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On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
Damh
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Post: #1
On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
This is my opinion on the matter and why I feel the way I do about said differences. Agree with me, or disagree with me, that's your choice.
(cross posted from another site I'm on)

Alright, I'm not for knocking anyone for who they believe themselves to be. But if you're doing it to be cool or fit in. As the wise LOLcats say; "Ur doin it rong!"

Therianthropy: It's not about religion. It's not about a lifestyle. It's not about standing out. It's not about trying to make yourself appear as something you are not. It's not about making yourself popular.

These are things best left to people who cannot stand up for who they are and what they believe to be true about themselves.

As a Therian or Otherkin (if you are one), you should have doubts! You should ask questions! You should be curious! You should learn as much as you possibly can! You should view yourself from an outside perspective! You should question everyone who claims to be a Therian or Otherkin too! Doesn't matter the species/breed/animal.
You should always make friends with skepticism first before you decide whether someone it 'playing at it' or really feeling similar things to you. Don't just take someone at their word because people lie all the time. Whether to make friends or appear as something more than they truly are.

This brings me to the topic at hand...

Otherkin I've been mistakenly categorized in this umbrella term. It pisses me off. I know that there are Therians who consider themselves Kin. I'll get to that.
There is (at least to me) a clear distinction between Otherkin and Therian.

Therian: A human believing that they have the soul/personality/behavior pattern of whatever animal. A living/existing (including extinct species) animal (or what-have-you). No wings, no frills, just one or two animals. They may have totems but only self-identify as one (rarely 2) animal (s).

This is not spirituality based. This is condition. Something someone is born with and comes to realize at a later time.
I seriously question anyone who says "I've known since birth" I say "Bull**** to that Sir!"

Therianthopy is very much a lesson in self reflection and personal discovery. It can either be a gradual thing or you could stumble upon the definition and become curious about it and want to learn more to see if perhaps you happen to be one. You either are or you aren't you can't learn this. I suppose it would be much the same for an Otherkin. Though, I haven't asked any of them.

Plenty of the Therian crowd even openly states that it may even have something to do with brain chemistry which I won't deny. I mean, I don't know for sure, but at least I'm not 'whacko crazy'. I don't shift into a deer or anything physically. That's a hilarious thought though... I just feel this is a large part of what makes me who I am.

Otherkin: Here's where it gets kinda weird and my skepticism kicks into hyper drive. These are people who self-identify as a mythical, fantastical, hybrid, vampires (not the sub-culture, the hybrids), or fae.

Why am I so skeptical when it comes to them more so than I am with a wolf therian (which gained in popularity due to pop-culture)?
Because their's is harder to identify with for me.
It just seems to rub me the wrong way sometimes. I mean if you can tell me or show me somehow that you truly believe it and can back it up. I will apologize if this offends you. But it doesn't mean that I have to accept every person who strolls up to me and claims to be a Dragon or Vampire or what-have-you.
I have on the other hand, met sincere Otherkin whom I believe because they where intelligent, open, and as honest with me as I am with them.

These (the ones I don't believe) seem to be people who are crying out for attention or just trying to piss off Mom and Dad. Sorry, I ain't buying it till you prove to me through your experiences or you speak to me, and aren't sure. If you're positive... chances are, my skepticism will force me to ignore you completely.

I'm a skeptic about myself all the time. I'll probably never know 100% for sure. All I know is this is how I feel. I know what I've experienced and through those experiences have been able to hone it down to 'what' I am other than just human. Sounds crazy and strange, but I'm not the only one out there. I'm not fanatical by any stretch of the imagination.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The other night I was chatting with a fellow skeptic and explaining my stance on this very subject. Thus gaining his respect. Why? Because I was able to explain it easily and not sound like I KNEW everything. One of my favorite sayings is "I don't know, is an acceptable answer" When it comes to Therianthropy and Otherkin this is very true. There are just things that are impossible and very difficult to put into words, but damnit, half the time I at least make an attempt.

I was also asked "why that particular animal?" Well in my personal reflections and study I looked closely at myself as well as a wide range of animals. I didn't try to narrow my fields down too soon. Perhaps this is why it took me three years to decide to finally call myself a Therian.

Then they asked "What if this particular animal doesn't reside in the US? How did you identify with it?"
I then explained, After a year or two, I narrowed it down to the genus; Cervidae, or Deer. I knew I related in some way to a Deer, I was unsure of the exact type. There are many.
Of course, I started with the local population of deer (whitetail). But that didn't feel quite right. After a lot more searching and self reflection and surfing the internet and collecting as much info on deer in general that I could. I discovered the "European/Scottish Red Deer" This was ME. I knew it the moment I saw my first picture of a majestic stag standing in front of his harem. It rang true to me. It just felt like it was right.

This is how it should be, whether you are Therian or not. It deals in a bunch of self reflection and self examination. It should be true to you. You should ask yourself questions all the time. You should be skeptical. There are no guarantees, after all, I at least admit I could be wrong.

[Image: Red_Deer_In_The_Rain_by_nitsch.jpg]

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2010-01-13 0:54
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Post: #2
Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
I've always viewed Otherkin as being someone who intrinsically identifies as a non-human creature [whether spiritually, psychologically, or both]. I also agree with the way a friend of mine put it:

Quote: if you see your "other" side as being fairly anthropomorphic, having complex thoughts or at least something beyond "eat, sleep, reproduce, repeat" (I know, that's over-simplified), then you're probably otherkin, but if you see your "other" side as being essentially feral, primal, or survivalist, you're probably a therian.

I also don't like the distinction some therians place between themselves and Otherkin because it seems to come off as close-minded and rude, it's why I have issues sometimes with a therian board I belong to. It also seems to make the two seem entirely different. In my experience, the experiences of Otherkin and Therians are a lot a like, but this is rarely seen because therians either get pissy about getting called Otherkin, and pissy when some wants to say they're a dragon or angel or something else therian. I know this sounds biased, but in the Otherkin communities I belong to, therians are usually welcomed nicely and not much importance is put on how the person identifies.

Members: Gabriel, Lestat, Nico, Fenrir, and Nathaniel.
2010-01-13 1:16
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Damh
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Post: #3
Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
I'm not trying to make a big deal on it promise... I just see and respect a separation of the two whole cultures. Sure, they happen to be under the same umbrella. I'm certainly not attempting to be rude or off putting. Just calling it how I see it (and have perceived it from other boards).

I'm certainly not trying to put anyone down in what I wrote. It's just an opinion I have because I've met my fair share of "Mightly Elvin Goth Mastard" types. I've also met some pretty cool people (Seraphyna for example, but I have met a few more) who are down to earth and really reliable as far as their experiences and sincerity in the Otherkin community.

I'm not saying that any one of the two, is any better than the other at all. Just putting my POV out there.

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2010-01-13 1:25
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Post: #4
Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
I know, I wasn't trying to come off as rude. I was just giving my 2 cents, and I like your opinion. I've met a few of those, too, and I write them off--the same thing I do if I encounter an "I'm King Lycan of the Moon" types. I just try not to separate the two because it kind of sucks to try and go somewhere and be written off as fluff without being given a chance to show otherwise.

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2010-01-13 1:30
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Post: #5
Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
I think being Therian is separate from being 'Kin, but have some or even a lot of overlap depending on the exact definitions used. Just like I've met Therians that were also Furries, and Therians that weren't Furries and Furries that aren't Therians, and so on and so forth. I also don't think that being Otherkin is any more of a spiritual path or not than being Therian or vise versa. I've met Therians that saw it as an integral part of their spirituality, and Otherkin who are non-religious and atheist but just see themselves as having "non-human" mental patterns.

I do think that these ideas need to be seen more separately, but sometimes it is hard to draw a line, so I just figure that one should call someone else what the someone wishes to be called.

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2010-01-13 1:43
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Damh
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Post: #6
Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
I didn't take you as rude at all... I actually thought that you may have seen me in that light <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->
ahhh fluff....
This thread of mine started a debate on Fluff-ism to the extreme on another site. Mostly the portion dealing with the people I ignore or berate for being stupid (because they are attention whores). The idiocy of it is the ones that take it to that level tend to get the most outsider attention. Hence making the entire community look like a bunch of crackpots and fuzz-brained looneys.

This was my attempt (and I think I did alright) at fixing some of the stereotyping that is done by people who don't fully understand or even contemplate this way of thinking/ being. Slowly, you can change someone's point of view if you are clear direct and to the point, which I think I may have been just that (luckily).

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2010-01-13 1:49
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Damh
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Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
That's why this is only my point of view on it. I know that other people's views will differ from mine. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> fine by me... Makes things interesting

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2010-01-13 1:51
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Annwyn
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Post: #8
Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
Nope, I didn't see you as rude. I like to see the various viewpoints out there [and yours is actually one that doesn't really get to me--I've seen some pretty bad ones that made me wtf]. It does, it's neat to see different viewpoints [even the wtf viewpoints].

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2010-01-13 2:00
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Damh
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Post: #9
Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
I agree wholeheartedly with you.

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2010-01-13 5:54
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Archer
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Post: #10
Re: On the differences between Otherkin and Therians
Damh Wrote:Otherkin I've been mistakenly categorized in this umbrella term. It pisses me off. I know that there are Therians who consider themselves Kin. I'll get to that.
There is (at least to me) a clear distinction between Otherkin and Therian.

Therian: A human believing that they have the soul/personality/behavior pattern of whatever animal. A living/existing (including extinct species) animal (or what-have-you). No wings, no frills, just one or two animals. They may have totems but only self-identify as one (rarely 2) animal (s).

So is that "clear distinction" simply that therians are people who consider themselves in some way living/existing/physical animals, and otherkin are people who consider themselves anything else?

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."

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2010-01-13 14:14
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