don’t care

Sidhe say that living on Earth is bringing them down
They would never be free while still on this ground

Sidhe have a portal to try
Sidhe have a portal to try
Sidhe have a portal to try
And Sidhe don’t care

I don’t know when they’re going to try;
They oughtta think twice and get a portal for me!
Before they get to saying goodbye
They oughtta think twice they oughtta do right by me!

I think I’m gonna be sad
I think it’s today, yeah
The elves are making me mad
They’re going away!

Ah!
Sidhe have a portal to try
Sidhe have a portal to try
Sidhe have a portal to try
And Sidhe don’t care

I don’t know when they’re going to try;
They oughtta think twice and get a portal for me!
Before they get to saying goodbye
They oughtta think twice they oughtta do right by me!

Sidhe say that living on Earth is bringing them down
They would never be free while still on this ground

Ah!
Sidhe have a portal to try
Sidhe have a portal to try
Sidhe have a portal to try
And Sidhe don’t care
My brethren don’t care
My brethren don’t care
My brethren don’t care
My brethren don’t care
My brethren don’t care

Who’ll Stop the Rain

(with apologies to J.C. Fogerty)

Ever since we got
here The rain been comin’ down.
All the tents are standin’ In puddles on the ground.
Camping at Four quarters, Threshholds number three;
And I wonder,
Still I wonder, Who’ll stop the rain.

Squirrel got his umbrella, Seekin’
shelter from the storm.
Hiding out at Crisses, I watched the fire burn.
Puddles to my ankles, Mud up to my knees.
And I wonder, Still I wonder
Who’ll stop the rain.

We went up to circle, Reiki had been rained out twice.
Worked the flows for balance, (Tho dry socks would be nice). Came
back to the fire, Down it came again.
And I wonder, Still I wonder Who’ll
stop the rain.

Chant

Catch a shadow by the wall
Don’t look down or else you’ll fall
What certain Sons did cruelly rend
With pattern, blood, and song we’ll mend
Dressed in thistle, crowned with bay
Slipping in behind the day
Painted, plaited, flower-strewn,
Beat the bodhran fierce in tune
Come alone or come together
Best the song in worst of weather
Writhing, twisting, turning, sliding,
Always here our time abiding
’til their minds are quite besotten
Mother’s warnings all forgotten
Hands tight clasped we’ll all round turn
And set the fire quick to burn
Cast your lot and lay your bet
Weave the steps into a net
Leave the Gate thrown wide open
And lure the weary traveler in
Never tire, reaching higher, sing the fire, fire higher!
Never tire, reaching higher, sing the fire, fire higher!
Never tire, reaching higher, sing the fire, fire higher!
Never tire, reaching higher, sing the fire, fire higher!

The Tree

Once upon a time, when the Earth was still young, there lived a Forest of Trees. They were beautiful, these Trees. They were fed the crystal-clear waters of the River who in turn feeds her daughter-rivers. In the morning, they raised their heads, their branches to the life-giving sun. In the night, they swayed their branches under the mother moon and the tracery of the Stars, dancing and singing with the wind.

The Trees stood, grew and died around a Main Tree, the Mother Tree. They grew around her in concentric circles and she stood proud on the Mountain. Her branches stretched right into the sky, magnificent and so strong.

In the midst of the sister Trees grew a young Tree. She was relatively younger than her sisters, though she had witnessed the changes in the sky, the falling Stars, and felt the Earth tremble as the Cosmic Battle boomed around the Forest. She was fortunate, this young Tree. She luxuriated in the warmth of the Forest, well protected within the confines of her sisters’ circle.

Then, one day, one of the sister Trees grew ill. Her bark grew pale. Her leaves, once succulent with Life, became brittle and she began to shed. Sap refused to flow through her veins anymore. As the sister Trees watched in their timeless serenity and abstract horror, the ailing Tree gave a last leaf-rustle and gave her Life back to the Earth, to the Mother Tree.

There was mourning. The Forest was alive in that everything, every plant and every animal, was connected, like the intricate patterns of the spider-web. But there was also rejoicing in that the sister Tree who had just passed away would now share with the rest of Earth.

The colored ones came. Red, brown, black, yellow and white ones, standing tall like their cousin Trees, came and paid respect to the once-Living Tree. Reverently, quietly and whispering soft words of thanks, they removed the bark and the branches.

The young Tree watched as the colored ones took away her dead sister. When they were gone and the Forest had gone quiet once more, she plucked up courage and asked the Tree closest to her. This Tree was older and wiser, a gentle spirit with laughter in her branches.

“What will they do with her body?” The young Tree asked, her leaves rustling softly with curiosity.

The older sister Tree chuckled, her branches creaking once in the wind. “They will make things out of her body. Things to sit on. Things to play with. Even, things to be consumed.”

The young Tree grew intrigued then. “But where does her soul go to?”

For a moment, the older Tree didn’t answer and the young sister was embarrassed for asking such a forward question. She drew her leaves around herself and felt an urge to sink into the Earth. Then, the older Tree stirred and replied. “Her soul, my young sister, will go wherever it will. Remember, little sister, that her soul is in her body, in her branches, in her leaves. Whoever uses the things made of her will carry a bit of her. Whoever consumes the things made of her will also carry a bit of her.”

The young Tree listened to the answer. “So when I die, I will branch out in the four winds?”

A soft laughter of the leaves. “Yes, my young sister, you will branch out. Even after sap-death, you continue to grow.”

The young Tree brushed her leaves against her older sister in gratitude and took in the words, consuming them and letting the juices flow within her sap.

As Time went, the Forest grew bigger or smaller, according to the changes. The Mother Tree simply gave forth more sister Trees. The young Tree matured, flowered, gave forth fruit and matured even more. Around her and her sisters, the forest folk lived and hunted and danced. At times, the sister Trees would watch the Fires being lit in honor of the Sun finishing His Round. There would be singing and dancing; the Trees loved it and sheltered the forest folk as they circled the Fires.

Then, in Time, the young Tree grew old and was struck with a sickness. She felt her sap becoming sluggish, slow and painful in her veins. She felt her branches stiffen. She couldn’t dance anymore. She couldn’t sing anymore. For a moment, she was afraid and she didn’t want to give her Life back to Earth.

As her Life dwindled, she looked up into the night sky and saw the Trails of the Stars. She wept for a while and the owls sang with her. She watched and watched.

She Remembered.

The next day, the forest folk wailed with sadness. The Tree had passed on. The sister Trees around her wept and mourned.

As usual, the colored ones came, the forest folk came. They partook of the Tree’s body and her soul lived on.

The forest folk consumed her fruits and a part of her nestled in a young girl’s body. The colored ones made use of the things created from her bark and she rested in the bosom of a man, in the life-blood of a woman and in the homes of various others. The animals partook of her body too. A wolf ate a bit of the fruit and a bit of her soul ran together with the hunting pack. A dragon carried a part of her as it flew above the Forest.

Her soul lived on and the Forest lived on too…in our lives.

The Logic of Otherkin

Otherkin:

People who feel they are in some way not classifiable simply as human. Be it personality, worldview, mental characteristics, spirituality (the soul or nonphysical essence), or even physically. Often it is a combination of several or all of these things.

Those who would identify themselves as Otherkin or by names that essentially fall within the same description have, very slowly, become increasingly visible. At first, in the ‘safe’ venue of the online world, but increasingly identifiable in general society; if still quiet and private about their beliefs to most people except one another and the occasional individual who is exceptionally open minded.

Otherkin as a general concept or system of belief is often ridiculed as being inherently irrational and counterfactual. Otherkin are frequently on the receiving end of deconstructive arguments – a great many of which contain logical fallacies. Which isn’t to say that, considering where our beliefs lay, Otherkin haven’t perpetrated errors in logic as well, sometimes knowingly, and sometimes out of desperation to respond to attacks both fair and unfair.

Otherkin are people who are more different from the expected norm than even many subcultures that would be considered fringe, and inevitably, open themselves up to hostility and scorn that frequently is baseless and smacks of an agenda of prejudice for the sake of prejudice against “the different”, among other possible agendas. This essay will attempt to highlight typical fallacious arguments leveled against Otherkin, and to provide Kin themselves with a reference of how proper logical reasoning can actually support their beliefs and positions, and not merely be used to deconstruct them. However, it also will highlight fallacies as otherkin can and have used them to support their position, in order to aid those who have been sincere but constructed a poor argument to defend themselves against criticism or attack.

 

Logic as Applied to Otherkin

The beliefs of Otherkin can appear colorful, fanciful, and even outrageous by the typical standards of what people take as “possible” and “impossible”. Yet at the root, to borrow a thought from the Otherkin FAQ, being Otherkin is not about what seemingly fantastic or unheard of creature or being you may identify with, but how a person thinks and feels; how they interact with the world.

That out of the way, a key point to put forth is that being Otherkin does not equate believing anything you hear, are told, imagine, or dream up. Logic and even skepticism are as applicable to life as Otherkin as to any other identity one could have in this world. Even so, logic and skepticism are often used to “hang” Otherkin with or dismiss them without respect for their beliefs.

Before going further, something needs to be stated up front about logic. Logical reasoning should not be taken as an absolute law that rules the universe. Often, things that are reasoned out as logically impossible are taken to be impossible, period. Yet time and again in history, entirely logical and internally consistent ideas that were thought to be universal were shown to not be so, once greater understanding was available. How does this apply here? Simple. If a logical conclusion that supports a given Otherkin belief is reached, it still may be reevaluated later. And by the same coin, if logic is arrived at which seems to indicate an Otherkin belief – or Otherkin itself – is invalid, it only means that it appears illogical. It cannot be a universal statement, an absolute. A belief is a belief, and logic is not a set of rules that governs human (or if you prefer, sapient) behavior. If instinct or an indefinable feeling prods a person to believe in something that is seemingly implausible or illogical, then they may still choose to believe it. And acknowledging that a belief you hold may appear illogical does not automatically denote insanity or ignorance – especially if you are acknowledging that it is, at this point in time, something outside of logic and empirical evidence. For example, I could make the statement:

I am a dragon. This is what I feel I am, and what my own subjective proofs (and proofs that are objective that I have taken as proof of draconity, even if that connection itself cannot be ’empirically’ proven). Logically, there are many reasons why I might feel I’m a dragon that don’t require a spiritual or mystical component – including the possibility that I might simply be broken in the head. From an extreme skeptical point of view, it might be argued that I -should- take these more provable or likely-seeming reasons first, over a less provable explanation – that dragons exist and all the implications that go along with that. Yet, what if I’m right, and the fact that I’m right is simply something that cannot be “proven” with the evidence at hand? Logic alone isn’t sufficient for me to answer this; which is where belief comes in.

In the end, logic is a tool. While some choose to hold the belief system that it is the ultimate tool, it still is not the only one and like any tool, unlikely to be fit for every application. Fully going into logic is way beyond the scope of this essay, but a starting point for reading can be found here.

A problem is that Otherkin and other similar spiritual beliefs rest on proofs that are elusive and highly subjective to the individual. Often, things must be taken as true and worked from there. And criticism of Otherkin often is inspired by people who are, indeed, very loose with applying judgment to what they choose to believe. The things Otherkin believe in are typically very much set against what consensual reality and culture advises should be considered as acceptable ideas. When an Otherkin assertion is needlessly illogical and perhaps downright wonky by any standards, it can serve as ammunition for various fallacious logic attacks such as theStraw Man Gambit.

Something that I feel should be stated up front is that all examples of fallacious arguments or attacks are taken from real sources. These are not academic conjecture; while they may be phrased in a generic and sometimes slightly humorous way, the essential points in each one are entirely from actual arguments that I personally have heard, read, or been challenged with.

Logical Fallacies

Straw Man

Against Kin:

The first and possibly most common attack on Otherkin is an old standby of tilted logical debate: the Straw Man Gambit.

Wellwort Dragosi: “I believe that dragons exist outside of human mythology and legend, and their presence in so many diverse cultures is a sign that something may have been the inspiration for the stories. I myself am a dragon in spirit; perhaps through some mechanic of reincarnation. There are belief systems that support that; and in my personal case, believing that traveling spirit is a dragon, is based largely on personal intuition, though I’ll admit there’s other subjective evidence I’ve collected over the years.”

Wesker T. Skeptic: “You my friend, are suffering a delusion. Dragons are fictional creatures that are made up for things such as fantasy movies. It is obvious a fantasy movie is not real. If you’re claiming to be a character from such a movie, and are serious, you’re insane.”

Something is terribly wrong here. If the play of the debate seems unfair, that is because the Straw Man technique takes a person’s position or premises and greatly oversimplifies them in order to make them seem implausible and very easy to tear down. In this case, while it is possible that Wellwort’s beliefs about dragons outside of fiction may be incorrect, Wesker has refused to acknowledge them as the premises put forth and instead simplified the object of Wellwort’s position – dragons – to the point where Wellwort can be “proven” insane simply by holding the position.

The Straw Man is used against Kin frequently. It’s true that many Kin beliefs involve things that have been used in myth and obviously created fiction. However, rational Kin do not generally claim to be those fictions, but something like them. This crucial difference is often shoved aside by people using the Straw Man style of argument. In addition, the Straw Man argument against Otherkin is often phrased in condescending and insulting terms, often in a way that adds in the additional fallacies of Appeal to Force and Ad Hominem Attack.

Against Skeptics:

I haven’t, to be honest, seen a pure Straw Man attack used against a critic of Otherkin beliefs that often. A possible reason is that critics who are rational and logical enough to have the forethought to assemble some facts on their side have the burden of proof in their favor; it’s easy to say dragons don’t exist because nobody has ever seen one (at least, no accounts that are verified and taken by society in general as credible and factual), though this position if taken too far falls victim to Ad Ignorantiam. Still:

Wesker T. Skeptic: “All I’m saying is that it seems pretty safe to assume dragons don’t exist, as not a shred of acceptable evidence has ever been discovered. It’s not like people are blind. I know you claim to have evidence, but the kind you haven’t isn’t something you can prove objectively. So it can’t be taken into account in establishing facts.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “You just don’t want to accept it, so you say my proof doesn’t matter. I know I’m a dragon! I’ve always felt it. If I wasn’t, why would I? I can remember being a dragon even. I have instincts that don’t even match my body. That’s not proof?”

Wesker is correct that subjective proof such as intuition, feelings of spirituality or spiritual effects and forces, internal dialog and even alleged past life memories don’t offer the kind of proof that he’s talking about. Wellwort’s counter simplifies his position to make it sound as if Wellwort’s personal evidence could only be rejected due to Wesker refusing to acknowledge it.

Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam

Against Kin:

This one, Ad Ignorantiam, means in literal translation to argue from ignorance. This fallacy happens when it’s argued that something must be true just because it hasn’t been proven false. Critics often insists that Otherkin reasoning and rationalization functions this way:

Wellwort Dragosi: “Well, you know, this is a subjective belief even if I’ve found it true to my own satisfaction. After all, you can’t declare for sure that dragons don’t exist and never have existed somewhere, somehow. We just don’t know.

Wesker T. Skeptic: “Ah hah! You cannot expect me to swallow this; it’s the oldest trick in the book. You say that dragons can’t be disproved, and so everybody has to accept that you’re a dragon. By that logic, I can say that mountain Gnomes must exist because they can’t be disproved absolutely for sure. You can’t call yourself a dragon with that poor logic.”

Here, Wesker is applying a slight amount of Straw Man in combination with invoking Ad Ignorantiam. Wellwort was inferring the reverse side of Ad Ignorantiam: that you can’t declare something is false just because it hasn’t been proven true. Wesker simplified things though, ignoring this, and attacking Wellwort’s statement in the extreme light of argument from ignorance: that Wellwort has poor logic because his belief in dragons is based solely on the fact that they haven’t been formally proven to not exist. Otherkin themselves should be careful about backing into this trap however. The key concept of Ad Ignorantiam is that you can’t declare something is or isn’t true in the absolute sense just because hasn’t been proven yet either way.

Otherkin, ‘supernatural’, magical, and non-mainstream spiritual beliefs are often written off without much examination or credit given, but they can’t be simply written off by declaring Ad Ignorantiam: that they don’t exist because they haven’t been scientifically proven.

Against Skeptics:

A number of people who are skeptics and even hard Atheists have complained about the portrayal of skeptical thought in TV shows such as The X-Files. Agent Scully, they say, has become a poster girl for skepticism, but is actually frequently guilty, in a strict sense, of many errors, including Ad Ignorantiam: stating that the supernatural -does not- exist, or something to that effect, rather than saying such things haven’t been proven to the point where they could be relied on from a logical perspective to exist. Or even explaining that logical thought -suggests- that ‘supernatural’ forces are not required in the apparent operation of the universe, and so their existence can be doubted rationally.

Wesker T Skeptic: “There are a lot of factors that could contribute to you thinking you’re a dragon that are seemingly more reasonable than invoking the supernatural. A great deal of psychology has been shown to be a reliable guide to why people feel and think as they do; falling back on that before resorting to unproved and maybe unprovable supernatural or metaphysical explanations seems a lot more reasonable.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “Nobody has disproved spiritual and magical forces. They explain my draconity better than anything else.”

While spiritual and magical phenomenon might explain Wellwort’s draconity better than more concrete things, he makes the assumption that because they haven’t been actively disproved they can be taken as objective fact (proven) and put in the same league as the other possible explanations Wesker put forth, and so he can dismiss Wesker’s other possibilities out of hand.

Circular Reasoning

Against Kin and Skeptics both:

Circular Reasoning occurs when an arguement attempts to serve as it’s own proof. An example example of a circular arguement:

Wellwort Dragosi: “I assert that I am a dragon. Because of this, I have traits like feeling phantom wings and wanting piles of stuff to hoard. Of course, since I have draconic traits, that just proves I’m a dragon.”

Wesker T. Skeptic: “You can’t prove those traits are actual dragon traits. In fact, since we know nothing about real dragons, you can’t say any traits are dragon traits.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “But you can’t prove they aren’t dragon traits, either, so nyah.”

And so forth…

Here it could be said that the burden of proof lies with Wellwort for proving that dragons exist. But neither he nor Wesker can go anywhere if they both continue to start and stop with the same line of reasoning over and over. Not to mention that Wesker also can’t disprove dragons due to lack of evidence (Ad Ignorantiam).

Hasty Generalization

Against Kin:

There are a lot of people who are considered pretty wacky even within Otherkin circles. Many of these folk are perfectly harmless; the eccentrics among eccentrics. Yet there are those who do make very dicey and possibly insupportable claims, and insist on them in an irrational manner, or who use Otherkin as an excuse for attitudes such as racism against “normal” human beings (also a trend). Hasty Generalization is used to take a few cases and use them as a generalization for a much larger number of cases which may not be accurate.

Wesker T. Skeptic: “You Otherkin are all alike. Just a bunch of powergamers living out a fantasy world to make yourselves feel important. You even try to claim you’re better than “we humans” and should be the rightful rulers of the planet. Nobody is going to buy into that crap.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “Now hang on. There are some dumb sounding kids out there, yeah, but everybody isn’t like that. This isn’t a power gaming excuse to fantasize; a lot of people really feel these things.”

Hasty Generalization at work. Typically, Wesker might follow up by insisting that the minority cases he picked out to generalize with demonstrate the only principles Otherkin has going for it, and once again falling back on making a Straw Man of Dragosi’s position.

Against Skeptics:

Hasty Generalization is also another pitfall Kin themselves should avoid. It is in fact the mechanic by which some convict the entire human race of various “evils”. Otherkin have applied hasty generalization, in conjunction with overuse and abuse of the term “mundane”, as a catchall answer to any criticisms or attacks.

Wesker T. Skeptic: “Humans believe in a lot of crazy things. I haven’t seen any evidence that this isn’t another crazy thing; I mean any of it, be it dragons, magic, the astral plane. At least in that, it’s not personal Wellwort. I’d say this to anyone who insisted this supernatural stuff was real.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “Humans are all alike. You’re all narrow-minded and bland, and don’t have any imagination; just a bunch of mundanes. It’s no wonder you can’t believe in anything and write this stuff off.”

There are certainly some people who – regardless of what they identify with, be it Human, Otherkin, or Interstellar Cheese Being – dismiss everything they cannot instantly explain, poke, prod, or easily categorize with a wave of the hand and a sneer as “nonsense”. Even if they happen to be correct on a given item, their attitude of total dismissal without knowledge or investigation might be wrong – but our Wellwort (as well as a great many Otherkin, and metaphysical people period) seem to apply this as a generalization to all skeptics everywhere is one of baseless disbelief; the “not believing because you have no imagination/ability to conceive of it”. Otherkin would do well to remember that among the ranks of the highly skeptical, are people who were Otherkin at some point. Or people who, if they are honest enough, will admit they would like to believe, but cannot bring themselves to because of lack of evidence to satisfy them personally.

Just because one can understand something entirely, doesn’t mean one believes it or lacks the capacity to believe. Many people at some point had enough proof for themselves to believe in given things; that changed, and they no longer believe them.

Of course, a caveat here. People who once believed and now do not, or who would greatly wish to, but can’t swing it, once in a while become unfair and caustic critics, who themselves commit logical fallacies, or at least apply undue venom to their deconstructions and criticisms. The phrase “You fools! I woke up from the fantasy. You’re just delusional! At least I know what’s real now!” has been heard personally more than one time by someone feeling very bitter.

Ad Hominem Attack

Against Kin:

This fallacious argument is a mainstay of political debate. Ad Hominem means literally, to attack the man. Instead of criticizing a position, you attack the character of the person holding it: “Senator Gallump once filed a suspicious tax return seven years ago. Therefore, his tax proposal can’t be taken as sound. Should we trust a man on taxes who is a proven cheater?” Attack on character is a very, very common thing online when relating to Otherkin, Dragons, Weres, and Furries. Often, it is combined with Ad Numerum to paint a “fringe” person as a freak of society. Most people, it gets argued, are not like that, and therefore, the person left out in the cold – Otherkin, say – must just have something wrong with them or else they would be like everybody else.

Wesker T. Skeptic: “Normal people do NOT go around claiming to be fantasy creatures. Whatever your problem is, it obviously has made you an outcast from society. What is healthy is probably what most people agree on – that’s why it is agreed on! – so I doubt any of your “logic” would make any sense. If you were capable of logical deduction, you’d have figured out you’re selling yourself on a load of bull. I pity you dude, I really do.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “Say WHAT?”

Here we have Wesker both attacking Wellwort’s basic mental faculties to prove his premises are invalid, further “proving” that Wellwort is dysfunctional because he is not like most people, invoking Ad Numerum, or “whatever the most people believe must be correct”.

Against Skeptics:

One of the problems of an Ad Hominem attack is that, because it “breaks the rules” in a way that attempts to get personal, it can be very insulting and cause a good deal of offense and anger. Frequently, people (hardly just Otherkin) will fall prey to countering Ad Hominem with Ad Hominem – “an eye for an eye”. While some particularly low-blow attacks may even deserve some kind of response to them, in a strictly rational sense, it isn’t proper. Nobody is perfect however, and most everyone might be said to fall victim to this at one time or another (including myself).

Wesker T. Skeptic: “Yeah right, Wellwort, or whatever your name really is. You’re just a little boy trying to look big on the Internet. Or wait, I bet you’re a 40 year old loser who lives in his parent’s basement! Ha ha, I bet j00 R g@y! So all this stuff you claim is rubbish.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “So? You’re just another idiot who uses l33t speech and probably can’t hit the bowl when he takes a piss. You don’t know anything.”

Some thought goes that resorting to insult (ad hominem) causes the attacker to lose the argument instantly, regardless of how valid their points are. While this has been pointed out by some skeptics as a reason why they don’t give credit to much Otherkin reasoning – due to “attitude” Kin have regarding so-called normal humans -, it doesn’t let skeptics off the hook either. An insult is an insult. Even so, Kin do use Ad Hominem in place of a real defense (even if the defense is as simple as “so what?”) very often.

And here a caveat. Technically, all forms of Ad Hominem are logically invalid, and because of this, some schools of thought denote it as unacceptable to use period. One form though, Genetic Ad Hominem, attacks the background of the argument An example would be saying that Steve argues that Gertrude isn’t a fit candidate for a position as proof reader because Gertrude is German and Steve has a prejudice against that nationality and doesn’t want to work with Gertrude.

While Genetic Ad Hominem is invalid as far as proving or disproving the point at hand, some feel it is useful in exposing bigger and very possibly more important issues. In the case of Otherkin, cases of Genetic Ad Hominem seem to appear from skeptics with assumptions – one being the the assumption that for example, anyone with an extremely strong belief in something outside of rigid, formal logic must be wrong in the head, and so instead of debating points fairly, they will try to tilt everything to insist that Kin are simply crazy (and state as much). My general thought on this issue is that performing Genetic Ad Hominem on an attacker may be acceptable if forced as the only way to get to the -real- issue.

Wesker T. Skeptic: “Your logic doesn’t hold up. You have no proof. You’re a fool; anyone who believes in this stuff is an idiot. I know, I was stupid once too and believed.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “You’re bitter. You’re probably so offended by my beliefs because you wanted to believe in dragons so bad, and convinced yourself you can’t and that their is nothing past the end of your nose. So is that it? Can’t stand for someone to have something you can’t? Or maybe you’re just egotistical and can’t deal with people who think different and figure they must be mentally impaired, so that’s why you refute every point I make?”

This kind of exchange may be considered invalid by many, regardless of if Wellwort is entirely on target about Wesker, especially if Wellwort resorted to far more heated and baited language. Still, “the bitter skeptic” is a person who I have personally met once or thrice, and they can be frustrating to deal with.

Appeal to Force

Against Kin:

A nastier take on Wesker’s deconstruction of Wellwort in the previous example, Appeal to Force happens when one tries to use the threat of force and/or greater authority to overrule any arguments the opponent may have.

Wellwort Dragosi: “Despite everything you claim about being Otherkin, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive! I’m rational; I cross check myself and am not gullible. I’ve met many people who are able to appreciate my beliefs and respect that I believe; I’ve felt better about life since coming to understand what I am.”

Wesker T. Skeptic: “That means nothing. You’ve just been in the fantasy online world. Go out on the street and tell somebody you’re a dragon, kid. This whole WORLD will say you’re crazy, and you’ll be shipped off to the funny farm in no time flat. You need to learn which way the bread is buttered, or you’ll regret it.”

Against Skeptics:

Appeal to Force hasn’t really been directed against the skeptic position in my experience; the possible reason being that the position of Otherkin puts a person in the seat of challenging consensual reality; there really isn’t a handy source for a Kin to use and call on to win the debate for them, such as public opinion. At most, in challenging general spirituality, a Kin might be tempted to refer to other, more established spiritual and religious belief systems as circumstantial evidence for the validity of spiritual beliefs.

“Tons of people believe in God, or some other deity, and believe they have souls. If you want to disprove me, you have to disprove all of them as well, good luck!”

Ad Numerum

Against Kin:

The assertion that whatever most people believe must be true, though it also can be applied in reverse quite easily. Ad Numerum is a standby with which to entirely dismiss the argument out of hand.

Wellwort Dragosi: “Well, see, I’m a dragon and I have reasons for believing this, that I’ve thought about for a long time…”

Wesker T. Skeptic: “Eh? What? Go away, nutjob. Everybody knows dragons don’t exist.”

Against Skeptics:

Wesker T. Skeptic: “For the last time, Wellwort, I see no proof you can give me to convince me dragons exist or you could possibly, in any way, be a dragon.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “That’s because you ignore the biggest proof of all, that so many people are Otherkin! We can’t all be wrong!”

No TRUE Scotsman!

Against, well, everybody!

This one, the colorfully named No True Scotsman Fallacy, is simple.

It’s when you define an arbitrary (or unproved or unprovable or very often, stereotypical) characteristic to a definition, and then state that something doesn’t fit that definition by lack of that characteristic. The Scotsman reference comes from this example.

John says that all true Scotsmen drink whiskey, and your friend Agnus doesn’t drink. Therefore, John declares that your friend is not a true Scotsman and cannot be from Scotland.

It is however, something Kin use to unfairly deconstruct each other as much as critics might use it. At first, it might seem that a skeptic might not use this line of attack as it originates “from the inside”. Some critics are clever however, to their credit.

Elena Elfbright: “Wellwort, you’re not a real dragon. A real dragon has two horns and a crests of spines down his back. And a real dragon doesn’t dislike Elves! We’re the traditional allies of all dragons! You need to stop pretending.”

Wellwort Dragosi, muttering: “And she wonders why I’m sick of elves…”

Wesker T. Skeptic, leaning in from one side: “Actually, I’m an open minded guy! I think dragons and elves really MIGHT exist… but I know for sure they’re nothing like what you guys claim to be. You’re ALL fakes!”

Now this one is, on the whole, really very silly. But Otherkin do it to each other all the time. It’s tempting too. There are people who do act very flaky, and behave as if they’re simply ‘along for the ride’, picking up the title of elf, dragon, or what have you to join in the fun. It’s hard to resist deflating them. But once you get started down the path of using the No True Scotsman fallacy, it’s very hard to not go too far and target people who don’t deserve it. In fact, even the original people being criticized this way may in fact be entirely legitimate, but not have an honest understanding of what they are if they see everything as a big game.

Some skeptics have used this argument within a simplified mindset where they take the existence of dragons, say, as hypothetically possible, but only within the closest “facts” available. Such as for example, a dragon even if it did exist, would be a large, armor plated, hell-bent personality of a beast that relentlessly hoarded shiny objects and had a fixation for living underground despite being a flying creature (the cave thing). Then proceed to declare that no dragon Kin could possibly be real because their personality traits were not evocative enough of these criteria. Of course, this skeptical dismissal is also guilty of being a Straw Man argument because it dismisses Otherkin thought on spirituality and the interaction between a human life and personality and a person’s “other” element without even considering the ramifications on it.

Equivocation

Against Kin:

Equivocation involves changing the meaning of a word to suit one’s position. Against Kin, this has involved to a great degree, a back and forth interplay of just what it means “to be human”.

Wellwort Dragosi: “I don’t identify wholly with being human because I feel my thoughts, perspective, and feelings are different enough from those (humans) around me to suggest that something is up. I’ve met enough other Kin who just don’t fit within the conventions that go along with being ‘human’.”

Wesker T. Skeptic: “A human being is a bipedal primate; homo sapien. Unless you, or your friends, have grown wings, tails, and snouts, or maybe elf ears, or a coat of fur, you’re all human. It’s entirely insane to say you’re not human. Look in a mirror.”

It should be painfully obvious that Wellwort is using human to describe the mind and personality, and if accepted in the argument, the spirit (because debates with religious folk skeptical of Otherkin do happen). Wesker however, has shifted the focus on to the biological definition of human, which of course, makes Wellwort seem insane if he states “I am not human” while standing clad in an obviously human form. Skeptics should be aware that quite a bit of philosophizing goes on among Kin as to just what “human” means in a sense beyond the body… though regrettably, there seems to be no shortage of skeptics who will state “look in a mirror. If you see a human, you are human,” no matter how much Kin state they’re talking about what begins after biology ends.

Special note: there are, indeed, some Otherkin (largely, in my experience, elven-kin) who believe they do actually have a physical element that is not human. This is something that could be debated in an entire paper by itself – or a series – because it -is- something so hard to prove and so easy to dismiss with available evidence (the fact that such a Kin’s physical biology may not appear overly different from any other person).

Against Skeptics:

By the same token, skeptical folk have rightly complained that Otherkin will attempt to shift the usage of “human” or other terms into their own court in order to answer criticisms.

Wesker T. Skeptic: “Human is as human does. You have a body that’s just like everybody else. That body even dictates things such as your thoughts, emotions, and reactions due to chemistry; how your actual brain is wired up. This even suggests that your personality is probably human – even if a very odd human due to how you see yourself.”

Wellwort Dragosi: “Human is how one thinks and feels, and I don’t feel human.”

This is obviously entirely changing the meaning (and topic, really) from what Wesker is saying. I feel this is an understandable fault, in many cases; a good deal of my sympathy has to go to Kin in general here, no matter how utterly annoying it must be for a skeptical person to deal with this shifting. Kin believe they’re correct, but often have precious little to go on aside from instinct. The statement of “I don’t feel human” is a beginning place for many or most, and that simple assertion may be something that goes beyond any ultimate, logical deduction; no matter if the majority of available proof from a skeptical position is set far against Kin.

Still, this assertion is often used to deny other possibilities, such as biology. I myself do take biology into account; my belief in the spiritual is extremely powerful, yet even I concede that at some level, I may just be “a very wacky human”. I’d argue that if so, it was wackiness in a way that should be respected unto itself, and even then, the identity of “dragon” would not be invalid (from other perspectives), but all the same, it is possible. Otherkin would probably do well (and have better conversations with people who don’t share their beliefs) to keep this in mind, in my view.

Lack of Credibility

Against Kin:

Quite simply, Lack of Credibility is making claims of authority without the credentials to back yourself up. This is pretty common among all people, not just Otherkin. Of course, credentials alone will not prove your point; but people simply want to sound smart. Committing this fallacy is going one step too far with that. Ihave seen this come up in criticisms of Kin.

Wellwort Dragosi: “The kind of dragon I is technically quadruped, but can use the forepaws for tools since there’s an opposable thumb on each one, and can walk on two or four legs, though four is more stable. This is the idea about the species I have.”

Wesker T. Skeptic: “That’s impossible. Let me tell you the scientific fact; an animal that can walk or run on four limbs is never going to have anything like opposable thumbs or grasping digits. Your dragon just is impossible.”

Or alternately:

Sally T. Skeptic: “Wesker’s right. I’ve got four years of college and I’m studying biology. You can’t have thumbs on something that isn’t built like a human being. Never happen. Impossible.”

Here, Wesker’s fault is making bald statements as if he’s an authority of biology and evolutionary theory. But his absolute denial of the possibility seems suspect when applied to hypothetical biology (such as pondering dragons), and considering that one can look at an animal as humble and common as the raccoon to find a creature that can move on four limbs yet has dexterous grasping forepaws, very close to human-like hands. One would expect an ‘expert’ to be aware of an example as common as this.

On the other hand, Sally’s fault appears to be in resting on her laurels of education to make her point valid, even though it as well goes against readily available empirical evidence. I know personally that I’ve encountered more than one person who has dismissed my beliefs with a statement to the effect that I should educate myself on formal logic, as they are, yet in the very same dismissal has made glaring logical fallacies.

Against Skeptics:

Here, the urge that some Kin feel to provide validation for their beliefs has led them to make statements from the perspective of an ‘expert’ without the credentials, demonstration of equivalent competency, or in direct conflict with the actual knowledge of the field.

Wesker T. Skeptic: “Hmm. Well… I suppose it’s possible that a dragon with grasping forelimbs could arise if the conditions promoted it. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility, lack of proof aside.

Wellwort Dragosi: “All dragons have have grasping forelimbs. They are all allergic to high amounts of sucrose, and can drink salt water without any problem. You have to keep those things in mind as well; plus, dragons can interbreed with almost ANY animal!” (**note** This last item has been inserted by the editor at the request of Ohpleasenotagain, the Goddess of Common Sense, after seeing one too many dragon-amalgamation creatures that would make a quintuple-mix Gryphon blush. **note**)

It’s no wonder skeptics (and many Otherkin!) would be highly annoyed at Wellwort here. Not only is he making definitive statements (“really and for sure”) about a subject on which nobody could, in this life and present reality be a true, objective expert on, but his claims fly in the face of much accepted biology (the last item). Of course, it might be possible a “super breeder” species of creature exists in the universe, but it would redefine a huge amount of knowledge on how reproduction and genetics worked. Wellwort doesn’t say anything to demonstrate an authoritative grasp on just how this would ability would function to back up making such a bold statement.

Non Sequitur

Against Kin:

Non Sequitur occurs when a conclusion doesn’t logically follow from the preceding statements. It means, literally, “Does not follow”. A fallacy of Non Sequitur doesn’t necessarily mean the conclusion is false, but it hasn’t been proven correctly. A personal caveat I have with this is: very technically, an accusation of Non Sequitur seems as if it could be forced onto explanations to treat them as arguments and “disprove” them. Especially since it is honest tricky sometimes to tell the difference between an explanation and a true argument My basic explanation for why I believe I’m a dragon “I believe I’m a dragon because I identify with dragons more than with humans” doesn’t attempt to prove I’m a dragon. But it could be (and has been ) fit into Non Sequitur: “identifying with dragons doesn’t prove you’re not human, therefore, you are mistaken”.

But a true Non Sequitur:

Wellwort Dragosi: “I’m not human. I’m also not a wolf, or a hawk, or an elephant. This is how I concluded I’m a dragon.”

Wesker T. Skeptic, scratching his head: “Umm, well, great, you’re a dragon. I’m not sure how stating you’re not ‘x’ creature proves you’re ‘y’ creature though.”

Wellwort needs to put a tad more thought into this one ^.^

Against Skeptics:

Skeptics have pointed out that Kin are guilty of Non Sequitur often – and in fact I’ve been accused of it, though I feel it may be misinterpretations of explanations, or perhaps poorly phrased explanations on my part. One thing I suspect is that Kin (and people with empirically unprovable beliefs in general) tend to stretch things too far; perhaps out of desperation to get a point across, or perhaps just from a clumsy attempt to explain something that might not be logically provable.

Wesker T. Skeptic: “So there’ve been dragons on Earth in the past, despite lack of evidence to support it outside of myth. What’s the proof of it?”

Wellwort Dragosi: “Well… dragon myths show up everywhere… so a lot of people were talking about dragons… which must mean there had to be dragons around for so many people to see.”

What Wellwort might be trying to get across here, is an explanation for believing dragons existed on earth; that so many legends appear everywhere, in spite of lack of physical evidence, and the possibility that people simply found a common storytelling device, it’s also possible people may have indeed seen something. This in no way proves that they did, and the evidence could be interpreted to still be heavily against the possibility. But Wellwort has made believing in the possibility a Non Sequitur argument, as if trying to prove that dragons have existed due to the copious amounts of myths about them.

Skepticism is Not Proof

There are many more fallacious arguments that have actually been leveled against Otherkin in the past, as well as ones that -could- be brought to bear. However it should be reinforced that the point being illustrated is not that skepticism is flawed and inapplicable to subjective beliefs such as that a person might have the personality or spirit of a gryphon or a coyote. Rather, skepticism can and often is applied in an incorrect manner for the sake of disproving alone, both from outside and within the Kin community. Or alternately, skepticism may be honest and come from a basically healthy source, but lack the respect necessary to actually allow for real discussion; a mistake many skeptics appear to make with a wide variety of topics… not just Otherkin. Skepticism by itself is not proof that a position may be incorrect… it is the belief that could be is.

And something needs to be pointed out about people who are skeptical. While “Wesker” is used as an example of a person using fallacious logic to apply his skepticism, Wesker by his actions in a way invalidates himself as a true skeptic, period. Those who use false logic attacks frequently do so because they have an agenda; that of winning the argument or proving their position is correct regardless of the cost or even what the actual truth may be. A quote is very relevant here, taken from “Why People Believe Weird Things”, by Michael Shermer, who also happens to be publisher of Skeptic magazine.

What, then, you may ask, does it mean to be a skeptic? Some people believe that skepticism is the rejection of new ideas or, worse, they confuse skeptic with cynic and think that skeptics are a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons unwilling to accept any claim that challenges the status quo. This is wrong. Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. Skepticism is a method, not a position. Ideally, skeptics do not go into an investigation closed to the possibility that a phenomenon might be real or that a claim might be true.

In point of fact, a conversation with one particular dragon Kin brought up the sentiment that he would greatly enjoy a serious, deep discussion on draconity and otherness with someone who truly understood the beliefs and respected them, but did not agree with them. A debate like that could only serve to improve understanding of both perspectives as well as increase mutual respect. Too many would-be critics however, sadly appear only interested in sniping for the sake of pushing their viewpoint without regard to any possible legitimacy of the other or even interest in what it has to say, and that’s where fallacious logic creeps in.

Some closing remarks:

Some Otherkin have expressed unease at applying skepticism and logic to beliefs such as these. A feeling some have is that these matters are so entirely in the realm of faith and pure instinct that trying to apply logic to them is impossible, and even harmful to one’s mindset as an Otherkin. Treating our beliefs this way however, only opens us up to a very valid criticism; that we’re afraid of examining the validity of our own beliefs for fear that we may find we’re mistaken. And we really don’t want to be mistaken. But, skepticism and logical deduction are our friends; we uphold our beliefs and their integrity by being skeptical and logical toward criticism of ideas that we have found to be true for us as well as using skepticism to police ourselves.

In talking on this entire subject, my sympathies are obviously going to be slanted toward the Kin perspective – because I am one, after all. I could, like some Kin, remove myself entirely from speaking on topics like this and place the subject of my draconity beyond logical deduction, treating it as a matter of pure faith. The reason I don’t is because in my beliefs, draconity is not something irrational or beyond logic or even proof – despite present circumstances not presenting an easy way to prove anything. And because I believe I have a duty to my own self to draconity to examine my own beliefs. And a lot of Kin feel the same way I do.

Of course, it’s perhaps amusing that in the very end, it’s to some degree a matter of faith. If a dragon, in the flesh, suddenly steps upon the face of this world, then the paradigm changes. But until then, this is the way of things. I’m a wacky human who believes he’s a dragon; and that’s not something I’m ashamed to be in the slightest… despite some good attempts to make me and mine feel shame for thinking different.

— Kai

Dictionary

Index


A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z





 


A


alardan A term taken from a fictional book which means a small gathering the way it is used in the community.

angel One of many types of celestial beings, often considered to be in servitude to a major deity.

angelic A incarnated being which resembles an angel in many ways.

aspected Someone who has a single mind (thought-stream, memory) but “facets” which are quite different in behavior patterns and/or emotional responses. Most people have this to a small degree (a “work” persona and a “home” persona for example), but this is a more extreme variant. Medically, in the extreme end this is classed as ESD (Ego-State Disorder).

Awakening An informal
stage in an individual’s self-actualization. From unaware, mundane and
“asleep” one is “awakened” to some basic truths about oneself, the nature of
people as a whole, or about the laws of nature. For Otherkin, “Awakening” is
almost always used in relation to one’s non-human nature. This term is used by a number of spiritually aware communities (entirely unaffiliated, offsite: Awakening into Awareness, Spiritwalk, Pleidians: Awakening, etc.). [see also
So, You’re Awake?]

D


des’tai A term in one specific remembered-language (Elenari) which means “On one’s (karmic) path.” Used as a blessing. (see offsite article Des’tai at Elenari.net)

Dreaming The world beyond the veils often reached when one is sleeping. A counter-existence to Earth.

F


Faerie The world from which they come (cf Veil and Dreaming)

G


gate Usually used in the otherkin community to describe a magical doorway which allows one to travel into another dimension, universe or reality. Also “Portal”.

glamour A minor, generally illusionary, magic.

H


host A multiple for whom one or more of the other minds in the body were not, under usual circumstances, supposed to be born there. The entities in the body may have been there at birth, or be walk-ins. The original mind may also be a split. [Note: in the DID/split community and a fair amount of the medical references “host” is frequently used to refer either to the birth mind or the “front” or main persona. That is not how it is used with regard to otherkin multiples.]

K


Kella One subrace of elvenkind, with its own language [see also the Kella Language Dictionary]

M


multiple Someone with more than one mind in a single body. Outside the otherkin community it generally refers to a Split.

mundane Simple descriptive term for those with no magickal skills and/or with no awareness of any reality beyond that commonly accepted by modern science. Also used as a pejorative term for those who adamantly deny any other realities, and attempt to belittle those who do explore beyond the boundaries of science. Also dictionary-defined as “ordinary” and “of this world”. Used in other fringe communities to mean different things.

O


otherkin (aka “other” and “kin”) Anyone assuming the identity of not being completely human, in body mind and/or soulAnyone assuming the identity of not being an ordinary (cf. “mundane“) human. Includes, in the broadest sense, aliens, humans from other worlds, furries, vampires, therianthropes (aka werewolves and shapeshifters), etc. Usually used specifically to refer to mythological phenotypes, including (but not limited to) fairies, elves, dragons, merfolk, etc. Does not necessarily include “non-mundane” humans (such as Psis, Mages, SCAdians, etc.). [see also What is an Otherkin and Otherkin FAQ] {also Fairth, Metahuman, Changeling…}

Otherkin Reiki A subset of non-traditional Reiki with a focus on
experimentation, hybridizing with other systems of energy work, individuality
in the use of the energies and implementation processes. Although there are
many people who do not practice Traditional Reiki,
this subgroup has a very heavy Otherkin influence. [For more information see the
Otherkin Reiki pages]

P


Pagan A broad term encompassing a great number of polytheistic and/or earth-based
religions. [more specific subcategories: Druidism, Wicca, Asatru/Odinism, Hellenism, possibly Church of All Worlds,
etc.]

polyamorous (aka “Poly”) Any person assuming the identity of being theoretically open to
responsible non-monogamous relationships (ie. a person likely to choose Polyamory). [see also Polyamory.org]

polyamory (aka “Poly”) The theoretical or actual practice of responsible non-monogamy
ie. where all partners are aware and accepting of their partners’ lifestyle. [see also Polyamory.org]

R


Reiki A popular energy-working system. Includes many techniques for healing both physical and non-physical complaints, and for using various
energies in ritual and distance work. Very generally speaking, one needs to
be initiated to use this system by what practitioners call a Reiki attunement.
[see also Traditional Reiki and Otherkin Reiki]

Reiki attunement (also “Attunement”) A ritualized initiation or introduction into Reiki energies.

remembering Recalling aspects of or events from the past life or lives in which the person was non-human.

S


split Someone who, for whatever reason (but usually severe trauma at an early age) shattered or split into two or more minds (two seems rare, four to six moderately common, and there are cases of over a hundred). In the case of a split, all the minds belong in the body and many choose to reintegrate when the trauma is healed (but not always). In medical parlance this would be DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as MPD) or DD-NOS (Dissociative Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified), the latter being used if the person does not fill all the criteria for DID.

T


traditional Reiki A subset of Reiki with a focus on ritual, tradition, history and purity, which excludes experimentation and innovation outside of a certain (often rigid) framework. Generally modified with the name of the tradition in question (eg. Traditional Usui Reiki). [see also
Reiki and Otherkin Reiki]

V


veil The boundary between two overlapping worlds. Dpending on the speaker and the context, may refer to the boundary between: the world of Faerie and Earth; the Dreaming and the waking world; the astral and physical worlds; or any other two places where there is a liminal between them.

W


walk-in A mind/spirit who was not born to the body they are living in, but arrived some time afterwards. At times the walk-in displaces the original spirit, or replaces it when the original has left or spiritually died. This results in a singleton (one mind, one body) who is not native to the body. At other times, the walk-in does not displace but joins the existing entity(s), thus becoming a host.

Annotation for: “What are Otherkin?”

In a comment on the parent article Petrael said: “From months of research in the Japanese culture I have never found that the Imperial line of Japan claims descent from Dragons. They claim descent from Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess.” The situation is not nearly as simple as it may sound. It’s convoluted in the extreme, but I shall do my best insofar as my knowledge. First and foremost, a minor pet peeve of mine; “dragons” and ‘long'(Chinese) or ‘ryu’ (Japan), are not a huge conglomerative lump, regardless of popular regard. Though they sometimes are used to represent some similar Elemental forces (and even this comparison differs widely upon closer examination), they are not the same creature unless you want to say that they are both mythological beings–and one would not attempt I would hope to confuse a Wyvern with a Satyr, or tell one that they are the same thing, if you catch my meaning. ‘Western’ dragons are by and large potrayed as at least appearing to be almost wholly reptilian, very much in the way that most people have become familiar with them through common fantasy fiction. ‘long/ryu’ have much more varied appearances and qualities–they can be avian, picine, mammalian, and indeterminate variants between the three. The “Eastern” part of the world that actually claims. most commonly, descent from “long” is actually several of the regional rulers (or Emperors) of ancient China (From which the ‘Long’ of the Seas are mythologically derived, amongst other things.) As I understand it, Vietnamese mythology also makes a large claim to descent from dragons, but I am much less familiar with that mythos than that of China or Japan. The descent of the Japanese imperial family from ‘long’-like beings is convoluted but there is some evidence to support it, at least in an artistic and syncretic sense. The prototypical creator and creatrix of the Ni Hon Go (Rising Sun Land) are Izanami (F) and Izanagi (M). As many of the more ‘modern’ Japanese beliefs and images are heavily influenced by or derived from Chinese mythology (Shinto basically being a huge multileveled syncretization between Old Religious Taoism and the Aboriginal Ancestor-Worship practices of the original inhabitants of the Island chain, the Ainu–told you it got complicated), many of the older images of Izanami and Izanagi syncretize them with the ancient Chinese images of the progenitors of the universe- Pan Ku (M) and Nu Wa (F)–both of whom were originally portrayed as “Naga”-like beings–that is, serpentine and/or draconian from the waist down. The concept and imagery of the “Naga” comes from the Hindu-Vedic traditions, which has spawned much of the Taoist pantheon and imagery. (Kuan Yin is in fact a female ‘aspect’ or derivation of the Hindu diety Avalokitesvara [1]–in Japan, she’s Kannon, and it pretty much continues in that vein on many fronts.) In the Vedic traditon, there is little to no distinction made between “Naga” and “Dragon/Long”, and the words are frequently used interchangeably. In fact, many scholars have postulated that the “Dragon Kings Of The Sea” of China are actually descended from the Vedic mythology of the Naga Kings, and there’s a large amount of evidence to support that. (That chunk of mythos, as well as much of that which now supports the belief structure of Feng Shui, appears to have first started appearing in Japan around the Jomon period, but it may well have been earlier, it’s hard to say.) What does this all have to do with Amaterasu and Co.? Well, if one postulates that Izanami and Izanagi are derivations of Pan Ku and Nu Wa (which seems likely as much of Japanese mythology is derived similarly) then Izanami and Izanagi would indeed be considered to be of ‘draconian’ descent, and hence so would their children, among them Amaterasu (From which the Imperial line claims their descent) and Susano (who interestingly enough has many ‘draconian’ and ‘serpentine’ associations himself.) The fact that other associations began to be made with Amaterasu later on (most commonly the Phoenix presently due to the fire association, and interestingly enough also derivative of Chinese mythology in which ‘dragon’ and ‘phoenix’ represent both opposing and sychronous forces–‘yin’ and ‘yang’ if you will, or ‘in’ and ‘yo’ in Japanese) would be a fairly recent (at least in terms of mythology and legends) development, and not wholly representative of the original symbology. Additionally, though the Japanese people as a whole may not claim ‘descent’ from dragons, many of the original ‘uji’ (clans) of Japan (notably pre “Kojiki” and “Nihongi”, both of which are frequently-mangled aggregations of older myths and legends that were highly politicised by the Yamato clan to support their rule) considered many different ‘supernatural beings’ to be their ancestors, before Shinto as it is commonly percieved today, and multiple individual ‘uji’ ritual beliefs and practices were aggregated into what it is now. If you look back far enough this information can be found.


[1] Effectively, when the sanskrit title (Avalokitesvara) is rendered into Chinese, it becomes “Kuan Shih Yin”–“The One Who Hears The Cries Of The World” ( Source: “Kuan Yin: Myths and Prophecies Of The Chinese Goddess Of Compassion”, Martin Palmer and Jay Ramsay with Man Ho Kwok)


What are Otherkin?

Otherkin is a collective noun for an assortment of people who have come to the somewhat unorthodox, and possibly quite bizarre, conclusion that they identify themselves as being something other than human. It is also the label used by a number of communities both on and off line. (The distinction between the two is not always drawn and can lead to some confusion).

There are a number of ways people reach this conclusion, and a number of possible explanations for it. On the face of it, it is a remarkably difficult conclusion to reach, not only is the evidence scant at best, but to define yourself as not human requires defining what human means – an exercise which philosophers for millennia have failed to complete.

The following is a brief overview of some of the possible explanations.

1 – Appeal to biology

There are a very few people who claim a biological difference from humans. On the face of it this should be the easiest to prove – the biological requirements for species are fairly well defined. Life is rarely that simple and the existence of a subspecies that can occasionally interbreed with humans is at least somewhat plausible. Those that claim this tend to posit an initial technical, magical or deity intervention for the initial pairing. Thus the most frequent (if such a term can be used for such a small sample) such claims are for some form of elves (generally Tuatha de Danaan or Sidhe – for which there is some support in ancient texts), angels (for which there is some biblical support) or oriental dragons (such as the royal line of Japan claims).

To date, the variations encountered (including those unsupported claims made that were not utterly impossible) have been explainable variations and mutations of homo sapiens and unprovable without extensive DNA testing. (For which, if anyone ever volunteers an appropriate lab, there are a number of volunteers).

Those claiming such tend to expect even less belief from the general populace.

2 – Appeal to spirit

By far the most common explanation from those who fit the definition (even if they don’t claim this specific label) is that whilst their physical forms may be human, their essence, soul or equivalent term is not.

Of those, the majority make their claim based on reincarnation – what they have been in a previous incarnation so strongly affects their current incarnation that they still identify with it. Obviously this requires a belief in reincarnation, and in the transmigration of souls. Both are reasonably common in a number of religions and spiritual beliefs across the world.

The less frequent explanations are “nature of soul” (where one is created as a specific entity, but failed to incarnate as such – sometimes including the “ooops! missed!” theory of incarnation), and “walk-in” (where the original spirit inhabiting a body vacated it for one reason or another – frequently near-death or severe trauma – and a separate entity took over).

Obviously this is a lot harder to prove, especially as the evidence for reincarnation itself is rather sparse (some are documented to varying degrees of veracity, such as the Dali Lama and a number of cultural mythologies). It is also more open to both intentional and unintentional abuse (see below).

People in this category sometimes (but by no means always) show signs of maladaption. The two main symptoms appear to be:

  • Problems not dissimilar to trans-gender issues – discomfort with the physical form not because of gender but because of species. This seems to be more common amongst younger people. (Many of the psychological arguments for and against transgender apply here, though for the most part the biological ones do not).
  • Phantom limbs – much as an amputee often gets sensation from the missing limb, so do some who claim species that have appendages that humans do not (wings and tails being the main ones). The conventional explanation for amputees is misfiring nerves and obviously this is implausible in this case. That such problems are psychosomatic seems possible, however some do have physically observable side effects that have to be handled (such as back muscle problems from ‘supporting’ wings).

3 – Appeal to psychology

Another explanation posited is that of using the concept of other species as a tool for self exploration. Thus one is not a member of that species, but takes on the traits of that species to learn from it. This could take the form of (at least the westernised distortion of) Totemic belief, or of Jungian Archetypes.

For the most part those using such techniques deliberately know what it is they are doing and do not claim the label. However, there are many people who have not been introduced to the concepts (or have inaccurate information if they have) and if they should find themselves in the position of having a Totem (if such can happen outside the appropriate culture) they may well mistake the effects as them being that creature rather than having an association with that archetype.

4 – Escapism and mental aberration

The vast majority of people on encountering the concept (and a fair proportion of those who subscribe to it) will favour this explanation – it’s certainly the easiest one. Anyone who has actually claimed a label that fits under the ‘otherkin’ category has seriously considered this option (or should have).

The most frequent accusation is that all otherkin are lost in fantasy, they’ve played one too many D&D games and gone over the edge. Personal study seems to indicate this is actually one of the least frequent explanations. Most roleplayers know they are roleplaying, even if they are also otherkin, and roleplaying can be a very useful tool in self exploration.

Escapism from what is seen as an increasingly hostile and unpleasant culture (especially in the United States) is somewhat more plausible and more common. The irony there is that modern society is becoming increasingly magical – in what other era could you speak instantaneously with someone a thousand miles away with a simple ten digit incantation, see images from the past or distant present or rain fiery death from the skies from half a world away? The potential for being one step further than a mythological SCA is certainly there however.

Not being “like them” is a much more common cause, whether “them” is classmates, family, coworkers or everyone you meet. For some it’s perhaps real – otherkin really *are* different. However the relationship is not reciprocal – being different does not make one otherkin. The alienation that many teenagers go through, both as part of normal human development and the social aberration that many high-schools seem to be, can easily have people looking for an explanation. For some it’s that they are the only goth in a conservative area, others have less obvious affiliation, but take a deep interest in dragons and extrapolate.

The other side of that particular coin is looking around you and seeing the many terrible things that humanity is capable of and deciding that you are not like that and thus cannot possibly be human. (ref “behaviours – differentiation by repudiation”).

There are also those for whom it is simply wish fulfillment – is being an elf not so much better than being Joe Smith who flips burgers at McDonalds?

5 – All of the above

Whilst the above explanations are presented as distinct categories, people do not necessarily fall into only one of them. There are those who claim physical differences, and past lives. There are those who are both in therapy for mental health problems and otherkin (and which is cause and which effect is debatable).

In the end, without further evidence, it comes down to a matter of personal belief. As personal beliefs go, it’s relatively harmless.

[The original version of this page is depreciated, but if you really want to read it, or the comments left on it, it can be found h ere]

So… You’re Awake?

Q.Why me?
A. There are several theories as to what the fae are, and how they came to be here. In some cases, it seems that the spirit or soul of an individual has lived many times, and at one point inhabited the body of one of the fae. Another opinion is that the fae originated Elsewhere, and arrived in this world through constructs known as Gates, which have been sealed. Memories from the fae lifetime (or lifetimes) tend to manifest in dreams or as things you “just know”.
Q. Does this mean I was switched at birth?
A. Probably not. Being fae, while it can run in families, is not something generally determined by your birth parents. I was born on a military base with all the security that entails. Depite what my parents might wish, we are genetically related.
Q. Am I delusional or am I normal?
A. Not to sound trite, but this depends on your definitions of “delusional” and “normal”. If by “normal” you mean “like everyone else”, then no, you aren’t “normal”, but do you really want to be? I prefer defining “normal” as “being able to function” and “delusional” as “being unable to function.” For example, I believe I am elven. I realize that this isn’t something I should share with the general populace, because it would require too much explanation. For the same reason, I don’t share the fact that I am Pagan with everyone, or the fact that I am a shaman with everyone. I will share it with those that I believe to be accepting. If I were to try and claim “minority benefits” for being elven, they’d probably lock me up. Likewise, if I were to go around in certain outfits on a regular basis, I’d at least get strange looks.
Q. What do you mean “Awakening”?
A. There seem to be three major ways that people Awaken that I have experienced. The first is the “gradual or independent Awakening,” in which the Sleeper feels a certain distance from others, possibly proceeding through religious experimentation, until hopefully they find a supporting circle. These people may or may not be fae themselves, and the Sleeper may in fact not fully think of themselves as “fae.” The second is the “alarm clock Awakening.” This occurs when the Sleeper is exposed to group of Awakened fae and their own nature surges to the front. This can take the form of recognizing a shared memory or even recognizing a person they’ve never met before. The third type is the “snooze alarm Awakening.” In this form, the Sleeper has seen evidence of their nature, but is choosing – conciously or unconciously – to ignore it.
Q. I have a friend that I think is ‘Kin, but sie seems to still be a Sleeper. How should I help hir Awaken?
A.Best bet is – don’t. It could be that they are worried about the reaction of others, or that it’s just too much for them to deal with at the moment. While the temptation is to beat them over the head with it until they “understand”, that really doesn’t accomplish much – especially if they are afraid that this “elf” thing is a fanatic cult. Telling them to “admit it, you’re one of us” is going to send them screaming into the night. By all means, hang around, and answer questions as best you can, but don’t be concerned if they “don’t get it.”
Q. Does this mean I’m going to develop weird allergies?
A. This is an issue that has sparked a lot of debate. Some of my friends say that they have difficulty with iron “due to their nature”. I have never had a problem with iron. I have at least one friend who is a vampire. She has no problem with running water, holy water, loves garlic, and doesn’t mind going out in the sun. It’s entirely possible that some races of fae are susceptible to iron. For those people, the purity of the iron seems to be a factor, as is whether or not it has been worked
Q. Does this mean I have to act in a certain way?
A. Probably not, if you haven’t felt the urge to. Seriously. Not all members of a group behave the same way.
Q. This person I met claims to be a ___. How should I relate to that?
A. Are you asking how you should relate to hir as a ____ or how you should relate to _____ in general? I for one don’t think that one’s heritage necessarily affects that person’s individual worth. If sie seems like a good person to you, proceed as you would with any other relationship. Just because someone is of the same fae heritage as yourself or someone you like doesn’t mean that you and that person will or have to get along. Just because you don’t like someone of a particular fae heritage doesn’t mean that all people of that heritage are “bad”. I have a few friends who can’t stand each other. I interact with them separately, and they understand that I’m not going to take sides. I personally don’t care if someone is Elenari, Draestari, Listari or Calamari as far as that goes. For one thing, I don’t know precisely what my heritage is. I have clear memories of situations, and I know what “my people’s” lifestyle was, but I don’t have a “clan name” for them. For all I know, my people and their people might be the same, or related. For another, like it or not, some of the memories seem to show that the fae came here from Elsewhere. There’s a couple possible reasons – one, we were exiled or two, we were escaping. I’m discounting rumors of world domination because of the fact that the door “back home” is locked. At any rate, there aren’t that many of us, and very few have organized into groups. Taking all that into consideration, fragmenting ourselves further doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
Q. I don’t have any memories of a fae life. Does that mean I’m not Otherkin?
A. Absolutely not. There are many reasons why people don’t remember other lifetimes. One of the simplest is that this may be their first time around. There are plenty of folk who are either first- or only-timers. Another is that you might not be prepared for remembering. I’ve seen some people try to force themselves into remembering, or even to force others to remember, and it frequently ends up either muddying the waters or even uncovering rememberings that are painful or stressful to deal with.
Q. What about humans?
A. What about them? Seriously, though, you’ll find that there are a few different schools of thought on how fae relate to non-fae. One is that non-fae are somehow inferior. Another is that “after being Awakened for a while, you find non-fae distasteful”. This makes about as much sense as being superior based on hair color. It’s true that finding a supporting circle among non-fae may be difficult, but it is far from impossible.
Q. How do I know I’m really ‘Kin? Could I be fooling myself into believing in this?
A. The fact that you even think about this question shows a healthy attitude. I’ve seen people (both ‘Kin and non-‘Kin) twisting themselves into knots trying to be something they aren’t. One of the better approaches I’ve seen to this question is remembering that words like “elf”, “Otherkin”, “dragon”, etc. are all just labels. As long as a label works for you, then keep it. If you find yourself trying to cram yourself into fitting a label, it isn’t working, and you should probably re-examine why you are trying to keep that label.

Tolerance versus Gullibility: Judging the Validity of Magickal Claims

We all strive to be open-minded about one another’s beliefs and experiences. This is essential to our community, because we have had to keep an open mind about our own beliefs and experiences in order to accept them as valid and real. Much of what we believe and what forms the foundation of our community’s identity are claims of supernatural or psychic experiences that mainstream culture would simply debunk. Our materialist, scientific society has no room for a sixth sense, let alone a seventh or an eighth, and the empirical rule of science leads most materialists to assert that if you can’t touch it, it isn’t there. So many of the perceptions and sensations that form a vital part of our experiences are subtle and numinous in nature. They cannot be proven in a laboratory. Often, it is hard for us to “prove” them even to ourselves. We simply have to accept that we are not crazy, that these impressions are valid, and that the materialist approach to reality somehow fails to account for a large portion of human experience. Yet this creates a certain amount of credulousness within the community. Since we each have had experiences that the rest of the world would reject as lies or delusion, we are much more likely to listen with a sympathetic ear to someone else’s experiences, no matter how strange they may sound. We are painfully aware of how hard to believe many of our own experiences and beliefs are, especially because we have had to struggle to believe them in the face of a culture that tells us these beliefs *must* be the product of a crazed mind. Obviously, we don’t want to disbelieve another’s claims especially because we want to be believed ourselves. But this can lead us into a dangerous habit of accepting everything that is told to us by others without question, and the sad fact of reality is not everyone who makes an extraordinary claim is telling you the truth. There are quite a number of people who lie and make up tales about their beliefs and experiences. They do this as an attention-getting measure, to make themselves feel powerful and important, or to get you to follow them and accept further stories and orders without question. These are the poseurs and cult-daddies of the scene, and they hurt our community not only by preying upon the innocent and vulnerable, but also by giving the outside world a very negative impression of us.

Developing Sound Judgment

So how do we know when our tolerance has crossed into the realm of gullibility? Whenever someone makes a claim to you of a supernatural belief or experience, listen carefully to what they have to say. See if what they say makes sense based on your own experiences. Even magick functions on universal laws, and although we may not understand all of these laws as of yet, they still seem to hold true in most cases. If what this person has to say is radically different from your own experiences and what you’ve learned of the magickal world, that should set off warning bells in your head. You should not discount their claims just yet — it may simply be that your own experiences are limited and this person is discussing a principle that you have not encountered yet. It’s also possible that some of the beliefs and conclusions you’ve drawn from your own experiences are either wholly or partially wrong. We make as a great a mistake assuming that everything we believe is 100% accurate as when we believe that everything other people tell us is 100% accurate. After analysing what the person has to say, analyse the person himself. How does he act? How does he dress? Does he speak like someone who is reasonably intelligent and well-educated? These might sound like judgments based on superficial things, but the fact of the matter is that mentally unbalanced individuals often demonstrate their problems in their mannerisms, diction, and dress. Not everyone who has a nervous tic is insane, just as not everyone who refuses to look you in the eye is lying to you, but these are good cues to keep in mind when trying to judge someone’s credibility. There are quite a lot of people who our mainstream culture would label depressed or bipolar or delusional who have had very legitimate experiences and who have a lot of insightful and worthwhile things to say. However, you must keep in mind that people with chemical imbalances and unstable personalities cannot always determine the line between reality and imagination, and any of their stories should be especially scrutinized for this reason. After analysing the person, analyse the situation in which you are receiving this information. What could the person’s motivation for speaking with you be? What kind of level of trust has been built up between you? Chances are, the voodoo queen of Wheeling would not come right out and say who she is and what kind of army of zombies she commands to every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the street. Common sense dictates that she’d have to trust you quite a bit to reveal information as sensitive as that, and if you just met someone at a coffee house who makes similarly wild and powerful claims, chances are, they’re telling you a tall tale. If it’s pretty clear that the person making the claim has something to gain from you be very leery of it. But also keep an open mind on what you consider “gain” to be. Not everyone who’s trying to “sell” you something is out for your money. A lot of people are simply motivated by a need to be believed, or they want to get you on their “side” for some imagined conflict. If you thought you left the petty social politics and cliqueishness behind in high school, you’re in for a surprise, because as far as I’ve noticed, those silly social games keep a lot of people occupied well into their 70s. Sex is another basic motivator, and if you’re a pretty young girl (or even a pretty young boy), really keep your eyes open when people start coming up to you and trying to tell you how the universe works. All too often, they’ll wind up trying to teach you tantric sex magick or something similar — the long and the short of it is they want you in their bed.

Educating Yourself

With all these things to watch out for, how can you ever find a teacher or mentor that you can trust? Well, the best approach is to educate yourself. There are a lot more books out there than used to be the case, and with the Internet, a great deal of material is at your very fingertips. Not everything in a book or on a web page is truthful or accurate — just about everyone is trying to sell you something in this day and age. However, if you approach all information cautiously, analyse it carefully in respect to your own experiences, and try to judge the motivations of the writer, you’ll find a lot to teach yourself. Material that you read in a book or on a webpage is a little safer than having someone come up to you and spout off all their vast occult knowledge. For one thing, you can read at your leisure, and if there are claims or references in the work that set off alarm bells for you, you have the additional luxury of being able to research those claims and see what other authorities have to say about them. Also, although part of a writer’s job is to present a convincing argument so you agree with his points, still read material is not nearly as dynamic nor as potentially overwhelming as spoken conversation delivered by a real pro at the debating game. So when you’re just starting out and you’re not sure what to believe or who to believe it from, read, read read! It will give you a great background for later when you are comfortable enough and self-assured enough to tackle face to face conversations with people who may be trying to take advantage of you. For face to face conversations and study, always try to stick with informal study groups where everyone has an equal say. You’ll find that some persons within the group can be considered authorities on certain topics, but as long as they’re not always trying to dictate what others will accept and believe, then they’re the kinds of authorities that will only help you expand your own knowledge. Steer clear of groups or individuals who are “gathering members for a light and darkness war” or who are engaged in “battles on the astral plane” or other such nonsense. These psychic war dialogues are just a very common and dramatic way to pull people into the group, incite them with a purpose, and let them run around as pawns for one or more cultish-type leaders. Also, if someone comes up to you and claims to have information for you because they’ve known you in a past life, try to make certain that you get impressions that reinforce what this individual is saying. That’s another dialogue that I’ve seen misused in groups in the past, and unfortunately many a poor innocent has had her head screwed on backwards with tall tales of a long ago life in a magickal time that’s nothing more than a tale someone was spinning to gain her affection. So, back to tolerance and gullibility. There is nothing wrong with listening to what people have to say. In fact, I encourage everyone to keep an open mind, because we can never be 100% certain that our own beliefs are entirely accurate or well-founded. Even if a person you talk with has beliefs you utterly disagree with, still you’ve learned something in the very act of ordering your thoughts for conversation and comparing your beliefs against their own. Do not, however, believe everything that is told you. This does not mean that you should go around being paranoid of everyone who comes up to you and wants to chat about spiritual things, but you should let wisdom and common sense be your guides. Always analyse what the person is saying to you, analyse the person himself, and analyse the situation and what may be gained from getting you to believe the story. If any of these things set alarm bells off for you, then take what is said with a grain of salt. Feel free to challenge someone’s beliefs that you disagree with — sometimes there’s nothing better than a heated debate on theology! And if they are unwilling to debate or defend their beliefs to you, or to back up their claims with real incidents or examples, then you can probably spend your time more productively with somebody else.

That life isn’t This life

Something I have observed in a number of communities where reincarnation and conscious memories thereof are accepted is the tendency to confuse last time with this time. This seems to be particularly accute in the otherkin communities where past incarnations become the basis for identity in this one.

Whilst who you were can, and for some people does, have a significant impact on who you are now there can be serious problems with mixing the two. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly psychotic-looking (though I’ve seen a few of those too).

Many people have encountered “elven princess syndrome” wherein someone tries to carry over status from a previous incarnation into this one, but the most common one I see is relationship propogation.

It’s actually a joke in at least some pagan circles, having been overused by somewhat unscrupulous people that “we were lovers in a past life” is a classic bad pickup line. Well maybe we were, but perhaps this life the only interest I have in your genitalia is to tenderly wrap them in a wasps nest.

Part of the point of reincarnating is to be someone different. To do new things, learn new lessons, have new experiences. Not just to replace a worn out body so you can do the horizontal mamba with your dearly departed from. Sometimes that happens, but only because the people you are now are compatible in that way.

To use a personal example, there is someone I know in this lifetime that I have known in others. Yes, she and I have been lovers. We have also killed each other from opposite sides of a vicious genocidal war. Which of those roles should we bring forward into this life? Well, neither, we are not either of those people anymore.

The same can be said for any other trait. If you were a psychopath last life, it doesn’t mean you are now. Nor that you should necessarily wrack yourself with guilt over it. Learn from what you remember, make yourself into a better person. Sometimes the lessons aren’t what you think they are. That’s part of the pleasure of life.

And yes, this applies to species too. Because you were something in a previous lifetime, that does not mean you are that thing now. Maybe there are traits that you can bring forward that assist you in this lifetime too, maybe there are enough traits that you consider yourself the same sort of creature. Maybe not.

If you are going to actively draw traits from the past into the present then choose the ones that benefit you now. Also remember that whilst your affections may have been truely undying, the object of your affections may be learning this life’s lessons from being that psychopath, or simply from loving someone else.

Weres and Therians

Recently I got into a conversation and an interesting topic came up- Is there a difference between weres and therians? I have to admit it threw me off a bit because I had gone through my otherkinity without considering there to be a difference between weres and therians and then two people presented themselves to me adamantly insisting that there was a difference. At first I didn’t know what to think of it so I told them that as far as I knew there was no difference but I would look into it. That is exactly what I done and that is what this post is about. Throughout this post I will look at the official definitions of weres and therians, the history of weres/ therians, and people personal stances on the subject. I will eventually come to my own decision and hopefully you can come to one as well.

Werewolf originates from werewolf, or translated as human-wolf. Therefore when referring to it in otherkin terms of were(insert animal) it translates directly as human(insert animal). This is a pretty accurate translation to what weres/therians believe they are- humans who are whichever animal they claim to be. Whether they claim this spiritually, mentally, physically etc. they are humans who are those animals in some way. This seemed like a pretty sensible term to use in my opinion because it translates quite accurately into what these animal kin believe.

Therianthropy actually threw me when I first looked at the origins of the term. This is because therianthrope translates as part man part beast. Therian originating from the Greek therion meaning wild animal/beast. Thrope comes from anthropos meaning man but even with this therianthrope translates as wild animal/ beast man. In reality therianthropy is closely related to what our folk lore and movie ideas of werewolves are. Therianthropy can also be applied to the Egyptian Gods who had the heads of animals. Of course in otherkin terms therianthropy refers to the people in our sub-culture who relate themselves spiritually to animals. This is actually the “New-Age” definition of the term therianthropy, its also accepted but, after finding out the words translation, I started to wonder why.

What could be seen from these definitions in my opinion is that they both mean the same general thing although one term is more savage than the other and that term, to my surprise, is therianthropy. But this isn’t what was important in my research, I have found out that the definitions are similar so in that way the differences are quite vast if focusing on the original definitions. However if you look at the term were(insert animal) and the “New-Age” definition of therianthropy they are for the most part the same ideas just rephrased.

When I looked further into the history of weres/therians I found out some interesting information. The actual official start of the were/therians in the otherkin sub-culture originated around 1992 on a Usenet community called alt.horror.werewolves, when some of the users started to claim to be part animal- werewolves etc. Some of them were joking but it was revealed that quite a few were not and thus weres/therians were born. Of course it would have been a lot more gradual than this and no doubt that a lot of people knew of what they were before hand, they may have even clocked the term themselves, but this incident was the biggest that had occurred.

Anyway around about this time most of these animal kin called themselves were(insert animal), this was probably partly due to the fact that it translated well to their beliefs and partly because they had started off on a werewolf site. So when the were/ Therian community first joined the otherkin culture they were mostly going by the term were. So What changed? And why is it that now weres and Therian will sometimes consider themselves different?

After further research I stumbled onto quite a few answers and most of them seemed to make sense. These ideas came from therians and are their personal opinions on the matter so I personally consider them to be quite accurate. After a while of weres being accepted into the otherkin culture there became a problem with the term. Furries Werewolf, Werecat etc. also using the term were to define themselves. This meant that not only were true weres being mistaken for furries as soon as they said what they believed themselves to be but it also meant that they were less openly accepted into the otherkin culture because of this relation with furries. This would be understandably annoying and frustrating for weres, therefore some changed their otherkin definition to therianthrope which, as we have already discovered, are similar terms. There was also the dilemma of being associated with the traditional folk lore werewolf and the movie werewolf when Weres were declaring that they were Were(insert animal), not to mention the medical condition of lycanthropy. Although this was quite easy to overcome in the otherkin community, it made coming out of the kin closet harder. It’s a lot easier to say you’re a Therian then explain the word that your friends have never heard in your own way then say you’re a Were and allow them to have already come up with half of what you are themselves. So this is why therianthropy started being used- it was a word of basically the same definition, it was less commonly used and it was up to the same interpretation with less already assumed about it.

So if Were and Therian relate to the same type of kin then why is there a difference? Well from what I can gather it is all up to personal interpretation. When I asked my partner Grey Wolf if he thought there was a difference and what he considered himself to be he said that he thought there was a difference and he would only ever call himself a Therian and never a Were. This was because, and I quote “I’m not a bi-pedal wolf inside like a werewolf and I don’t physically shift like a werewolf, I’m just a normal wolf inside”. He had take the two words, Werewolf and Wolf-Therian, and made an interpretation of what he thought they meant and then fit himself into what category best suited him according to his personal opinion of the words definitions. There are Weres/Therians out there who will strictly only adhere to one of those labels then there are those who don’t give and damn and will slip in and out of using the labels Were and Therian when describing themselves .

In conclusion Were and Therian can only ever be different in personal opinion. This is because it all depends on how the person who is making the judgement interprets the words “Were” and “Therian” and then interprets whether or not it is important to them, whether there is an acknowledgeable difference or not. Because of this I accept that there is a difference between the terms Were and Therian and that difference is mind set.

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