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[identity profile] houseofchimeras.livejournal.com
Content warnings: none

On September 11th 2014, an article titled “O Is For… Otherkin” was posted on the website, Alphabet Britain. A website specifically for talking about unusual subcultures in Great Britain.

The article itself includes several interviews with various people. One of whom is Kim/Luna, who also appeared in the 2013 documentary, What?! I Think I'm An Animal.


Source -
Lucy, “O Is For… Otherkin.” 2014-7-11. Alphabet Britain. http://alphabetbritain.com/2014/09/o-otherkin/
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A green dragon person reading a book.)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: none.

May 19. A blogger named Sarah "SapphireWind" Cluck wrote an informal article called "Have you heard of therianthropes or otherkin?" She explains what therianthropes and otherkin are, and tells about her own experience as a dragon otherkin.
[identity profile] houseofchimeras.livejournal.com
Content warnings: None

Buzzfeed has an article on the furry fandom where otherkin are mentioned.

The article actually makes a distinction between furries and otherkin stating, "However, unlike Otherkin (who believe they are the spirit of a creature), it’s more of a connection you have to this species that fits you as a person."

- Spiridon
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[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: none.

A skeptical Finnish-language blogger wrote an entry that covers some basics about otherkin. Google Translate handles it poorly, so I'm not sure of the article's thesis or attitude.

Source

Ez. "Seikkaluja internetin harhamaassa: oletko sinäkin oikeasti eläin?" May 28, 2014. Tämä Päivä (Today). (Personal blog.) http://tamapaiva.blogspot.fi/2014/05/seikkaluja-internetin-harhamaassa.html
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[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

October: A dragon otherkin named DLF wrote an article called "Otherkin and Roleplay," asking, "Is there a link between otherkin and roleplay?"

Source


DLF (justanotherkin), "Otherkin and roleplay." 2013-10-10. Justanotherkin (personal blog). http://justanotherkin.tumblr.com/post/63648310657/otherkin-and-roleplay-pt-1
(I linked to this article with permission from DLF.)
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Content warnings: None.

October: Mistwolf wrote an article in Spanish called "La Mano Transhumana." Mistwolf also translated the article into English as "The Transhuman Hand." The article "is a proposal for cooperation among different communities involved in an identity search, the Otherkin, Therian, and the Real Vampire community." Mistwolf uses the word "transhuman" to include all of those peoples. The article offers guidelines for how the communities can cooperate in constructive ways.

Source


Mistwolf, "La Mano Transhumana (The Transhuman Hand)." Noctalium. 2013-10. https://noctalium.wordpress.com/textos-comunitarios/la-mano-transhumana-1-0/
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[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

August: A therianthrope named Akhila wrote a new essay, "Neofelis Nebulosa," on what clouded leopard feels like.


Source


Akhila, "Neofelis Nebulosa." 2013-08. Thébaïde (personal web-site). http://akhila.feralscribes.org/2013/neofelis-nebulosa/

I linked to this with Akhila's permission.
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[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

August 16: A dragon otherkin who goes by the moniker Dragonslorefury wrote an article to address some of the common questions that people have when they first hear about otherkin. Posted on Dragonslorefury’s personal blog on Tumblr.com, the article is titled “An FAQ on Otherkin for the Perplexed Observer.” Dragonslorefury’s article addresses issues of escapism, the difference between otherkin and therianthropes, and the role of Tumblr in the otherkin community. Dragonslorefury supports this with references from writings on otherkin by other authors, including Lupa's book A Field Guide to Otherkin.



Source


Dragonslorefury, “An FAQ on Otherkin for the Perplexed Observer.” 2013-08-16. Just An’Otherkin. http://justanotherkin.tumblr.com/post/58429596952/an-faq-on-otherkin-for-the-perplexed-observer
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[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

Last May: A therianthrope* named Wolf VanZandt (author of The Therian Timeline) created a web-page on the psychology of therianthropes. His page, “The Mind of the Were,” tells about their common experiences (such as mental shifting), information about them collected from surveys, and some possible explanations for why they are this way. There’s also an audio version of that page.

* A therianthrope is a person who identifies as an animal.



Source


Wolf VanZandt, “The Mind of the Were.” Created 2013-05. Updated 2013-07-20. The Therian Timeline. http://theriantimeline.com/therianthropy/the_mind_of_the_were
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[personal profile] frameacloud
(The linked article lists its own trigger warnings.)

August: A trans woman and otherkin in the otherkin community named Jewelfox wrote an essay titled "Why trans* people hate otherkin (and otherkin hate fictives)." Jewelfox explains that why people who have unusual identities tend to disparage other kinds of unusual identities, and why that doesn't help them the way they think it does. She argues that although they're trying to defend their own legitimacy, they're unknowingly supporting the system that oppresses them, in vain hope to get mercy from it.

You can read the whole article. There are good insights in the comments, and on this other post about the essay.



Source


Jewelfox, "Why trans* people hate otherkin (and otherkin hate fictives)." 2013-08-07. Jewelfox. http://jewelfox.dreamwidth.org/2013/08/07/why-trans-people-hate-otherkin.html
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: For this article, none. The linked article lists its own trigger warnings in its introduction.

August: An otherkin in our community, named Jewelfox, wrote an article this month titled "What does it mean to be otherkin?" Other authors have had difficulty trying to write a definition for otherkin (people who identify as mythological creatures), therianthropes (people who identify as animals), and/or fictives (people who identify as characters from fiction), because these self-identifications are individualistic and have surprisingly few beliefs in common with one another. Rather than attempting a definition based on spirituality or behavior, Jewelfox isolates three traits that she thinks are held in common by otherkin, therianthropes, and fictives alike. These three traits aren't spiritual beliefs or behaviors, but are aspects of a process: identification, explanation, and expression. Read Jewelfox's article to learn more about the reasoning behind this, and its impact on the social acceptance of these people.



Source


Jewelfox, "What does it mean to be otherkin?" 2013-08-05. Jewelfox (personal blog). http://jewelfox.dreamwidth.org/74778.html
I linked to this with Jewelfox's permission.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: mental illness (clinical lycanthropy), violence, religion (Catholicism, exorcism, demonic possession).

July: A cryptozoologist named Malcolm Smith wrote an article about a clinical lycanthropy patient who was last heard of in 1992. The subject is William “Bill” David Ramsey (b. 1943-). Since childhood, Ramsey occasionally had situations in which he believed he was becoming a werewolf, during which he behaved inappropriately and violently, and sometimes had hallucinations. These episodes were so severe that he was sometimes arrested and hospitalized. Ramsey was successfully cured of this problem by an exorcism in 1989. For this reason, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren interpret Ramsey’s condition as demonic possession rather than mental illness. Smith cites from two sources about the Warrens and Ramsey. Michael notes that he could find no information about Ramsey after his interview in 1992.

Here’s some extra context that Smith did not bring up. The below is based on my own research on werewolves and clinical lycanthropy.

Ramsey’s references to moon phases have more similarity to his contemporary pop culture imagery of werewolves than old folklore. His condition had even less resemblance to the behavior of actual wolves. This factor makes it more likely that Ramsey’s beliefs were a mental syndrome rather than a supernatural phenomenon, even if one believes the latter is possible.

I find it odd that Ramsey is not mentioned in the psychological literature on clinical lycanthropy. Perhaps this is only because Ramsey chose not to enter a mental hospital, fearing the stigma. The literature on clinical lycanthropy only talks about people who were admitted to mental hospitals. The lack of formal documentation for this case (aside from the Warrens’ book), and the lack of information about Ramsey after 1992, give me cause to question whether Ramsey’s case might be a complete fabrication.

It’s important to understand that clinical lycanthropy is a psychological syndrome, not a specific mental illness. In the definition of lycanthropy established by Keck, et al., the belief of becoming an animal isn’t connected with any specific mental illnesses. It could happen together with any of them. A person with clinical lycanthropy doesn’t just believe they’re an animal: they really believe they’re physically changing, usually against their will, and they lose control over their behavior.

This case makes me wonder if the scarcity of clinical lycanthropy in psychological literature-- as noted by Keck-- might be because the subjects go to exorcists for help instead of mental hospitals. One of the common features of clinical lycanthropy is that the subject believes that they’re possessed by a demon.



Sources


Malcolm Smith, “The English werewolf.” Malcolm’s musings: Anomalies. 2013-07-31. http://malcolmsanomalies.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/the-english-werewolf.html

(Smith primarily cites from this: Ed and Lorraine Warren, Werewolf: A true story of demonic possession. St. Martin’s, 1991.)

Paul E. Keck, et al., “Lycanthropy: Alive and well in the twentieth century.” Psychological Medicine 18 (1988), p. 113-120.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: Religion. Dragon-slaying. Dangerous bodies of water.

July: An anthropologist called EsoterX, in their blog of research about monsters in mythology and folklore, posted a new research article about dragon-slaying in medieval France. EsoterX argues that the "dragons" in these myths were, in reality, dangerous bodies of water, such as floods and whirlpools. In allegory, the saints "slew" these "dragons" by building levees. Later, the allegory was lost, and the myths were taken literally.

This article is not about otherkin. However, it could be of interest to otherkin who identify as dragons, or for whom dragons figure significantly in their spirituality or personal mythology.


Source


EsoterX, "Dragons Check In, But They Don’t Check Out: Saintly Medieval Pest Control in France." 2013-07-21. EsoterX: If Monsters Don't Exist, Why Are They Out To Get Me? http://esoterx.com/2013/07/21/dragons-check-in-but-they-dont-check-out-saintly-medieval-pest-control-in-france
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: spirituality, religion.

July: The "Ask Papabear" column of the Furry News Network blog responded to a confused anonymous question about otherkin, therianthropes, and religious doctrine.

Source

Papabear, "What Is the 'True' Definition of Otherkin and Therian?" 2013-07-31. Furry News Network. http://www.furrynewsnetwork.com/2013/07/what-is-the-true-definition-of-otherkin-and-therian/
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[personal profile] frameacloud
July: A cryptozoologist named Nick Redfern opined in a blog about why werewolves aren't usually studied in cryptozoology. (Cryptozoology is the study of reports of animals whose existence hasn't been confirmed. That means animals that are so rarely seen that people have some question about whether they have all died out, such as the ivory-billed woodpecker, and the Tasmanian tiger. Usually, though, it means bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster.)

Redfern says that there are reported sightings of creatures who could be considered werewolves. He says cryptozoologists don't want to study those, because of the association with Hollywood movies. They see that as "embarrassing." Redfern says the reported werewolf-like creatures fall into one or both of these categories:

"(a) a type of wolf-like animal that is unknown to science and which has the ability to walk on two legs as well as four; or (b) a creature of definitively paranormal proportions. But, mainstream Cryptozoology cannot bring itself to fully embrace the study of either 'possibility (a)' or 'possibility (b)' and the solely paranormal crowd aren’t excited by the prospect of investigating something that may be purely zoological. So, what happens? Well, this is what happens: a topic that is undeniably important, and which is supported by large amounts of witness testimony, ends up languishing in a realm filed with confusion and lack of direction."


The werewolf sighting reports aren't cryptozoologists' favorite topic of study because it's thought of as undignified, and because the researchers disagree about what the sightings could signify.


Source


Nick Redfern, "The problem with werewolves." 2013-07-29. Mysterious Universe. http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2013/07/the-problem-with-werewolves/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: None.

Published in July on Birds of a Feather, a blog about otherkin and therianthropes who identify as winged creatures, is an informal research essay by Faileas, "Wings." It's based on surveys of otherkin and therianthropes, regarding how they experience their sensations of phantom wings.

The essay has a copyright from 2005, so I'm not clear on whether this is a new essay.


Source


Faileas, "Wings." 2013-07-02. Birds of a Feather. http://birdsofafeather.feralscribes.org/wings-faileas/
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[personal profile] frameacloud

Trigger warnings: news coverage, phantom limbs, amputation, occult (magic, divination)

Summary: Since last March, I took a vacation from researching for Otherkin News. From time to time, I did bookmark some things that I wanted to write articles about. In short, lately we’ve had: ongoing as well as published academic research of otherkin, wearable cat ears that use brainwave sensors to express your mood, over a dozen new and republished books by the Silver Elves, and a scientific study of a person who had phantom limbs corresponding to body parts that she’d never had.

 

 

In science

 

Phantom limbs: She felt fingers that she’d never had

A study published last February in Neurocase described a woman (“R.N.,” age 57) who had been born with an incomplete right hand. After amputation of this hand at age 18 due to an accident, she developed a “phantom limb:” she felt like her hand was still there. What made this case unusual was that her phantom hand included phantom fingers that she’d never physically had. Her phantom hand was complete with all its fingers.

Initially, her phantom hand felt shortened and painful, but after mirror therapy (a common treatment for phantom limb pain), her phantom hand took on completely normal proportions.[1]

Although this study is not about otherkin or therianthropes, it is of interest to our community. Some otherkin and therianthropes experience phantom sensations of body parts that they’ve never physically had, including tails.

See also: an earlier article on Otherkin News, regarding a study published in the Annals of Neurology about a woman, 64, who developed a supernumerary phantom limb: a third arm.[2]

 

Community research: Survey of furries, therianthropes, and otherkin

The International Anthropomorphic Research Project conducted their Winter 2012 survey of furries, with questions that included otherkin and therianthrope issues, determining the overlap of the three communities. The survey took place online as well as in person at Anthrocon 2012, a furry convention. The survey opened in 2012-03,[3]  and is now closed to further submissions, saying, “A summary of the collected data will be available on this website shortly.”[4]

 

Innovations in technology: the Necomimi

Neurowear, a company specializing in high-tech fashion, recently released the Necomimi. As described in a previous Otherkin News article,[5] the Necomimi is a headband that includes brainwave sensors and a pair of animatronic cat ears. The sensors detect the wearer’s emotional state, and expresses it by moving the cat ears. 

Neurowear released the Necomimi in Japan on 2012-04-28.[6] Neurowear’s official store says that the Necomimi is $99.95 US, but is currently sold out due to overwhelming demand, but they’re taking backorders.[7] Neurowear says they’re planning on releasing new models of the Necomimi with different ear shapes.

Some people have independently created animatronic ears inspired by the Necomimi. On Instructables, a community site where inventors and makers share their ideas, Abetusk tells how to build animatronic cat ears, although these are controlled by a remote, not by EEG.[8]

So far as I know, these inventions were not produced by any participant of the otherkin or therianthrope communities. However, they maybe be of interest to these communities as an example of a way that new technologies can augment the human body.

 

 

New published works

 

New and republished books by the Silver Elves

The Silver Elves, a family of elf people who have been writing about elven issues since the 1970s, and who consider themselves to be part of the otherkin community, have published and republished several books of their writings. During the past few months alone, they’ve released these:

  • The Magical Elven Love Letters, Volume 1 (collected essays and poems from 1979 to 2001) and Volume 2 (from the 1990s) have been republished with new covers in 2012-03. They also published Volume 3, which includes writings from the 1990s and from their move to Hawaii in 2008.
  • The Book of Elven Runes, a handbook for creating and using an original oracle (not Futhark runes) designed by the Silver Elves, was republished in 2012-05.
  • The Elven Book of Changes: A magical interpretation of the I Ching. An elven interpretation of the ancient Chinese oracle. Released 2012-03.
  • The Elven Book of Powers: Using the Tarot for magical wish fulfillment. Released 2012-05-24.
  • The Elven Book of Dreams: A magical oracle of Faerie. A dream symbol interpretation handbook. Released 2012-04.
  • The Book of Elven Magic: The philosophy and enchantments of the Seelie Elves. An elven perspective on spirituality and ceremonial magic. Released 2012-05.
  • What an Elf would do: A magical guide to the manners and etiquette of the Faerie Folk. As summarized by the authors, this is a “view of how elves see and interact with the world of the Normal folk as well as with Otherkind of all sorts. It is designed to help the elfin everywhere to move through the often mysterious cultures of mankind with confidence and ease.” Released 2012-06-02.
  • Arvyndase (Silverspeech): A short course in the magical language of the Silver Elves. A grammar of a constructed language designed by the Silver Elves. Released 2012-05.
  • Caressed by an Elfin Breeze: The poems of Zardoa Silverstar. Approximately 90 poems by Zardoa of the Silver Elves, some from over 30 years ago.
  • Eldafaryn: True tales of magic from the lives of the Silver Elves. “a series of vignettes from the lives of the Silver Elves starting in the present and going back and forth through time describing their lives, their magic, their philosophy and their unique view of the world.”
  • Magic Talks: Being a correspondence between the Silver Elves and the founders of the Elf Queen’s Daughters. Released 2012-06-02. From the summary provided by the authors: “Magic Talks is a collection of letters between the two sisters who are the founders of the Elf Queen's daughters (in 1973), Arwen and Elanor, and the Silver Elves, Zardoa and Silver Flame. This is the first book in a series of Tulku internet correspondence beginning in November of 2011 and ending in February 2012. Arwen and Elanor are also the original publishers of the ‘Magic Elf Letters’ sent out from the Elf Queen’s daughters. They published three letters a week for about three years. In the early 1979 the Silver Elves carried on these letters calling them “The Magical Elven Love Letters” and continued writing and publishing them for the next 30 years…”

 These books by the Silver Elves are important contributions to the history and literature of the otherkin community.


Academic article: Laycock’s “We are spirits of another sort”

A new academic paper all about the otherkin community (and therianthropes as well, under the same word) was published in Nova Religio, a peer-reviewed journal about alternative and new religious movements. The article, “We are spirits of another sort: Ontological rebellion and religious dimensions of the otherkin community,” is by Joseph P. Laycock, Ph.D. 

A regular in the vampire community, Merticus, briefly summarized Laycock’s article.[9] Merticus says the article cites the writings of several participants of the otherkin community.

A regular in the therianthrope community, Citrakāyaḥ (a cheetah) read Laycock’s full article, and then thoroughly covered his responses in “A laycat’s review of ‘We are spirits of another sort.’” He says that Laycock emphasizes that the otherkin movement is not a religion, although it is often spiritual, and in some ways resembles a religion.[10]

 

Media exposure of therianthropes

During 2012-02, the furry news blog, Flayrah, listed several newspaper articles that mentioned therianthropes in addition to furries.[11]

 

New blogs

Birds of a Feather: by and for bird-people, created 2012-02.[12] This blog is full of essays about being therianthropes and otherkin who identify as birds. Authors include Acies (an eagle), Akhila (raven, leopard), GreyGhost (gryphon), Meirya (hawk, phoenix), and Tsu (swan). The blog accepts essays submitted by others.

I’ve seen a lot more otherkin-related blogs created recently, especially those hosted on Tumblr.com, but I’ll have to address them in another post.

 

More?

Due to my hiatus from the otherkin community during the past several months, I’m behind on my reading, and I’ve missed out on a lot. The above list is likely very incomplete. I’m going to need a lot of help filling in all the gaps.

If you or somebody who you know recently created new writing, art, or other creative works about otherkin or therianthropes, then please let me know, so that I can list them here next time. Please feel free to e-mail me about any such new discoveries at any time. That would be very helpful! Thank you!

- O. Scribner


Sources )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: none that I can think of.

During the past three months, people created several new articles that the concept of otherkin, as well as some new artwork depicting symbols of otherkin and therianthropes.


New articles introducing otherkin

Nonhumans and what you need to know,” by emptyvoids. 2011-12.
An introduction defining what otherkin are, what it’s like to be otherkin, and the diversity among otherkin. The article is written for an audience of people who aren’t otherkin, in order to establish a friendly understanding. The article expresses consciousness of social justice issues throughout. It’s casual, and handwritten rather than typed.

A revised otherkin FAQ,” by Jarandhel Dreamsinger. 2012-01-08.
Written primarily for an audience of people who are otherkin themselves, and who already have some familiarity with the otherkin community. This FAQ includes safety advice, and lists of off-site resources. Very useful, and an improvement over out-dated resources.

Sylvere ap Leanan- refocus on otherkin,” by Deacon Gray. 2011-12-27.
Deacon Gray interviews Sylvere ap Leanan for basic information about the otherkin community, with the assumption that the audience already has familiarity with the vampire community.

Otherkin/therianthropy; A few basic instructions,” by Shiruie-chan. 2011-12-28.
An informal FAQ written for an audience of people who are unfamiliar with the otherkin and therian communities, and who are considering they might be otherkin or therians themselves. Rational, accurate, opinionated, needs proofreading.


New visual art

Shinjuku swan maiden, by Tsu (Swanblood). 2012-01-09.
A self-portrait by a person who identifies as a swan.

Elven Star or Faery Star or Heptagram, by Shion (chrome-dreaming). 2012-01-04.
In this intricate graphic design, the seven-pointed star (a symbol of otherkin, among many other things) is decorated with silver filigree theta-delta symbols (a symbol that therianthropes created to represent themselves several years ago).

Therian wolf pendant, by reddogdied. 2012-01-11.
A handmade copper pendant depicting the aforementioned theta-delta symbol.


More?

If you or somebody who you know recently created new writing, art, or other creative works about otherkin or therianthropes, then please let me know, so that I can list them here next time. Please feel free to e-mail me about any such new discoveries at any time. That would be very helpful! Thank you!

- O. Scribner

May 2017

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