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Anderen FAQ

Just when you thought there was enough arcane terminology in the world...

Anderen FAQ - Concepts, Theories & Articles

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The "average" is an illusion of statistics, the "normal" does not exist in reality, and straight lines are unnatural. And still in this world we call ourselves "different" from the rest, who do not know how abnormal their normalcy truly is.

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Anderen Vereinigte was founded in June 2006 to be a nexus with active purpose for all self-aware and intelligent "others", for us to gather constructively in order to play our part in the world and its affairs. This FAQ/discussion site should answer some of your initial questions as to what we're about and how it fits together.

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August 21st, 2008

I've posted a few things under Members-Only filter lately, just because they were of (fairly) sensitive or controversial nature and I wasn't fishing for hecklers.  But I figure that maybe you might actually like to read them, comment, etc....I know, it's a crazy thought and all, but if you've hung on this far....

So forthwith, I'm going to revise the whole membership dealy so that it more accurately reflects the way things have been working out -- or not -- in terms of posting/commenting -- that is, so that anyone can join without writing an application essay (just the typical background check, you know...) , and anything more will only be required if you want to post articles of your own and I haven't already given you full clearance out of immense regard for your insights and communication skills.  Which I do have a tendency to do at times, 'cause I like encouraging people w/ good ideas.

While I am not atall averse to collecting useful embedded stuff -- essay, media, links to other sites, articles, resources, etc., the primary focus of this FAQ site is to provide original informative articles, or at very least original commentary and exploration/clarification of material already published online or off.  Content that you won't find duplicated word-for-word on the average webgroup, site or Google search.  Just drop-posting other people's work that you happen to like and leaving it at that doesn't cut it -- that's why "posting access" actually means something here, as it means that you're acknowledged to be capable of sharing your own knowledge and experience -- and reactions and opinions -- articulately with others.  

As is stated on the profile page, this LJ comm is the more public-and-publishing counterpart to a private group on Yahell, which of course has a fair amount of overlapping membership.  The private group's more informal, argumentative, controversial and suitable for personal sharing, research, discussion, social networking, etc., seeing as it's not also trying to be a respectable and credible introduction to its own field of scholarship.  The line's a tricky one, so there's a lot of crossposting of the theoretical stuff especially, but I value the response and input from any/all sides, and generally consider it the more the merrier. 

  And if you have any questions, concerns, observations, etc,  please feel free to drop me a line in reply here, on my email, aureantyev-at-yahoo-dot-com, or on Yahell IM under the handle of aureantes

_
[This is in reply to a private message asking about my theories re how allergies develop in otherkin....admittedly, it doesn't stick to it very strictly and I might have to clarify a bit overall, seeing as I'd forgotten meanwhile that I was talking about the kind of food/environmental allergies that really can be "kryptonites" and have a life-threatening seriousness...they are addressed, yes, but I also refer to most of the other typically-correlated weaknesses, vulnerabilities and subjectively-labeled disorders to which otherkin are prone, so the original topic did kinda get a bit obscured amid the lot, particularly when I hit the bottleneck, so to speak.  Must dig up the actual forum posts that preceded this, wherever they are....but anyhow, there's a good bit of content in here, especially relative to my "general theory of otherkin" clustering of traits and why I believe they occur.]

 
A sizeable bundle of theories...Collapse )

Plus, you know, the minute you start talking about there being an innate purpose to anything in existence, someone's usually going to pop outta the woodwork and try to shoot you down with absurdist reductions and Flying Spaghetti Monster baiting....  

January 11th, 2008

[This theme was originally posted at the group House of Twilight in response-plus to the statement "The one issue I have with some "soul kins", it's so subjective that asking questions is considered offensive. How do you learn like that?" Have edited and expanded the post to be a general reference article, and will post more on specific tips and techniques that can be used effectively.]


It may not sound very scientific, but it is, that a very good way of verifying pastlife identity/ies and often finding them in the first place (whether 'kin or not) is by simply establishing a psychic link and then focusing back on the same query (or already-found name or time or place). Working with a partner, I have turned up a lot of material together this way, from at least eight different lives, and it can be done either via IM or in person -- and regardless of whether or not both parties were connected or present in that life or its scenes. I've also worked with my friends online to uncover their own material, and it takes very little time to be able to make the necessary connection, as I've done it with casual friends and 'kin who have practically just appeared out of the blue -- it just takes the willingness to reach out and be receptive in that way, while keeping one's mind actively observing to type/write and describe what you're picking up. And, as with anything, practise makes perfect....the more you exercise that ability to connect, the stronger and clearer and more detailed it gets.

Additionally, I've proved that once any of my pastlife memories have been brought up clearly, it's also possible for me to project them to anyone who has the capability for simply relaxing and observing them -- again, whether or not they had a direct involvement in that life themselves, and even if they have had very little psychic experience so far....which in some cases is a whole lot more effective than making a claim straight-out in words.

So, it's completely possible to substantiate these things, and I tend to accept findings that I know are corroborated in this way (except maybe Neo*
and Trinity's*, as I've no idea how they got their memories..../:)).
Everything that I would venture to state about myself as an identity has been verified by at least one other person, and so I can personally stand by it without worrying that I'm building on false grounds, as used to be a major worry of mine when I still wasn't completely sure of the difference between idle imagination and memory surfacing while I was awake. I need to be sure of my hunches, and do my research to find relevant/accurate historical material (easier with humans, though not always), and make certain that I'm not misleading myself with any wishfulness -- and so far, I actually haven't been doing that, which helps a lot in having greater self-reliance both on one's reasoning and one's finer senses.

[Regarding claims made in groups] I think that people should definitely share how they've arrived at their pastlife conclusions, especially since it's not that hard to verify them -- if the memory's really there, then it's objectively there and can be picked up by anyone who has the psychic capability. The main ethical standard is that the other person shouldn't be a sycophant and just agree with whatever they're told, but use their own senses and discernment to look around and check details. No leading the witness, so to speak, into interpreting what they haven't seen proof for, and one of the finer points of delving back is having a sense of what to look for and how to 'ask the right questions' and maneuver around a scene to find the details that do establish things firmly. There are actually no limits to what can be done with this work, but it takes a firm determination to explore the truth rather than settling for easy conclusions.



Next post: Practical Delving Techniques

June 16th, 2007

[This is just to stay up here for the general viewing, so that random passers-by will not be diving into our usual discussion without a general preparation for the subject/s. Adding direct link to it at the community profile page]
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Hypothetical FAQs for general reference.....Collapse )

May 3rd, 2007

[Note: This is by no means the last word on Angels -- only the very first from me in this particular venue, though I've posted bits and pieces of my findings/memories elsewhere. It comes as a response to someone in another online group asking what angelkin are and how they happen, what angels are, how their missions/duties are defined, who they serve, etc.....well, this is an answer to that from my corner, though I can't and won't claim it to be such an exhaustive and encyclopedic rundown such as I did regarding Vampires -- that formal entry has yet to be written, and preferably with a few more traditional cultures represented within it. Still, this overview is as solidly rational as anything in my research thus far, and as non-denominational/non-dogmatic as is possible for the subject. Comments are welcome, but I'm not going to get into any arguments of formal theology here -- this is just what I happen to have an informed perspective on.]
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Read more if so inclined...Collapse )
I could say more in detail here, but there's a lot of personally-sensitive information in that area, as well as some further historical observations-&-corrections that are likely to strike quite a few people as blasphemous, even (and particularly) other angelkin of the traditional Christian persuasion. So I'll leave it at this load for the moment, take it for what you will, and will enlarge upon the personal content later within the private Anderen group on Yahell.


Aureantes

April 15th, 2007

Warning Note: If you are Otakukin/Fictionkin and are very attached to your present interpretation of what that means, you may find this article offensive. But it might be helpful all the same. Unlike many writers who address 'otherkinism', I don't think it's all internal metaphor or wishful thinking. But I do think people take things a wee bit literally sometimes.....case in point below: 


Okay, this is not a good example of self-outing (which often isn't a good idea anyhow, even if it doesn't involve suspicious-looking and mediocre conceptual art).....and it brings me to the central problem that I have with taking Otakukin seriously 'at face value', even when I have every reason to respect them otherwise. Namely, it just doesn't make sense.

Let's get this straight -- I'm definitely otherkin myself.  Angelic, sidhe, wood-elf, therian, and a goodly lot of soi-disant 'human' lives too, so it stands to reason that I believe in reincarnation, souls, etc., and that history sometimes does get the real story scrambled/fouled-up considerably in the telling.  But "reason" is a key element in this, and one that I think a good many people have forgotten how to apply, whether it comes to testing their own perceptions, researching their supposed existences, or communicating themselves to others.  In an earth-based and historically-documented paradigm, there are ways of checking things as being arguably "true" -- in the realms of games and films and anime (to take the most extreme opposite), there's no standard of credibility to prove or disprove one's claims.  Soulbonding runs rampant.  Everyone has to 'be somebody'....but are they really?

The thing that so many people just don't get is....it's fiction.  And if it's fiction, that means that you can hardly be the only person who identifies with it.  You think you're that special that you're the one-and-only original Neo? Fat chance -- post-modern Messianic-figures are a dime a dozen in the subjective identity department.  Doesn't mean you're 'not Neo'...but how exactly do we understand this matter of identity? -- is it really that discrete and possessive, and can it ever be, when one's dealing with fictional (or fictionalized) characters?

Look at the Internet (okay, like you haven't been soaking in it lately...) -- look at all the fan fiction and art and RPGs out there, all these multifoliate quantum branchings-off from something that was once, for good or ill, a single 'proprietary' idea. Now there are facets -- now there are reflections and iterations and elaborations, to the point that (let's face it) it barely matters what an "original" character was to begin with, because every character becomes infinitely multiplied by the number of consciousnesses that reflect themselves through it.  Some do this better than others, deeper than others...and more tangibly and urgently than others.

"Identifying with it" is not bad....that's often very useful in self-understanding, as long as you're aware of it.  "Identifying" with it and claiming it as being just yours and no-one else's, is not good -- because, again, it's fiction.  At best, logically, what you might have is a life that was similar to that, that fits the pattern enough to ring a bell.  But, chances are that it's not the exact same thing, because there's this little thing called imagination that occasionally functions (even in mundane humans, omg!) to create personae and stories that haven't existed before in that verbatim condition.

And "verbatim" is practically a thing of the past anyhow when it comes to fiction -- because we the erstwhile readers-and-watchers have discovered, with more or less psychological acumen, that it is we who complete the characters we perceive there, fleshing them out by our own minds and sensations and visions.  We "know" what they should be like, look like, act like, we feel through them, we act like them and know it even when no one else can tell. Some of us call it soulbonding, some call it self-faceting (my term when I first decided it needed talking about as a general phenomenon), and some call it -- and themselves -- fictionkin/otakukin.

I don't like being in the position of "attacking" people's personal histories-and-beliefs -- generally, it only really has a reason to bother me when their claims impinge on my own history and already-well-considered understanding of things.  (Hands off my reality, ya know...ain't that the mantra these days?)  But really, I pity their mindset, when it comes to the point when they feel literally bound by their character's literal limitations, or literal plot arc and disasters and death -- is it real or is it Memorex?--are you more real than Neo, or must you simply protest that "they got the story wrong" in order to retain some degree of semi-autonomy over yourself, clinging to the distinctive name and image as a self-definition while denying your dependence upon it?  Or, are you going to both assert and undermine yourself at the same time, using the vocabulary of a fiction/fandom even though it belies the possibility of your "real" reality underneath?

If there is something there, chances are it's not in a quantum mirror-dimension or some mystical plane of anime that inspires all mundane creation.  Chances are that you might have to look at your own reasons for why you feel you are what/who you are, and stop leaning on other people's fantasies and creations to build yourself up.  I'm not saying that otakukin don't have a real basis to their identities, or even that they aren't really "other" whatever their species (it helps to have a wider fundamental definition of "other" to work with, there).  The central question is, are their identities free or confined, real or make-believe?  And does it have to be all or nothing, this matter of whether there's 'something there'?

My suspicion is that these felt identities are often very real ones (I won't say always, as some people are merely wishful and latch onto what they like externally), but recognised through the catalyst guise of fiction -- in whatever degree of intensity they occur, whether it's a present aspect of selfhood or an entire past life that lies behind the mask -- and that one must sort carefully to separate the essence from (as it were) the matrix of the thing.  Take away the overexposed names and catchphrase terms, the studio-imprint and its legalities, the structure of the artifice that makes it a "popular" thing, and look at what's at the core of this persona, what's in its internal profile and experiences that just can't be separated out as 'someone else's work', no matter how scrupulously you try.  Because when it comes to fiction and the reflections it shows us, everyone's got their own originality -- they just have to have the -*cough*- depth of character to figure out what their character really is


[Note: If you think that this commentary doesn't make sense, or that it is offensive to your personal identity, please do let me know precisely why you believe in your particular fictionkin literality "as such."  I can't guarantee that I'll accept it as a valid reality, but I am interested in your reasoning all the same.]

March 18th, 2007


This is excerpted from an ongoing conversation in the Anderen_Vereinigte group on Yahell, and for overall background I must include up front that a lot of people in the otherkin "community" like to practise a sort of argumentative subjective-relativity stance when it comes to matters of truth and validity of claims, as in "I won't dispute your reality if you won't dispute mine" ...others tend to take the same subjective-reality stance and reduce it to pure internalized identity -- or perhaps "Sure it's a delusion and I know it/suspect it, but it's still my delusion to perform."   In the search for what is truth, there's a definite struggle between what is "objective reality" and what isn't....but what is the nature of our reality as conscious beings anyhow? Here's my own attempt to do some reconciling of this, as logically as I can....and let us perhaps note, so far as reductive objectivity or subjectivity as an ideology goes, that it is the one who sees the witch fly that is the fly in the 'flying ointment.'

[Back to more "topical" articles shortly....there's an arguable glut of online articles regarding sang vampirism, but upcoming subjects will include therians, elves (some of them at least), angels/demons, gender identity, past lives and neurological/learning "differences", as well as more on controversies, purposes/roles and occasions for advocacy/activism. Thank you for your patience.]
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Re: The Nature of the Bus > The Lesser and the Greater Reality

Seeing as I tend to be a lot better at getting things expressed in conversation than when I plan them out, here's what I was just saying earlier to Litha when she enquired re the topic-thread:

"I think that while people will always see things differently when they stay within their own p.o.v., there is both a lesser truth that is strictly physical/factual/clinical, and a greater truth that encompasses all the facets of view and interpretation."

Meaning that, for a lot of people "objective truth" is just reality stripped away of its different viewpoints into a cut-and-dried sequence of chemicals and nerve impulses and physical actions with velocity and impact -- and/or neurological impressions "as of" actions and impact, but with no "real" meaning or motivation.....like the way that a witch's flying is typically reduced-down these days to hallucinogenic use without any external "manifested" reality.

Or we can say that at very least the witch flies in her own mind....and therefore we come to the reality of personal experience, because whatever is subjectively perceived is real in terms of the effect that it has on one's awareness -- get shot in a dream, as I have, or get attacked by demons, and --whatever you believe about dreams-- you still have that experience in your consciousness, as much as you are open to sensing and remembering it.  If you discount it as "just a dream", that is a choice you make, but it doesn't mean that it never "happened" to you.  

(And if someone else sees or dreams the witch flying at that same time as she is lain down to do so, what do we call it then, reality or imagination?)

The greater reality says that, in whatever way they are perceived or interpreted, all things we sense do happen and exist, and that it is the cumulation and sorting out of them that determines which if any are more real than others.  In terms of motivations and deeds this is especially problematic, and it must be admitted that we can never really-and-perfectly know the full and total reality of a situation until we have gathered into our awarenesses the sum total of all consciousnesses that experienced it, and what effect it had upon them all -- in some beliefs this is what the "Last Judgement" consists of (at death), that one sees the full reality of one's life and its harvest, and judges oneself by one's own ingrained rule.

And yet this is not "objective" -- on the contrary, it is the infinite multiplicity of subjectivities coming to understand each other and incorporate each other's wisdom.  Consciousness is never objective, because if it were it would not be consciousness.  Thus, the quest to reduce "reality" to "objective reality" ultimately ends in driving personal consciousness out of the equation altogether, or dismissing it as a fluke, a mere overgrown meme, a beautiful-but-meaningless spark in the shell.

So, between the lesser and the greater reality, I choose to believe in the greater....and that is what all my subjective experiences have supported, along with the subjective experiences of those I know.   The shaman both touches to heal and is felt in healing, the witch both flies and is seen in flight.  Qualify it as belonging to a different level of reality, but who is to say which level is the more real?  If you experience it, then it has happened, simple as that -- though that does not mean that it came from where you think it came, or with the overt intent that you interpreted.  There must be much skepticism in that area, for subterfuge and bias abounds, and many are quite unaware of what they do even when they have caused it -- cf. the whole lore of the evil eye, for example, or the (mundane) phenomenon of psychic vampirism -- people don't always know what they are doing.  Even I don't know what I'm doing all of the time, otherwise I certainly wouldn't have been shooting my own guardian in the rear in her dreams....:-S

So yeah, there's no such thing as a completely-objective being....and it's a deep question, therefore, how far one will go in trying to imitate or self-create one, when the nature of existence where any point of view has emerged must logically culminate in a concordance of expanded subjectivities or else lose the name of consciousness.  

That's reality as I see it....my own perspective itself being a gathering from/of others' views as well, who in their turn were affected by views before and gathered them together...


Aureantes


[From http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anderen_vereinigte/message/57 ]


January 8th, 2007

Online communities for otherkin and the like are a rather tricky thing these days, as I've noticed since my first invitation into "the community", and it's often hard to find a real niche that fills one's needs for communication and interaction. So many people start these groups and just don't really have any idea how to run them.....they could be off on an ego-trip ("Ooh, I own my own group!!! Everybody come join!!!") or a holy quest of Maintaining Some Tradition that's above all criticism or questioning whatsoever. They're very often defensive, obsessive, withholding, wishy-washy, rigid-on-all-the-wrong things.....well, let's just say that they can really make life hell for people who aren't them and don't have any territorial authority, totally arbitrary as that authority may be. And so can other members, of course, whose principles of reality and logic can veer in exceedingly interesting directions....

Which isn't to say that one should never get involved with online groups, because chances are you may meet some of the most worthwhile friends and comrades in your life through them. You'll also probably meet (or at least view, if not interact with directly) some of the most vapid, delusional and infuriating individuals that you'll ever swear about behind their backs (at very least)....unless, of course, you're very good at ignoring emotional and organizational disorder around you.

The more "alternative" communities are more likely to have excessive pretense and poserage and delusions, just because A., there's not a firm consensual standard of "reality" or "truth" to even start with, often.....and B., there's the common assumption (w/ both material and members) that if it's non-mainstream it must automatically be good and trustworthy. Afterall, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," right?

Well, wrong (even if the mainstream were yet a definite 'enemy'). There are a lot of things to watch out for online as soon as you go hunting for kindred spirits and further self-knowledge, and it behooves every self-respecting andermensch to be on their guard and know what things are credible and what aren't -- yes, even here.

And so, seeing as otherkin is by far the most alternative area currently/so far, and the most notoriously prone to outright wankerage/bullshit.....we present:


The 'Other' Guide to Cutting the CrapCollapse )
[latest update: 17 January, 2007]


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[This article may be shared and compiled along with others noncommercially, so long as both the author (Aureantes) and the community-blog (Anderen_FAQ) are credited and/or linked in any excerpting or reposting. My credit, my blame, ne c'est pas? Also, please drop us a comment as to where it's being posted/cited to....we do like to know where our words are going.]

August 9th, 2006

An interesting article here, on another LJ blog, on a Jungian theory of Otherkin: http://fraterachdae.livejournal.com/237357.html ("An Apocalyptic Interpretation of Otherkin")......

....And my reply, posted here because I am hardly about to go through the delay of friending and getting friended to someone's closed journal just to make one comment go through:


Speaking from my own experience -- and the narrative cogency of this experience thus far (I have memories of both human and non-human past lives that do add up to a thematic and historical gestalt) -- I think that it's a little bit too conveniently abstract to say that all Otherkin are manifesting something that is not/was not their identity by actual nature. "Unwitting channel" is not how I'd describe myself, though others may find that that works for them -- I'm quite witting, and quite convinced that what I manifest is what I have already been before and retained in my soul, take that how you will. It's not just "psycho-spiritual forces" external or primeval to me, but me myself/ves.

One can say that our physical lives are already "conduits" for our own souls/consciousness to be manifested, so why draw a line between these designated archetypes and our existences, as it then still denies that those archetypes/species/'kintypes'/entities in question ever had real personal existence of their own to be rediscovered? I believe that the identities one finds among Otherkin are more than just subjective mythologizing through the "masks of God" -- the archetype, one could analogize, is the mask that still gathers the power of personality after its original wearer has left it to the ages, but there is no law that I'm aware of that says that the original self can never manifest again, or that a species-lineage may have absolutely no continuance through the biological realm that might surface again where not expected.

It certainly muddies the issue that there is so much credulity going around for fringe 'kintypes' and unexplored claims (and teenage rebellion of the gothy type): it makes it extremely hard for those who do have a plausible explanation/meaning for themselves to put it forward with any relative standing or respect for their seriousness of intent within an admittedly-tenuous field of analysis. Were there more actual 'diagnostic materials' that did not rely on wishful thinking, fitting in with the group, or playing the test -- though I know the thought of objective testing riles the fur of those who favour total "acceptance" over all -- it would help considerably in establishing what range of identity-phenomena we are actually dealing with here.

I am doing my own research and theorizing as to the nature/purpose of Otherkin and correlated traits/conditions, though I do agree that this is entwined (and on multiple levels) with the course of the planet and human development.



So, if the author of that blog ever winds up catching sight of this one, he'll have my response. And you have it now, as well as a large descriptive swath of my awareness and my beliefs.

August 8th, 2006

I'd just like to take a moment, before getting even deeper in these paranormal and psychological permutations, to say something about the plague of mental extremism that afflicts the Otherkin community.

I have a definite problem with the people who say that since being Otherkin is subjective and personal there is no way to prove or disprove it -- i.e., that it is simply a personal belief (or even a "spirituality" or "religion"--particularly laughable, that, seeing as "religio" means to bind together...). They seem to want nothing but a personal exemption from having to think about the plausibility or coherency of their identities -- except, of course, that it's bad manners to call them delusional for offering neither proof nor rational argument.

On the other hand....there are all too many people out there who assume that all subjectively-held beliefs are inherently delusions, and that the only "objective" truths possible are the ones that everyone can see and understand right off the bat. Which is actually pretty illogical, like saying that the world is only real if everyone can see it equally well. Different people see in differing degrees of clarity, and they are also able to articulate what they know in differing degrees of accuracy and self-insight. To say that no one can possibly know more about themselves than you know about them is pretty damn arrogant -- and yet there are certain people online who profess to set themselves up as authorities on personal rationality, without ever having dealt personally with any of the conditions they make light of. A truly rational person knows better than to assert that which he does not know for certain as a rule over the existence of others.

There is a balance to this, but neither side is able to articulate it cogently, even when I get the inkling that they're striving close to it in the willingness to challenge each other. The anti-objectivists try to defend themselves by saying not all things can be pinned down by science and logic, and try to shut down debate with the thought that no one's subjective reality is any more valid than another's. The anti-subjectivists attack whatever claims are made with demands that they be proven objectively, completely discounting any validity to personal memory or sensation or even individual thought in sorting out the subject. And both sides tend to retreat/jab with this low blow:
that since there's no consistent agreement of personal belief or of scientific proof on certain questions of existence (souls, past lives & reincarnation) there's no rationale for using them in mixed-opinion company, even when it comes to logically explaining (for many at least) the whole phenomenon of Otherkin.

I find that attitude to be, frankly, full of shite and utterly non-constructive. (And since I run this community, I'm not about to get censured or ousted for saying so.) I think I can trust what I know and have seen and felt so far as to state unequivocally that my soul exists...and unless you can disprove the existence of my soul and that of everyone else who claims one, the accumulated evidence is rather in favour of 'the soul's existence' than not. Which is a bit of a problem if you're so intent on disbelieving....and look, I haven't even dragged religion into it atall! It's like dreaming -- how do you know to state that you never dream, when it may be that you just never remember?

But seriously....there is a comprehensive truth to be found, multifaceted though it be. We just haven't gathered our minds ecumenically and put it together -- haven't even stopped the pointless blithering enough to settle down to making a convincing case for ourselves. Until that time, though, it does no good to be either a blindly assertive dogmatist or a blindly dismissive skeptic. Neither fanatical sub-sects nor hairsplitting atheistic zealots are the ones to bring order to the dialogue, much less anything that'll substantiate our claims to the rest of the world.

(Enough religious terminology there...?)

It's just a little matter of balance, people.....intuition and reason, openmindedness and analysis, vision and logic. If any of those sound like dirty words to your mentality, chances are you've got a problem.


To quote the elegantly-eloquent Litharriel, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
[Someone else who's a sang vamp may come in later to give their personal take on that, but I'm mainly trying to get the whole basic energy-feeding thing down to a comprehensive statement -- AND trying to keep it from turning into some sort of goth manifesto or the antithesis thereof. Bear with me -- I don't usually say much about what I know ultrapersonally in this line.]

The main types of vampires -- or rather, of vampiric feeding-methods -- are as follows, and I'll elaborate after & between on the distinctions and overlaps:

Sanguinary or Blood Vampirism
As per the current cultural info, the individual requires an occasional small portion of human blood (from a willing donor--and there are strictly-held health/ethics guidelines about this) in order to maintain optimal energy levels. Tends to (as do some psi-vamps) have marked sensitivity to light and to have typically predatory senses and sensibilities, though these are often either ritualized (via community dramatics and terminology) or repressed (i.e., 'I'm just a normal human who needs a bit of blood to feel right'), in contrast to Therian predator-instinctive behaviour which is otherwise closely paralleled.
NOT THE SAME as a blood fetishist, because a fetishist does it for sexual pleasure or out of sensual habituation, not out of any arguable physiological need.

Psychic Vampirism
....
"Psychic Vampire" (as termed by popular psychology, so let's explain it and clear that up...)
This is where one takes in life-energy from other humans in order to maintain optimal energy levels for oneself. Those conscious of their state tend to maintain a code of ethics on direct energy donation from others; those unconscious of their state (or in great pain/fatigue) may draw on others without permission or self-control -- which is universally considered unethical, at least by all who value ethics. The unconscious psychic vampire is considered to be a danger to both self and others, and need not have any known psychic abilities or interests/beliefs atall in order to become a drain on others -- the mundane type is the hardest to convince out of predation, because of being resistant to the underlying concepts to understand what they're doing. It is possible to feed directly from one person at a time or from accumulated group-energy, or (least intrusive) from ambient (locally-shed) group energy within one's environment.

"Psi-Vamp" (where not used as the short form of Psychic Vampire)
Usually described as a person who has highly-developed psychic abilities that drain their personal energy and require that they augment from other sources to maintain stable energy overall. Or, as someone whose magical practice itself is founded upon the appropriation of others' psychic energy. Also see 'Learned Psychic Vampire' in the types-list at http://www.psivamp.org/types.htm for another version...the general consensus I've gathered would be that the energy is not required for survival but only to support a higher accustomed level of energy-working, therefore it's assumed as invalid vampirism beside the actual need of "real" vampires, regardless of personal ethics.
On the other hand, most people who are actively engaged in psychic activity and magery know that it is highly energy-draining (duh, it is all 'energy work', right?), and take pains to ensure recovery after exertion with either high-energy foods (potassium, B-vitamins and electrolytes are particularly needful, as well as higher permissible levels of sugars and caffeine) -- or, with a consensual borrowing of energy from others who are sufficiently adept with it, or from elemental sources. It's a blurry line, and I think that the similarities are greater than the differences, even if one claims a need to survive and the other claims a need to recoup conscious and deliberate expenditure.

Empathic (Emotional) Vampirism / Aesthetic Vampirism
Draws energy from the emotions of others, and ambiently rather than aggressively (i.e., the energy must be released/shed, willingly or not, rather than 'taken out'). Some people may feed on violent or negative emotional energy (though it's not considered 'healthy' to do so), and may unethically provoke in-person or online conflicts and distress around them to fill that appetite. In some (the aesthetic kind), this may mean feeding through music, art, drama, dance, literature, or even films, television news or documentaries -- 'renewable sources', I might add, for the release of emotion, whether from fellow viewers or via the originally-captured energy of the performers/composer/artist. Empathic vampirism may quite often be accompanied by a certain disconnection or inability to self-articulate one's own emotions, or to interpret others' everyday low-level emotions and implicit attitudes constructively.

Sexual (or Tantric) Vampirism ('Incubus', 'Succubus', Lamia, Leanan Sidhe...)
Feeds on specifically sexual energy, whether on the slow flame of sensuality, seduction and intimacy, or the sudden explosive release of energy that accompanies (is) orgasm. There is much overlap of lore and practice here, partially because 'sex magick' has such a long tradition in human ritual and partially because of types like the Leanan Sidhe, which may perhaps be best explained as a vampiric adaptation of fae in order to survive off the vigorous energy of encroaching humans.
(The Leanan Sidhe, which translates as "faerie lover", actually uses a combination of tantric and highly aesthetic/emotional energy-feeding, and they are typically described as "muses" that inspire the creative talents of their lovers to new heights, even though they may (far less acutely so these days than in the old rural folklore, I'd imagine--and hope) drain them so deeply with that focus as to waste away their mortal lives.)

Elemental Vampirism
Feeding directly off of wind, waterfalls, ocean tides, streams, sunlight, fire, storms, electrical fields, trains, sound frequencies (even self-created ones as in vocal toning and harmonics), etc....the effective thing, as I see it, is the presence of wave activity in itself, in any particular form (light, motion, sound, electrical voltage). Closely related to empathic feeding, but does not require an emotional/aesthetic stimulation to be effective.

Pranic Vampirism
Feeding off of life-energy in general, without any specific restriction of form/medium, from the most specific focus to the total life-field of one's immediate surroundings. General-purpose term that essentially describes all vampires of the psychic type, but perhaps most often used by those who resent and avoid the psychological establishment's appropriation of the term "psychic vampire" to demonize all feeding from human psychic/emotional energy.


Disclaimers: Vampires/energy-feeders do not claim to be immortal, undead, or (uniformly, at least) on the dark=evil side of conventional religion. Some may have the semblance of natural fangs, but you'll never catch them without a reflection, or going into blisters and convulsions at the touch of holy water, or recoiling at the sight of a cross or the smell of garlic.....gah, you know the stuff....and the threshold bit only applies to hostile entities trying to cross wards. No dinky rubber bats, either.

Continuing....

There is great dogma and lack of active consensus on what makes a person a psychic vampire instead of someone who simply knows how to feed on energy when they need it. Afterall, one can argue that we all feed on energy and are dependent on it, therefore we are all vampires and just vary in the surface conditions of it and our own self-awareness of what is deliberately possible.

The most commonly-cited statement is that all psychic vampires have an energy deficiency -- a lack, a constant leak, or a missing/broken chakra (chakras being the anchor-points between the soul and the physical body)...I'm certain that these explanations have validity for some, but I don't know how well they can suffice for all, and the degree of hunger is a hard thing to define, at least so far as a threshold between ability and dependency.

I think that it doesn't always need to be a deficiency, physio-structurally -- it could be merely a regional displacement, or a higher degree of detachment from the normal connective experience of body-sensation, emotions and mind. Some people may simply be accustomed (from present or past life-experience and/or training) to gaining sustenance in a rarefied manner that has affected their ability to maintain vitality 'normally' -- or they may even have been being fed on in their formative years (or lifelong) by the hungers of others, thereby inducing a vampiric condition that they must learn to navigate for their own survival...in which case it's analogous to nutritional deprivation or to mental/emotional abuse -- which in fact I'd say it is, even though done sub/unconsciously. I would venture to say that most psychic vampires (at least) probably had their condition pre-awakened through their own family or social dynamics, whether via neglect or through high degrees of emotional pressure and tension that required them to start finding ways to sustain and 'heal' themselves internally.

General innate (i.e., non-imitated) traits that do seem to be fairly common among all these "real" vampire types are:

* The preference for nocturnal and/or solitary activity (besides being online at ungodly hours...)-- besides the eternal night-hunter mystique, there's A, getting out of the glaring sun and/or the noise of other humans and everyday life, and B, minimizing unwanted contact with the psychic/emotional milieus of other humans, giving time to recover and assimilate energy.

* Definite sensitivity to light (most notably, and ranging from sensitive eyes to skin allergies and fatigue in the sunlight), sound, scents, food additives, and/or the quality of physical contact.

* Moodiness...or rather (to put it less 'moodily'), highs and lows and tempers that vary widely with energy level and may even have been been diagnosed as bipolar. I don't think I'm atall out of the realm of logic to say that a vampire who has not been feeding properly is likely to be either depressive, irascible or both at once.

* A bit of palpable social reserve and holding-back of one's own emotions when in general company, often interpreted as standoffishness by those who prefer to have more of a person to hold onto. Whether actually instinctive or learned by trial and error, it's important for any vampire to maintain self-control (and therefore control itself) in their interpersonal interactions, though this is a neutral practicality and may cover the lifelong "social vampire" ('energy drain') as well as the self-disciplined psi-vamp or psychically-gifted trying not to get baited or fed on by others, vampy or mundane.


I do hope that makes some solid sense, both to those in the know and those who have never looked up an online field-guide to vampirism atall. Any questions or challenges, please reply below...

July 25th, 2006

[Seeing as this is where most of us are likely coming from, entering on this whole concern.]

The most basic "accepted" definition of Otherkin is that they are people who believe that they are essentially and significantly something other or more than human.  I think that that is a fair definition of it, whether it comes via genetics or by soul-incarnation.  

The definition that I do NOT agree with, though some insist on it in their own writings and subcultural lore, is that it is the incarnation of a "non-human" soul into a human body and nothing else.  I.e., Angelic soul, Dragon soul, Starseed soul......which, to put it bluntly, is pure bullshit.  Souls are souls, and they accumulate identity from every form that that they incarnate into.  That's the way it works.  And that's also why not every person who claims to be of multiple species/forms is blowing smoke....go around the block enough times with enough meaning, and you may wind up with a lot of interesting details on your curriculum vitae, whether they're part of the human train of development or not.  

The people who go on about those puristic definitions either haven't been around long enough to have more experience, or they've chosen to remain within one non-human species only and built up a history there -- or, just possibly, they're in a bit of denial 'cause they're so attached to the idea of their essential self not being human.  And therefore of having a superior and/or disinvolved relationship with the species whose basic form they just happen to have been born into.  Or having a mission that will enable them to always maintain an elder and more-enlightened stance, rather than accepting that they too may have things to learn by virtue of their humanity.

Generally-Accepted Subspecies of Otherkin:

Vampires/Energy feeders:  Psi (psychic energy), sang (blood), empathic, pranic, elemental.  More on this later. 

Therians -- "Werecreatures", or having tangible animal identity that either overlays or intersperses with the human awareness -- term implicitly includes mammals, fish, birds, reptiles & amphibians, both modern and prehistoric, even though "therian" technically denotes mammalian furry-type beasts.  Insects are rare as claimed types, as are particularly small animals.  More on this later.

Fae:  Elves, Sidhe ('Seelie' & 'Unseelie'), Trolls, Dryads, Faeries, Changelings, etc......some of whom claim to have come originally not from other planets or galaxies but other dimensions (I think I'll invite litharriel to give a better overview of this).

Angelic/Celestial:  Re/Incarnated Angels and superhuman intermediary/guiding powers in all their cultural/religious variations, Gods, Fallen Angels, Angels w/in hosts, Demons, Nephilim.  Much more on this to come.

Starseed -- Extraterrestrial species incarnated as humans....there is some overlap with categories of Elves such as the Elenari, who also claim to have come from the stars.

Dragons -- Basically what I said, and there's too much of lore and fantasy and cultural mythology for me to address this one myself.  Anyone who is a Dragon, feel free to fill in the generalities.

The jury is still out for me on Unicorns, btw.  I don't have any proof that the Unicorn of Western symbolism is a "real creature" as opposed to a synthesized collection of ideal traits, so I tend to take that with a very large grain of salt.  If you're a Kirin, though, step right up and present your case....

And then there are "non-human" non-biological identities that have no established social grouping so far, such as memories of being a star -- which I believe is quite plausible, though I've seen it challenged.  This being a personal area of definition, I think it unwise to admit or deny anyone's self-validity based on general principles -- one must take into account the nature and awareness of the person who is making the claim and putting themselves forward.


[The next general area I'll address is that of states of consciousness and self-inhabitance, though some of the terms/types there are commonly assumed to be Otherkin per se rather than their own phenomena, such as walk-ins, multiples and 'Otakukin'/"fictionkin"....]

July 21st, 2006

Background and prehistory to this community:

My name is Aureantes, and I'll be your moderator and tour guide for this endeavour. Historically I've been involved in many groups oriented to the needs and interests of various "minority groups", the most recent of which is Otherkin. And in dealing with others of that currently large-and-sprawling (and occasionally quite messy) poly-demographic, I decided that it was time to come up with something new to address the underlying issues of theories and origins and definitions and purposes (or the lack thereof), as well as the many other correlated traits and conditions that seem to concentrate rather highly in that area.

Also, something in the way of a concept that would eliminate the constant group-schisms I see (and occasionally get embattled in) between those who feel called to do great things and those who want no fancy missions or obligations tacked on to being what they are. If you read here and find this concept works for you, then that pretty much means that you do see a cohesive meaning to things, and a purpose that isn't just to sit about in social forums humouring the pretentious and being pretentious to the newbies. It means that you're under no delusions of unmitigated grandeur, not (as we tend to say) an orthodox wankertwit, and not full of shinysparkly fluff. Being inherently different from the majority of the human species is not a hobby or a trend, nor is it an excuse to forgo all humanity and its concerns as irrelevant. We are the way we are for a reason, whether you think that reason is predicated in biological evolution, psychical evolution or both entwined.

And our awareness of being different and yet not 'defective' (once one cuts through the old mainstream assumptions that tend to stifle and choke at the beginning) makes us more resilient as well to change, more able to adapt and learn and grow. Most people get entrained into concepts of normality that they may struggle all their lives to fit or defy -- but when you've known all along that you were not the same inside, and come to the understanding that that's just the way you are, it's a bit harder to get jarred apart by what happens to you or around you. You're better prepared if you're not tied to expectations, not filled with illusions to be disillusioned from. I believe that humanity is a perpetual ideal, not a biological mountaintop and stopping-place -- which separates me from those who still decry Darwin's lowering of man from being the indubitably God-minted pinnacle and master of Creation to being an animal formed by the processes of instincts and evolution, still ongoing, still adapting, still subject to fine-tuning, situational improvements and possible supersedence by a fitter strain of capable lifeform, perhaps not even of its own lineage atall--perhaps to become *gasp* extinct. The point is, we can't really afford to rest on our laurels, whether as humans or as...well, as a bit of something more-and-extra. "Those who do not believe in evolution are doomed to become extinct", as I like to say--and that applies to all of us, no matter how we identify ourselves within the enclaves we hang out in.

But there, that's a bit heavy of a thought. The short form is, I think a lot of things are related beneath the categorical skin of them, I have a cluster-theory and many supporting references for this, and I postulate that the ongoing resurgence/insurgence of this cluster of traits and conditions, no matter whether you see it as material or metaphysical, is crucial to the next phase of human existence, if not its actual survival. That's basically what Anderen means in a nutshell -- different with a purpose.


But I'll start in on the full explanations and related definitions and all in a bit, from Asperger to faceting to Indigo to transgender to Otakukin (...) and all that jazz. The groups and sites that are associated with this "project" are listed on the side, nicely filling up the space above the ads. Don't pay any attention to the ads...it's all for the sake of better page-customization anyhow. :P
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