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o t h e r k i n   s u r v e y

This is typical of the surveys which go around when people are professing to be writing a book, essay, or some such thing. These questions are from one I answered in November 2005. Therefore, not everything in it is exactly what I think now; take with grain of salt. I've edited out the questions which were merely demographic in nature (age, gender...) except for "type of otherkin".

Type of Otherkin?

Primarily, sidhe or faery; celestial (I sometimes combine these two to say "sidhe/faery of celestial origin/lineage"); not sure on the status of dragon.

What is your personal theory for the basis of the Otherkin identity? (reincarnation or something else?) Where did you come from? How do you believe you got here?

I don't think there is a single theory that explains everyone. In my personal case, I think I am a reincarnate, with a very vague possibility of some "faery blood". On alternate Tuesdays I would not say that I am a faery or sidhe *soul* per se, but rather that souls are souls and I just happen to be expressing this faery "essence" somehow. As far as I know I got here in the usual reincarnational way (as opposed to being sent through a gate from some other world, etc).

Fae-dar. What do you look for or notice in others that tell you that they are Otherkin?

I don't have a "fae-dar" sense.

Do you believe in a 'soul'. Can you define it? Is a soul a static blueprint or does it evolve/change over time? What impacts a soul in order to effect a change?

A "soul" is the part that continues from life to life. It is basically an eddy of energy in the great wash of the universe that happens to be self-aware. I believe it can change over time; powerful experiences can effect changes. I think, however, that some souls are created with a certain "blueprint" already embedded, and others are more "blanks" that only take on shape or "essence" given the experiences that they have. (although it's possible the end result may not be distinguishable from one another)

How important is community? (both offline and online) Are you involved in the community and in what way(s)?

I think community is very important but that we don't really have a lot of it. The real foundation of any society is personal interaction. I don't think the Internet is "not real" (it is as real as we allow it to be) but physical meeting is "real" by default. Big global networks are good for general communication, but relatively small localities is where real action happens. I am a member of an assortment of otherkin mailing lists, message boards and livejournal communities and have been attending realspace gathers since 1999. I organized one myself this year, which took place on the first weekend in November, and was the first otherkin gathering on the west coast of the US that I am aware of (the others have all been mostly east coast, and one in Texas).

Do you have a position, occupation or calling within the community or among the Otherkin? (healer, guardian, warden, etc.) Is there a purpose or reason for your being here?

No, I don't have some kind of overall purpose.

Does the community require elders and guidelines? Does it require more organization or less? What would you change about the community if you could?

I don't think "require" per se. Faery (taken as a whole, overarching concept) is pretty chaotic and attempts to force organization are probably doomed to fail, and to piss people off. See above about small local interaction being the most important foundation of "community". Whether or not elders are "needed", they are de facto present. Guidelines, sometimes I think they would be good, but actually drawing any lines seems to be near impossible. I think there needs to be more organization, but not in some kind of overall structure that is on a global or national scale... again, I mean small local groups, which I think is preferable to isolated folks who maintain only email contact with one another because they are so far away from each other.

How do you KNOW what you are? What is it that proves to you that you are an otherkin? What instance, occurence, feeling, or what have you was it that first led you to investigate, to understand and to believe that you are what you are? When you look in the mirror what justifies your belief?

I don't really know. If I try to deny it and forget about it, it keeps nagging at me. If you put me in a room with a bunch of other otherkin it is energetically much more comfortable than sticking me in a room with a bunch of humans; in other words, at the very least I have a little evidence that there is something similar between me and others who say they are 'kin that is not resonant between me and humans. (This isn't just "mundanity" either - it is also present if I am in a group with magically powerful humans.) I suppose it was an echo of this which made me investigate this in the first place - when I stumbled upon an otherkin mailing list back in 1998, I felt that there was something "more like me" there than elsewhere. Nothing really justifies it when I look in the mirror because I don't believe I look like a faery or sidhe should :P (This is not just a flip answer; there are people out there who have this "look" of otherness about them, which I don't perceive myself to have.)

How do you deal with the world? Where do you find constant friction in your day to day, specifically dealing with being an Otherkin? How do you maintain your identity?

Eh, it's not so bad. Mostly by not thinking about it too hard. "Don't let the bastards get you down", you know? However, my living situation being what it is, it's kind of constrictive not being able to express totally, do magic at all hours of the night, etc. Sometimes I do have to take time out and consciously Remember, but it's not quite like Changeling: the Dreaming where there's endless Banality constantly wearing away at my spirit or anything. I fix my hopes to a future point where I will again be in my own private living space, because I know things were going well and magically when I was on my own for three years in the past.

What do you not believe in, with respect to otherkin? Where does are your limits pushed beyond possible belief? What statements or claims do you find yourself unable to accept?

Hmm. I'm willing to file a lot of stuff as "undecided" rather than "unacceptable" even if it makes me raise an eyebrow. There's not a lot that makes me blow my mental whistle and say "Foul!" but here are a few things...

1. Someone is the king or queen or other high-mucky muck of all elves/dragons/insert-species-here. (I am willing to accept that someone was royalty at some point within the setting of a single culture, but they would need to provide details to substantiate such a claim.)

2. There is some kind of "war" between humans and otherkin coming and this person is one of a council of however many (which curiously usually seems to have half its membership all found in one city) that has been called to do something to prevent or hasten it or whatever. Likewise, that there is going to be a day when "the Veil will drop" and we will all assume "true form".

3. Dramatic magical effects in the physical world (e.g. flying, fireballs, physical shapeshifting, etc.). Again, at least without any evidence of such, which to my knowledge no one who has claimed such has so far been willing/able to provide.

4. Someone is literally, directly the incarnation of a fictional character. (Especially since there often seems to be more than one at the same time...) I personally have "invoked" or otherwise had contact with fictional characters as though they were real, so it's not on principle, but I think they fall in the category of "thoughtform" (a created spirit) rather than the type of self-aware being which incarnates. (I might accept that someone was the literal, direct incarnation of a famous historical person, but again it would require significant substantiation.)


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