My Otherkin Story

Hello my name is fluffy I am a fox therian. I decided to join this website after Shiro kicked me off kinmunity for believing in physical shifting which I have a feeling might be very hypocritical since I heard shiro and I quote say “The country’s laws doesn’t apply to kinmunity.” which makes me wonder if he might be hiding something but anyways. I also have extreme beef with the admins of kinmunity so don’t even get me started on that. On top of that some of the people from kinmunity are a little or should I say extremely crazy once when you get to know them as well as I did.

So enough of me ranting about my beef with kinmunity I found out I was a fox therian after I did numerous different guided meditations each resulting in me seeing a fox as my theriotype. At first I didn’t believe it which is why I tried it many times after a while it finally clicked with me “This is real.”

My family doesn’t think non humans exist which is why I wish I could educate humans about non humans. I swear I feel like a character from X-Men the way I just worded that but anyways. I want to change the world and make it a much better place.

Now what got me into the otherkin community was one day I decided I wanted to be a werewolf. Not a werefox like I do now but a werewolf. I think the reason for that was I was a furry at the time and that was my fursona. I met these people on this very strange website that were complete lunatics. They thought they were gods (believe me I have ran into more people like that way too often. Very strange I know.) I fell for them because they seemed very able to manipulate me with there charm. The happiest day of my life was when they blocked me on social media. It just drove me crazy how much they would bother me everyday and how I wouldn’t realize it. They told me they were werewolves and they killed bad werewolves. Long story short I think they were in a cult. I can’t believe it wasn’t I who blocked them first lol. Anyways I then joined kinmunity because I was experiencing phantom shifts anyways that is all. Thanks!!!

O God (a poem) (Yes, it’s about fallen angel otherkin.)

O God
what is this thing
that has crept from depths below

that we in wisdom call hate

O God
who is this child
that stands before me
and laughs

to scorn my wicked fate

O God
what is this punishment
for the crime
of which you remain silent

and guilt me of my wrong

O God
What is this emotion
that I fear is sinful
of which you never taught me

of being unable yet yearning, to

belong.

Kothoran

So today started out fairly normal. But at 11:30 I felt an odd feeling in my head, i felt like someone was tring to talk to my. By 11:35 The voice was audible, he said he was called Kothoran, and that he was here to guid and help me. We where able to communicate and talk with eachother. We asked eachother questions and had a genral descition, hed said durning this that id have to find things out myself. I asked if i would get to see him and he said once he feels im ready. Apparently his using a dragon statue i was given to talk with me, which made sence as all this started apon receving it. Im not enterly sure what to do but im happy knowing Kothoran is there with me

Mother Dragon?

So my latest “vision”. I saw a huge sea-blue scaled dragon upon some sort of ledge, just like me she had white hair but hers ran down her spine and tail, she looked at me, smiling. She them seemed to talk to me but I couldnt hear her. She let out a short burst of flame and the vision faded to black. It all repeated once more before toing for good. I seem to recal and feel a sence of her being my mother

Wow …

So i just experienced something amazing, ill explain what i saw. A turquoise body that smoothly transitions to a pearl blue with spine feathers that match. A white moheaken like hair, a long snout and from the side a narrow yet long face. Large wings but i couldnt get the details of his wings or tail

He was flying at spead through a deep blue sky, just above cloud level. Iv drempt this countless times in first person view but iv never seen him/me before. Im new to most of this and was wondering if you had thoughts/advice

The troubles of being a pagan otherkin

Back in the day, when we all discovered being otherkin or other, regardless of kin type,

Paganism was a varied lifestyle choice, in which you were not equal to deity. Now, looking back I find that I am equal to deity. In fact, may even be deity. This is not an ego thing. I don’t have an ego, as some may know of me know that I eat, sleep, breathe ascension. I am ascended, and I am transcended. I am Strigoi, and not a vampire academy fan. Strigoi have similar characteristics to Elves, Sidhe, and even therians with the energy shifting. To shift the energy of oneself is to see an object, say for instance a shadow behind a tree, you can “feel” this shadow form, and become apart of it, thus trading your aura energy from that of a persona to that shadow behind a tree. This is how people become invisible in front of others. You can see them if you focus on them, but you will not “feel” their presence.

The act of being other is also mind boggling to the Paganism cultures. They can not accept, for fear of rejection that we are the Good folk, the noble gentry, the Sidhe, without a court or what not — Scottish Caledonian tradition. We are not here to judge them as pagans, for goodness sakes, do what you will! But take no shat! “The little people, are little.” No, according to history, early Christians drove out, or under, these people and their religion to the hills, thus making them little, but not in stature, but you can’t tell anyone anything. Let them believe what they want too, we did not come here to get their approval.

I don’t think the early Christians did anything. I think everyone at that point was just trying to stay ahead of the season, working in the field, not driving anything anywhere. Paganism, even to a pagan, even being other can get old to you if you let it and then you are not doing anything for a sabbat or a gather at spring, or fall. I don’t dislike Christians or Christianity, I dislike fundies. It can be just as bad to be a Fundie of sciences than that of a Christian religion. I can find similarity in Christianity, and other bible paths and denominations than I even can with pagans or heathens. I like and respect all traditions, even if it does not make sense. You can’t tell people, they have to learn it on their own.

Then, at some point, you will fall away from your spiritual path, and question yourself. “Ok, I know I am Vamp, Fae, Therian etc…where is my faith?” There are no wolven paths, no therian religions, very little vampire religion, and the Scots/Irish traditions are for the family witch of Scotland or Ireland, not the Faerie. Then you realize you live a faith, instead of are a faith. There is no God before you. You are your own deity. Your own God. That is when we all realize something powerful about ourselves in a good way. By George, you made it back to base camp.

Tolkien. Is. Not. A. Reference.

My usual, gut-level, teeth-grinding reaction to certain referential allusions that occasionally come up during discussion is as follows:

Tolkien. Is. Not. A. Reference.

While Tolkien was, to be sure, a scholar with a great deal of research on the mythos and legends of Europe under his belt, he did not write, nor did he intend to, a book of pure histories (as pure as such things can be); his works were not intended as a straight catalog of those myths. He combined those myths with his own personal vision and created a functionally fictional world, with its own specific flavor of races and beings.

Yes, the ‘elves’ in Tolkien’s fictional world were in some part inspired by creatures referred to in ‘actual mythos’, such as the LiosAlfar, and the nobler strains of ‘Sidhe’ (re: W. Y. Evans-Wentz; A.E.’s tale). Yes, the Ainur and the Valar have enough similarities to the mythos regarding the hierarchies of the Judeo-Islamic heavens and the beings therein to be considered derivative of those myth systems.

That Tolkien modified those systems and shaped them into his own narrative, his own myth system; into a work intended to be fiction, discounts him as a serious reference in such discussion.

Unless you come specifically from the fictional world that Tolkien created, you cannot refer to his works as being valid references for the history of your people.

Tolkien is not history.

However.

Neither are those myth systems from which he took so much of his inspiration. From one perspective, Tolkien’s body of work could be viewed along the lines of a modern Aeneid or Odyssey. It is an epic narrative, a heroic tale; a prose poem exploring the beauty of language for its own sake, of tale-telling for its own sake. It twines older tales together and makes of them a new storyline. How different is this from what Homer and Virgil did?

How much less viability is Tolkien given because his works were published in a modern era wherein belief in those particular myths is functionally obsolete? How much more likely would Tolkien’s works be to take their place in the folklore of Europe if they had been published without the fictional, alter-world veneer; if they had been published in an era in which there was still enough belief in the fee creatures of Europe to make additions to that line of legend possible?

There seems a tendency, indeed more than seems, as one has heard it said explicitly by various people, to discount any reference to the fee that comes published after a certain century; as if all true possibility of knowledge of those peoples ceased to exist after they ceased to be such a presence in this world. Modern works on the subject are hopelessly derivative and tangled, tainted by too much separation in time from the events, separated too much by modern life and long centuries of human influence to contain Truth. Bull. The fee have not ceased to exist. People who can see through the separation, whether it be time, distance, or some immeasurable barrier, have not ceased to exist. The tales that were told in the era from which such tales are considered viable were just as much influenced by the human society that existed then as tales that are told now are. They are no less, and no more, pure. They are no less, and no more, filtered through human perspective – the old tales, when recounted afresh during the last century or so, are only filtered through a longer timespan spent in that perspective and the shifts which have occurred therein. The works of Tolkien and other authors who further fictionalize and alter mythos do not contain The Whole Truth. The myths and legends upon which their works are based also do not contain The Whole Truth. Yet myth – The Tain, The Eddas, The Mabonigion – sometimes seem to be given a higher degree of credibility than they can rationally be owed; and are sometimes referred to in favorable contrast to modern fictionalizations to such an extraordinary extent that it seems reactionist: a knee-jerk ‘We are Not Fictional. We will not be taken seriously if We include Tolkien and other modern fictional sources among possibly viable sources of inspiration/fragments of truth/etc. We are referred to in Real â„¢ Mythology, therefore Our ideas about Our existences are valid and should be taken seriously.’

What is mythology but an established system of supposition and fiction based in some part upon observed Truths? What is most fiction but the process of creating a fanciful narrative based upon observed Truths? Why the vast divergence in opinion on the possible legitimacies of Myth as opposed to the possible legitimacies of Fiction? What is it about the existence of a spiritual reliance upon certain things that somehow brings them closer to Truth in people’s minds?

To what degree does the story of Etain and Midhir contain Truth? To what degree, at the time when it first came into being, was that story believed to be an accounting of actual events? To what degree did the populace believe in the existence of the Sidhe mounds, in the feats of Cu Cuchulainn? To what degree were such figures – the hero-men, the demi-gods – seen as real? Were they ideals; were they archetypal figures; were they, like Gandalf, Sauron, and Bilbo, designed mainly as vehicles to carry the narrative principle? (There are, of course, those exceptions to this, much as there are in Greek mythos; those figures who were known as deities, and given credence outside fictional narrative – in this case, for example; Brigit, the Dagda, Danu, etc.)

An example: It can be accepted that the peoples of that land at that time believed in the notion of shapeshifting – believed that among them, there were people who had that ability. The story of the Children of Lir includes in it this concept.

One can well imagine the common folk of the time listening to the story for the first, or the thirtieth, time, and seeing in their minds-eye the cruel sorceress Aoife cursing the children, seeing in their minds-eye the long, cold winters the children, now swans, spent struggling to survive on a frozen lake; much as folk today hear the stories of Tolkien or other fictional authors, and see Smaug sailing over the town of Dale, or see the elves sailing away from the Grey Havens.

Only here, today, our belief system is not inherently tied in to that narrative, and even we who believe in creatures such as elves, such as dragons, sometimes discount what threads of truth there may be in such works simply because by acknowledging that the separation between fiction and myth, when it comes to works classified only as fiction, is mutable and untraceable, we feel we invalidate our ideas about ourselves. This is not to say that we need give more credence to fiction, or that Tolkien and those of his ilk are a valid reference source when it comes to our histories or our people, but merely that it appears overly defensive to readily admit that myth does not contain pure fact, while refusing to acknowledge that sometimes, recently published works of fantasy, differentiated only from some myth by the changing standard of genre categorization and belief, may not always be pure fiction.

Untitled (a poem)

Under the dark moon, you’ve lost your way

Yet elfin sweet sadly calls your name

You wait for a crescent sliver, a sign, a helping hand

In that native foreign land

What is the way, and how do I get there?

Who is foul, and who is fair?

Trace the veins of a new leaf

Howl to the unseen moon

Look up!

Do you see…

Stars

And they sing in cold, high voice

You always have a choice

The way is yours alone to make

There is always a way

Call back to the song you hear

That ancient children’s game

The Tale of the Star People (an origin myth)

In the deep ages before Time existed as we know it, the stars were not bound in the heavens but floated like gems in the primordial waters. The Gods, although they were not really gods then, amused themselves by diving and catching stars and soon turned to games of sport. It became a competition among them, to possess the stars. But ‘ere long, the waters of the deep grew darker and murkier, for the cherished stars could not live forever.

The Gods lamented and created Birth and Renewal, so that new stars could come into being and once again light the darkness. They were not immortal, however, for even the Gods cannot erase Death.

Millions of years passed, and as is the way of Evolution, new creatures arose from the waters and began to crawl around on those parts of the water that had become more solid and defined of form. They swam, creeped, and crawled – and one or two even flew, and these became the Dragons. But another group of beings mimicked the Gods and loved the stars. They played games of catch, but lacked the wisdom of gods and so eventually began fighting each other over their gassy treasures.

The Gods put their heads together, and said, “This will not do. If these creatures are not curbed and set aright, they will be but a mockery of Us.” And they devised a plan.

They created new worlds for the creatures to dwell in, and set some of the stars high in the night skies. Then they gathered them together in their new lands, and set before them the task of becoming as Gods, over many ages, so that one day they might be learned enough to resume their old games. And the creatures wept and lamented. Taking pity upon them, the Gods granted them a single star and told them that they must share it amongst themselves equally. And so they became known as the Star People, also called the Elves.

A Simple Introduction to Otherkin and Therianthropes

Version 1.1 – Updated 2014-05-19
Created 2013-09-16
By Orion Scribner
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Under these terms, you have permission to share, print, change, and translate this article,
so long as you only give it out for free, and credit Orion Scribner as the author.

 

What are otherkin?

Some real people think of themselves as kinds of creatures from mythology. These people call themselves “otherkin.”1 An otherkin has the belief that he is a creature from mythology, such as an elf.2 He says that elf is his true self. It is his identity.3This is real to him. It isn’t a pretend person that he plays in a game.4

Each otherkin makes his own idea of how and why he is an otherkin.5 He is the only one who can find what he is. Many otherkin say their idea of themselves is a personal spiritual belief.6 It is common for an otherkin to say his spirit inside him isn’t human.7 It is also common for an otherkin to say that he wasn’t human in his past life.8 They have the belief that people have one life after another. That is the belief of reincarnation. Some of them find other ways to think of themselves without using any of those beliefs.

They often use reasons from spirituality for their beliefs about themselves. However, this is different from a religion.9 Each otherkin has any religion he wants.10 Many of them have Neo-Pagan religions.11 As a result, many ideas about otherkin have a base in ideas from those religions. People don’t need to have the beliefs of those religions in order to say they are otherkin.

They look like humans. They were born like humans. Many of them say their bodies are human. However, some of them say they have elves in their family history. They say their own bodies are different from human bodies.12

What we know of as otherkin started in the year 1990.13 That year, a group of them on the Internet made the word “otherkin” for themselves.14 (The word “otherkin” comes from two English words: “other,” and “kin,” which is a word for a family.) That group had some roots in a few groups of people from earlier.15Earlier groups called themselves elves. Starting about 1972, the elves sent out writings in mailing lists and in magazines.16 Those elves are the earliest groups we have knowledge of who said they were other than human. If there were people like this in years before that, then I haven’t found writings from them.

Sometimes people use the word “otherkin” for other kinds of people who think of themselves as other than human. For example, animal people. Animal people people call themselves “therianthropes.”17

What are therianthropes?

Therianthropes are real people who think of themselves as animals.18 They believe they have animal selves. These selves aren’t pretend people for games.19 They are more than just their favorite animals.20 Each person finds his own idea of why and how he is an animal. He is the only one who can find whether he is an animal, or what kind. No other person can find out any of this for him.21

The first group of therianthropes started in 1993, in a place on the Internet. The place was made for having talks about werewolf stories. A few people there had a talk about how they had a feeling that they were animals.22 They took up the word “therianthrope” for themselves in 1994.23 (“Therianthrope” was a word for animal people in old stories. The word “therianthrope” comes from two Greek words. Theríon is a word for wild animal. Anthrōpos is a word for person.) Later, the therianthropes met the people who call themselves otherkin.

Therianthropes have the knowledge that their bodies are human.24 Some of them think of it as a spiritual belief to think of themselves as animals.25 They say they have an animal spirit in a human body.26 Some say they had been animals in past lives.27 Although these are spiritual beliefs, it isn’t a religion. That’s because each person has their own beliefs.28

Some therianthropes don’t use spiritual beliefs.29 Instead, they say their minds are like the minds of animals. For them, ideas from psychology are helpful for saying how their minds are different.30

Do they have a mental illness?

It is unusual for a person to have the belief that he is an animal. By itself, that belief isn’t a mental illness. Psychologists say that belief is only unhealthy if a person also has other problems that make worse trouble. One problem is if he has the belief that his body is becoming an animal. Then he might not have clear knowledge of what is real. Another problem is if he also has other mental problems that put him in danger. That could make a bad mix.31 Most therianthropes don’t have those problems.

Some therianthropes and otherkin asked their psychologists about this. Their psychologists said their beliefs were not a sign of mental illness.32 It is acceptable to have some personal beliefs. It is even acceptable if the beliefs are unusual. Beliefs are only a problem when they put somebody in danger, and make somebody too confused about what is true.

In short

Therianthropes and otherkin are real people who think of themselves as other than human.33 Animal people call themselves therianthropes. Otherkin are elves, or other creatures from mythology. Therianthropes and otherkin started as separate groups. These ideas are unusual. However, they are not a mental illness. For many of these people, it is a spiritual belief.

 

ENDNOTES

1. Writings that say that otherkin are people who identify as creatures from mythology:
Polydorases, quoted by the Crisses, ed., “Otherkin & Awakening FAQ v3.0 Beta.” http://astraeasweb.net/plural/cris-otherkinfaq-old.html (dead link, no archive)
Eyovah, quoted by the Crisses, ed., “Otherkin & Awakening FAQ 3.0 Beta.”
Michelle Belanger, “Dragons & faeries & gnomes oh my! The fascinating world of otherkin.” PagaNet News, vol. 10, iss. 4 (2003). http://web.archive.org/web/20040222145023/http://www.paganet.org:80/pnn/2003/Litha/Feature_Sample1.html (dead link, see the archive from 2004.)
Michelle Belanger, The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work (York Beach, ME: Weiser, 2004), p. 274.
Aeldra Nightwood. “Otherkin.” 2011-01-28. http://divinorum.cz/symposion/otherkin
Wolf in the Shadows. “Otherkin.” 2003-10-07. http://bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1152983
Windrider. “Otherkin.” 2005-01-01. http://everything2.com/title/Otherkin
2. There are therianthropes and otherkin who are women, men, or people of other kinds. Please excuse me for using the word “he.” I had a reason to use that word. I made this article to be easy to translate into other languages. I had to use very simple grammar. That is why I had to use the words “he” and “him.” If I used the words “he or she,” or singular “they,” then automatic translators have difficulty with those. They also have difficulty with unusual words. I found that I couldn’t use other pronouns such as “s/he,” “sie,” or “xe.”
3. Writings that say it is an identity: Windrider.
4. Sources that say this identification isn’t a pretend person in a game:
FAQ Otherkin Hispano & Noctalium.” n.d. otherkinhispano. http://foroactivo.com/faq?dhtml=no (dead link, no archive)
Kreyas. “What is otherkin?”Circa 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080906191533/http://otherkincoalition.info:80/forum/blog.php/?page_id=7 (dead link, see the archive from 2008.)
Lupa, A field guide to otherkin (Stafford, England: Immanion Press, 2007), p. 27, 108-109.
5. Writings that talk about the individualism of otherkin:
Tirl Windtree, “What are otherkin?” 2003-04-06. http://www.otherkin.net/2016/09/what-are-otherkin/
The Crisses, ed., “Crisses’ Otherkin FAQ v 4.0.1.” 2001-02-08. http://kinhost.org/res/Otherfaq.php
Rialian Ashtae, “Forward,” in Lupa, A Field Guide to Otherkin, p. 15.
6. Writings that say that it is a spirituality, or that say that many otherkin think it is:
Otherkin.net, “On being otherkin.” Otherkin: The Missing Manual. Circa 2001. (dead link, see the archive from 2015)
Windrider.
Kreyas.
Polydorases, quoted by the Crisses, ed., “Otherkin & Awakening FAQ v 3.0 Beta.”
Belanger, p. 274.
7. Writings that say that many otherkin have the belief they are other than human in spirit:
Tirl Windtree, “What are otherkin?”
Wolf in the Shadows.
Adnarel. “What are otherkin, anyway?” http://main.otherkinalliance.org/articles/general-otherkin/what-are-otherkin-anyway/
Windrider.
Kreyas.
Reklaw. “Otherkin: A short introduction.”2003-05-23. Kuro5hin (online magazine).http://kuro5hin.org/story/2003/5/22/03514/1997
Belanger, “Dragons …”
Cara Des’tai. “The Internet goes mythic.”Fate (magazine). (2000). http://www.eristic.net/fey/media/fatearticle.php
HumbleLightworker, “Otherkin.” 2002-10-10. http://embracingmystery.org/articles/otherkin-humble.html (dead link, no archive)
Arhúaine. “What are otherkin?” Circa 2000. http://stormpages.com/wolfglade/Arhuaine/otherkinwhat.html (dead link, see thearchive from 2002)
The Crisses, ed., “Otherkin FAQ 4.0.1.”
Lupa, A field guide to otherkin, p. 27, 186.
Lupa, “Otherkin and the Pagan community.” 2006-10-22. WitchVox (online magazine). http://witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=uswa&c=words&id=11030
8. Writings that say that many otherkin have the belief that they were other than human in a past life:
Tirl Windtree, “What are otherkin?”
Wolf in the Shadows.
Windrider.
Kreyas.
Reklaw.
Belanger, “Dragons …”
Lupa, “Otherkin and the Pagan community.”
Lupa, A field guide to otherkin, p. 57-58, 162, 166.
HumbleLightworker.
Reverend Kim, “What the heck’s an otherkin?”
Arhúaine. “What are otherkin?”
Adara, quoted by the Crisses, ed., “Otherkin & Awakening FAQ v 3.0 Beta.”
Ghostshadow, quoted by the Crisses, ed., “Otherkin & Awakening FAQ v 3.0 Beta.”
Aeldra Nightwood.
Adzia. “Otherkine – kým jsi a kým chceš být? (Otherkin: Who are you and who do you want to be?)” 2009-01-03.http://cavern.cz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=355&Itemid=28
9. Writings that say that “otherkin” is not a religion:
Wolf in the Shadows.
Kreyas.
FAQ Otherkin Hispano & Noctalium.
Lupa, A Field Guide to Otherkin, p. 214-215.
10. Writings that say that otherkin practice different religions:
FAQ Otherkin Hispano & Noctalium.
Lupa, “Otherkin and the Pagan community.”
Lupa, A Field Guide to Otherkin, p. 211.
11. Writings that say that many otherkin practice Neo-Pagan religions:
Belanger, “Dragons …”
Lupa, “Otherkin and the Pagan community.”
Lupa, A Field Guide to Otherkin, p. 211.
Arhúaine. “What are otherkin?”
12. The founder of Otherkin.net, Rannirl Windtree, claims to be physically elven, “a human-elven crossbreed.” In “Here and now.” 2002-04. http://www.otherkin.net/2016/09/here-and-now/
The Silver Elves say their genes come from elves. In “Elves and brownies * A letter to Keith Olberman.” 2009-09-15.silverelves.wordpress.com/2009/09/15
Wildelf said that in the 1980s, more people thought of themselves as other than human for physical reasons. In “Various theories and the like…” 2002-03-01. otherkin.livejournal.com/30114.html
Arhúaine said that if a spirit that isn’t human is inside a human body, then that could make it different from the usual human body. In “Physically human?” 2002-04. http://www.otherkin.net/2016/09/physically-human/
Lupa gives some information about some therianthropes and otherkin who say their bodies aren’t human. In A field guide to otherkin, p. 41-42, 66-72, 170, 181-182, 241.
13. Orion Scribner, The Otherkin Timeline.
14. Orion Scribner, The Otherkin Timeline.
15. Orion Scribner, The Otherkin Timeline.
16. Aeona Silversong, “The Elf Queen’s Daughters.” Green Egg 1995 Winter 28:111, p. 29.
17. Writings that use the word “otherkin” for people with animal selves too:
Wolf in the Shadows.
Adnarel.
Windrider.
Belanger, “Dragons …”
Lupa, “Otherkin and the Pagan community.”
18. Writings that say that therianthropes identify as animals:
Wolf VanZandt, “Words and concepts.” http://theriantimeline.com/therianthropy/words_and_concepts
Therianthropes.com, “Therianthropy.”
Lupa, A Field Guide to Otherkin, p. 118, 124.
19. Writings that say it isn’t a pretend person for in a game:
Mokele, “So, what’s this ‘therianthropy’ thing?” Circa 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20060203004125/http://www.therianthropy.org:80/mokele/intro.htm (dead link, see thearchive from 2006)
Therian Círculo. “Introdução à Introdução (Introduction to the introduction).” 2008-01-24.
http://therianbrasil.blogspot.com/2008/01/introduo-introduo.html
Shifters.org, “Therianthropy-an overview.” http://web.archive.org/web/20010512033309/http://www.shifters.org:80/overview/therianthropy.shtml (dead link, see the archive from 2001)
Jakkal, Shifting FAQ , 1999.
Lupa, A Field Guide to Otherkin, p. 131.
20. Writings that say that it isn’t your favorite animal:
Shifters.org, “Therianthropy-an overview.”
Wulfhowl.com, “What’s therianthropy?” http://www.wulfhowl.com/therianthrope-definition
ShadowsMyst. “Dispelling the myths.” n.d. http://shadowsden.org/therianmyths.html
21. “Nobody can tell you if you are a therianthrope or not. […] only you know if you’re a therianthrope or not.” Excerpt from Wulfhowl.com, “What’s therianthropy?” http://www.wulfhowl.com/therianthrope-definition/
22. Polar said, “Sometime in 1993, one of the posters to the [alt.horror.werewolves newsgroup …] stated that he, himself, felt spiritually like he was a werewolf.” In Polar, “Unofficial AHWW Archive.” 1998-08. http://web.archive.org/web/20020210095017/http://www.furnation.com:80/Lobo/forest/uh-ahww.htm (dead link, see the archive from 2000)
Mokele said, “a newsgroup, formed in 1992, called alt.horror.werewolves, which was focused on the discussion of werewolves, in the mythic sense, in movies, books, and assorted other media. […] Over time, there was more and more speculation about the spiritual nature and consequences of the topic, until in 1993 some brave soul took the plunge and said he felt he was a wolf inside, spiritually.” In Mokele, “So, what’s this ‘therianthropy’ thing?”
Therian Círculo. “Introdução à Therian Comunidade (Introduction to the therian community).” 2008-01-25.http://therianbrasil.blogspot.com/2008/01/introduo.html
23. Swiftpaw. “Tracing the Origins of the Term ‘Therianthropy.'” http://otherwonders.com/swiftpaws/therian/old/termtherian.html (dead link, see the archive from 2004)
24. Writings that say that therianthropes have the knowledge that their bodies are human:
Shifters.org, “Therianthropy-an overview.”
Wulfhowl.com, “What’s therianthropy?”
Ashen-Fox said that having the knowledge that one has a human body is what makes therianthropes different from people having mental illnesses. “Therianthropy is […] a constant state of self-awareness and the belief that while our bodies are 100% human-the souls that we’re born with are entirely different. This is the primary difference between the reality of being a Therian, and fantasy of a clinical disorder. We’re human. […] Our bodies are human, but our minds, souls, et cetera, aren’t.” In Ashen-Fox, “What is therianthropy?” 2009-02. http://deviantart.com/deviation/115731755
Sonne, “Terms and definitions.” Project Shift. http://project-shift.org/terms-definitions
25. Writings that say that some therianthropes have the belief that being a therianthrope is a spirituality: Therianthropes.com, “Therianthropy.”
26. Writings that say that some therianthropes have the belief that they have an animal spirit in a human body:
Jakkal wrote, “These are Weres that believe that […] they are simply the animal within. Basically, they believe that no part of their spirit is human, it is entirely animal, functioning within a human body.” In Jakkal, Shifting FAQ, 1999-12-24. http://web.archive.org/web/20020809034509/http://www.were.net:80/~pinky/shifters.html (dead link, see the archive from 2000)
Shifters.org, “Therianthropy- an overview.”
Tygerwulfe said that a therianthrope is “An animal spirit in a human body.” In Tygerwolfe, “Therianthropy: A personal definition.” http://tygerwolfe.com/?page_id=92
Wulfhowl.com, “What’s therianthropy?”
Mokele, “So, what’s this ‘therianthropy’ thing?”
Ashen-Fox, “What is therianthropy?”
27. Writings that say that some therianthropes have the belief that they were animals in past lives:
Jakkal, Shifting FAQ, 1999.
Wulfhowl.com said that one of the beliefs that a therianthrope can have is “The belief that you were a certain animal in a past life, which is somehow significant to your current life.” In “What’s therianthropy?”
28. Writings that say that the beliefs of therianthropes are not a religion:
Some of them don’t have a religion at all. Wulfhowl.com said, “Therianthropy is not a religion; in fact, some therianthropes identify as atheist.” In “What’s therianthropy?”
Mokele, “So, what’s this ‘therianthropy’ thing?”
Therian Círculo. “Introdução à Introdução(Introduction to the introduction).”
29. It can be spiritual, but it doesn’t have to be spiritual for everyone. Wulfhowl.com said, “Therianthropy is not necessarily spiritual.” In Wulfhowl.com, “What’s therianthropy?”
30. Writings that say that some therianthropes have the belief that their mind is like the mind of an animal:
Therianthropes.com, “Therianthropy.”
Wulfhowl.com, “What’s therianthropy?”
Quil said, “Therianthropes’ personalities are partially not human; certain instincts and feelings aren’t of the primate type.” In Quil, “Introduction.” 2004-10-14. http://absurdism.org/therianthropy/introshift.html
Wulfhowl.com said that one of the ideas that a therianthrope can have is that “Psychological factors which connect you to an animal (or group of animals).” In “What’s therianthropy?”
Mokele said, “Some therians are atheist, and interpret their self-identification as an animal in terms of psychology (Jung is popular among those that share this worldview, though not the only option).” In Mokele, “So, what’s this ‘therianthropy’ thing?”
31. Paul E. Keck, Harrison G. Pope, James I. Hudson, Susan L. McElroy, and Aaron R. Kulick. “Lycanthropy: Alive and well in the twentieth century.” Psychological Medicine 18 (1988) 113-120.
Keck’s article is about mentally ill people who have the belief that they are animals. Psychology’s current definition of that problem comes from this article.
32. Lupa gives the stories of three people whose psychologists said it is okay to be a therianthrope or otherkin. In Lupa, A Field Guide to Otherkin, p. 261-262.
33. Writings that use similar ways of saying that otherkin are people who identify as other than human:
Tirl Windtree, “What are otherkin?”
Tirl Windtree, “What is an otherkin?”
Wolf in the Shadows, “Otherkin.”
Windrider, “Otherkin.”
Adnarel, “What are otherkin, anyway?”
Miaren Crow’s Daughter, “What are otherkin?” http://home.otherkin.net/miaren/what.html (dead link, see the archive from 2005)
Belanger, 274.
Kreyas, “What is otherkin?”
Reklaw.
Belanger, “Dragons & Faeries & Gnomes Oh My! The Fascinating World of Otherkin.”
Lupa, “Otherkin and the Pagan community.”
Arhuaine. “What are otherkin?”
Starelf, quoted by the Crisses, ed., “Otherkin & Awakening FAQ v 3.0 Beta.”
The Crisses, ed., “Otherkin FAQ v 4.0.1.”
Tocosar Ætlanatra (Dandelion Æ), “Why an Elf? An examination of the tendencies of Otherkin to associate themselves with mythological beings.” 2001-05. http://otherkin.net/2016/09/why-an-elf

Till We Meet Again

Article originally posted on Dreamhart.org.

In our communities, as otherkin and therians and vampires, much of our interaction takes place online. To the point that the vampire community has even coined the phrase OVC, or, “Online Vampire Community” to refer to that portion of things.

This document, however, is about taking our community off the screen and into the real world. It is, simply put, a guide to meetups, mini-gathers, gatherings, howls, and conventions. It is intended to cover the questions of how-to, how-not-to, and what these events are like for both the person or people organizing them and those simply attending.

This guide was last updated on April 10, 2017.  Please feel free to suggest any additions, corrections, questions, or changes in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Read moreTill We Meet Again

A Revised Otherkin FAQ

Originally posted on Dreamhart.org.

Why This Document?

Frankly, this document exists because I am generally dissatisfied with the other otherkin FAQs currently in existence.  Many have not been updated in any meaningful sense for years, others strike me as woefully incomplete.  Worst, most seem to have a penchant for addressing the wrong questions.  And I’m not too fond of many of the answers given either.  This FAQ is my attempt to address these problems.

While there is overlap between the otherkin community and other communities such as vampires, therians, and starseeds (among others) the details of those additional communities are outside the scope of this FAQ.

This FAQ was last updated on July 24, 2018.  Please feel free to suggest any additions, corrections, or changes in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

What Are Otherkin?

That right there is probably the question most people who read this FAQ would like addressed.  What are otherkin?  I’m sorry to say that you’re probably not going to find a straight answer on this one.  That’s not because people don’t want to give you one, but because no one has ever been able to get the members of the otherkin community to agree on a single definition.  Oh, many have been proposed over the years but they always seem to leave someone out or else include members of other groups.

One of my favorites is this, from the old Otherkin Resource Center webpage (now defunct):

Main entry: oth•er•kin
1 : one who identifies with various mythological archetype as vehicles of spiritual evolution and self-expression, similar to Native totemism only with a stronger level of self-identification.
2 : someone who believes in reincarnation, and that not all of their reincarnations were as a human.

Another method of defining the term otherkin is to look at the word literally: otherkin are “kin to the other”.  I’ve written an extensive essay on that interpretation of the term, which may be found here, though my opinions on the matter have changed in the years since writing that piece.

There are many more definitions, of course.  Most of the popular ones can be found in the other FAQs referenced in the Additional Resources section of this FAQ.

Ultimately, however, otherkin are the people who choose to be members of the online otherkin community, the wider otherkin subculture, and/or self-identify as otherkin.  That’s the only 100% accurate definition of the word otherkin.

How do I know if I’m Otherkin?

A lot has already been written on this subject in the community, and the related question “What kind of kin am I?”  But, quite frankly, I think most of it is bullshit.  At best, you’ll be told to do some soul-searching.  At the very worst, you’ll be told to look at a checklist of supposedly otherkin traits and see how many you match up against or to get someone to take a look at you on the astral.  None of the answers given to this question are all that useful, in my opinion.

My advice?  Explore the community.  Meet as many otherkin of various types as you can.  Get a feel for the ones that seem genuine and clueful.  Read what they have to say about themselves, their experiences, their memories.  See if anything strikes a chord for you, if anything “resonates”.

If not?  No harm, no foul.  There’s nothing shameful in not being otherkin, and frankly it may make your life easier if you’re not one.  But if something does strike a chord?  Ah, that’s where things start getting interesting.

First off, don’t jump to conclusions.  Resonance means there’s an affinity there, but it doesn’t tell you a thing about the nature of that affinity.  And you can resonate with elements of fiction just as easily as you can resonate with genuine accounts of nonhuman experiences or memories.  I resonate strongly with the Minbari of Babylon 5, with the Taelons of Earth Final Conflict, and with the Tayledras of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series.  All three of these groups are fictional, and I do not believe that I was or am any of them.  But each of them has qualities that remind me of my elven life.  They resonate with that in me which is elven.

If you find something you resonate with, explore it.  Find out more about the group described by that source, and see how much of what you learn continues to resonate.  It may be that certain specific things resonate with you, while others do not.  For instance, while there are elements of the history, language, and culture of Tulari elves which resonate with me there are many other aspects which feel completely alien.  This is to be expected, as my own elven life was not among the Tulari.  It was among another group of elves that might be considered a cousin to them on a world called Alorya.  Use those feelings to guide you in your own search: resonance to steer you towards things you should look into more deeply, and the feeling of alienness to warn you not to go too far off course.

That’s how you’ll figure out if you’re otherkin, and if so what kind(s) of kin you are.  Because when you find the right ones, there won’t be the feeling of alienness.  Just more and deeper layers of resonance for you to explore.

That’s my opinion, anyway.  If you’d like other perspectives on how to know if you’re otherkin, and how to find out what kind of otherkin you are, there’s a whole section on the subject in the Directory of Otherkin Writings linked to from the Additional Resources section at the bottom of this FAQ.

Where do I find other Otherkin?

If you’re new to the community, this is probably one of your biggest questions.  The short answer is: online!  The internet is, hands down, the best place to find otherkin.  Even if you’re looking for a real-life, face-to-face meeting the internet is probably the best place to arrange it.  Below is a non-comprehensive listing of major places to meet otherkin online.  More can be found here and here.

Mailing Lists

KinFrontiers: Originally the “advanced” discussion section for a trio of otherkin-themed lists, this list hosts general otherkin discussions at this point.

Lostkin Project: A mailing list for otherkin who have no memories of nonhuman lives, but who don’t believe this life was their first.  Searching for reliable and repeatable methods of Awakening their true selves.

NewKin: The “basic” list from the aforementioned trio.  If you’re new to the otherkin community, this is probably where you want to start out.  The intermediate/general discussion list is now defunct and KinFrontiers has taken over that role in addition to advanced discussions.

WanderingPaths:  My own list, for general otherkin discussions from the very basic to the advanced.

Unfortunately the selection of otherkin mailing lists is not what it once was.  At this time, these are the only active general otherkin mailing lists I can recommend.  More lists, generally species or region specific, can be found here.

Forums

Draconity.org: A long-lived community for otherkin dragons, dating back to 2008.

Dreamhart.org Forums: My own forums, dealing with otherkin and the esoteric.  Everyone’s welcome.

Embracing Mystery: Another otherkin and esoteric forum.  Fairly long-standing, it’s been around since 2005.

Kinmunity: A new otherkin and therian forum replacing the older WulfHowl forum.

Stars on the Still Waters: A relatively young forum focusing on elven otherkin.

A more comprehensive list can be found here.

Community Journals

Otherkin Dreamwidth Community The main otherkin community on Dreamwidth.org.

Otherkin Livejournal Community The main otherkin community on Livejournal.com.

Otherkin Haven Dreamwidth Community A Dreamwidth community for otherkin which attempts to provide its members with a safe haven, free of drama.

Otherkin News Livejournal Community A Livejournal community which posts regular updates about developments in the community and news which may be of interest to otherkin.

Otherkin Writings Dreamwidth Community A Dreamwidth community hosting writings about otherkin “as an experience and identity”.

A more comprehensive list can be found here.

IRC Channels

#Draconic on Draconic An IRC channel affiliated with Draconic.com.

#Draconity on Draconity An IRC channel affiliated with Draconity.org.

#GryphonGuild on FurNet An IRC channel for those who love gryphons, or are gryphons at heart.  Similar to AFD but for gryphon-lovers and gryphon-kin rather than dragon-lovers and dragon-kin.

#Dreamhart on MibbitNet The IRC channel affiliated with Dreamhart.org.  Obviously, I’m the channel founder on this one.  There’s also a web interface available here.  Currently, a scheduled chat takes place every Tuesday from 8pm ET to whenever things break up (generally between 2am and 4am ET), but the channel is available for use at any time and there’s usually at least a few people in it.

#Draconic on SquickMe A fork of the #draconic IRC channel.

#Crossroads on Therian.org General discussion channel for therians.

A more comprehensive list can be found here.

Non-IRC Chats

GratuitousNonhumanty: DeviantArt otherkin group with a reasonably active chat.

Kinmunity: Web-based chatroom for the Kinmunity website.

Otherkin-Deviants: DeviantArt otherkin group with chat.

A more comprehensive list can be found here.

Meetups

These change frequently.  Here is the list of all the public ones I currently know of, but I highly recommend checking Meetup.com yourself for others, as well as the regional mailing lists and community journals.  Maybe even consider starting your own.

If you go that route, you may find the advice here and here helpful.  Though they’re written for the BDSM community rather than from an otherkin perspective, many of the same concerns apply.  These two articles might also be useful for those considering going to a meetup for the first time.  Again, they’re written for the BDSM community rather than from an otherkin perspective, but many of the answers would remain the same.  And I’ve written my own guide for members of the otherkin, therian, and real-vampire communities, which attempts to cover both perspectives.

If you’d like others in your local area to find you, you may also want to create a profile in Dreamhart.org’s Otherkin Directory.

Gathers

A Gathering Echo: Annual Texas Based Gather in September.

Summer Gateways: Annual Texas Based Gather in May.

A more comprehensive listing may be found here.

Face to Face

This section is here as a caution.  Just because someone is otherkin doesn’t mean they are nice.  Just because you remember them from past lives doesn’t mean you know what they’re like in this one.  If you decide to meet with an otherkin you met online, or even at a public meetup or gather, please plan for your safety.  To the best of my knowledge there are no otherkin-specific articles that have yet been written on this subject but I highly recommend two articles from the BDSM community on the subject of safety when meeting people offline that can be found here and here.  The vampire community has also written a good guide here.

Any advice for someone new to the community?

Use discretion when discussing your Otherness.

Basically, don’t shout that you’re otherkin from the rooftops.  Your mundane family, and you, may be a lot happier if they don’t know you’re a dragon than if they do.  Your coworkers?  They probably don’t want to hear about your past life as an elven princess.  Same with your classmates, teachers, friends, etc… they don’t necessarily need to know about this aspect of your life.  Pick and choose who you tell carefully.  Be sure it’s someone who will react well, and be sure you have a solid reason for telling them.

In the same vein, don’t run around online announcing your otherness in non-otherkin venues.  The nice people over on wicca.com would probably like to talk about Wicca and not about how you’re one of the Tuatha de Danaan.  And people in places like GaiaOnline would probably like to just play their game and not be bothered with other members spiritual beliefs.  Would you like to hear the Christian players proselytizing?  It’s not nice to non-consensually involve bystanders in your spirituality.

Last, steer clear of the media.  I can’t emphasize this enough, steer clear of the media.  I don’t care how sympathetic and understanding the reporter sounds, or how big a chance it is to finally get our side of the story told, it *never* actually works out that way.  You will get manipulated, you will get misquoted, and the otherkin community will be treated in a manner that is sensationalist rather than serious.  Just say no when it comes to participating in any form of media on the basis of your Otherness.  And that goes triple for “Reality TV” of any kind.  That said, if you absolutely positively cannot avoid giving an interview, here’s some advice on do’s and dont’s from the vampire community, the pagan community, and even the furry community.

You’re still allowed to apply critical thinking.

Finding out you’re otherkin is a pretty jarring experience for one’s worldview.  If you never believed in the existence of dragons, it can be a shock to learn that you are one.  Because of this, many otherkin completely abandon what they consider to be a mundane worldview in favor of a new, magical one.  And sadly, this often means leaving science and rationality at the door.

Because of this, and exacerbated by a general tendency towards being accepting of everyone’s beliefs, there’s a high level of bullshit floating around the otherkin community.  I could spend a lot of time listing what I consider to be examples of this but frankly that’s outside the scope of this FAQ.  Instead, I’ll just suggest that you not be afraid to apply reason and critical thinking to your own beliefs.  See if what you believe or remember is both internally consistent and reasonably consistent with what we know about external reality.  Also don’t be afraid to challenge people on the claims they make.  Extraordinary claims, such as physical shapeshifting or being an undead/immortal vampire, require extraordinary evidence.  Being otherkin doesn’t mean you have to be so open-minded your brains fall out.

Don’t share everything you know about yourself.

Holding some information back is a great way to verify what other people tell you.  If you’re comparing past-life memories with someone, hold a few details back.  Specific things that you will never share in a public setting.  Then, when talking with others who claim to remember the same things, see if they volunteer any of the things you’ve held back without prompting.

Similarly, hold some information back about what you know of your astral form.  Then, if someone else takes a look to “verify” things, you can see if they mention the parts you’ve held back and have a much clearer idea of whether they’re really looking at you astrally, or just telling you what you want to hear.

This technique is useful for external verification in many esoteric/spiritual contexts.

Don’t forget about safety.

The community isn’t all fun and games.  Like any online community, there are those who are out to manipulate you.  To use you. To hurt you.  It’s up to you to make sure they don’t get that chance.  Mostly, common sense is all you need here but some specific advice can be found in my own articles Warning Signs and Abusive Situations, as well as a vampire community article titled Social Predators, and a vampire community article titled Sociopaths.  If you’re planning to join an organization you may also want to evaluate it with the Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame, though the frame is subjective and with many cults you may not have the information to effectively evaluate it until you’re already a member.  Another good article on joining groups can be found here.

There were also a few articles linked to in the Face to Face section of this FAQ, on the specific safety concerns that apply when meeting someone from online face to face so you may want to go back and read them if you haven’t already.

It’s also important to stay safe in terms of your health. If you’re having unusual physical symptoms, check with a doctor first before deciding it has a spiritual or metaphysical cause.  Not everything is connected with being otherkin.  SphynxCat has a very good overview of various health issues and medical concerns for members of the vampire community here, and she also has a good section on safety when feeding on blood here.  And links to more information which can be found elsewhere.

Don’t set out to change the world (or the community).

It’s natural to want to contribute, to make a difference.  I think everyone feels that way.  But if you’re just starting out in the community, you’re probably not in a position to do much to help others.  If you have existing areas of expertise, feel free to use them, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’ve become an instant expert on otherkin because you happen to be one.  Don’t start out trying to create massive community projects, organizations, or the like.  Get involved with the ones that are already out there.  See what you can add to them by just providing a fresh perspective and another set of eyes.  You’ll be a lot more effective that way, and you’ll build credibility with those who are paying attention.  And when the time comes for you to give back to the community, and start your own projects and groups, they’ll be much more likely to support you in turn.

Another essay of mine which deals with this topic can be found here.

Don’t let it go to your head.

You’re not immortal.  You’re not royalty in this life.  You’re not even special, just because you’re otherkin.  You’re just different.  So don’t let it go to your head.  Don’t fall into fantasies about some future date when the veil will fall, magic will become real, and there will be a war between humans and otherkin.  Don’t fall into delusions of constant astral battles.  Don’t mistake fantasy and wish-fulfillment for resonance.  In short?  Otherkin are just as human as everyone else.  Hold onto that, it keeps you grounded.

It’s worth it.

There are many things about being otherkin, and about being part of the otherkin community, that will drive you crazy.  There’ll be days when you wake up and you’ll wish you’d never heard of otherkin, wish you were normal, wish you could just forget about it all.  But if you are otherkin, and you hang in there and find those you resonate deeply with, those who really understand you, those you may have known in other lives. If you can find those you can consider your spiritual family, in this life.  Then, I promise, it’ll all have been worth it.  I know it has been for me.

Additional Resources

Community History

Otherkin Timeline: The Recent History of Elfin, Fae, and Animal People

A History of Multiples & Otherkin Together

A History of Plantkin In the Otherkin Community

The Elf Queen’s Daughters and the Silver Elves

Foundation’s Edge: The History of the Online Werecommunity

Unofficial Alt.Horror.Werewolves Archive

A History of the Fictionkin Community

A History of the Therian Community – 1993

A History of the Therian Community – 1994

A History of the Therian Community – 1995

A History of the Therian Community – 1996

A History of the Therian Community – 1997

A History of the Therian Community – 1998

A History of the Therian Community – 1999

A History of the Therian Community – 2000

A History of the Draconic Community – 1993 to 2000

A History of the Draconic Community – 2001 – present

A History of the Unicorn Community

The Real Vampire Community’s Early Days

The Online Vampire Community Takes Off

The “Psivamp Revolution” and Its Aftermath

The Beginning To The Present Time (Vampire Community)

Terminology

The Otherkin Lexicon

Jargon on AnOtherWiki

FAQs

General Otherkin

An FAQ on Otherkin for the Perplexed Observer

A Simple Introduction to Otherkin and Therianthropes

Otherkin FAQ v 4.0.1

Otherkin and Awakening FAQ v 3.0 Beta

Feathertail’s Otherkin FAQ

So… You’re Awake?

Dragonkin

Draconity FAQ

Draconic FAQ

Elfkin

Elenari FAQ

Otherkin Hosts/Multiples

Otherkin Multiple FAQ Beta

Positively Plural FAQ version 1.1

Therians

Alt.Horror.Werewolves FAQ

Therianthropy FAQ

Contherianthropy FAQ

Vampires

Sphynxcat’s Real Vampire FAQs

Further Reading

The Otherkin Bibliography

A Directory of Otherkin Writings and Other Works, Organized by Topic

Real Vampire Community Resource & Link Directory

Resource Sites

Dreamhart.org

AnOtherWiki

Otherkin.net

Starlight Infinities

Sanguinarius.org

SphynxCat’s Real Vampires Support Page

Werelist.net

Draconic.com

Draconity.org

Béaltaine Féis: Bilé’s Fire Festival/Feast

Introduction:

Reality™ consists of multiple worlds, or as some today say, a “Multiverse of Realities”. At a very minimum, Gaelic Traditionalists believe there is a World of the Stars (the Sky), a Middle World (the Earth, or the Land) and an Underworld (the Sea). All of these worlds are connected in some way, with events and magicks from one affecting events occurring in a different world. These Worlds, separated by what some call The Veils, are closer at certain times called the “In-Between Times”. It should also be no surprise that the Ancestors practiced Their most important Magicks during such In-Between Times as the sunrise, the sunset, the moonrise, the moonset, and during the transitions of the seasons (Béaltaine and Samhain), as well as the extremes of the Sun (Mid-Winter and Mid-Summer), or the great “Fire Festivals”. The period from Samhain to Béaltaine is called “An Ghrian beag” or the “little Sun”. The period from Béaltaine to Samhain is called “An Ghrian mór” or the “greater Sun”. Great fires are kindled during the fire festivals. The thought behind this is that “like attracts like”, so that the Power of the flames will also attract the Magickal Power of the Sun. The fires also encourage and enhance the energies of the Sun and help to create conditions favorable to transmutation of magickal power.

Béaltaine is the first day of the summer season and begins the light half of the year, and Samhain is the start of the Celtic new year and begins the winter season, the dark half of the year. Béaltaine roughly translates to “Bel’s fire”, the Irish word for fire is “tinne”, and it refers to the bonfires lit on hilltops in honor of the Ancestor variously known as Bel, Beli, Bilé, Belenos, or Belenus. Bel, who is called Bilé (BEE-luh) in Ireland, is the Ancestor of light and fire, the life-giver, represented by the sun. Bilé is also called the “god of death” and He is associated with the Underworld. Why the apparent dichotomy? He is the Ancestor of both Life and Death. Bilé is often symbolically represented as the Tree of Life, connecting the three Worlds of Sky, Land, and Sea, so He is in many ways the transition and connection between Worlds. When we think of the three Worlds of Sky, Land, and Sea, and the elements associated with each (air, earth, and water), we might ask “What about fire? Where does that fit in?” Fire is that which connects every thing to every other thing… it runs through and is a part of everything. It is the connection and the Source of all things, it is also the “fire in the head”.

    “I am a wind on the sea,
    I am a wave of the ocean,
    I am the roar of the sea,
    I am a powerful ox,
    I am a hawk on a cliff,
    I am a dewdrop in sunshine,
    I am a boar for valor,
    I am a salmon in pools,
    I am a lake on a plain,
    I am the strength of art,
    I am a spear with spoils that wages battle,
    I am the one who shapes fire for a head…”

    -Amairgin, upon stepping foot on shore at Inber Colptha, Éire

“Fire for a head” means thought, and probably also refers to the magick inherent in thought… so it is fire that both creates and destroys, fire that runs through all things. Life and Death were very much a part of the ongoing process of Being to the ancient Celts. Death was considered to be a doorway between lives and not an ending. Life and Death are natural parts of the circle of time, which is eternal. The Sun spends part of the day (darkness) within the Depths. It spends the other part of the day in the vault of the Sky.

Béaltaine:

One of two Celtic fire festivals, Béaltaine is a celebration of the return of life and fertility to the world which takes place from sunset on April 30 to sunset on May 1. It is sometimes referred to as Cetsamhain which means “opposite Samhain.” In the various Celtic countries the festival is known by other names, such as Shenn do Boaldyn on the Isle of Man and Galan Mae in Wales. The Saxons called this day Walpurgisnacht, the night of Walpurga, goddess of May. Like Brigid, the Christian Church changed this goddess into St. Walpurga and attached a similar legend to her origin.

On Béaltaine, the entire tribe, village or clan traditionally leads the cattle to the Summer buailte (BOOa-ltuh) or pastures, until Samhain. Béaltaine is traditionally a fertility festival, an encouragement for the crops to begin growing and the cattle to give birth to the next generation. Sometimes, a procession is made around the fields with a burning torch of wood in order to obtain a blessing on the crops. On this day, all hearth-fires are extinguished to be rekindled at dawn the following morning from the sacred “bale-fire”. Traditionally, the hearth fire is kept burning all year, since its lighting on Samhain, until May Eve when the fire is extinguished. At this time, the hearth and chimney are thoroughly cleaned. It is also at this time that people give a thorough “spring cleaning” to their houses.

Two bonfires are kindled, probably from tein-eigin (need-fire), a fire made from the friction of two pieces of sacred wood, likely the oak. This fire originally symbolized the sacrifice of Bilé, the sacred Tree of Life. The Druids, would drive the cattle between these two bonfires to protect them from disease, to keep them magickally safe, and to ensure a high milk yield and fertility. In ancient Ireland, no one could light a Bel-fire until the Ard Ri, High King, had lit the first on Tara Hill. In 433 A.D., St. Patrick showed his deep understanding of this festival’s symbolism when he lit a fire on Slane Hill, ten miles from Tara, before King Laoghaire lit his. He could not have made a stronger symbolic usurpation of the people’s pagan faith. St. David made a similar gesture in Wales in the following century. These bonfires are kept burning all day and night, and people carry home torches from the Béaltaine fire to rekindle their own hearth, which is lit the next morning. The new flames symbolize a fresh start. The Maypole Dance, jumping through the Béaltaine bonfire, and the May Day games all celebrate the rebirth of Bilé.

A young, unmarried woman of the village is chosen to preside over the festival as the May Queen. Often the Queen chooses a consort from among the young men of the village, or sometimes the young men compete in a race or a mock combat for the honor. Young Celtic warriors (both male and female) often compete in various games of prowess, highlighting their skills as warriors, in the hopes of impressing some member of the opposite sex. The May King and Queen represent the Bilé and Danu, as Béaltaine is the celebration of the marriage of the First Father and the First Mother of the Tuatha Dé Danaan.

The Ancestors go and make love on the bare ground on Béaltaine ­ in some ways considered a ploughing of the earth, and the spilling of semen a fertilization of the earth, helping the crops to be fertile. Another, similar rite that used to take place at Béaltaine is called the “bringing in the May.” The young unmarried folks go out into the fields and collect flowers. They often spend the night in the woods, which sometimes results in many “greenwood marriages,” or “handfastings.” In the village the next morning, they stop at each home and exchange the flowers for food and drink. Thus, they represent a renewal of the Earth. This rite also represents the need of the tribe to share their belongings, sustaining the entire population as a result. Tribal needs always have priority over individual needs.

In ancient times, it was the May Queen who lead the singing to the rising sun (singing up the sun, as it were), as all the people congregated on the appropriate hill at Béaltaine. One telling explains that the May Queen rides in on a white horse and the May King on a black one. The Goddess on a white horse has a powerful association in Celtic mythology. When Niamh (NIV) of the Golden Hair comes to take Oisín (uh-SHEEN) away to the Land of Promise, she rides a white steed. Rhian Gabhra, or Rhiannon of the Gaels, rides a white mare in the Otherworldly realms. In both Welsh and Irish traditions the white mare symbolically represents the goddess in the Otherworld.

The May Pole, a phallic symbol for Bilé, is made usually from a Yule tree, its branches stripped and then planted into the Earth. Men and women dance around the pole, holding onto the ribbons and interweaving them as they go around. The King & Queen of May are elected as stand-ins for Bilé and Danu, and led the festival. (Also see http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/6360/may.html for a detailed description of, and instructions for, the May Pole Dance.)

Beltainne rites still take place at the famous Cloutie Well in Inverness-shire in Scotland. This well is situated on Culloden moor and is known by various names, such as Tobar Ghorm (the Blue Well) and Tobar n’Oige (Well of Youth). Cloutie means a cloth or rag. These clouties are tied on the surrounding trees by visitors who want to make a wish. Wells are seen as bringers of good health, and the water is considered sacred (not only because water represents Danu, but also because the Salmon of Knowledge lived in such waters). People make visits to the sacred well, and each clan territory has a sacred well. A visitor walks three times deiseal (sunwise, or clockwise) around the well, and then they throw in a silver coin, after which while thinking of their wish, they drink from the well using their hands. When those things are done, they tie a bit of colored cloth or a piece of clothing (cloutie) to a branch of a nearby tree. All of this has to be done in complete silence as well as when the sun isn’t in sight. The final part of the procedure requires that the visiting person be out of sight of the well before sunrise, otherwise the wish will not come true. According to the lore, young women also wash their face in the dew of Béaltaine morning to preserve their youth, as it is also considered to be sacred water.

As well as the widespread lighting of Béaltaine bonfires on moors or hilltops throughout Celtic lands, a special cake or bannock is made using eggs, milk and oatmeal. (Traditionally, meals on Béaltaine itself consist of cold foods, because the hearth-fires are extinguished.) These bannocks, which are kneaded entirely by hand, should not come into contact with steel. One piece of the bannock cake is blackened with charcoal and distributed along with the other pieces. Whoever draws this piece out of the bonnet has to leap three times through the flames of the Béaltainne fire, or they will have bad luck until the following Béaltaine. Young people jumped the fire for luck in finding a spouse, sojourners jumped the fire to ensure a safe journey, and pregnant women jumped the fire to assure an easy delivery. Béaltaine was also the time when divorces were granted in ancient Ireland, though the divorce laws changed throughout the years with the coming of the Church, and such was prohibited for many years. Handfasting (marriage) ceremonies are sometimes held on Béltaine. The term “honeymoon” comes from an old Béaltaine tradition. Béaltaine and Handfasting ceremonies are mostly held on nights of the full moon, and each pair of newlyweds is given a barrel of mead (honeywine). They are ushered into the woods, and are told not to come back until the barrel is empty. All of this is done with knowing grins from all.

The following is a poem translated out of the Gaelic by the Dal Riadh Celtic Trust and is said to be written by Fionn Mac Cumhail himself:

    May, clad in cloth of gold,
    Cometh this way;
    The fluting of the blackbirds
    Heralds the day.
    The dust coloured cuckoo
    Cries welcome O Queen!
    For winter has vanished,
    The thickets are green.
    Soon the trampling of cattle
    where river runs low!
    The long hair of the heather,
    The canna like snow.
    Wild waters are sleeping,
    Foam of blossom is here;
    Peace, save the panic
    In the heart of the deer.
    The wild bee is busy,
    The ant honey spills,
    The wandering kine
    Are abroad on the hills.
    The harp of the forest
    Sounds low, sounds sweet;
    Soft bloom on the heights;
    On the loch, haze of heat.
    The waterfall dreams;
    Snipe, corncakes, drum
    By the pool where the talk
    Of the rushes is come.
    The swallow is swooping;
    Song swings from each brae;
    Rich harvest of mast falls;
    The swamp shimmers gay.
    Happy the heart of man,
    Eager each maid;
    Lovely the forest,
    The wild plane, the green glade.
    Truly winter is gone,
    Come the time of delight,
    The summer truce joyous,
    May, blossom-white.
    In the heart of the meadows
    The lapwings are quiet;
    A winding stream
    Makes drowsy riot.
    Race horses, sail, run,
    Rejoice and be bold!
    See, the shaft of the sun
    Makes the water-flag gold.
    Loud, clear, the blackcap;
    The lark trills his voice
    Hail May of delicate colours
    tis May-Day – rejoice!

Besides being a celebration of the fertility of the earth and the renewed growth of crops and fertility of cattle, what we must also realize is that the cycle of planting and growth does not only pertain to the physical world, but also to our Spirituality as a whole. Béaltaine should be a time to plant the seeds of spiritual growth and development within us all.

I plant this seed.

With Love,
Áine

Cryptoamnesia and Past Life Memories

[note: This article is in no way meant to debunk past life memories, so much as it is meant to address a potential problem with remembering and offer a sane and rational way of approaching and accepting the real stuff.]

Past life material is tricky stuff to deal with. First and foremost, there is always the question: is this memory something real, or is it the product of my imagination? This question is difficult enough to deal with, but there is a psychological phenomenon known as cryptoamnesia which can make nearly all past life memories suspect.

In cryptoamnesia, an individual is exposed to certain information, forgets that this was learned information, and it reappears sometime later as a constructed memory. With memories created through cryptoamnesia, the individual will have no idea that the memory is a fabrication of their own mind and that they never actually experienced the content of the memory.

How does this work exactly? Say, for example, as a child, you saw a special on ancient Ireland on the Discovery Channel. Your little mind soaked up all of that information, even if you didn’t understand it all at the time, and stored it away in the back of your brain. Years later, you have forgotten ever watching that particular show, but the information you learned from it is still hanging around in your unconscious mind. When you start thinking back to who you may have been in a past life, your mind finds the images from the Discovery Channel special and starts feeding them back to you. However, you’ve forgotten that you saw all these on a television show. And so, as you remember details of what life was like in ancient Ireland and you see images of the land, perhaps some standing stones, or some artifacts, you assume that these memories are coming to you from the long distant past.

It is nearly impossible to differentiate memories created through cryptoamnesia from real memories. In the case of created memories just from this lifetime, such as created memories of ritual abuse or childhood molestation, the psychological repercussions can be just as severe as if the individual had actually gone through the imagined trauma. This is one reason why many psychologists are largely skeptical of “repressed” memories recalled under hypnosis. It is a generally held belief that most memories dredged up in this manner are actually imaginative content fabricated by the unconscious from learned information inspired by unintentional cues from the hypnotherapist.

Where does this leave us for legitimate past life memories? On very shaky ground, I’m afraid. From my observations and personal experiences, one is often drawn to read about a particular time period or a particular country when one has a strong past life connection to it. However, the very act of reading up on these strangely fascinating times makes the legitimacy of any past life content very suspect. There is no way to prove or to guarantee that you did not digest the information from a book or a show, imaginatively fill in a few gaps, and re-present it to yourself as a past life memory. And since very few past lifetimes are such that you can actually look up people you knew or go visit the town you once lived in, there is almost no chance of proving the validity of the memories – to yourself or to anyone else.

How then, can you ever know that what you’re remembering is real or imagined? In black and white, real-world terms, you can’t. You will never know, and you will never be able to prove it. Does this mean that past life memories are a bunch of poppycock? That is another issue entirely, and it boils down to a matter of faith.

Once you stop questioning the validity of a particular memory and stop trying to prove or disprove its legitimacy to yourself, then and only then can you objectively look at the content of the memory itself. And it’s the content that matters most anyway.

I look at past life memories like this: my mind is fixating on this image or set of images for a reason. Whether you take a metaphysical point of view and say that I’m remembering these things because there are karmic issues I still have to settle from that past life, or if you take the psychological point of view and say that my unconscious mind is trying to get me to deal with repressed personal issues that are coming through in the language of dream and symbol, the result is the same. I must look carefully over these images and try to see what they’re telling me about me. And that’s the key to past lives right there. What can they tell you about your life right now? If there isn’t something you can learn from them, then they’re just useless curiosities – they might as well be idle daydreams that you’re using to waste an afternoon.

I’ve seen far too many people get caught up in their past lives and fixate on a time so long ago that it crippled their ability to interact with the reality of here and now. They were worse than the kind of elderly folk who are so busy mourning the loss of the old days that they allow the new age to pass them by. These people got themselves stuck in a time completely removed from their current life, and they just could not get past it.

Past lives in that respect are a total waste of time. You have to always remember: you are living your life here, now. You are in this age for a reason. There is a great deal for you to do, much to experience, and much to learn. If you spend all of your time looking backward along the lost corridor of years, you will not see what’s in front of you, and you are most likely going to run into something very solid and bang your head — hard.

The use of past life memories is what they can teach you about where you are now and where you may be going. A lot of us made mistakes in the past. If we lived in the past at all, we made mistakes. Mistakes are part and parcel of living. Very often, we recall the circumstances of these past mistakes as a guidepost to help us avoid those same mistakes in the present and the future. In this respect, past lives can be very useful. They can reveal to us hidden aspects of ourselves, and provide insight into dealing with our current problems.

Past life work should therefore always be an exercise in observation. If the memories come to you, explore them as fully as you can. Analyze them. Pay attention to details, especially how you feel in those remembered moments and the circumstances which stand out to you. Later, analyze those feelings and circumstances in relation to your life as it is now. Look for parallels in your current situation, in the way you relate to the people around you, in your choices of dealing with the world at large. Even if the content is some half-imagined fantasy that your unconscious brain has cooked up for you, it will still reveal a great deal of your troubles and issues in the symbols and stories that are chosen.

Above all, do not fixate on the memories. Do not try to recreate yourself as you see you in the past. Live your life now and for the future. Learn what you can, but accept that the past is in the past. The memories might linger, but who you are can always be changed.

Michelle Belanger 23 March 2001

Grigori and the Nephilim

Some of this is from the Torah, some from rabbinical commentary, some from oral tradition, and probably a number of inaccuracies caused by my fuzzy memory on the subject (PLEASE feel free to set me straight if you know this better than me). Please bear in mind that this is not necessarily my take on the whole thing, just the story as I recall it. Here’s the gist:

Following the Morningstar’s failed coup in heaven, there was quite a bit of aftermath that lasted well into the book of genesis (the fate of the neutrals, etc). It almost seems like the power structure was not quite settled into the classic good vs. evil dichotomy that we associate with judeo-christian perspectives. During this period of vagueness, there were a number of disobediences on the part of the angels, particularly in the lower choirs. One such incident involved a number of Grigori (the watchers) who became infatuated with mortal life. They decided they wanted to go down to earth and have wives and children, AND retain their divine status. Exiting heaven and becoming mortal was not unheard of, but these grigori cheated a bit on the protocol. They impregnated the women they were set to watch, and fled from heaven afterword, fearing God’s wrath at their transgression. They settled down with their wives and raised their children, who, by virtue of their mixed parentage, had incredible physical (and some say majickal) power. At this point that first sin in existence reared its head again: pride. These half-angels were far more powerful than their human counterparts, and began to run amok, killing as they saw fit, viewing humans as inferior and thus not worthy of consideration. You see, they inherited something else from the angels: a lack of conscience. Angels did not really possess a conscience as we understand it, rather a consciousness shaped around a function. With this great power and no conscience to temper it, the angel-born made life quite difficult for their human kin. Humans began to worship the angel-born as gods, willingly offering their own born as sacrifice. The grigori were proud of their children, seeing their power, and declared that they had put on the earth a race greater than that which god had created. They believed they had, with the power of their loins, surpassed God.

It seems that God was OK with letting the angels slip out and taste the domestic life, but when their children began eating humans (as we eat species of less power than us) and the grigori chirped their pride, God intervened. He sent the Metatron and a seraphim to speak to the grigori three times, each time asking the grigori to reign their children in, that they may live at peace with humanity. Each time the grigori scoffed.

The first time metatron came accompanied by Michael, who asked that the grigori do what is just and let balance and justice be restored to the earth. The grigori replied that it was only just that their descendants eat men, as man ate lamb. Why should their children act any differently?

The second time metatron came accompanied by Raphael, who asked that the grigori do what is intelligent and reasonable, pointing out that a cooperation was better for both sides. The gigori said that it was only reasonable that their children rule man as they wished.

Since the intellect of man was insufficient to save them from the angel-born, of what value could it be?

The third time metatron came accompanied by Gabriel, who asked that the grigori show mercy to humanity and withdraw their children to a separate place. The grigori laughed and said that it was a mercy to man to strike them from the face of the earth, rather than have them live as a failure. They had been intended to steward the earth by God’s command, and they had failed. How merciful is it to leave them living, spawning generation after generation that would fail in their holy task, sending generation after generation to knock at the Morningstar’s door?

The metatron came to the grigori a fourth time, and this time the seraph that came along asked no questions. The angel that came was named Uriel (uziel), and it spoke thus “You have been asked three times to control your children. You have refused to be just, to listen to reason, or to be merciful. He who is I AM has sent me to deliver a message. Because you will not be just, reasonable, or merciful, the choice has been taken from you. God has seen his children slaughtered, and will be just. God has seen his children treated as beasts, and will act according to reason. God has heard his children’s prayers, and will be merciful. Because you have refused to intervene, your children and those that follow them will be destroyed, and what remains will be scattered. They will be Nephilim, outcast and landless. Know that you have spoken with the Angel of Justice, Thought, and Mercy. Now you speak to the Angel of Death. I will bring the only justice, thought, and mercy I can.”

At this the grigori begged that their children be spared. They wept bitter tears, and seeing this Uriel said “You cared nothing for the tears that have been shed, so it will be tears that bring what I have said to pass”.

At this time, there was a righteous man named Noah….
you know the rest.

That’s it, a few literary indulgences (dialogue. I’m a sucker for dialogue) aside. Some of the Nephilim survived by sealing the mouth of a cave and waiting till the waters abated.

Again, this is not necessarily a representation of my take on the whole thing. I’m just presenting the traditional story as best as I can recall.

The Septagram: One Celestial’s View On The Septagram

Magpie’s essay on the septagram is an incredible one. It was well thought out and researched. However, at her urging I decided to present another view of the septagram… this one intensely personal.

For those of you that have not met me online at some point an introduction is in order. I am Christopher Angelo. As for what I am, who I am – well that’s a little harder to grok sometimes. I refer to myself as Angelus. And it greatly sums up something that defies description.. an angel incarnated into a human body.

My view on the septagram is therefore biased by my own experiences, and my Heritage as angelus.

For the seven points of the septagram I use

  1. Earth
  2. Air
  3. Fire
  4. Water
  5. Above
  6. Below
  7. Within

The elements are the same… Earth – the power of centeredness, grounding, strong and steadfast. Air – the power of swiftness, communication, thoughtful and creative. Fire – the power of passion, intense and combustive. Water – the power of emotions, nuturing and cooling.

Above, Below, and Within all have meanings related to my angelic side…

Above – the power of the Heavens, the Song of Songs. Below – the power of the abyss, the Shadows. Within – the power of the Self, the Center of All, the core of Being.

I’m an intensely visual person so to better explain how these all tie together, let me offer you my Vision…

Picture yourself floating in a see of darkness… arms out to the side and legs slightly splayed… classic “pentacle position”… floating at waist level a small distance away are four glowing orbs… one green, one yellow, one red, one blue… surrounding you and spinning round you. Floating above you is an irridescent orb spinning in place, the barest hints of song emanating from it.. beneath you spins an orb of darkest shadows, the barest hint of whispers coming from it… and yet the whispers provide a counterpoint, a harmony, to the music above… and Within you, at your center lies the brightest orb of all with pure white strands connecting it to all the other orbs…

A bubble of light connects all the outer orbs and is in fact what you are surrounded in….

This then is my Vision of the septagram… the Circle of Power… the representation of Balance… the Seven Pointed Star.

The Septagram: an essay on the seven pointed star

Forget Schoolhouse Rock: three isn’t the magic number, seven is. Seven is one of the most widely recognized “lucky numbers”, and comes into play with a fair amount of things, both magical and mundane… for example:

7 archangels
7 colors in the rainbow
7 days of the week
7 deadly sins
7 distinct notes in diatonic musical scale
7 levels of heaven
7 major hindu chakras [1]
7 planes of existance [2]
7 planets in classical astrology [3]
7 sacraments
7 tenets of faith [4]
7 virtues

…And so on and so forth. The list really does go on; the more research i do, the more i realize that this could wind up being a thesis instead of an essay. Several sources listed the same meaning for each of the seven points; as far as i can tell, there is no particular order to these points. They are as follows:

The Sun. For the fire element it represents, as well as for the life-sustaining light and heat that the sun provides. Without the sun, we could not exist; lack of sunlight has been proven to have a detrimental effect on people. In my experience, cats (rumored to have solar panels in their bellies) will often become sick, ill, or restless if deprived of sunlight for long periods of time. The sun has effects on us that we cannot even begin to understand. It nourishes life (photosynthesis in plants is a perfect example), and can destroy life (radiation, cancer, heat stroke, etc).

The Wood. Many elvenkin have a strong connection with trees, forests and woods. There is also the elemental symbolism of the element of wood. For eons, people have used wood for shelter, fire, decoration; a great deal of food grows on trees, providing humans and otherkin alike with nourishment.

The Sea. Needless to say, this carries along with the elemental theme, providing us with the element of water. Working with the moon, the sea ebbs and flows; Bruce Lee reminded us (along with many other Taoist Masters) to Be Like Water; water flows, nourishes life, causes death… it can float a ship or sink it, it can eventually wear down stone.

The Moon. The moon is considered by many to be the opposite of the sun; it is our nighttime companion. On dark nights, a full moon lights our paths; the moon’s coming and going affects the ebb and flow of the tides, and therefore, our weather patterns. Countless lunatics have been similarly inspired, with the ebbing and flowing of their sanities. There are many who would consider otherkin to be insane for our beliefs. Perhaps this is why so many of us identify strongly with the moon: it holds its secrets, works its magic, and affects us in more ways that we can possibly imagine. Just as life could not exist without the sun, life as we know it could not be as it is without the moon.

The Wind. The wind provides us with the element of air; wind is air in motion. The wind helps sustain the forests when it helps to spread the seeds of the trees, plants and flowers of the world. It helps keep birds and other flying creatures afloat; it is the largest affecting aspect in our weather.

Now, the previous five points can just as easily be attributed to the pentagram – the five pointed star. The next two points are what make the septagram different; these two are what make it the otherkin star.

The Magic. Where would we be without magic? Our bodies function on a cellular level in scientific precision… The stars themselves have their reasons for twinkling in the night skies… The sun and moon, the seas, the wood and the wind all exist and can in some way or another be scientifically explained… But what about Life? What causes Life? Some people believe that Life could not exist without a higher power most commonly referred to as God. While otherkin do not inherently have a disbelief in God, it is far more common to believe that Life has can only be explained by Magic. The spirit, the soul, the conscience, Awareness: these things cannot all be explained by science, leaving Magic to be at their roots.

The Connection. For most otherkin, this is the most important point of the septagram; it serves as a reminder for us to remember the connection we have between what we once were, what we are now, and what we always will be. Those of us that are not fortunate enough to remember what that is are still lucky enough to at least have a sense of the Connection, to feel the Pull towards like minds and souls of a similar nature. The connection is what brings us together. The Magic and the Connection work in harmony with each other, acting as cause and effect, yin and yang.

——————————————————————————–

Footnotes:

1 – the base chakra (Muladhara), the sacral chakra (Svadisthana), the solar plexus chakra (Manipura), the heart chakra (Anahata), the throat chakra (Vishuddi), the brow chakra (Ajna) and the crown chakra (Sahasrara).]

2 – There is a belief that the soul grows in stages within each incarnation; these stages are listed as follows: infant, baby, youth, mature, old, transcendental, & infinite.

3 – In classical astrology, the seven planets (the ones then known) correllated to the days of the week and the Roman or Norse gods that each one represented: Sunday – Sun, Monday – Moon, Tuesday – Tui (aka Mars), Wednesday – Woden (aka Mercury), Thursday – Thor (aka Jupiter), Friday – Frygga (aka Venus) and Saturday – Saturn.

4 – At least one tradition of Wicca has the following tenets of faith: balance, tolerance, trust, reincarnation, harmony, humility and learning.

Taxomony of Dannan sylvanus: Sylvan Elves, a/k/a Tuatha de Dannan (Dannan sylvanus)

Full D. sylvanus taxonomy is as follows:
Species: sylvanus
Genus: Dannan
Family: Faeidae
Infraorder: Catarrhini
Order: Primates.

Genetically, Dannan sylvanus is 99.8% similar to Homo sapiens.

Appearance:
D. sylvanus tend to be shorter than H. sapiens. While individual D. sylvanus specimens have been found reaching as much as 1.9 meters in height, adult D. sylvanus tend to range from 1.4 to 1.7 meters (males and females show no significant size differential). It is believed that this is an adaptation to the dense forests native for D. sylvanus. D. sylvanus who do have not been raised in forested areas for long periods of time tend to grow taller then woodland D. sylvanus.

D. sylvanus bodies are more slender then H. sapiens and they generally weigh less than H. sapiens norm for their height. However their muscles are still strong and they are not fragile as they seem. D. sylvanus possess light body hair, less than is present in H. sapiens..

D. sylvanus generally possess narrow faces with slightly pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes with colour ranging from grey and silver through blue and green to violet. Brown eyes can be found but are rare (approx. 3%).

Hair changes according to environmental conditions. While blond and golden tend to be common, some specimens are completely black- haired. Superattenuated D. sylvanus have white hair. Reports of blue hair and greenish are unconfirmed, and may relate to other members of Family Faeidae.

Senses:
D. sylvanus ears have a different hearing range from H. sapiens. While H. sapiens adults perceive sounds from 400 to 20,000 hertz , D. sylvanus perceive sounds from 1000 to 30,000 hertz.

D. sylvanus possess excellent eyesight especially at long ranges. They have, however, a more limited perception of colour, with a spectrum beginning in the green-blue range and running through blue and violet into the ultraviolet. Reports of vision into the infrared spectrum are patently false.

Smell and taste are roughly on par with H. sapiens, though what D. sylvanus and H. sapiens like to taste and smell is not always the same.

Food:
The D. sylvanus diet is composed on less complex carbohydrates then H. sapiens and more protein from meat. This is believed to be an adaptation to life in the forest, where small game is plentiful but conditions are not conducive to farming. D. sylvanus do consume a fair amount of simple sugars from sugar-cane berries and fruit , as well as select roots, mushrooms and tree bark. D. sylvanus cook meat (contrary to legend), usually roasting it over an open fire, although not to the degree usually preferred by H. sapiens..

Active/Sleep Cycle:
The D. sylvanus biological clock works differently from that of H. sapiens one in many aspects. The active hours of D. sylvanus are different. D. sylvanus are not strictly nocturnal but their most active hours are from the afternoon to midnight. D. sylvanus prefer to begin sleep at roughly two hours before sunrise and to wake at noon. However, D. sylvanus have shown adaptability to various sleep cycles, and can adapt to a diurnal sleep cycle with no ill effect.

Life cycle:
D. sylvanus have extremely long life spans relative to H. sapiens. However, this does not mean their cycle of life is the same as H. sapiens. D. sylvanus mature slightly slower than H. sapiens and when they mature they stay that way for a very long time before they age. Elderly D. sylvanus do not suffer for the same aliments that plague elderly H. sapiens but just the different aliments they gathered through their long lives. D. sylvanus do not develop wrinkles on their skin nor do their bodies become fragile or weak.

Mating:
D. sylvanus usually develop a romantic interest in their fellows during their young adult years. D. sylvanus form strong bonds with mates, but this does not always lead to marriage. D. sylvanus are nominally monogamous, but do rarely have more than one sexual relationship at one time. D. sylvanus have learned about the formal marriage custom from H. sapiens. However, D. sylvanus couples are known to fall in love, live together raise offspring and then separate, living single lives again; marriage is optional.D. sylvanus physically perform intercourse in the same manner as H. sapiens, but treat it in a different way. D. sylvanus enjoy sex less then H. sapiens. D. sylvanus are not “slaves to their passions” and many individuals go through life without sex. D. sylvanus treat blind sexual passion as animalistic (in some researchers’ opinions, this is the most prominent difference between H. sapiens and D. sylvanus).

D. sylvanus do not have a cultural taboo regarding nudity, but sexual relations of any kind are always done in privacy.

D. sylvanus sometimes mate with partners of the same gender. D. sylvanus do not see any abnormality in this, and do not understand how can one be solely attracted to either the same or opposite gender.

Reproductivity:
This is the most puzzling aspect of D. sylvanus biology. D. sylvanus do not remain fertile throughout adulthood; rather, they maintain fertility for only a relatively short (50-year) period of young adulthood. In an evolutionary sense, D. sylvanus’ rate of reproduction is much too low to allow the continuation of the species; much speculation remains regarding how D. sylvanus has continued as a species to date. Previous theories regarding interbreeding with H. sapiens in order to maintain higher breeding rates have proven incorrect; the two species are not reproductively viable, despite their similarity in appearance.

 

 

How to Quit an Email List

It’s rather simple, actually. When the Crone is coming to fruition in the waning dark of the Moon, you must create a black waxen image of your computer with wick for lighting, or black candle if you’re not artistic. Upon it with your Burin, which can be found at various stores throughout the Internet, inscribe these words, “I desire to leave this list list”, along with the Tattwa for the Element of Fire, representing freedom, change and destruction , the Elder Futhark rune of Thurisaz, representing freedom in movement, the masculine in action and destruction of obstacles, and the Ogham symbol for Birch, representing new beginnings, purification and changes. You’ll need a banishing incense of your choice and two lodestones. Cast circle, yadda, yadda, yadda, dress waxen computer image or candle and place on pentacle, light.

Repeat the following Irish prayer three times while holding a lodestone in each extended hand, one to attract that which you desire and one to repel that which you do not:

Brighid, gold-red woman,
Brighid, flame and honeycomb,
Brighid, sun of womanhood,
Brighid, lead me home.
You are a branch in blossom,
You are a sheltering dome.
You are my bright precious freedom,
Brighid, lead me home.

All the while visualizing your E-mail box empty and free of further E-mails from the offending list. When your feel your power reach it’s peak, quickly drop the lodestones, point all ten “fingers” at the image or candle and direct all energy through your fingers and into the image, crying So Mote It Be! in a firm and powerful voice.

Let the image or candle burn until spent. Flush any remaining wax down the toilet. If you’ve done everything correctly, this *should* work.

However, if it does not you could try following the directions given on the site which hosts the list. They probably are something mundane like:

To be removed from this list send a blank message to: unsubscribe@thislist.com

You could be Elven if…

[Written by Tiernan and Robin. Taken from the TNO archives, Issue #1, October 1995. ]

  1. Are people spooked when you walked up behind them and they never heard you coming?
  2. You are always the first one to hear something in the distance (ie: aproaching car, person, storm…)
  3. You can smell a troll for miles and miles and miles…
  4. You couldn’t care less about gun control as long as they don’t outlaw bows.
  5. You think “Lord what fools these mortals be” should be in Bartletts Quotes.
  6. You are frequently offered ‘Santa’s Helper’ jobs at Christmas without an interview.
  7. Your best friends are nymphs, pixies, and fairies.
  8. You think trees are a great place to live, and holes in the ground are for worms and hobbits.
  9. Your friends cat, who hates EVERYONE including your friend, loves you.
  10. You HATE ear jokes
  11. You catch yourself referring to David Bowie as ‘cousin’
  12. The only iron you care to work with is the one that takes the wrinkles out of your clothes.
  13. You can smell what kind of mood the people around you are in.
  14. You HATE plastic.
  15. You LOVE mushrooms.
  16. You can be spun around at night with a blindfold on and you stop spinning pointing to true North every time.
  17. You find yourself arguing that Vulcans and Romulans are your long lost cousins with a Trek fan.
  18. Almost no-one understands your sense of humor
  19. Trolls stress you out.
  20. You have pet dragons.
  21. You would rather listen to bird songs than the radio.
  22. You can sleep on the floor, ground or a wood waterbed, but not a metal frame bed.
  23. Orcs are the cousins you don’t talk about.
  24. You have a fascination with edged weapons.
  25. Most of your clothing has ties and laces instead of buttons and zippers.

New Age vs Otherkin Community

Back in the very late 70’s and very early 80’s, when I was first getting into the New Age thing, it seemed to me at least with regard to the people I came in contact with that the spiritualist/new age movement was about working toward enlightenment. Methods for doing that inner work became very popular, such as TM, yoga, Zen… at least in S. Cal where I grew up (and lived most of my life). The focus seemed to me to be very much on the fact that you had to find your own inner way, that there were tools to help you do that but they were intended to be just that: tools, not crutches.

Along about the mid-80’s the whole new age thing began to really catch on out there in a major way, and all of a sudden there was an influx of these new ideas supposedly being represented by “channeled information”. Suddenly it seemed like everywhere you looked, someone was channeling the 4 or 8 or ten thousand year old spirit of someone else from Egypt/Atlantis/Lemuria with information that was supposed to make us all better in one rather expensive weekend. Or on a smaller scale all you had to do was look in the back of your local new age magazine or newsletter and there were hundreds of “psychic astrologers” or “psychic channelers” or what have you with All The Answers, for a fee ranging anywhere from very nominal to outrageously exorbitant. Among these there were a few who had good information, and the vast majority were in it for either the money or the ego trip of being viewed as an Ascended Master of some sort. (I’m thinking of people like JZ Knight or Lazarus, etc, who IMO are colossal charlatans).

The main problem with most of what was being offered was that it dangled the promise of achieving in a short period of time the level of wisdom, enlightenment and self-understanding that the more traditional paths told you would take years of work. (Yasssss, people, can you say Ashtar Command and ye are HEEEEEaled I say, I place my hand upon your forehead and say the magic name of Ashtar and you are HEEEEEaled….). The problem was that some paths don’t have shortcuts because the journey is the point. Cut out the journey, and you’ve cut out the reason for walking the path in the first place. But in this age of drive-thru and disposable and instant everything, anyone who offers you (generic you) the Answer To It All in a matter of days with no commitment of time and effort on your part is going to attract a certain amount of yous who want the result without doing any of the work. People like that are *always* going to have adherents, many of whom will absolutely swear by them at first.

What happens when you find out that your problems are still there, your life still sucks, you still get depressed and you still have no idea who and what you truly are inside, underneath all the layers and labels, and you find you have learned nothing to help you cope? Most folks end up searching for the next instant-enlightenment gimmick and never end up doing any of the work to discover their own internal framework. Disillusioned and angry, they turned away from what they had once embraced in droves and the new age community obtained a very bad name that some of it’s adherents don’t deserve. I now see “fluff bunny new age” being used as an insult, because when most people think of “new age” they think of “white light dingalings” drifting around offering fluffy and unrealistic solutions that people no longer believe in.

It didn’t work for Christianity in 1890, it didn’t work for psychology in 1920, it didn’t work for Buddhism in 1985. Why do people think it’s going to work for Otherkin in 2001?

This has a lot to do with why I’m so bitchy about the “spoonfeeding” and why I see it as pointless at best and dangerous at worst. What is going to happen to people who’ve fallen into the whole coddle-the-newbie trip when the coddler gets bored with the game, and hasn’t helped anyone do the real work of developing their own inner framework? It’s very easy to criticize me for my own critical comments about the spoonfeeders, but perhaps placed into this overall context you can at least understand my concern. I didn’t *have* anyone to coddle me when I Awakened, I was alone out there. But I worked my ass off to Become.

Later, I found the Silver Elves and they gave me support and friendship by showing me that I wasn’t alone and that what I felt and experienced wasn’t weird for who and what I was… but they didn’t tell me how to walk my walk and they didn’t tell me what the things I was thinking and feeling meant. They continued to encourage me to do my own exploring and understand who I was in my own unique way. That’s what newbies need, just not to feel like they’re alone and to be encouraged to find their own Song. That’s all they need, and if we really give a rat’s ass about their own journeys rather than feeding our egos at their expense, that’s all we’ll realistically offer. We can’t GIVE them answers because our answers may not be the right ones for them. We can tell them where *we* looked… I found many of my own answers among the philosophies of Zen … but we can’t tell them that they’ll find their answers in the same places we found ours because everybody got to march to their own drum. I strongly believe the only thing we should be doing is letting people know we understand and giving them a place to air out their own thoughts and get some intelligent feedback and good, solid critical but kind questioning to give them some objective perspective… and the occasional kick in the ass when they need it. There’s tons of websites out there, let people find their own truths among what’s presented there. We aren’t human, but we cannot discount the human philosophies as useless for our own journeys because some of the experiences humanity has are universal. There are fewer resources for kin than there are for humans, but who says kin cannot benefit from human experiences? The only way people will know what Sings to them is to just start reading and searching and looking. Telling them what will and won’t sing to them is something the coddlers are doing for themselves, not for the new kin.

I don’t want to sound boastful, but a large part of why I feel so strongly about this has to do with my own personal experiences of the past couple years. My experiences from that time period tore at the very fabric of who I was and what my life was. I feel very strongly that had I been spoonfed and coddled and handed this vision of my “trueform” those events would have destroyed me. As it was, they came very close to doing so anyway but by that point I had invested a great many years in doing a lot of slow, patient work to Know Myself, to understand who and what I was down to the bone and deeper. I have this solid, strong framework of self built on years of learning to understand myself, my feelings, my ideas, my beliefs, my reactions, etc… and when the day came that I felt entirely cut adrift from the paths I had believed in and the places I thought I was going, I still had that inner sense of self and strength to hold me through it. My “time in the Desert”, as I have come to think of it, has been a time of great personal growth and a valuable experience that has enriched me in many ways. I am still IN that time, actually. I do not really know where my path will lead me next or where to even start looking for it but =that’s okay=. Because whether I’m in the desert or walking a path, I am still Me. And what I’ve learned over the years has taught me that the best thing for =me= to do when I’m not sure which direction to walk in, is to find a nice warm rock in the sun and just sit and Be.

I could not have learned that by dint of someone doing the armwavedance over me in a weekend. That is the product of years of meditation, study, practice, methodology, magic and inner Journeying.

You can call me many negative things, but you can’t say I have a weak sense of self.

Broken Toys

The alwaysweres, the nevergones
We fix the broken toys
The cast-off fineries worn like jewels
The tossed-aways adorn our brows
You smile and laugh and pat our heads
And say that you are like us too
When you have time that is.
Want to, wish to, cannot yet
Fog on water, insubstantial
And we don’t buy it anymore.
Your toy soldiers are dead to you
You killed them, not the world
Those stuffed animals won’t speak to you
You refuse to hear them
And you cry, and say you wish to have back
All that you lost before
We don’t buy it anymore.
When the world is dark and dreary
And the blandness overcomes
And the mundane crushes souls
And children cry when dreams are torn
And unicorns retreat away
And hidden from you are the Fey
You wring your hands again and say
If only I could dream again.
You killed them all, not the world
Your walls could easily unfurl
With just a word, but you stay silent
And we don’t buy it anymore

For a Changing World

This poem was written shortly after getting
back from a walk through the woods in Cary, NC, witnessing the
clearcutting and destruction, but also the new growth, the clean
air by the waters and a sense of those things just beyond sight.


I will live among the dead, and the dying
Those that know, and those that remain unaware
I will mourn their passing
But I will not join them
I will walk among the blinkered, and the blind
Those who chose, and those who had no choice
I will grieve their sight
But I will not join them
I will look upon the destruction, and the destroyed
Those who won, and those who lost
I will sorrow for their passing
But I will not join them
I will dance among the mad, and the maddened
Those who laugh, and those who cry
I will help them seek their sanity
But I will not join them
I will laugh among the sun-touched, and the star-lit
Those who are young, and those who are old
I will revel in their presence
They I will join.

Chapter’s End

The book of our solitary walkings
Draws nigh to a close…
And for ages we have walked alone:
Forgetful and longing in turn
For the days at hand, what was and yet will be.
As another walks to a circle by the fire
Another chapter closes
Another path comes full circle,
Andother solitary light burning bravely
Becomes one of a million stories
In a naked city of life and dream.
Can another lovely star
Join the all-star cast
Of a film that never ends?
Pick up a script and play one role…
Play it with all the depth and passion of a feature part
Without stealing the show?
We all think ourselves to be fine critics,
Learned and clever at discourse,
But if our essays teach us aught, it is this,
and we do well to listen:
Live life like Art
Breathe Art like Life
It is said that our life
is but the artful imitation of life,
And well we know that life imitates Art.
The treasure of a dream remembered
The shining center of an endless story
Becomes now a jewel in a crown of many jewels
A star in an endless sea of stars
A wave on an ocean of still Truth
One voice in a throng… or a chorus.
We have held the sparks that dared
Ever have we been the tinder that burned alone against the dark
To exhaust our selves, defiant to the last, burning against overwhelming forgetfulness.
Come together we have, to kindle a brighter fire.
Still, we must join to light a log of substance,
A flame that will endure through our lives to come
Until the light returns.
The oak that was we burn at Yule,
The tree that grew in times we knew
Will turn the Wheel again
But we cannot burn what we will not bear
What we fear to touch
Will only waste and rot…
Seasons change, trees die and are reborn…
In the wild places they hold the past for us…
And like the trees,
Born of freedom,
Our roots run deep
Lest we be washed away.
We are Faeries.
We are the wise folk,
The non-sense folk.
We are the free folk, ever changing.
We wear the green coats of ages past
We are Free… to remember.
Free enough to take our endless roles
In an eternal play.
And together we can bring a tear,
A sign, a gasp, a fright, a laugh,
To the heart of the Dream.
Gather around, ye Tybalt, Verrocchio, Hamlet, and Shylock,
Titania and Titus, Rosencrantz and Second Guard, Caesar and Soothsayer,
Falstaff and Rosalind and Porter and Herald,
Prospero, Juliet, Duncan, all…
The curtain’s coming up.

Skip to toolbar