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Are Vampires and Therians Otherkin?
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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
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Thursday, 2nd December, 2010 - 3:41 pm
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I'm having trouble thinking of topics today, and I don't have my notebook full of discussion ideas with me at the moment, so here's one I've seen a lot over the years that never seems to really be decided: are vampires and therians otherkin, or something else?  Current opinion seems to trend yes for vampires and maybe for therians, at least from what I've seen lately, while historically it's been fiercely controversial to include either group under the otherkin “umbrella”.

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Claude

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Thursday, 2nd December, 2010 - 4:19 pm
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Haha and as a late arrival I still don't get how those groups are so fiercely separate at all.

I mean how do you draw the line? And if you feel nonhuman from what you believe is a past existence somewhere, then whatever you were was not “mythological” or “imaginary” in that world, right? And if that's the basic difference, then by saying you're something mythological you're basically discounting your own claimed experience.

If it's all a more metaphorical thing, it's a different matter of course. But if you're literal about it, I find it strange to make that distinction. Eg. say you believe you were a dragon in a world where dragons were common creatures. Then how are you not 'therian' but 'otherkin' by that world's standards? And you're obviously going more by that world's standards otherwise, if you say you are now still a dragon instead of a human.

With vampires I can see how one'd want to distinguish oneself if one sees oneself as merely a human that also needs to feed on energy or blood or what have you. And I can also see why more humanoid species would feel different from more animal-esque ones, and vice versa. But the otherkin/therian distinction, nope. Fails to make sense to me.

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
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Friday, 3rd December, 2010 - 2:45 pm
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Claude said:

Haha and as a late arrival I still don't get how those groups are so fiercely separate at all.

Part of it's the way the groups developed… they really arose as separate communities to begin with, and it wasn't until fairly late in the game that otherkin arose as an umbrella term.  With much debate over which groups were appropriately included under that umbrella.

I mean how do you draw the line? And if you feel nonhuman from what you believe is a past existence somewhere, then whatever you were was not “mythological” or “imaginary” in that world, right? And if that's the basic difference, then by saying you're something mythological you're basically discounting your own claimed experience.

Actually, it's the therians that usually discount the experiences of the otherkin as imaginary, not the otherkin themselves.  And some otherkin discount the experiences of therians on the basis of sentience.  They don't believe that you can have an experience similar to having been otherkin with a nonsentient species.  It's not an argument I buy into myself, but it's the most common one.

If it's all a more metaphorical thing, it's a different matter of course. But if you're literal about it, I find it strange to make that distinction. Eg. say you believe you were a dragon in a world where dragons were common creatures. Then how are you not 'therian' but 'otherkin' by that world's standards? And you're obviously going more by that world's standards otherwise, if you say you are now still a dragon instead of a human.

Well, by that world's standards you wouldn't be either therian or otherkin… you'd be a dragon, period.  Therianthropy or otherkinness wouldn't have entered the picture in that life.  It's not till you get to this life, and a human body, that either term (or both) applies.

With vampires I can see how one'd want to distinguish oneself if one sees oneself as merely a human that also needs to feed on energy or blood or what have you. And I can also see why more humanoid species would feel different from more animal-esque ones, and vice versa. But the otherkin/therian distinction, nope. Fails to make sense to me.

Some of the vampire issue is that, but others view vampirism as a physical condition (if not fully understood) rather than a spiritual one.  All in all, it's a complex and long-standing debate.  There are also a lot of otherkin who resisted counting vampires as part of their community, for one reason or another.  Personally it always seemed prejudicial to me.

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
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Friday, 3rd December, 2010 - 3:02 pm
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Liryen said:

I've always viewed therians as 'kin, my definition of otherkin being someone who feels nonhuman on a soul level.

*nods* I tend to view them as kin myself, but I realize there are a lot of them who still don't care to be included under that term.

“Vampire” has become an umbrella term of its own, what with all the “lifestylers” and such. IMHO it currently describes a culture, like “punk” (sorry, my 90s is showing) better than it does a kintype. I don't know if this is true beyond Houston-Land but I know that here, people tend to have an awareness of Vampyres even if they've never heard of otherkin.

That's true… the vampire community is actually older and more established than the otherkin community, and has made more headlines over the years.  Some good, some bad.  That's caused more public awareness of them.

(Tangentially, I would also consider someone like a Fairy who feels Draconic to be “otherkin”.) I wouldn't expect a sang vampire to start talking about their past lives or their true form, and from what I've seen, most seem to reject being lumped in with otherkin. But then, I'm not the expert on either.

*nods* I've encountered very few vampires, especially sangs, who are comfortable being considered otherkin unless they also remember non-human past lives separate from their experience of being a vampire.

I'm probably biased as an Elvish type because I tend to associate otherkin with magic and “faery”. Even most psychic vampires seem human to me, albeit with a set of *enhanced* vampiric needs.  I come from “Elsewhere”, and even as a young child knew that I had another form, name and family and even a soulmate, but that yearning and sense of extreme otherness doesn't seem native to vampires. I suspect that psychic vampirism is probably quite a common condition, possibly even a normal variant of “regular human”, except that it's harder to spot 'cause very few psy vamps seem to Awaken relative to the number of people who would agree that they feel drained around certain individuals.

I agree with most of that, save that I don't automatically associate otherkin with either magic or faery… long experience with otherkin who had less interest in magic than your average fully-human pagan, and with kintypes who have absolutely no association with faery (angelics and aliens, as two quick examples) may have influenced my view in that respect.

 As for therians, I can't say anything because I don't know anything. I think everyone who wants to call themselves otherkin will, but it's hard to say whether people who become heavily involved in that particular sub-group would ever bother to get involved with the larger otherkin community. If I were a therian, I rather doubt that I would.

*nods* Therians are generally more accepting of otherkin than vampires are, but there are still a lot of therians that balk at being called otherkin themselves.

On a tangential note, the therian community seems (IMO) to be where a lot of the modern “psychological” theories of otherness stem from that are currently becoming so popular within the kin community.

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Arethinn
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Sunday, 5th December, 2010 - 11:49 pm
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My opinion is yes for therians and maybe for vampires. In some cases vampirism is a kind of “condition” or acquired thing yet the person is still human. Other people seem to treat “vampire” as a species and so identify.

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Arethinn
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No, I don’t mean that exactly. Although since it is possible to start out normal and then suffer energetic system damage such that you find you need to take life-force from others to be comfortable, I suppose it is possible to do the same thing on purpose like a kind of surgery, and in that sense it would be possible to be “turned”. (Something like this figures in the Kheprian vampires’ personal origin myth, IIRC)

But what I was referring to is that there are some who identify as “vampire”, full stop, like a separate kind of being which is somehow essentially not human, and those who are vampiric but still think of themselves as humans, the “vampire-ness” being a discrete quality.

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
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Tuesday, 7th December, 2010 - 11:39 am
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Arethinn said:

But what I was referring to is that there are some who identify as “vampire”, full stop, like a separate kind of being which is somehow essentially not human, and those who are vampiric but still think of themselves as humans, the “vampire-ness” being a discrete quality.

*grins* Remember all the old debates that got into the various theories of vampirism and how some of them would make vampires a kintype and some of them wouldn't?  I think my favorite is always going to be the “astral parasite” theory of vampirism that came out of the psionics community… and by favorite, I mean “one that makes me laugh the most”, not “one I subscribe to as an explanation”.

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
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And for those who weren't present during those debates and have no clue what I'm talking about: http://vampires.wingedwolfpsio…..Vamp2.html

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
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Thursday, 9th December, 2010 - 11:54 am
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Liryen said:

Well, it's an original idea. smile I'm surprised that the person who wrote it hasn't pulled it off the web already, seeing as it's so old and they've probably gotten quite a bit of flack for it. Or at least I'd imagine that.

Heh… the person who wrote it is rather impressively stubborn when it comes to pet theories.  

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sphynxcatvp

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Thursday, 10th November, 2011 - 1:44 pm
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Are vampires and therians otherkin, or something else?

I’ve never understood the nit-picking that goes on about who fits under the “otherkin” umbrella or not. That some people don’t consider therians to be otherkin mystifies me, but the definition of “otherkin” that I have is essentially, “non-human”. By defintion, animals aren’t human, so…*shrugs* Maybe I don’t have the right definition?

As a vampire, I can see both sides of the “otherkin” thing – yes, many of us do consider ourselves human, and thus by the definition I understand would not fit, but there are also others (a less vocal group, usually) who *don’t* consider themselves human, and thus by definition WOULD fit.

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
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Thursday, 10th November, 2011 - 2:59 pm
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sphynxcatvp said:

I’ve never understood the nit-picking that goes on about who fits under the “otherkin” umbrella or not. That some people don’t consider therians to be otherkin mystifies me, but the definition of “otherkin” that I have is essentially, “non-human”. By defintion, animals aren’t human, so…*shrugs* Maybe I don’t have the right definition?

*shrugs* These days, I don’t know that I have a good definition myself. I used to go with the definition “kin to the other”, with a more elaborate explanation of that here. Now, though, since “psychological otherkin” have begun taking over the community, I’m really not sure that I’m comfortable with that definition anymore. Because I don’t feel a kinship with most of them, in practice. Sadly, though, I think it’s the effective definition the community may be stuck with at this point.

As a vampire, I can see both sides of the “otherkin” thing – yes, many of us do consider ourselves human, and thus by the definition I understand would not fit, but there are also others (a less vocal group, usually) who *don’t* consider themselves human, and thus by definition WOULD fit.

I don’t necessarily see it as an either-or. I’m human, I make no bones about that. But I’m also elven, among other things. My nonhuman lives have left distinct imprints on my being that affect who and what I am in the present, despite being 100% human biologically and genetically. I’d venture to say the same is true of most otherkin, even those that try to deny their human heritage or go to the extreme of claiming to be biologically/genetically nonhuman (invariably without evidence, let alone proof). Where vampires fall in it, I guess depends on the vampire.

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