From Otherkin Wiki

Questioning refers to the process of a person realizing they may be alterhuman, and attempting to discover more about their identity. While for some it may be an instantaneous realization, for many it is a process that takes some time.[1] Some community members argue that questioning is a lifelong process.[2] It is often, but not always,[3] prompted by discovering the alterhuman communities.[4] Additionally, questioning commonly occurs when one goes through a period of self discovery. Because of this, most are in their teens or twenties when they decide to claim an alterhuman label. However, this process can happen at any age.[5]

Not all alterhuman identities are discovered - some are chosen, or entirely inborn. As a result, the questioning process does not apply to everyone.

Experiences[edit | edit source]

Many nonhumans express that they have always felt different in some way.[6][7] They may experience a bond or fascination with their phenotype from an early age,[6][8] even desiring to become one. Some people report having attempted to use hypnosis, magic or prayer to become their phenotype. At the same time, some go through a period of doubt or denial.[9]

Awakening[edit | edit source]

In the otherkin, therian and vampire communities, awakening describes a specific narrative surrounding realizing one's nonhumanity. People undergoing an awakening may intuitively understand what their phenotype is, or they may need to discover it.

A number of experiences are commonly reported during an awakening, these include but are not limited to:

  • Having frequent and uncontrollable phantom limbs or shifts.[10]
  • Recovering memories of other lives.[2][8]
  • Intense feelings of homesickness.[11][12]
  • Dreams about or from the perspective of the phenotype.[11]

Finding one's identity[edit | edit source]

Several guides on discovering your species have been written by otherkin and therians. Common advice includes:

  • Ruling out mundane or human factors - one should make sure the traits they are experiencing cannot be explained by more normal things.[13]
  • Getting feedback from others - individuals are encouraged to run their reasoning and conclusions by experienced members of the community.[13]
  • Research - one should learn about the entities they are questioning to make sure traits match up. The therian community in particular places importance on researching real animal behavior in order to come to an accurate conclusion.[13][14]
  • Mediation. This suggestion has also been criticized for being vague and misleading as to the purpose and results of meditation.[13]

Part of this discovery process may also be developing an understanding of why one is nonhuman,[13][15] and what terminology to refer to it with (e.g. as a kintype, theriotype, hearttype, or something else).

Many of these guides emphasize that ultimately, nobody can tell a person which species they are except themselves.[13] Some members of the communities have criticized the 'obsession' with finding labels, especially those who excessively seek validation or information from other people.

A particular phenomenon that some people have spoken against is the use of pendulum readings, typically conducted for anonymous strangers through blogs dedicated to this purpose. Page Shepard writes on the falliability of this method, the lack of evidence for many diviners' skills, and the subjective nature of alterhuman labels, and concludes that this practise is harmful on an individual and community level.[16]

It is often frequently remarked that self-exploration should continue after awakening, or even that awakening itself is a lifelong process.[17]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Crisses. (2001) "Crisses' Otherkin FAQ v 4.0.1"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jarandhel Dreamsinger. (February 19th, 2009) "Awakening"
  3. Quil. (August 8th 2005) "The Thwack"
  4. Miaren Crow's Daughter. "So... You're Awake?" (Archived version)
  5. Lupa. (2007) "A Field Guide to Otherkin" Megalithica Books.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Arethinn. "how i awoke (short version)"
  7. Qarael. "Awakening Angelic" (Archived version)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Adnarel. "On My Awakening (Adnarel)"
  9. KaniS. (2005) "For Dragons"
  10. Adnarel. "I’ve Heard the Stories on Awakening" (Archived version)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Xenia. (September 2nd, 2015) "Not of this world: An otherkin primer" Spiral Nature Magazine.
  12. The Crisses et al. (February 8th, 2001) "Otherkin FAQ v 4.0.1"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Akhila. (December 2005) "Soulsearch (and keep walking)"
  14. Aster of ? Haunting. "Therians and Otherkin Don't Have Exactly the Same Experiences"
  15. The_Grimm_Judge. (November 5th, 2002) "Why? - Pushing the Boundaries of Belief" (Archived version)
  16. Page Shepard. (January 11th, 2021) "The Problem with Pendulums: Divination and Alterhumanity"
  17. Akhila. (December 2005) "Soulsearch – Keep Walking"