The How and Why of Otherkin

It is often said that if you ask ten people what otherkin means, you’ll get twelve answers. I cannot claim that mine is The One True Way™ but it is how I understand myself and the world. 

Some otherkin choose to explain their identity as psychological rather than spiritual, but my personal understanding is intimately tied to my religious beliefs and spirituality. 

In all cases, it is important to note that the modern psychiatric community completely validates otherkin as healthy and normal. In 1952 the publication of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (the primary diagnostic tool used by psychiatrists and psychologists) changed “Identity Disorders” to “Identity Problems”. The publication of the DSM-V in 2013 removed the entire section. Because it has been decided that atypical identities are so common as to be considered normal and a part of healthy psychology.

Dissociative Identity Disorder, which is now considered a dissociative disorder rather than an identity disorder, includes a diagnostic criteria that it must cause the individual distress or dysfunction in one or more major aspect of their life. Multiple systems who can function and care for themselves are considered normal and healthy. Otherkin also do not meet the criteria for delusional thinking, any more than Christians do for believing that an invisible man in the sky watches them in the bathroom. 

In short, even if being otherkin is not a part of someone’s spirituality, in fact even if it is described as a “coping mechanism”, the psychiatric community considers it normal and healthy. It is simply a reasonable extension of the belief in reincarnation, as well as the multiverse theory. 

I believe there are many worlds. In some of these worlds, magic is normal, and the creatures which are fantasy here are commonplace there. Some of these countless worlds must be far more technologically advanced than ours, which would explain otherkin who appear to be from “the future”. 

Some versions of the multiverse theory even hold that what are works of fiction here, may be history in some other world, which would account for fictionkin. Though fictionkin are not necessarily otherkin, there is a great deal of overlap, and shared community spaces. So I will defend them just as vehemently.

I believe in reincarnation. I believe I’ve had countless lives as creatures other than human, and those lives have had an impact on my nature in a spiritual sense. I believe that at the moment of my creation, I was created as a dragon. I occupy the astral plane and other planes beyond this one as a dragon. I sometimes occupy a human body, or some other body, for the course of a lifetime. When this life ends, I will return to my gods until it is time to do it again. 

Reincarnation is an aspect of many religions. In some cases, the ability of the soul to live many kinds of lives in many different bodies is explicitly mentioned. The Celtic bard Taliesin referenced having many lives as many creatures, and even inanimate objects. He spoke of his soul occupying a stone. This is the grounds for my belief in otherkin. You do not have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body. The body I wear is not me. It is just a meat suit. When it dies, I’ll replace it, and the next one will not be human. I do not intend to live as a human again. 

The term “otherkin” goes only as far as the early 90′s, but the concept which it defines is as old as time. There was a time in this world, when we were recognized as some other creature occupying a human body. Then, as now, not everyone knew what to make of us, but we’ve always been here.






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