September 30th, 2007
|06:16 pm - On being more than one sort of otherkin|
In this post from several years ago, I discussed how I think of being otherkin more about having various sorts of connections to other beings, lives, or realities than I do about past lives. I was thinking about this a bit more and was talking about the phenomena of being more than one sort of otherkin with teaotter and came up with some potentially useful ideas. .
On the surface, being otherkin is odd, but fairly comprehensible; you have a connection to some sort of non-human being. That's all well and good, and is the end of the story for many people who are otherkin. However, the situation becomes considerably more complex when being more than one sort of otherkin enters the picture. My own case is a perfect example. Around 14 years ago, I ritually bonded with my dragon as part of my (rather eccentric) Wiccan training, and given the nature of the bonding, consider myself dragonkin. Then, in 2004, I experienced an equally strong connection with an angel. I found this very odd, particularly in the sense that I began defining myself as both dragonkin and angelkin. I'm still far from certain if the angel I am connected to is some version of my Holy Guardian Angel that is both a bit more interactive and personal than usual and in some manner involved with the creation of the universe, or some other sort of angelic being, but I know it's closely connected to me.
So, what might being several sorts of otherkin mean. Building off of the idea of connections that I discussed in the link, my thought is that each of us has a multitude (but not an infinity) of possible connections. However, for each of us the number and sort of connections are quite large, but also limited in both number and range. For example, I clearly have connections to both dragons and angels (or more accurately to my particular dragon and angel), and there are likely other connections I could learn to develop is I wished. For now, such connections are latent and unusable, but they could become as real and powerful as the one I have to my dragon. However, I could not develop any sort connection I wished to. I'm fairly certain that if I tried to develop a connection to vampires or elves (two sorts of beings I have absolutely no sense of connection to) I would fail. In short, each of us has a "cloud" of possible connections surrounding us, but the shape of this cloud (IOW, what sorts of connections we could possibly develop) is limited by our personalities, and (for lack of any more useful term) our souls or spirits.
I can see several perfectly reasonable ways to deal with one's "cloud" of possible connections. Some people focus strongly on being one type of otherkin, others find a number of connections, which often vary in strength, others have no non-human connections at all and deal solely with their connections as human past lives, and some (fairly unusual) people have a multitude of moderate to weak connections to beings sufficiently removed from themselves that they consider these beings to be spirit guides, totems, guardian spirits, or whatever.
Under this theory, a connection that you either focus effort and energy (which can be done both consciously and unconsciously) on strengthening, or which for some other reason is particularly strong is likely to be one that is deeply personal and very much a part of your core identity, in short something that feels like a past life and which can most easily be dealt with by considering yourself otherkin. In contrast, very weak connections (which may be weak for a wide variety of reasons) typically end up feeling sufficiently distant and external that they can be considered separate beings that act as allies, friends, teachers, lover, or some similar external role. In any case, the entities that you can find connection to, and possibly the strength of these connections depends on the sort of person you are. I have don't know if I can believe this theory (especially since I just worked it out), but it does make sense in light of my experiences.
Current Mood: contemplative
Thank'ya. I'd been meaning to write a ramble about how I've been connecting to the concept of Otherkin lately and how it differs from how I used to try and define it (more rigidly, though it never did me any harm, per se; I just don't think it did the idea much justice, either), and this sums it up so well. (In fact, I'd love to link to you, but... friends lock, and all. Mind being quoted at all?)
I think my experience with the nonhuman has always been capable of being summed up this way. Strong concepts in the cloud include feline and various reptile species, fictional and non; less strong concepts, but still relevant, include, for example, the red panda. Concepts will recede and come closer to the forefront as I focus on them, or to make room for others that I'm focusing on; lately I've been focusing on my fictional aspects more than the feline for various reasons, so those are more strongly pulled into play. And yes, some of the "outer" ones have manifest as aspects/almost-separate entities for me, like dragon.
|Date:||October 1st, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)|| |
I just unlocked it, link away.
As concepts go, it is not a far climb to travel from 'reptile' to 'fictional reptile' to 'fictional character'.
Have you ever read Magster Ludi by Herman Hesse?
Where it gets even weirder is if you throw quantum mechanics in the mix; the 'cloud' of possible connections doesn't become defined until you start paying attention to it; the stronger your personal link (resonance) is to that ideal, the easier it is to connect to that portion of the cloud. That may explain why some Otherkin feel strongly linked to multiple 'factions', but there is usually one or two that predominate their personality.
The Holy Guardian Angel is said not to be merely a passive voice inside one's mind if a real and permanent connection has been created - it rides within you, becomes a part of you, a constant companion as well as mentor. It is referred to as a marriage of sorts in a very real way.
Perhaps some spirits/souls/what have you are more prone to making connections to collections of concepts far removed from those of their own kind than most. If there are people (to use the most generic term I have before my first pot of coffee in the morning) who connect more strongly to non-human collections of concepts than human collections of concepts (yes, I am making a dog's breakfast of this discussion), they are more likely to identify as one or more of those things.
In other words, some incarnated spirits grab onto elven/vampiric/alien archetypes more readily than the archetypes that they were 'supposed' to be, thus changing their nature. Rather like practitioners bonding with more than one deity during the course of their practice.
I really hope that made sense.
|Date:||October 1st, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)|| |
That made excellent sense, and I am inclined to agree.
*nods* The disconnect between microcosm and macrocosm isn't so great as is often assumed. Additionally, this plays more deeply into the literal/metaphorical divide I've been playing with for a while now. Nice job of rethinking the issue of Otherkin--I like this.
(Just don't let the therian community see this--they've spent years trying to convince people that therianthropy doesn't equal totemism!)