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t h e   i n t e r n e t   g o e s   m y t h i c

by Cara Des'tai

This article appeared in Fate magazine in March 2001. The text of it was distributed on some otherkin lists by its author, and I was not able to find it on Fate's website, so I'm hopeful that no one will mind that I am duplicating it here.


It appears that what's old is new again. In this case, incredibly old - the otherkin are back with a new lease on life ... and an attitude. The information superhighway has become the playground and meeting place for all manner of nonhumans, and they're using this instant communication media to organize, make their presence known, and change the world.

A Bit of Faerie Lore

Who and what are these "otherkin" and "fey'? They are people who know that their souls are not completely human, usually having distinct memories of living in another plane of existence in other forms, and often with a longing to return across the gossamer veil that separates this world from their home. They can usually work magic easily, especially workings like "glamour" (disguise) spells. Those rare few who are sensitive enough to see their true forms see these folk as beings of legend, including elves, dragons, felinoids, dwarves, wood nymphs, merfolks, satyrs, and others.

If you think that the world is being invaded by faeries, you're absolutely right.

The number of fey presently in this plane is unknown, but over 100 recently responded to one message that was crossposted to several related newsgroups, such as alt.pagan and alt.magick. The positive responses ranged from "so that's what I am" to "well, it's about time."

It appears that many otherkin are unaware of what makes them different. They just know they are not normal humans. One fey respondent even told of how she had tried to kill herself at the age of five in an attempt to "find the way back," knowing even at that tender age that she did not belong in this realm. Others tell of commonly forgetting to sleep or eat, speaking an unknown but distinct language as a toddler, being able to shape shift, and in one case actually being able to breathe underwater for short periods of time with no ill effects.

As types of otherkin vary, so do their characteristics. Elves are usually slender, slight of stature, and graceful, with penetrating eyes, angular features, and an inner music that is instantly recognizable to those who can detect such energies. Silver jewelry is generally favored, and the designs are often nature-inspired, such as leaves, animals, or stars. Many say they have "mood eyes" that are constantly changing color and so are hard to describe. Of course, these are generalizations - there are hundreds of races of otherkin and many are halfbreeds, fitting in with the rest of society more smoothly than their more fey kin.

[text box inset: "Those who deal with the fey are forever changed."]

Back With a Vengeance

A few years ago, a controversial document known as "The Elven Nation Manifesto" appeared in several Internet newsgroups and was met with varied reactions from ridicule to full agreement. Morningstar, the originator of the now defunct Elven Nation mailing list, initiated the manifesto as his way of helping elves understand that they are not alone, while at the same time offering arguments for forcibly opening the veil between the worlds to bring otherkin magic back. Other groups are taking a gentler approach: Last summer saw the beginning of a "glamour bomb" campaign that included sprinkling wildflower seeds in vacant lots, setting out pennies or stones in complex magic sigils, and writing sayings like "Your Wings Are Real" in washable chalk.

Separation or Integration?

The beginnings of a separate otherkin community are now whispered about on the Internet, and there appear to be pockets of nonhuman groups forming spontaneously around the world. One researcher in Canada has found several such groups, each of about 15 members living in a small region or a single town. Certain areas may be drawing the fey due to energy configurations (such as where ley lines intersect). Alternately, they could be drawn to each other, and not to a geographical location at all. The fey phenomenon is so new that we just don't know, and may never know, if the secretive fey are true to history.

Many otherkin are in rural areas to escape the poisoning influence of city life. Others are relatively happy in an urban setting, determined to work from within the system for change. But there's been a discussion of late on one mailing list in regard to separation versus integration. Taken to extremes, the sides are wondering if it's better to be isolationist hermits or to live in the human world and lose their identities.

The Return and the Change

Many otherkin have known of their identity since birth, but others are only just realizing their connectedness to these ancient races. It has been speculated that the innate fey blood in many people is finally awakening with the dawning of this new age, strengthened by the fact that the veil between the worlds is becoming thinner and allowing "The Awakening" to happen faster and faster.

Many fey and sensitive humans have begun to sense a shift in the world. More and more Internet users have been hinting that they feel the change coming.

Whatever the cause, it cannot be denied that the elves and other fey are returning, and the Internet is a popular place for them to dance their virtual dance together. If you hear the music yourself, come dance in the faerie circle and see what happens...

Cara Des'tai writes from the Sierra Nevada foothills near Yosemite.

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