Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Reincarnation Theory Of Otherkin
Article Specs |
Article ID: 10338
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,017
Times Read: 10,000
RSS Views: 66,759
Author: Lupa [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 4th. 2005
Times Viewed: 10,000
Otherkin are a pretty controversial group of people, even within the relatively tolerant realms of NeoPaganism. While we live within the same world as everyone else, working and/or going to school, building and maintaining a variety of relationships, paying the bills, and otherwise leading completely mundane existences, we have other aspects to our personal realities that aren’t quite so everyday. We know/believe that there’s something not quite human about us and we can spend this entire lifetime figuring out just who we’ve been and who we are now.
Some identify as nonhuman, relatively humanoid species such as elves and faeries; others believe there is something of the dragon, gryphon or sea serpent about them; and still others identify strongly with animals native to this plane, well beyond the totemic bond. Yes, it can be a bit of a brain-breaker to try to resolve the conflict between what’s commonly divided into “fantasy” and “reality.” That’s why most `kin spend time trying to figure out just why it is we feel that we’re different in a such a….er…different manner.
One of the most common explanations for being Otherkin is reincarnation. This necessitates a belief in a soul, of course, and the belief that the soul is not species-specific. While some people say that once a(n) (insert species here), always a(n) (insert species here), others maintain that the soul is itself neutral and can be incarnated into any body possible.
Neutral as the soul may be, it still tends to carry material with it from life to life, depending on how strongly the experiences of each life imprinted on it. Some souls are better at keeping their egos intact through each death-birth process than others; this is perhaps why some people have thorough recollections of their previous existences while others have just a few tidbits here and there. It just so happens that for a few people the memories that imprint strongly don’t come from this particular Earth-reality.
It’s debatable whether these lives occurred on alternate Earths or physically different planets entirely. Some Otherkin seem to have a really good idea of where they come from, even being able to pinpoint galaxies or individual stars that correlate to our Sol. I’ve also heard people claim the idea that our world and numerous others inhabit the same basic place, but are layered according to energy resonance (think physical vs. astral plane).
It’d be easy to accuse Otherkin of simply being entirely too imaginative. After all, aren’t elves and such meant to be in the realms of fantasy fiction or, at best, the spirit plane? This is where belief comes into play. Even the most solid cases of reincarnation can’t be thoroughly proven, and sometimes we do have to go on faith to an extent. Consistency seems to be the key to a more likely story. Repeated past life regressions that continually bring up the same people, places, themes and identities are a lot easier to argue for than a single wishful thought that the bearer is afraid to test for fear of being wrong. Some Otherkin, particularly among elves, report shared memories with others, including incidents where the two (or more) parties had not previously communicated with each other on the subject.
The truly skeptical can argue against this all day long—what if one or more people were just saying “Yeah, I remember that,” to go along with the crowd? What if it’s a group delusion? What if? What if?
It’s important to stringently question ourselves and not blindly accept whatever comes our way that looks pretty. Yet if we chase away belief entirely we shut ourselves off from a lot of potentially positive developments in our lives. After all, belief is the basis of spirituality and magic, and Gods know that enough Pagans, Otherkin and otherwise, desire or even need these things in our lives. So while we’ll acknowledge the words of the skeptics and keep close watch on ourselves to make sure we don’t convince ourselves that pixie ‘kin really can fly, we will allow ourselves some belief to explore our possible pasts.
As to why we ended up here, there are a number of possibilities:
Because we needed to learn something about being human. Many reincarnationists believe that we enter into the lives that we do in order to learn a specific lesson. There are quite possibly lessons that only the unique experience of being human can teach. Perhaps some `kin are here to better understand humanity so that they can therefore adopt certain human behaviors. Maybe Earth today has a balance of creation and destruction, Nature and technology, that is unique in the Multiverse. Perhaps some of us came here from someplace better as punishment/rehabilitation for some wrongdoing; or maybe from somewhere worse so we can get a breather (after all, this place certainly isn’t all bad!) Just as a soul may be born as a cougar to learn to be more aggressive or a way to learn patience, the experience of being human might be how some souls learn what to do—or not do—with modern technology, or our particular blend of sex and love, or whatever else it is that makes us human.
Because this world needs our help. Let’s face it—to a lot of folk in the magical and Otherkin subcultures, this place is in trouble. The environment is constantly under siege, millions of humans live in poverty-stricken, war-torn areas, disease is rampant and some days it just seems like the whole biosystem is about to collapse under the pressure. There are Otherkin who feel they came here with the purpose of alleviating some of the pain. There’s the theory that other sentient places in the Multiverse are well aware of us and want to try to help us, if for no other reason than to keep us from destroying everything around us. So souls come from these places in order to help out what is seen as a state of emergency. Take the concept of thinking globally, and expand it across the Multiverse. Predictably many of the Otherkin under this heading dedicate themselves to social, political, spiritual and related causes meant to make a positive impact.
Because we walked in. Walk-ins are a unique group among Otherkin; they’re not really so much a category as another explanation. A walk-in is a soul that enters a body well after birth. In some cases this happens at a point when the original soul abandons it (often at a time of great physical/emotional/etc. trauma, though this is not always the case). Other times the walk-in soul shares the body with the original soul. The souls involved may all have had nothing but human lives, but they show up in the `kin community commonly because it’s a safe haven for them to be open about who and what they are. Walk-ins may come in with a purpose, or simply with a curious desire to have a body again but not wanting or being able to enter a newborn body.
Oops. Species dysphoria does occasionally occur among Otherkin. This means that there are those who fully believe they were born into the completely wrong body. I’ve seen this most commonly among therianthropes—those who identify as nonhuman, Earth-native animals—but it happens in other groups as well. Stories vary as to why the soul ended up in the wrong body, ranging from “Well, I thought I was headed into a fox kit, but I guess I missed” to “I’m here against my will because of something I did in another life” (see the first theory listed above).
I dunno. You tell me. There are plenty of Otherkin who have absolutely no idea how they got here. While some do search for answers, many just shrug, chalk it up to unknown forces and go on with their lives.
Again, it’s entirely possible that we’re all just over-imaginative or even delusional; but then again, the same could arguably be said for anyone who claims to believe in reincarnation, spirits or magic. No doubt there are probably plenty who claim the Otherkin label who probably do need to do a lot more seeking before they come to this conclusion; after all, when you don’t feel you fit into this world, escapism can become an extreme behavior in a tiny fraction of individuals. Needless to say, there are thousands of people in this world who are Otherkin, who identify as such and who live perfectly functional, happy lives with no ill effects from their identities. The theory of reincarnation offers many of us a way to explain this feeling of being Other, so we can find peace with ourselves in our entirety.
Location: Portland, Oregon
Author's Profile: To learn more about Lupa - Click HERE
Bio: Lupa is a twenty-something pansexual genderfluid chao-shaman in Pittsburgh (soon to relocate to Seattle with her partner, Taylor Ellwood) . She spends her time making artwork out of various natural found items, and her first book, “Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic” is due out from Immanion Press in Autumn 2006. Her current book project is on the topic of Otherkin. She welcomes all questions and comments at the email link below. She may also be found at http://www.thegreenwolf.com and on Livejournal as lupabitch.
Other Articles: Lupa has posted 25 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Lupa... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).