The Case for Otherkin Believability and my personal Otherkin Journey
So, my livejournal was recently linked from this (apparently popular) editorial blog relating to the occult etcetera, www.popocculture.com I found this a little odd, in that, while I am of course one of them demon worshippin heathens, I do not generally get around to whining about such on my live journal.
So why was I linked? Did it have something to do with my personal affair with chaos god Loki? Nope. How about the involuted religious systems I created for the world of Ithelest? No again. Was it may occasional rant about fluffy bunny wiccans? No.
It was my recent, off hand remark about being ‘otherkin’.Two or three posts down from here . it was included in this list of otherkin journal whines, http://www.timboucher.com/linklog/2005/12/17/otherkin-in-the-blogosphere/ and a casual perusal will quickly ferret out the fact that my blog seems to have been included, to be a rock of post modernist, ironical sanity in the face of people who by everyday appearances look as though they’re off their nut.
I am not saying that otherkin are insane. I try to refrain from using that label on people that aren’t me. I’m saying that they/we sound insane. Or at least, extremely vehement. One reason for this obsessive fervor, I believe, is the fact that being otherkin, in essence a stranger in a strange land at heart, makes you extremely inecure about yourself. At least, it does me. And, like any number of different types of creature, human included, we make up for being scared and lonely by shouting a lot. We make up for feelings of minority and inferiority by saying that, yes, I am the minority, but in fact that makes me BETTER than you, so hahaha. Nyah on your face.
It also makes us look childish, unfortunately.
By now, most of my luckier journal readers will be goin ‘Otherkin?’ wtf is otherkin? You’ve probably already googled it by now, but incase you haven’t, I’ll define it briefly.
In the infinite span of multiple dimensions (or so we believe) everything has to happen somewhere (as paraphrased from the late great Robert Heinlen). There are worlds where elves and fairies and dragons and werewolves and demons and whatnot, run loose, exactly as specified in legend. Or maybe not exactly. The walls between the dimensions are strong, but imperfect, and occasionally something slips through.
In the case of otherkin, it is the soul that slips through, an extradimensional being be incarnated in the flesh of this world. Young ladies in prep schools that have vague remembrances of being elves, or dragons, or tiger half breeds or what not. Maybe they still latent magical powers, empathy, or heightened senses.
It sounds like the wishful thinking of a population inundated with role playing and reality obfuscating media, doesn’t it? And it would be simple to write otherkin off as LARPers who have just gone a step to far; exactly what the mothers against D&D warned us about in the 80s.
But there’s something more than that.
The fact that gives credence to the otherkin possibility in my mind is that many different people have come up with the same ideas and conclusions regarding it, completely independent of one another
The idea of multiple dimensions is in fact a very real quantum mechanical theory, and while it doesn’t have anything to do with reincarnation between those dimensions, it is a start.
I mentioned Robert Heinlein. In one of his later books, ‘The Number of the Beast’ a group of mathematicians create a device that lets them travel between the dimensions. Among some of the worlds they visit are the Land of Oz, and another fictional universe that Heinlien had previously created, in this Mars books. It is interesting to note that his Mars books apparently existed in the universe that the Mathematicians were from as well, because the characters comment on it.
And then there’s reincarnation.
The idea of reincarnation has been around for thousands of years, hasn’t it? Even in religions that don’t specifically say ‘reincarnation’ many of them believe in a physical afterlife.
For instance, the Christian religion believes that after you die (if you are cool with Jesus and all that) you are BODILY reincarnated in the kingdom of heaven. And we all know that the kingdom of heaven doesn’t exist here on earth. So where does it exist? Perhaps in a different dimensions?
Examined rationally, the belief that ones past life existed in a different world where one was a dragon, is not any less irrational than the belief that one will die and be reborn in gods magical kingdom of angels.
So those are my detached, pseudo-scientific views on otherkinism. But what about my personal views? I mean, if I said I was otherkin I must have some personal views, right? You’re very right.
Like most otherkin, I have known about my ‘otherness’ for a very long time, well back into early childhood. I was often plagued by the feeling, and often, until I forcibly broke myself on of the habit verbally protested that, I wanted to go home!!. Even when I was sitting right in my bedroom.
I felt drawn to works of fantasy, especially those featuring demons. I have had dreams, or flashbacks, of my previous life.
I have found myself, in moments of extreme relaxation or happiness, casually performing a familiar spell, not even thinking about it. Just knowing it will work. Just, incidentally lighting the stove with a wave of my hand, instead of turning on the gas. Because that’s the way its supposed to work. But of course, it doesn’t work, not in this lifetime. Of course, as soon as I’ve done it I felt embarrassed, and wondered why I was doing it.
Spectacular magic doesn’t work here. The magical energy is too weak. Little things though, they have a habit of working. In the way I can fade into the background, unnoticed, even when people are looking for me. Or the way I sometimes finish other peoples sentences without even meaning to. Not just people I know, strangers.
I became convinced almost ten years ago, and remain convinced, that I used to be a demon, of the variety that feed on human energy. I won’t pretend that I’m able to remember my name or much about my previous life, aside from snatches. I’m not. And that hurts me sometimes.
By the time I was fourteen I had a word from it. ‘Transdimesnional reincarnation’. I had never heard of otherkin. I had no idea there were other people who felt the same way.
It wasn’t something I shared with people, not even my best friend really, because I didn’t want to sound crazy, or stupid, or narcissistic.
I’ve tried not to not believe in it, I’ve tried to laugh it off as pretend, or wishful thinking of a vain child. But it always comes back, and at the end of the day I just can’t seem to manage to disentangle myself from that belief.
Dad puts my presents under the tree.
I help my mother paint Easter eggs.
I used to be a demon.
It doesn’t mesh, and the logical side of my brain hates me for believing such a self-righteous, egomaniacal fantasy. But even when I try to put it away with the things of childhood, it won’t be put.
I’m nineteen, almost twenty now. I discovered the concept of ‘Otherkin’ in the worst possible way, at Encyclopedia Dramatica’s article Even given the horrible mocking they were subject to on the page, I was amazed. Other people had the same belief I did. It was amazing, and I didn’t really believe it. I was stunned.
I did some research, and realized that yes; it was true. Other people also believed that they had been transdimensionally reincarnated. I was thrilled.
Unfortunately I was also disappointed. Otherkin culture had been thrust into the limelight as a result of the communities personal downward spiral (or perhaps vice versa) and very little of the active community currently exists online. It was like finding a temple to a god you thought you’d made up, but finding it in deserted ruins.
I have hopes that the Otherkin online community will suffer through this, into a revival, howver, I doubt that is possible, with the current trolling, and mocking going on. An endless jihad of flame wars, while I’ll admit appealing on the surface, is probably not what the whole thing should be built on.
So, now I sit, my initial thrill and disappointment both are waning. My otherkin discovery hasn’t really changed my life. I’m still Greer, I still work at the local supermarket, and I’m still a demon on the inside.