Category: Therianthropy


I suppose that’s what a “diary” is for after all.  Even if it is an online one.  Diaries are supposed to be private…though if you don’t really want them to be, then they don’t have to.  In that case I should call this more of a journal than anything.

 

Anyways, this is the 4th week of this internship.  Which really means I only have about 8 more days of work I suppose.  In general I’m only working 2 days a week unless they ask me to come in on another day.  I’m rather adverse to wanting to spend too much money.  So unless I have to go somewhere or find something to buy that I’m particularly interested in, I’m not doing much other than going to work on those two days.  Which leaves me rather bored at other times.  Well, bored and lonely.  Aside from the Hollywood tour, I’m none too interested in socializing with the other people here.  As cold as it may sound, it wasn’t my intention to.  So I suppose the loneliness and boredom is a bit self-inflicted.  But I’m only here because I was forced to be.  I don’t quite care to really do much else than let the rest of these weeks go by but…

 

That’s a really poor plan in retrospect.  Because now I don’t have anything to do.  I wanted to do as little as possible to save as much money as possible.  I still need to come back with something.  And need to buy materials in order to make a tail before Anime World Chicago.  So most of the time I keep myself cooped up in the room watching episode after episode of random super sentai series.  Heck…I was able to finish off 2 of them within a week.  Really that’s not a good thing.  At the same time, I’ve gotten tired of most everything else.  Even though I’m fairly bored with watching so much stuff (even though I like what I watch), I just feel like it’s the only option other than aimlessly walking around in a circle outside.

 

Plus there’s the fact that I just use what I watch as a tool too.  I enjoy it, but still it’s a tool to make me forget that I’m upset, sad, and lonely.  Any quiet moment will just make me remember that.  And I don’t really want to.  Tch…why the heck am I even writing this since I know I’m just thinking about how bad I feel?  I suppose the thoughts had to go somewhere.  I don’t like thinking about such things ’cause they just make me cry.  I absolutely despise crying.  Both when I’m alone and especially when I’m around other people.  It’s a terrible feeling.  So I do what I can to avoid it.  Though I’ve done that for so long now that the ability to actually do so doesn’t really exist…

 

Anyways…I just want to go home.  Not particularly because I miss my family either.  I don’t.  For the exception of my cat.  Sora’s the only one I miss and really care to see.  And it’s not because the people here aren’t nice.  They are…This environment just leaves me feeling like the odd woman out.  Everyone’s so happy to be here and so outgoing and extroverted.  It just feel like I’m the only one who isn’t that way.  I haven’t been very positive for along time.  It’s not that I lost the ability to be so…I just lost the desire to be so.  All these TV shows, movies, and fairy tales can end where happiness, courage, hope…whatever wins out…where everyone lives happily ever after.  And you can teach kids these things.  Teaching kids things like “work hard and your dreams will come true” or that if you “believe you will achieve”…things like that are nice in retrospect.  But for the majority, that’s just not how reality works.  Most kids dream of being top athletes or singers or actors.  Not everyone can be that number one star.  Because most kids who dream of those things don’t have the skills necessary to make it happen.  And even if they do, sometimes even those skills aren’t enough.  And you can teach people that money isn’t everything until the cows come home.  While it’s a nice sentiment…money…well it’s necessary to live.  You can’t even get the basic necessities anymore without money.  Food, water and shelter…while you can find all these things out in nature, you need money to buy the tools to kill your own food and the knowledge to know how to purify your own water.  For most of the population that’s not even a possibility.

 

The world has all these nice sentiments that work in dreams.  But not really in reality.  If you’re taught to be yourself, but by being yourself you’re setting yourself up for failure, then in order to get along in life you can’t be yourself.  You must pretend in order to live.  You’d think that by watching so many super sentai series that I wouldn’t still think like this.  All those shows are about having the courage to overcome anything but…still it’s just fiction.  Inspirational as it might be it still isn’t how reality works.  If anything, I’m drawn more to the character of AbareKiller from Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger.  While I’m not nearly as cold as him and definitely not a sociopath, I oddly understand his logic.  He just wants everything to be more exciting…more interesting.  For him.  He doesn’t like the world because he feels the world has nothing to offer him.  So he turns everything into a game (albeit they’re life or death “games” but “games” to him nonetheless).  I don’t fully share the sentiment, but I understand the feeling of wanting to things to be more interesting for me.

 

Anyways…on a completely different vain, being here’s also giving me problems with my dog-like side.  I’m normally just able to let that side of me loose little by little, but while I’m around complete strangers that’s an impossibility.  So I’ve gotta keep that side of me all cooped up. Problem is is that I’ve never caged myself for that long.  Mostly because I’ve never needed to.  I don’t have any outlet for this side of myself.  I’m worried that it might be a bad thing to do so (as suppression of something usually doesn’t end up the best for the psyche, though I suppose that’s more for long term suppression), but there’s really nothing I can do about that.  I’ve just gotta try my best to keep that part of me under wraps and not let my emotions get the best of me I suppose.  See…one of those cases where being yourself just isn’t a real world possibility.  It just isn’t for everyone.  Still…it’s quite a hassle.  And a bit uncomfortable…

 

Regardless, after this week, I’ll be halfway through this thing.  Then 4 more weeks until I can go back home…good…

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Who am I?  I’m terrified to let people really see me for me.

 

In fact, I’m quite certain that a few of my friends know more about me than my parents do.  But in reality, I’m certain that I barely know who I am myself.  I can put all sorts of labels on myself to make myself feel comfortable, but in the end they all really mean nothing.  The label of “agnostic” means absolutely nothing.  The label of “therian” means absolutely nothing.  They’re very good for finding people to relate to…sometimes.  Though I consider myself agnostic, I really don’t relate to many agnostics since I lean towards Christianity and most other agnostics lean towards Atheism.  And though I consider myself a therianthrope, I’m not the best at fitting in with the online community.  And it’s difficult not knowing anyone in person that is like me in that respect.  Because then at least I’d know one person that could understand what I go through.
While I understand this idea of not being afraid to be yourself, there’s a part of me that believes that only works in theory.  Now I’m not afraid of people knowing what I’m interested in.  I’ll happily admit that I’m a furry and an otaku.  Though some people might see those things as embarrassing, the fandoms are fun for me and a good escape from the troubles of reality.  And good outlets for my interests in different facets of art.  But when it comes to me as a person, I’m no good at fully being myself.  I’m constantly holding back on, suppressing, ignoring, or denying aspects of myself because not even I want to face all of them.  And I wouldn’t like other people knowing them either.  So even if I’m not at my happiest, I’ve gotten use to putting on a smile so I don’t have to burden anyone else with my thoughts.  ‘Cause it really isn’t anyone else’s business.

 

But there are things that bother me on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis.  Right now it’s my therianthropy.  Generally I’m fine with it.  I’m fine with not telling people and I’m fine with hiding that.  Well…not really fine with it, but it’s just something I have to do to get by.  Although normality doesn’t exist, there are some things that can and will send people to a mental hospital and I’m sure therianthropy is one of them.  Because what I’m saying is that there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel human.  Specifically, there’s a part of me that feels like a dog.  And not only do I feel like one, but tend to express it through random behaviors and vocalizations like barking, growling, and howling and have some strange urges like chewing and digging and scent tracking.  Though it’s a big part of myself, I do have to suppress and hide it a lot.  Let’s face it, a person acting like a dog in public would grant a lot of weird looks at the least.  And I was at the very least okay with it.  Because there’s very few people in the world who could ever fully understand it.  And other therians just accept it as something that needs to be done.  And I suppose it does.  Because I’m sure I’d be ridiculed quite a bit if I didn’t.

 

But it’s one of the most uncomfortable things to work against my natural feelings.  Which I have to do on a daily basis.  Because I only have about…3 friends that know this about me and one that I’ve really talked to about it in person.  But even so, I’m not going to behave like a dog in front of them.  Or at least I do my best not to display any of my dog like behaviors in front of people.  It get’s harder when I’m being pestered and annoyed.  If I can think about my reaction before I act on it, then I won’t act on it.  But sometimes the reaction is much quicker than the thought.  Not to mention it’s much easier to growl at someone as a warning rather than say “Stop doing that”.  My family probably can hear me when I’m in one of my doggie moods.  I know my brother can hear me howling and barking at all times of the night.  But I have to reserve those behaviors for nighttime.  I’ve had days before when I’ve gone through an entire day in a dog like mindset and I couldn’t do anything about it.  It was frustrating and uncomfortable.  I had no choice but to keep it all locked up inside.  I wish I didn’t have to keep it all to myself really…And I wish I could explain it better.  But I can’t explain how I feel…it’s a near impossibility when I don’t really have anything to compare it to.  I wish I had some other ways to express this side of myself.  Some people say that running and exercise helps.  Or going out camping so they’re just out in nature away from other people.  Or dancing…or really anything else that they can think of.  I just haven’t found anything that helps for me.  Exercise is a chore and painful as I’ve got quite a bit of weight to lose.  I suppose I’d like to go camping one day…But for now, I need to find something else to channel this energy into.  Because I just can’t keep suppressing it all.

 

And for spirituality, I feel a bit like the odd woman out with most people I know.  My family’s all Christian.  My friends for the most part are all Christian as well (or at the least very spiritual) aside from one friend who’s Atheist.  And it’s not that they’re spiritual that really makes me feel like the odd woman out.  It’s the fact that they’re really comfortable with the decision they’ve made.  You know when I was little I didn’t really think about it too much.  I was Christian because I went to church and because my family was.  But then I grew up…and with growing up came more questioning of things.  And of course a non-answer to my prayer of what was “wrong with me” (AKA, my issue I mentioned above about therianthropy) sort of helped me move from being Christian to Agnostic.  I really don’t consider myself spiritual at all.  And I’ve tried to be.  I’ve looked at animal totemism and Shamanism because I thought it would be a help with my therianthropy.  At the very least I could learn how to spiritually shapeshift at will rather than doing so sporadically and at inopportune moments.  But after reading more about it, I just lost the interest that I previously had.  Not to mention reading about magic sort of turned me off to it.  I have nothing against magic.  I just don’t believe in it.

 

Plus I guess I still felt Christianity had something to offer me.  If it didn’t, I probably still wouldn’t be researching it and hanging around Christian websites (granted it’s a Christian furry and a Christian therianthropy page but still…).  But yet I still feel like I’m held back from really making a decision one way or another.  Because I care too much about what people think about me.  And it bothers me that people think that people are less intelligent just because they decide to believe in God.  But then again, I suppose I play into that a bit.  And as much as it pains me to say it I suppose deep down a part of me must believe that to a degree.  Even though I know it’s not true at all.  Because I’ll defend my friend (or anyone’s) right to believe as they wish and not be ridiculed for it.  Because being an Atheist doesn’t automatically mean that you are smarter.  Many atheists just parrot points just as much as many Christians do without doing the necessary research.

 

In all honesty, I can intellectually accept the idea of God.  And intellectually accept that God exists.  I just don’t place my faith in him or make any vast leaps to convert to Christianity.  Because 1) it still calls for me to give up a lot and 2) it’s not a leap I feel I’m ready to make.  But I honestly envy religious believers more than non-believers.  It’s much more beautiful and eloquent to believe and see that there’s more to the world, universe, and life than what’s visible to the eyes.  I suppose that Atheists have a point as well.  It’s beautiful to see the world for what we can see in front of us.  But that also seems quite limiting.  Though I suppose I’m just not comfortable with the idea that I’m here and don’t have a purpose and that what’s in front of us is it.  And how am I suppose to be okay with it?  Why wasn’t I born just a regular person instead of this weirdo who has dog-like tendencies?  Why can I draw but not really do anything else right?  Sure we can go with the age old answer of “genetics”…but I’ll never really know my full genetic make up as I’m adopted.  Perhaps my real parents are artistic and that would explain why I am too.  But for therianthropy…there are many therians that don’t have therian parents.  Actually very few have therian parents.  There’s really no explanation for it as of yet.  And if in the end I’ll just die and turn to dust, why the deuce am I wasting my time with school and earning a degree and money!?  There’s no point for it right?  I can just do what I want to do…or rather should…

 

I barely know who or what I am.  I spend all this time fretting over what I want to do in life or how to please other people while trying to please myself and please this entity known as the “world”.  And really they all can’t be done.  Only two can be done at a time…but just barely.  If you ask my parents, they’ll say that I’m really childish and that I refuse to grow up.  And in a way that’s true.  Growing up just…sucks.  And no one can convince me that it’s any good for you.  And I don’t want to.  If I were still little, everything would be so easy.  I wouldn’t have to worry so much about being dog like ’cause people would just think I’m playing pretend like any other little kid.  And religion…I didn’t understand it then and don’t understand it now.  Only difference is that kids aren’t suppose to understand it.  And kids are always thought of as innocent anyways.  And no jobs or money to worry about…

 

Now I’m just getting utterly depressing.  But yes…yet another thing that bothers me is the whole thought of getting older.  But enough of that.  Unfortunately I’ve got to deal with all these things.  Really it all boils down to I just need to stop caring what people think of me.  Which is such an impossible and difficult thing to do.  Because you have to present your way to the world in some way that is thought of as “normal”.  But I don’t fit in this mold called “normal”.  Well not all the time.  And I just don’t want to fit myself into the world at least in the way the world wants me to fit in.  With the 9-5 job, white picket fence and family with at least 2 kids.  It’s not what I want.  The ultimate goal in my life is to just be happy.  The secondary one is to find a way to really be me.  And lastly is the job/monetary goal which is to work solely for myself (possibly with friends) doing illustration and craft type work.  If I can find a way to do all three by time I die, then I suppose I would’ve achieved all my goals in life.  But how can I even begin to do it?  I just don’t know how…

 

I envy people who know what they want to do, know who they are, what they are, and have everything put together.  I can pretend to be completely stable all I want to…but that doesn’t make it true.  On the outside I can smile all I want.  On the inside, I’m sure I’m just falling apart.  And I’m sure I can’t put up with it much longer…there’s no way that I can…

This is going to be a more elaborate version of an “essay” I wrote for Deviantart pertaining to the same question.  The basic idea is what would happen if therianthropy/otherkin were proven wrong?  How would you cope with the idea?  Is it even possible to prove these ideas wrong?  I believe I left some holes in the last essay so I’m revamping it to elaborate on a few points.

 

Is it possible to prove therianthropy and/or otherkin wrong?  I suppose it depends on the point of view one takes on the subject.  There’s two main points of views that need to be looked at when speaking of therianthropy/otherkin: Spiritual and Psychological.  The therian/otherkin who looks at the phenomenon in a spiritual light will have drastically different ideas than the therian/otherkin who looks at it in a psychological light.  Either way, it can neither be proven nor disproved.  However, for the sake of argument let’s say that it could be disproved.  How would one go about that?

 

From the Spiritual Perspective


Quite frankly, I don’t know how one would go about disproving something from a spiritual perspective.  However there’s two things that science would have to disprove in order to say that therianthropy from the spiritual perspective is false.  The first is the existence of a soul.  The second is that the soul of a non-human could inhabit a human body.  I left otherkin out for the moment because there some extra ideas that need to be disproved.  Those are the ideas that mythical creatures existed (either in this world or another plane of existence) and that if these souls came from another plane of existence that they can cross space and time to end up in this world.

 

I’ll start of with this first because it is the easiest thing to disprove.  It would be hard to find anyone willing that believes that it’s possible for a human to contain the soul of a dragon or fairy.  I covered this a little bit in my post on past life memories, but it takes a stretch of the imagination to believe that a soul will cross space, time, and dimension just to end up in some human body.  It is a wild claim that can’t be substantiated.  But it’s wilder still to claim to know that these creatures exist or have existed somewhere in the universe.  Now I believe in the possibility of life out there, but will remain skeptical until it is otherwise proven to me that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe.  I have to say it’s much easier to disprove otherkin from a spiritual perspective than it is to disprove therianthropy from the same perspective.

 

So I’ll cover therianthropy now.  Like I said before you have to disprove two things; that the soul exists and that an inhuman soul could be placed into a human body.  Let’s start with the existence of a soul.  How would you go about this?  What would you be looking for?  It’s possible that you could run some tests on the human body and potentially find the soul.  However we have no knowledge of what the soul looks like or where it’s located in the body.  But there are a lot more pressing issues that go with this.  Let’s say that we had knowledge of what the soul looked like and it was proven without a doubt that the soul did not exist.  Therians would be the furthest thing on people’s minds.  Let’s face it.  How many of you reading this even know what I’m talking about when I speak of therianthropy?  Most of you have never heard the term.  Some might have heard the term but only in terms of beings or deities that are part human-part animal.  So this is something that no one would be thinking about.  If you could disprove the existence of a soul, you would single-handedly disprove all of religion.  Or rather most religions as most religions revolve around some idea of a soul that lives on after death.  Don’t you think that would be a more pressing issue than proving whether or not it’s possible for a human to feel as a non-human?

 

If souls were disproved, you would disprove most psychic phenomenon, ghost/spirit sightings, angels and demons (which by default then means that angel and demon-kin are wrong).  It would mean that anyone fitting into these categories would be first up for going into some sort of psychiatric care.  I would also place those who honestly believe that it was aliens who started life on earth in this category as well (but this can go for non-therians/otherkin as I’ve heard this as one of the plausible “theories” for life starting on earth).

 

Now onto the second possibility: The psychological standpoint.

 

From the Psychological Perspective


I think this perspective might scare people a little bit.  When we use the word “psychological” we usually speak of some sort of mental ailment that needs to be cured.  This isn’t the case.  A psychological anomaly doesn’t need to be something that has to be cured.  Something that interferes with a person’s everyday life.  It can just be something that makes a person think differently or feel differently than “the norm” (whatever normal is).  So we need to get out of the mindset that “psychological” means something’s wrong with you and begin to think of it differently.

 

We as humans cannot pretend like we comprehend how the brain works 100%.  We’re still learning more and more things about it.  However there are plausible ways that both otherkin and therianthropy could be proven true using psychology.

 

We it comes right down to it, we all know that we’re human.  We have no special knowledge of animals.  What we know of animals are what we’ve learned through experiences with them (IE: pets, seeing animals in the wild, watching documentaries, and going to zoos).  I don’t believe anyone who claims to have any special knowledge of a specific animals species based upon the fact that they  “are” that animal.  It’s an impossibility.  The only thing that you know is what you are right now.  The only things that can be made are close approximations based on feelings, personality, and behaviors.  This could account for the high number of canine (specifically wolf) therians or any other species of animal that are thought of as “majestic”.

 

To start with wolves, humans have always had a tie with them.  We domesticated them and they became the hundreds of breeds of domestic dogs that we have today.  Humans are around dogs on a daily basis.  We see them when we walk down the street.  We have them as pets.  Many of us have some sort of experience with them.  With wolves especially, these are animals that are culturally thought of as evil due to religious contexts or historic context (wolves killing farm animals and humans, specifically the history of werewolves).  Wolves are also thought of as very spiritual creatures.  Whatever it may be, humans and wolves have a strong tie to one another.

 
Felines are the second most common type of animal found in the therian community.  You’d be hard pressed not to find a therian community that doesn’t have a large portion of lions, tigers, leopards, or domestic cats.    Cats are another animal that humans are exposed to on a daily basis.  Statistically, there are more cats as pets than they are dogs.  Look at what we think of as “feline” behavior.  Aloofness and gracefulness.  These are human traits that we just attribute to cats.  Believe me, cats aren’t nearly as graceful as you may think.  Ever see a cat attempt to jump up on something and fall short?  It’s quite a funny sight especially when what they were trying to jump up on isn’t very high.

 

But that’s besides the point.  These are animals that we are exposed to since childhood.  Not just domestic cats and dogs, but their wild counterparts too.  Wolves, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs.  Perhaps there’s something about these animals that resonated with us strongly that subconsciously they became ingrained in our minds and personalities.  Of course I cannot speak for other therians.  I can only speak for myself and I believe I covered this topic a little bit in previous posts.  But I shall reiterate it for this one.  I was terrified of dogs when I was younger.  I believe the fear came from being around my uncle’s dog Jordan.  He was just the meanest Bulldog.  Whenever I was around him, he’d bark and growl at me and try to get at me.  I didn’t like his other dog, Crispy (this little terrier) either.  He was just a very yappy dog so I thought he was trying to attack me too (looking back on it, I don’t think he was).  So I developed a phobia of them.  I didn’t want to be around dogs.  I didn’t even like Golden Retrievers and they’re supposed to be one of the gentlest breeds.  I remember running away from one, hiding in my mom’s car and crying.

 

I was never terrified of seeing a picture of a dog or a cartoon dog (in fact, Scooby Doo was one of my favorite characters growing up).  Just real dogs.  On the flip side though, I loved werewolves and anything to do with animal transformation.  One of my favorite series was Big Wolf on Campus.  A show that used to come on (then FOX Family) ABC Family about a high school student who was bitten by a werewolf and became one.  I just loved seeing humans turn from on thing into another.  It’s a like of mine that’s stuck with me for some time now (though at the moment, I’m very picky about my werewolf movies…there aren’t too many good ones).  But I realized that not only was it the change from human to animal that I liked but the struggle to keep one’s humanity.

 

I believe it was some mix of those two things that triggered something in me that made me feel the way I do.  Perhaps a subconscious notion that if I “became” a canine that maybe I wouldn’t be afraid of them anymore.  Or perhaps it was triggered through realizing that dogs weren’t so bad after all.  That’s assuming that there might be a genetic component to therianthropy and perhaps the right conditions were met for it to be triggered.  That takes a lot of assumptions so I won’t go any further with that theory.  Or it might even just be a subconscious desire to be like a werewolf or were-creature that made me like this.  There’s a lot to work with.

 

There is one nasty fault with the psychological perspective though and that leaves open room for fiction/media-kin and otaku-kin.  These are the people who feel like they are a fictional character.  This is a subject for another post, however I will say that it’s not uncommon to relate to fictional characters.  When people write stories, scripts for television/movies, comics, etc., they purposely create characters for people to relate too.  If no one related to the characters then the story wouldn’t be successful.  No one would be interested.  There is a fault with saying you are that character.  I believe the only people who reserve the right to say they are a character is the person who created the characters themselves.

 

So how would I cope if one day someone told me that this was all false?  I’ll just have to realize that I have awkward quirks that I can’t explain.  Feeling like a dog doesn’t interfere with my life.  I have friends and hobbies.  I’m going to school and pursing a career (despite wanting to possibly change what career I’m pursuing…but that’s noting out of the ordinary).  I don’t have to cope with anything.  I’m smart enough to know not to show any animalistic behaviors in public.  That’s reserved for the privacy of my own home.  Is it hard at times to suppress a behavior that comes naturally for me?  Yes.  But I do it because I have to.

 

Let’s face it.  We can swallow a lot of strange ideas in this society.  The idea that someone doesn’t feel the right gender.  That one can make a bit of sense depending on if the science behind it is correct.  But the idea that someone doesn’t feel the right species is an odd one.  Especially from the spiritual perspective.  I completely understand the hesitation when it comes to believing people who say they are ‘X’ animal or they are ‘X’ creature.  But I do think there is a reason for it.  One that isn’t necessarily just spiritual.  Spirituality can play a role in it however I believe that the phenomenon is something rooted in the brain and something that can be pinpointed and explained.  It might take some work but I believe that it is possible.

Past Life Memories?

I call shenanigans on them.

 

Within the therianthrope and otherkin communities, speaking of past life memories seems rather common place.  More so in the otherkin community because people who identify as otherkin generally identify with creatures from myth and legend.  In more simple language, the creatures they identify with don’t exist.  Creatures like dragons, fairies, fae, and mermaids.  You’ll even find your fair share of angel and demon-kin as well.

 

Anyways, I said in a previous post that I don’t rule out the possibility of reincarnation.  Which by that definition means that I shouldn’t rule out the possibility of past life memories.  However, that doesn’t mean I can’t call shenanigans on them.  Even within the most scientifically minded otherkin community, stories of past lives run rampant.  And these stories are always very elaborate.  Very descriptive about different planets they come from.  They’re always different planets or different dimensions.  They have to be.  Fairies, fae, dragons, mermaids, sphinxes, etc. don’t exist on the earth.  These are beings that were created by humans through misinterpretation of reality.  For angel and demon-kin, the situation might be different.  I can’t prove that they don’t exist, however unlike these other beings, angels and demons are historically thought to be a real part of  this realm.

 

It can be difficult to discuss past life memories with otherkin (usually I’ll just say otherkin because I’ve seen far more otherkin claim past life memories over therians).  I’ll give an example of this (though this example comes from a therian forum).  There was a subject on a therianthropy related forum discussing whether or not otherkin take things too far sometimes.  This was basically a discussion on the claims of otherkin, specifically revolving around past life claims and spiritual claims.  You can’t have the soul of something that doesn’t exist.  One member chimed in that he had dealings with angels and angel-kin are nothing like angels.  Now this member is well known as a devout Christian so his experience of angels is coming from his faith and from what Christianity teaches angels are.  And I imagine that they also come from his exact experiences of angels (whatever they may be).  However the administrator of the board claimed that he could not tell someone they’re not angel-kin because his knowledge of angels “doesn’t count”.

 

This is the problem of otherkin.  There are things that are taught about each of these creatures that otherkin claim to be.  Otherkin however find ways to rewrite the history of what these creatures historically are.  In the case of dragons, I almost want to put them on the therian side of things because a dragon is more animalistic than some of these other creatures.  However they still don’t exist (excluding real animals that are labeled dragons such as komodos and bearded dragons).  In many beliefs, demons at typically evil.  Note I didn’t say deimons or daemons.  Just because the root of “demon” is “deimon” doesn’t mean I’m talking about deimons.  I’m talking specifically about demons.  Demons are malevolent spirits.  Angels are benevolent beings.  Not just in Christian tradition but in Judaism and Islam.  Even in Egyptian and Babylonian societies.  So when I hear a demon-kin say something that isn’t representative of what these beings historically are, I have to raise an eyebrow at it.  It seems that historic knowledge is being replaced by these “memories” of what they used to be, by what they feel is correct, or by what the terms used to mean without realizing that words can evolve or even mean two different things.  Not to mention that daemon and deimon are still words and they do mean something different than demon.

 

Now I hear many demon-kin describing themselves as mischievous.  Never evil though.  I suppose “mischievous” is part of a demonic nature.  I’m not very knowledgeable about demons as whole.  But this isn’t about demons.  However I will say that I often wonder what would happen if there were a demon-kin that appeared and described his demonic nature as evil.  Would they be written off as “fluffy”?  Or would they be told to seek mental help?

 

To get back on the subject of past life memories, why is it that these memories can’t just be an overactive imagination?  Perhaps desperately wanting to believe that there is a spiritual context behind something that might not be spiritual at all?  How can it be known that these “memories” are real and that they really happened?  And even if they did really happen, how do you know it was really you?

 

The real reason I have such a problem with past life claims in otherkin is because the majority of the time, these memories are of some distant world or dimension that cannot be seen in any way, shape, or form.  These people are absolutely certain that they know the name of the species that they were and what they looked like when they were in their “real” form.  And these descriptions are detailed.  Knowing that they were a blue western dragon with this many horns and that’s this big.  Or knowing that what their “planet” looked like.  What they did in their lives.  If they had “mates” or children.  It’s too much.  Where is the line drawn between what is believable in the otherkin community and what isn’t?  Apparently it’s okay to claim to know what your planet is and knowing that you had some sort of mate and/or children.  And it’s okay to know exactly what you looked like as your kin-form and what abilities you had.  And it’s okay to know what sort of diet you held.  But it’s wrong to claim to be a prince, princess, king, queen, or god of anything.  It’s equally as impossible to believe that you were a king or god in a past life (more so a god because gods typically don’t die) as it is to believe that you’re a dragon from planet x with gold horns and blue scales, had a mate and child, and so on and so forth.

 

I’ve focused more on the otherkin side of this.  However I will give more leniency to therians who believe they were reincarnated.  Why?  Because the animals that therians claim to be have existed or do exist.  That doesn’t mean I believe their past life claims more.  I don’t.  I don’t believe any past life claims.  However I won’t pretend that I don’t give more credence to the therian belief in reincarnation over the otherkin belief in reincarnation.  Therians believe they were creatures that have/had existed.  There’s no physical proof that the creatures that otherkin claim to be ever existed.

 

Am I saying that all otherkin are lying?  No.  Both otherkin and therianthropy are very similar constructs.  People believing themselves to be something else other than human or connecting strongly with a creature that it becomes a part of their personality, being, psyche, etc.  So along those lines, you could still be otherkin.  I just think that otherkin needs to be looked at more from a psychological standpoint as well.  I don’t claim psychology to be the end all be all for this subject, but before placing something in the “spiritual” category, try to figure it out from the “mundane” standpoints first.

I often feel like the odd woman out in the therian community.

 

Why?

 

A part of me really identifies with the label.  When I first discovered what therianthropy was and that there were other people out there who felt like animals…that I wasn’t alone in the world and that I wasn’t (completely) insane.  So as skeptical as I was then, I felt that the label fit.  And to a point I still do now.  But I can’t help but keep questioning whether or not it really is a correct label for me.  But at the same time I feel very awkward using it.  Most therians admit that their animal sides were always a part of them, even during childhood.  The first time I ever had an inkling of my animal side was when I was eleven.  And at that time I honestly thought something was completely wrong with me.

 

My experiences with my canine side though seem fairly “weak” in comparison with others.  I suppose my main problem has always been that I compare myself to other people.  It’s a habit that’s very hard to break.  In the back of my mind I know that if “therian” is the proper label for me I would have different experiences than other therians because I’m a different person.  It’s just hard for me to get over that hurdle of comparing myself to other people.

 

For example, I generally compare shifting experiences.  No I don’t mean physical shapeshifting.  That’s a complete and utter impossibility.  “Shifting” in this light refers to other things (mental, phantom, dream, aura, astral, etc.).  But describing terminology is for another post.  I’m predominately a mental shifter.  Meaning that at times my canine side tend to be more prominent in my mind.  Though I always retain my human mindset.  I think of my “shifts” as if they were on a sliding scale.  One end of the spectrum is human mindset.  The other is canine mindset.  The bar is mostly set on the human end.  But if I encounter anything that triggers a shift (scents, strong emotions, etc.) it will get pushed closer to the other end but never far enough that I have no idea what I’m doing.  I wonder if I should even count phantom shifts as 1) I didn’t experience them after I found out about therianthropy and 2) I don’t experience anything more than awkward sensations.  Since I recognized that I tend to ignore phantom shifts.

 

It’s the fact that my shifts are generally weak that make me question things a lot.  I think that I’ve only had a few stronger shifts but those are extremely few and far between.  Plus I’ve spent a lot of time suppressing them so my natural urge basically is to suppress them.  Even when I’m alone.  I’m learning to get over that, but still…it is quite awkward.  Humans shouldn’t feel like anything other than humans.

 

Also, (even though I know better) I generally see the term therianthropy used in a spiritual light.  It’s nearly impossible to look up a definition for therianthropy and not see some sort of spiritual connotations behind it.  I on the other hand (as a non-spiritual person) look at it in a psychological light.  At one point in time I did believe something spiritual.  Either that I had the soul of a wolf (at that time that’s what I narrowed down my therioside/animal side to) in a human body or that in a past life I was a wolf.  But after thinking about it, I realized that I didn’t think that at all.  I figured that mundane reasons should be considered far before spiritual reasons.  There’s so much we don’t know about the brain and how it works.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if therianthropy was just caused by atypical wiring of the brain.  Or even perhaps recessive genes that are triggered under certain conditions.  I’m no scientist, but speculating these mundane reasons make far more sense to me than skipping that step and believing I have the soul of some animal.

 

And to top it off (for now), one of my shifting triggers (aside from the ones I listed above) is werewolf movies.  I’ve seen other therians admit this.  Not a lot.  Just a few.  But this is one that make me believe that whatever it is I experience now is a product of one of two things.  The first being my love for (bordering on obsession with) werewolves/were-creatures.  The second being the fear of dogs I used to have when I was little.  But this is more focusing on the werewolf movies/TV shows.  This is why I believe that this is a psychological construct for me.  Well one of them.  I love the idea of shapeshifting and I’ve loved it for quite a while.  So maybe it’s been ingrained in my mind.  That seeing werewolves or a person turning into an animal brings out a more animalistic nature in myself.

 

Of course I mentioned my other reason why I believe this is a psychological construct.  My past phobia of dogs.  I was absolutely terrified of them.  I wouldn’t allow myself to get close to them.  It was around the time that I began to get over my fear of dogs that this canine nature began showing up in me.  Perhaps it was a way of helping me cope with the fear?  I’m not sure in the least bit.  It’s just a personal theory.

 

Where does the term “animal person” play a role in this?  Well, it’s a very vague label.  It could mean just about anything.  A person who loves animals.  A person who’s an animal totemist or shapeshifter.  Or a person who’s a therian.  It’s a term that I could use instead of therian.  I wonder if it’s better.  I’m an human being with somewhat of an animalistic nature.  Whether it was always there or if it was caused or triggered I may never be completely sure of.  All I’m sure of is how I am now.  That I’m still confused and slightly skeptical about the whole thing.  That maybe something is wrong with me.  That there is a part of me that’s very intriguing and odd, but I still like it.  For the moment, I’ll keep learning, keep “soul-searching”, keep questioning.  I’m sure I’ll figure it all out eventually.  It’ll just take a little more time.  I got this far in about 10 years.  What’s another 10 going to be to me?

Intro to Therianthropy

Religion really isn’t my area of expertise because I’m not a very spiritual person.  Nor do I have any religious experiences to speak of.  I just ask questions and try to understand why people believe what they believe.

 

But although I wouldn’t completely say they area of therianthropy is my area of “expertise” (it’s not; I can just speak better about it because it’s something that I experience), I’m much more knowledgeable in this area.  So I’m taking a tiny break from talking about religion to fill out my Therianthropy section a bit more.

 

First of all, therianthropy isn’t something religious.  It doesn’t even have to be spiritual and I shall explain this much later on.  It is a term derived from the greek words meaning “beast/wild animal” (therion) and “man” (anthropos).  A therianthrope (therian for short) is one who feels that they are human plus another animal.  A big misconception I believe is that some people believe that therians don’t acknowledge that they’re human.  We know that we’re human.  We can’t deny that.  Any person who denies that they are human are just fooling themselves.  We just feel a connection with some other species of animal that seems almost unexplainable.

 

The largest misconception about therianthropy is that it’s something religious.  Therianthropy has absolutely nothing to do with religion nor does it get in the way of any personal spiritual beliefs a person might hold.  You can be anything from Christian to Pagan to Atheist and still identify as a therian.

 

So far I’ve just been speaking about therianthropy as if it were spiritual so you might ask how an Atheist might come to believe they’re a therian.  The answer is quite simple.  “Therianthrope” is just a title based upon two greek words.  There is no singular definition for what makes a person a therian.  While the majority of therians might believe they have animal souls or a spiritual tie to some species of animals, there are a few of us (me included) who feel that the phenomenon is entirely psychological.  It’s something that might be able to be explained with some research.

 

I used to believe in the more spiritual explanations for therianthropy, but over time I started to feel like that didn’t explain anything.  It was easy to say that I had the soul of a dog and leave it at that.  But that didn’t make sense.  After studying the subject more, I found more people who felt like this might be a psychological phenomenon rather than a spiritual one.  I felt more comfortable looking at this thing that I was experiencing as something psychological rather than spiritual.

 

For me, I believe it’s something that was triggered by the extreme fear of dogs I had when I was little coupled with my extreme love of werewolves and animal transformation.  The mind is quite the powerful tool and without realizing it I suppose I’d taken on some canine behaviors.  I no longer have have a fear of dogs so it’s not a coping mechanism anymore.  It’s just become a part of my personality.  When I get angry, I have no desire to yell or rant or anything that people typically do.  Instead I want to growl, teeth bared and all.  When I become very playful, I want to be petted.  When I become sad I want to whimper and whine.  When I smell something good, I’ll want to follow the scent and find where it’s coming from.  These can also be written off as awkward quirks and sometimes just think of them in this way.  However I can’t shake my desire to be a canine rather than human.  It’s not a continuous feeling, but the moments where I do feel that can be a little unbearable.

 

I’ll write more on the subject much later on.  There’s so much to be explored with therianthropy and my experiences with it.  Anything down from types of “shifts” to species dysphoria and more.

I say weak Christianity because the truth of the matter was that I was never Christian.  I was raised in a Christian household and expected to believe what my parents believed but aside from being forced to go to church and a weak belief in God/a higher power, I couldn’t call myself a Christian.  I didn’t really pray much other than the Lord’s prayer.  I didn’t rely on God for anything.  I didn’t really accept Jesus as savior.  I just went to church and called myself “Christian” because that was what was expected of me.  Until I was about 19 or 20 my mother still forced me to go to church because to her I’m still “a child” and since I live under her roof I must believe what she believes.

 

But I digress.  I’m supposed to be explaining what drove me to accepting the title of agnostic.  This ties into my story of therianthropy as well so bear with me as I will not completely explain what it means to be a therian in this post.  For anyone interested enough, it will be explained in a further post.

 

And so my little story starts at age 11.  I’m just a little girl who has a bit of nervousness around dogs (derived from a full blown fear that I was slowly starting to get over) and like any other little kid, I didn’t like school or homework.  It was summer time and my mother had set aside some workbooks for me and my brother to work on so I sat in my room (which is now my brother’s room) and worked on them.  Math.  It’s the bane of my existence.  I hate math.  I was never any good at it yet I sat there and attempted to work on this when I could be watching TV, or drawing, or on the internet.  Anything but doing math.  I felt my frustration with the questions rising and rising until…I growled.

 

Lips pulled back and teeth bared.  I caught myself growling loudly.  I was fully aware of what I was doing, but it was an urge that at the moment was too strong to fight.  I was upset at this simple math homework (simple now…maybe not when I was in 5th going on 6th grade) and the way I was expressing my frustration was in a way that I had never done before.  And I started tearing at the pages.  Scratching at them and hoping to tear them up with my short nails that couldn’t tear anything.  Again I was fully aware of my actions, I just could express my emotions at the moment in any other way.  It was just something I was doing automatically.  As if it were instinct.

 

For a full minute or two I sat there clawing at the pages of this book and growling until eventually I just calmed down.  Took a deep breath and attempted to make sense of what had just happened but I couldn’t.  To me, humans should not behave like that.  Humans don’t “growl”.  At least not in the way that I was.  To my knowledge humans don’t bare their teeth and growl at people as a way to express frustration.  And for some time afterwards I had more experiences like these.  I needed to know why it was I was feeling like this.  I wanted to know what was going on with me.

 

So internet to the rescue.  I searched google for the only thing I could think of: Werewolf.  That’s right.  I typed werewolf into google’s search engine and attempted to find out if there were anything about “real” (not in the physically shapeshifting sense) werewolves.  At the time I had felt like a wolf.  Had urges to howl and bark.  Again, at 11 (or maybe at this time 12) years old I didn’t understand that wolves weren’t the only animals that howled and since I had the desire to howl, I thought I must be a wolf.

 

Eventually I came across the term “clinical lycanthropy”.  A mental disorder describing people who feel with their entire being that they are being physically transformed into a wolf (or sometimes another animal).  At first I thought this was me.  I thought I had this mental disorder.  Except for one thing.  I never believed I turned into a wolf . I just acted like one and felt like one.  I knew whole-heartedly that I wasn’t a real wolf.  And I was smart enough to know that humans can’t really turn into animals.  That was just the stuff of movies and TV.  Just fantasy.  So that realization left me back at square one again.

 

At this point I bet you’re wondering what this has anything to do with a journey from Christianity to Agnosticism but don’t worry, I’m getting there.

 

Through some twist of fate, I stumbled upon the website of an artist known as Goldenwolf.  As an artist, I just stared in awe at her beautiful renditions of anthropomorphic animals.  In other words, I got sidetracked.  I spend some time searching Goldenwolf’s art galleries before reading her artist bio where she mentions that she’s a therianthrope (or rather mentioned.  She has since backed away from the therian community).  She describes her feelings of being a wolf and it seems I’ve finally found what it was I was looking for.  Therianthrope.  Maybe that’s what I was.

 

There were links to therian communities listed on her website and so I lurked around some of the message boards, reading posts by other members describing their experiences of being a therian.  From the spiritual to the psycological theories.  To discussing their “shifts” (something else that I shall describe in further  posts).  Everything that I was reading was ringing true for me yet…at the same time it wasn’t.  I knew that this was what I was.  But because I compared my experiences with other who seemed much more connected to their animal side than I was, I couldn’t completely believe that I was a therian either.  I still felt completely lost.

 

Now around age 14 and getting towards the true purpose of this blog.  It was one of the rare times at church where my mother dragged my brother and me down to pray.  So I did have some thing to pray about.  What was wrong with me?  What am I?  And if you experience the feeling of being a completely different species while having a human body, you’d want to know what was wrong with you too.  So I waited and waited and waited.  Not waiting as in a week or two.  More like a few months.  Still nothing.  So the next time I prayed again.  And again with time I still felt like I received no answer.  It was at this point that I decided not to pray again.  I figured that prayer didn’t work.  I wasn’t really getting help.  I still felt weird and wrong.  A human shouldn’t feel like a dog.  It feels like it should be impossible.  But I felt like I had to figure this thing out on my own, so I did.

 

Little did I know that this would also open me up to recognize and accept something big about myself: God scares me.  I know he’s supposed to be loving and patient but going to church I picked up little things that just made it seem like he wasn’t.  The pastor wanted to teach about how loving God is, but you can’t then say at the same time that God will smite people and other such things.  Things just stopped adding up.  And the straw that broke the camel’s back was hearing my pastor and the congregation laughing at those who weren’t Christian.  Laughing at them because they were “wrong” and could go to hell.  To say it infuriated me wouldn’t quite describe it.  It was at that moment that I decided that I couldn’t associate with them anymore.  These people who claim to be so loving are ridiculing others for their beliefs.  How “Christian” of them!  It was truly at this moment that I figured I couldn’t do it anymore.  I didn’t want to pretend to believe something that I didn’t believe.  I most certainly don’t want to associate with people who are so hypocritical.  I never became atheist, but I most certainly wasn’t Christian anymore.  Or rather ever if you want to be technical about it.  I was never Christian.  I just called myself so.  However I knew I wasn’t going to even call myself Christian anymore.

 

So that’s my journey to Agnosticism in a nutshell.  Sorry most of this is about therianthropy but it was a big part of the story.  Staying agnostic and trying to figure myself out spiritually is a whole other can of worms reserved for another day.  For now, off to bed I am.  Lack of sleep is starting to set in.