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December 2002 post to my journal
Reading the faeid thing - especially esmirelda's post about dream worlds - has gotten me thinking that Dreaming is definitely something we're missing in the otherkin scene today. I remember that dreams and Otherworldly things used to be a common topic of discussion, a common theme. So did trueforms, and another thing I note is that those were days of few "hybrids". Eventually the term "trueform" fell into disuse, the idea being mainly what, of all the things one has been, would define one's "true" form? We thought too much about it.
We've tried to encompass too many things. What we have now is a collective of people where everyone is right, or at least not wrong, but everything is meaningless. We've set ourselves aside and said "ok, we're different", but that's where it ends, now... it's ceased to mean anything about the things people do and the way they lead their lives. I'm not saying otherkin should = activist or anything.. I'm saying it seems to say something about the basic nature of the phenomenon, or why we gathered, or something.
The same thing has happened to otherkin as has happened to witchcraft: there's a lot less depth, a lot more "dabblers", and it's a lot easier of a declaration to make about oneself, with fewer implications. And so since there's no thorny path to travel, you can just quickly find some information and decide that it fits you and call yourself whatever, and be it done, thus the meaning/power gained is little. (By power I don't mean power-over, I mean in terms of effect, changes, dynamism, etc.)
We used to dream of other worlds, we used to do our magic pure in our Black Hearts, according to our natures and our visions of a world englamoured - sometimes with a blind (or ignorant) eye to "magical ecology", but being too conscious of that is bad too. It's the magical equivalent of being PC. Sure it's dumb to just go ripping gates wherever without concern for the existing energetics, but magic changes and potentially harms - that's what it does, that's what it is!
Scientific inquiry is fine, but if you think too much you lose your Wyld, and that's not something I'm kin to. I'm not saying we should all be like me and have bias for the fantastic over the scientific. Science is fine so long as you're doing it, living it, rather than just discussing idly. Armchair otherkin. And I can't be kin to that. I belong with the sort who live and breathe magic, even if my own powers are few and far between, because that's the desire burning inside me. Dreaming, not discussing.
Puts me in mind of either the Realdragon or Truewyrm list (I forget which), where "roleplaying" wasn't allowed. Now certainly, I agree that people who are "just playing around", thinking that this is genuinely fake (if that makes any sense), just characters people made up and are having fun, should not be on such a list. Also that threads consisting solely of people messing around with actions are somewhat frivolous (though that comes under "fluff", it didn't need to be "no roleplaying"). But in practice this meant that "emotes" and actions weren't allowed in posts, unless they were things you could really be doing, thus not "roleplaying". You weren't supposed to "*rustles wings*" or anything like that, regardless of the fact that that would be an expression of emotion of some kind, just like "*smiles*" - especially for a winged creature!
Being forbidden to even "play ourselves" - and on other lists this simply seems to have fallen out of fashion, rather than being expressly not permitted - did much to dispel the "freehold" atmosphere the lists used to have. Each seemed like a definite place. Now it's more like a bunch of "party lines", just the sound of people talking.
I think the fact that we had to talk about the word "glamourbombing" and whether or not it was OK to use (was it insensitive, dangerous, etc) is another good example of the moon I'm pointing at with my finger here. We got too involved in planning. This happened with the WestKin gather too. We're getting so concerned with the way we look, seeming professional, grown up, or legitimate, rather than just forging ahead on the path of what we know to be true, and making our magic as we go. We're afraid of making mistakes, getting it wrong; afraid we'll miss out on something if we don't include everyone. If it takes just a simple few past lives to be an elf-faerie-dragon, then what does it really mean? I'm not saying there should be elitism or "entrance requirements", or that one type is "better" than another - just musing on the big grey blob we've become.
a followup thought from a post a few days later:
underlying assumption used to be "we're all magic" now it's "we're all human anyway". questioning the things that brought people together in the first place. different sorts of things are subject to scrutiny and different things are passed without it than used to be.
the lessened importance of magic or at least the wonderful does worry me sometimes.
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