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twig
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twig

> I do have one questions (yes, I want to squeeze more out
> of you :P). I was just wondering if you are still trying
> to retrieve memories

Hm, sort of. That is, I have an ongoing desire to discover more, if indeed I have any or the term is applicable to my situation (I have only teeny bits, but maybe that's all there is to have), but I am not going about it in any kind of regular manner, as some people do. I don't actively "seek memories" through meditation or anything like that, except on very rare occasions.

> and if you feel discovering who you are/were as a
> fae is an ongoing spiritual process.

Oh, certainly. But then I think that any conscious being discoving who they are/were is an ongoing spiritual process. :) But to be more specific to otherkin, yes, it is something I seek to develop, to become, as opposed to something I "found out" and then that was that.

> Anyway, other than that, the main question is about your discovery
> of the Otherkin eg. Did you find them through the wyldfae e-list?

As such, yes. I found that list a few months after coming across a website of "dark elves" which seemed to be mainly goth boys with bows and arrows taking pretty pictures in the woods, and I don't know if they were *really* serious about it, or just wrote the website as though they were. But that was what sparked my initial wondering if there were actually people who really thought this about themselves. Unfortunately, I don't remember the exact trail of sites (or whatever), nor chain of thinking-feeling that actually led me to wyldefae, I only know that both happened in the order mentioned.

> I'm guessing that since it took you awhile to realise that you were
> fae, you did not instantly identify with them?

If I could look back at my early list posts, I could tell you. lol. I honestly don't recall very well. I do remember that I went through a period of coming up with all kinds of reasons I couldn't possibly be (which actually I still do): I had no psychic powers, no memories, didn't share X or Y characteristic with person Z who seemed to be important on the list, etc. I am guessing that I must have felt some kind of initial tingle, or I would not likely have stayed on the list, but I have no specific recollection.

> How do you feel the discovery of the Otherkin influenced your
> own self-identity?

I am going to go way off on a tangent and talk about otherkin as a subculture before I come back around to the specific question.

In my mind a "subculture" has most or all of the features of a culture, just on a smaller scale:

1. Language (in the case of a subculture, a specialized vocabulary set);
2. Artifacts;
3. Values/interests/ideas.

Otherkin have a good deal of the first ("trueform", "Veil", "sevenstar", "Des'tai"...), none of the second that is actually shared among the majority, and essentially only one of the last that is actually shared among all: the idea of being not (entirely) human. Actually, there are more than just that one, but the fact of their not being necessarily shared by all (or even most) has led to some fracturing over the years. For example, there is the disagreement between those who don't feel magic is important and those who can't conceive of it not being the very lifeblood of existence; another is between those who don't feel that any particular self-exploration or application to current existence is very necessary and are content to go "ok, I was an elf in a past life, whatever" and those who feel it is vital to bring one's "other" existence or essence into this life. In both cases, both sides then tend to say either "I am 'real' otherkin, you aren't", or "if that's what you mean by 'otherkin', then I disown the term and I am going to call myself something else" (either thinking up another group term, like "faeborn", or just reverting to their own species name, "elf" or whatever).

But I digress, even from my tangent...

In my experience, to identify as a member of a subculture, one must either already exhibit most or all of its characteristics, or choose to change one's habits and adopt them (although this may be looked down on by existing members as being "a poser"). But with otherkin, there isn't a lot that is specific just to us to begin with (unlike, say, goths, who have tons of shared artifacts and a number of shared valued/interests/ideas, as well as language), and most would say the central thing (non-humanity) is not something you can choose.

If one had already been identifying as some kind of non-human on one's own and the only "surprise" was discovering that there are a bunch of folks who feel the same, then there's not much to it besides choosing to apply the term "otherkin" to oneself, and life goes on pretty much as usual. (I consider these "old guard" otherkin.)

If, however, one had only a kind of general weird feeling (like myself) prior to finding otherkin, or had aboslutely no clue at all and this idea is a total revelation, then it can possibly change the entire direction of one's life.

For me, I am not sure that my identity went in a different direction, exactly; some of the foundation of this was already there, and this explanation was more like a missing piece that showed the pattern of the others. Unfortunately for clarity of answer, it is very hard for me to isolate the influence of finding otherkin on my life, because it led to me meeting my fiance (over six years ago), and without that I would certainly have been an entirely different person than I am now. If I set that to "null", though, I think a lot of the foundation was there and finding the specific term of "otherkin" just was a missing piece that explained the pattern of the others, and I would be in many of the same places I now am even if I hadn't found that specific group.

 

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