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Born or Made?
Topic Rating: +1 Topic Rating: +1 (1 votes) 
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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
Arlington, VA

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Saturday, 1st November, 2014 - 9:23 am
Member Since: Friday, 20th June, 2008
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It is sometimes striking to me how much has changed in the therian and otherkin communities since the rise of psychological therians and otherkin.  Last night I was reading a thread on Werelist that challenged something I had believed to be a basic assumption of both of our communities: the idea that we are born otherkin or therian.  While there has always been speculation about whether or not it was possible for humans to be “turned” in some manner, typically involving either long association with the fae or the use of ritual and magic or both, this conversation was not along those lines.  Rather it dealt with the idea that some experience or set of experiences in your life acts on your brain or psychology to make you therian or otherkin.  Even that it can be a conscious choice.

For me, reading this thread tied in with something else I’ve seen recently: the rise of the term “kinsona“, an ugly (in my opinion) portmanteau of “kintype” and “fursona“.  The binding elements?  The idea that our kintypes are not intrinsic to us but something external which our minds are adopting either consciously or unconsciously.

For me?  It’s not.  And the further the community goes down that path, the more it will leave me behind.

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Arulin
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Wednesday, 5th November, 2014 - 10:19 pm
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If I might take a stab at this.

If you take into consideration of turns and walk-ins….They can be both born and made. I can spread my soul essence through the fey, Tispir has given birth to many a soul, as well as we both have allowed the souls of wolves, otters, dragons, and any who wish to seek harbor with us into our human bodies. We both were born in these bodies…So on that, it depends on the process. I mean even Native Americans have riturals to call down the spirits and allow them to conume with the living world through a host. This is not new, or unusual. Druids back able 9000 years ago use to summon entities from other planes of existence.

As for the “Daddy” psychological assessment, I think the toilet made more sense last time it flushed. It just a bunch of humans who have the psychic power of a peanut.So I seriously would not pay it much mind since there are humans who are absolutely jealous even hateful towards those who are. Prime unseelie material there. They might attract ones who can “turn” them, but

Just thought I would share something:

I had a reading done, yes a reading after attuning a very powerful Wiccan to our energies. Finding one out there who can adjust to us was a real treat by the way. We had confirmed much of my memories, even surprised the witch with our parents and the fairies who come and watch over us through a “Spirit Walk”. So I have not a doubt of my sanity anymore. The only one I have found who looked at us and said we weren’t human the moment we stepped through the door. Luna Leaf https://www.facebook.com/lunaleafstory , ever want a “Spirit Walk” she the one for it. Now this witch is kin herself, what she is I have no clue. Something celestial I can tell.

But as for the headshrinking, like what OKA is supporting. Yea, think the toilet has more spiritual energy then. I will just goto Wicca boards.

Blu
Blu
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Friday, 7th November, 2014 - 3:50 am
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For me, I’m not exactly sure where I fit into the whole thing. I first became aware that I was otherkin after hearing about the psychological side, and that does still fascinate me. Ever since I was pretty young, I’ve felt like being human was wrong and limiting. I feel like there might have been some psychological reasons for this, but I cannot say for sure. My journey into the community (on Tumblr) was to become comfortable with myself. I hate being human, and I sometimes feel as if I’m trapped inside a fleshy prison from which I can never escape. I have had moments where the sensation of being human has been deeply uncomfortable to me.

The way I see it, there are as many different types of otherkin as there are kintypes. Some of us use being otherkin as a method of coping with mental illness, some of us believe that we are reincarnated souls of nonhuman creatures, and some of us just feel like we’d be more comfortable in a nonhuman body. I feel like they’re all equally valid. Perhaps somebody does use being otherkin as a coping mechanism, and later on they find other, more effective methods of coping. This is a thing that we can’t really know until it happens, and the most important thing is that they can be supported by the community when they most need it.

The history of otherkin and its origins is really important, and I want to learn as much about it as I can, but I feel that the danger in sticking to the old ways is that it makes it more of an exclusive club. Elitism is a danger in any group, and I would hate to see folks getting shunted out of the community for not being “otherkin enough.” Life is a journey, and we should be allowed to explore and figure out who we truly are.

I should point out that I’m very new to the community. If I’ve said anything that is really obviously wrong, please feel free to correct me so I can fix it.

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
Arlington, VA

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Friday, 7th November, 2014 - 12:10 pm
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Blu said
The way I see it, there are as many different types of otherkin as there are kintypes. Some of us use being otherkin as a method of coping with mental illness, some of us believe that we are reincarnated souls of nonhuman creatures, and some of us just feel like we’d be more comfortable in a nonhuman body. I feel like they’re all equally valid. Perhaps somebody does use being otherkin as a coping mechanism, and later on they find other, more effective methods of coping. This is a thing that we can’t really know until it happens, and the most important thing is that they can be supported by the community when they most need it.

At the time I joined the community, it was made very clear to me and to others new to the community that being otherkin was not about finding a coping mechanism, or dealing with mental illness.  People were actually encouraged to rule mental and physical illnesses out before deciding that they were otherkin.  At some point along the way that got lost, probably due to the rise of psychological otherkin.  After all, if one can be otherkin for psychological reasons why wouldn’t being otherkin for reasons of actual mental illness be ok?  Any dividing line there would be completely arbitrary, and rightly viewed as ableism.

The thing is, I don’t believe the otherkin community is equipped to support those who identify as otherkin for reasons of mental illness.  We are not mental health professionals.  We are not equipped to provide that type of counseling and support.

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Blu
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Friday, 7th November, 2014 - 9:10 pm
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Jarandhel Dreamsinger said
The thing is, I don’t believe the otherkin community is equipped to support those who identify as otherkin for reasons of mental illness.  We are not mental health professionals.  We are not equipped to provide that type of counseling and support.

That’s true. We can’t all be expected to know what to do or how to help somebody. I myself sometimes do not have the energy to help people through their problems, even though it’s a thing that brings me a lot of personal satisfaction. I just feel like there are so many places already that stigmatize the mentally ill and turn them away that we should set ourselves up as an exception. We all have problems, you know? And some of our problems are more serious than others. But it’s the duty of a community to help one another as best as we can.

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
Arlington, VA

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Friday, 7th November, 2014 - 9:54 pm
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I really can’t agree with that. We turn people with mental illnesses away not because of any stigma against them but because of the simple fact that we cannot help them. We can’t have a duty to do something that we are simply not capable of. It’s not a matter of energy, it’s a matter of knowledge. We are not mental health professionals. And welcoming people with mental illnesses into our community and encouraging them to embrace a nonhuman identity as a coping mechanism for their own issues is just enabling escapism or outright delusion. How is that helpful to anyone? It’s also an issue of scope creep: if more and more people come into the community who believe they are otherkin due to being mentally ill, at a certain point the community is guaranteed to stop serving the people it was originally intended for. Because the simple fact of the matter is that people identifying as non-human for reasons of mental illness are going to have very different needs than those of us who identify as non-human for other reasons.

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Arethinn
California

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Thursday, 5th March, 2015 - 3:45 pm
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Sorry for the zombie topic; I’ve been sitting on some items in my RSS reader for like four or five months now and keep going “Oh I should go reply to that” and just never getting around to it. I’m trying to force myself to do at least one and then maybe they’ll eventually get cleared out.

Jarandhel Dreamsinger said

While there has always been speculation about whether or not it was possible for humans to be “turned” in some manner, typically involving either long association with the fae or the use of ritual and magic or both, this conversation was not along those lines.  Rather it dealt with the idea that some experience or set of experiences in your life acts on your brain or psychology to make you therian or otherkin.  Even that it can be a conscious choice.

I don’t know how such a thing could work. I suppose it’s possible that something or some experience could act on the brain in such a way that it would uncover or unsuppress something that was already there, but I don’t grok how it could truly change a vanilla human into an animal or some kind of magical otherkin; only in an illness sense – e.g. a traumatic brain injury that somehow causes someone to begin to believe this about themselves.

For me, reading this thread tied in with something else I’ve seen recently: the rise of the term “kinsona“, an ugly (in my opinion) portmanteau of “kintype” and “fursona“.  The binding elements?  The idea that our kintypes are not intrinsic to us but something external which our minds are adopting either consciously or unconsciously.

I could see a use of a “kinsona” for fun in certain contexts, like personally designing an avatar for a virtual world. Or perhaps it could be a way to subtly express that in environments where “fursonas” are already understood and accepted – those who think it’s just play can continue to think that, and those with eyes to see could see. But if you’ve just created a nonhuman character for the heck of it, no matter how much you might like to roleplay as it, I don’t think that genuinely makes you otherkin. (Not in and of itself, anyway; it’s not unknown for people to awaken that way, of course, but then it goes back to “it was there all along, you were born that way.”)

edited to add: See also “witchsonas”. (For example

https://pada-viya.tumblr.com/post/113179791757/nrwynter-i-made-it-just-in-time-for-witchsona

) It would seem that this “-sona” thing is part playful and part a serious expression of an idealized or intentionally mythologized vision of one’s self.

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Jarandhel Dreamsinger
Arlington, VA

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Sunday, 15th March, 2015 - 2:18 pm
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Arethinn said
Sorry for the zombie topic; I’ve been sitting on some items in my RSS reader for like four or five months now and keep going “Oh I should go reply to that” and just never getting around to it. I’m trying to force myself to do at least one and then maybe they’ll eventually get cleared out.

No worries.  I’ve been pretty busy myself the past few months.  Just got through moving and changing jobs, and I’m still unpacking and stuff.

Arethinn said
I don’t know how such a thing could work. I suppose it’s possible that something or some experience could act on the brain in such a way that it would uncover or unsuppress something that was already there, but I don’t grok how it could truly change a vanilla human into an animal or some kind of magical otherkin; only in an illness sense – e.g. a traumatic brain injury that somehow causes someone to begin to believe this about themselves.

In the non-illness psychological model of “becoming” therian, the explanation generally given is some form of mental imprinting, either through close association with domestic animals in one’s childhood or through exposure to media about non-domestic animals.

Arethinn said
I could see a use of a “kinsona” for fun in certain contexts, like personally designing an avatar for a virtual world. Or perhaps it could be a way to subtly express that in environments where “fursonas” are already understood and accepted – those who think it’s just play can continue to think that, and those with eyes to see could see. But if you’ve just created a nonhuman character for the heck of it, no matter how much you might like to roleplay as it, I don’t think that genuinely makes you otherkin. (Not in and of itself, anyway; it’s not unknown for people to awaken that way, of course, but then it goes back to “it was there all along, you were born that way.”)

In context, it seems to be more about creating a character than expressing what one already is.  One post on the furaffinity forums describes their “kinsona” in this manner: “My “kinsona”, and some backstory.  My fursona is kinda a mixture of my kintype that i made into an anthro fursona and gave a bit of a backstory…if that makes any sense.”  

Arethinn said
edited to add: See also “witchsonas”. (For example

https://pada-viya.tumblr.com/post/113179791757/nrwynter-i-made-it-just-in-time-for-witchsona

) It would seem that this “-sona” thing is part playful and part a serious expression of an idealized or intentionally mythologized vision of one’s self.

I wouldn’t give it that much credit.  The initial post about “witchsona week” described it thusly: “This week is WITCHSONA week! Draw yourself as your own witch persona; guy, girl, neither, both, animal, plant, or anything – anyone can be a witch!

What’s your familiar? What’s your power object? What kind of magic do you use? What kind of environment are your powers derived from? What’s kind of clothes do you wear?”  That doesn’t sound at all serious to me.  One of the submissions describes it as a “cartooning event” and I think that’s fairly accurate.  It could potentially be used in a more serious manner, in the way you suggest, but I see no evidence of that actually being done.

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Arethinn
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Thursday, 14th May, 2015 - 3:23 pm
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On further observation/reflection, I think that you are probably right – it could be used as a more serious tool, but mostly just seems to be playing around. Not that that’s wrong in and of itself, but it needs to be clearly delinated.

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