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y o u m i g h t b e o t h e r k i n i f . . .
Compiled by Arethinn.
The following people, in no particular order, have offered up their souls to help compose this list: Adara, Thistle Kachunk, Willow, Miracle, Lindsay, Ruadh, Fer, Aine, Illuviel, Jen/Blue/Spirati, Ki'taye and hir sidekick, Lelya, Tiernan, Robin, Aerienne, Skiewing, the Lollipop Trollop, and Eshari. The original "You could be Elven if..." list was written by Tiernan and Robin and posted in TirNanOc Digest Issue #1, October 1995; see this copy of the ORC version on the Wayback Machine, or this version archived on Otherkin.net. OKN also has an earlier version of this list with more obvious editorializing from me here. The version history from that is what you see at the end of this document, although I can tell you there have also been changes since then (January 2001).
Disclaimer: This list is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, a kind of "ha ha only serious". It should not be taken really really seriously -- that is, you MUST have these traits or you're not otherkin, and/or if you have these traits, then you MUST be otherkin -- because many of these can also apply to humans of a general magical or pagan persuasion and amassing ticks on a list of characteristics does not an otherkin make. However, neither is it exactly a joke list on the order of "You might be a redneck/liberal/geek if..." You might say 's funny 'cause 's true. In any case, caveat lector.
You might be Otherkin if...
Physical Characteristics and Remnants of Former Bodies/Lives
1. You feel a lot older than your grandmother and cannot explain why.
2. You miss a place, yet cannot explain where it is.
3. You find it very frustrating that you can't breathe under water or fly.
4. You have "phantom" body parts (such as wings or a tail) that you can feel move, and that sometimes become really annoying with clothes, or cause pain when "slept on".
5. You modify (or wear special) clothing or sit/stand/walk differently to accomodate physical characteristics your waking body doesn't have - or you donít even realize youíre making such accomodations until someone else points out that you are.
6. Your doctor canít figure out how you damaged your back to start with, but you donít really want to tell hir itís a battle injury from a previous life.
7. Transsexuals often want sex-change operations. You want SPECIES-change operations.
8. You are always the first one to hear something in the distance (ie: approaching car, person, storm...).
9. You have either more allergies than normal folks, possibly including odd ones like metals (iron and alloys, silver, gold, copper); stones (hematite, malachite, pyrite); certain herbs; or other substances not commonly considered allergenic, or you have a dragon's constitution and have less allergies than normal folks, and are not prone to disease (you never had the flu, etc.).
10. You have naturally dilated pupils, or see very well in the dark.
11. You have bright green or violet eyes, or eyes with multiple colours in them, or that change color.
13. Some part of your body changes shape and/or color.
14. The "you" you see in the mirror and the physical shell experienced by other people are entirely different entities.
15. You find yourself unable to develop an addiction - after a certain point, certain substances stop affecting you entirely. This is most bothersome when it's much-needed prescription medication.
Personality Characteristics, Perceptions and Habits
1. You don't consider yourself really human.
2. Your creativity (of whatever persuasion) consumes you to the point of eccentricity. Dance, music, art, and beauty in general are not luxuries, peripheral experiences or mere entertainment, but physical needs.
3. You know, see, and feel a deeper existence than the visible world around us.
4. The woods, glens, etc. speak to you and call you to come join them.
5. You have a deeper understanding of the cycle of life and death than many people do.
6. Most people find their inner children. You found your inner puppy or hatchling.
7. You remember your dreams with more detail, clarity and relevance than your waking moments.
8. Linear thought is a problem, and linear time an even greater one.
9. The books that speak the greatest Truths to you are found in the Fantasy/SF section.
10. Your best friends are nymphs, pixies, and fairies.
11. You think trees or holes in the ground are a great places to live.
12. You catch yourself referring to David Bowie as "cousin."
13. You find it hard to explain to mundanes that there really IS a dragon sitting on your pencil case and sheís been talking to you all through math and English.
14. You can sleep on the floor, ground or a wood bed, but not a metal frame bed.
15. You collect little 'oddities' that don't match anything else you own. Going to an antique store is like going to an adoption agency. You actually own more knick-knacks and stuff than the antique store down the street.
16. No religion seems to fit you, no matter which one you try.
17. You are the definition of "weird".
18. You love to hide in natural places when emotionally or otherwise upset.
19. You can actually speak Tolkien Elvish, and it feels like your mother tongue.
20. You donít match your "real" age in looks, thoughts, words, wisdom, etc.
21. The weather and your moods have more than a coincidental link.
22. You write such good stories 'cause they arenít stories... itís all real.
23. You feel youíd have done much better a few hundred years back. Living History not only describes your favorite activity, it describes you.
24. You have an obesession with honor most people just donít understand.
25. You've been in or almost caused a car accident because you were distracted by the sunset, sunrise, rainbow, moon, stars, lightning, and/or interesting cloud formations.
26. You bore very easily.
27. You get downright pissed when people harm animals or plants or destroy the environment.
28. As a child you always knew where to find the berries in the woods.
29. You are fascinated with language, linguistics, theology, anthropology, slang, subculture and the madness of crowds.
30. You see through spiritual charlatans like they were made of glass.
31.Your personality changes outright depending on the clothing you wear. That includes a mixed personality if you mix two kinds of clothing.
32. You prefer silver rather to gold, bronze, etc.
Interactions With "the Mundanes"
1. Human language just isn't enough to FULLY convey what you are trying to say. You feel telepathy, empathy, and visual sendings make up most of your languge and you often tend to use these more than spoken words, much to the dismay of those around you.
2. Your friends and family have always thought of you as, shall we say, "different."
3. You never quite see things from the same point of view as your mundane friends. They never get your sense of humour.
4. Mundanes think you are eccentric, very intelligent or crazy, but you think that you are normal and they are the ones who are odd.
5. You have actually answered "elf", "dragon", "fae", "werewolf", etc. under the "Race" section of surveys or when asked by telemarketers.
6. Your friend's cat, who hates EVERYONE including your friend, loves you.
7. People either love you or hate you and you cannot figure out why.
8. Animals and trees are better friends to you than most mundanes.
9. You feel horrible if you have to act human, and weird things happen to you when you try.
10. When you havenít slept for a few nights running, havenít eaten, donít feel pain, etc., the standard explanation from your friends is "but we all know youíre not human..."
...before you've even told them what you really are.
11. You attract the strangest people. They seem to congregate around you as if attracted by some pheremone only they can perceive.
12. You almost never play a human character in role-playing games. (Bonus points if you refuse to play a human in the SCA or at Ren Faires, but rather play a vampire, elf or faerie.)
13. People's professed personalities and beliefs cause you to break out in peals of laughter at socially inappropriate times.
14. People often ask you if you are on drugs.
15. Hospitals, most schools, government buildings, and large, impersonal corporations either depress you to the point of tears or trigger panic attacks.
16. Small children come up to you and hug you for no apparent reason.
Magic, Psi and Strange Occurrences
1. You think nothing of adjusting your energy to a "peace" signature to calm down someone who's agitated. (Fun with glamour, folks!)
2. When you don't want to be noticed, you can be wearing three-inch spikes and a mohawk, and people walk past you, oblivious.
3. Your dreams bleed over into mundane reality.
4. You catch glimpses of an alternate reality superimposed or side-by-side with mundane reality. When you're half asleep and half awake, the worlds tend to blur and you can see numerous realities existing at once.
5. Your wishes affect mundane reality in a tangible way.
6. Too many synchronicities happen to you to pass them all off as coincidence.
7. Small children run up to you and point out the nice lady with pointy ears or the big furry man or the dragon.
8. Grown people nervously ask you if you've ever thought of yourself as "elf-like" or "dragon-like," or just get positively freaked out being near you.
9. You "bleed over" in pictures (characteristics visible in your "other form" show up on the film).
10. You dream prophetically.
11. When really stressed/relaxed/magickal you speak in a foreign unknown language or make animal noises.
12. People are spooked when you walked up behind them and they never heard you coming. You move so silently that you can even sneak up on a police dog without it noticing you.
13. Energy work seems so natural for you that even as a beginner you baffle most veteran magic users. You can't understand why people need all those props to do anything magical, when it's so much simpler to just reach and change something. You're unable to grasp that there are people who can't feel magical flows, no matter how often you hear otherwise.
14. You've met someone you instantly knew from dreams youíve been having since you were five.
15. From time to time really strange things happen, like you get cut and your blood falls on a white rose and it turns red, and within a month the entire rose bush has deep red flowers.
16. You sense spirits residing within rocks, trees, waters, buildings, mechanical objects, etc., and you converse with them regularly.
17. You didn't know that not everyone did lucid dreaming (astral projection, hands-on healing, aura sight, telepathy, precognition...) until you read about it.
18. You "smell" what kind of mood the people around you are in.
19. Computers often malfunction, act up, and do lots of unusual things in your presence, causing your coworkers to ask you to "stand over there, please" and causing your company's resident computer tech many hours of heartache.
20. Sometimes when you see or meet a stranger you see a flash of their True Nature without even trying.
21. You can alter time, manipulate the weather, conjure things or teleport by accident, etc. without ever having learned how, nor in fact understanding how these are possible.
22. When they unearth an ancient earth artifact that "no one" knows about you not only find that you recognize it, but also that you had been telling your friends about it for the last few years.
23. You don't just dream, you go planet-hopping.
24. Time always does weird things around you.
25. Your friends use you as the resident antenna for the radio, for it always receives better sound when you stand in front of it.
26. You cannot wear watches or other timepieces on your person. If you do, they are rendered completely useless within days and become blithering idiots that have no idea what time it really is anymore.
27. You can hear the stars singing.
28. All of your best friends/lovers/etc. awaken to otherkin natures within a few months of meeting you.
29. You can't ever remember the color of someone's eyes, but you can describe their aura/astral form in detail.
Version 1.0 3/9/99 if it’s useless and does nothing, call it version 1.0!
Version 1.1 3/15/99 added some from Adara and deleted a few
Version 1.2 3/20/99 added some from Thistle and made other various changes
Version 1.21 3/26/99 fixed some odd formatting
Version 1.22 11/3/99 added one to section A and *-ed those that are, in the editor’s humble opinion, “more telling” than others
Version 1.3 11/15/99 added a few new contributions
Version 1.4 9/17/00 HTML markup added
Version 2.0 01/28/01 deleted some that are overly silly, irrelevant, misleading, in-joke-ish or incomprehensible, edited others to be clearer, and generally tried to bring it up to more “public consumption” standards
Eshari Starling edited and spell-checked this thing and organized it and stuck it all together.
The following people, in no particular order, have offered up their souls to help compose this list: Adara, Thistle Kachunk, Willow, Miracle, Lindsay, Ruadh, Fer, Aine, Illuviel, Jen/Blue/Spirati, Ki’taye and hir sidekick, Lelya, Kerr/Robin, Aerienne, Skiewing, the Lollipop Trollop, and Eshari.
Kerr/Robin’s were ripped from the ancient and musty TNO archives without them knowing it, but Esh figures those people will never see this anyway.
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last updated: 10/27/2017