Saturday, January 4, 2014

Therianthropy and Otherkin-ness

It seems that the cultural new year is going to have me blogging about some deeply personal topics, potentially.  Dearest readers, if you do not want to hear about these things, please feel free to email me and say so.  If you want to read more of these kinds of things, also, let me know. :)  As always, I do enjoy hearing from my readers.  Now, on to our story!!


When I was but a wee, baby pagan many moons ago, I was introduced to the terms 'therianthrope' and 'therianthropy' through a group of people on a message board.  Most of these people were shamanists of one ilk or another.  One of these ladies was a dear, dear friend of mine, and though we do not talk much any more, is someone whom I still hold in very high regard.  For those who have not ever heard these terms, therianthropy is the recognition that ones soul is bestial or non-human, and is also known as Otherkin.  I have known those who identified as snow leopard, honey badger, dragon, angel, and elf, among many others.  At the time, my consciousness had not expanded enough to fully grasp what this meant to the individual, despite the fact that I simply accepted it as another part of who these people were.

As I have grown into my teen years as a pagan, I have come across those (more sparingly now, though) who own the label of Otherkin.  They freely speak of their clans, tribes, or packs, their history and, even, their species as though it is the most normal and rational of things. (Because we all know that 'normal' and 'rational' are words that totally describe the pagan experience of the world!) I discuss these things with these people secretly jealous that they simply accept these parts of themselves.  I am also surprised and secretly jealous that these people know so much of their own past life or multi-universal history.

For the past year or so, I have been struggling to accept my own Otherkin-ness.  It makes perfect sense to me that ones eternal essence would identify with some past life or some other life within the multiverse, human or not.  Unfortunately for me, that rational part of my brain (there's that damn word again) laughs hysterically and breaks when I am faced with what I know.  Not once, through the years have I looked at my Otherkin friends and deemed them crazy.  Not once!  Yet, I look at myself and wonder just, exactly, how I'm not crazy for thinking the same way.  (There's not a bit of hypocrisy in that statement...)

Then, begins my internal dialogue. (Because talking to yourself isn't crazy either...)  I remind myself that the Oracle at Delphi says, "Know Thyself" and to do that, I must explore all of myself, past, present, and future.  Then I whine about wanting to be 'normal' and that is followed by chastising myself that I don't want to be like my family.  It's this cycle of excuses and hacking through those excuses and it has been for some time now, but ultimately, I come back to center.  I come back to this place where I am at a stalemate with myself and I let the topic sit for a while.

So, how does one, like myself, who blends in and does the 'normal' thing so well, come to terms with the realization that she is Other?  Well, I'm not sure, but I do know this: Having come to walk a more shamanic path is going to put me nose-to-nose with this particular reality.  It already has in very subtle ways.

A week ago, I journeyed to the Glastig.  She reminded me of my Otherkin-ness and she reminded me of some things, acknowledged that I am now a creature of fire.  So, now, it is time for me to move into the element of Dark Water and begin accepting these things about myself.  I'm still not sure how it is going to play out for me and I am still not sure how I'm going to reconcile it in my mind, but I do know that I will manage.

So, if you are one of an unfortunate few out there who, like me, struggle with spiritual aspects of yourself, remember that you aren't the only one.  If you have been presented with 'crazy' or outlandish images of yourself that simply can't be 'true', remember: Our True Self is much different than the masks we wear.  It is much more than these mortal bones.  The True Self is eternal and sees what our mortal brains refuse to acknowledge.  You aren't crazy.  Your consciousness is expanding and with that expansion, the Ego becomes diminished.  It's the Ego, in a panic, that whispers those doubtful thoughts.  It is the Ego, not wanting to let go that cries out about rationality.

With this new year, I am going to strive to accept these things about myself.  Why can't I simply be?  Why, Ego, do you blaspheme me and try to convince me that I am smaller than I truly am?

Brightest blessings, Friends, and Happy New Year!


  1. Great post, and you're quite brave to be willing to overcome your "rational" doubts in order to explore this aspect of yourself.

    I've known for most of my life of my elven ancestry, and frankly, am terrified of being "crazy" enough to explore it. Over the years, I've even had a couple elder pagans point it out to me, but it's scary to be willing to accept myself as "different". I spend too much energy trying to "blend in" to the mundane world.

    Best to you on your self discovery---blessings

  2. Thank you, Camille! I have been told that I come from a 'double bloodline' of Elf and Dragon. I'm still quite terrified to explore this, but it seems to be something that the spirit world is requiring of me, so I just put my head down and hope like Hell it doesn't hurt too much! :)